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Old 02-28-2008, 06:47 PM   #1
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Dexter order on 1965 Caravel

I just ordered a Dexter axle for my 65 Caravel and during the measuring process, I got two different readings: one with the wheels on and trailer on the ground, and one with the wheels off and the trailer jacked up and on stands (under the old axle). There was about a 1/4" difference which I contribute to the axle tube camber ( the axle spreads out slightly when under the weight of the trailer). I talked to a tech at Dexter and he said use the "jacked" measurement (1/4" shorter) because when they are fabricating them on a bench, the are not under load...obviously.
If I have done something wrong in my measuring, or I'm just stupid, please let me know soon, I can call Dexter and change the order.

Thanks, Dan
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:23 PM   #2
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Will Dexter weld a shock bracket for you? I shopping for an axle manufacturer right now.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:31 PM   #3
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I recommend that you use the search tool on the upper blue bar and search axle replacement. You will find many threads about this very topic with varying opinions about what brand of shock would best suit your replacement scenario.

You will find that axles are the subject of some heated debate. Have fun reading
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Ray
Will Dexter weld a shock bracket for you? I shopping for an axle manufacturer right now.
Yes

See post here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/432351-post43.html
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheridan
I just ordered a Dexter axle for my 65 Caravel and during the measuring process, I got two different readings: one with the wheels on and trailer on the ground, and one with the wheels off and the trailer jacked up and on stands (under the old axle). There was about a 1/4" difference which I contribute to the axle tube camber ( the axle spreads out slightly when under the weight of the trailer). I talked to a tech at Dexter and he said use the "jacked" measurement (1/4" shorter) because when they are fabricating them on a bench, the are not under load...obviously.
If I have done something wrong in my measuring, or I'm just stupid, please let me know soon, I can call Dexter and change the order.

Thanks, Dan
My measurements were "under load" and came in just fine.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Ray
Will Dexter weld a shock bracket for you? I shopping for an axle manufacturer right now.
I asked that question when I called the Dexter tech. First he said I didn't need one, then he basically said "no", we don't do shock mounts any more, the trailing arm or "the bone" (because it's shaped like a dog biscut) is cast not forged like they used to be and dosn't accept a weld as well. However, the welder at GSM Vehicles said he does it all the time with no problem.
I plan to cut the old ones off and have them welded to the new axle and use new shocks....not to improve the ride as much as extend the life of the axle.

Dan
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:49 PM   #7
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build spec's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheridan
I just ordered a Dexter axle for my 65 Caravel ... I can call Dexter and change the order.

Thanks, Dan
The absolute best thing you can do right now is to request a copy of the build spec's from Dexter before it's built. From my experience the axle will match those exactly. If you don't know what some of the notations on the Pick Sheet mean, post them here and there is a GOOD chance some of us can help decode it to assure your order has been processed properly.

Take it from a fellow Forums member, you don't want to deal with an axle that doesn't meet your intent...

P.S. They did shock brackets as of 3 weeks ago...
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV
P.S. They [Dexter] did shock brackets as of 3 weeks ago...
Hi C Ray:

Please be aware that Airstream changed from vertical to horizontal shocks on its Henschen axles around 1967 -- I don't recall the exact year. Do a "Search" for axle shock or other similar word combinations to find my earlier detailed post on that precise topic. Or search under my name for my earlier posts.

NOTE WELL: The shock brackets that Dexter welds on are for horizontal shocks only and do not [necessarily] work with vertical shocks that came on your 1962 Bambi. Be informed before you submit your order!
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:51 PM   #9
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I'm having a new Dexter installed on my '64 trade wind. it should be delivered next week. my installer - South Jersey RV has done many of these Dexter installs and Ron of SJRV swears the shock is not neccessary.
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:26 PM   #10
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Thanks for the heads up WeeWind
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 47WeeWind
Hi C Ray:

Please be aware that Airstream changed from vertical to horizontal shocks on its Henschen axles around 1967 -- I don't recall the exact year. Do a "Search" for axle shock or other similar word combinations to find my earlier detailed post on that precise topic. Or search under my name for my earlier posts.

NOTE WELL: The shock brackets that Dexter welds on are for horizontal shocks only and do not [necessarily] work with vertical shocks that came on your 1962 Bambi. Be informed before you submit your order!
But I will point the way to Fred's excellent info. He's referring to this thread - http://www.airforums.com/forums/f460...tml#post348754
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:45 PM   #12
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C Ray, This is a picture of the shock mount on my 65 Caravel. I plan to cut it off and weld it to my new Dexter axle when it arrives in about ten days. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks to 47 WeeWind for clarifying the transition from vertical to horizontal shocks in the 60's.

