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Old 04-29-2005, 11:02 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas
I was told that welding on a duratorque-style axle was a definite no-no? How is this fella attaching his new brackets?

In case you're wondering I did an axle replacement on my old Minuet a few years ago, got it from Inland.
That is what I do not understand about the Henschen beign shipped with the brackets loose.
How in the world can you put the brackets on?
If you have "tabs" on it that ou bolt the brackets to I would not like the extra "bolts" holding my axle up.
If you weld to it that would just about turn the rubber cords to mush, wouldn't it?
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Old 04-29-2005, 11:54 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
That is what I do not understand about the Henschen beign shipped with the brackets loose.
How in the world can you put the brackets on?
If you have "tabs" on it that ou bolt the brackets to I would not like the extra "bolts" holding my axle up.
If you weld to it that would just about turn the rubber cords to mush, wouldn't it?
Welding on a torsion axle that is assembled (i.e.: rubber cords inserted) is a definite no-no. No matter how experienced the welder or fabricator is, some heat will be transferred through the spindle/torsion arm/inner bar assembly in to the rubber cords, this will compromise the rubber and could lead to some serious issues down the road. All welding must be completed (and allowed to cool) prior to assembling the torsion axle.
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Old 04-29-2005, 01:02 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axleman
Welding on a torsion axle that is assembled (i.e.: rubber cords inserted) is a definite no-no. No matter how experienced the welder or fabricator is, some heat will be transferred through the spindle/torsion arm/inner bar assembly in to the rubber cords, this will compromise the rubber and could lead to some serious issues down the road. All welding must be completed (and allowed to cool) prior to assembling the torsion axle.
Does that also mean that the rust preventive coating should be applied to all of the parts ahead of time as well?
Can an axle be "dipped" or painted after it is completely assembled with no harm to the components?
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Old 04-29-2005, 01:27 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
Does that also mean that the rust preventive coating should be applied to all of the parts ahead of time as well?
Can an axle be "dipped" or painted after it is completely assembled with no harm to the components?
Painting of the axle after assembly is OK, providing it is brushed or sprayed on. Care should be used around the “joint” where the inner bar slides into the torsion tube. The most temperamental part of the torsion axle is the rubber cords, don’t allow the paint (sprayed or brushed) to come into contact with the rubber. Dipping after assembly would be prohibited for the same reason.
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Old 04-29-2005, 02:05 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by axleman
Painting of the axle after assembly is OK, providing it is brushed or sprayed on. Care should be used around the “joint” where the inner bar slides into the torsion tube. The most temperamental part of the torsion axle is the rubber cords, don’t allow the paint (sprayed or brushed) to come into contact with the rubber. Dipping after assembly would be prohibited for the same reason.
Isn't the joint hermetically sealed to keep the rubber from breaking down?
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Old 04-29-2005, 02:35 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
Isn't the joint hermetically sealed to keep the rubber from breaking down?
There is no seal of any type, hermetically or other, to isolate the rubber cords. We have separated most axles available in the market place and found no axle manufacturer using a seal.
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Old 04-29-2005, 02:54 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axleman
There is no seal of any type, hermetically or other, to isolate the rubber cords. We have separated most axles available in the market place and found no axle manufacturer using a seal.
I just went out and looked and that is a complete myth.
No one "seals" the axle.
I visited the top two manufacturers websites and nowhere does it say they seal the axle.
I have learned something interesting and the myth can be laid to rest.
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Old 04-29-2005, 05:34 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
Dave,
Henry and I spoke regarding the tri-axle set-up.
It would be better for him to explain it to you so give him a call. He is definitely the Axle Master!

Thanks, Lou!

You still ROCK!
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Old 04-29-2005, 05:56 PM   #69
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Almost done!

Well, I got some more pictures from Henry today!
They are finishing up the shock mount brackets and will be welding them on soon. Then it will be dipped and ready to go!
Henry and Axis Products will get my business on the Argosy 20 when it is time to do that one.
I am pleased to see that there is someone out there that is willing to see that we are a niche market that has a need for a quality axle at a very competitve price. I am very pleased with the level of service that I have received from Axis Products.
From Henry coming in on a Sunday to take my trailer right up to this point where he is putting a rush on things to get it buttoned up and back to me quickly.
I looked at the axle on a 25 foot 1978 Airstream and the bracket it identical to mine. Other than the axle being longer and I am sure it is rated for more weight and it is longer, they are almost identical.
I am very pleased with the level of service I have received. I hope that my axle has paved the way for Axis Products to be able to supply us all with an off-the-shelf bolt-on solution.
No more loose brackets in a bag! Bolt it on and GO!
Take a look at the chock mount bracket in the pictures. Then go out and look at yours. I will bet you they are really close!
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Old 04-29-2005, 06:15 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coriolis1
Thanks, Lou!

