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Old 11-03-2012, 07:02 PM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
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What is this thing between the axles? (pix in post)

I dont think this part mounted between the axles is original. Wondering what it is used for and whether I would want to keep it when I replace the axles?

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Old 11-03-2012, 07:47 PM   #2
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i believe it is a flat tire detecter. An after market device to let you know you have a flat.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:52 PM   #3
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It looks like an aftermarket steering stabilizer (a shock absorber with a very long shaft) that normally goes between the front-end suspension and the chassis to reduce steering wheel movement when driving straight. If that is correct, the previous owner may have installed it to reduce minor axle-alignment twitches between the two axles. However, I have never before seen one of these installed in this application.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:19 PM   #4
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I am going to go way out on a limb. It's OK, I'm used to being here, and I brought along my saw.

If a steering stabilizer was mounted from the top of one shock to the top of the other, as it appears that device is, I believe it would, to some degree, tend to smooth out the ride. It would take some of the shock from the front axle bump and transfer it to the rear . When the rear tire hit the bump some of that shock would would transfer to the front. In effect, It would tend to change a thump thump into a single thuuuuump.

Feel free to not believe this theory, I'm not sure if I do.

Ken
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ag&Au View Post
I am going to go way out on a limb. It's OK, I'm used to being here, and I brought along my saw.

If a steering stabilizer was mounted from the top of one shock to the top of the other, as it appears that device is, I believe it would, to some degree, tend to smooth out the ride. It would take some of the shock from the front axle bump and transfer it to the rear . When the rear tire hit the bump some of that shock would would transfer to the front. In effect, It would tend to change a thump thump into a single thuuuuump.

Feel free to not believe this theory, I'm not sure if I do.

Ken
That's what it looks like to me as well, but I've never seen one before or heard of one, except I have it on this trailer. I think there is some sort of adjustment as well to tailor the length slightly which would push both shocks out or move them in. Can't say I really see the need for it though.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by aquinob View Post
That's what it looks like to me as well, but I've never seen one before or heard of one, except I have it on this trailer. I think there is some sort of adjustment as well to tailor the length slightly which would push both shocks out or move them in. Can't say I really see the need for it though.

Well. if nothing else, it would be a good conversation starter.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:51 PM   #7
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An Airstream came through the shop a few months ago with one of those things on it. At the front, there were two wires meant to go somewhere, but going nowhere.The consensus at the time was that it was a flat tire monitor.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:08 PM   #8
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An Airstream came through the shop a few months ago with one of those things on it. At the front, there were two wires meant to go somewhere, but going nowhere.The consensus at the time was that it was a flat tire monitor.
I can see how it would work as that, since a flat tire would lengthen it and probably open or close a switch inside. However that's boring compared to my theory.

Ken
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:57 PM   #9
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I can see how it would work as that, since a flat tire would lengthen it and probably open or close a switch inside. However that's boring compared to my theory.

Ken
I went out and looked through the tires and was able to read teletector on the label in the middle and some sort of instruction about setting it up when the trailer is level. A little google-ing and it let me back to some posts on this forum that talked about a system sold around 2002 to monitor flats. If you look at the picture, the rear part has a couple of wires coming out of it that I would guess is the switch to send the signal.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ctor-1255.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ctor-1339.html
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquinob View Post
I went out and looked through the tires and was able to read teletector on the label in the middle and some sort of instruction about setting it up when the trailer is level. A little google-ing and it let me back to some posts on this forum that talked about a system sold around 2002 to monitor flats. If you look at the picture, the rear part has a couple of wires coming out of it that I would guess is the switch to send the signal.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ctor-1255.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ctor-1339.html
Tire monitoring has come a long way in ten years.

Ken
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:06 PM   #11
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I have uploaded a couple of images, the cover from my 1984 Airstream Trailer Service Manual and page A-24, with the diagrams of the "FLAT TIRE DETECTOR." There is some text on installation, but the diagrams pretty well identify it.
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Click image for larger version

Name:	Service Manual Cover DSC03128.jpg
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Size:	196.1 KB
ID:	171999   Click image for larger version

Name:	Flat Tire Detector DSC03126.jpg
Views:	198
Size:	229.6 KB
ID:	172000  

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Old 11-04-2012, 02:42 AM   #12
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I have the manual for this flat detector if anybody wants it. I took mine off. The rear view mirror is going to tell me the same thing. When I have a flat the trailer will lean to that side. I don't need a dummy light to tell me I have a flat. I also don't need an expensive wireless tire pressure measurement system. None of this will prevent flats if you run ST tires.

Perry
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:53 AM   #13
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It is a device called a Teletector. My 91 Excella came off the line with one installed. They were also available as an aftermarket option as well. You are correct it is a low tire detection device. Mfd by the May Engineering Co. Money still works. I have the manual should anyone want a copy.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ag&Au View Post
I am going to go way out on a limb. It's OK, I'm used to being here, and I brought along my saw.

