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Old 06-24-2009, 04:35 AM   #1
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Flexride Axles?

Hello all. I am in the process of looking for new axles for my 1971 31' Sovereign to get next spring near the end of the restore. I spoke with Andy last night and his whole axles package runs $750 complete, per axle.

Just to be fair though I researched some other torsion axles MFGs. Then I searched the forum here and didn't find a single mention of some of the MFGs.

For example, a 3500# complete 12" elect brake axle from Flexride is $386 per if you buy 2, this is almost half of the Dura-Torques. The only issue that I see with the Flexrides is that their default design bolts to the outside of the frame and I need it to bolt to the inside, I have not called Flexride to see if this is workable, but I am sure it is.

Just wondering if anyone has ever looked at or used other axles. I saw the thread on Dexter and the reasons not to use them. Though I found 3 or 4 other torsion axle brands out there as well.

Thanks.
-Rich
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:04 AM   #2
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hello Rich,

I am also looking at axles. Haven't decided yet, but I agree that $1500 like a lot of money. Let us know what you decide to do...

Best of luck,
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NY_Chairs View Post
Just to be fair though I researched some other torsion axles MFGs. Then I searched the forum here and didn't find a single mention of some of the MFGs...For example, a 3500# complete 12" elect brake axle from Flexride is $386 per if you buy 2...Just wondering if anyone has ever looked at or used other axles.
Rich -

Do a search on "Flexiride".

I did a comparison on them in this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f219...ign-14737.html

Post #49

In short, Flexiride could not supply a sufficiently "soft" rated axle with a "heavy duty" bearing and brake assembly.

In addition, their "split axle" mounting MAY have overtaxed the frame rails of an Airstream. After discovering I could not get comparable rated brakes and bearings from them I did not pursue the mounting problems.

I DID, however, really like their spline and groove adjustable starting angle assembly. The engineer I was conversing with (in New Jersey, IIRC) agreed that ALL rubber torsion axles have a finite life...all rubber will take a "set" sooner or later - sooner if not STORED in a relaxed state.
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:36 AM   #4
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Yeah, I spoke with them and encountered the same issues, they also could not provide 12" brakes. Think I am going with the Dexters. If anyone has done them on the '71 Sovereign or equivalent I would appreciate any detailed specs and info on how to get them ordered, via PM or e-mail is fine.

Thanks.
-Rich
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:10 AM   #5
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Have never heard of Flexride, but a lot of people use Dexters. There has been a plethora of information posted on comparing Dexters to the OEM Henshens
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:53 AM   #6
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Dexter will, if asked, weld on the shock mounts for you, so you can keep the factory shock set-up. My 2 3,000#, 10" brake EZ-lube axles were about $820, complete and shipped. Figure about a day to get them installed.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:56 AM   #7
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Well good luck with the Dexters. I hope they get the measurments correct. They, I heard are not to accurate. I dont know what kind of guarantee they have if they miss the mark.
Sometimes ya just have to bite the bullet. We did and I agree that $1500 is too much money. But my new Henshens fit like a glove. No problems installing them.I had it done in 3 hrs.
But I wanted OEM and thats what I got.
GOOD LUCK with what ever brand you get.
Roger
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:18 AM   #8
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My Dexters fit perfectly. Just get your measurements accurate and that's how they'll get built.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NY_Chairs View Post
Just wondering if anyone has ever looked at or used other axles. I saw the thread on Dexter and the reasons not to use them.
We could post about Ivory Snow and somebody would always take the opportunity to lift their leg on it. Dexters can work as later posters in this thread are suggesting. There was even a period starting about 4 years ago when Jackson Center was installing Dexters for about half a year. I know -- that's what is on my Safari. There's something at the edge of my mind that Dexters are installed on any unit spec'd for Canada.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:45 AM   #10
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My Safari was built in April 2007 and is equipped with Dexter axles. So far no problems.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:17 AM   #11
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My Dexters fit perfectly. Just get your measurements accurate and that's how they'll get built.
Ditto's to this statement - My Dexters work fine - the key is the measurements.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:18 AM   #12
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I spoke with Dexter engineering and he even mentioned they were now supplying the new Airstream axles. I got the spec sheet, just need to verify all the measurements on my trailer and go to the local distributor to get a quote and get them ordered.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:50 AM   #13
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During our visit to Jackson Center last June, the first thing I noticed on the front desk was a cutaway "demo" of a dexter axle showing how they work...This was an advertising piece and so I inquired...Every Airstream being produced that day had Dexter axles.
My 1970 sovereign has Dexters...with 10 inch brakes...and a 45 degree start angle...These bearings and brakes are rated at 5400 lbs each and allow far more room for air circulation around the brakes and tire rim than the 12" brakes. There is far less heat transfer to the tire with the added clearance ( so says a TRW chassis engineer that helped me install them) My dexter dealer sent one of my old axles back to the factory for $50 and so no one measured anything on my end..The new ones both slipped right in.....To stir the puddin' even more I might add I did not install shock absorbers, and have put on 12,000 trouble free miles so far. At least 2 other vintage airstreams the size of mine have the exact same set up and are also very happy.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:22 AM   #14
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Isn't the starting angle rather steep at 45 degrees? Just wondering what angle they are at when you are loaded and heading down the road?
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:41 AM   #15
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Good idea about sending the axle to Dexter, will certainly bring it up when I meet with the local dealer.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Well good luck with the Dexters. I hope they get the measurments correct. They, I heard are not to accurate. I dont know what kind of guarantee they have if they miss the mark.
\
I put new Dexters on my Tradewind and have had no problems. Dexter considers axles within spec if measurements are up to 1/8" under size on the measurements but the measurements can't be bigger. The critical measurement is the axle mounting flange.

