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Old 01-04-2018, 11:06 AM   #21
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David

My understanding is that if you are going with a 3,500 lb Dexter axle this will require a #84 spindle which has a 5 bolt on 4.5” bolt circle brake flange that will work with either 10” drum or disk brakes. This will also require different wheels than the original 6 lug wheels on your Overlander. I consider 10” brakes adequate especially considering the weight. A new Airstream Classic is almost twice as heavy and only has 12” drum brakes. New brakes and seals are only an extra $100 per axle I believe. Money well spent in my opinion.

I ordered my axles from Colin Hyde with the shock mount welded on. I believe if you order from Colin you will minimize your axle fitment problems.

It should be a piece of cake since you have done this before- haha.

Dan
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:23 PM   #22
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I got my axle from Luke in Fort Collins. He is a very nice and helpful guy. He told me the measurements that he needed and asked what specs I wanted. He ordered the axle and welded on the shock mounts, then I picked up the axle at his place a few weeks later. This saved a lot of money on shipping costs. He would have happily installed it for me, but he gave me lots of advice on how to do it correctly. It turned out to be an easy install.

It seems inefficient to me to order an axle from Dexter in Indiana to have it shipped to the east coast only to ship it back to Colorado.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:52 PM   #23
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Hi Thalwig: You Forums participants referred me to Luke at AirstreamInCo to discuss axles since I live in Colorado. I too found him quite knowledgeable and has built a business doing Airstream work, including axle replacements.

He and I worked out a Dexter order form with the "modern" specs for replacement axles for my 75 Overlander. He has a business relationship with Dexter and knows what they want in order to fit my trailer. Luke at AirstreamInCo will be my axle supplier. I too will drive there to save some freight cost. Besides, what else do I have to do being retired?

Like others have said, we vintage Airstream enthusiasts are at risk of losing a source for replacement axles. I can hear Dexter management saying "do we really want to horse around with onesy, twosy special axle orders?" If so, we will get paid well for doing it.

I wish Airstream Jackson Center would use their purchasing clout and axle engineering expertise to develop a axle replacement business. They know their vintage trailers and how to spec a replacement axle. Their supplier could drop ship to us. I did contact them and they did promptly give me the Airstream part number and referred me to to potential suppliers, like Inland RV. I didn't get a Dexter part number from them.

Feeling less concerned about Dexter axles with Luke on my team. He has done many axle replacement orders and jobs for us vintage Airstream enthusiasts.

David

PS Luke did say I will be drilling new mounting holes. Great. Can't wait.
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:19 PM   #24
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David thanks for confirming that Luke is quite knowledgeable about Axel's.

We met him several years ago at a Vintage Academy and he was very nice.

We will likely try Colin again when it comes time to do the Globetrotter but if that doesn't work its nice to know Luke is an option.
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:41 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
I wish Airstream Jackson Center would use their purchasing clout and axle engineering expertise to develop a axle replacement business. They know their vintage trailers and how to spec a replacement axle. Their supplier could drop ship to us.

I believe GKN/Henschen was that source. Henschen was down the street from Airstream in Jackson Center. I think Airstream owned or had majority interest in Hendschen. Thor owns Airstream and I am sure Thor shed Henschen as a business decision in 2009 because of the economic down turn. Henschen could not be profitable with Airstream as the only or majority customer of rubber torsion axles.The bleeding at Airstream could be reduced if the axles were outsourced to a vendor. That vendor was/is Dexter. Some adjusting was done to get axles from Dexter and Airstream shed a business looser.

>>>>>Action
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:58 PM   #26
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Hi Action: I understood an outfit called Axis absorbed Henshen and was building Dura Torque axles for Airstream. I understood this from Colin Hyde when I bought my Trade Wind axles from him in early 2014. I could be wrong.

I finally was able to get enough paint off my serial tag on my old Overlander axles to read the thing. Here is what it says:

Airstream Dura Torque
Cap 2800 #
Serial No: 1-051587
Pat: xxxxxxxxx Can 1970
Mfg by: Henschen Ind Corp Jackson Center, Ohio

I was quite surprised at the location of the factory. Too bad Airstream elected to divest this business. Now that Dexter owns it, I'm even more concerned about the future for low volume special vintage Airstream axles. Before we had Axis and Dexter. Now, just Dexter.

