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Old 07-30-2008, 10:15 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axleman View Post
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
I suspect so too Henry, hence the mystery. Thanks for those thoughts. Unfortunately or fortunately, as noted, the "official" story just didn't jive... Here's what the "heavier" torsion arm looks like on "lighter" 3500# axle. What's interesting is that the shock mounts extremely close to the axle mounting plate. So the axles would actually need to be removed to replace the shocks.
Click image for larger version

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Old 07-30-2008, 10:18 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axleman View Post
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.

Regards,
Henry
Your data for Axis axles may quite well be correct.

However, your stated numbers, is not true for the Henschen axles.

We are are distributor for them. You are not and have never been, nor are you privileged with their engineering data.

Please quote whatever you wish about your former employer, and leave your guesses about the Henschen off this Forum.

Your statements are wrong, misleading and designed to cause more flack, about Henschen.

Henschen builds a high quality product instead of knockoffs, as more than one other company does, who shall remain nameless.

Yes they made a mistake, some time back. It's way past time to let that issue stay in a grave, instead of it being brought up again and again.

Non-Airstream or wantabe Airstream owners, have a huge history, of striving to stir up problems, again and again, that probably feeds some ego's.

Andy
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:24 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by monocoque View Post
I suspect so too Henry. Thanks for those thoughts. Unfortunately, as noted the "official" story just didn't jive... Here's what the "heavier" torsion arm looks like on "lighter" 3500# axle. What's interesting is that the shock mounts extremely close to the axle mounting plate. So the axles would actually need to be removed to replace the shocks.
Not true.

Simply bend the shock bracket outwards, with a crow bar.

That allows more than enough room to change the shocks.

Also, the brackets can stay, if you wish, in the new position, without causing any harm to the shocks.

That has been done time and time again over the years.

Unfortunately, some dealers will still charge a customer to drop the axles, when all they really do is bend the brackets to change the shocks, and then bend them back in the original position.

Sad, but true.

Andy
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:31 PM   #44
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Marketing???

Are these posts about "marketing" or "manufacturing?"

Amazing how negativity keeps on surfacing about the subject of axle manufacturers, from the select few, time after time.

Andy
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:35 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post

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

cheers
2air'
That relationship has been, and is on very thin ice.

Way too many problems, according to inside sources at Airstream.

Andy
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:45 PM   #46
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Andy, I'll certainly defer to your experience in these matters and I do have a crowbar. Thanks for the correction. As a novice in this field I'm also admittedly unfamiliar with axle politics. I do however think GKN could have been more clear up-front in their explanation at least in my particular case.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:50 PM   #47
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shock replacement solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by monocoque View Post
I suspect so too Henry, hence the mystery. Thanks for those thoughts. Unfortunately or fortunately, as noted, the "official" story just didn't jive... Here's what the "heavier" torsion arm looks like on "lighter" 3500# axle. What's interesting is that the shock mounts extremely close to the axle mounting plate. So the axles would actually need to be removed to replace the shocks.
Attachment 64797
Look at this video. I thought a very good description on how to replace shocks in that close mounting configuration without dropping the axle. I for one wish more vendors provided insight in this fashion...rather than telling us we are wrong...or maybe "you are the only one who has had that problem" which I personally have read on the threads and several weeks later heard in the shop from the very same individual
Airstream Shock replacement guide
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:56 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by monocoque View Post
I do however think GKN could have been more clear up-front in their explanation at least in my particular case.
I agree and so does the sales department of Henschen, who was also some what kept in the dark.

The problem has been resolved, and the production scheduling has cut the in house time in half, and look forward to another cut in production time, until it gets back to the 2 weeks or less.

One of the problems however, is that they are running 3 shifts now, so it becomes some what difficult to shave time. But, somehow, some way, they have already made a huge improvement.

Andy
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:56 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by joe3957 View Post
Look at this video. I thought a very good description on how to replace shocks in that close mounting configuration without dropping the axle. I for one wish more vendors provided insight in this fashion...rather than telling us we are wrong...or maybe "you are the only one who has had that problem" which I personally have read on the threads and several weeks later heard in the shop from the very same individual
Airstream Shock replacement guide
Thanks Joe I'll check it out. I'm very glad to learn I won't need to drop these axles again anytime soon!
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Old 07-31-2008, 04:59 AM   #50
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For the Record!

Just for the record, as I have stated in the past, I will state again -
Henschen builds a fine product! I have never stated anything else - check my post's! I have seen the axles, been to the plant, visited Jackson Center and respect them as a manufacturer.

In plain terms:
The Henschen axle is a fine product.

My post's are intended to inform. I have no reson to argue as I no longer represent any manufacturer nor am I employeed in the axle business any longer!

2air's statements below are right on the mark!

Nuff Said!

Henry
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:22 AM   #51
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I think it just makes good sense for Airstream to use Dexter axles. If a business has a decades long relationship with a single supplier of a critical component it's a recipe for disaster.

Suppose Henschen's factory burns down? Where would that leave Airstream if they didn't cultivate a relationship with an alternate vendor like Dexter. Or suppose they ran out of torsion arms? Or didn't use enough grease? Or just can't build enough axles?

On the other side, I'm sure there is some boat trailer builder that's been using Dexter axles for years, and they are now buying axles from Henschen because they didn't want to be dependent on a single supplier either.

