Axle Replacement Questions - Boler 13 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-27-2012, 06:23 PM   #1
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Axle Replacement Questions - Boler 13

I am looking for a new axle for my Boler 13. The old axle was bolted on to the frame. I was able to get the bolts loose without any significant drama. I expected at least one of the bolts to be rusted solid, but they all came apart without any problems. My electric impact wrench was able to take these apart with minimal effort. The frame has been removed from the trailer, and now the axle has been removed from the frame. Now its time to find a new axle. The old axle sags, and my tow vehicle requires brakes (which the old axle does not have). Since the old axle was bolted on, I should be able to get something that matches and bolt it together.

I have the order from Cerka, who appears to be the local Dexter supplier. No firm decisions have been made yet. I do have a couple questions.
http://www.cerka.ca/Torflex_order_form.pdf

I notice that the axle pictured on Paul Neumeister's website have a bend at the center of the main shaft of the axle. My axle had a straight main shaft. What is the advantage to the bend?
Fibreglass RV Parts, Repairs, and Service by Paul Neumeister

What is the correct start angle for the arm? My old axle was saggy enough that I don't trust using it to the old axle.

I plan to add electric brakes this time. Does this typically create any clearance issues?

Are there any other issues I should be aware of?

Derek
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:05 PM   #2
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I would discuss it with the axle supplier.
The different angles will change the ground clearance of your trailer.
Figure out how much clearance you need and let the supplier figure it out for you.
Brakes will not have any effect on your clearances.
Good luck with your project.

John
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:13 PM   #3
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Make sure that the axle you order can have brakes added. Not all 2000 lb axles can be fitted with brakes.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:28 PM   #4
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I would discuss it with the axle supplier.
The different angles will change the ground clearance of your trailer.
Figure out how much clearance you need and let the supplier figure it out for you.
Yes, I have been pondering taking the old axle out to the distributor to have them come up with their own measurements. Will they be able to figure out the start arm angle from an old saggy axle? Its tough to measure clearance with an egg on blocks/frame removed.

Derek
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:14 PM   #5
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Derek,
They may have to take a guess at the starting angle of your old axle. I'm told that around 23 degrees down is near optimal for ride quality. Your trailer will likely gain some height with a new axle. If the new height is a problem you could opt for a Flexiride axle that has splined trailing arms which provides for height adjustment. They can be made to any length you desire to achieve tire/fender clearance. Your fabricator / installer would have to provide dimensions for the mounting brackets to the Flexiride dealer.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:22 PM   #6
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Derek, the axels come in several angles and can be customized.
I just had a new Dexter axel installed on my little Lil Bigfoot.
I told him what I wanted and let the experts figure it out.
I'm satisfied.
Give him the weight of your trailer and the clearance you would like and let him and Dexter figure it out.
John
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:08 PM   #7
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There's another thing that hasn't been mentioned which could impact the installation of a new axle. Some of the older trailers used a leading arm, meaning the spindle was in front of the axle. When you add brakes a trailing arm is needed, the spindle behind the axle. Some people have gotten away with a leading arm and brakes, but I believe that life of the axle is reduced. Plus when you brake with a leading arm there's tendency for the trailer to lift, which doesn't happen with a trailing arm.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:20 AM   #8
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There's another thing that hasn't been mentioned which could impact the installation of a new axle. Some of the older trailers used a leading arm, meaning the spindle was in front of the axle. When you add brakes a trailing arm is needed, the spindle behind the axle. Some people have gotten away with a leading arm and brakes, but I believe that life of the axle is reduced. Plus when you brake with a leading arm there's tendency for the trailer to lift, which doesn't happen with a trailing arm.

This is a valid point. It seems to me that this is going to mean repositioning the mounting brackets. Replacing the axle is nolonger an unbolt the old, bolt on the new procedure. Perhaps there is a "work around" to the problem? Or has a trip to the welding shop become necessary?

Derek
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:29 PM   #9
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This is a valid point. It seems to me that this is going to mean repositioning the mounting brackets. Replacing the axle is nolonger an unbolt the old, bolt on the new procedure. Perhaps there is a "work around" to the problem? Or has a trip to the welding shop become necessary?

Derek

This guy says Dexter told him brakes were OK with a leading arm. You might discuss it with him and ask Dexter as well.

Quote:
Decided to keep the leading arm after Dexter told me it would be OK to add brakes to a leading arm axle.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:01 PM   #10
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This guy says Dexter told him brakes were OK with a leading arm.
That's the same information I've received from someone using one of my designs. The one warning he got was that Dexter only manufacture in trailing arm configuration so, although the axle is good to use the other way around, after delivery he had to swap the brake assemblies from side to side so that they were on the correct side in leading arm orientation.

Did that make sense? It does to me writing it, but it could be confusing to read!
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:31 PM   #11
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Byron is correct in pointing out the leading arm with brakes to think about. Remember this, Someone will always tell you they have seen it done, have done it or heard of it being done.

I would not use brakes on a leading arm. A Hard brake will lift the camper and it could start hopping.

I would be certain to make it a BOLT on because the owner can replace the axle them self in just a couple of hours in the future. This is also the time to raise the camper if so desired.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:39 PM   #12
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..... Remember this, Someone will always tell you they have seen it done, have done it or heard of it being done.
.........
True, all opinions are not equal, but I'd give more credence to the axle manufacturer, Dexter.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:24 PM   #13
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Tom, If I were selling axles I would say you could mount it on anything.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:41 PM   #14
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Tom, If I were selling axles I would say you could mount it on anything.
I wouldn't, because it would sully my reputation and cause legal liabilities that would never make up for a few extra sales. Dexter seems to have a pretty competent engineering staff based on what I've seen of their product line.

My advice to the OP is to call Dexter, talk to someone there that is well versed in the issue and decide for yourself.

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For product information or service & warranty:
Contact us from 8am-5pm EST (Monday-Friday)
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