Scamp Axle - Leading vs Trailing - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-06-2013, 12:47 AM   #57
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Name: RogerDat
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Scamp Replacement Axle Stock Bracket

First picture you can see where the front (left) end of the bracket is shorter and runs into the drop floor of the scamp. It is welded on that edge as well as to frame above. The bracket is an "outboard" because the long side with the axle attached to it is on the outboard side of the bracket.

Second and third picture are the replacement axle with brake flange. 22 degree down angle. You can see the forward side of the bracket is shorter to accommodate the drop floor.

The new bracket is a not as tall. The original was a "drop" mount or "high" lift. Notice the height of bracket above axle is less on the new axle than the old still attached to the trailer.

This was intentional, based on measuring what height of trailer would have been at down angle of original axle vs 22 degree down angle of new axle. That extra bracket height was getting sort of tall so the standard height bracket was used.

One last minor note, on the new axle you can clearly see the square shaft has the corners running parallel with bracket, shows the "original" position of the axle shaft. Which as prev. post pointed out allows you to figure out what an old axle original down angle was.




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Old 10-18-2013, 01:19 PM   #58
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Ran into a couple of problems.
1). The brackets are welded up through the center of the bracket to the frame through the holes. Looking at the new brackets you can see the oval holes in the top of the bracket.

Getting a grinder on those welds at the bottom of the U with the axle in the way turned out to be difficult, the installer would normally just cut the bracket off parallel to the frame so these buried welds could be ground off BUT since it was not certain that new axle would fit there was a desire to not destroy original axle. So they had to work a grinder into the middle of the bracket to grind them off.

2). Four bolt brake drums were the wrong depth, did not cover the brake pads. Same nominal size as Dexter or Torflex but slightly different off set from the bearing. Not off by much but enough so that different brake drums needed to be ordered. those won't be in until next week.

The good news is the new axle does fit. Trailer sits 3.25 inches higher AND has some suspension again. During removal they wanted to push the old spindle out of the way of the grinder. They said they could shove it several inches with the leverage of a screw driver. Pretty soft.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:44 PM   #59
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So Roger was the issue combining your old brakes to your new axle or an issue with all new components?

I am probably going to have to address a new axle next year so I am very interested in where you at and where its going. My 1986 has an Al-KO forward swing 4 lug axle. And like you I want to keep it the stock 4 lug wheels.
I am glad your posting this up it helps me alot.
Thank You,
Steve
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:26 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
So Roger was the issue combining your old brakes to your new axle or an issue with all new components?

Steve
Original axle had no brakes.

I figured the added safety for myself of having brakes and the fact that these small campers can be pulled by some pretty small vehicles that would have greater need of trailer brakes made the modest cost of adding in brakes when ordering an axle worth it.

However during the process of ordering the axle it was decided to order the brake drums separate from the axle since Al-Ko did not have 4 bolt drums in stock and a lower priced source of 4 bolt brake drums was known.

What was not known is that the lower priced drums where specific to a proprietary brake/axle system different than the one installed on my axle. Same 7 inch stock dimension hub but with the bearing seat position non-standard. The drum sits too far "in" on the spindle so it does not cover the pads.

Warehouse that had the hubs said they had not sold one of the 4 bolt hubs in years, so willing to sell them cheap, part number not even in system but parts bin labeled with "size". Oops.

Once the correct size is found I may well purchase a spare set of drums and bearings. Except for accidental damage the axle should last at least 10 years or more. I may not be able to even get 4 bolt before that and if there was a break down on the road I would be out of luck replacing that part.

My experience with availability of 4 bolt axle parts is something to balance against cost of new rims and re-fabrication of the spare tire mount on the back. On reflection I could have put a bar/bracket up from the back bumper with studs to fit 5 bolt rim and used original 4 bolt spaced studs mounted through back trailer wall to help mount it. Live and learn I guess.

Still I am excited to see how it tows and rides with the new axle.
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:42 PM   #61
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will try to post before and after pictures soon but our egg is now home. And I did get a picture of the old axle.

Brake drums for 4 bolt pattern came from Dexter and are about $50 each. That price and availability is something to think about if you are doing an axle replacement and debating 4 bolt vs 5 bolt. Going to find 7 inch 5 bolts drums are cheaper and easier to come by. I may well order an extra one and put bearings in it to keep as a spare due to the lag time of getting a replacement.
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Old 05-28-2014, 02:47 PM   #62
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Hey Roger. Do you happen to have the measurement sheet for the axle you ordered. This would give me a huge head start in measuring/ordering mine.

Every shop I talk to gives me a different answer. I'm driving to two about 100+ miles apart from one another tomorrow.

Also did you ever learn anything on al-Ko axles. They seem like a pretty good axle company but most discussion is dexter. Plus scamp currently sells dexter (but without brakes)

Thanks. Jimbo
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:01 PM   #63
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So....I have read a lot of these axle threads, but I am still confused! My 79/80(?) scamp looks like it rides real low, and it bounces around a bit when I drive, but as far as my untrained eyes can tell the axle looks ok, a little and I can fit a fist between the wheel well and tire.. Should I go ahead and get it replaced?
Anyways, I crawled under and took a few photos, maybe all you experts can give me your opinion! Thanks for the help everyone!
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:31 PM   #64
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The picture from the side shows you are riding real low. Compare the center of the wheel to the body on yours to other Scamps, especially brochures of the era. The bouncing indicates the axle is suspect. Do the torsion arms move at all under load or when jacked up?
From what I see from here so far, a new axle would not hurt. If your axle has never been replaced, timewise it is due for replacement (34 years). I posted a long thread on what to look for a few years back. Hopefully that will help you make a decision.
Replacing an Axle - leading arm to trailing arm
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:53 AM   #65
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When you jack up the trailer by the frame does the wheel/tire drop at all? My 1988 Scamp's arms were both stuck (failed) and did not move at all when I got it. We bounced on the tires all the way home. A new axle and all is well. It came with new brakes and led to new tires & rims which is all good too.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:05 AM   #66
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Sarah notice how your arm with the wheel is pointed up in the second picture from the bottom? Level with frame or pointed slightly down would have been more likely original position is my guess.

