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Old 08-11-2008, 06:39 PM   #1
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1966 22' Safari
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Installing a new Dexter Axle

I would like to install my new Dexter axle myself. I have a single axle 1966 Safari. How do you balance this thing on a floor jack? With the brake drums and brakes on it wont sit anywhere near close to level. I saw a photo where they were hooking up the shocks first which holds up the brake drums and then jach to axle up. Is this how others do it? Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-11-2008, 06:49 PM   #2
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I used a floor jack and a 2x6 long enough to support the arms. Once the balance point is found you have control.
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:28 PM   #3
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DO NOT TRY TO BALANCE THE TRAILER ON A FLOOR JACK! You have to lay under the trailer to do this work. If you can't figure out how to support it with jack stands, take it to someone that has the right equipment. It's very hard to crawl out from under a colapsed trailer.
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:47 PM   #4
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I used a floor jack to lift the axle itself, and a small bottle jack under one of the trailing arms to lift the axle back to level, fore-and-aft.
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shacksman View Post
DO NOT TRY TO BALANCE THE TRAILER ON A FLOOR JACK! You have to lay under the trailer to do this work. If you can't figure out how to support it with jack stands, take it to someone that has the right equipment. It's very hard to crawl out from under a colapsed trailer.
Doug, the trailer is on 6 jack stands. I am trying to balance the torsion axle and lift it straight up into the notch.

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Old 08-11-2008, 08:50 PM   #6
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I would pull the unit up on a few 2x6s then lower the front down all the way, either use jack stands or cement blocks with a 2x 4 pad on top put them under the frame rails in the rear of unit not under bumper but as far rearward as you can then lift the front up as far as you can and do the same under that. You may have to use a floor jack under the front jack post, then support the front the same wayas rear. wiggle the unit once it is up to make sure it is sound and secure
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:53 PM   #7
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I might also consider using a landsacpe timber or 4x4 across the undercarriage on jack stands or cement blocks just to make sure it is stable. I dont know if you have kids or are you doing this in 1 day or will it be left out overnight. I think youall get what I am saying
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:33 PM   #8
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I used an motorcycle jack to get to axle up then a floor jack under one of the torsoin arms
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:12 PM   #9
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3 jacks

I used a floor jack with a 4x4 under the center of the axle and then a scissor jack under each hub. It will want to rotate, but just go slow, a buddy is good at this point as well. It really wasn't much of a big deal. Drilling the holes, I would suggest buying a bit at a decent tool store (not the big box) and get some oil on that bit, and it goes pretty quick.
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shacksman View Post
DO NOT TRY TO BALANCE THE TRAILER ON A FLOOR JACK!
The balance point I was referring to was that of the axles. Since the axles have a portion of their weight behind the center line of the axle tube they can not just be lifted at the center of the axle. By spanning between the 2 radius arms you can find a balance point for the axle and then use the floor jack to slide the axle in position then raise it as needed to pin the higher bolt on each side then jack against that bolt for the second bolts.

Do not rely on an electric tongue jack for support while under the trailer as they have been known to spin free. Place a solid jack forward at the tongue and one behind the axle along the frame on each side. These 3 points will insure your safety.

If you are using shocks install them on the upper stud before you postion the axle as there is not enough space to get them on that stud after the axle is in place.
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:12 PM   #11
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Try using one floor jack under each mounting plate.

D
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:11 PM   #12
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I know you're probably all finished with this project by now, but I just did two axle replacements this week...

I ran the axle assy under the trailer on a furniture platform dolly...I used a 2x4 across the dolly just the right length to fit under the frame brackets to keep the axle somewhat 'level'...

I then used a car jack under one end to raise the axle enough to get the rear bolt in place...left loose, but with the nut on the bolt.

I then went to the other side and did the same thing.

Now I could put the car jack under the axle beam in the center, and rotate the axle assy up into position where I could then insert the front bolts.

After all bolts were in place, I jacked one side up 'tight' against the frame and torqued both bolts.

I then did the same on the other side to insure the axle was now riding at it's 'loaded' position.

I bought new grade 8 bolts to install...they're a bit more cost than grade 5, but why not go for the strongest...

I of course mounted new shocks to the axle before rolling it under the frame. Once the axle is bolted to the frame, it's easy to attach the other end of the shocks to the frame stud mounting point.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:17 PM   #13
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Actually, I have not installed it yet. Chico hit 111 deg. A little further North in Redding Ca hit 117 deg. A new record. I haven't done much on the Safari in the last week. I did wrestle the axle out of the back of the truck by myself and ended up mashing up the axle nut cover. When I do jack this up into place I will not have any bolt holes to aline with so I will just jack it up hard to the frame and drill. Please keep up with the install pointers. Everything helps. I will post photos as I progress.
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Old 08-16-2008, 12:59 AM   #14
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Sorry...I missed that you have a 66 AS.... and have to drill new mounting holes...

You have the added burden of drilling the holes in the same spot on each side...measure twice and drill once as they say....

My axles are Henschen's, not Dexters, but I have the hub caps you mentioned that were damaged on yours...I installed Kodiak oil bath seals so don't need my stock caps...let me know if you want a couple, they are probably the same cap, as the hubs are probably the same...my axles are 3500 lb capacity units.

Send me a PM and I'll send them to you if you need em'.

Yeah, it's been hot down here in Stockton also, but I think you've got me beat! I had to park our AS on the East side of our building so I could work on the axle project in the afternoon when I had some shade...sprayed down the tarmac with water to help cool it down, too! Hot, hot...

Regards,
Ray
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Old 08-16-2008, 04:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexray View Post
Sorry...I missed that you have a 66 AS.... and have to drill new mounting holes...

You have the added burden of drilling the holes in the same spot on each side...measure twice and drill once as they say....

Regards,
Ray
Not true.

It doesn't matter where the holes are drilled, just so that there are 3 on each side, from a968 and older.

The square slots align the axles.

Andy
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:16 AM   #16
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Andy, the original axle only had two bolts. Does the Dexter need three for a reason?
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Old 08-16-2008, 12:43 PM   #17
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Not true.

It doesn't matter where the holes are drilled, just so that there are 3 on each side, from a968 and older.

The square slots align the axles.

Andy
Correction.

That year should say 1968 and older.

Andy
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Old 08-16-2008, 12:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumanutz View Post
Andy, the original axle only had two bolts. Does the Dexter need three for a reason?
I have no idea how many bolts must be used on a Dexter replacement for 1968 and older Airstreams.

Andy
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Old 08-16-2008, 01:53 PM   #19
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Two!

The Dexter mounts with two holes, as seen here:

http://i.b5z.net/i/u/1080235/f/Torfl...ation_4-04.pdf

I could not find a drawing on the GKN website to check that mounting bracket. I did however find this:

http://www.gknaxles.com/images/press...ER-MAY2008.pdf

Some pretty interesting reading!


Andy is correct about the square slots assuring alignment!

Best Regards,
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:07 PM   #20
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I don't wish to be a PITA but I am not getting the three bolts thing. Here are the photos of my original axle and the mount on the safari (1966). Did the factory mess up? I only have two. Anybody need an old axle or should I saw this bugger in half and post the pictures of the inside of this thing?

NUTZ
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