13' Perris Pacer Frame and axle work... to do - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-19-2008, 10:58 PM   #1
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Name: Billy
Trailer: Perris Pacer 13 ft 1985 / Mazda B3000 Dual Sport 2002
California
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Because the old frames were designed for leading arm axles, a more forward mounting point needs to be built for the new trailing arm axle brackets. Swapping axles on older Scamps and Bolers often requires adding new 3" or 4" steel tube risers. The frame on the street side is usually a straight piece so no real problem setting up a new mounting bracket.

On the other hand, the frame on the curb side is cradling the lowered floor and door step. On my 13' Perri's Pacer the frame step is made from only 1"x2" C-bar steel as it crosses under the door step. Is this how the Scamp frame crosses under the step, too? If I need to make a forward axle bracket, the steel in this section does not have any good place that I can find to attach a big strong piece of steel for the axle mount.

I am beginning to think the best answer is to mount a new axle backward with leading arms. Any 13' Pacers out there that have figured out a proper curb-side mounting bracket for a trailing arm axle?

Here is a free-hand drawing of my Perris Pacer frame if you'd like to compare it to your 13 footer's under-the-step framework.


perrispacer13frame_1985.PDF

thx
Billy

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Old 07-20-2008, 12:48 AM   #2
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
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Billy,

From memory your frame is very similar to mine. You should have enough room to go to trailing arm. For the time being, I've posted a couple of pictures and diagrams in this thread:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=30649

You can search for many other pictures of frames here. Essentially, it looks like you have 19" of room. When you change the axle the (Dexter) spindle is only 6" from the axle, so you are moving the axle body a maximum 12" ahead from the original position based on angle choice. In most cases this will be less since the 12" is for a 10 degree down to 10 degree down for Dexter axles. The short end of the axle mount will now be towards the front of the trailer and you should have just enough room. Here is a pic of my new install from the curbside view, you can see the welds from the old axle position.


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It will be a while before I can post the whole install. But the info is here for other trailers that are very similar. If you are really stuck on space, the flexride axle has a shorter arm. But I'd have to check the website for specks on the mounting bracket.

{edited to clarify, now that I am awake :-) }
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:43 AM   #3
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Billy,

Here is a thread on a Scamp axle swap.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=28062

And some pictures of a boler American frame so you can see the similarities.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...frame&st=30
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:05 PM   #4
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On the Perris, you would have to remove that 1x2 C channel and put in box frame material - which might not be a bad idea - would strengthen the whole frame. However to me it looks like major surgery - course I'm not a welder.

I did talk to a friend of mine who is a Dexter dealer and he said (also) that there is no toe in on the axles and didn't see a reason why turning around would not work.

I would like to see how this discussion pans out, but my thinking is the measurements would be the same if I used leading or trailing - so thinking I could just order the axle and see if my welder guy can make it work trailing.

My first order of business is to get the A/C off the roof of this thing - cannot believe Perris did that - but I have the invoice that its factory - has caved the roof a bit...

Decisions decisions



Ken J.



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Old 07-28-2008, 10:35 AM   #5
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Welp I did it - ordered my new axle - I'm going to install leading - to put trailing on this trailer, I would have to raise the axle height 6" + major rebuilding of the frame.

I did call the Scamp folks and they told me when they replace axles, they do replace with leading - even though the new ones are trailing. So I figure the trailer is in still in one piece after 22 years (although PO did not use it much :-) ) and its not going to be a world traveler for me, I think I'll be fine.

I constantly tell myself as I get carried away with this stuff (and my vintage Airstream) "its only a trailer"......

Ken J.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:54 PM   #6
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Trailing is preferable, but there are a LOT of Bolers, Casitas and Scamps running around out there with decades of leading under their frames!
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:47 AM   #7
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Trailing is preferable, but there are a LOT of Bolers, Casitas and Scamps running around out there with decades of leading under their frames!
Thats kinda my thinking too.
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:49 AM   #8
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Trailer: Perris Pacer 13 ft 1985 / Mazda B3000 Dual Sport 2002
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Quote:
Welp I did it - ordered my new axle - I'm going to install leading - to put trailing on this trailer, I would have to raise the axle height 6" + major rebuilding of the frame.

I did call the Scamp folks and they told me when they replace axles, they do replace with leading - even though the new ones are trailing. So I figure the trailer is in still in one piece after 22 years (although PO did not use it much :-) ) and its not going to be a world traveler for me, I think I'll be fine.

I constantly tell myself as I get carried away with this stuff (and my vintage Airstream) "its only a trailer"......

Ken J.
Hi Ken,

Congrats on getting started! Since we both have the PP-13, could we compare axle measurements? I have 65 9/16" hub face to hub face, and 50 3/8" outside frame to outside frame. Are we close to yours? I plan to use a side mount hanger and the high profile bracket. So far I'm thinking 10 degrees down.

