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Old 01-14-2018, 07:42 AM   #1
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1956 26' Cruiser/Overlander
1961 28' Ambassador
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Need recommendation for Axle purchase/install in Central, TX

I’m searching for a place near Austin to have the axle replaced on my ‘56 Overlander.

3 years ago, I was on my first restore. Never finished I tried to go the “economical” route and found a guy on Craigslist to do most of the restore. I paid/advanced over 24k or “half down,” only to have my trailer damaged en route (the guy picked it up and hauled it to his shop, and wrecked it) and then the trailer sat for months and months on his lot, etc. I ended up trading the 22’ Flying Cloud for a delivery vehicle for my Pharmacy, and just a few days ago, I sold my other trailer, a 34’ Excella so that I would have money to complete my 1956 Overlander restore.
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Regarding axles, I want the trailer lifted so that I do. It drag the tail end when pulling into gas station. And while I am going to tackle much of the labor of this project, myself, I think it wise for me to have a third party install the axle so at the very least, I know that my trailer is level

I’m not opposed to leaf springs, but I feel torsion axles are the more popular choice. So please comment on that also.

Thanks for the help, in advance!

Rowdy
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:30 AM   #2
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Leaf springs are what came with the trailer brand new. You could change to a torsion axle. However the installer will have to do some significant modification. And you would have a customized trailer.

There are spring shops everywhere. Getting new leaf springs installed should be easy and less expensive than customizing it.

Airstream did not install torsion axles until the early 1960s.

>>>>>>Action
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:32 AM   #3
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I found this shop on the internet.

http://www.atlasspringservice.com/

Call them and interview them.

>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:00 AM   #4
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Your experience with the first "trailer-restoration" shop sounds a lot like the guy down in Johnson City who had several dozen Airstreams and clones in his shop for years with a lot of owners held-in-abeyance having already given him "deposits". After a decade of this one of the owners got fed up and filed charges with the sherriff who, when looking into the matter, discovered the guy was actually operating under a false identity and was a felon wanted in other states for child pornography and abuse.
His shop is now vacant and I have no idea where all those trailers went but the owners doubtless were left holding-the-bag.
I suggest you look toward a large trailer mfr'r or repair shop for an axle changeout. It's not necessary they be RV-related. Houston has several, and Magnum Trailers in North Austin on Research Blvd might be a good place to start. If they can't/won't do that kind of work, they doubtless have clients who will they can recommend.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:37 AM   #5
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2001 30' Classic S/O
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I'd start with Camper Clinics in Buda.

John
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:43 AM   #6
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Hello

if you are doing the labor yourself contact Redneck trailer supply in Arlington. They can get you a new axle and new leaf springs. You can save a few bucks by having the leaf springs re-arched. Dexter axles are about the best you can get and Redneck is a Dexter rep. The best way to do that is remove the axle and leaf springs and take it to Redneck and let them make all the measurements for the width and hookups.

You can raise the trailer by putting the axle under the leaf springs instead of on top of them. That should lift the trailer about 3 to 6 inches depending on the thickness of the axle and leaf springs.

IMO, by no means would I convert to the torsion axle system. Leaf springs are just as good if not better.

Good Luck
MC
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:57 AM   #7
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Any reputable trailer dealer with a service shop can do it. It’s a simple job if you stay with leafs and put the axle under the leaf you will gain height. Torqflex axles won’t gainyou as much height as a leaf job. Just be sure to match the leafs to your max Liad capacity and don’t go heavier. You’ll beat it to death with too stiff springs.
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:46 AM   #8
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North Dallas RV replaced and upgraded our axles. We also changed to 16" tires. Dexter worked with North Dallas RV to get the right ones. We were pleased with their work, and all has been good since.

We've also had good service from Camper Clinic II in Buda.

73/gus
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Old 01-14-2018, 12:13 PM   #9
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I have used Southwest Wheel in San Antonio to replace my wheel bearings. They are a Dexter distributor. Labor rate is $75/hr. I think they have a location in Austin.

http://www.swgooseneck.net/
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:44 PM   #10
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I had my axles replaced by Woltman's Welding in Brenham TX. We travel all the way from Baton Rouge, La to have these done based on multiple reccomendations From the Vintage Air Stream Club. Their recc's were right on. Woltmans are very professional, knowledgable, prompt and reasonably priced. i strongly recc them.
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Old 01-14-2018, 03:15 PM   #11
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Be sure to check customer reviews before you decide.
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:28 PM   #12
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Try https://www.apvintagetrailerworks.com/ a VAC member.

