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Old 06-25-2016, 08:03 AM   #1
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1972 29' Ambassador
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Changing axles next week...

Colin told me that my axles should be delivered next week, so I'm beginning to prep for the job.

Can anyone point me to some good threads on the procedure?

Number and placement of the jack stands?

Things to watch out for?

Thanks!
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:15 AM   #2
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I never jack up AS, I pull on 2x8 stacked one axle at a time to raise high enough to slide old axle out new in, block other axle. 2 cheapy floor jacks or small furn. platforms that harbor frt. tools sells makes easy to slide out and in. I don't believe in jacking and stands as they can slip, if you are under it could be fatal as another thread stated. Some disagree with me but my job req. safety or loss of life or limbs, so I don't take chances. I survived 40 yrs. on job w/1 personal inj. that was not caused by me. Don't forget to put shocks on axle before installing or you will have to start over. I changed my own at76 yrs. old but I have tools. soak bolts w/penetrating oil for sev. days as some times hard to get off.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:23 AM   #3
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Our trailer was up on blocks when we did it, so can't help you there. However, those suckers are HEAVY, so having 2 people there is a plus. We used two bottle jacks to lift the axles up into place. If you're on dirt, use a big piece of plywood under the axles to drag them into place under the trailer.
If you had 10 inch brakes, but bought 12 inch brakes for your new axles, you will need to make sure your trailer is raised up high enough to get them under - we had to do that also, even though we were up on 2 cement blocks worth. Jack up the trailer using the axle plate, not the frame, and support using the axle plate with jack stands, not the frame. The front of the trailer, we use the front trailer jack only. Hope this helps, and good luck. It was about a 2 hour procedure for us.

Kay
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:39 AM   #4
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Bandaids and your favorite boo boo spray.

Two axles, right?

Consider trying to mark a reference line straight up onto the frame from a fixed hopefully common point from old to new axle. Then spot new axles in same position.

Safety first.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:59 AM   #5
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I put an axle on ours last weekend (single-axle). Used bottle jacks and 4 jack stands under the frame. I'm not sure if there's a better way, but I definitely didn't feel terribly confident with the setup and wouldn't want to be underneath it. During some of the muscling procedures, the whole trailer wanted to sway on those stands...

I sprayed all of the bolts with a loosening spray for a few days ahead of time and used an impact gun for the main bolts. Even still, I had to break out the torch and heat one of the bolts because it wouldn't budge a bit!

Used a flat moving dolly to slide the new axle under the trailer and lifted it with bottle jacks from both sides.

Front bolt hole on the frame had to be made larger to line up with the new axle. I used a hand file and Dremel, but wished I had something more efficient to cut that metal.

I purchased my axle from Inland RV and I'm not sure how Colin Hyde does his, but I ran into an issue with the shock mounts not lining up. Where the axle wants the shock to go is about 1.5" further out than the frame shock mount. I'm going to have to cut off the frame shock stud and weld a bracket with a new shock stud to line up with the axle.

Also make sure to check the alignment of the axle.

Bearings will likely need to be packed; have grease on hand.

That's all I can think of at the moment. It's not a terribly difficult process if you're comfortable with mechanic work. My biggest gripes were the shock alignment issue that I still have to account for and the heat in Albuquerque last weekend!

-Matt
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:21 AM   #6
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While you are at it you might consider adding a lift kit, especially if you are tail dragging your 28 footer on driveway aprons or venturing into the boonies.

Minimal additional work to install since you are RRing the axles. I would imagine Colin can set you up.

Install will require jacking your trailer a few inches higher and adjustment of your hitch height afterwards.

Good luck!
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:13 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies!

I like the idea about a stack of 2X8s. I'm thinking "all of the above"when it comes to stuff to hold the trailer up. So lots of jack stands, piles of wood, and even the tires and wheels!

Colin didn't think much of the lift kit, but I do. I've got mine ready to go, and I ordered the axles with the 32 degree down angle. I'll need a stepladder to get in!

