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Old 10-20-2012, 06:43 AM   #1
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Has anyone ever seen a broken axle mounting plate on an AS?

Just wondering if anyone has ever seen a broken axle mounting plate on an AS?

Mine is .188" thick and I can see a slight bend where someone has apparently placed a jack between the wheels and I am guessing jacked it up on a side angle allowing the plate the bend out a bit.

All the welds look good so far but was just wondering if anyone has ever seen a failure on the vertical plate from normal use?

Just looking at it jacking it up at the factory recommended lift point one has to make sure the jack they are using is either a rolling floor jack or in the case of a bottle jack placed on a solid surface.

I turned a piece of round stock and bottom side fits snugly over 6 ton bottle jack anvil and the upper side has a slot that fits the .188" plate closely and the slot is deep enough so it won't flop around.

Of course changing a tire on the side of the road I would use one of my polymer Rhino ramps.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:24 AM   #2
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Just wondering if anyone has ever seen a broken axle mounting plate on an AS?

Mine is .188" thick and I can see a slight bend where someone has apparently placed a jack between the wheels and I am guessing jacked it up on a side angle allowing the plate the bend out a bit.

All the welds look good so far but was just wondering if anyone has ever seen a failure on the vertical plate from normal use?

Just looking at it jacking it up at the factory recommended lift point one has to make sure the jack they are using is either a rolling floor jack or in the case of a bottle jack placed on a solid surface.

I turned a piece of round stock and bottom side fits snugly over 6 ton bottle jack anvil and the upper side has a slot that fits the .188" plate closely and the slot is deep enough so it won't flop around.

Of course changing a tire on the side of the road I would use one of my polymer Rhino ramps.
The "bend" in the axle mounting plates is usually caused by not enough welding on the backside where it attaches to the frame.

Andy
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:06 AM   #3
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Just wondering if anyone has ever seen a broken axle mounting plate on an AS?

Mine is .188" thick and I can see a slight bend where someone has apparently placed a jack between the wheels and I am guessing jacked it up on a side angle allowing the plate the bend out a bit.

All the welds look good so far but was just wondering if anyone has ever seen a failure on the vertical plate from normal use?
Axle mounting plates, have indeed failed, in my experiences.

The first and primary reason is inadequate welding to the chassis.

The second, is lack of proper running gear balance.

The third, is bad rubber rods in the axle/axles.

We have seen a number of "axle mounting plates" fatigue crack into two pieces, both on single and tandem axle Airstreams.

Then when you look at the oil on the shocks and the scalloped tires, it's obvious.

However, sometimes the running gear balance is OK, only to find axles that should have been replaced a long time ago.

Unfortunately, most shops do not have the simple knowledge of how can you tell "when is a torsion axle bad".

Torsion axles, on any equipment, can very easily be checked out by the owner, once they know how, and are amazed that it can be done in less than a minute, and without even getting their hands dirty.

Andy
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:32 AM   #4
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Mine had a bend it in between the wheels where there was a shock mount. Someone missed the plate and jacked up the trailer using the shock mount. Well this bent the plate. I put a cheater pipe on the shock mount, and the plate and mount went right back where they were supposed to go. You should be able to see a bad weld like Andy is talking about with the wheels off.

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Old 10-20-2012, 12:15 PM   #5
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jack behind rear wheel appx. 1" , should have diamond shape piece of alum. riveted there. jacking on the suspension is never a good idea.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:22 PM   #6
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That's the exact place that causes trouble, since most jacks slip off and punch a hole into the underbelly and/or floor.

The safest jacking place is using the axle mounting plate.

Andy
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Old 10-20-2012, 03:30 PM   #7
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Torsion axles, on any equipment, can very easily be checked out by the owner, once they know how, and are amazed that it can be done in less than a minute, and without even getting their hands dirty.

Andy
Andy,

So for us who are new at this game, what is the procedure for checking out torsion axles? Inquiring minds want to know...

Rion
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:32 PM   #8
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Andy,

So for us who are new at this game, what is the procedure for checking out torsion axles? Inquiring minds want to know...

Rion
Rion.

