Just bought a '73 13ft Boler and am thinking about changing the axle. Should I consider getting electric brakes? Springs?
I haven't yet checked the bearings on it and they may be OK as is but I plan to use it quite a bit and will likely change the axle anyway.
As Donna said, there is a lot of information here on axles. With the 13' - the axle differs from year to year, plant to plant or mod to mod. Some have a leading edge Dexter Torflex or equvalent, some have a trailing, some have been converted to different kinds of springs. To better answer your question, we need to know what you have. You don't need springs/shocks with the Torflex because of the design.
As Doug says, brakes are always a good idea. Even if you don't install brakes, get the axle with a brake flange so the next owner can add brakes if they want. You might want to consider getting the "EZ-lube or Never-lube" spindles (or equivalent) too.
OH yeah, concensus is that the early trailers were all understated for weights - so you might want to get your trailer weighed before choosing an axle. Some people suggest uprgading the weight
to get the larger brake shoes. If memory serves me right for Dexter @ 2200 lbs you get a 7" x 1" (and change e.g. 1-1/4") shoe, while @ 2300 lbs, you get a 10" by 2" (and change [2-1/2"]) shoe big difference in braking potential and wear for a 100 LB difference in specs. Some shoes are a little more difficult to source. Be cognizant of bolt patterns too, an axle swap might mean a rim/tire swap. Early Bolers came with a 4 bolt pattern, the heavier axles only come with a 5 bolt pattern of varying sizes. Plus for a few $ more, get the mounting brackets if available so the next axle swap will be bolt on.
FWIW. I'm replacing my axle this summer. Switching from leading edge to trailing which requires a welding some more steel to the frame. I'm getting the brackets, E brakes, Ez lube fittings and considering the parking brake too. I'm not sure yet what size axle I'm going with till I get the trailer weighed and factor in the other mod's I'm planning. That might just include new rims as stated above.
Happy searching, happy reading and happy camping.