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Old 05-03-2006, 01:45 AM   #101
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Straight shooters and the like....

Hello all -

I consider this forum to be nearly all 'striaght shooters' when it comes to help, advice and assistance.

There is however 'rough waters ahead' the minute $'s get introduced to the equation. It is NO different in any other phase of life however.... Still one would like to think that ASin, and AirStreamForums is different.

Au Contrair!

Whenever I see a $ motive, I immediately get sensative to 'BS' and the like.... And there is plenty to 'dis' like....

I have had terrific advice, help, photos, assistance, offers of help, warnings and plenty more from folks that have 'no dog in this fight', no financial gain or any other obvious motive - other than to help with something I or others have asked about.

For all of them, I am thankful and say a HEARTY "Thanks"!

For the others that have motives, financial or otherwise, I also say "Thanks, but a qualified one" - very qualified. Not that that info is less valid, correct or otherwise instructive - I just have to filter to understand it clearly.

A few thoughts. Anyone want to add anything?

Axel
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Old 05-03-2006, 09:15 AM   #102
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Good advice!

Jim & Axel,

That's good advice. Enough said!

Regards,
Henry
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:45 PM   #103
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removing the drums

Help! This axle uses a new method of retaining the castellated nut. Instead of a cotter pin, there is a flat spot on the spindle with what looks like a tabbed piece of metal stuck in and bent over, with one tab through the castellations (photos to follow). Anyone know the proper method of removing this? It looks like you just pull it straight out.

I assume that any parts place has replacement tabs?
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:55 PM   #104
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If it is what I think it is the nut has a metal piece that fits over it. And it is bend into the flat area after the nut is tightened to the proper spec. Reuse of the metal piece is discouraged.

So having a supply of them is a need.

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Old 05-17-2006, 06:07 AM   #105
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Tang Washer!

Hey Zep,

It's called a tang washer. This is used with the safe-t-lube spindle option. Very inexpensive and easy to replace. Your spindle is ported to add grease to the bearings, thus a cotter pin (if used) would go through this port.

I would replace!

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Henry
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Old 05-17-2006, 09:41 PM   #106
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much news, so probably several posts.

first, I got the Centramatics. I was surprised to see that there were two different types. The one with the offset is to allow for disc brake caliper clearance. Either style fits nicely inside my 15" X 7 alloy wheels, even with two layers of weights on the inner surface (the other wheel had three layers, but I had the mechanic move the third layer). Three layers was just too close, although it may have barely fit (no contact between Centramatic and wheel is allowed--I interpret that to be "or anything on the wheel"). The Centramatics can go on the hub "face out" or "face in". I think this might be important if you have steel wheels, but the alloys all seem to have the right depression of "spokes" that allow plenty of room.

What's the down side. Well, none.

Except for me, that is. Remember my axle was manufactured for a lower weight rating than needed, so the the swing arms are up a couple of degrees? This put the shock near its upper limit, so I ordered the 555002 (about 2" shorter) to make sure the shocks didn't bottom out if the axle did. I only intended to use these shorter shocks until I got back to Colorado from Vegas. When I got home, I discovered the shorter shock didn't allow the swing arm to swing all the way down, so I had interference when trying to remove the wheel--had to pull the wheel off, then the wheel got caught on the top of the Centramatic, so had to hold the wheel up a little and wiggle the Centramatic off the studs. Not a big deal, just an aggravation. This won't happen with the normal shock, since the arm will swing down far enough to allow easy removal of the wheel.

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Old 05-17-2006, 10:17 PM   #107
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I dissassembled the axle in preparation to return it, to correct the weight problem. As part of this, I had to opportunity to check the bearing grease. The wheels on this axle ran significantly warmer than my truck wheels, even though all wheels supported very nearly the same load. I estimate the truck wheels were running around 95 degrees and the trailer wheels something less than 30 degrees warmer. At one point, I jacked up the trailer and readjusted both brakes to ensure they weren't dragging. After this, the temperatures remained warmer (but not hot--I could put my hand on the wheel, even though I wanted to move it after about 5 seconds).

The bearings were adequately packed (I was afraid that they lacked sufficient grease, since putting too much grease in through the safe-T-lube fitting could force grease into the drum and ruin the brakes--being too careful on that aspect and not putting in enough grease could result in hot bearings), although I wouldn't call them fully packed--maybe 75% packed. But that wouldn't cause the temperature to rise, IMHO. Some of you smart suspension persons might want to comment on this. Thanks.

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Here's a shot of the disk retention system that replaces the cotter pin in a safe-T-lube spindle.

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A comment on the safe-T-lube: I have alloy wheels, which have a cone in the center that covers the spindle. This requires that I remove the wheel in order to get to the grease fitting. Heck, once I have the wheel off, it's not that big a deal to go ahead and remove the hub and pack the bearings by hand. When combined with the risk of forcing too much grease into the hub via the grease fitting and forcing grease past the seal, ruining the brakes. So I think if you have alloy wheels, take a pass on the safe-T-lube.

One thing that surprised me is that the swing arms didn't return back to a 22.5 degree down "no-load" position. You can see from the photos that the no load angle was about 18 degrees down. On the other hand, they appear perfectly symetrical.

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So, the bottom line is, Axis missed the weight bearing spec somewhat, but everything else appears to be perfectly matched--the loaded angles, the run-in no load angles, the temperatures--all were matched side-to-side.
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Old 05-18-2006, 12:42 AM   #108
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A Big Thank You for all of the detail!

