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Old 06-10-2008, 09:50 AM   #21
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I have a 63 Ambassador, how serious should I be about replacing my axles? Has anyone replaced their axles on a 63 ambassador?

63Silver
We replaced them on a 62 Ambassador with no problems.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:00 AM   #22
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We purchased our axles from Inland with absolutely no problems. Our AS required some new holes to be drilled due to its age. We were supplied with a drill template and instructions; we were able to complete the installation in an afternoon. This was the single best upgrade we made to our trailer. It tows like a dream. I am in the dealer business as a mfg rep and I could only wish all of my dealers were as thorough and customer oriented as Inland RV. The transaction was excellent!
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:12 PM   #23
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Well Its been a while since I have posted but I promised to keep you all updated. Guess what My last post was 06-09-08. We got caught in a axle change at Henshen beside thier busy season. Our axles are lots heavier than the old ones.
Andy kept us updated week by week as to the progress of this change. I am happy to say that as of now the axles are here on my flatbed awaiting installation.
The people at Henshen are really really nice and quick too. I was in and out in 15 minutes from the time it stopped roll'n till we were tied down and rollin again.
I will do my best to post pics as we begin the change process/
Roger
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:21 PM   #24
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Andy and his team are great. I got my axles within the date he mentioned and other than some issues with the freight company and a couple missing lug nuts I would recommend them to anyone else looking.
The replacement axles bolted in real easy and no fabbing required.We are very pleased with the way it rides now.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:45 PM   #25
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Does any one know why AS stopped using these axles and switched to Dexter?

I thought the Henschen was a superior product.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:49 PM   #26
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I thought the went back after the stint with Dexter.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:24 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverwanabe
Does any one know why AS stopped using these axles and switched to Dexter?

I thought the Henschen was a superior product.
My understanding is Henschen and Airstream had a temporary parting of the ways after the infamous "grease recall". My guess is the grass was not greener on the Dexter side of the fence, but that is a guess. AFAIK, Airstream is using Henschen axles again.
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:31 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
AFAIK, Airstream is using Henschen axles again.
For what it is worth:

Current 2008 "Classic" literature shown

www.airstream.com/files/library/2ae9e2029ac87360.pdf

indicates Never Lube Hubs - this suggests to me that Dexter is still in use at Airstrem.
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:44 PM   #29
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As the other posts have said, the service and product from Inland was top notch. Everything fit like a glove. The shock mount on the axle was a little farther away from the mount on the AS. Just stretched the shock a bit. But the WORST part is the $72 "residential delivery" charge by UPS. What a rip-off. But again, thats not Inland's fault. Maybe stuff could be shipped by a more customer friendly carrier. Jim K
I have everything heavy shipped to my mechanics shop,saves that high residential charge ,and he`s only 2 blocks away.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:58 PM   #30
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a note about GKN axles

Unfortunately it took approximately 9 weeks to get my Henschen axles. I'm told this is definitely not the norm which is usually 4-6 weeks. I was also told that this has never happened before. At a frustrated week number 9 and still no axles or answers Andy suggested I contact GKN directly. Interestingly the GKN website has a contact page with an email address which suggests that the European managing director of GKN, Domenico Traverso, will answer questions personally.

So late one afternoon I sent an email to the director through the website questioning the cause for the delay in my axle order and requesting a estimated shipping date. The next morning I was late arriving in the office but when I checked my email I was surprised to find a personal email from Domenico suggesting that he too was surprised to learn of the delay and promising an answer as soon as the sun rose in the United States. I also found two telephone messages personally from Jeff Moore the USA plant manager at Jackson Center that had been waiting since around 8:00 a.m.

When I returned the telephone calls later that morning I was told that Jeff was in a meeting. However I was immediately transferred to Rachel Jordan in customer service who was already up to speed on the issue. Rachel explained that the cause of the delay was a back ordered axle arm which had a 20-24 week production time. Rachel said that GKN had decided to remedy the situation by installing a heavier duty axle arm on my axles for no extra charge and promised to ship within 24 hours. And that's exactly what happened!
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:39 AM   #31
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Interesting... I can't remember the the thread, but another poster said that Henschen was manufactoring "stronger castings" of the arms... sound like you got the first of the "new upgraded" models?

Can't wait to hear about the marriage of shell to chassis.
Marc
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:18 AM   #32
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It seems a few "squeaky wheels" might have received the "new upgrade" until the standard arms are restocked. Apparently someone at GKN was asleep at the switch and didn't order enough arms to meet demand. Aspects of what actually happened will probably remain a mystery... Stay tuned for the marriage!
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:39 AM   #33
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Axle Update