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Old 01-15-2018, 02:59 PM   #13
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FWIW, I have had leaf springs break, but never a failure of torsion axles in 48 years of towing TTs.
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Old 01-15-2018, 06:43 PM   #14
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1966 26' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guskmg View Post
FWIW, I have had leaf springs break, but never a failure of torsion axles in 48 years of towing TTs.
guskmg
The definition of a failed rubber torsion axle:

Any rubber torsion axle that is 25 years old.

>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action View Post
The definition of a failed rubber torsion axle:

Any rubber torsion axle that is 25 years old.

>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
Not true. A simple test: Walk the length of your torsion-axle trailer and jump up and down. If the axle rebounds...(i.e., is "bouncey"..l)... it's fine...as long as the trailing link is also still at proper angle.

Do NOT assume or fall for the belief that all trailing links should point downward or descend. That is also untrue. A number of axles are designed with level and even upward-angled trailing axle links. To know what your axle angle shoujld be... read the datatag and go to the mfr's website and see what angles were specified. Example: The 22' Sport/Safari Airstreams have a level axle link by design, brand new. They are NOT failed.
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:09 PM   #16
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Dallas , Arkansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
Your experience with the first "trailer-restoration" shop sounds a lot like the guy down in Johnson City who had several dozen Airstreams and clones in his shop for years with a lot of owners held-in-abeyance having already given him "deposits". After a decade of this one of the owners got fed up and filed charges with the sherriff who, when looking into the matter, discovered the guy was actually operating under a false identity and was a felon wanted in other states for child pornography and abuse.
His shop is now vacant and I have no idea where all those trailers went but the owners doubtless were left holding-the-bag.
I suggest you look toward a large trailer mfr'r or repair shop for an axle changeout. It's not necessary they be RV-related. Houston has several, and Magnum Trailers in North Austin on Research Blvd might be a good place to start. If they can't/won't do that kind of work, they doubtless have clients who will they can recommend.
Wow, I noticed that shop closed down, but I had no idea it was that sketchy.
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:12 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by gklott View Post
North Dallas RV replaced and upgraded our axles. We also changed to 16" tires. Dexter worked with North Dallas RV to get the right ones. We were pleased with their work, and all has been good since.

We've also had good service from Camper Clinic II in Buda.

73/gus
Do you know if North Dallas RV does shell off restorations of the chassis? I just bought an 81 Excella II and there's a fair amount of rust on the tongue, axles, and brakes.
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:15 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by leere68 View Post
Do you know if North Dallas RV does shell off restorations of the chassis? I just bought an 81 Excella II and there's a fair amount of rust on the tongue, axles, and brakes.
Last time there, we saw a couple of older Airstreams undergoing major restoration. Recommend calling to discuss. They worked closely with us to schedule and get our work done right.

73/gus
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:41 AM   #19
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1956 26' Cruiser/Overlander
1961 28' Ambassador
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Austin , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtauzin View Post
I have used Southwest Wheel in San Antonio to replace my wheel bearings. They are a Dexter distributor. Labor rate is $75/hr. I think they have a location in Austin.

http://www.swgooseneck.net/

Trent, at Dexter, connected me with Bob Farmer at Southwest Wheel in San Antonio. I was going to order direct from Dexter but I’ll save money ordering through SW Wheel...

I also talked to Woltmann’s in Brenham, and have visited with AP Trailers in Dallas. Thanks for all the recommendations.

All 3 places were super friendly and knowledgeable.

I was planning on driving the trailer to one of them and dropping it but I ended up cutting the springs and dropping the axle myself; I got impatient So now, I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Can anyone advise on a resource to get outriggers? Can I use a piece of angle iron, or do I need to use the traditional outrigger shape?
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:43 AM   #20
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1956 26' Cruiser/Overlander
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Is there any reason to bump up to 16 inch tires? Or should I stick with 15?
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