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Old 02-09-2016, 10:52 PM   #41
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2015 19' International
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Oh, and thanks for the heads up on the maximum distance between the 2 shock studs Andy - when all is said and done on the side I have completed that distance measured almost exactly 14 inches.
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:58 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamy1 View Post
.... The replacement Lippert aluminum double step was so much better than the stock single step made of stamped metal; heavier constructed and looks great, though I did have to fabricate mounting brackets to tie it into the frame at various points.
Interesting - it looks like I might want to add a double step to my list of things to do as well - Steamy can you share details of your installation (parts, attachment details - welding or bolts?, etc.)
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:22 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Patman View Post
Interesting - it looks like I might want to add a double step to my list of things to do as well - Steamy can you share details of your installation (parts, attachment details - welding or bolts?, etc.)
Here is a pdf picture of the steps installed. The original steps were not that well attached so I fabricated better attachment points to tie into the frame. Please PM me if you would like more pictures of the brackets. I just used 1/8 steel brackets that I picked up at ACE. I may have over done it, but there is no movement when weight is placed on the bottom step, which transmits the highest leverage to the attachment points.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf airstream Step-new installed.pdf (6.06 MB, 269 views)
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:10 AM   #44
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Thanks Steamy - that looks great!
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:16 AM   #45
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Attached are a few pictures. The gas station pic is how it sat before, and the close ups are the after-mod pics.

I haven't taken it out yet to see how it feels, but I am already happy with the increased clearance.

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Old 02-11-2016, 12:09 PM   #46
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2007 22' International CCD
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So the lift kit bolts in sideways, then axle bolts to bottom of bracket? What's the red paint for?

Is that an electric brake wire coming out of the grommet on the top?

Looks like main issue is getting trailer huge enough to get riser block in, and torque the bolts tight enough...


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Old 02-11-2016, 12:22 PM   #47
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Yeah, the kit lowers the axle and changes the way it attaches (previously it was bolted through the side - with the lift kit the bracket is bolted through the side and the axle is now bolted through the top to the new bracket.

The red is nail polish - It's my lazy man's way of expediting the torque check - make a line of nail polish over the nuts and bolt and you can visually see if it is loosening over time (no longer lines up).

Working the big torque wrench on each of those bolts took some creativity and contortionist maneuvers - I'm still sore today and might actually have pulled a muscle somewhere in my side. Also, because I'm paranoid I applied blue lock-tight (well, to all but one of the bolts because I forgot one).

The wire is an electric brake wire. On the other side the factory routed the water heater gas line through the axle bracket, which I was not able to remove without cutting the line (and I don't have gas plumbing flaring tools handy to rebuilt it). So, I simply disconnected it and let it hang loose in there while doing the work, and reconnected it when finished. I'm not happy with the way that turned out and will probably go back and reroute it later, but for now it works and is leak free.

You may have noticed that the wheels are sitting in a bit of a hole as well - in order to get them back on I had to dig a bit - I couldn't get the trailer high enough with my jack! Rather than drop the trailer and rig up a riser for the jack it was quicker just to clear out a few inches of gravel to get the wheels back on.

All in, this project probably took me a bit over 6 hours by myself. I could have cut that in half if I a) had an extra set of hands, and b) had an impact wrench - the part that took the longest was loosing the original four bolts holding the axle up. I spread that work over 2 days and it was still physically exhausting work.
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:33 PM   #48
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Dexter Torsion Axle Lift Kit

I'll have some help from my son to put the brackets in, and a floor jack that can lift real high to get jack stands in place. Plus a lot of wood cribbing for safety. Working under stuff this big cranks my safety paranoia way up.

Witness marks on bolts a good idea. I have a 250 ft-pound torque wrench and a piece of pipe to help click it.

Do the bolts come with the kit?

Do let us all know how it rides once you get back on the road. Our new TV is taller, and the ProPride WD bars are really low, so a lift kit is on my list...and probably a new step to replace the one I tweaked on a high curb 😏


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Old 02-11-2016, 08:08 PM   #49
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Yes, the bolts come with the kit.

Glad to hear that you have an extra set of hands and lots of 'support' (I was very nervous getting underneath at first, but by the third day when I was finishing up I figured if was gonna come crashing down, it would have done so already.)