There are no visible signs of wear for a torsion axle other than camper sits low or comparing the original arm angle to the current arm angle.

If you look at the new axle pictures a few posts back in post 57 in the bottom picture you can see the square shaft end welded into the right side of the arm. Right about center of picture. Note the "points" of the corners on that square shaft. They point almost straight up/down and nearly straight left/right parallel with the bracket top edge.

New they always have the points at the end of the square shaft lined up like that, as the rubber gets compressed and ages the shaft re-orients itself so the arm rides higher. Think of that video, the square shaft twists against rubber. As rubber ages the shaft does not spring back as far. So by looking at yours with the tire off and noting how much different current points on the shaft are compared to original position you can tell how many degrees it has shifted.

Notice how the arm is pointed down on the new axle. There is 22.5 degrees difference between the bracket top line and the arm center line. That is what is meant by a 22.5 down angle axle.

22.5 is more down angle than I think Scamp normally uses. As I noted above you can use the center line point to point on the square shaft and it's angle to the center line of arm to determine original angle. Shaft which will have changed position relative to the bracket top line as rubber wears out but will have maintained same relative position to the arm welded on to it.

I'm pretty sure your trailer is sitting low but I used mine a few camping trips locally sitting lower. My wheel well cut across the rim a few inches lower than yours does in the bottom picture you posted. Have to watch out for steep driveways or steep camp sites to avoid having back end scrape. Curtain rods tended to bounce out of holders going down the road so I just set them on the cushions before hitting the road, and I would not put much weight in the overhead cupboards but I could still hit the local state parks and use it.

Since you can get a fist between the top of the tire and the wheel well, next thing to check is to look up and see if there are scuff or rub marks from tire hitting wheel well. Spinning tire meets fiberglass wheel well is not good for the wheel well. Might have to pull the tire to get a good look.

I did a lot of other work before I replaced the axle with the one pictured above. But I also took it easy so I would not pound the camper going down the road and planned for the expense of an axle before too long.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:39 AM   #67
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Thanks guys! This is all very helpful!
I will take the wheels off this weekend and look at the "points" and make sure they aren't rubbing in the wheel wells. Assuming they have shifted, I am guessing there is no way to reposition the arms and keep the axle? I will just have to get the whole thing replaced, correct?

I don't mind replacing it, I just want to make sure I am not endangering myself or any other drivers if I take her on the road!

Eventually I definitely want to get her sitting a little higher so I am not so stressed about bottoming out! When I picked her up and had to drive home 4 hrs, I stopped at a Safeway, because it was the only thing open on the Sunday before Memorial day, and bought pool noodles and duck tape to pad her rear end! I got some great looks while I was installing my noodles!

Sorry for the sideways photo!
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:58 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by summooreplz View Post
Thanks guys! This is all very helpful!
I will take the wheels off this weekend and look at the "points" and make sure they aren't rubbing in the wheel wells. Assuming they have shifted, I am guessing there is no way to reposition the arms and keep the axle? I will just have to get the whole thing replaced, correct?

I don't mind replacing it, I just want to make sure I am not endangering myself or any other drivers if I take her on the road!

Eventually I definitely want to get her sitting a little higher so I am not so stressed about bottoming out! When I picked her up and had to drive home 4 hrs, I stopped at a Safeway, because it was the only thing open on the Sunday before Memorial day, and bought pool noodles and duck tape to pad her rear end! I got some great looks while I was installing my noodles!

Sorry for the sideways photo!
Not really replicable parts so no way to fix existing and keep. On the plus side a new axle adds value for many years because they only require replacing after many years, typically 10-20 year range. If you replace with axle that adds brakes not only will your own use be enhanced but resale value also.

With old axle you might be a little more susceptible to sway or bounce making camper a little less stable. I had no problems but my longest trip was only 50 miles of good expressway at 60 mph max. Most of the rest has been on 2 lane roads. Handled fine. Tires will tend to wear out faster, can have uneven wear or cupping so watch the tire tread a bit more closely.

Well since you know the risk of bottoming out as they say forewarned is forearmed. Better to get strange looks than need FG repair. Besides if you ever camp next to a 45 ft. monster motor home or giant 5th wheel your gonna get some strange looks anyway.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:09 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
Not really replicable parts so no way to fix existing and keep. On the plus side a new axle adds value for many years because they only require replacing after many years, typically 10-20 year range. If you replace with axle that adds brakes not only will your own use be enhanced but resale value also.

With old axle you might be a little more susceptible to sway or bounce making camper a little less stable. I had no problems but my longest trip was only 50 miles of good expressway at 60 mph max. Most of the rest has been on 2 lane roads. Handled fine. Tires will tend to wear out faster, can have uneven wear or cupping so watch the tire tread a bit more closely.
Alright! I am sold on a new axle. No one ever wants to spend the extra money... But I think I will save myself the stress!

Can I just take it to an auto body shop? Or do I have to take it to a trailer specialist? I guess I should just call around! I live in a small town, hopefully someone can take care of it for me!

Thanks again for the help!!
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:13 PM   #70
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Anybody that welds can do it for you. Your best bet is someone that makes or works with trailers because they will be familiar with the torsion axles and where to get them. Dexter has a find a distributor on their web site. Find a distributor near you, call them and ask for recommendations. Just tell them you are looking at replacing a Dexter #9.
http://www.dexteraxle.com/find_a_distributor______
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