You still ROCK!
I do, but the Minuet won't!
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Old 04-29-2005, 08:09 PM   #71
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WOW .... Lou, this is comming along great ... looks like they are almost done ...
your ready to go camping I bet...
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Old 04-30-2005, 08:01 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loudruff
Lou,
According to the 1977 spec sheet, the old axle was rated for 3270 lbs. We chose to go with a 3500 lb. replacement. Axle cost was $290. Brackets $40. Taxes $27.18. What we liked about this axle was the ability to change the drop angle to increase the ride height or adjust for wear and age over the next 30??? years. (haha! we hope!) It also has the ability to be adjusted for weight rating according to the chart, by trimming the rubber block. But 3500# was the standard.
The 5200# axle was quoted at $465. Note the prices were quoted in 2003.
BTW fully loaded new backing plates were $66.95 each.

Larry
Larry,
Did you install the axle yourself at that price?
That seems like a good deal, even for 2003 prices.
I have been told that the rubber blocks you used are pretty expensive. That is one heck of a good price.
Did you have to pay any extra for the brackets to be welded, labor, etc..?
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Old 04-30-2005, 08:02 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by gotair2
WOW .... Lou, this is comming along great ... looks like they are almost done ...
your ready to go camping I bet...
Nope.
I am just gonna park it in the driveway and snap off pictures of it and e-mail them to you!
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Old 04-30-2005, 09:49 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
Larry,
Did you install the axle yourself at that price?
That seems like a good deal, even for 2003 prices.
I have been told that the rubber blocks you used are pretty expensive. That is one heck of a good price.
Did you have to pay any extra for the brackets to be welded, labor, etc..?
Lou,
I did the installation myself. The trailer mounting brackets were welded on by the manufacturer, and the whole thing was painted yellow before I picked it up. I cut the old shock brackets off and welded them to the new spindle assembly myself. Since my axle end is splined I didn't have to worry about welding anywhere near the rubber inserts. Rather than polish my axle I painted it black! On the Argosy, we don't polish!
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Old 04-30-2005, 10:09 AM   #75
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My input on the Axle subject.