I bet the price per axle will be on the rise. I need axles for my Overlander and soon the 86 Limited. I either buy them, or abandon the trailer. Between a rock and a hard place.

David
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:07 PM   #27
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I may be wrong and I don't think Axis has any connection to Henschen or Dexter. And I believe Dexter was always bigger than either Axis or Henschen. Dexter is a much older company that has diversified into many different areas. Which makes it a more stable company. I believe Henschen and Axis only had one product - axles.

However like many companies Dexter has their own way of doing things. Or making product. The point made by the OP was it is difficult to get an axle. (Not necessarily expensive) For that reason I would want to place an order with some one that has experience with Dexter OR place an order directly knowing full well what Dexter wants to get that order the way I (as a consumer) want it made.

I don't think the price of axle will go higher. Henschen stopped in 2009 not sure about Axis. And Dexter didn't buy either as far as I know. They don't need to, they are big enough.

If I were you I would not be so worried about the price of axles increasing versus getting an axle made to order that fit the Dexter order system and was built to the way I wanted. Dexter could have increased the price of axle long ago. As far as I know they are the on only game in town. (Or the planet)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:58 AM   #28
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Axis bought Henschen, and was in turn acquired by Dexter.
Forest River, second largest manufacturer of RVs, uses Dexter torsion axles on virtually every towable RV they make.
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:18 PM   #29
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overlander63: Thanks for the clarification. That is what I understood. I'm surprised more trailer manufacturers don't use the "Dura Torque" axle for the same reasons Wally Byam determined so many years ago.

Maybe they are just too costly compared to a beam and leaf springs with shackles.

Action: I sure hope your right that the Dexter special order vintage replacement axles don't escalate in price.

David
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:27 PM   #30
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All 3 of our Casitas have Dexter axles .

I had to replace the one on our newly acquired 2001 13' Casita I ordered it from the local rv parts house 1/2 a mile from me. They are a Dexter distributor so no shipping cost, just filled out the form to my spec and a week later it was in my hands.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:41 PM   #31
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Back in 2012 I ordered axles, brakes, bearings, seals, grease, shocks and had them weld on the shock brackets from Inland along with wheels hub caps, water tank and a bunch of little stuff. It came to my door on pallets.

The axles were a direct bolt in.
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:55 PM   #32
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That's the deal with Dexter. You fill out their order form, you prepay, and you own the axles when they arrive only to find out you were a 1/4" in error on the hub face to hub face measurement. Your wheels won't fit under the Airstream bodywork. Folks like Inland have learned the correct Airstream specifications. Me in my garage don't know them.

The shock mounts are not included from Dexter and then welded on by hand. Position of the shock mount is important so the shock stud won't hit the axle plate. Who has that spec? Where do you buy Airstream shock mounts.

I bought my axles to a Dexter distributor so we could measure them up together. They were fluxmoxed at the fact the beam was a "3500" pound class and the swing arms with 12" drums were a "5200" pound class. "Never seen anything like that".

I'm glad your Inland RV axle order was correct. They have been doing it for years and years. They know the Airstream specs. I'm not sure a local Airstream dealer could do it. I am sure there would be a significant mark up in price.

David
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:03 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
That's the deal with Dexter. You fill out their order form, you prepay, and you own the axles when they arrive only to find out you were a 1/4" in error on the hub face to hub face measurement. Your wheels won't fit under the Airstream bodywork. Folks like Inland have learned the correct Airstream specifications. Me in my garage don't know them.

The shock mounts are not included from Dexter and then welded on by hand. Position of the shock mount is important so the shock stud won't hit the axle plate. Who has that spec? Where do you buy Airstream shock mounts.

I bought my axles to a Dexter distributor so we could measure them up together. They were fluxmoxed at the fact the beam was a "3500" pound class and the swing arms with 12" drums were a "5200" pound class. "Never seen anything like that".

I'm glad your Inland RV axle order was correct. They have been doing it for years and years. They know the Airstream specs. I'm not sure a local Airstream dealer could do it. I am sure there would be a significant mark up in price.

