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-   -   Revolutionary new axle installation procedure, aka what am i missing? (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f437/revolutionary-new-axle-installation-procedure-aka-what-am-i-missing-50251.html)

chrisd37 04-13-2009 04:43 PM

Revolutionary new axle installation procedure, aka what am i missing?
 
I will be installing a pair of axles on my 31' tomorrow or Wednesday.

I have read about it here and can't imagine why anybody would follow the procedure that seems to be generally accepted, the one where you drive up on boards, drop one axle, jack up one new axle & attach, drive trailer so new axle's wheels are on boards, repeat.

I intend to jack up my trailer and drop both axles (did this part a week ago actually. Neighbors are thrilled the new ones are arriving soon, let me tell you).

Next I will assemble both my new axle/brake/wheel kits on the ground in place underneath my jacked up trailer (which is safely resting on double jackstands on both sides). Chocks/blocks will hold them in place on the ground nicely.

Then I will slowly and safely lower my trailer to the new axles and bolt it onto the first axle it touches. Then I will employ the Super Jack to tilt the trailer until the 2nd axle can be easily bolted on (if any tilting is needed, that is.. Maybe both axles' holes will line up perfectly on the first try!)

The "lowering the trailer to the axles" bit is going to take a moment to jack it down from both sides.. Jack this side down a bit, jack the other side down a bit, jack this side down a bit, jack the other side down a bit.. I will need to lower the jackstands repeatedly through the lowering process to stay safe, but still, this seems far easier than trying to jack an axle up into the air using the spare tire changing jack people typically have at home.

What am I missing that makes people follow the apparently insane "jack the axles up to the trailer" procedure? Everybody can't just be insane. There has to be a reason!! What am I missing?

The only difficulty I envision in my plan is the axles will want to rotate down to the ground, but arranging them so they stay up ought to be relatively safe & simple having the wheels/tires on the ground. If I apply 12v to the electric brakes, the axles ought to stay up in the air on their own if the tires can't roll.

Airslide 04-13-2009 04:47 PM

The only part i can see that your missing is "Murphy's law".

Give it a shot. Just be safe.

Vinnie

chrisd37 04-13-2009 04:49 PM

Ha! I'm sure Murphy will be in there somewhere, but he won't be knocking an axle off a car jack onto my head!! Shocks... I forgot the shocks, but those are nothing. I will probably end up jacking the trailer back up and popping the wheels back off to do the shocks and torque the axle bolts appropriately, but still it seems easier and safer than jacking up the axles

Aerowood 04-13-2009 05:16 PM

Using the correct jacks is what I see you're missing. I used a motorcycle jack under the center of the axle to get it up to the mounts and then a floor jack under one of the trailing arms to rotate it into place. The whole procedure only took about 10 min. to life the 250lb axle under the 3000lb trailer. I used the motorcycle jack also to roll the axle under trailer. From start to finish it only took about an hour, and I used a Dexter so I had to redrill the holes.

I guess in the long run it really doesn't matter how you install the axles just as long as the end result is the same.

Good Luck

Kip

markdoane 04-13-2009 05:29 PM

I guess the only comment I can think of is that it would be easier and safer to insert the mounting bolts from the side, while the wheels and tires off, than to crawl under the trailer to insert the bolts, if the wheels and tires are on the axle.

Jim Foster 04-13-2009 05:40 PM

I hope you are kidding........

It is far safer and easier to raise the axles, without wheels and tires, one at a time into position and bolt them in place than it is to lower a trailer, which has no wheels or axles onto the axles. I would NEVER try to lower something as big and heavy as a trailer without the added safety margin of at least one axle and wheel set in place.

I think you are setting yourself up for possible disaster.

But then, what do I know?

Kevin245 04-13-2009 06:05 PM

I must go along with Jim...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Foster (Post 686830)
I hope you are kidding........

It is far safer and easier to raise the axles, without wheels and tires, one at a time into position and bolt them in place than it is to lower a trailer, which has no wheels or axles onto the axles. I would NEVER try to lower something as big and heavy as a trailer without the added safety margin of at least one axle and wheel set in place.

