Bigfoot 17 Axle Replacement - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-17-2008, 06:54 PM   #1
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Name: Jay
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 25B17.5G. Pulled by a 2006 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
Oregon
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At some point in the past the axle on my "to each side when the leaf springs were repaired. Currently, there are 6 leaf spings and a small rectangular spacer on each side. The axle is mounted above the leafs.
Maybe the axle was bent in the same incident that caused the leaf springs to break. Whatever the cause, the axle has an downward bow near the dirver side leaf springs and the dirver's side tire is showing wear on the inside tread.
Does anyone know the manufacturer and model number of the stock axle on a 1994 Bigfoot 17 Center Bath with electric brakes?
Where is a good online source for the axle?
Should I upgrade from the 3500lb axle to a stronger axle?
Should I upgrade to stonger leaf springs?
Prices????

Thanks
jay
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:44 PM   #2
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There should be a tag on the axle with manufacturer, serial number and capacity.

Leaf spring axle is much easier to replace than torsion axle (presuming one isn't a welder). You might call commercial axle shop and ask what it would cost to rebend it as an alternative to replacing it -- Either way you are going to have to spring for new hardware because the nuts are likely the kind that lock the threads and destroy them when removed.

If you upgrade axle and spring capacity, you will get a rougher ride on the trailer.

Likely, the springs broke because whoever did the 'spring over' didn't restrict the spring travel to what it originally was and the springs were overextended on a serious bump, perhaps bending the axle. Some times we have to learn by experience (voice of experience on this speaking here...).
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:45 PM   #3
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Name: Jay
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 25B17.5G. Pulled by a 2006 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
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Pete,

Thank you for the reply.
I found the tag. It reads "Dexter Axle Elkhart Indiana. SN 2F- Capacity Not Rated. Refer to Manufacturer"

I may go to Les Swab Tire this week to get an estimate to replace it. I am in a rural area and I doubt that anyone here can bend an axle.

How do you restrict the spring travel? There does not appear to be a shock absorber or any other way to restrict the travel of the leaf springs.

Thanks
Jay
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:59 PM   #4
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Name: Jay
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 25B17.5G. Pulled by a 2006 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
Oregon
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Pete:

Another question:
I noticed that Dexter offers several options in axles including "EZ-Lube" and "Nev-R Lube". Do you have any experience with these? THe "Nev-R Lube" is an atractive idea, but does it work?

EZ Lube info at http://dexteraxle.com/e_z_lube_system

Nev-R Lube info at http://dexteraxle.com/nev_r_lube_bearings

Jay
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:47 AM   #5
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You have to fabricate some sort of bumper between the spring pile and the frame, even if it's just a block of wood tied to the springs .

If the serial number is on the tag, you may be able to determine which plant on the Dexter site made the axle. If so, call the plant and ask for the keeper of axle records. They can tell you the exact specs it had when it went out the door.

I sure wish I could get the NevRLube bearings in our small axles, but we can't. Takes a 3,600 lbs axle with a six-stud hub to fit them.

I'd get the EZLube and then you have the choice of using that or just conventionally repacking the bearings. Be sure to order the brake flanges so you can move your brakes to the new axle.
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