David
These were my exact concerns when I ordered my axle from Luke. There is a local Dexter dealer who said he'd be happy to order an axle for me if I'd give him the specs. Any mistake could be costly. Luke knows where to measure to custom fit the axle. I believe Collin has standard specs he uses when he orders them, as I suspect Inland Andy did. I know I paid extra to have Luke acquire my axle. In fact, I know where he gets them from. I could go to the same place. However, I was happy to pay him a "service charge" for his expertise in order to ensure there were no mistakes. I believe he ordered the shock mounts from Dexter and he welded them on before I got there. Now that I've got a Dexter axle, I'm sure that I could use this one as a template to order my next one without help.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:18 PM   #34
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Does anyone know a place in Central Texas to order and have axles installed?
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:46 AM   #35
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Was at Colin Hyde's shop 2 days ago. Dexter 10 or 12 inch drum brake 5 or 6 lug axles still ava. 5000# derated to 3500# still ava. Various down angle and high mounting bracket still ava. Price 50 bucks more than in 2011. Thats for a 1963 Ambassador. All is well.
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Old 03-22-2018, 06:48 PM   #36
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Thanks for your report. It's good to know. I did not know you could get a 5000 pound swing arm and 12" drums on a 3500 pound axle from Dexter. This is the way Airstream used to mount them on their trailers years ago.

David
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:31 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by putback View Post
Was at Colin Hyde's shop 2 days ago. Dexter 10 or 12 inch drum brake 5 or 6 lug axles still ava. 5000# derated to 3500# still ava. Various down angle and high mounting bracket still ava. Price 50 bucks more than in 2011. Thats for a 1963 Ambassador. All is well.


That’s why you order your axles from somebody knowledgeable like Colin Hyde. You want the best axle available for your situation and you want it to fit properly. No do overs here.

Dan
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Old 03-23-2018, 02:07 PM   #38
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That’s why you order your axles from somebody knowledgeable like Colin Hyde. You want the best axle available for your situation and you want it to fit properly. No do overs here.

Dan
Yep. I'm doing frame and axles on this one. No build sheet on the X's necessary, all ready in his head, rat tat tat. Same when I asked about frame steel. You need this and that at that size. Wow, slow down I can't write that fast! Got home with the list, compared it to the original frame, right on.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:26 AM   #39
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Angry Not sure if I'm getting axles, but I was charged for them

  • 6 weeks ago: I got a quote for 2 axles, 4 shocks & brackets from Corina at Inland RV via email
  • 2 weeks ago: I ordered everything from Michele (Corina was out on medical) and was told the shocks and brackets would be shipped to me in 3 - 4 days while the axles have a 4 - 5 week lead time and I'd pick them up at Redneck Trailer in Arlington, TX. My credit card was immediately charged $1,833
  • 12 days ago: I called back to ask for a receipt/order confirmation as I never received one via email, but no one answered. I left a message and no one called back.
  • 9 days ago: Still hearing nothing, I left a msg and email saying I would need to stop payment on my CC if I heard nothing from them
  • 8 days ago: Michele emails to say there's been a death in the family and that she can refund me. I respond, sending my condolences and saying I don't want a refund, just the receipt/order confirmation
  • 5 days ago: After more calls and emails, Michele emails me a scanned copy of her hand-written order for my axles (dated 10/23), but there is no confirmation number or approximate shipping date
  • Today: I've called every business day since, and no one ever answers either line. My messages have explained that I'm going out of town and need to arrange pickup of the shocks and brackets if they'll be delivered soon, but I get no response.

This should not be so frustrating. How is a company capable of charging your credit card, but incapable of sending you a confirmation of the charge? Had this happened automatically, a death in the family would not hinder this step. As of now, I have no idea if the order has been placed, if axles (with the correct down angle) are being manufactured, or if shocks and brackets are in transit to me. If I cancel the order/request a refund, I'm left without axles and the 4 or 5 week lead time starts over on a new order with...someone.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:50 AM   #40
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This sounds very annoying and so sorry it has happened to you.

Despite their best intentions ordering from Inland has been spotty at best over the last couple years. We were hoping when Andy sold the business that the new person would get it back up to speed. We have not stopped by there on our last couple of trips to California.

Having said that we still feel that Andy's knowledge and years of information is beyond valuable and not something easily replaced.

Maybe it would have been nice if Andy could have struck a deal with Steve from vintage trailer supply and just sold all of his merchandise to him.

Hopefully when the ladies get back to the office they can help squared away. Like you said even if you could order your axles elsewhere you don't even know if they've already been ordered.

I think we will go with Colin Hyde for our next actual order even though for a long period of time he was very hard to get ahold of. We understand he now has a office assistant.
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