Trillium Axle Rebuild...possible? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-11-2006, 07:00 PM   #1
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1989 17 ft Bigfoot Deluxe / 2004 Ford Ranger
Ontario
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We have a 73 Trillium 1300, and the unit has developed a "list" to the driver's side, so much so, that tire clearance to the top of the wheel housing is just under 2", about half of what the other side has; there is no evidence that the tire has ever made contact, tho'. There seems to be no "travel" to the suspension on that side,incidentally.
I have two questions: first of all, as I have not seen any reference in this or other f/g forums of a failing rubber torsion axle being rebuilt, instead of replacing the axle altogether...is this feasible; has anyone heard of an instance when the rubber components were replaced/rebuilt? If so, was cost less than replacement, same, or more? My concern lies with the fact that my axle is welded to the frame, and cutting it off, and welding or bolting the new axle to the frame may weaken the frame.
Secondly, has anyone experienced a complete failure of the axle? What exactly happened? I have taken the Trillium on two long distance trips this summer and fall, since becoming aware of the sag, and measured the tire clearance after each trip...no change at all. Has it reached a state of equilibrium now, or is it waiting for the worst possible time to fail?

Joe
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Old 10-11-2006, 07:09 PM   #2
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Hi Joe!

Presuming that the Trillium has a rubber torsion axle... and I believe it does... what it means is that one side of the axle has failed altogether. It's time to replace the axle. They cannot be rebuilt.

Do a search on axle replacements. There's a wealth of info available.

Roger
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Old 10-11-2006, 08:32 PM   #3
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Cerka industries in Milton will build a new axle to the measurements you give them.

Talk to Joe.

REand RE of the axle should run about 200.00 in labour at any good welding shop. double check the mount, mine was bolted to a welded plate, but it may have been already changed.
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Old 10-12-2006, 12:55 AM   #4
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No, they can't be rebuilt economically (I suppose it is possible to do it, but none of the manfs will do it) -- Cutting the old axle off with a grinder and welding a new axle on is done all the time -- It is possible to get a bracket that can be welded to the frame, to which the new axle then bolts for easier replacement in another 20-30 years.

If you do change the axle, this is a good time to consider adding brakes and consider adding EZLube -- Also, you can change the 'rubbering' on the new axle to up to 2,200 lbs in 100 lb increments -- Older trailers generally had too small a capacity for today's extras -- Bear in mind that too stiff will give a ruffer ride, of course.

The way torsion axles are made, the rubber rods are cut to the length corresponding to the weight capacity desired -- Then they are dipped in liquid nitrogen to freeze them and inserted into one side of the axle beam, along with the moving component -- When it's all come back to room temp, and the rods have expanded, it's finished on that side.

Here's a quote from Henschen axles:

QUOTE
3. How do you get the rubber cords inside the axle tube? We compress the cords into a half round space with a Hydraulic press. This deforms the cords while they are being frozen by liquid nitrogen. The frozen cords are held around the inner metal bar and inserted in the outer tube. They thaw out within a few minutes, and then they are ready for 20 years plus use.
END QUOTE

Here's another interesting quote:

QUOTE
5. Why is my axle bent? The toe-in and camber are bent in the cross tube of the axle. This assures proper tire alignment when the axle is loaded to its full capacity.
END QUOTE
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:43 AM   #5
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1989 17 ft Bigfoot Deluxe / 2004 Ford Ranger
Ontario
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Quote:
Cerka industries in Milton will build a new axle to the measurements you give them.

Talk to Joe.

REand RE of the axle should run about 200.00 in labour at any good welding shop. double check the mount, mine was bolted to a welded plate, but it may have been already changed.
Thanx, Roger and Joe, will have to follow up on your suggestions.

Joe/Peterborough
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:03 AM   #6
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Trailer: 1989 17 ft Bigfoot Deluxe / 2004 Ford Ranger
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Quote:
No, they can't be rebuilt economically (I suppose it is possible to do it, but none of the manfs will do it) -- Cutting the old axle off with a grinder and welding a new axle on is done all the time -- It is possible to get a bracket that can be welded to the frame, to which the new axle then bolts for easier replacement in another 20-30 years.

