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Old 04-22-2020, 01:20 PM   #1
Steamgauge
 
1966 24' Tradewind
Bonney Lake , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 18
Vertical shock mounts

Now that the rain has mostly stopped in the Pacific Northwest I finally had the opportunity to test fit new axles for the '66 Tradewind 24. I bought the axles from Inland RV, they came complete with brakes/shocks and mounts on the trailing arm for the shocks. I made the cutouts bigger the axle went up with no problem. Which is when the problems started. The mounting brackets are exactly opposite of the holes already in the frame. Not a problem I just have to drill all new holes.



The real problem is the vertical shock mounts, the travel from center to center of the studs is 10 1/2" which is inside the dimensions set by Inland. The problem is the trailing arm stop welded to the frame. As you can see from the picture the shock will not mount unless I cut the stops off. The only option is to mount the shocks horizontally which will involve more drilling and put the shocks in a location not originally intended.


I sent pictures to Inland, they asked for more pictures than I originally sent which I did but have not heard back in over a week. I went back through thirteen years of posts and only found one picture showing the same set up as mine but that lucky person had no interference with the axle trailing arm stop.


Anyone have an informed opinion?
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Old 04-22-2020, 02:15 PM   #2
3 Rivet Member
 
Paradise , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 202
Your torsion axle is now set up for horizontal, or lay down shocks.

Being a torsion axle, you now also have the option of leaving the shocks off all together


Or, pay about 250 to have a mobile welder come out to you to change the shock mount on the axle arm
(Estimating 60ish per hour and 4 hour minimum)
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:06 AM   #3
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1963 24' Tradewind
Morton , Illinois
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 2
Vertical vs. Laydown Shocks

I'm having this exact same issue. I understand that the newer torsion axles and shock mounts are currently set up for laydown shocks but I have a few questions.

-From what I understand the new Dura-Torque axles technically do not require shocks but they arguably create a smoother ride. So, I wanted to install shocks will these axles work with vertically mounted shocks or is it necessary to convert them to lay down shocks? I have some engineer family members who DO NOT want to change the orientation of the shock mounts despite the installation instructions from InlandRV.

-If vertical shocks are compatible with the new axles will the Airstream-specific laydown shocks (I understand that there is a special bladder in these shocks??) I ordered work or should I use automotive shocks designed for a vertical orientation?

-If vertical shocks will work can I keep the shock mounts as is? This will alter the shock-angle from the original angle by ~10-15 degrees

-What is that triangular piece on the frame? If the shock can be installed on the exsisitng mounts, the only issue is that piece. that piece touches the mounting bolt on the axle. I think is that it is a "bumpstop" (not sure if that is the term for it but that is the term I will use for now) that serves as a failsafe and prevents the torsion arm from overextension thus preventing the tires from hitting the wheel well. Is that correct?

-IF that is correct can the bumpstop simply be ground off and moved along the same angle (slightly higher and to the rear) to allow room for the shocks to be installed vertically on the existing mounting bracket while still preventing overextention of the torision arm? Do I even need it or can I just grind it off (as SteamGauge asks)? Do I need to weld it back in or could I use a bolt to serve as a bumpstop instead? could I weld in with my flux welder or do I need to hire a mobile welder?

Sorry I hope all that makes sense.
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:11 PM   #4
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1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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The axle does not care ho the shock is mounted.

With that said a vertical designed shock will not work in a horizontal position.
And the reverse may be true as well.

This is because of internal valving and the nature of gravity on the fluid inside a shock.

If you have a choice, go with a vertical mounted shock. Mostly because they are common and less expensive to replace.

A horizontal shock is a rare thing and can only be obtained through Air Stream and the dealer net work.

Airstream went to a horizontal shock to save space in the coach. And like I stated earlier the axle doesn't care. 1966 was one of the last years (if not the last year) for verticle mounted shocks. After that point shocks were mounted horizontally or as you state lay down

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Old 08-01-2021, 06:20 PM   #5
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1963 24' Tradewind
Morton , Illinois
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Action View Post
The axle does not care ho the shock is mounted.

With that said a vertical designed shock will not work in a horizontal position.
And the reverse may be true as well.

This is because of internal valving and the nature of gravity on the fluid inside a shock.

If you have a choice, go with a vertical mounted shock. Mostly because they are common and less expensive to replace.

