Axle and springs - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-14-2006, 12:36 PM   #1
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I would pass along a problem I just encountered with my Bigfoot and save someone un needed agravation.After buiding a garage for my TT and float toy, I noticed that the TT indicated left side low when sitting on the level slab. With a tape measure I found that the left side was one inch lower than the right, also that I had the tire rubbing on the skirt. I have 15 inch tires .I took the TT in to have the spring rearched, after 20 m iles of driving on the reached spring the spring sagged .So I told them to replace the spring, no can do they say, seems that leafs are 12.5 inches, and here in the U.S. springs are 12, 13 , or 14 inch centers.So to cure the weak leaf that would not stay rearched they added 2 stiffners to get me an additional one inch of clearance to match the other side.
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Old 10-14-2006, 01:10 PM   #2
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Another alternative might be to replace both springs (so they match in length), moving the mounts apart if required (for 1/2", presumably just moving the shackle mounts would do). Of course this would be more involved if the trailer has tandem axles; of recent Bigfoot models, only the 17.5' would have a single axle.

With the weak spring still in place, I would always wonder if the two sides were going to stay coordinated, and what more was going to happen to the weak side. How old is the trailer and its suspension?
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Old 10-17-2006, 07:35 AM   #3
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hummm, shoulda talked to a hot rodder. You can have a spring made in just about any length needed. They'll even reverse the eyes if need be. I had a set of front coil springs made by this company: Benz Spring Company

But I'm real curious, what year BigFoot???
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:35 AM   #4
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But I'm real curious, what year BigFoot???
And what size?

Roger
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:10 PM   #5
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Donna, I would have guessed that a custom spring pack would be expensive, especially compared to the really common and cheap standard trailer springs. It might also be hard to closely match the stiffness and arch of the other side. Can you enlighten us a bit on the practical aspects of this type of work? (e.g. cost, experience with doing one of a pair)

Looking at the Benz spring shop ordering info, I now wonder if I have the right value for the length: it should be measured along the curve of the main leaf, which will be longer than the direct eye-to-eye measurement. Too bad the ground around my Boler is now snow-covered and mucky...

Of course, David could also get a 12.5" spring from a place where they're common, and have it shipped. I believe that my Boler's springs are 12.5" long, and they were just the typical leaf for a 3500 lb axle here (in 1979, anyway).
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:35 PM   #6
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Donna, ...... Can you enlighten us a bit on the practical aspects of this type of work? (e.g. cost, experience with doing one of a pair)
The ones I bought were for use on a 1964 Ford LTD car suspension and were the front coils. Total price was $74 for the two. AND, I picked them up at the manufacturer. Just about any town of a large enough size should have a company that does "like" work.

I wouldn't even begin to try to put a price on what springs for a trailer might run. But it may be worth investigating for some people. Shoot I don't even know how many springs a BigFoot has....is it a leaf system with multiples? AND, if I had one made, I'd certainly have the same size made for the other size. Springs lose their "stiffness" over time and you'd certainly want the trailer (auto, truck) to sit straight.
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Old 10-17-2006, 11:55 PM   #7
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Trailer: 2000 Bigfoot 17 ft (15B17CB)
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I would pass along a problem I just encountered with my Bigfoot and save someone un needed agravation.After buiding a garage for my TT and float toy, I noticed that the TT indicated left side low when sitting on the level slab. With a tape measure I found that the left side was one inch lower than the right, also that I had the tire rubbing on the skirt. I have 15 inch tires .I took the TT in to have the spring rearched, after 20 m iles of driving on the reached spring the spring sagged .So I told them to replace the spring, no can do they say, seems that leafs are 12.5 inches, and here in the U.S. springs are 12, 13 , or 14 inch centers.So to cure the weak leaf that would not stay rearched they added 2 stiffners to get me an additional one inch of clearance to match the other side.
David,
I don't think there should be a huge problem obtaining the correct length springs. It would probably be best to remove the "good spring" and measure it in the unloaded state to confirm the length required along with the height and arc lengths. There is a comprehensive list of double eye springs at http://www.truckspring.com/double-eye_563.html , hopefully you can find a close match - just be sure to replace the springs as a pair.

Steve.
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:50 PM   #8
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Trailer: 2000 Bigfoot 17 ft (15B17CB)
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Update;
I have begun to do some work on my 17' Bigfoot suspension, and found that the springs on my unit are five leaf with an arc length of 12 5/8" X 12 5/8"- free height 3.5" - free length 23.5" which are available from Standens in Canada or hitchco in Canada/US as part #125-5
Unfortunately this information may come too late to help out David, but other 17' Bigfoot owners may find it useful.
Steve.
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