I've got two rolling floor jacks and friends/accomplices/luckless fools on tap to assist.
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:30 PM   #8
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Since you have a tandem axle coach use the 2x8 blocks (ramps) on the opposite axle. I have never heard of anything falling off of it's tires.
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:38 PM   #9
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We also installed axels with the 32 degree down angle. Raised the trailer about 3".

While towing her home on the old axels, we scraped the tail several times going in and out of gas stations. With the new axels and added height, we have never scraped the tail (so far anyway), and there were times I thought we would, but still had clearance. Point being, you might not need the lift kit. On the other hand, probably can't hurt.

Chris
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Old 06-25-2016, 06:30 PM   #10
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Smile Changing axels

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyHomemakr View Post
Colin told me that my axles should be delivered next week, so I'm beginning to prep for the job.

Can anyone point me to some good threads on the procedure?

Number and placement of the jack stands?

Things to watch out for?

Thanks!
Got new Dexter axels for my 73 Safari in 2003 from Inland along with new shocks. Raised one axel enough to get wheels off. Rolled 2(one for each side) moving dollies(they have a slot that the wheel drum will rest in perfectly) directly under wheels and lowered one side at a time with small jacks onto dolly. Then simply roll the dollies out of the way. Load up new axel. Reverse with new axel and jack them up into place(easy to maneuver dollies). I did this with a buddy helping me and was pretty easy for never having done it before. (Of course you need to soak the nuts to get them loose. Also installed new shocks in the process.) The axels were angled per Andy at Inland and has made a big difference for accessing beaches, ferries, steep driveways, etc.
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Old 06-25-2016, 06:53 PM   #11
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Unless you have really good jack stands ( I use two good10 ton, one between each axle, and two good 5 ton at the front of the frame) I would strongly recommend blocks under wheels on one axel while changing the other. When using this method, you must raise the trailer much higher than you would think, in order to accommodate the added height provided by the new axel, or you will not be able to put the wheels on. Not so much for the second axel. Then no worry about the trailer falling which might not end well.
Really good stands are expensive, but worth the money if you have use for them. I acquired mine when I used to service brakes etc on my Snap-on tool truck.

Be safe.


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Old 06-25-2016, 07:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyHomemakr View Post
Colin told me that my axles should be delivered next week, so I'm beginning to prep for the job.

Can anyone point me to some good threads on the procedure?

Number and placement of the jack stands?

Things to watch out for?

Thanks!
I left messages with Colin and Andy with my info. The first to reply was Andy at Inland RV. Colin called back an hour after. Andy said, we have your axles in stock. I went there to pick them up, the same day.

I PB Blaster'd all the bolts, pulled the trailer on 2x6's one axle at a time. Removed brake wiring, tires (that where in the air), placed a floor jack under the axle, removed bolts and lowered axle.

My axle was heavier and about a 1/4 thicker than original so I needed to widen my axle slot and adjust bolt holes. I understand some are direct replacements.

I moved the new axle under the trailer with a 4 wheel dolly and some wood blocks. I installed shocks on axles, balanced axle over the jack, lifted into slots. Also, I had to install the brake backing, bearings, drums. I never did any of this before so I took my time assembling. Put tires on, torque lug nuts. Move trailer on blocks for next axle and repeat.

It took me a long Saturday to complete by myself. My friend who was supposed to help me showed up with beer while I was cleaning up.

Here is how the Argosy sits 32* axles.
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:09 PM   #13
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1974 25' Tradewind
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Try this :)

We tried penetrating oil....worked on some bolts, others took a sawzall to cut the bolts off.
Wiped off the new axles good with auto prep to remove oil film, wipe with clean rag and let dry, then sprayed with black Rust-Oleum for added protection. They rust fast if not painted again.
Double check the shock type....some say to use Gabriel 610816 and not Monroe 555003.
Hooked up the camper to the truck, left in gear, e brake on to steady the camper because there's some shaking needed. Use blocks/jack stands to add extra safety about 5 feet from your work area.
Jacked up one side just enough to remove front tire, let it down, did the same on the other side = one axle holding the camper up. Then cut the bolts from that axle, it dropped out. Cleaned, brushed the exposed area and painted good...next day put that axle in. BTW.....slide your shocks on before jacking the new axle in position.
Repeat for the other axle.
Not too difficult, just take your time and "re-new" your exposed areas before installing the new axles because it will probably be another 40 years before they're replaced.
Enjoy!
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:47 AM   #14
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Just got back from picking up the axles. I have to admit, they pretty much arrived on time, as promised. Thanks Colin! He suggested that I have them sent to a freight warehouse, rather than being delivered to my house, saved a bunch of $$$.

