No I haven't replaced the axle yet, although I need to. Mine appears to be original and is a leading arm design with a zero degree setup (arms are straight out from axle). I might change to a slight down angle, but with my tow rig, there's really no need. As for the year, I have no clue. Since we haven't found very many, it's difficult to get a break-down of all the features used on various years. I have seen the side markings in both blue and brown (not both colors on the same trailer, though) on various years from '78 to '88. If they're the original tear drop shape, they're not actually decals. I found this out when I removed mine. They are actually paint
. They were in bad shape (edges worn and all scratched) so I used some mild paint
stripper followed by a good color sand, wash, and buff. The gelcoat came out looking quite good.
On my way home from the Northern Oregon Gathering, last month, I found a Pacer while driving through the back streets of Seaside, OR that had brown side markings and had been retrofitted with a leaf sprung straight axle. I got pics of it.
By the way. do you have any pics of the one you're trying for?