Dan
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:21 PM   #13
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Hey thanks, I will have to weld mine on to the torsion arm but I'm not sure if the original ones will be long enough because I am upgrading the original 2500# to 2800# and from 22.5 deg. to 25 deg. all this may add up to getting a new set of longer brackets. At least I will be able to measure the old one and repeat the same angle. So, Here's what I ordered.
#10 torsion axle, down-rated to 2800#
Straight beam (with standard toe and camber bends)
74" Hub-face to Hub-face
58" Outside Frame width
Reverse orientation
Side mount hangars
25 deg. down
Electric brakes
10" hubs (5 lugs on 4 and 1/2 centers)
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Old 03-01-2008, 03:01 PM   #14
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C Ray,

Would you please double check the 25 deg. down angle on your order? I don't think Dexter offers any choices other than 0, 10, 22.5, and 45 degrees.
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Old 03-01-2008, 03:10 PM   #15
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For those of you that checked the "vertical vs horizontal" thread refenced in a previous post, I know of at least one 1967 Caravel (mine), made in California, that has the vertical shock arrangment. I'm guessing 1967 was a "transition year" for shock mountings. If your 1967 Airstream has vertical shocks you can be thankful like I am because replacement shocks are considerably cheaper and easier to get than replacement horizontal shocks.
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Old 03-01-2008, 03:35 PM   #16
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Switcharoo

Humm... but the option was on the order form, of course the order form was form was designed by a distributor (other than the one I was using, curiously) So, maybe the distributor that my distributor "borrowed" the form from, needs that option for another vendor. Anyway, I will call the distrubitor Mon. first thing, I know the order has not gone out yet. Guess I will use the 22.5 if indeed Dexter doesn't offer 25 deg.

Thanks allot for your input!!
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Old 03-01-2008, 03:52 PM   #17
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C Ray,

Are you sure you are getting a Dexter axle? I assumed from your previous posts you were going with Dexter, but the Magic Tilt people look like they use a variety of axle manufacturers.

Including one that makes an infinitely adjustable down angle axle. I would specify the manufacturer you want, and not leave it up to a distributor.
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Old 03-01-2008, 03:55 PM   #18
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C Ray,
This is what I ordered for the Caravel:

#10 torsion axle 3500lb. cambered (slightly curved)
The original Henchen was stamped at 3000lb.
74.5" Hub face to Hub face.
57.75" Outside bracket to Outside bracket.
Reverse orientation, side mount, low profile, brackets.
22.5 degrees down, trailing arm.
Electric brakes
Grease bearings (not EZ-lube or oil)
5 lugs on 4.5" centers.
AND A written copy of the specifications from the distributor that ordered the axle for me, just in case there are any surprises. BTW, I happen to live 15 miles from the distributor and have agreed to pick the axle up when it arrives. No shipping cost. Yeah!
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Old 03-01-2008, 04:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheridan
C Ray,
This is what I ordered for the Caravel:

#10 torsion axle 3500lb. cambered (slightly curved)
The original Henchen was stamped at 3000lb.
74.5" Hub face to Hub face.
57.75" Outside bracket to Outside bracket.
Reverse orientation, side mount, low profile, brackets.
22.5 degrees down, trailing arm.
Electric brakes
Grease bearings (not EZ-lube or oil)
5 lugs on 4.5" centers.
AND A written copy of the specifications from the distributor that ordered the axle for me, just in case there are any surprises. BTW, I happen to live 15 miles from the distributor and have agreed to pick the axle up when it arrives. No shipping cost. Yeah!
According to Henschen, a Caravel axle should not exceed 3200 pounds.

Also, be prepared to add shims to the brackets, so that it fits correctly.

If not, you will damage the frame, and/or bend the mounting brackets.

The advantage of using the original brand as a replacement, is that you can have a starting angle of 35 degrees, have 12 inch brakes if you wish, and not have to worry about any fitting problems, or under/over rated axles.

While costs are important, it is not everything to many owners, especially when they must assume "all" the risks of errors, since they are providing the specs, as opposed to just providing the trailer serial number, that assures them of a perfect fit.

Andy
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Old 03-01-2008, 04:42 PM   #20
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Yes, the sales reciept indicates Dexter axle, and my specification sheet which list all above items also indicateds Dexter. The spec sheet is mentioned on the order form, note 1. If it isn't Dexter, they will have a hard time avoiding full reimbursment. My distributor is charging me freight from Dexter to him, about $100
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