The following is an article that is in the Airstream Central portion of this web site, that will teach you the check out procedure.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Andy
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:39 PM   #9
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Andy,excellent article Sir.

When you do find mounting plate weld problems do you just run over the welds with a MIG gun or have you reinforced the outside of the mounting plates with an additional plate to give a lamination effect?

I am considering taking some 1/4 flat stock about 2" wide (maybe 4") and 14" long and drilling two corresponding holes to match existing mounting holes and using longer axle mounting bolts (Grade 8s) place it on outside of mounting plate clamping the .188 plate between the axle bracket (1/4") and the additional (1/4") on the outside which would not affect tire clearance.



When I saw that jack point in the owner's manual and did a looksee I knew right then it was a accident waiting to happen which I why I made the adaptor cap for hydraulic jack but doubt I would ever use it unless for some reason I could not use a Rhino Ramp.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:08 PM   #10
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Andy,excellent article Sir.

When you do find mounting plate weld problems do you just run over the welds with a MIG gun or have you reinforced the outside of the mounting plates with an additional plate to give a lamination effect?

I am considering taking some 1/4 flat stock about 2" wide (maybe 4") and 14" long and drilling two corresponding holes to match existing mounting holes and using longer axle mounting bolts (Grade 8s) place it on outside of mounting plate clamping the .188 plate between the axle bracket (1/4") and the additional (1/4") on the outside which would not affect tire clearance.



When I saw that jack point in the owner's manual and did a looksee I knew right then it was a accident waiting to happen which I why I made the adaptor cap for hydraulic jack but doubt I would ever use it unless for some reason I could not use a Rhino Ramp.
All ou need to do is to add more welding area's between the axle mounting plate and the chassis.

If the axle mounting plate is buckled outward, beat it back the best you can, and then weld it.

The other steps you mention are really not necessary.

It's best, before the buckling happens, to check that area, and if the welding looks inadequate, then have it welded up.

There is nothing to remove to see that area, or to weld it.

The welds should be about 2 inches long, with maybe a 1 inch gap. Or better yet, weld it completely with no gaps.

Andy
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:32 PM   #11
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I suggest a plywood pad when jacking using the frame jack points. I use the same ones for the stabilizers. A piece of 3/4" plywood on top of the jack will provide a bit of protection for slippage and protect the belly from the jack penetration. I also use a pad under the jack for better stability on soft / uneven ground.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:50 PM   #12
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I suggest a plywood pad when jacking using the frame jack points. I use the same ones for the stabilizers. A piece of 3/4" plywood on top of the jack will provide a bit of protection for slippage and protect the belly from the jack penetration. I also use a pad under the jack for better stability on soft / uneven ground.
Roger.

All that does, in the case of a slip or even a gust of wind, is punch a larger hole in the underbelly as well as bending the frame.

The SAFEST and very best place to use as a jacking point, is the AXLE MOUNTING PLATE.

On a single axle trailer,place the jack rearward of the tire, but on the axle mounting plate.

On a tandem trailer, place the jack between the tires, and use the axle mounting plate.

On a tri-axle, place the jack between the center and rear tire, and use the axle mounting plate.

Many times, when the trailer is jacked up, even on one side, entry into the trailer becomes necessary.

Watch the trailer slip off the Airstream marked spot, just about every time, with or without a pad.

That marked "lifting" spot is so wrong that it's worse than pathetic, as well as just plain STUPID.

Caravanner Insurance and I both complained to Airstream about that label, many many years ago,but obviously tothis day, on deaf ears.

Be safe, use common sense, as to which placement is superior.

Andy
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:20 PM   #13
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The only bad thing about the axel mounting plate is that if you are using a bottle type hydraulic jack it is easy for it to slip off. I always jack my trailer with a roll around hydraulic floor jack that has the flanged pad that keeps the jack from slipping off. As I explained above, one of my mounting plates was bent by careless jacking. I also have a place on the other side where someone missed the plate and jacked the trailer on one of the holding tank pans. It crushed it but did not damage anything inside. My trailer has seen too many jackasses with jacks.