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Old 05-18-2006, 08:19 AM   #109
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Quote:
=Zeppelinium
A comment on the safe-T-lube: I have alloy wheels, which have a cone in the center that covers the spindle. This requires that I remove the wheel in order to get to the grease fitting. Heck, once I have the wheel off, it's not that big a deal to go ahead and remove the hub and pack the bearings by hand. When combined with the risk of forcing too much grease into the hub via the grease fitting and forcing grease past the seal, ruining the brakes. So I think if you have alloy wheels, take a pass on the safe-T-lube.
Hey Zep,

Nice detail man!

Just my two cents, most wheel manufacturers offer an open center cap to be used in conjunction with the safe-t-lube option.

The option is very popular, about 65% of Axis customers order the feature. That does not indicate what you should do - simply what the masses prefer.

Regards,
Henry

PS: Nice detail man!
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:42 AM   #110
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Torsion arms.

Torsion arms should always return to their starting point, unless they are many many years old.

If they do not, especially when relatively new, when all the weight has been removed, that would suggest that the rubber rods have already taken a set.

If the rubber rods have already taken a set, then it would be very prudent to monitor that condition, very frequently.

Andy
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Old 05-20-2006, 03:01 PM   #111
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Axis no longer making Airstream Axles!!!

I was in the final planning stages of ordering a new Axis axel for my '71 Caravel ironically when we got this email:
As of 5/19/06, Axis Products will no longer take orders for Airstream
axles. Because Airstream axles come in many unusual configurations and
require many different custom components, we simply cannot continue
providing these specialty axles. We will continue to provide standard
leaf-spring and torsion axles. Please feel free to contact our sales
staff if you believe the standard axle configurations may work for your
application. We at Axis Apologize for any inconvenience and wish you all
well.

Sincerely,

Chad Backert
Sales Manager
Axis Products
Guess we finally drove them crazy, or the old Airstreams did. This is a sad thing, as the less choices we have the worse it sure is.
Zepp, i hope everything with your axle turns out good and you can ride off into the countryside with probably the last Axis custom axle ever made. (I assume they are still finishing yours????)
Seeing as we have the same trailer, I have been following closely and really hoped to just order "I'll have what he's having" style at the end of it all. I will have to look to another maker but will eager wait to hear your outcome and advice.
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Old 05-20-2006, 03:45 PM   #112
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Hey Zepp, can you tell me your/our wheel bolt pattern? I am 3000 miles away from my girl and can't find the info.
I'm going to be bringing her new wheels and tires as a gift for the tow home.
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Old 05-20-2006, 08:22 PM   #113
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All three of mine have 6-lugs on 5-1/2" diameter (not three wheels, of course, but three trailers and 10 wheels, but I wasn't sure someone of your youth would get it).

I think that's pretty standard for the 71-75 years (maybe more) for all models.

So how bad is it being over 30? Have they given you your soylent green ticket yet? Or maybe you just don't feel trusted (jees, I hope you get that one)?
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:03 PM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium

So how bad is it being over 30? Have they given you your soylent green ticket yet? Or maybe you just don't feel trusted (jees, I hope you get that one)?
(in my best Phil Hartman impression of Charlton Heston) "it's made out of peeeeeopllle! It's PEEEEOPLLLLE!!!"
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:00 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
So how bad is it being over 30?
I'm doing pretty good, haven't had to redo my floorboards yet.
Quote:
Have they given you your soylent green ticket yet? Or maybe you just don't feel trusted (jees, I hope you get that one)?
I'm not even sure I trust myself now
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Old 05-21-2006, 09:29 PM   #116
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I received my axles from Axis this week. I put them on yesterday by myself everything fit perfect I couldn't have wanted them to fit any better. I hated to see that they no longer make axles for our trailers. I hope my axles were not the ones that made them decide to quit building axles for us.
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Old 05-21-2006, 10:05 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by wol
I received my axles from Axis this week. I put them on yesterday by myself everything fit perfect I couldn't have wanted them to fit any better. I hated to see that they no longer make axles for our trailers. I hope my axles were not the ones that made them decide to quit building axles for us.
Care to share the exact description and specifications that you provided Axix, just in case they can be prevailed upon to build another set?
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:06 AM   #118
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hello, all you great readers of this thread!

Don't despair, yet. I am confident that we can devise a "standard" axle for the 69-75 years that would satisfy Axis. Let's let this rest for a couple of weeks and wait until I get my "repaired" axle back and see how it works. I can say that the service has been great so far, even if the axle didn't bear the specified load. All the other parameters were dead on. The axle went into the frame perfectly, just like WOL's.

I'm not trying to exclude other year groups, but I believe that if we get together and develop three or four "standards", we can help ourselves and Axis--they've got to be losing money on these onesy-twoseys and we're spending way to much time fretting over the right measurements. We can solve those mutual problems with a little patience.

If anyone wants to see the order sheet I sent to Axis, PM me and I'll send you the Excel file.
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Old 05-22-2006, 08:21 PM   #119
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I shipped Axis one of my axles and had them build me two axles like the one I shipped them.
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Old 05-23-2006, 03:32 AM   #120
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i for one would be really into and help i could add to getting a standard together for Axis to use. It might be too late for me, since i need something now. Still a great idea.
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