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Old 06-24-2009, 05:57 PM   #21
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Choices

I have had Dexter's on a cargo trailer and they did great. The trailer did have a bit of rocking under load due to the lack of shocks, but it did it's job well.

I used Henchen's on my AS. There are times when OEM parts serve best when looking at it from several points rather than cost or any one item. Sort of a gestalt of reasons.

The Henchlens bolted right in and were already fitted with new brakes. They did not need modification. It was my feeling--for my circumstances that between running around getting measurements and spec's, ordering the axles then checking the specs and assuming that everything went right-it usually does go fine-then getting brake plates and mounting them then the brakes etc. I found it cheaper to get the Henchlen, it bolted right in and after about a mile pull the alignment was checked and was in spec. If you order spec'd axles, don't forget to make specs with tolerance definitions. the tighter the tolerances, the more the modification will cost. If you just do a tape measurement then you must be prepared for wide tolerance levels.

If raw cost is the only factor get the Dexter's, they are great axles. You may have a few more hassles but you will save a couple of hundred when it is all over. If you get it set up right, the axels may last 35 years like my old Henchlens. Last I knew my old cargo trailer is still in service (with another owner) and it is over twenty years old. As far as my AS, I have confidence my Henchlens were set up right (the fit was excellent) and will last till long after my time is past.

All any of us can do is relate our experiences with the various manufactorers. There are a lot of factors to think about.
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:07 PM   #22
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Wow, the Dexters came back at $600 an axle plus I would pay for the freight to get my axle there. Plus that does not include shocks. Think I am going with Andy and the Dura Torques since I am pretty sure his package price includes the shocks too.

If I really wanted to, the factory is only a 6 hour drive away in OH so I could probably cut out the freight for the DT's all-together.

I am going to wait til next spring so I can save my pennies and put them on at the end of the renovation.

-Rich
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:03 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by NY_Chairs View Post
Wow, the Dexters came back at $600 an axle plus I would pay for the freight to get my axle there. Plus that does not include shocks. Think I am going with Andy and the Dura Torques since I am pretty sure his package price includes the shocks too.

If I really wanted to, the factory is only a 6 hour drive away in OH so I could probably cut out the freight for the DT's all-together.

I am going to wait til next spring so I can save my pennies and put them on at the end of the renovation.

-Rich
2 years ago I paid less than $400 an axle for #10 Dexters,including the shock mounts and easy lube hubs. They were shipped from the MO factory to my front door in NM for less than $150 for both.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:00 AM   #24
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Smokin Camel,

As I will be replacing my axles I am curious about something you said in your post about alignment. Did you check alignment yourself and if so how. I guess I was not aware that trailers needed alignment. Still learning.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:27 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by NY_Chairs View Post
Wow, the Dexters came back at $600 an axle plus I would pay for the freight to get my axle there. Plus that does not include shocks. Think I am going with Andy and the Dura Torques since I am pretty sure his package price includes the shocks too.

If I really wanted to, the factory is only a 6 hour drive away in OH so I could probably cut out the freight for the DT's all-together.

I am going to wait til next spring so I can save my pennies and put them on at the end of the renovation.

-Rich
Don't you have a local axle business that will do the whole job for you, shocks and all
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:43 AM   #26
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I just installed a Flexride axle under my GT,3500# 10" brakes,6 lug so I could keep my original wheels.I had to drill the mounting holes,but I would have had to do that with the Duratorque also.I talked to the tech.,had the mounts reversed,and 36 deg. down.It was shipped from Lubbock,Tx.for a total of $475.62.I think that is a pretty good deal. Dave
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:33 AM   #27
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It could be nice to know. Does anyone know the ride height on these trailers when the axels are new? I read somewhere here on a thread that the axles should not necessarily have to be replaced if the axle arms had a "positive" angle, but not more accurate than that. Does anyone know if using gas-filled shockbsorbers would be an alternative to replacing the axles if they are starting to get low?
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:55 AM   #28
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I just installed a Flexride axle under my GT,3500# 10" brakes,6 lug so I could keep my original wheels.I had to drill the mounting holes,but I would have had to do that with the Duratorque also.I talked to the tech.,had the mounts reversed,and 36 deg. down.It was shipped from Lubbock,Tx.for a total of $475.62.I think that is a pretty good deal. Dave
Please be advised that the 10 inch brakes, have a maximum stopping power of 3500 pounds, brand new. The trailer itself weighes more than that with a typical payload.

You must adjust them every 1000 miles or so, to compensate for wear.

In an emergency, they can't begin to stop your trailer and tow vehicle, safely, should the tow vehicle brakes for some reason, not work. Slow down, yes, stop, only if there is a long road ahead of you.

