New 17' Bigfoot - Questions on axle - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-13-2016, 06:03 PM   #15
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Yikes. Watching this thread...
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Old 02-13-2016, 06:28 PM   #16
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I was checking out my tires today, and even though they're load range C and I'd rather have D, they are at least only 3 years old, so that's good. The spare is garbage, though.

But I decided to take photos of what had worried me in the first place.

It's not like this on the other side.
Both sides of mine looked like your photo until I changed to a straight axle.
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:47 PM   #17
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left side....

even before seeing your last pictures I was willing to bet the rubbing tire was on the left side....from what I've learned ALL these BFs are overweight on the left side coming out of the factory....so one thing you may want to do is always consider weight when you decide where to permanently store stuff in your trailer...(I found this out personally when I broke a spring on the left side...I travel LOTS of rough roads)

your underside pics look very familiar....mine is a 97....

1...a PO moved the axle underneath the springs at some point...
2...when I broke a spring I ordered new springs with an extra leaf...
3...the trailer sits pretty well and where I want it now

(BTW cost of new springs, installed, was around 500 bucks...where I live)
Attached Thumbnails
springs1.jpg   springs6.jpg  

springs7.jpg  
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Old 02-14-2016, 12:59 AM   #18
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Make sure your spring hangers, which are welded to the frame rails, aren't broken. I had one like that and it was hard to see until I REALLY got under there with a good light and looked closely.
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:40 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Franswa View Post

1...a PO moved the axle underneath the springs at some point...
2...when I broke a spring I ordered new springs with an extra leaf...
3...the trailer sits pretty well and where I want it now

(BTW cost of new springs, installed, was around 500 bucks...where I live)
The PO of the '04 I had also did the "spring over" conversion... putting the axle under the spring. If the springs, axle, and brakes are good, that's a pretty easy, no-cost fix for your issues.
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:21 AM   #20
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A spring over conversion raises the trailer but not the axle. It helps protect the plumbing but still leaves the overall ground clearance too low in my opinion. I did the spring over conversion first but when I recognized the above results I went to the straight axle.

Walt
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:59 AM   #21
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A spring over conversion raises the trailer but not the axle. It helps protect the plumbing but still leaves the overall ground clearance too low in my opinion. I did the spring over conversion first but when I recognized the above results I went to the straight axle.

Walt
You're right, Walt. it wouldn't give the axle any more ground clearance, but the OP's issue is that the tire is rubbing on the inside of the wheel well, so it would raise the trailer high enough to give him the clearance he needs for the wheel in the wheel well. It would make the trailer usable without any cost, and give him time to evaluate his other options while still using the trailer.
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:00 AM   #22
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Ok thanks! Glad to hear it's a normal thing with Bigfoots (I guess), but it definitely makes me lean more towards doing some kind of work sooner instead of later. I'll look close under there once things dry out a little more.

I'm going to look into what a Dexter axle costs. At least with that I could do all the work, since there would be no welding. I'd get a complete axle with brakes, springs and hubs.

I'm also in the middle of looking at tires, and as you all know, there just aren't good tires in the 14" wheel size. I mean some have good reviews, but for every two or three good reviews there's someone who had them separate or blow out in 5,000 miles. But then I know there's nothing like a blowout to cause you to come write a bad review, where if you just expect the tires to work well, and they work well, you don't usually come back to write a review.

But still...15" wheels would be nice. We'll see. If I can get away with the axle flip for now I'll do it, but depending on the price and the amount of work involved...almost seems like no more work to do a full axle swap, though I know it'll cost a bit more. I'll start pricing stuff out on Tuesday. I don't want to do a lot of work a spend a few hundred dollars on what might be only a temporary solution.
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:07 AM   #23
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Francois, where did you order your springs? Guess it may have been on your side of the border so probably not the same place I'll order mine...

I like the idea of more clearance (axle and all), and I like the idea of a brand new axle with new brakes and wheel bearings. But also, though I'll be traveling a lot of rough roads like you, I don't think I'll take it down a lot of roads with rocks taller than the axle height. So this option might work for me.

