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-   -   How many leaves in a leaf-spring axle??? (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f437/how-many-leaves-in-a-leaf-spring-axle-24983.html)

1959newbie 08-04-2006 01:23 PM

How many leaves in a leaf-spring axle???
 
For those of you with late 1950's-early 1960's trailers which had/still have original axles & springs: I'm replacing mine, trying to match original equipment. One side of my trailer has 7 leaves, one has 5. I've been trying to find pics of others, think I counted 10 leaves on someone's.

So, how many are there supposed to be?!? And shouldn't both sides match?

Thanks.

markdoane 08-04-2006 01:47 PM

Lynne,

The number of leaves should be the same. I can't imagine why they would be different.

My Tradewind single axle came with seven, and now has eight. I assume your Overlander is also a single axle?

Regardless how the springs are configured, they should have the same width, thickness, length, and number of leaves.

ZoomZoom 08-04-2006 03:34 PM

Springs
 
What is the distance from eye to eye? How tall is the spring stack? How wide are the springs? Example: a 5 stack sping being 3" tall and 1 3/4" wide with an eye to eye of 25 1/4" is rated at 2900#
I recently worked on a 1957 Airstream and found almost all the spring components to be odd sized, at least in todays catalogs.

ZoomZoom

05ModPod 08-04-2006 03:54 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Hi 1959 Newbie

Here is a picture of the underside of our 1961 Overlander, taken when we got home from Axis Products last July - They are not into Airstreams anymore too bad.But they did a bang up job for us.

We hummed and hawed about what axle to replace the existing with and figured that the spring system made it 45 years then why mess with a good thing. They can sit for long periods without setting like the Torsion axles.

We basically duplicated the existing set up - which zoom zoom is bang on. We have a rating of 3000Lbs a side

If you need any measurements or closer pictures of the set up let me know.

scottanlily 08-04-2006 07:04 PM

Hello 59 newbe ,our 60 trdwnd has 6 including the main leaf (top one).
They are brand new ,not rearched springs.trailer sits perfectly level ,rides
good .It is a single axle coach so they have more leafs than a tandem does.
The original springs I took to the spring shop where they built new ones to exact specs. Eaton Detroit Spring is a great place to order springs.They have
most all the original information for many types of vehicals ,trailers ,etc.for
replacement springs .

Scott of scottanlily

Safari Tim 08-04-2006 10:55 PM

1. Is this something I should consider on my '60? I'm sure they are original
2. How can you tell if the ones you have are bad?
3. Can you add a 6" to the trailer ride hieght by changing the axles?
4. Any idea how much replacement axles are?

wkerfoot 08-04-2006 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Safari Tim
1. Is this something I should consider on my '60? I'm sure they are original
2. How can you tell if the ones you have are bad?
3. Can you add a 6" to the trailer ride hieght by changing the axles?
4. Any idea how much replacement axles are?

Tim,

As you may recall, I purchased two new axles, four springs and mounting hardware for the Liner before we left for Tampa. One axle had brakes and the other hubs only. The axles were 3500# with 1750# springs. Both axles were galvanized with safety lube hubs and a 4" drop. The axle with brakes was $203 and the one with hubs only $173, hardware was an additional $28. Freight was extra.

The axles were purchased from Axis, and althought they won't sell torsion axles for Airstreams they might still sell spring axles.

Do you have straight or drop axles now?

Bill

Safari Tim 08-05-2006 12:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wkerfoot
Tim,

Do you have straight or drop axles now?

Bill

Bill, What is the difference between the two?

05ModPod 08-05-2006 06:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wkerfoot
Tim,

The axles were purchased from Axis, and althought they won't sell torsion axles for Airstreams they might still sell spring axles.
Bill

Never thought of that - they just might take care of these type of axles.

We found out somewhere that the originals were rated 2780 - so we just bumped them up a bit to 3000 each to compensate for a grey tank and some new Oak restoration.

The shocks were cut off - and we have yet to replace them - we are not traveling yet with her so there is plenty of time for that little job. Besides we forgot to take pictures of where they are located - have the frame mount but not sure how they were mounted to the axle. They were not like the torsion axle arms that we can remember.

Anyway our costs were very similar:

$354 included 2 straight 4" with hub/drums/brakes and galvinized dipped. The hardware we chose was all zinc at $27.00.