A horizontal shock is a rare thing and can only be obtained through Air Stream and the dealer net work.

Airstream went to a horizontal shock to save space in the coach. And like I stated earlier the axle doesn't care. 1966 was one of the last years (if not the last year) for verticle mounted shocks. After that point shocks were mounted horizontally or as you state lay down

Action

Thanks so much for the quick reply!!! I have a few more questions and I actually made a YouTube video and a PPT to more clearly explain the issue and the debate so I'll just tack that on here for fun....

1) I actually already have TWO sets of Airstream-specific horizontal shocks and a set of spare mounting brackets (I ordered one set of shocks and was charged for two by mistake. and I thought my axle came without brackets so I ordered them separately). I would just go ahead and install them as instructed, but I am getting significant pushback from the engineer family members on changing the orientation of the shocks as prescribed. It seems to be an issue of fear of the unknown and a distrust of "somebody trying to sell an axle" rather than a specific reason. They are also suggesting that I "take the old and new axle to a welder and have him "make the new one look like the old one" but there are several differences in axles beyond the mounting bracket position (torsion arm length, span between wheel and torsion arm, length of axle, etc.) and I think that it is overkill and there is significant risk of error.

2) I am perfectly fine with buying a third set of shocks for the vertical mount. Given that the axle doesn't care, I just want to do what is easiest and cheapest. If I don't have to hire a welder, the cost of the shocks is a bargain in the time and money department.

3) THIS IS THE ISSUE that will determine how I can move forward: Can I remove and/or move the bumpstop? It is in the way with the new mounting bracket position. The engineer family members say I can't move it because "it is there for a reason" but I think, if I am correct about its function, it can be moved along the same line so the new bracket isn't touching it and it will still get the job done. I have to cut it off for the horizontal orientation, and I don't think it is need AT ALL in that set up. I also proposed a compromise solution to keep the bracket vertical where we just keep the brackets as they are and move the stop. It changes the angle of the shock slightly. I don't know if the angle change is significant but I think the margin of error might be lowest on this one and I could get it done on my own and the engineers might be more comfortable with this than the horizontal mount. Just throwing out options.....

YouTube explainer video:
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Old 08-03-2021, 03:50 PM   #6
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1966 26' Overlander
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I might get flack for this, I think you can cut off the bump stop and not reinstall one.

A bump stop on a leaf spring or coil spring suspension controls the suspension from going too far.

In a torsion spring axle the movement of the square rod inside the square tube with the 4 rubber rods physically limits the twist of the square rod attached to the torsion arm. Meaning that arm is never going to go past a certain point.

If possible you might look at later versions of the system to see if a bump stop is even there. I sold my 66 some time ago and I do not recall a bump stop even being there.

Action
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Old 08-03-2021, 03:53 PM   #7
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https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...tail&FORM=VIRE

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Old 08-03-2021, 04:03 PM   #8
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1966 26' Overlander
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One last comment from me and I will fade away.

I would not be excited about moving suspension parts. Not that they won't work. Changing angles and mountings changes the pressure or torque applied to these parts. There are formulas and things to measure about those changes that an engineer would calculate. Those calculation are beyond me as I can only count to ten and I am not taking off my shoes.

If you are comfortable with moving things around and getting those things welded securely, then go for it. These axles are not rocket science. And they have been around for 60 years on the Airstream product. And as far as I know, Airstream is the only company that uses shocks. Dexter is like why would you put shocks on our axles?
Airstream wants the softer ride. So Airstream does as Airstream does. Dexter is like we will build you anything as long as you pay for it. Airstream does and trailers have shocks

Good luck

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Old 08-03-2021, 07:25 PM   #9
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1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
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OK so when changing from vertical shocks to "lay down" shocks with a new axle some changes have to be made .

1.Cut off the bump stop , it's no longer needed .

2. Install a frame mount shock pin . ( see pic's )

3. Make mod's for the new axle to bolt up to the frame .

I ordered my axles from Inland with the shock mounts installed on the axle . The axles were a direct fit for my '69 so I had no mod's to make .

The following pic's are of my '69 Trade Wind and this is what you are going to have to do to mount the "lay down" shocks with the new axle , BTW install the shock on the axle bracket before installing the axle .( See Pic . )
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