Down grading the size of the trailer brakes, is not a good idea. The other side of that coin is usually the axle has smaller spindles as well.

Andy
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Old 06-28-2009, 06:24 PM   #29
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Two questions:

  1. Didn't I read a few posts back that Dexter were supplying AS currently (or in the recent past) with axles? If this is true, doesn't that make them qualify for the term OEM?
  2. Also, if Dexter has in fact been supplying folks with axles for AS trailers over the years, why do they require measurements? Were there running changes done during a given model year for axles dimensions or fitting methods? If not, why don't Dexter have a list of year and model versus size and fitment methods?
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:08 PM   #30
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  1. Didn't I read a few posts back that Dexter were supplying AS currently (or in the recent past) with axles? If this is true, doesn't that make them qualify for the term OEM?
  2. Also, if Dexter has in fact been supplying folks with axles for AS trailers over the years, why do they require measurements? Were there running changes done during a given model year for axles dimensions or fitting methods? If not, why don't Dexter have a list of year and model versus size and fitment methods?
Airstream does not have records that go back to the 1961 models and up for ball park 20 years or better, for many things, axles included.

Andy
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:19 PM   #31
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Airstream does not have records that go back to the 1961 models and up for ball park 20 years or better, for many things, axles included.

Andy
Regardless of what records AS may or may not have, one would think that Dexter, in their own self-interest, would build a database of AS TTs' sizes for which they have supplied axles over the years. They are supplying fairly valuable items to a somewhat limited audience of AS models and years.

Even in the time I've been here, only a little over a year, many people have mentioned buying Dexters. One would think that Dexter would wish to streamline their operation by keeping track of what fits what, rather than forcing every order for an AS TT to be a custom one, together with the inevitable increase of likelihood of client error in measuring.

I suppose this is something known only to Dexter, and I do not believe that they have a commercial representative on Airforums.com

Quick, somebody send them an email!
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:55 PM   #32
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Regardless of what records AS may or may not have, one would think that Dexter, in their own self-interest, would build a database of AS TTs' sizes for which they have supplied axles over the years. They are supplying fairly valuable items to a somewhat limited audience of AS models and years.

Even in the time I've been here, only a little over a year, many people have mentioned buying Dexters. One would think that Dexter would wish to streamline their operation by keeping track of what fits what, rather than forcing every order for an AS TT to be a custom one, together with the inevitable increase of likelihood of client error in measuring.

I suppose this is something known only to Dexter, and I do not believe that they have a commercial representative on Airforums.com

Quick, somebody send them an email!
Aage.

Dexter dealers sell the Dexter axle, not the manufacturing plants.

Manufacturing one or two axles here and there are upsetting to a production line. Most any manufacturer of anything has the same problem. Specs or no specs, doesn't change the negative effect on a production line.

Dexter makes a good product, but they normally have a couple of hundred axles going down the line. When an odd ball hits, the line slows down.

Computers indeed help, but they cannot get the right part, to the right place on the line, at the right time, when an out of the ordinal axle is being made.

Henschen had the same problem as well, but after considerable effort, that issue was resolved and rarely fails.

There are also times when a particular part is not available when need, because their supplier had a problem.

Ask Airstream. They just had a problem by not having enough shocks for even the production line, let alone service and parts. And, it may happen again. Airstream's fault? Heck no! But anyone that provides a product for a consumer, be it retail or OEM, they are always dependent on a vendor. Vendors do fail. A manufacturer cannot stock pile tons of parts or rarely used data, just because someone may let them down. That is not a good business decision.

Likewise, Dexter is way too large to have Airstream data from day one. It's simply too much of a headache.

I agree, it would make life a little easier, but it's just not going to happen.

Sorry for your concerns not being answered in a more positive way.

Andy
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:30 PM   #33
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Andy,

I worked in manufacturing sales for the last twenty years of my career. I too know a few things about how a factory works. Let me set you straight on a couple of items here.

#1 Unlike Henschen, according to other purchasers that have posted here on AF, it appears that Dexter does sell direct to the public, and not always through resellers (brokers) like yourself. Therefore the "idiot" factor is real. As a re-seller, you are supposed to know how to give exact specs to the plant, J Q Public is (and does) not.

#2 Talk to a plant manager: ask him if he would rather have a custom made BOM (Bill of Materials) or a re-order, one where a tried and true list of specs is simply pulled from their files. Trust me, he'll immediatley tell you the latter, and that the former is a PITA which adds to his overhead.

#3 In any efficient plant, the order doesn't go into production at all until it's "workable" (all parts are in stock).

Anyway, we're talking to the wind here, like I said previously, Dexter seems happy with the way things are working now, why worry?
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