I bought a trailing arm axle
via ‘specialty tire’ here in Winnipeg.
It was manufactured by Standens of Calgary.
They didn’t want much for specs from me. I had lots to give. They wouldn’t take them. I think they used hub flange face to face and outer edge of the mount to outer edge of the other mount across the frame. I also asked for zero toe which is pretty important. The guy wrote that much down. He was great – very straight up.
I got is exactly what I ordered – they special make them but they don’t custom make them if you get my drift. I was able to get an axle
that had the correct basic dimensions and tweak my way into having it fit. It cost in the range of $300 and arrived in Winnipeg out of Calgary within 3 weeks or so.
As I say, the axle was built to be set up with the arms trailing.
needs leading arms to clear the floor pan.
I got an axle with zero toe – which effectively means the toe is the same no matter which way the axle is oriented.
I reversed my trailing arm axle and installed it in a leading arm orientation as outlined below.
-Bought Standen’s 2000# axle
-Bought 2x2 heavy wall tube.
onto jack stands.
-Removed old axle.
-Cut 2x2 tube to the length of the old mounts welded to the top of the axle. I could have gone longer, as you’ll see in the pictures. I didn’t know at the time.
-Transferred bolt pattern from old mount to 2x2 tube.
-Drilled new holes.
-Fitted 2x2 tubes to the frame of the camper which was up on jack stands with the old axle removed.
-Jacked the new axle up into place under the camper in leading arm orientation to see where it needed to go.
-Ground some welds and sticking-out bits on the floor pan. This was tedious as I had to raise and lower the axle several times to get it just right. It’s important because it’s the only way to get the axle to sit right. Tolerances are pretty tight.
-Aligned the axle. Good luck. There’s not a lot that’s symmetrical on a boler
frame. The best thing to do might be to hang a plumb bob from the centre line up at the tongue and then make the distance from the centre of each hub to that bob equal. That or make sure the axle tube is oriented at 90 degrees to the frame rails. I tried a bunch of things and went with my best guess. You mileage will vary.
-I also noticed that the wheel on one side appears to be tucked further in than on the other side. Seems to be just the way it is. I’ve seen others mention this before. I forged ahead.
-Once I was reasonably happy with the alignment I tacked the tubes I’d bolted under the camper to the new axle.
-Lower and remove axle.
-Weld 2x2 bar solid to new axle mount plates (we paid a professional to do this. He liked our plan and said it would be solid. Safety matters.)
-Bolt the axle back on again.
So far so good. Tows nice, no wandering, no tire heat, no tire shredding. Good stuff.
Pictures to follow.