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Old 03-16-2020, 08:49 AM   #1
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Dexter axle replacements for 1971 31ft. International

I need to replace the original axles on my 1971 31ft. International. Can anyone tell me the Dexter part number to use for ordering new ones? Thank you.
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Old 03-16-2020, 09:47 AM   #2
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Best bet is to contact a local Dexter reseller/dealer and talk through the options. Reasoning is the part number that works on your trailer might not match what somebody else is using due to a different axle angle and/or weight rating.

Am in midstream of updating my axles via a local RV shop and can at least confidently report that we still have access to new axles. Shop reported that they would have to cut-off the bracket from the old axle and weld it to the new Dexter, so this is just something to watch for.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:59 PM   #3
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Replacement axles for our vintage Airstreams is a bit more difficult than in the past. As far as I know, Dexter is now the only manufacturer. Dexter has distributors all around the country, but they are not necessarily familiar with Airstream trailers. Airstream dealers parts department may be able to help. I don't know because I have not gone that way before.

Keep in mind vintage Airstream axles are special order for Dexter. There are no refunds for order errors. I needed an experienced person to help insure they were right and take responsibility for the order.

I have replaced old axles on three trailers over the years. Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations in NY state is a recognized Airstream axle expert. Inland RV in California is another expert. These folks certainly can help you through the process. Here in Colorado we have Luke Bernander at AirstreamInCo@gmail.com
970-222-4065
I've ordered two sets of axles from him with good success.

Items for your consideration:

Weight carrying rating for each axle
Mounting bracket outside to outside dimension
6 bolt on 5" circle wheel mounting
10" drum brakes standard on 3500 pound axles or less.
12" drum brakes standard on 3600 pound axles or more.
Swing arm starting angle.
Hub to hub face dimension.
Airstream shock mounts welded on.
High profile mounting brackets wanted (about 1" higher)

This list is a starting point. I don't know the Dexter order form by heart by any means.

Here is a photo of the new Dexter axles we just took delivery of last week. We're renovating a 76 Sovereign 31' similar to your trailer, but different.

David
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Old 03-26-2020, 05:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Inland RV in California is another expert.

Apparently, not anymore. Might consider checking the forums for recent customer service experiences with this supplier / vendor.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:24 AM   #5
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There is no such thing as a correct part number for Dexter Axles. If you can remove one of the axles and get the correct measurements that will be the best way. If you are looking to just order them I would email Collin Hyde and see if he will order them/sell them to you. Do your research before you buy because if they are not correct you will still own them. I have replaced axles on two vintage 27 ft. Overlanders. My guess is the axles on the 31 foot could be similar but Collin knows the exact specifications and he will supply them with the shock mounts welded on. FYI there are a lot of threads debating the need for shocks on a torsion axle. Take your time and get it right.


my 2 cents


Keith
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Old 03-26-2020, 02:35 PM   #6
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I have posted this in several threads on here, but here it is again. This the order form for the axles I bought for my Classic 30. I ordered a bare beam (no brakes) since I planned to put on disc brakes. I also ordered them with EZ-Lube hubs since I could lube the bearings without pulling the wheels and if there was a problem I could always treat them as regular bearings. That turned out to be a good decision as I see the other alternative, Nevr-Lube has been discontinued.

Here is my order form. It shows the 32 degree down configuration. I wanted that but was told that it was not available with shock mounts so I went to the standard 22.5 degree down that most trailers are shipped with. I ended up adding a lift kit so carefully consider if you want to do that so you can pull the axles once. Don't ask how I know.....

https://www.airforums.com/forums/att...9&d=1582999255

My local small business parts and trailer sales and repair place buys a lot of parts from "Redneck Trailer Supply" - that's their real name. They are a Dexter distributor. My guy gets deliveries at least twice a week from Redneck so there was no shipping charge. You should be able to find a local place that can order axles for you from Redneck. The part about "you spec 'em, you own 'em is still true so be careful with your selection of options and measurements.

I think if you review the form you can check your trailer and determine what you need. I did not pull the axles to make any measurements.

My trailer had Henschen axles originally. The new Dexter's are slightly different resulting in a need to modify the shock brackets to make the shocks fit properly. The swing arms on the Dexter axles were about 3/8" further from the frame than the arms on the Henschens. This was discovered after the axles were delivered but caught and a fix suggested by my installer which we implemented on the fly. He cut the shock mount and spaced it out about 3/8" with some steel bar.

That modification is depicted in the third picture in Post #60 of this thread:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f43...ml#post2119422

While the title of the thread is Disc Brake Conversion Success, it also includes a description of my axle replacement.

Al
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Old 05-11-2020, 02:45 PM   #7
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‘73 sovereign axles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
I have posted this in several threads on here, but here it is again. This the order form for the axles I bought for my Classic 30. I ordered a bare beam (no brakes) since I planned to put on disc brakes. I also ordered them with EZ-Lube hubs since I could lube the bearings without pulling the wheels and if there was a problem I could always treat them as regular bearings. That turned out to be a good decision as I see the other alternative, Nevr-Lube has been discontinued.

