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-   -   Bad Axles or Not? (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f437/bad-axles-or-not-46265.html)

mustang 11-10-2008 03:20 PM

Bad Axles or Not?
 
I have recently taken a trip to Airstream, with my trailer. I was going to take advantage of there winter repaire rates. I wanted to inquire on my axles.

When I called Airstream, Customer service I was alarmed that when I was checking axle prices, and Specs for arm travel I was refferred to Inland RV.

What started all this was a post telling me my axles where bad. From a picture. My Airstream on hand now I am going to get a quote. Shocked
to find out that my axles are not bad. Infact a engeneer from henschen was also there. He told me they have axles from back when they first started putting them on still operating fine.

Airstream / Henschen told me. Those arms can actually be slightly pointing up and still operate fine. Looking at the tires through the wheel well is not
an acceptable way to tell if the axles are shot unless your a salesman selling axles.

Many wheel wells on different units through out the years have been cut out differently. Just like on cars and trucks.

Before anyone replaces there axles I would reccomend you do the same as me.

I hope this post doesnt offend anyone, It is my little true story on a hot topic only on these forums.

Larry in MO 11-10-2008 03:26 PM

Axle voodoo...............
 
Now this ought to get interesting!

Inland RV Center, In 11-10-2008 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mustang (Post 636716)
I have recently taken a trip to Airstream, with my trailer. I was going to take advantage of there winter repaire rates. I wanted to inquire on my axles.

When I called Airstream, Customer service I was alarmed that when I was checking axle prices, and Specs for arm travel I was refferred to Inland RV.

What started all this was a post telling me my axles where bad. From a picture. My Airstream on hand now I am going to get a quote. Shocked
to find out that my axles are not bad. Infact a engeneer from henschen was also there. He told me they have axles from back when they first started putting them on still operating fine.

Airstream / Henschen told me. Those arms can actually be slightly pointing up and still operate fine. Looking at the tires through the wheel well is not
an acceptable way to tell if the axles are shot unless your a salesman selling axles.

Many wheel wells on different units through out the years have been cut out differently. Just like on cars and trucks.

Before anyone replaces there axles I would reccomend you do the same as me.

I hope this post doesnt offend anyone, It is my little true story on a hot topic only on these forums.

According to Henschen and Airstream, ALL pre 1974 axles, will fail.

That's 100 percent of them.

What was the name of the persons you talked to at Airstream and Henschen?

The information that's posted in the Dura-torque axle article, in our web site, came from Airstream and Henschen.

Andy

crispyboy 11-10-2008 03:51 PM

:bash::boxing::hammer::chris::D:D

I'm getting the popcorn and a beer ready for this one!

mustang 11-10-2008 03:54 PM

Andy straight up I am going to ask you 2 questions that thes guys told me and laughed.

1st Do you own these forums? or started them?

2nd Are you the only Henschen dealer in the US for Airstreams?

Answering these 2 questions will tell me alot about the gentlemen I talked to. I still cant figure out why the lady in customer service told me what she did. Refferring me to you when it is there product.

Janet H 11-10-2008 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mustang (Post 636725)
Andy straight up I am going to ask you 2 questions that thes guys told me and laughed.

1st Do you own these forums? or started them?

2nd Are you the only Henschen dealer in the US for Airstreams?


Just for clarity here - Inland RV's Andy is not the same Andy R that owns the forum (or started it).

As far as your questions about axles... Airstream has used both henschen and dexter axles on their trailers over the years with henschen being supplier for most vintage trailers. While the forum is a great source of info, if you have specific questions from a dealer or vendor, you should take it up with them privately. Commercial entities are discouraged from doing business in threads and are prohibited from quoted prices etc.

:flowers:

mustang 11-10-2008 05:28 PM

That is good info Janet. Can a commercial vendor initiate or use " The sky is falling" tactics to market there product on here?

The dealer told me that Andy was the owner so at least I now know that was bad info. As for my second question I think it still is important.

Action 11-10-2008 05:47 PM

The answer to the 2nd q depends on the age of the Airstream. Inland RV is the only distributor for Henschen axles used on Airstream trailers built prior to a certain date. It is for older Airstreams and the date is something like 20 or 30 year old trailers.

The reasoning is based on quanity. Henschen is in the business of manufacturing and not necessarily retail sales. They manufacter a lot of units for Airstream and many other trailers. The volume of sales for replacement axles on older units is not cost effective to deal with on a retail basis. So Inland RV handles retail sales of Henschen axles for Airstream trailers of an older vintage. I do not know the date however I believe it is in the 1970s and older.

If you are in the market for axles, Henschen is just one of the choices.

Thanks for sharing your experience at the Airstream Service center. Your contributions are what makes this forum a great place. Please restrict your negative opinons and judgements of others on this website. This is called posting nice. And we will moderate to that standard.