I think you are setting yourself up for possible disaster.

But then, what do I know?

I hope this works for you. My experience has been that working with gravity as you imply is a good thing, but it's also usually much easier to work with items of smaller mass. All the jacking and shoring of the trailer seems like a lot of work.

Please be careful and keep us posted.

chrisd37 04-13-2009 06:31 PM

Hmm, I am definitely missing a motorcycle jack. I am missing a motorcycle too. Dang! I take it a motorcycle jack is designed to lift things that may not balance very well on their own? That would be nice. I only ran across multi-thousand dollar axle jacks looking around on the internets and devised this scheme instead of looking to buy a prom dress.

Lowering the trailer and jackstands inch by inch side by side sounds like a lot of work but I will only have a couple of inches to go so it really shouldn't be too bad.

Jim I will have two axles under the trailer. They just won't be bolted on at first. As far as the trailer potentially falling goes, it doesnt matter if the axles are bolted on or not. The trailer can't fall through them either way.

The axles need to be bolted before I try to drive somewhere since their unbolted horizontal friction with the trailer would be very little, but if they can hold the trailer up while bolted in place, they can hold the trailer up while unbolted too.

It may be Wednesday before I get to the axles. The delivery truck tomorrow will have an inner and an outer wheel well for me (along with the axles) and I want to install those first. I will definitely post the results (assuming I live, heh).

chrisd37 04-13-2009 06:38 PM

"The trailer can't fall through them either way" Oops that is flat wrong. Since they aren't bolted on, they will want to rotate down to the ground given a chance. These are not car axles, duh! So, Jim has a really good point.

Lumatic 04-13-2009 06:39 PM

It will be a lot easier to tweak the axles into the exact position as well as attach the axles by jacking them up.

Airslide 04-13-2009 06:39 PM

I think everyone just wants to see you get to atleast a 3 Rivet member... That trailer will smash you like a pancake.. be safe..

Vinnie

chrisd37 04-13-2009 06:50 PM

"It will be a lot easier to tweak the axles into the exact position as well as attach the axles by jacking them up."

That speaks to me.. But how? I have a jack for my Sequoia, and a crazy jack with a flexible top for my Saab that I would NEVER use for this except that I did use it when dropping the old axles precisely because i *wanted* them to fall. The sequoia jack is just round and appx dollar coin sized top. I can't remotely imagine how to jack up an axle using that jack. Lift the axle an inch and it's gonna roll off. It is, as the one legged Brazilian always said, impossible.

One set of jackstands has a nice curvy top to them into which an axle would rest nicely, but alas they are stands not jacks. I am gonna use one of them to hold the axle up in place for bolting, but as far as getting the axle up on top of the jackstand, that's gonna be all me which is why the wheels/tires are staying grounded.

overlander63 04-13-2009 06:53 PM

Since you asked...
 
Option 1:
a-Lift and support trailer.
b-Place floor jack under one axle, remove tires, unbolt shocks, snip brake wires, remove axle mounting bolts, lower axle to ground with floor jack.
c-Repeat procedure with axle #2.
d-Lift one axle into place, bolt to frame, install shocks and tires, reconnect brake wires.
e-Repeat procedure for axle #2.
f- Lower trailer, and tow it away.

Option 2:
a- Lift and support trailer.
b- Unbolt old axles, and let them fall onto the ground, possibly on your head.
c- Remove tires from old axle.
d- Repeat procedure for axle #2.
e- Slide both new axles under trailer, possibly damaging new drums and backing plates.
f- Manhandle axles up, so you can install tires on them (e and f may be combined without danger to brake parts IF the trailer is jacked up high enough frame will clear tires)
g- Raise and support front of both axles so they are at the correct angle for sliding into the frame mounts.
h- Lower trailer onto both axles at the same time, using something so both sides of trailer will lower evenly.
i- Crawl under trailer while it is a foot off the ground to locate and install all 8 mounting bolts, and 4 shocks.
j- Crawl around on ground to reconnect brake wires.
k- Tow trailer away.


