Sizing New axle for '79 4500 Trillium - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-03-2007, 11:42 AM   #15
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As I understand it Henschen specs. claim 22.5 degree of movement between no load and normal load positions. My axle moves 6 degrees(from 15 up to 21 up). Now I don't know why. It could be there was a different spec in 1980, or the axle is overrated, or the rubber has hardened with age and doesn't compress as easily, or?
One point worth adding is that the axle manufacturer is quoting the angle of movement from no load to full load. But it's likely that your trailer doesn't weigh as much as the full load rating of the axle - indeed it probably shouldn't! So with a lighter load, it will move less. Also I suspect that the rubber does get harder, or softer, with age - most comments here have been about trailers riding lower as the years go by.

However I have made careful note of comments made by people who build trailers for a living on the subject of movement of rubber torsion axles, and they very rarely describe the axles behaving the way the manufacturers say they will.

To paraphrase Fred, I'm confused at a higher level by this knowledge.

Andrew
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Old 01-06-2007, 03:33 PM   #16
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Bill, I believe your last sentance " I certainly hope yours works out for you" is the way I feel to. I don't know how a 28 year old axle behaves differently than when it was new.
When it comes to new specs on paper verses real life proformance, it remains to be seen.
I spec'd my axle on the info provided by Henschen, other sources about axle arm angles effect on damping, and my desire for increased ground clearance. Lacking real world data, I made my choices based on the above and my past experiences.
My tow vehicles, '02 Olds Bravada and '02 Chev PU, are both are quite high and I like to camp in remote areas. The extra ground clearance of the 22.5 angle will maximize
the utility of the trailer for my uses. I'm hoping it will appear visually proportional with the 14" wheels and larger tires along side my tugs.

These choices will hopefully be right for my missions and situations.
I will post picks of the trailer and real life measurements as I progress. I am currently installing a steel I beam across the ceiling of my shop so I can hoist the fiberglass trailer off the frame easily.
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:28 AM   #17
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The old axle has old rubber which I believe hardens with age so that it would no longer compress as easily as it used to. If these axles were subjected to normal load they should be moving 22.5 degrees, but as I stated mine only moves 6 degrees. Therefore I have to assume either the trailer isn't heavy enough(less than normal load) or the old rubber is not moving as much as it used to when new or a combination of both. Since the top of the tire is within 3" of the wheel well you would think it is functioning properly, so that would suggest that the trailer was originally less than normal load for this axle rating and possibly the rubber is still OK. I started looking at this because I wanted to add brakes and heard some people saying it as almost as cheap to install complete new axle with brakes. Now I know that it will certainly cost me double so I am thinking about just adding the brakes to my existing axle. I understand you wanting the overhead beam because I could see the jugglng necessary to remove the frame from under the trailer if the shell were supported by stands. I thought of lifting the trailer up onto stands, lowering the frame to the floor, and then supporting the shell on 4 x 4's long enough to rest on stands outside the frame width so the frame could be pulled out at either end. It looks like it costs you time either way. Have fun.
Bill
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:05 PM   #18
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It seems that just about everyone who has pulled their egg off their frame and reported it in this forum (or in Bolerama) has done it without an overhead hoist; however, it certainly would be nice to have the "skyhook" to avoid interference between the frame and whatever stands might be holding up the body. I think it sounds like a good excuse to upgrade the shop...
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:09 PM   #19
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Bill,
I think I read in a previous post that you have flanges on your axle to accomadate
brakes. I haven't inspected my brakes on the old axle yet,, but if they are in good shape I would be happy to send them to you. I haven't used the brakes since I picked up the
trailer last fall, so don't know how well they function. I would assume everything will be rebuildable.

Brian,
Of coarse I don't need the overhead lift, But it is an excellent excuse to add to the shop infrastructure. To good to pass up!
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:09 PM   #20
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Bill,
I think I read in a previous post that you have flanges on your axle to accomadate
brakes. I haven't inspected my brakes on the old axle yet,, but if they are in good shape I would be happy to send them to you. I haven't used the brakes since I picked up the
trailer last fall, so don't know how well they function. I would assume everything will be rebuildable.