If a steering stabilizer was mounted from the top of one shock to the top of the other, as it appears that device is, I believe it would, to some degree, tend to smooth out the ride. It would take some of the shock from the front axle bump and transfer it to the rear . When the rear tire hit the bump some of that shock would would transfer to the front. In effect, It would tend to change a thump thump into a single thuuuuump.

Feel free to not believe this theory, I'm not sure if I do.

Ken
I guess it's time to saw off the limb I'm out on.

Ken

Wait a minute, maybe I should patent the new smoother ride device I just invented.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ag&Au View Post

Wait a minute, maybe I should patent the new smoother ride device I just invented.
It's already been done. The invention is called the torsion axle...
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:07 PM   #16
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The flat tire detector came installed on my 98 limited. I never hooked it up though. Needs a wire through to the cab of the truck to connect a light. Pat
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I have the manual for this flat detector if anybody wants it. I took mine off. The rear view mirror is going to tell me the same thing. When I have a flat the trailer will lean to that side. I don't need a dummy light to tell me I have a flat. I also don't need an expensive wireless tire pressure measurement system. None of this will prevent flats if you run ST tires.

Perry
You might want to rethink your comments about a TPMS system - mine also provides me with a pressure readout and temperature readout in a handy small wireless device about the size of a small cell phone. If a tire starts to lose pressure and gets low, an alarm will sound and I can get safely to a stop before the tire blows out. Before using a TPMS, I did have a blowout on an inside rear tire on my '94 LY diesel pusher. Besides the tire damage, the blowout also caused body damage over $2,000. The ST tires on my trailer are inflated to 80 psi - a blowout could cause mega bucks of damage, all of which could be avoided by using TireMinder Tire Pressure Monitoring System - Product - Camping World to warn me of a pressure or temperature deviating from the acceptable range.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:03 AM   #18
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Maybe I have always been lucky to see tires getting low before they fail. Everytime I stop while traveling I look and feel of the tires. I use 50psi car/truck radials that ride better and are better engineered than ST tires. If I full timed, I might think about the tire minder thing. 80 psi is a lot of stored energy. I won't run ST tires EVER. I would go to 16 inch truck tires before I would run and ST tire but I don't need anything over a D rating.

Perry
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:48 AM   #19
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Perry, you buy insurance for your home, car/truck and trailer hoping never to have to make a claim. A good TPMS is like insurance, except it has the ability to warn you ahead of time of an impending catastrophe, allowing you to to pull over to change the tire and avoid the cost. To me such a one-time $250 expenditure is worthwhile. As I said, I incurred this loss once - from which I learned my lesson. A wise man learns lessons from others' misfortunes.

As for tires, they are the only contact you have between your rig and the road, and I opt for the good tires rated for the application. I use load range E ST tires, and in the last year I've pulled my Excella 15,000 miles (Ottawa ON, to TX, NM, AZ, CA, NV, and back plus a quick 2,500 mile trip from home to northern Ontario) on a variety of roads and back roads. I won't compromise on safety and reliability. I'm not an engineer, so I go with what automotive engineers recommend - I had purchased my Excella & TV from a retired automotive engineer and I'm following along with his professional recommendations.

Safe travels.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:15 AM   #20
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Perry, you buy insurance for your home, car/truck and trailer hoping never to have to make a claim. A good TPMS is like insurance, except it has the ability to warn you ahead of time of an impending catastrophe, allowing you to to pull over to change the tire and avoid the cost. To me such a one-time $250 expenditure is worthwhile. As I said, I incurred this loss once - from which I learned my lesson. A wise man learns lessons from others' misfortunes.

As for tires, they are the only contact you have between your rig and the road, and I opt for the good tires rated for the application. I use load range E ST tires, and in the last year I've pulled my Excella 15,000 miles (Ottawa ON, to TX, NM, AZ, CA, NV, and back plus a quick 2,500 mile trip from home to northern Ontario) on a variety of roads and back roads. I won't compromise on safety and reliability. I'm not an engineer, so I go with what automotive engineers recommend - I had purchased my Excella & TV from a retired automotive engineer and I'm following along with his professional recommendations.

Safe travels.
I agree with what you say.

I have had one blowout in many years of towing. It was in a tandem axle Bigfoot TT. It caused some minor damage. Had it been an Airstream, the damage would have been more extensive. I had a slow leak in one tire. I was dealing with it by refilling it everyday. In retrospect I believe the cause was a nail or something similar in it. Whatever it was apparently finally came out, and the leak increased considerably. The tire finally disintegrated.

I believe two things would have saved me. One would have been having better judgment and getting the tire fixed instead of nursing it. The other is a TPMS so I could have known to change the tire when the leak increased. After this incident I decided that the TPMS would be much more reliable than me hoping to acquire better judgment at this late point in life. I am much more relaxed with that little box sitting there, than I would be counting on my judgment.

Ken
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