If you do change the axle, this is a good time to consider adding brakes and consider adding EZLube -- Also, you can change the 'rubbering' on the new axle to up to 2,200 lbs in 100 lb increments -- Older trailers generally had too small a capacity for today's extras -- Bear in mind that too stiff will give a ruffer ride, of course.

The way torsion axles are made, the rubber rods are cut to the length corresponding to the weight capacity desired -- Then they are dipped in liquid nitrogen to freeze them and inserted into one side of the axle beam, along with the moving component -- When it's all come back to room temp, and the rods have expanded, it's finished on that side.

Here's a quote from Henschen axles:

QUOTE
3. How do you get the rubber cords inside the axle tube? We compress the cords into a half round space with a Hydraulic press. This deforms the cords while they are being frozen by liquid nitrogen. The frozen cords are held around the inner metal bar and inserted in the outer tube. They thaw out within a few minutes, and then they are ready for 20 years plus use.
END QUOTE

Here's another interesting quote:

QUOTE
5. Why is my axle bent? The toe-in and camber are bent in the cross tube of the axle. This assures proper tire alignment when the axle is loaded to its full capacity.
END QUOTE

Hi Pete

Thanx for the very interesting response...especially the info on just how these amazing axles are manufactured. Good to know the axle will be good for another 20 yrs...it will benefit somebody, not me !!!
I guess over the winter will be a good time to start setting aside a few pennies for the inevitable Spring upgrade. Fortunately, the link provided by Joe Macdonald, (Cerka Industries) is a manufacturer not all that far from where I live;I've already checked their website, and it looks like I'll be contacting them with the specs for my axle requirement, keeping in mind the suggested 2200# upgraded capacity...good tip !
BTW...what is EZLube??

G'bye fer now,
Joe/Peterborough, Ontario
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Old 10-12-2006, 05:06 PM   #7
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Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft
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Hi Pete

I'll be contacting them with the specs for my axle requirement, keeping in mind the suggested 2200# upgraded capacity...good tip !
BTW...what is EZLube??

G'bye fer now,
Joe/Peterborough, Ontario
I pulled this from the trilliumrv.com web site...

Rubber Ride Torsion Axle

Do you need an axle replacement?


Do the tires show uneven wear? (Similar to how car tires wear poorly when misaligned.)
Does one wheel sit much higher in the well than the other? Note: the left side of the trailer carries more weight than the right side, so this side will always have the wheel higher in the well.
Is there spring left in axle? One easy way to get an idea - Have someone jump up & down inside the trailer, while standing outside to observe.
Does it appear that the tire hits the top of the wheel well constantly? There will be lots of blacks marks from the tire here.

If it needs replacing, these are the specs.:

1300
Trailing Arm
0 Starting Angle
48" OS Brackets
65" Track
Brake Flanges
2,000 lb. (Revised Capacity)
Tapered Spindle
5 x 4.5 Hubs

4500
Has the same specs as above, except:
68" Track
2,500 lb. (Revised Capacity)

Vintage Trilliums had 1,500 / 2,000 GAWR axles. This meant that the axles worked at their maximum capacity full time. Recommendation: add 500 lbs. for an extra safety margin. (2,000 / 2,500 lbs. as above)

All of these axles were welded on from the factory. Any good welding shop can cut the old axle off and weld the new one on. This is not a complicated job. It can be accomplished in 1 to 1 hours, depending on the skill & equipment of the shop.
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Old 10-12-2006, 07:09 PM   #8
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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Quote:
BTW...what is EZLube??...
The E-Z Lube Bearing Lubrication System is Dexter's method of allowing you to add grease to the bearings without disassembling the hub from the spindle.

It cannot be added to an existing spindle, so if you are buying a new axle that's your chance to add this feature. If you don't want to use it, it is harmless. If you search this forum for "E-Z Lube", you'll find some earlier discussions of it. If you decide to get both E-Z Lube and brakes, I suggest reading the applicable section of Dexter's FAQ before pumping grease into the E-Z Lube fitting.
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:31 PM   #9
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1989 17 ft Bigfoot Deluxe / 2004 Ford Ranger
Ontario
Posts: 115
Quote:
I pulled this from the trilliumrv.com web site...