Now comes the fun part...
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:49 AM   #15
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:19 AM   #16
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Hi Suzyhomakr:

Those axles look perfect. Mine aren't needing replacement yet so I'm forgoing the pleasure BUT I am very interested in the lift kit installation and would appreciate your comments regarding installation thereof.

While the lift kit install seems straightforward, do you move the shock absorber mount on the trailer frame to maintain the same distance between shock absorber mounts (one on axle, one on frame). Or am I missing that the stock shock can accommodate the increased pin to pin distance??

TIA
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Old 07-03-2016, 03:31 PM   #17
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So now it's "this week"

Halfway done with the job, ready for axle #2. Thanks to all the worthies that contributed to the thread, your advice has been the key to my success!

First off, I can see zero reasons as to why someone would set the trailer on jack stands and remove all of the wheels. Life is so much better doing one axle at a time! Heavy-duty ramps were only $40 at Advance Auto, money well spent.

So to recap: dud old negative-angle axles are being replaced with 32 degree down-angle ones purchased from Colin Hyde. I'm also adding the Dexter lift kit, as I'm done with dragging bottom when going into parking lots! The job has been going well, but there have been a few hiccups. Adding the lift kit meant that I don't have to carve out a bigger slot to accommodate the slightly larger axle. On my install, the kit-to-frame holes weren't aligned properly, they were about 3/8" off.

Fortunately, my shop neighbor has a vertical mill, and was able to enlarge the holes to fit properly. After that massive favor, he decided to see what sort of trouble my helper and I were getting into, and came back to assist with putting the axle in place. Three guys is a good number, as two can be underneath, and guy #3 (me) runs around on the outside to wrench bolts.

I wound up getting a new impact wrench from Harbor Freight (for about $100), their Hurricane Pro model. Buzzed off the bolts tuit-suite! Can't imagine doing the job without it. I already have a compressor that is large enough to power it. Aforementioned shop neighbor also brought a transmission jack, which works perfectly to get the new axle in place.

OK, I'll be the one to admit that these axles are REALLY heavy! Much care should be taken when dealing with them! Helper and I used some straps to assist in moving them, see the attached pic. Helper is the relaxed-looking guy! Axle #1 was wedged up into position, requiring crowbars to get it out. Kinda nerve-wracking, prying down on something that heavy, hoping that it doesn't come out all at once! We brought it down an inch at a time with two floor jacks.

I've been asked about the increased shock mount distance- research says not to exceed 14.4 inches. Mine was 13 and change, so much joy there. Old shocks were rusted solid, and had to be cut away.

Even with the trailer up on big ramps, we had to jack up the axle to get the wheels back on. We decided to leave things as they were, and go for axle #2 on Tuesday. You can see from the halfway-done pic how much of a difference there is. All wheels are on the ground!
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Old 07-03-2016, 04:35 PM   #18
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One gentleman mentioned using concrete blocks under trailer. Did this as a kid and one side crumbled - I was under it and came within 1/2" of crushing head. Really dumb. Not meant for carrying load that way!
I used trailer ramps under one axle at a time & small furniture dollies from HF - took four hours by myself (74!). Would have been faster but didn't know to put shock on first!
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Old 07-03-2016, 11:14 PM   #19
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I used a piano dolly with a tether. Two at it, one pulling the other steering, then tipped the axle onto a floor jack and jack the axle into place.

For me doing the back axle made it easy to get the front one in next.

My last bit of advice is to make sure your sell spells out all the parts you are paying for, don't let them say you are receiving the bolt kit, when you are only getting half of the parts that you took off the trailer to remove the axles.
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:11 AM   #20
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Careful lifting those axles they weight 210 lbs a piece
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