So I think it's a smart decision by Airstream to switch to Dexter axles. As it will be a smart decision to switch back to Henschen axles when conditions warrant.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:08 PM   #52
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axles from Inland

In answer to the original question of the thread, today I just installed new axles that I purchased from Inland RV and they were a perfect fit. The process of dropping the old axles and getting the new ones bolted into place took about an hour and a half.

I enlisted the help of two friends, none of us had ever done this before, so we may have taken a little longer than someone more experienced. To anyone who is contemplating this process, I would recommend that you do as we did and rent a truck transmission lift. It had a saddle plate that adjusted front to back and side to side, and was very easy to roll around under the trailer.

As a non-welder, I really appreciated that no modifications were required to the frame or the axles. The whole process of ordering the axles was very simple. I may possibly have spent a bit more than if I had ordered Dexters, but I prefer to focus on the money I saved by doing the install myself, which was a huge chunk of change. I am very happy with the whole deal.

Thank you, Andy.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:55 PM   #53
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I too purchased axles thru ANDY . The switch was completed in about 2 1/2 hrs and thats with several breaks. I'm 70yrs young and it takes me a little longer. Everything fit perfectly.
Although I was extremely unhappy with that engineer WHOM by the way DON'T WORK THERE NO MORE The people were great at Henshen.
I would rather stay Out of the GREAT H verus D debate.
The axles I took out were Airstream/Henshen and who do U think was doin the stoppin. YEP our old freinds Kelsey-Hayes Drum/Hubs and Good ole Dexter brake parts. My axles were 31 yrs old. So Dexter has also been at Airstream for a while.
I'm happy with the quality and workmanship of the axles I installed.

Roger
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:32 PM   #54
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I think it just makes good sense for Airstream to use Dexter axles. If a business has a decades long relationship with a single supplier of a critical component it's a recipe for disaster.

Suppose Henschen's factory burns down? Where would that leave Airstream if they didn't cultivate a relationship with an alternate vendor like Dexter. Or suppose they ran out of torsion arms? Or didn't use enough grease? Or just can't build enough axles?

On the other side, I'm sure there is some boat trailer builder that's been using Dexter axles for years, and they are now buying axles from Henschen because they didn't want to be dependent on a single supplier either.

So I think it's a smart decision by Airstream to switch to Dexter axles. As it will be a smart decision to switch back to Henschen axles when conditions warrant.
The Airstream and Henschen relationship was remarkable, especially since they are about 3 minutes from each other.

Airstream saved a lot of money, by not having to pay any freight.

Airstream service also had a deal where they could get a replacement axle/axles within two days from the time they ordered it.

Airstream at this point, has reinspected Henschen and approved them as one of their vendors again. They reinspected engineering, quality of components, production, and it's standards, and quality control.

Everything passed with flying colors.

When a transition will take place, seems to be a well guarded secret.

Tis a shame, all of this happened because of a grease error, and a couple of former Corporate bull heads, no longer related to either company.

Andy
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:56 PM   #55
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I think it just makes good sense for Airstream to use Dexter axles. If a business has a decades long relationship with a single supplier of a critical component it's a recipe for disaster.

Suppose Henschen's factory burns down? Where would that leave Airstream if they didn't cultivate a relationship with an alternate vendor like Dexter. Or suppose they ran out of torsion arms? Or didn't use enough grease? Or just can't build enough axles?

So I think it's a smart decision by Airstream to switch to Dexter axles. As it will be a smart decision to switch back to Henschen axles when conditions warrant.
One visit to Henschen's plant, would clearly show anyone, that there is "no way" a fire could destroy the plant.

Andy
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:57 PM   #56
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Yep!

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Originally Posted by monocoque View Post
I suspect so too Henry, hence the mystery. Thanks for those thoughts. Unfortunately or fortunately, as noted, the "official" story just didn't jive... Here's what the "heavier" torsion arm looks like on "lighter" 3500# axle. What's interesting is that the shock mounts extremely close to the axle mounting plate. So the axles would actually need to be removed to replace the shocks.
Attachment 64797
You are welcome - good luck with your project!

Best Regards,
Henry
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:03 PM   #57
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Ditto. I just ordered axle from Inland. I have not installed it yet, but from measuring it looks like a good fit. Timely shipment, etc. I'm sure they get a good markup on these, but hey, that's the way it works. I've found Andy and others at Inland to be very willing to help.
Mark
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:15 PM   #58
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Heh, heh, heh

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... I have not installed it yet, but ...
You appear to be smiling now, Mark, like I was at your point in the tale.

Please let us know how big your smile is after you lay on your back drilling all those required mounting holes.

Tom
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:46 AM   #59
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Well, Tom, after I get my concrete pad poured I'm thinking of axles. Did you have to cut out portions of the belly pan to give you room to work? Just curious. Besides... a guy never knows when he'll need a reason to buy a pair of air nibblers.
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:12 AM   #60
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I purchased from Inland Picked up at Henshen with my own truck(luckier than most I guess) Installed myself. They fit perfectly. I just gave Andy my serial number and wala Axles oh I forgot one small item the check.
I pulled it (AS) up on blocks Tires and wheels off, Buzzed out the 4 bolts and two wires each axle and then reversed the process.Then on to the next axle.
In acutal time it took about 2 hrs. Minimum amount of tools is required and really not much labor. IT'S really a NO BRAINER .No cutting of belly pans Hemstead unless yours is way differnet than mine.
OH did I mention Im 70 yrs old. If I can do it ANYONE CAN.
ANY MORE QUESTIONS?
Feel free.
Roger
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