I don't think it's going to be easier, based on the above.

chrisd37 04-13-2009 06:57 PM

vlamica, thanks. It isnt as dangerous as it sounds. My driveway slopes down. That adds a lot of safety for me. The rear end of the trailer is only a few inches off the driveway right now, so even if it fell with my entire belly under it where the axles go, i still can't get squished because the Earth is in the way. Not that so much as one inch of me will be under it while jacking, of course, but js the trailer just doesnt have far that it could fall. The front end has the super jack AND the Sequoia, so I am considering that side solid. If that end falls and squishes me, it was just my time to go!!

Jim Foster 04-13-2009 06:58 PM

Just slide one axle under, jack it up at the center with a helper holding one end as it raises. Guide the axle into the slots, put the bolts in one end, and come around and put the bolts in the other end. Then do the same for the other axle. Tighten all of the bolts. If it takes you more than a few minutes per axle, you're doing something wrong. Hook up the brake wires, install the wheels and you're done.

Been there, done that, bought the shirt.

jimmini 04-13-2009 07:05 PM

Jacks
 
:brows: EQUIPMENT RENTAL.
:blush: It might save YOU and your trailer.

chrisd37 04-13-2009 07:39 PM

Terry, the only difference in our procedures will be that I am lowering the trailer to the axles rather than lifting the axles to the trailer. The remainder of the procedures are exactly the same. Once the axles are bolted on I will jack the trailer back up onto jackstands and remove the wheels to do the shocks and electrical.

My belief is that the "lift the axles to the jack" procedure comes from one habit:

You drive your double axle trailer up on boards to change a flat, so anything that involves taking a wheel off means driving up on boards first.

Changing an axle means taking the wheel off, so habit drives people up onto boards as the first step to the procedure. (Of course! You're taking a wheel off, so it's easier to drive the other axle's wheels up onto boards!)

Once you are on boards you do not have the option of lowering the trailer to the axle and have no choice but to jack the axles somehow up to the trailer.

IMO the trailer wants to go down, and the axles do NOT want to go up, so why not give them both what they want!

No matter what, it will be fun to try a new method! I hope I hope I hope the stuff gets here early in the day!

chrisd37 04-13-2009 07:54 PM

No worries y'all, if it turns out not to be working very well I will certainly figure something out for getting the axles up to the trailer instead. My title after all was "what am i missing?"

Mikethefixit 04-13-2009 08:54 PM

I think the way I did it is best. I hooked up.Pulled front axle onto boards.NO CHANCE of the trailer to fall.Unbolt Axle and shocks,snip wires.Put floor jack under center of axle and let it down.Put new axle on jack and raise into position and insert bolts ,washer and nuts connect shocks and brake wires,put tires back on and tighten lugs.Back trailer off front block and onto blocks under new axle wheels and repeat the process. There was never any type of danger that the trailer might fall.
Total Time 3hrs
Oh DID I MENTION I'm 70 yrs old.
Roger

safari62 04-13-2009 08:59 PM

Chris
I only wish I had a double axle trailer so I could have used the raised board method! Jack stands are great as back up in conjunction with real automotive floor jacks. All of this has to take place on a level surface and not a sloped driveway.
Raising an axle weighing a few hundred pounds with a floor jack and it's turn table plate allows you to lift it from the center and carefully place it just where you want it.

Lowering a 6000 lb trailer one side at a time down on to your axle that has wheels attached just sounds like to many steps back and forth. At some point you will be moving the axle up to final placement and ditching the gravity idea.

I am trying to picture just how high the trailer has to be to get to roll your new axles with tires attached?

So, with the old axle attached with wheels blocked big trailer stays put.
Roll new unit in place, put floor jack in middle, raise, adjust and attach. By the way, it will be a few more hours drilling those 1/2" holes....sorry.

Read some more axle threads using the search function. Make sure axle is in alignment.
There are so many things wrong with your theory I think you need to start from the beginning again.

Just trying to help:)


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