As promised ,here is an Update of our transaction thru Inland/ and Andy.We are extremely pleased with ANDY/ and INLAND for keeping us informed of what was transpiring with our axles and double checking to make SURE we had gotten the new mounting hardware.If We had it to do over We would definately BUY from ANDY!
We have picked up our new Henshens (axles) at the factory. We were pleased with their curiosity and speed in loading the axles on to our flat bed trailer and with the quality of the product. We did have a problem but NOT with INLAND . Some young engineer at Henshen decided he should reinvent
the wheel and our axles have been delay in mfgr since MAY.
We have them home now.They have heavier tubes and arms than the originals.Unfortuneatly there are only about 40 of these heavy duty pairs made and Henshen is going back to the old standby,using what was not BROKE in the first place.
Stay TUNED TO THIS STATION FOR Further Updates on the installation.
WE NOW RETURN U TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM
Roger
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:54 AM   #34
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Unfortunately I ordered at the peek of their(Henshen) busy season. My axles are scheduled for delivery on or before the 4th of July. It is my understanding that their trailer orders tripled and the ag orders quad-droopuled this year. They are working 3 shifts to try and meet the demand.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikethefixit View Post
We got caught in a axle change at Henshen beside thier busy season. Our axles are lots heavier than the old ones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikethefixit View Post
Some young engineer at Henshen decided he should reinvent the wheel and our axles have been delay in mfgr since MAY. We have them home now.They have heavier tubes and arms than the originals.Unfortuneatly there are only about 40 of these heavy duty pairs made and Henshen is going back to the old standby,using what was not BROKE in the first place.
Interesting. IMO I think the true cause of the first-time-ever delay will remain a complete mystery. Straight from the top of the chain GKN plainly said the standard arms were on back order. Now I'm curious but who were you speaking to at GKN? Fortunately or unfortunately it seems that in situations like this "some young engineer" always conveniently gets to take the blame. Was the cause engineering or merely logistics?
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:06 PM   #35
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Interesting. IMO I think the true cause of the first-time-ever delay will remain a complete mystery. Straight from the top of the chain GKN plainly said the standard arms were on back order. Now I'm curious but who were you speaking to at GKN? Fortunately or unfortunately it seems that in situations like this "some young engineer" always conveniently gets to take the blame. Was the cause engineering or merely logistics?
Even I cannot provide an absolute answer to the huge delay.

It has never happened before in Henschen's 41 year association with Airstream

Most importantly, the issues have been resolved.

I have been told, that the new employee that caused the problem, was invited to find a new job.

We have also been informed, that the future delivery schedules are almost back to normal.

We sincerely apologize to anyone that was inconvenience by a late delivery, and hope that they understand that the situation that developed was totally beyond our control.

Andy
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:34 PM   #36
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There's more to this story!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikethefixit View Post
Some young engineer at Henshen decided he should reinvent
the wheel and our axles have been delay in mfgr since MAY.
We have them home now.They have heavier tubes and arms than the originals.Unfortuneatly there are only about 40 of these heavy duty pairs made and Henshen is going back to the old standby,using what was not BROKE in the first place.
Stay TUNED TO THIS STATION FOR Further Updates on the installation.
WE NOW RETURN U TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM
Roger
My thoughts:

Torsion axles are made in families based on capacity. Typically 3 sizes:

100-2750# . . . . .typically 2200#
2800-3999# . . . .typically 3500#
4000-7000# . . . .typically 5000#

This means that you generally work with three sizes of everything:
1. Tube bodies
2. Torsion arms
3. Inner bars
4. Rubber cords
5. Spindles
You get the idea.

If a torsion arm for say a 3500# axle is not available (out of stock, awaiting arrival from machinest etc...) the ability to build that family of axles is hindered in a major way. In english, no part = no axle.

Solution - derate the next larger family (install shorter rubber cords) thus reducing the 5000# axles capacity to 3500#. However, as stated, componets for the 5000# axle get larger. Like the axle tube body and inner bar - thus you have a bigger axle to carry a lesser load. This is not an ideal solution but would work to meet demand in a pinch. However the axle will weigh more and fit different than the 3500# family axle due to the increased size of the parts being used.

It was not an Engineer that did this - it was a Purchasing Agent that planned poorly in stocking torsion arms. Torsion arms can NOT be built overnight - they have a bit of a lead time as GKN in Jackson Center cannot controll this process 100%. In english, they don't do every operation involved in making a torsion arm in house at Jackson Center. The young Engineer (or old Engineer, I don't know them) likely saved the day by providing a part, even though a bit unique, when there was simply no other way to complete the order!

Respectively submitted by an Ex-Axleman!

Regards,
Henry
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:40 PM   #37
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Henry, I don't know if what you say is true or not, but it has the ring of truth. And it's usually the "one-off" customer like Roger that gets the cobbled together oddball.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:49 PM   #38
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Lol

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Henry, I don't know if what you say is true or not, but it has the ring of truth. And it's usually the "one-off" customer like Roger that gets the cobbled together oddball.
Don,

I may have constructed at least one axle in my life time!

Good to hear from you my friend - I hope all is well with you!

Smiles,
Henry
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:00 PM   #39
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... My guess is the grass was not greener on the Dexter side of the fence, but that is a guess. AFAIK, Airstream is using Henschen axles again.
this gets repeated about once a year here...

but isn't true.

as axleman suggests they are using dexter on new units...

this switch was model specific (in 04?) and gradually spread to the FULL LINE in 2006 (late 2005)...

perhaps the bad batch of 04 hubs on henschens had something to do with the change to dexter,

or was just a coincidental issue.

the relationship between dexter and a/s goes much further than axles...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/536144-post64.html

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:14 PM   #40
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My 2004 CCD had Henschen axles. My 2008 CCD has Dexter.
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