"Adjustable" axle? - Info requested - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-18-2010, 02:31 PM   #1
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Am buying a new axle for my (new to me) 1975 Boler 1300. The Montreal based axle company says I don't need to specify angle, or 'up/down', as the axle is adjustable. The axle has 9 different settings, with starting angles ranging from 10 degrees up from horizontal to 45 degrees down from horizontal.
It will be bolted onto the frame with reinforced brackets.
What do you know about 'adjustable' axles?
Does this description make sense?
And, if I wanted the Boler to be a bit higher off the ground, should I ask that something be done at same time as axle is changed?
Thanks for help here.
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:02 PM   #2
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Hi Karen
Is this a Flexride axle ?
If so , They're works very well.
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:11 PM   #3
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Hi Karen
Is this a Flexride axle ?
If so , They're works very well.

Yes, it's a flexride they're recommending. Evidently that's similar to what was on it, which was likely a Dexter. I could get a Dexter, but it would take 2 weeks to get it here, and the Flexiride is made in Montreal, near to me.
Did you change your old axle for a flexride, or did it come that way?
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:10 PM   #4
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Yes, it's a flexride they're recommending. Evidently that's similar to what was on it, which was likely a Dexter. I could get a Dexter, but it would take 2 weeks to get it here, and the Flexiride is made in Montreal, near to me.
Did you change your old axle for a flexride, or did it come that way?
Hi Karen
Yes ,we did and we went from leading arms suspension to trailing arms witch
raise our camper by 2 3/8 " ride much better and easier Jean-L
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:10 PM   #5
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jean L.....a boler in CT...cool, never seen one here
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:58 AM   #6
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Hi KarenH, I had mine replaced 2 weeks ago with Flexride, it worked pretty well. I did put some information under the following topic: Boler 1300 axle replacement.
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:07 AM   #7
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Bonjour Michel -
is your new axle 'adjustable'? did you have to chose between 'leading edge' and trailing edge'?
thank you,
Karen
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:09 AM   #8
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Salut, , yes Flexride axles are adjustable. They installed it in a leading configuration like the previous Dexter. The previous one was welded, they did some modification and re-enforcement to the frame to have it bolted on this time.

They made the installation with a 24 degree down angle (it is adjustable in 6 degrees increaments/decreaments). Previously when levelled, the bumper at the rear of the Boler was at 6 1/2 inches from the ground, now it's at 13 inches. This is how I wanted it.

Just make sure that they take into account, at the installation, that the arms of the Flexride are a little bit shorter than the Dexter ones, so to have the wheels centered, the axle is installed a little more close to the front in leading arm configuration.

I had electrical brakes installed at the same time.

I didn't knew that they were assembled in Montreal, that is why they got it 2 days later only !
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:49 AM   #9
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Salut, , yes Flexride axles are adjustable. They installed it in a leading configuration like the previous Dexter. The previous one was welded, they did some modification and re-enforcement to the frame to have it bolted on this time.

They made the installation with a 24 degree down angle (it is adjustable in 6 degrees increaments/decreaments). Previously when levelled, the bumper at the rear of the Boler was at 6 1/2 inches from the ground, now it's at 13 inches. This is how I wanted it.

Just make sure that they take into account, at the installation, that the arms of the Flexride are a little bit shorter than the Dexter ones, so to have the wheels centered, the axle is installed a little more close to the front in leading arm configuration.

I had electrical brakes installed at the same time.

I didn't knew that they were assembled in Montreal, that is why they got it 2 days later only !
--------------------
Thanks Michel -
More info found at http://www.ucfamerica.com/Flexiride%20Tech...20Questions.pdf
p. 8 and 9 especially helpful.
It seems to say that you can order a certain starting angle from the manufacturer, then adjust later.
Does this make sense to people with axle experience?
Michel, you had yours installed at the 24 down; so yours should ride horizontal when fully loaded, right? does it? Does that mean that it would ride higher when empty?
(And, the Montreal manufacturer is entreprise Robert Thibert. 1-877-510 3222)
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:34 PM   #10
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When empty, it leans a little bit towards the front (may be front to rear of the Boler by 1 inch), when loaded it is almost horizontal, still leaning a little bit towards the front, but very little, which is perfect. Mind you I put almost everything under the front bunk, I put almost anything under the rear bunks, and my battery over the tongue must weight about 60 pounds.

