Leading Arm or Trailing Arm - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-20-2016, 05:57 AM   #15
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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I had Flexiride make my axle for 3000 lbs on the 3500 unit. You can adjust the angle to what you want with it,
They have two models of interest to us and they are approximately 2500 or 3500 I could be wrong on the ranges, but you would want the lighter one for your trailer.
The arm length is a little shorter than the Dexter or ALKO.
Your trailer probably has the ALKO and there should be a tag on it.
on the cross beam. Get the numbers off it and call ALKO and they can tell you what the specifications are.
Fleyiride can make you an axle with whatever spacing you want and with a bracket that can be welded to the trailer and then the axle bolted up.
Be sure you specify on what ever axle you buy exactly what you want, because this is what you will get.
I assumed that the frame was 48" outside to outside, but when I cut off the old one it was really 48 1/4" and I had to do some quick mods.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:07 AM   #16
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They can de-tune to pretty much the load capacity you wish. I do think there is a slight difference in the axle arc on the heavier axles. Axle is not always straight tube, sometimes will have a bow in it so that with a load on it the tires have the correct camber angle.


The axle makers can make the bracket you want and the angle you want at the load capacity you need for whatever you want but as pointed out by JD you send them dimensions and the axle built to those dimensions is yours, no refunds if they make it to your measurements. This is one reason you need to do it carefully or go to a good reputable shop.


I would go with the more modern 5 bolt pattern and order with brakes. You can get the older 4 bolt and not have to replace your rims but 4 bolt brake hubs are not a common part, the 5 bolt hubs are. I LOVE my trailer brakes. Yes it is a little trailer that does not have to have brakes but man alive it is nice to be able to stop for a yellow light rather than trying to make it through a Hail Mary and the intersection before someone pulls out.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:32 AM   #17
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The biggest difficulty with upgrading to 5-lug wheels from 4-lug is the spare tire mounting bolts have to be redone. There are some old threads on ways to do it.
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Old 01-20-2016, 03:52 PM   #18
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Trailer: Had Scamp 13', want another small trailer.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David B. View Post
I had a trailer builder change out our worn out 13' Scamp's leading arm axle to a trailing arm Flexiride adjustable (splined axle with removable splined arms) axle. With this set up I was able to keep the trailer low to get it through the 7' garage door (combined with golf cart wheels) by having an upward deflection, and at zero degrees for road use, and downward deflection for off road use. The arms are shorter than the original arms Scamp used, so this has to be figured into the equation when getting the wheels centered in the wheel well openings.
Best of luck with your project.
Dave & Paula
Thanks Dave & Paula!

That sounds interesting. Did the builder install two half axle stubs or or a full length axle? Where on the frame did the trailer builder attach the axle. Was it close to the original position or elsewhere.

I have no reason to change the deflection of the axle arm at this time, but it would be nice to be able to do so.

Do you know the model number of your new axle?

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:43 PM   #19
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Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
The biggest difficulty with upgrading to 5-lug wheels from 4-lug is the spare tire mounting bolts have to be redone. There are some old threads on ways to do it.
I stayed with the 4 bolt for this very reason (and not wanting to purchase 3 new rims) Afterwards realized the mounting of spare was an easy fix for a trailer shop that welds.

They would just need to make an adapter with 4 bolt holes at the back and the five bolts coming out the front. Then mount a vertical support off of the rear bumper to help support it. Adapter is held in place by old 4 bolts and supported by the leg down to the bumper. Probably be stronger than original.

Gain is wider assortment of 5 bolt rims to choose from (for style) and pretty much every trailer repair shop would have your brake parts, especially the hubs. Have a bearing go and sustain damage to the hub and you will be in a bad spot unless you carry your own spare hub. They are small but still... who wants to haul around a $50 spare piece of cast iron?

Also alluded to but not emphatically was the down angle of axle raises trailer but does not buy much ground clearance until you add larger wheels and then only 1/2 of the additional wheel diameter. Going from 13 inch to 15 inch wheels is only raising the axle the wheel is attached to by ~1 inch. Taller profile tires can add a bit to that. BUT to get that height the axle has to angle down enough to create clearance above the larger tire so the step up into the camper grows much more than that inch or two.

It is easy to find original down angle and from that original height. The square shaft that the axle arm is welded to was originally a diamond shape <> with the horizontal points level. If re-oriented that way with the tire off one can then establish the original wheel height, the rest is just basic addition. Arm should pry down into position fairly easily if the rubber torsion is worn out. Mine could be moved with a big screw driver after 35 years.

I went for original height when axle was replaced but then I don't want to have a big step up into the camper.
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:43 PM   #20
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Name: Dave & Paula Brown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Nolen View Post
Thanks Dave & Paula!

That sounds interesting. Did the builder install two half axle stubs or or a full length axle? Where on the frame did the trailer builder attach the axle. Was it close to the original position or elsewhere.

I have no reason to change the deflection of the axle arm at this time, but it would be nice to be able to do so.