For posterity, and future Perris Pacers, here are a couple of photos of the old leading arm mounts:

Click image for larger version

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[attachment=18188:1985PP_1...reetside.jp
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You'll see in mine that the mounting bracket has the vertical face aligned with the outer edge of the 1.5"x3" frame. A nice long weld on the weight bearing edge.

The new default Dexter drawings tend to show the bracket aligned to the inside edge. Since the top flange of the bracket is 2", there will be a .5" over hang difference to compensate to get the inside edges aligned... I would need a long weld on the inside edge which looks too cramped to do.

I noticed that my old bracket top over hang is trimmed half way to 1.5" and I suspect that was the only way the welder was able to make the inside connection... yuck. That over hang weld would be easier if it faces out. Decisions, decisions.

Click image for larger version

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Enough for now, again, good luck Ken!

Billy

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Old 07-31-2008, 08:47 AM   #9
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Here are a couple of links that might help making those decisions.

Installation instructions
http://www.cerka.ca/catalog/TORFLEXINSTALL.asp

Their order form shows the various bracket configurations, note there is a 3" lift snowmobile bracket available from Dexter in the bottom right corner. Add in the AP bracket kit and you get a little more.
http://www.cerka.ca/Torflex_order_form.pdf
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:45 AM   #10
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This is what I gave to my axle dealer:

Hubface - 66.25
Overhang - 8.75
Bracket dim (frame) 50.50
Arm length 5"
Frame box width 1.5
Frame height 3
Box frame
Angle 22.5

I did not specify high or low brackets - will see what they send - I assume they will send the regular no lift brackets.

Sounds like we are very close - my wife and I measured three times. I measured, then she measured then we both measured

When I talked to the welder he did not think it would be a problem welding up against the fiberglass - have no idea how hes going to do it - but in talking to other welding folks there are things that can be done so as not to melt the fiberglass - I've got my fingers crossed.

Dexter is short handed this week - so it will be next week before my axle actually gets started, then it takes two weeks - so its looking like this will all happen at the end of Aug.

I'm a bit concerned about how this will all come together, I'll keep you all posted.

Ken J.




Quote:
Hi Ken,

Congrats on getting started! Since we both have the PP-13, could we compare axle measurements? I have 65 9/16" hub face to hub face, and 50 3/8" outside frame to outside frame. Are we close to yours? I plan to use a side mount hanger and the high profile bracket. So far I'm thinking 10 degrees down.

For posterity, and future Perris Pacers, here are a couple of photos of the old leading arm mounts:

Attachment 14838
[attachment=18188:1985PP_1...reetside.jp
g]

You'll see in mine that the mounting bracket has the vertical face aligned with the outer edge of the 1.5"x3" frame. A nice long weld on the weight bearing edge.

The new default Dexter drawings tend to show the bracket aligned to the inside edge. Since the top flange of the bracket is 2", there will be a .5" over hang difference to compensate to get the inside edges aligned... I would need a long weld on the inside edge which looks too cramped to do.

I noticed that my old bracket top over hang is trimmed half way to 1.5" and I suspect that was the only way the welder was able to make the inside connection... yuck. That over hang weld would be easier if it faces out. Decisions, decisions.

Attachment 14840


Enough for now, again, good luck Ken!

Billy
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:49 AM   #11
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And.. why they welded these axles on in the first place is beyond my comprehension....

Oh well - we will deal with it......

Ken J.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
And.. why they welded these axles on in the first place is beyond my comprehension....

They saved $25 - 30 (today's cost) on the brackets ... and probably did not expect these trailers to last 30+ years. Why they don't weld them on today is beyond my comprehension. If I was ordering a new trailer today, I'd make sure I had them as an option.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:47 AM   #13
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They saved $25 - 30 (today's cost) on the brackets ... and probably did not expect these trailers to last 30+ years. Why they don't weld them on today is beyond my comprehension. If I was ordering a new trailer today, I'd make sure I had them as an option.

Yea I know - but still crazy.... yea and in the Perris case, they only had to last a year or two because they went out of business....

I'm not a big fan of these torsion axles to begin with - I guess they work ok, but realistically, probably really good for about 10 years or so - before they start to stiffin...


Ken J.
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:01 PM   #14
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I missed this thread until the recent discussion about Eve V's cracked frame, so my thanks go to Billy for having provided that sketch of the Perris Pacer frame. It is interesting to me because it shows how little frame is needed for a trailer to last 30 years - so I've modelled and drawn the frame as an example to guys at the teardrop forum, where sizes are beginning to creep up into the small FG trailer size.

So here's two views of the 3D model, with the different parts colur-coded:


Click image for larger version

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Red: 3"x1-1/2" rect tube
Blue: 3"x1" angle
Green: 2"x1" channel
Purple 2"x1" rect tube

Higher resolution renders of the model, plus the drawings are in the PDF attachment.

Andrew
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