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Old 04-06-2006, 11:23 AM   #21
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something I've noticed while futsing around with the welding shop is the difference between the old Henschen wheel mount and drum, versus the new Axis. You can see in the photos that the space between the brake plate bracket and the swing arm in on the Henschen allows one to install/remove the nuts on the plate bolts.

No such room on the Axis. It appears that the bolts were put into the plate, then the plate and mount were inserted into the swing arm and welded. I doubt you could ever break one of these bolts, but if you did you'd have to be very clever to replace the ones that are right up against the swing arm. Hmmmm......

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Part of the clearance problem is due to the increased depth of the new drum, plus the fact that I requested the axle to be 3/8" shorter on each end. Can't wait to get this beast installed to see if there are any other possible gotchas. Ooh, looking at the photos is appears that Axis might have been able to shorten the square axle tube and lengthen the brake plate support post to achieve the same total drum face to drum face length, but still get brake plate bolt clearance.
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Old 04-06-2006, 04:14 PM   #22
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When it comes time to replace the brakes and the desire is to do a fully loaded brake replacement, someone is gonna be cursing a lot because of that clearence issue.

BTW I replaced the shocks on my Overlander with out dropping the axle. As I recall, one side was rather easy. The other was somewhat of an interferrence fit. Still worked out with little bending.

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Old 04-06-2006, 08:11 PM   #23
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Uh... hold the phone...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
Dropped the axle and took some comparative photos--yes, the shock bracket is backwards on the new axle, but I could have done a better job on the drawing. As it turns out, I'm going to cut off the old brackets and re-use them.
If Axis inadvertently welded the shock brackets on backwards, shouldn't they be making it right, rather than you applying heat and potentially voiding the warranty, as Henry suggests?
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:43 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coriolis1
If Axis inadvertently welded the shock brackets on backwards, shouldn't they be making it right, rather than you applying heat and potentially voiding the warranty, as Henry suggests?
Probably, but I see this as a cooperative experiment. By time I'm done, I'll be able to spec an Axis axle perfectly (I've four more to go). Besides, I've decided I want the bracket placed totally differently in order to achieve a vertical installation, so Axis didn't have a chance to do it right (you can wrap this logic any way you want). And I don't have time to ship it back. I need to depart next week on a long business trip and I HATE thinking about spending a month in a hotel.

The real reason I'm not too worried is that if I've got to ship the axle back to Axis to get the warranty satisfied, the round trip is 2/3 the cost of a new axle--why bother unless they did something that actually made me mad? Plus, I am confident that the heat transfer from the solid casting-to the "spike"-to the rubber will be controllable with a wet rag. In my pre-order conversations with Axis, the salesman (Chad) indicated they were willing to send the bracket to me separately so I could put it on where I liked. Doesn't sound to me like they are concerned about this.
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:10 PM   #25
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Axis Axle Order

I'm trying to order new Axis axles for my 71 31" Soveriegn. I am struggling with a few questions and would appreciate any input.

1. Should I spec two 4000lb axles or greater?
2. Should I spec 22.5 degress down angle or 45 degrees? ( will this help rearend drag that much or will it make the trailer top heavy in a turn?)
3. Should I select camber ? Should camber be 3/4" positive?
4. Should I get the spindle zerk fitting option? or will this just lead to overlube and ruined brake shoes?
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Old 04-07-2006, 02:10 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevisgardne
I'm trying to order new Axis axles for my 71 31" Soveriegn. I am struggling with a few questions and would appreciate any input.

1. Should I spec two 4000lb axles or greater?
Can you weigh it? I went to the local gardening/rock supply and they had no problem giving me a weight for free. I don't think your trailer weighs 8,000lbs, at least not on the axles. It turns out the axle and drums weigh about 280 lbs, so you have subtract the part that is unsprung (drums, brakes, half the swing arm), about half, times two axles. So whatever weight you get, the sprung weight is about 300 lbs less. Then add in water and other stuff you'd normally travel with, if it wasn't aboard when you got the weight. Now divide that by 2 and add 100 lbs or so. I bet you wind up around 3,700 lbs for each axle. You don't want to make it higher than needed because it makes the ride harder, which stresses the trailer, especially increasing the rear end separation problem--a bigger problem the longer your trailer, and 31' is the longest on 2 axles.

