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Old 04-28-2003, 11:11 AM   #1
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1973 23' Safari
1997 25' Safari
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Restoring Torsion Arm/Axle Resiliency

My recently purchased 1973 23' Safari only has about 5/8 inch clearance between the front of the right front tire and the wheel well as a result of longterm storage/improper loading. It leans to the right about 2 inches. Is there a way to restore the torsion arm/axel resiliency? It has been suggested that the trailer be jacked up to allow both wheels on the right side to be suspended allowing the torsion memory to be restored. Any Suggestions?
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Old 04-28-2003, 12:04 PM   #2
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Open the wallet wide

R,

The amount of tire that shows above the rim to the edge of the wheel well is how much? (Not measuring on the front of the tire, measuring at the top of the rim.)

My guess is it's time for axle replacement. - However, maybe towing the trailer for a distance many times. Bounce it up and down? Jack it up and set it so the tires hang. All of these suggestions are free. -

And what you are attempting to do is take out the SET the rubber torsion springs have taken over many years. Not an easy task since it took years for this to occur in the first place. My guess is in the long run, axle replacement is the only lasting fix.

Let us know what happens. And a pic would be even better.

>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 04-28-2003, 03:35 PM   #3
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Re: Torsion bar/axel

Thanks Action- After talking with Andy at Inland RV I have decided to replace the "axles' which is what I figured I would have to do. Then I've got new brakes etc. and the angle of the new torsion bar will be at 35 degrees allowing much improved ground clearance. P.S. the wheel well, top outside, was even with the top of the rim. Looking at the diagram for a Dura-Torque axle provided with Inland RV's part description, my torsion bar is at a positive angle which indicates replacement is in order.
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Old 04-28-2003, 04:12 PM   #4
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R,

I defer to the title of my reply.

And you will have a nice unit when you are done.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 10-02-2009, 02:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadanswer View Post
Thanks Action- After talking with Andy at Inland RV I have decided to replace the "axles' which is what I figured I would have to do. Then I've got new brakes etc. and the angle of the new torsion bar will be at 35 degrees allowing much improved ground clearance. P.S. the wheel well, top outside, was even with the top of the rim. Looking at the diagram for a Dura-Torque axle provided with Inland RV's part description, my torsion bar is at a positive angle which indicates replacement is in order.

actually that would be negative.
Rich
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Old 10-02-2009, 02:25 AM   #6
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wow I just looked at how old this was.
sorry.........
R
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:18 AM   #7
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wow I just looked at how old this was.
sorry.........
R
Strangely enough, even though the person that started this thread hasn't posted again since they made the two posts above, they were on the forums as recently as this past March. So they're still around, albeit infrequently, and information, unless it is hopelessly out-of-date, is still of benefit.
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Old 10-10-2009, 06:56 PM   #8
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Ha, 2003 to 2009 and still no way to fix the damn things. $600.00 'cause of 8 pieces of rubber!
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:52 PM   #9
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Tires on a tow vehicle, at least $600.00, and only for "4".

It's not really the cost of the rubber, it's the cost of getting the correct rubber, in the correct place.

Andy
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:09 AM   #10
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At one time one supplier actually would rework the axles by replacing the rubbers for $100. They do not do it anymore. It is our American way of being efficient by making everything a disposable, even if only a small portion of the product is defective. We throw away the good metal axle parts because the rubber has gotten old. We throw away complete computers because a transistor goes bad or the product becomes out dated. It is more cost effective to buy a new computer rather, than upgrade the old one.
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:41 AM   #11
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We throw away the good metal axle parts because the rubber has gotten old.
Good comment.

According to Henschen, the steel in the "old" axles sent in, was "NOT" always in good shape.

They state that the metal tube, internally, many times, was found to have an adequate amount of rust, that in their opinion, jeopardized the strength of the square tube. That in itself, creates a huge liability, if they reworked the axle, and for any reason, the tube failed.

The causes of the rust were numerous, including being near salt water for years.

Today, older Airstream's, have become a "gotta have one" for many people, most of which have fun doing a rebuild. Who knows how many different owners were involved over the course of years, or what they did with the trailer.

Therefore it became difficult for Henschen to call someone and inform them that the inner tube, in their opinion, was not in satisfactory condition, to allow them to replace the rubber rods. They state that the conversations would go "on and on" with the disappointed owner, who now was stuck with freight as well, since the old axle could not be rebuilt.

Law suits being what they are today, dictated to Henschen, to "discontinue" the axle rebuild program, which they did, several years ago.

Henschen is a manufacturer, and, as such, removed themselves from being a "rebuilder".

Henschen's, largest customers, by far, have been the agricultural industries. Airstream, was a very small percentage of their sales, even during the "heydays".

The decisions a manufacturer, of most anything, must make, is not always appealing with consumers, especially when the question of liability, is at the top of the question list.

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Old 10-11-2009, 08:58 AM   #12
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Thats excatly the answers I got when I asked the question when I picked up my new axles at Henshen Last yr. It all comes down to the reworking company's liability. Because of the Ambulance chasin Lawyers out there and those that will sue for Rain Drops fallin' on their head,if they could.
So they just don't do it any more. ANDY's answer is Correct
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:40 AM   #13
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Will 61 year old tortion axles break

Need to tow a 28’ unit from Maine to. Maryland 8 hours. I worried if it will make the trip.
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:51 AM   #14
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Welcome Aboard 👍

Yes, it will make the trip....on smooth roads, under 60.😏
Tires, bearings, lights & hitch more important.👍

FWIW...we towed our 63 Safari 20k before we even knew we had an axle 'problem'. Newbies...😂

Bob
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Old 06-08-2018, 06:01 AM   #15
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. . . and lightly loaded . . . on smooth roads like Interstate highways.

61 means the AS is a ‘57 or so? You might also want to check that the structure is sound for all suspension components. If the main frame pieces are very rusty and pitted, they would be the weak links in the chain.

Good luck and please update us after the trip.

Peter

PS welcome to the forum!
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Old 06-08-2018, 06:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregG88 View Post
Need to tow a 28’ unit from Maine to. Maryland 8 hours. I worried if it will make the trip.
A 61 year old Airstream didn't come with torsion axles. Make sure the tires, brakes, and wheel bearings are in goo shape, and tow the trailer.
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