Perry
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:01 PM   #14
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Due to the same concerns about a standard bottle jack slipping off the axle mounting plate, I've use one of those bottle jack/jack stands. It doesn't have a huge groove, but obviously has more than a standard bottle jack.

http://www.amazon.com/Powerbuilt-640.../dp/B003ULZGFU
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:14 PM   #15
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Since day one when we got our used AS and I read the manual I could never quite understand the logic of those jacking points that AS mark under the frame.

Apart from the danger of slipping and puncturing the belly pan, it just didn't seem to me to be intuitively the right place to jack - so I didn't - I jacked under the axle plate instead. I did however - and still do - wonder why AS suggest this.

Since I discovered how easy it is an a dual axle trailer to change a wheel by using those interlocking plastic pads under the adjacent wheel, that is the inly method I have used - seems so much easier safer than messing with bottle jacks or trolley jacks.

Brian.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:17 PM   #16
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The only bad thing about the axel mounting plate is that if you are using a bottle type hydraulic jack it is easy for it to slip off. I always jack my trailer with a roll around hydraulic floor jack that has the flanged pad that keeps the jack from slipping off. As I explained above, one of my mounting plates was bent by careless jacking. I also have a place on the other side where someone missed the plate and jacked the trailer on one of the holding tank pans. It crushed it but did not damage anything inside. My trailer has seen too many jackasses with jacks.

Perry
Perry.

A grooved head on a bottle jack works well, if used.

Most shops simply use a floor jack.

Simple, effective and quick.

Andy
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:20 PM   #17
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Andy, I fully agree. The plywood just gives a little bit of protection should one find a reason to use the jacking points. Now, one could use a really large piece of wood and even get greater protection but I don't want to go there. I just mean that it allows for a little latitude in jack placement but one still must be careful when placing the jack.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:49 AM   #18
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The "bend" in the axle mounting plates is usually caused by not enough welding on the backside where it attaches to the frame.

Andy
I will give it a close looksee again but the welds look good holding the axle mounting plate to the chassis. The mounting plate is just bent a tad at the bottom. I will lay a straight edge down the plate over the existing welds and see if I can detect any warpage.

You can be sure if I find anything it will be much heavier when it gets set back down.

I talked to my buddy Saturday and he said he should be through with building shelves/bins (contruction trailer) yesterday so I will drive up shortly and see if he did and get back to work on her.


I suspect if the axle mounting plate was 1/4" in the first place it would have never happened but that would have added maybe 20 lbs a plate.

I am just glad I can use the AS factory mounting plate holes without changing them as I could not ask for better alignment as after 5000 miles on the 10 ply LT tires I can detect no visual anomaly and the difference in tread depth between the front and rear tires is about .015".

On the tires that came on it when making sharp turns in parking lot I could hear the front tires complaining and see the scrub marks on tread.

Your comment about vehicle rims not being that good is well taken and absolutley concurred with though in the last year I have seen two mag wheels with hairline cracks between the lug holes. I have two vehicles with mag wheels and don't really care for them at all but between them they have 485K with no problems but then again they haven't been subjected to heavy or side loading and I don't let anyone on them with a airgun that is not backed off. I do my own rotation and torque them with a Snap On Torqueometer in alternating sequence.


I know what you mean about trying to tell folks a design is not right or to suggest improvements falling on deaf ears and I chalk it up to them not wanting to admit they are wrong or afraid of lawsuits. When I was working I made a discovery and upon investigation found several deaths had occurred as a direct result of the design flaw as the orginal investigators were not familiar with proper ordnance design practices. I wrote it up and section chief concurred. I found out years later the gov't report was altered after we signed off on it and I can prove it. I contacted the Army CID and they notified NCIS who told me they were going to prosecute and later learned they were told to stand down by DCIS as they were taking it and it was buried.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:13 PM   #19
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Rion.

The following is an article that is in the Airstream Central portion of this web site, that will teach you the check out procedure.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Andy
Andy,

Thanks for the great article! Also for the hitch torsion bar story as well.
Great Articles. Learned more about axles and hitches than I thought there was to know.

Cheers,
Rion
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:11 PM   #20
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Andy,

Thanks for the great article! Also for the hitch torsion bar story as well.
Great Articles. Learned more about axles and hitches than I thought there was to know.

Cheers,
Rion
Your very welcome.

Andy
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