Are you considering disc brakes? If so, I think Axis puts 10" discs on axles less than 4,000 lbs and 12" at 4,000 and above. I think 10" are more than adequate, so I wouldn't get a stiff axle just to get bigger discs. I am going to do discs on my Sovereigh and Exella (27' and 31').

Quote:
2. Should I spec 22.5 degress down angle or 45 degrees? ( will this help rearend drag that much or will it make the trailer top heavy in a turn?)
I considered 45 degrees and decided to stick with the 22.5. Yes, it will raise you up about 2" more, but I suspect you have an almost flat axle now, so it will really take you up a total of 4" from where you are now. You entry step height will be high, for one thing. I'd like to hear from anyone who has done this.

Quote:
3. Should I select camber ? Should camber be 3/4" positive?
Yes, your current axle is cambered (you can see the slight bend in the middle of the square axle tube in your existing axles). I don't know aobut the 3/4" positive--there was no setpoint offered on my order form.

Quote:
4. Should I get the spindle zerk fitting option? or will this just lead to overlube and ruined brake shoes?
I didn't. I have the same concern and I like to check the brakes fairly often, which gives you an excuse to lube the bearings anyway.
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:14 PM   #27
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slight delay due to weather...

Good morning, Andy. Wish I had your So Cal weather here for a few days (without the rain, I guess). The Colorado spring has reared it's ugly head, but it's supposed to be spring again tomorrow and nearly summer by Sunday! Love it here.

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I did get out this morning in the snow to meet the welder. The shock brackets are on just about exactly where I wanted them (about 1hr 20 minutes and $65). From the looks of the bracket in the photo, I could have easily slid it another inch aft and put the shock in almost true vertical--see new drawing later. I have to agree with Andy, there is a lot of learning and spec'ing to do if you order an Axis axle. I guess the experiment continues!

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Per Andy's remarks about quality and alignment, I'll be making a trip of about 2600 miles over a month period, right after I get this thing installed. Perhaps I will be able to tell something from tire wear, etc. Report to follow. Gen Dissary, how're your Axis axle(s) performing?
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:24 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
Good morning, Andy. Wish I had your So Cal weather here for a few days (without the rain, I guess). The Colorado spring has reared it's ugly head, but it's supposed to be spring again tomorrow and nearly summer by Sunday! Love it here.
Slide on down the hill. By the time you make it here, it should be sunny and 90. That's the prediction for Sunday.

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Old 04-07-2006, 03:42 PM   #29
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Zeppelinium

Compare the axle mounting brackets from the original axle to the Axis replacement.

One of the mounting holes should be round, not oval.

Two oval holes can in time, permit movement of the axle, since the bolts could slide up or down. The only thing that will hold the axle in place is the amount of foot pounds you use to keep the bolts/washers from moving, if your lucky.

Also replacemnt axles should be installed with grade "8" hardware.
Andy
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:31 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
...mounting brackets ...
One of the mounting holes should be round, not oval.

Two oval holes can in time, permit movement of the axle, since the bolts could slide up or down. The only thing that will hold the axle in place is the amount of foot pounds you use...
Andy, that is a concern.

I was thinking that once I got the durn thing up on the frame, I'd (1) see if the slots are precisely located relative to the existing frame holes and (2) once the bolts are in, put a small steel plate with a 5/8" hole over the bolt, then weld it to the bracket. That would provide a precisely located mounting hole on the axle and eliminate the potential for the axle to torque up and down. Photos to follow, of course.

I know quite a few others have installed this vendor's axle and been satisfied. On the other hand, one of our frequent posters has said he's had about a 70% problem rate with the ones he's installed. I thought I'd document everything and let members reach their own conclusions. I hink the lack of head space for the brake plate bolts is the only realy problem I've encountered so far, and you'd have to break a bolt for the problem to materialize (not likely).

