Changed out main door rubber seal with part from Out-of-Doors Mart. First removed old, cracked rubber seal with razor blade, steel wire brush and finally a nylon bristle brush.
With the door open against the trailer, I started on the bottom trailing edge of the door and worked my way up and over without stretching the material at all. The bottom is sealed with a cut piece once you've done the upper part of the door in a continuous run. Note that the old seal on the 1974 Ambassador was under the hinges - this is not the case with the new seal.
With a bit of help from Andy at Inland RV, we completed the axle replacement on Ohana this week. All the appropriate numbers from the original Henschel axles were provided to Inland to try and get the replacements manufactured to match the original specification. With two scrappy men, working in the parking lot of a well-equipped race shop, this was a five hour job, wheels off, to wheels on.
Just a couple of notes on this:
REPLACEMENT AXLES MAY HAVE WIDER O.D. SQUARE TUBING THAN ORIGINALS - CUTTING REQUIRED!!! New Dexter axles square tubing was about 3/16" wider O.D. than the originals, requiring the use of a plasma cutter on the original axle bracket opening. We widened it up roughly 1/8" fore and aft of the axle, grinding and then treating the surface prior to jacking the new axles into place.
The new Dexter axles were an exact match to the Henshel originals when measured from inside the curbside mounting bracket to the streetside mounting bracket. PERFECT!
MOUNTING HOLES A BIT OFF... The axles are secured to the original factory (tandem) axle bracket by two graded bolts per wheel. These bolts, washers and nuts are provided with the new axles. Unfortunately, no matter how we cheated the axles fore and aft, the bolt holes on the new axles didn't quite match up. We decided to favor the aft hole, which is really a vertical slot, for all four mounts, in order to keep the axles consistently aligned from a fore / aft standpoint. Once these rear slots were mated to the tandem axle bracket, it was necessary to use the plasma cutter again on the forward axle bracket holes to notch that vertical slot. This unfortunate extra work (and slop) could be avoided if the purchaser were asked to provide Inland / Dexter with one additional measurement: DISTANCE, MEASURED ON CENTER, FROM BOLT-TO-BOLT ON THE ORIGINAL (TANDEM) AXLE BRACKET. A quarter inch matters.
SHOCK MOUNT BRACKETS MUST BE WELDED ONTO TORSION ARMS... Inland (and I suspect others) ship the shock mount brackets and mounting hardware separately, requiring that the installer weld on the new shock mounts. Thankfully, Inland takes the time to pre-weld the studs to the brackets. BE AWARE that you or your installer will be required to weld these shock mount brackets to the axle torsion arms. We measured, inside-to-inside (67-7/8", in my case) the distance from shock bracket to shock bracket on the original Henschels and matched that on the new Dexter axles. Once we'd found a good compromise that would put the two brackets equidistant from each other on their respective torsion arms, we tacked the end of each bracket and double checked the measurement against the originals. The metal thickness of the torsion arms seems to be thicker where it flares out on the circular ends, and welding changes as you would expect as you get toward the thicker metal. Unless you break the hubs off, you will not likely be able to access the outside of the bracket to filet there. We only welded up the inside filet and it won't likely ever come off. After all, we all know these shocks do nothing anyway.
CONNECTING ELECTRIC BRAKES... Ohana has a "Romex" type of 12AWG(?) "Trailer Brake Wire" that penetrates the belly pan near each hub. These were just long enough to make to the new Dexter axles, utilizing butt crimp connectors. We slipped heat-shrink (1/4"-1/8") tubing onto each wire to try and keep water and dirt out of the connections for as long as possible. The two wires that come on the Dexter replacements are both white, neither of which is striped. We made the trailer's white wire to the top wire on the hubs and the trailer's black wire to the bottom wire on the hubs.
Thanks to Andy for everything he does. He is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge and his counsel is much appreciated. From date of order to pick-up at a local shop was about three weeks. The hardware from Inland arrived in less than five days. Nice!!!
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