The axle and disc bake job is complete on my 1976 31' Sovereign
. The entire process from removing the old axles to the first test drive took 3 days. Removing the old axles and installing the new ones only took about 3 hours. Had a couple of bolts that were really hard to remove but they finally broke free. The main tools needed that I had to gather up ahead of time are a couple of bottle jacks, a floor jack, jack stands, air wrench/compressor, furniture dollies (rented from U-haul), assorted box end wrenches/sockets and a 1/2" 18' socket breaker bar came in handy on those tough bolts. If anyone within driving distance to the Houston area is planning an axle replacement don't go out and buy this things, you can borrow them from me. Just come pick them up and bring them back.
The new Henschen axles fit right in the same spot that the old ones came out of and bolted right in. It does not get any easier than this. Once the bolts are out the old axles are lowered with the floor jack. The new ones are lifted in place with the floor jack as well. Put in the new bolts and you are done. The old axles were shot. The torsion arm was frozen in the level position on both axles. No drop at all when I jacked up the trailer and in this condition you can see how rough the ride was. In the end, the height of my trailer increased almost 3" with the new axles.
The time consuming part was installing the disc brakes, running the brake lines, installing and wiring the actuator. Once all of that was done the final steps were to bleed the brakes and reinstall the wheels, plus install the new P-3 brake controller.
No real problems in the entire process with 2 helpers . The main concern was wiring the actuator back through the connection box at the inside of the trailer. This looked like a birds nest with many different colored wires. Plus working with 3 sets of wiring colors and standards you have to make sure the right wire is connected to the right point. The instructions from Actibrake references their 5 wires connecting to color coded wires in the current universal 7 way connector standard. But the standard was different back in 1976 so the position of the wires, purpose and color was different. Since you can't go by colors you need to trace the actual wire to the right source. I am glad I have the 1976 service manual that had good illustrations on the connections. In the end the right connections were made and the actuator powered on when the break away pin was pulled. After installing the P-3 controller it also checked out as well
The 1st test drive was great. I adjusted the new P-3 brake controller at and empty parking lot down the street from me based on the instructions that came with the unit. Everything checked out so I took off over some city streets and high ways with various road conditions and stops and turns. The first thing I noticed was the braking with the disc brakes. Unbelievable response, smooth as silk. The ride was also very noticeably better. No hard bouncing up and down from riding on the old locked axles. I left a plastic box sitting on the kitchen counter and it was still there after the drive. I am very pleased with the Henschen axles and Kodiak disc brakes. Thanks everyone for your responses and help during the project. Also for thanks to Andy and Greg at Inland RV for helping with my order and answering all of my questions. Great service.
Rather than post individual pictures I have attached a pdf file with install pictures. I can post any individual pictures if needed.
1976 31' Sovereign
new Henschen Axles and Kodiak disc brakes