Though looking at it, it kind of doesn't surprise me that a leaf broke. Doesn't it seem like the axle flip puts a lot more stress on the springs? Looks like new springs would be a good idea if I did the flip, or I'd have a broken one pretty soon.
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:17 AM   #24
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Also:

Is the lift amount the same between both methods? Or does one give more? To be honest, even though I know I'll appreciate the extra height even just going through big dips between parking lots and streets, I like how low it sits and know I'll get worse gas mileage once it's higher up.

But if it's the same amount of lift or close to the same, then that doesn't have to factor into my choice.
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:19 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
I'm going to look into what a Dexter axle costs. At least with that I could do all the work, since there would be no welding. I'd get a complete axle with brakes, springs and hubs.

I'm also in the middle of looking at tires, and as you all know, there just aren't good tires in the 14" wheel size. I mean some have good reviews, but for every two or three good reviews there's someone who had them separate or blow out in 5,000 miles. But then I know there's nothing like a blowout to cause you to come write a bad review, where if you just expect the tires to work well, and they work well, you don't usually come back to write a review.

But still...15" wheels would be nice. We'll see. If I can get away with the axle flip for now I'll do it, but depending on the price and the amount of work involved...almost seems like no more work to do a full axle swap, though I know it'll cost a bit more. I'll start pricing stuff out on Tuesday. I don't want to do a lot of work a spend a few hundred dollars on what might be only a temporary solution.
Actually, were it me, I'd leave it leaf spring/axle rather than go to a rubber torsion axle. There's a fair amount of work involved in changing it over. If the spring shackle mounts on the frame are good, replacing springs is easy. And frankly doing the spring-over mod isn't difficult at all. If your brakes, bearings, and spindles are good, unless you need the ground clearance, replacing a perfectly good axle is a waste of money.

Most tire failures (blow-outs) happen because of under-inflation. The sidewall heats up from flex and eventually fails. Unfortunately, with all of the stories of sidewall failure, there are very few folks who actually check their tire pressures regularly enough (like daily) to know when their tires are at risk. The thing that causes low tire pressure more often than any other issues are bad and leaking valve stems. And they don't always get changed with every tire mounting as they should. And even when they do, it's entirely possible that you'll still end up with one of the millions of defective Chinese stems that hit the market a few years ago. I decided years ago to go with solid valve stems instead of the rubber pull-throughs.

"Bad tires" have been blamed for many flats/blowouts that were caused by defective or leaking valve stems or tire under-inflation (user error.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
Though looking at it, it kind of doesn't surprise me that a leaf broke. Doesn't it seem like the axle flip puts a lot more stress on the springs? Looks like new springs would be a good idea if I did the flip, or I'd have a broken one pretty soon.
Doing the spring-over mod doesn't increase the stress on the springs at all. Leaf springs just fatigue like any other metal part that flexes. They have a design life and once they've met that, they crack. That's normal.
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:27 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
Also:

Is the lift amount the same between both methods? Or does one give more? To be honest, even though I know I'll appreciate the extra height even just going through big dips between parking lots and streets, I like how low it sits and know I'll get worse gas mileage once it's higher up.

But if it's the same amount of lift or close to the same, then that doesn't have to factor into my choice.
Both methods? I'm not sure what you're asking, but you can raise both the axle height and trailer height by varying amounts by design depending on what axle you buy, and you can accomplish that with either a rubber torsion or leaf spring axle using spacers, shackles of varying length, and/or dropped or raised axles. If that's what you're asking?

And your gas mileage shouldn't be a factor you need to worry about. It won't be affected noticeably by the three to six inches you'll be raising the top of the trailer.
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:32 AM   #27
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Thank you Roger.

The replacement axles I'm looking at are leaf spring axles, sprung under, but a straight axle.

So I'm wondering what the difference in lift would be between springing over my current drop axle, or going with a sprung under straight axle.
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:48 AM   #28
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Thank you Roger.

The replacement axles I'm looking at are leaf spring axles, sprung under, but a straight axle.

So I'm wondering what the difference in lift would be between springing over my current drop axle, or going with a sprung under straight axle.
About the same. The straight axle gives you 4" more ground clearance (distance from driving surface to bottom of axle tube.) but the lift on the frame ', body and plumbing works out to be 4'' with either change. I changed to 225-75-15 tires and new wheels and picked up another inch of lift and ground clearance.
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