I have gone through the axel change out on a 1977 Minuet. I think I was the last straw for pre-welded shock mounts on replacement axles from Henschen.
I have watched this thread with some interest because I thought to myself that I really got the shaft from "The axel people" due to the price I had paid for mine.
In retrospect The price I paid compaired to what I have seen with this axel project was not too out of line. Yes this way was cheaper. Was it the best way to go? For me, I'm not too sure.
My axle came with a custom drop angle, which could have been done here, however I had the voice of experiance guideing me in my purchase and I'm sure glad I listened. I am happy with the extra ground clearance. Maybe not everyones cup of tea, but it was good for me.
The new axle was rated at 3600lbs a little more than the old axle and I'm happy for that. Give me a couple hundred extra pounds of carrying capacity and it is not so hard that it hurts the trailer frame.
I ordered mine with bigger brakes. 12" drums vs. 10" drums, this makes all the difference in the world as to axle shaft reliability. I did not measure the old shaft weldment points, but it appears the old shaft had a diameter of about 1 1/4" at the weld point to the swing arm. The new axle had a shaft appears to be about 2 1/4" diameter at the weld point. Side by side I thought to myself that this difference was huge. It also gave me much larger bearings. I don't think you could twist this shaft off, if you tried.
With the bigger brakes and axle shaft also came an arm with with the same center to center diminsions but twice the size of the stock one, much more sprug weight but also much stronger.
More to the point, the new heavier duty Henschen axle I recieved, gave me a peace of mind that was worth every cent I paid for it.
In one of the earlier post someone was talking about welding the shock mounts to the arms, and I don't agree with the conclusion that was made.
They had said "it would damage the torsion rubber".
I have done it and the heat tranfered to the torsion rubber is nill. The mass of the arm is so big the arc does not heat it enough so that you can even feel it on the oposite side of the arm. As a matter of fact you can paint the weld about 5 minutes or less after welding because it disapates the heat that fast, not a problem at all.
The subject of the shock mounts, I feel that by haveing to weld the mounts on, I was able to do a better job of placement.
I mounted the axle into place and placed a floor jack under the arm and jacked it up and down a few times and by doing this I figured out the best placement of the shock bracket for the best shock geometry. The stock placement is not the best placement. It is the easiest for manufacturing purposes. I was able to take advantage of placment to get the best angle and largest travel out of the shock. I feel the shock will have more travel before it bottoms out - that should be better.
I'm not saying that my experiance was the way to do it, I think it is just one way to do it. I hope I have given people some things to think about when they replace their axle.
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Old 04-30-2005, 10:46 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet's Husband
I have gone through the axel change out on a 1977 Minuet. I think I was the last straw for pre-welded shock mounts on replacement axles from Henschen.
I have watched this thread with some interest because I thought to myself that I really got the shaft from "The axel people" due to the price I had paid for mine.
In retrospect The price I paid compaired to what I have seen with this axel project was not too out of line. Yes this way was cheaper. Was it the best way to go? For me, I'm not too sure.
My axle came with a custom drop angle, which could have been done here, however I had the voice of experiance guideing me in my purchase and I'm sure glad I listened. I am happy with the extra ground clearance. Maybe not everyones cup of tea, but it was good for me.
The new axle was rated at 3600lbs a little more than the old axle and I'm happy for that. Give me a couple hundred extra pounds of carrying capacity and it is not so hard that it hurts the trailer frame.
I ordered mine with bigger brakes. 12" drums vs. 10" drums, this makes all the difference in the world as to axle shaft reliability. I did not measure the old shaft weldment points, but it appears the old shaft had a diameter of about 1 1/4" at the weld point to the swing arm. The new axle had a shaft appears to be about 2 1/4" diameter at the weld point. Side by side I thought to myself that this difference was huge. It also gave me much larger bearings. I don't think you could twist this shaft off, if you tried.
With the bigger brakes and axle shaft also came an arm with with the same center to center diminsions but twice the size of the stock one, much more sprug weight but also much stronger.
More to the point, the new heavier duty Henschen axle I recieved, gave me a peace of mind that was worth every cent I paid for it.
In one of the earlier post someone was talking about welding the shock mounts to the arms, and I don't agree with the conclusion that was made.
They had said "it would damage the torsion rubber".
I have done it and the heat tranfered to the torsion rubber is nill. The mass of the arm is so big the arc does not heat it enough so that you can even feel it on the oposite side of the arm. As a matter of fact you can paint the weld about 5 minutes or less after welding because it disapates the heat that fast, not a problem at all.
The subject of the shock mounts, I feel that by haveing to weld the mounts on, I was able to do a better job of placement.
I mounted the axle into place and placed a floor jack under the arm and jacked it up and down a few times and by doing this I figured out the best placement of the shock bracket for the best shock geometry. The stock placement is not the best placement. It is the easiest for manufacturing purposes. I was able to take advantage of placment to get the best angle and largest travel out of the shock. I feel the shock will not have more travel be for it bottoms out that should be better.
I'm not saying that my experiance was the way to do it, I think it is just one way to do it. I hope I have given people some things to think about when they replace their axle.
That is pretty much the same thing I am having done on mine.