Rubber Ride Torsion Axle

Do you need an axle replacement?
Do the tires show uneven wear? (Similar to how car tires wear poorly when misaligned.)
Does one wheel sit much higher in the well than the other? Note: the left side of the trailer carries more weight than the right side, so this side will always have the wheel higher in the well.
Is there spring left in axle? One easy way to get an idea - Have someone jump up & down inside the trailer, while standing outside to observe.
Does it appear that the tire hits the top of the wheel well constantly? There will be lots of blacks marks from the tire here.

If it needs replacing, these are the specs.:

1300
Trailing Arm
0 Starting Angle
48" OS Brackets
65" Track
Brake Flanges
2,000 lb. (Revised Capacity)
Tapered Spindle
5 x 4.5 Hubs

4500
Has the same specs as above, except:
68" Track
2,500 lb. (Revised Capacity)

Vintage Trilliums had 1,500 / 2,000 GAWR axles. This meant that the axles worked at their maximum capacity full time. Recommendation: add 500 lbs. for an extra safety margin. (2,000 / 2,500 lbs. as above)

All of these axles were welded on from the factory. Any good welding shop can cut the old axle off and weld the new one on. This is not a complicated job. It can be accomplished in 1 to 1 hours, depending on the skill & equipment of the shop.
Hi Brendadave
Thanx for your info...somewhere in my Trillium file(getting thicker by the day !), I already have those axle specs;but, if I can't find them, I have yours for back-up !
Joe/Peterborough
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:45 PM   #10
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1989 17 ft Bigfoot Deluxe / 2004 Ford Ranger
Ontario
Posts: 115
Quote:
The E-Z Lube Bearing Lubrication System is Dexter's method of allowing you to add grease to the bearings without disassembling the hub from the spindle.

It cannot be added to an existing spindle, so if you are buying a new axle that's your chance to add this feature. If you don't want to use it, it is harmless. If you search this forum for "E-Z Lube", you'll find some earlier discussions of it. If you decide to get both E-Z Lube and brakes, I suggest reading the applicable section of Dexter's FAQ before pumping grease into the E-Z Lube fitting.
Hi Brian
That EZLube sounds a lot like "Bearing Buddies" Are they the same thing, differant name? But...I thought I heard somewhere that Bearing Buddies COULD be added to existing hubs...I could be wrong.
The jury is still out(budget has not been finalized !!) on the issue of adding brakes to the new axle, or just the mounting brackets, at least....and, yes, the issue of pressure-type grease fittings contaminating brake drums, I've read somewhere, also.
Thanx for your input,

Joe/Peterborough
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Old 10-13-2006, 07:10 AM   #11
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EZ lube is different from the bearing buddies. The EZ lube system puts a grease zerk on the axle spindle to allow you to grease the bearings without pulling the hub off.
it is not a spring loaded system like the bearing buddies.
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Old 10-13-2006, 08:31 AM   #12
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1989 17 ft Bigfoot Deluxe / 2004 Ford Ranger
Ontario
Posts: 115
Quote:
EZ lube is different from the bearing buddies. The EZ lube system puts a grease zerk on the axle spindle to allow you to grease the bearings without pulling the hub off.
it is not a spring loaded system like the bearing buddies.
OK, Joe, I see the differance in the two systems.

Thanx,

Joe/Peterborough
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Old 10-13-2006, 05:07 PM   #13
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It seems that Bearing Buddies and E-Z Lube are often confused, since they have similar functions. For more detail, the most recent discussion was in the topic 1989 13ft Scamp Axle.
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:26 AM   #14
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OK, Joe, I see the differance in the two systems.

Thanx,

Joe/Peterborough
Hi: I just finished replacing all clearance stop turn tail lights with Super Novas from Traction Heavy Duty Parts. div. of U.A.P. While brousing around our local shop I noticed they also carry Dexter parts and the Mgr. said he can order in special R.V. axle components...Just another link for us to look into. Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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