Progress report: first coat of POR 15 is on and my hands look like I repack bearings for a living and don't wash. Oh well, what's a couple weeks of black fingernails?

Thanks, Roger
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Old 04-10-2006, 10:48 AM   #31
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Axis Axles

Trevisgarne,
I have a set of Axis axles for my 76 31" . I ordered the following 2) 3700# axles with the high Profile mount which will raise your trailer 2" to help the tail drag issue. 22.5 degree down angle. The axles were cambered and did have the spindle zerk option. I also speced the 5200# stub axle with the 12" kodiak disk brakes.
I have had them installed and have used the trailer quite a bit for the last six months and I am very happy with the setup I have. If I can help at all let me know.
Mike B
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevisgardne
I'm trying to order new Axis axles for my 71 31" Soveriegn. I am struggling with a few questions and would appreciate any input.

1. Should I spec two 4000lb axles or greater?
2. Should I spec 22.5 degress down angle or 45 degrees? ( will this help rearend drag that much or will it make the trailer top heavy in a turn?)
3. Should I select camber ? Should camber be 3/4" positive?
4. Should I get the spindle zerk fitting option? or will this just lead to overlube and ruined brake shoes?
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:19 PM   #32
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For those of you that have replaced your axles , can you tell me what the total up and down travel measures with the wheels and tires on . Thanks
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:07 PM   #33
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for a swing arm axle with a 6" radius (my Axis, for example, and others are within 1/2"), the total up motion from no load (axle in the 22.5 degree down position) to what I think is the maximum up position (approximately 5 degrees positive) is 2.84".

Because the wheel is swinging on an arc, it also moves back 0.5" as it moves up.

For vintage trailers, the axle is usually sitting near zero degrees, so it doesn't move much at all. Once I get the axle installed on my Caravel, I'll be very interested in its "at rest" loaded angle. I'll post that along with all the other promised data.

My shock mount (see drawing in previous post) will increase that radius (for the shock only--wheel isn't affected) to 8.75" and a corresponding shock movement of 4.5" (very near the maximum 555003 shock capability). The nifty outcome of this vertical shock installation design is that if the axle compresses a little over the years (for instance, the no load position is 15 degrees down), the Monroe 555002 shock will fit the reduced space perfectly.
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:04 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticki2
For those of you that have replaced your axles , can you tell me what the total up and down travel measures with the wheels and tires on . Thanks
If you want the no load/full load/ shock load height dimensions, you can find them on the Dexter axle site.
The dimensions are for six inch arms. Be sure you use the correct weight axle as they show several different sizes. They also show the dimensions with various tire sizes.

http://i.b5z.net/i/u/1080235/f/6-8K%...0_res_2-05.pdf
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:20 AM   #35
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Right on!

Markdoane is correct - Dexter has a fantastic web site full of technical information. Additionally, they are the largest manufacturer of trailer axles in the USA!

Regards,
Henry
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Old 04-11-2006, 02:52 PM   #36
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Zep , Mark , and Axleman , thanks for the reply. When I was changing tires I took some measurements and here is what I came up with . Trailer in zig , 2800# original axles, front axle wheels up on blocks with full weight , rear axle hanging free with wheel on . Front wheel rim to underside of fender = 2 1/2" . Rear wheel rim to underside of fender 5 1/2" . Trailer with both wheels on the ground , top of rim to underside of fender = 4". After checking out the Dexter site it looks like my axles are right about at spec , what do you think .
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:56 PM   #37
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Tiki2,

Very clever way to estimate axle condition! I'll do that on my Ovelander and Excella, but couldn't on the Caravel, for obvious reasons.

Well, from normal load, at 4" down, to double load, at 2-1/2" down, gives you 1-1/2" movement for what I would think would be normal bumps. Your axles probably will boing up (technical term for axle reaction to a bump/force) a little higher under the force of a nasty pothole, maybe 2" (2" down), maybe 2-1/2" (1-1/2" down) total travel. I don't know if that's enough, but it's certainly not a dead axle.
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:26 PM   #38
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Will Storing on Jackstands do Any Good?