Good luck, let us know how it goes!
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:13 PM   #50
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And to close the loop with a sort of "apples to apples" comparison of before and after the lift:

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Old 02-11-2016, 08:36 PM   #51
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The way I installed mine was to jack from the axle mounting plate on one side and work on the other axle, same side. Finish that one and install wheel then swap jack to the lifted axle and work on the other one. When finished with both, swap sides and repeat. NEVER work under the trailer with both wheels removed!


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Old 02-12-2016, 09:25 AM   #52
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Thanks for the detailed info patman. Was the original axle bolted in both the top AND the side, or just the side? Do you feel like you've lost any strength to this design, since it only bolts to the top now?

I'm debating between building my own bracket or just using the dexter kit. I'd weld a piece in there to the frame, but I want to be able to remove this modification one day if I decide to sell it.
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:22 AM   #53
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It was bolted to the side only, but rested in the slot on the axle mounting bracket.

To my way of thinking, if the original bolts ever loosened the axle should stay in that slot with the weight of the trailer holding it there. With the lift kit installed that is no longer the case.

But I figure that those who have been doing suspension on vehicles for years know more than I do, and dexter wouldn't sell the kit if it wasn't safe.

That being said, I will be keeping a close eye on it regularly (hence the red nail polish visual indicators) and travel with the torque wrench just in case.

Below is a picture of the original mounting situation.
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:01 AM   #54
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That's exactly what I was thinking too. Thanks for the update. It'd be awesome to see a bracket that used the same system as original, where the axle was bolted in sidways and the weight of the trailer pushed it down. If I built one like that, I could even bolt it in on top AND on the side. hm....

I'm sure the dexter bracket is fine, I just like redundancy on that stuff. Locktite and torquing to 150 ft/lbs should do the trick though.
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:50 AM   #55
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I've got a 2010 Flying Cloud 30. Anyone know which axles I have? I'm tired of dragging at gas stations.

Seems strange that even on new models, AS models still has low ground clearance ...
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:14 AM   #56
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I drag the hitch and rear frame at a lot of gas stations and keep stalling on a lift, I'd like to go up 2 inches and make entering gas stations less of a strategic exercise. I guess we're supposed to tow with a cadallic or big block station wagon, that's why Airstreams are so low. I would expect to lose a little stability with a 2 or 3 inch lift but I don't know if you could feel it. So far it's been easier to pass up some gas stations than to raise my trailer.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:43 AM   #57
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I drag the hitch and rear frame at a lot of gas stations and keep stalling on a lift, I'd like to go up 2 inches and make entering gas stations less of a strategic exercise. I guess we're supposed to tow with a cadallic or big block station wagon, that's why Airstreams are so low. I would expect to lose a little stability with a 2 or 3 inch lift but I don't know if you could feel it. So far it's been easier to pass up some gas stations than to raise my trailer.
If you are refering to a 1973 trailer dragging some driveways, you should check out the axles.

Torsion axle rubber rods, last ball park 25 years. That 25 years can be shortened if the trailer was parked and never moved for a couple of years or more.

Those rubber rods must be exercised or they simply fail.

When they fail, the trailer drops about 3 inches from brand new.

If your axles have never been changed, then there is your answer.

One of the easy things to do, when pulling into or out of a gas station, is to do it at about a 45 degree angle.

Lift kits are nice, but they can easily be duplicated by using proper parts, primarily the steel channel. Steel channels having a 2 inch width, are available in one inch steps up to 10 inches. It then becomes a matter of how much lift is required.

When the trailer is elevated say for example, six inches, the ground clearance then is dictated by the axle tubes. However, elevating the trailer, to prevent dragging in driveways etc, has nothing to do with the those tubes.

Replacing shocks will not ever change ground clearances.

When replacing axles, the starting angle can be increased but never more than 32 to 35 degrees.

Andy



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Old 02-18-2016, 11:21 AM   #58
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Andy- how much can an Airstream be lifted before stability is affected?
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:40 AM   #59
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Personally I wouldn't go any more than the Dexter supplied kit. I have one on mine and haven't noticed any difference in towing but it sure makes a difference with tail dragging. But... I'm towing with a crew cab F350, so your results may vary!


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Old 02-18-2016, 02:57 PM   #60
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I've got a 31ft 1979 and will be putting new axles on this summer, which I'm sure will help with drag significantly. While adding the lift doesn't look like a difficult job, it would certainly be easier to do while I'm replacing the axles. That said, things may be fine without the lift, so I'm debating whether to wait and see, or go ahead and knock it out all at once...
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