The labour was in our case more than reasonable - in comparison to what we would pay here!!! $60.00 to remove the old stuff and $90.00 to install the new stuff and to wire up the brakes. They also removed the rusted solid old hydraulic actuator in the front - (as the old days they ran with a half and half system. (I guess that had something to do with one of the Caravans say in Mexico or Africa if the one set failed due to water or bad connections then the Hydraulics would kick in - but just taking a wild guess on that score)

05ModPod 08-05-2006 07:06 AM

60's shock set up on axle/spring application.
 
1 Attachment(s)
Just found a photo of the old setup - thus what we would be looking for is some type of shock that has a bottom screw mount - that uses a bracket to the bottom of the spring hangers by the looks of it.

Anyone know if this system is still around? or has anyone else fabricated a shock system that you migh be able to share?

markdoane 08-05-2006 07:29 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Peter & Sharon,

It isn't difficult to modify the shock mounting arrangement. On my '59 Tradewind, I moved the shock mount from the outside of the spring mounting plate to the inside. I did this for two reasons: first, I am using slightly larger shocks, and I am going to change from 7-14.5 tires to Marathon radials. The clearance between the tire and the shock was marginal to begin with, going larger on the shock and wider on the tire made relocating the shock imperative.

That may not be the case for you, but I the modification to the lower spring plate is simply a matter of locating the hardware and doing a little welding.

Here are some pictures of my arrangement.

Bottom is the original set-up; top is the modification to the spring plate, third is the new arrangement. You may want to add skid plates to the bottom of the spring plate to prevent shearing off the u-bolts if you have a flat.

05ModPod 08-05-2006 07:45 AM

Thanks markdone - I was just sitting having breakfast with Sharon so I got to see your new set up and I think it is great. We too went for the larger marathons and American Racing rims sure enhances the cool well cut out - I'm guessing that I would have seen that the distance had changed and scratched my head and said yep I think we are going to have to do something different here. Although they used different shocks in 59 than the long spindle type on the 61 (built in 60).

We will store your photos for future reference - be a long time before we get the girl apart and the frame all cleaned up. Looks like we maybe doing a frame off - but then we knew that before we bought it.
Thanks

Peter

flyfshr 08-05-2006 07:48 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's a pic of my leaf springs when they were taken out to replace the axle a few years back. If you count the mounting leaf, there are a total of nine. Also, clearly visible are the fairly famous skids Airstream used on a few of this era of axles.

Brad
FF

wkerfoot 08-05-2006 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Safari Tim
Bill, What is the difference between the two?

Tim,

The picture in post #4 is a straight axle, the drop axle has the wheel spindle above the axle. My Liner is not home now but if you want a picture I can post one later.

Bill

john hd 08-05-2006 11:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flyfshr
Here's a pic of my leaf springs when they were taken out to replace the axle a few years back. If you count the mounting leaf, there are a total of nine. Also, clearly visible are the fairly famous skids Airstream used on a few of this era of axles.

Brad
FF

just hope your skids never need to be used!

btw i have seen them on early 70's tandem axle trailers as well. different design same function.

john

wkerfoot 08-05-2006 11:26 AM

Ride Height
 
Tim,

Another thing is that by choosing between straight and drop (I think that you can get only a 4" drop) and placing the axles over or under the springs you have a lot of flexibility in ride height as well as distance from the body to axles and ground clearance on the axles. I went with a 4" drop and axles under the springs. One other thing, depending on how your tandem springs are connected compared to the new ones, this will affect your ride height also. My new connector has a 4" drop and the old one was straight.

Bill

Safari Tim 08-05-2006 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wkerfoot
Tim,

The picture in post #4 is a straight axle, the drop axle has the wheel spindle above the axle. My Liner is not home now but if you want a picture I can post one later.

Bill

I'm still not quite following you. Here is a picture of mine when the bearings were being packed.

Not sure if you can see what you need to.

https://www.thevap.com/images/stories...ngs_packed.jpg

flyfshr 08-05-2006 12:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Tim ~

This is the best way for me to describe an axle set-up. There are different amounts of drop and I believe you can order up to a 4" drop.

Brad
FF

scottanlily 08-05-2006 01:56 PM

The springs on my 60 have 7 actual leafs there ,but I did not add the very short bottom in the count ,so 7 it is as was original .The leaves are very
thick and have the second leaf wrap up support for the spring eye as
markdoane has on his ,no added leaf was necessary for mine.I kept the
old spring packs ,just in case ,but Im sure the new ones will last another 40
years as my old ones did ,and they werent broken ,but used for sure.

Scott

scottanlily 08-05-2006 01:59 PM

Tim , yours are original dropped axles .

Scott


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