My shock mount brackets are being welded on as well. There really is no way to mount them other than welding. As for the welding on the axle. I am pretty sure they were talking about the mounting bracket not the shock bracket. Plus, if the shock bracket is welded on before the axle assembly then the bracket, arm and weld can be e-coated which makes it much better at resisting rust. I would rather have the whole axle e-coated, bracket and all then having totreat the ends of the axle with POR-15. There is no work for me then. It is all sealed up nice and clean.
As for the experience, torsion axles have been made by several companies for over 40 years. There really is no rocket sicence to it. As a matter of fact, the mounting bracket is an industry-standard bracket. Axis Products had it in stock. The mounting holes are perfect.
I could have gone with more angle. I didn't want it. It would have cost me nothing extra to go with more.
12" brakes will give you a little more of some things but of the 4 Airstreams and Argosys I have owned I have never had a problem with 10".
My axle will be 3,500#. More than enough to handle what I will ask from it.
Aixs Products builds axles. I like the fact that I had no middleman to go through. If I have a problem with the axle I deal directly through them.
It is no secret that you have one place to go to for your Henschen axle. Three years ago I watched the price of the Henschen go from $450 plus shipping to $800 plus shipping literally overnight. I don't have a problem with someone making a profit but there is a breaking point that I cannot justify.
I know the Henschen is a good quality axle. I am sure that I will get at least 20 years out of mine for less than half the price.
There are tons of trailer places out there that will fit a new Dexter or Al-Ko on an Airstream product for $800 installed.
Bottom line - if the Henschen would be sold for half the price I would have a Henschen underneath my Minuet right now. There would be no hesitation. When competition is brought into the equation then the price of the Henschen would come down. When there is only one supplier then there is a monopoly.
Now there will be a supplier that has remanufactured the old Henschen and has redesigned the shock bracket. It is a simple thing to know how the shock bracket should be modified for any angle once you know where it should be mounted for one angle. It is simple math from there. I am sure that Axis Products will now be able to supply any angle with the proper position of the shock bracket without ever seeing the trailer or the axle. The positioning of the shock bracket will depend upon the angle. It is not a mystery as to how to position a shock bracket knowing the angle of the drop and the length of the shock. It becomes really easy from that point.
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Old 04-30-2005, 12:04 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet's Husband
In one of the earlier post someone was talking about welding the shock mounts to the arms, and I don't agree with the conclusion that was made.
They had said "it would damage the torsion rubber".
I have done it and the heat tranfered to the torsion rubber is nill. The mass of the arm is so big the arc does not heat it enough so that you can even feel it on the oposite side of the arm. As a matter of fact you can paint the weld about 5 minutes or less after welding because it disapates the heat that fast, not a problem at all.
Perhaps what I should have said is “it could damage the rubber cords”. As a general rule or practice Axis Products does all welding on a torsion axle prior to assembly. You see a lot of time, engineering, development and research have gone into formulating the “proper” recipe for the rubber cords. You are correct that the large torsion arm dissipates heat quickly, you are also right that you may have been successful. However there is no way, to my knowledge, to inspect the rubber once the axle is assembled. Thus we simply don’t want to chance the integrity of the cords. After all they not only act as a shock absorber internally and provide the independent suspension, they also hold the axle together after assembly.
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Old 04-30-2005, 07:52 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axleman
Perhaps what I should have said is “it could damage the rubber cords”. As a general rule or practice Axis Products does all welding on a torsion axle prior to assembly. You see a lot of time, engineering, development and research have gone into formulating the “proper” recipe for the rubber cords. You are correct that the large torsion arm dissipates heat quickly, you are also right that you may have been successful. However there is no way, to my knowledge, to inspect the rubber once the axle is assembled. Thus we simply don’t want to chance the integrity of the cords. After all they not only act as a shock absorber internally and provide the independent suspension, they also hold the axle together after assembly.
No heat for me, please.
No sense in taking chances.
On a side note, I should be picking up the Argosy this coming week!
It should ride a heck of a lot better!
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Old 04-30-2005, 07:57 PM   #79
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Shock Mount

Last Wednesday While Looking At Some Trailers ( Not Airstream )
I Noticed That The Single Axle 20 Foot That I Was Looking Over Did Have Rubber Torsion (sp) Type Of Axle And Didn't Have Any Shocks Just Noticed And Was Thinking.... Hum,,,what Does It Realy Do... On This Type Of Axel ...do We Realy Need It
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Old 05-01-2005, 12:50 AM   #80
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Please keep this in mind when considering your axle replacement!

When you do decide to replace your axle be certain of the original weight rating of the trailer as well as the axle.
Right now there is a lawsuit that has been filed against a dealer for installing an axle that was rated for nearly twice of what the trailer was rated for.
The trailer was literally shaken apart.
The axle manufacturer and one competitor had said that the trailer should have never been equipped with such a large axle.
It cost the owners nearly $5,000 to make it all right when it was all said and done.
This was not using an Axis Products axle. It was using a competitor's axle.

BE CAREFUL SIZING YOUR AXLE!
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