>>>>>>>>>Action

CanoeStream 11-10-2008 06:09 PM

Wally Byam encountered so much leaf spring breakage on the original Capetown-to-Cairo trip that Airstream developed and then spun off the rubber rod damped Henschen axles. That rubber was prone to aging and developing a set so that the axles became rigid and led to a harsher ride than desired. Up-angle (down angle? help me out here...), history of the trailer (mobile vs. parked) and age of the trailer all bear into decisions on replacing the axles. We have experienced people here beyond Inland that can vouch for when or if one should replace their axles. It is the nature of the forum beast that the desired experienced people may not step into the flow of this thread and post more expert reports than I have just now. And I'll be the first to say that my history may be a little off.... :flowers:

Action 11-10-2008 06:27 PM

To add to the above, in the torsion axle design (rubber rod) usage of the trailer by traveling greatly extends the service life. And there was a design significant change in 1974 in the make up of the "rubber". Older axle designs (rubber rods) are prone to stiffen up such that they no longer cushion the ride and the trailer and contents get shaken up to the point of having damage. If you are not experiencing the contents of the trailer moving or drawers and cabinets opening along with rivets loosening after pulling for some distance, you may be OK. It is the design of the torsion axle to allow for a very soft ride and be rather resillant. Leaf springs do not have that benefit.

The above is not to be interpreted as a diagonsis of any axle condition on any trailer. Rather a general indication of issues if one experiences the above issues.

>>>>>>>>>>Action

Lumatic 11-10-2008 06:40 PM

My .02
 
Can't resist.

My 73 Sovereign had the original axles in which the arms were about horizontal. I also cracked the frame above the axles. I have no doubt the axles were bad and if I knew then what I think I know now it wouldn't have happened.

Last year I put new 10" Dexters on my 71 Tradewind. The old axles were 12" Henschens. SO FAR plenty of stopping power and no complaints.

SO FAR the axles on my 62 (that has been around the world) seem OK. But I only towed her 15 miles since I got her. At some point it had hydraulic brakes, now they are electric. If they are replacement axles had to be pre 1982 which is the last time the trailer was regisitered.

I think the horse is dead.

mustang 11-10-2008 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Action (Post 636775)
The answer to the 2nd q depends on the age of the Airstream. Inland RV is the only distributor for Henschen axles used on Airstream trailers built prior to a certain date. It is for older Airstreams and the date is something like 20 or 30 year old trailers.


I guess thats my point

I am not saying axles cant go bad. but they sure are going bad alot around here :brows:

TwinkytheKid 11-10-2008 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mustang (Post 636817)
I am not saying axles cant go bad. but they sure are going bad alot around here :brows:

Maybe that's because there sure are a lot of 1974 and older Airstreams around here.

Action 11-10-2008 07:07 PM

Mine are bad. And it's a '66.

>>>>>>>Action

mustang 11-10-2008 07:09 PM

I am going up front for some junior mints and popcorn...anyone else want anything?

markdoane 11-10-2008 07:25 PM

Get me some JuJuFruits, I'm gonna repack my axle.

CanoeStream 11-10-2008 07:25 PM

Being the owner of a '74 Argosy with original (highly dubious) axles, I guess it comes down to "How much do you want to actually get on the road and put some miles behind your Airstream." Running gear (axles & wheel bearings), weight distribution/antisway, electrical -- I honestly don't know that there are any issues that can be laid aside. I'd probably say the same if I was dealing with an '84. And if it had parked and rarely moved to flex the rubber in the axles, I'd probably closely examine a '94. That being said, enough has been posted about the early (pre '75) axle formulations to say that there is little serviceable from the period before that.

Except for the too-small, prone-to-failure spindles on the early '60 Bambis, I'd probably stick with and restore the leaf springs on 1950 period Airstreams. Confused? There are no hard and fast rules either way here. Individual situations whether leaf spring or torsion axles must be evaluated on the particular merits of the situation. No black and white answer -- only shades of gray.

Lothlorian 11-10-2008 07:53 PM

The axel discussion comes around and it gets rehashed over and over. I guess when you look at how much they cost you want to make sure you have all the correct information.

What I have learned.

Henschen Engineering department told me if I put tape on the upper inside of my wheel well and go on vacation and never developed scuff marks the axels were fine. The person I spoke with was named Jim. Jim told me the axels should be fine. Do I believe him????? I have a 73 Overlander which I told Jim I owned.

I was told on this forum that I was risking damage to my trailer and I was given very good reasons. Do I believe the forum??????

I read an article where somebody wrote that axel problems come from vacationers who want to pull their airstreams over 55 miles an hour. I read that they were not designed for long distant hauling over 55 miles an hour. If you go at the correct speeds you should not have problems. Do I believe them??????

I have been told that Dexter axels are great and much cheaper to buy and they will work fine.

I have been told that Dexter axels will need frame modification for the axels to fit correctly. I would have to weld on the plates to attach the shock absorbers.

I have read that henshen axels are great axels and you do not have to make modifications.

The difference in price is dexter are $375.00 and Henshen are in the $800 dollar range.

I personally do not know what to believe anymore.



I have been saving for new axels for sometime and will continue to save because they are very expensive. I know I do not have the capabilities to replace them myself.

Brian

wheel interested 11-10-2008 07:58 PM

Why the big price difference are the expensive ones that superior to the others? When and why did Airstream change what axles they used in recent models? I'm not sure what the 2007's have.

mustang 11-10-2008 08:02 PM

I had a 73 overlander. I loved that thing.

During a storm , a Tornado came threw and took down a 70' pinoak. It lay ed it right down the center. Like a Hot Dog in a bun.

It made the front page of the news paper. My axles never bottomed out.
A crane picked the tree up and off the Airstream. Axles roll fine


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