Brian,
Of coarse I don't need the overhead lift, But it is an excellent excuse to add to the shop infrastructure. To good to pass up!
Why didn't I think of that. Yes I'm interested. When you've figured out if they're ok let me know and I can send you some money for shipping at least. I will attach a photo of my axle and square plates so you will have something to compare to. As you've already mentioned most of the consumable parts should be readily available. This is off topic but I thought you were ambitious looking at this beam idea until I visited my old neighbour yesterday. He has an 85 HP Massey-Ferguson farm tractor that needs new brakes(inboard internal so axles have to removed for access), new multi power, main clutch and PTO clutch packs(cab has to be tilted up 40 degrees, and tractor has to be separated between motor and transmission after the cab is out of the way). There is about $3k in parts and the local dealer wants between $8-$9k to do the job. His son is a Toolmaker and has already made a turnbuckle tool used to tip the cab. They have some previous mechanical experience but I will still be surprised to see this one completed before spring planting. He has built and maintained a 6500 lb 4 x 4 pro stock pulling truck with a very hyper 900 HP Chrysler 440ci motor over the last 15 years. A few others with $50k invested in newer trucks have trouble getting by him on the track.
Bill
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Old 01-10-2007, 10:59 PM   #21
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Bill,
Your mounting flanges appear the same as mine, I'll contact you about where to ship
after I pull the axle.
My neighbor was rebuilding his MF tractor. It sounds similar in that the engine/drivetrain
was the actual stucture instead of a traditional frame. He was 78 when he started the
project, it is now completely disassembled in his shop. Daunting, to say the least.
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Old 01-11-2007, 05:58 PM   #22
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Bill,
Your mounting flanges appear the same as mine, I'll contact you about where to ship
after I pull the axle.
My neighbor was rebuilding his MF tractor. It sounds similar in that the engine/drivetrain
was the actual stucture instead of a traditional frame. He was 78 when he started the
project, it is now completely disassembled in his shop. Daunting, to say the least.
Something I forgot to mention yesterday. Princess Auto has sold white slotted steel wheels and ST tire combinations in the past. These are the wheels used on virtually every boat or utility trailer where I live. I also have them(I think original equipment) on my Bigfoot and because of the white color they show rust way to soon. The last time I was in the store in Mississauga they had these rims in a galvanized finish. If you used primer(special for galvanized metal), and then painted them I would think they should look good for a long time. I also had a chance to compare the 205/75/14 to a 175/80/13 side by side and couldn't believe the difference. The 14" tire seemed to look twice as big. They actually show the 14" weighing 10 lbs. more. Right away I thought of you upgrading to 14" and thought you might be interested. The 14" tire/wheel combo was Cdn$159.99.
Bill
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Old 01-11-2007, 07:45 PM   #23
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Bill, I found a 14" modular aluminum at Discount Tire. It has only a 3" back spacing compared to the 3 3/8" on the original 13" wheel. I ordered the axle with a a 67" track instead of 68" to account for this. I mounted a new wheel and it does appear rather large on the trailer. The 22.5 degree start angle hopefully will give the tire and the trailer better spacing visually.
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:21 PM   #24
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Hi David,
Congratulations on your find of your 1979 Trillium 4500. I live in Howell, Michigan and found my 1978 Trillium 4500 Deluxe 5 years ago this July in the "Wheeler Dealer" in Williamston , Michigan. Where did you locate yours? I found a pair of 2 1/2" deep aluminum adapters that I put on my Trillium and attach 8" tires so can just make the clearance into my standard 2 car attached garage. Two years ago I noticed one side of my trailer was leaning a couple inches. I should change my axles one day. I'll be talking to you more am sure about this in the future. If you have any questions on your trillium let me know. Thanks!

Dave
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:55 PM   #25
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Dave,
Sounds like you really enjoy your trailer. I picked up mine in southern Indiana in August. As the rebuild progresses I'll post pics. Dave
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Old 01-23-2007, 03:15 PM   #26
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The old axle has old rubber which I believe hardens with age so that it would no longer compress as easily as it used to. If these axles were subjected to normal load they should be moving 22.5 degrees, but as I stated mine only moves 6 degrees. Therefore I have to assume either the trailer isn't heavy enough(less than normal load) or the old rubber is not moving as much as it used to when new or a combination of both. Since the top of the tire is within 3" of the wheel well you would think it is functioning properly, so that would suggest that the trailer was originally less than normal load for this axle rating and possibly the rubber is still OK. I started looking at this because I wanted to add brakes and heard some people saying it as almost as cheap to install complete new axle with brakes. Now I know that it will certainly cost me double so I am thinking about just adding the brakes to my existing axle. I understand you wanting the overhead beam because I could see the jugglng necessary to remove the frame from under the trailer if the shell were supported by stands. I thought of lifting the trailer up onto stands, lowering the frame to the floor, and then supporting the shell on 4 x 4's long enough to rest on stands outside the frame width so the frame could be pulled out at either end. It looks like it costs you time either way. Have fun.
Bill
Bill F,
I was looking at the attached site of a Trillium trailer brochure and saw a photo of a new trailer. The clearance on the tire and start angle on the arm looks like a 0 degree. I am wondering if the rubber deforms over the years so the start angle appears as 15 degrees up. This would also result in the travel of the arm also being reduced.
Trillium brochure
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:40 PM   #27
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...I was looking at the attached site of a Trillium trailer brochure and saw a photo of a new trailer. The clearance on the tire and start angle on the arm looks like a 0 degree...
Maybe we are looking at this differently, but to me photo 28 does not show the arm angle clearly, and photo 27 shows an unmounted suspension which should be completely unloaded (and thus at the "start angle"), with a start angle of about 15 degrees down (hub below axle tube) - the flat part of the bracket goes against the bottom of the frame, so in photo 27 up is to the right. Henschen seems to use "above" instead of "up" and angles are down by default.

Thanks for the link, David - I had forgotten about the availability of this brochure.

By the way, the axle tube of that unmounted suspension in photo 27 is cut off at the end of the "torsion bar" (using Dexter Torflex terminology) or "innermetal" (using Henschen DURA-FLEX™ terminology), presumably to show the rubber rods (which are just visible in the photo). You don't see one like that very often...
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:10 PM   #28
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Brian,
The unmounted axle demo,#27, could be any start angle. I know it is hard to see the arm angle in #28, but the brake drum in relation to the frame and the tire clearance in #30 led me to the 0 degree angle. Visual appearance of my drum and tire is much higher, about 15 degrees above.
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