Do you know the model number of your new axle?

Thanks,

Bill
Bill, the builder installed a full length trailing arm axle. He added square tubing to the existing "cracked" frame after welding up the cracks, then added the axle. I gave him the measurements that I had gleaned off FGRV forum that someone had taken a lot of time detailing all measurements. He didn't listen, and only went off the original leading arm configuration axle that he took off. It ended up that the tires rubbed through the inner fender on one side, so they had to build another axle and replace the 1st one they made (at their expense), so my recommendation would be to leave the measurements up to them to build it so they will be the ones paying for any changes needed if something doesn't work out. Best of luck with your axle replacement.
Dave & Paula
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:24 PM   #21
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Oklahoma
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Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me.

This morning I thought that since I was waiting for a slack period to take my scamp for it's new axle, I'd check it one more time. I guess I was hoping that the axle would heal itself overnight!

Anyway, with a heavy load being applied up and down on the rear bumper I tried to measure the movement of the axle arm. Sadly, the arm didn't move at all! All movement was the result of the tires flexing.

While under the trailer I took some photos. One showing the amount the arm is upward. The wires shown are for the brakes...which I didn't know I had for some time. i also tried to find a model or SN on the axle tube, but without any luck.

Click image for larger version

Name:	<a title=Scamp old axle arm left side.jpg Views: 13 Size: 260.6 KB ID: 91890" style="margin: 2px" />

This photo shows the mounting bracket welded to the frame. Sure ugly with 39 years of crud on the undercarriage!

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There is no doubt that I will have the trailer co. measure and order the correct axle for me. I'd like to change from a leading arm axle to a trailing arm axle, but will go with whatever the trailer people say.

Bill
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:56 PM   #22
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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When I installed my flexiride I chose it so that I could change the ride height to correct for adding larger 14" tires. I doubt that you will need them for a 13' trailer, however.
I believe that if you add brakes only 5 lug hubs are available.
I bought tires and wheels for around $100 each (three).
The tires are Kenda Loadstar or load master of some such Chinese tires from Pep Boys auto.
I like the hubs on the FLexiride since they are forged or cast steel and not built up and have replaceable axles and of course the arms are also replaceable and repositionable.
To clear the wheel wells I had to take out the flat topped fiberglass originals and installed steel wheel wells from Tractor supply modified to fit.
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:24 PM   #23
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My rememberer is probably fading at this point... but.. I kinda remember the reason for changing from a leading arm to a trailing arm and to do with bumps and pot holes.


A leading arm JAMBed into a pot hole and a leading arm fell into the hole and moved up as the axle moved along. A leading arm axle was less stress on the axle and frame.


So, ask yourself WHY the manufacturer made the change?
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:49 PM   #24
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When I replaced with the Flexiride, I was able to order it WITHOUT new hubs, and reused my 4 lug hubs/brakes since the brakes and bearings were nearly new, and fit the spindles on the Flexiride. Saved money on axle cost and was able to keep using our wheels/tires and spare.
Dave & Paula
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:31 AM   #25
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Had Scamp 13', want another small trailer.
Oklahoma
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Late yesterday i received a reply from Dexter answering my question if it was OK to use a Dexter trailing arm axle as a leading arm axle.

The reply:

"Mr. Nolen,

The Torflex axle is designed to be trailing arm axle not a leading arm axle. We can't recommend that it be used as a leading arm axle.


Thanks

Jim Miller / Dexter Axle"

However, I understand that there are several such instalations that are working OK. Maybe just a shorter life depending on how many deep potholes one falls into?

I'm going to ask the horse trailer mfg. company if they believe a trailing arm axle could be "safely" mounted on my Scamp's frame under the "dance floor". Other than raising the height/ground clearance by a inch or two the reinforcement tubing shown forward of the axle should be strong enough I'd think.

Click image for larger version

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Restoring a old trailer sure can get complicated!

Bill
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:07 AM   #26
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Name: Dustin
Trailer: In The Market
Colorado
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Back to the original post. I have a leading arm in the up position. Can you mount a trailing arm with 22.5 deg down under the "dance floor" (ie mount the axle forward of its existing location )? Seems like that would raise the trailer quite a bit, too. Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:39 AM   #27
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Just for clarity… I thought "dance floor" usually referred to the raised section under the rear dinette, no?

If so, a trailing arm axle would not be mounted under the dance floor, but under the center drop-floor, which is why it requires an up-angle to maintain the original ride height.

Am I misunderstanding the terminology here? I'm not into the nightclub scene, so I'm not sure whether a dance floor is usually lower or higher than the seating area…
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:43 PM   #28
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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If you mount an axle in leading arm it must be positions so that the arm is "up".
If it is down when you hit that pot hole it may not ride up over the lip and that would be bad.
The trailing arm the wheel will ride up and over the lip with less shock passes on the the trailer and wheel and hub.
If you want the arms leading then up it is.
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