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Old 11-03-2019, 09:34 AM   #1
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Help me with adding lift to 27 FC

I have the Dexter lift kit for my AS. Used my floor jack to try to raise the AS and discovered that it could not lift it high enough to drop the axles. I decided to make some ramps out of (3) 2x10s, which should raise the AS 4.5 inches. However, after driving the rear wheels onto the ramps, I was surprised that the front wheel was barely off the ground. My concern is that I wont be able to get the wheel back on after the lift.

My trailer is connected to my tow vehicle for safety reasons as there are no wheels to chock when the front wheels are removed and the back ones are on the ramps. The trailer is not quite level as a result, but raising the front does not help much in raising the wheel.

Im assuming when on the ramps that the suspension is allowed to drop, causing at least part of this problem, but how do I overcome this.

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Old 11-03-2019, 10:50 AM   #2
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I would consider a larger jack. Harbor freight has some good deals. Maybe a bottle jack properly cribbaged up.

Im going to be tackling this with a Bambi soon so Im interested how this goes for you.
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanusport View Post
I would consider a larger jack. Harbor freight has some good deals. Maybe a bottle jack properly cribbaged up.



Im going to be tackling this with a Bambi soon so Im interested how this goes for you.


I really cant find one that will raise it higher. Mine just gets the wheels off the ground and I need 3 more.
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:30 AM   #4
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Add another layer of 2x10 under your stack. My ramps were 6" tall and I had no problems lifting my 30'. Also if you need additional height to reinstall the tire after the lift use your front end jack to raise both the tongue and the truck a little to give you extra clearance.
Good luck, there are many here who can coach you through the rough spots.
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:17 AM   #5
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On YouTube there is a chap "More We Explore" who shows in detail how to install a lift kit - Link below

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC33...3ry0rMg/videos
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:17 AM   #6
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My ramps raise the wheels 5" and I drove the front wheels onto the ramps to remove the rears. No problem there, but after installing the lift kit to the rear axle it hung too low to reinstall the rear wheels. Used my floor jack with some 2X6's on it to jack up the trailer one side at a time from the rear jacking points.

I then got the rear wheels on, pulled the trailer off the ramps and reversed them to back the rear wheels on. This time after doing the front axle lift there was no problem in reinstalling the front wheels.

If I had to do it all again I'd probably do the front axle lift blocks first. I had to remove the pan under the grey and black tanks to modify it and I'd have had more room to crawl around back there if the front axle were already lifted.

Trailer on ramp:
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Gray/Black tank pan removed
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Duct taped pan corner (Airstream build quality?)
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Corner cut down and sealed with aluminum flashing (MY idea of build quality)
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More pictures on second posting below
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:28 AM   #7
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Some more pictures of my ordeal of installing the lift blocks, modifying the pan....

After removing the pan I temporarily supported the empty grey and black tanks with the pan support straps and some wooden blocks
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One of the corners with duct tape removed before cutting down 2"
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Second corner cut down and flashing glued in place
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I tried modifying the pan without removing it, but there was just too little room to work around it, and if I did succeed it would have been a duct tape job like done at the factory instead of a proper job that keeps water and vermin out. Installing the lift blocks was pretty straight forward with the rear pan removed. I was able to work around the front (fresh water) pan, but it was a pain. Next time I'd weld tabs to the heads of the bolts to stop them spinning as even a shorty 15/16" wrench doesn't fit well.

Don't know how the 27' trailer differs from the 28', so your mileage may vary.... Have fun!
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:13 PM   #8
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My ramps were 6" high and pulled front axle onto ramps, first. Coupled to TV, this put rear even higher. After completing rear axle and backing onto ramps, because rear axle now had spacers, plenty of room to install on front axle, even though front of trailer low. Once you get it high enough, then the real work begins, but worth it, IMO. Work smart, work safe.
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:54 PM   #9
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I've lifted my 27FB as well a few years ago.

My hydraulic floor jack had no problem adding enough height.

Many ways to accomplish enough lift. More ramp. Bottle jacks are cheap and have good lift range. More cribbing or blocks underneath it.

I wouldn't be afraid of lifting from the frame rail the axles ride on with your floor jack. Just be sure to lift from behind the rear axle to maintain stability. I know others are critical of this, but the AS is not a pool noodle and has good structure. That frame rail is where the axles support the AS anyways.

Good news is that for the 27FB, there's not need to trim or drop pans. At least that was my experience.
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbrick View Post
On YouTube there is a chap "More We Explore" who shows in detail how to install a lift kit - Link below



https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC33...3ry0rMg/videos


Yes, good video! I have watched it several times.

Thanks!
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Old 11-04-2019, 05:15 PM   #11
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Update:

Thanks for all the posts and a special thanks to GMFL for taking my phone call and walking me through some key steps.

So, I guess it was a good day as Im not hurt, I did not break anything (that I know of), and I made some progress but Im not done.

A couple of things I learned:

1). The instructions that come with the kit can be confusing because they are showing a different frame/axle setup. In their pictures, they show the brackets with the open end facing out and on the drum brake side of the frame. In the Airstream, the brackets go on the inside of the frame and the open end of the bracket faces the middle of the Airstream. Also, as stated in the instructions, the bolt end should go inside the bracket. This will look different from the picture in the instructions as you will be seeing washers and nuts in the wheel well instead of a bolt head. This took me quite a bit of time to figure out.

2). The instructions call for a washer only before the nut on the horizontal bolts but this seemed odd to me with the slotted holes in the frame. I called Dexter and they said it was fine to use a washer both on the bolt and nut side. I reused one of the washers I removed.

3). I had to remove the shock absorbers to access one of the nuts. I discovered that one of the shocks was missing a washer and one was missing both a washer and a nut. That means there was nothing holding the shock on to the threaded stud. Hard to say if it vibrates off or Airstream quality strikes again on the missing nut, but the missing washer is clearly a quality problem.

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At the end of the day, I got both sides of the front axle dropped and the spacer inserted. On one side I got all 4 bolts torque to 150 ft-lbs. getting to all 4 bolts was quite difficult, especially the one along the pan where you only have a channel that is 2 wide to put your wrench. I ended up grinding the wrench down to make it less wide and thinner. Had to say if this had an impact or it was just dumb luck.

Hope to finish tomorrow!

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Old 11-04-2019, 07:16 PM   #12
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Flip this shock over. The way it is installed water can get in and stay in the dust cover.
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:47 AM   #13
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Flip this shock over. The way it is installed water can get in and stay in the dust cover.


Thanks....Ill flip them when I get some new hardware for them!
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:52 PM   #14
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Done! Shock absorbers have new hardware and have been flipped
!

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Old 11-06-2019, 05:15 PM   #15
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Man she looks good. Congrats on a job well done!
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:50 PM   #16
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Man she looks good. Congrats on a job well done!


Thanks for your help!
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:11 PM   #17
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I 2nd the congrats on the nice work. When I installed my lift, I also was missing one shock nut and washer. You will smile and pat yourself on the back every time you pull through one of those "dips" at a fuel or food stop that previously was a dragging concern.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:34 AM   #18
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Followed this thread and now have some great hands on to follow and assist me when the time comes. Thank you to all who provided a great step by step process and extra support. Jeff.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:42 AM   #19
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All that work.. I installed new axles with additional preload angle.. over 4 inches lift. And no “kit” to worry about flex...or other complexity..

Glad this worked for u
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:44 AM   #20
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All that work.. I installed new axles with additional preload angle.. over 4 inches lift. And no kit to worry about flex...or other complexity..

Glad this worked for u


Yes, nice solution, but what did that cost you?
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