My 2006 Suzuki GV is not a tall 4x4, but with the Boler setup like this, it makes a perfect ride.

Some people like the old low riding look of the Boler, it is not any more, it looks almost ready to go 4x4 also, which is again perfect for us, since we go often in the ZECs to go fishing, and these roads are often not easy.

Regards
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:48 PM   #11
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Installing a torsion axle in a leading arm orientation seems to be dislikled or doubted by many folks ("it will spontaneously burst into flames", etc, etc), but clearly there are many eggs that have worked fine for decades with axles that way round, and Dexter confirmed to me recently that they don't mind leading arm orientation being used. Their one concern is that users know to swap brakes from one side to the other (on a new axle) so that they are rotating the correct way.

However.... I believe that combining a leading arm orientation and a down static/start angle (ie, that lifts the trailer) may be undesirable. The problem is that if the axle gets a shock load that is backwards and upwards - for example, when driving over a kerb (oops, 'curb') - the axle will be locked almost solid and the shock will be carried straight to the frame/body.

In all the old trailers with leading arms, they always seem to use an up start angle (ie, a low-riding trailer) and that angle provided the suspension compliance, so that's why they worked OK.

I can't say that combining leading arm and down angle won't work - just that it might not work. You pays yer money and you takes yer choice....

Andrew
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:24 PM   #12
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Salut, , yes Flexride axles are adjustable. They installed it in a leading configuration like the previous Dexter. The previous one was welded, they did some modification and re-enforcement to the frame to have it bolted on this time.

They made the installation with a 24 degree down angle (it is adjustable in 6 degrees increaments/decreaments). Previously when levelled, the bumper at the rear of the Boler was at 6 1/2 inches from the ground, now it's at 13 inches. This is how I wanted it.

Just make sure that they take into account, at the installation, that the arms of the Flexride are a little bit shorter than the Dexter ones, so to have the wheels centered, the axle is installed a little more close to the front in leading arm configuration.

I had electrical brakes installed at the same time.

I didn't knew that they were assembled in Montreal, that is why they got it 2 days later only !
Yes, Michel makes an important point. The Flexride arms are sometimes shorter than the Dexter, as I found out last year when I was replacing my axle, so if you are replacing a bolt-on axle the wheels may not be in the centre of the wheel well at the bolt holes. If you are going to weld it on, then it can be put anywhere. Also, the torsion bar on the Flexride axle turned out to be too big to fit behind the drop floor on my 74 Boler, which meant that the holes for bolting on did not line up as the torsion bar was jammed up against the back of the dropped floor underneath the trailer. I would suggest that you make sure that the people building your axle know about these issues and can deal with them.

Good luck,
Rick G.
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:59 PM   #13
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Dexter confirmed to me recently that they don't mind leading arm orientation being used
You are right that this configuration is not optimal, I fully agree with you. And to top it off, Dexter told the company who installed mine that they didn't mind also, but that the warranty would be voided if installed in leading arm configuration

That is the reason why they suggested me to go with the Flexride axle, that the company will honor the 5 years warranty in that particular configuration, but to not exceed that 24 degree start angle with 175/80-R13 tires. This may be due to the fact that the arms are shorter than the Dexter ones and more close to the center of the wheel ? God knows, I'm not a mechanical engineer that studied these things.

But with the third world bad roads that we have here, I can say that it is working fine, and I must say that you are most probably right that the stress will be greater and will probably shorten the life of the axle, still with the 5 years warranty I don't worry much.

Good food for thought, thanks Andrew.


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Old 05-19-2010, 06:25 PM   #14
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Rick, I'm glad you talked about
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so if you are replacing a bolt-on axle the wheels may not be in the centre of the wheel well
, you are absolutely right, and didn't express myself correctly, you cannot fully recover this, I knew and told the installer, but they knew as well and prevented me about it. Even if they modified my Boler's frame to have the new axle bolted on, there was no way to prevent this, unless you go with trailing arms setup, as you said the axle is against the sub-floor frame.

Before the installation they showed me where the wheels would stand. The difference wasn't big enough for me to worry and the wheels are still far enough from the wheel well to hit it.

Also it didn't really changed the center of gravity as I have only 5 lbs more on the tongue.

As a reference here is a picture.
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wheelqr.jpg  
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