From another thread:
I got a great answer on process and liftpoints, but no theory on using jackstands now on a 30 year old trailer.

Is it worthwhile to store your Airstream on jackstands to take the weight off tires, wheel bearings and axles?

If so, where should you postion hydraulic jack and jackstands?

How do my axles look?

If axles are already "tired," can you retard their loss of torsion or will you hasten it by using jackstands at the end of their service life expectancy?

Roger, I look forward to seeing you at the RMVAC '06 rally to talk axles.

Ken

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Old 04-12-2006, 10:27 PM   #39
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Hello to everyone here,I have read over these posts here about all your axle problems .First I sure hope that zeppelinium put some saftey stands under that trailer before working on that axle removal .I didnt see any and that jack holding it up while sitting on a dirt area ! come on you guys we dont need any deaths here. It is not necessary to throw away leaf spring axles if your leaf springs are old and sagging. Don,t rebuild the springs a waste of time. you can have new ones built for you by your local spring shop if you have one.Check around or get info on where there is a reputable place to build new ones,Eaton detroit spring is a good one. I dont see how it is easier to throw it all away, special order an axis axle complete, make a cutout in the frame , put it in holes need to be drilled make sure that the axle is" square" in the frame ,find out your shock brackets are on backwards ,pay for a welder to come out and fix them ,put on the upper shock bolt both sides , or find out you cannot unbolt the backing plate to change the brake assembly because the clearance is wrong .I have also seen on the forums that even the mounting plates are not placed right be it axis ,or dexter both have done it wrong ,and to top it all off you may have to send it back to have it fixed right and pay partial shipping!!!! That 350 dollars doesnt seem like a deal to me. I compiled this posting from what I have read right hear on the forums. If you go overboard on the tension of the torsion axle it most certtainly will be rough on the trailer unless the upgrade will be with a heavier loaded coach . If you anticipate heavier traveling loads than the standard axle provides then yes I would say upgrade. The shock absorber is there to absorb the rebound effect of the tire and wheel after jolts on the road ,It will help in the trailer not getting pounded under rough roads . Some say no ? ride down a rough road in the trailer without the shocks and see if its bouncy . Take the shocks off your tow vehical and drive it around . It is the rebound effect that needs to be smoothed out. Ill keep my hadco axle and the new springs on my trdwnd .Inland andy is pretty sharp and I would buy the henchen that bolts right in without all these problems to sort out.I wouldnt hit him too hard on the head to prove this and that .

scott
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Old 04-12-2006, 11:36 PM   #40
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Ken,

I'll attempt to help you out.

If the torsion axle you have is worn out. IE the rubber in the axle has taken a set and the trailer sits lower than it would when the axles were new. Then not much you can do to reverse it. Setting it up on jack stands for a long period of time may do nothing because the rubber has already taken a set. With a 30 year old trailer you could do a 30 year experiment and let us all know in 2035 what you came up with by jacking up the trailer and letting the axles hang. This has not been done to my knowledge.

Based on your pic your axles do not look too bad for being 30 years old. The tire is still visable above the top of the rim.

For storage if you wish, (and I do this) is store the trailer on jack stands. The way I do this is using 4 jack stands and all 4 stabilizers and the electric front trailer jack. The tires still touch the ground, however most of the weight is off the axles. I raise the trailer with the stabilizers and the front jack. Install the stands on the frame rail near the axles and drop the trailer on the stands and leave some weight on the stabilizer jacks and front jack. So when I am done the trailer is supported by 4 jack stands, 4 stabilizers, 4 tires and the front jack when it sits unused. It sits higher than if on the tires alone.

And for what it's worth I do need axles on my dual axle set up. However my trailer is not a pretty thing. Didn't pay big bucks for it. I do not have anything inside that is of high value. And I take it mostly to MX every year to see the ocean. So replacing the axles is not high on my to do list. And my to do list is so very long, it will be a long time before I get to the axles.

Your trailer looks nice from what I see.

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