You do have to understand the measuring process well. You also will have to drill some new mounting holes. Henshens are supposed to fit right in.

The one horror story I heard about Dexters bing too big was an measuring mistake a dealer made. You can order factory direct.

I suggest you download the Dexter Application Guide from their website which will make things clearer.
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:59 PM   #17
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Just to clarify. I didn't say Dexters were not any good. There were a few threads I read a yr or so ago that the axles did not fit properly.That was probably a measuring mistake by the person handling the tape. I will tell ya went I took my old Henshens out,I was very supprised to see stamped in the backing plates the word DEXTER. I immediatly called Andy,because I thought I had made a mistake, but he reassured me Dexter has been makin backing plates and brake parts for Henshen forever,only the axles themselves were Henshen. And it is true the cut-away in the hall at JC is Dexter and that is what has been installed in new Airstreams for the last several yrs,at least 3 I know of because we have taken the tour 3 times.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:07 PM   #18
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Yeah, I even found some Dexter "dealers" that were only carrying the brake parts, not dealing with the axles. I was hoping to get a DE dealer to avoid sales tax since we take a couple trips a year down there, unfortunately, none would touch the axle.

My local dealer was more than willing to send one of my old axles back as a template, he is calling back with the quotes this afternoon.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:18 PM   #19
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Yeah, I even found some Dexter "dealers" that were only carrying the brake parts, not dealing with the axles. I was hoping to get a DE dealer to avoid sales tax since we take a couple trips a year down there, unfortunately, none would touch the axle.

My local dealer was more than willing to send one of my old axles back as a template, he is calling back with the quotes this afternoon.
Rich.

Part of the cost of anything, also includes "chasing down" time, time on telephones etc.

Many people chose original parts of every kind and description, so that they will not waste time, as well as not "assuming" that a "knock off" part is equal to the original.

When you have something custom made to your specs, you own it. If it works, great, if it doesn't then...........you still own it.

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:12 PM   #20
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Isn't the starting angle rather steep at 45 degrees? Just wondering what angle they are at when you are loaded and heading down the road?
The angle depends on how much its loaded and what the specs were when you ordered it. I believe I ordered mine to carry 3500 lbs each (the originals said 2800) and just guessing they sit at 28-35 degrees loaded. It does not appear to ride higher than a new Airstream. I would do it the exact same way in a heartbeat. We never pop any doors open, and we have had the same propane lamp mantle in place for over 2 years, so I'm guessing the ride back there is pretty good! I'd like to try it some day.
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