Here is my order form. It shows the 32 degree down configuration. I wanted that but was told that it was not available with shock mounts so I went to the standard 22.5 degree down that most trailers are shipped with. I ended up adding a lift kit so carefully consider if you want to do that so you can pull the axles once. Don't ask how I know.....

https://www.airforums.com/forums/att...9&d=1582999255

My local small business parts and trailer sales and repair place buys a lot of parts from "Redneck Trailer Supply" - that's their real name. They are a Dexter distributor. My guy gets deliveries at least twice a week from Redneck so there was no shipping charge. You should be able to find a local place that can order axles for you from Redneck. The part about "you spec 'em, you own 'em is still true so be careful with your selection of options and measurements.

I think if you review the form you can check your trailer and determine what you need. I did not pull the axles to make any measurements.

My trailer had Henschen axles originally. The new Dexter's are slightly different resulting in a need to modify the shock brackets to make the shocks fit properly. The swing arms on the Dexter axles were about 3/8" further from the frame than the arms on the Henschens. This was discovered after the axles were delivered but caught and a fix suggested by my installer which we implemented on the fly. He cut the shock mount and spaced it out about 3/8" with some steel bar.

That modification is depicted in the third picture in Post #60 of this thread:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f43...ml#post2119422

While the title of the thread is Disc Brake Conversion Success, it also includes a description of my axle replacement.

Al
Thank you for the order form so I know what I need to be ready for when ordering. My 31ft had 3500lb axles, since I’m rebuilding the frame (thank you hurricane Irma) with heavier rectangular tube, is there any reason NOT to upgrade to the 5k axles?
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:29 PM   #8
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We just replaced the axles on our 1972 31'. I ended up ordering the 5k rated axles. I also rebuilt my frame with solid tube. I don't know the weight difference but I'm sure its a lot. The axles might be a little over rated for weight but I also now have 45 gallons of fresh, 38 of grey and 38 of black. I also ordered a bigger AC unit, adding other amenities, ect. So I don't think it will be too far off.



We also got the 12" disc brakes, EZ Lube and self-adjusting. They were all preinstalled.



I ordered them from a company called Six Robblees, which has stores all over. I did all the measuring and the shop guy helped with the rest. (which I already did my research on and knew what I wanted.) Here is their order form http://downloads.sixrobblees.com/cat...der-form-2.pdf


My cost was somewhere around $1000 and axle, maybe less. But I didn't get free shipping which cost me another $350ish



It took two to three weeks to get them. Good Luck
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Old 05-29-2020, 03:34 PM   #9
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Thanks Shane. Yup, same situation with the new frame construction. 5x2x1/8 I’m adding a grey tank and new black tank so total will be 60 gal. Plus the original monster fresh H2O tank. I’m only worried that the 5k (actually 5200 he says) will make it ride like an unloaded f-550.
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Old 05-29-2020, 07:39 PM   #10
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We installed our new Dexter axles last weekend. We ordered the Dexter #11 axle to get the 12" drums. These axles are rated up to 7000 pounds. But we ordered a 3600 pound weight rating for each axle, giving us 7200 pound carrying capacity which is what the 76 Sovereign says its GVWR is on its tag. The rubber rods in the Dexter axles can be ordered to the weight rating you need.

The axle tubes are 3" square on the Dexter #11 axle, and the axle brackets are 11" long. We had some modifications to the axle plate to do, like widening the tube slot and drilling a new bolt hole, but got it done.

David
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Old 05-30-2020, 05:41 AM   #11
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Maybe de-rate the 5200# axles

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
We installed our new Dexter axles last weekend. We ordered the Dexter #11 axle to get the 12" drums. These axles are rated up to 7000 pounds. But we ordered a 3600 pound weight rating for each axle, giving us 7200 pound carrying capacity which is what the 76 Sovereign says its GVWR is on its tag. The rubber rods in the Dexter axles can be ordered to the weight rating you need.

The axle tubes are 3" square on the Dexter #11 axle, and the axle brackets are 11" long. We had some modifications to the axle plate to do, like widening the tube slot and drilling a new bolt hole, but got it done.

David
Wow, I didn’t realize it was an option to de-rate the axles like Airstream did. I’ll follow up and see if I can do that with the 5k. I know they spec’d the 5k with with 12” drums so maybe i could just have them put different rubber in. Thanks for the follow up
Cody
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:16 PM   #12
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We learn from each others experiences. Check it out with your distributor. I think hub face to hub face, outside to outside on the mounting brackets, rubber rod weight rating, starting angle, shock mounts are some of the major specifications for the axles.

Here is a photo of the tag affixed to our axles. It shows the major specs of the axle as built, along with the serial number. Hub face to hub face was 80.25", outside brackets was 61", and starting angle was 32 degrees down. Weight was 3600 pounds, the lowest rating for the Dexter #11.

David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
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Link to our 1976 Renovation Project:
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