Trillium axle swap labour cost? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-05-2013, 06:49 PM   #1
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Name: Dave
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
British Columbia
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Trillium axle swap labour cost?

Just picked up a Trill 4500 in need of a new axle, stopped by the recommended local axle joint and got a quote for ~$750 for a Dexter Torflex and another $500-700 for labour!

What have others paid for axle swap labour?

I need to find somewhere in Southern Alberta that is more reasonable...suggestions?

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:26 PM   #2
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Name: jeff
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Ontario
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Hey Dave, I have a 4500 as well. Last year I replaced the axle ordered from here 1000-2200 lb #9 Torflex Axle I picked it up but they deliver in anywhere in Canada I think. I got my torflex with ez lube hubs and no brakes for around $250. It's not hard to replace, anyone with a grinder and welder could do it, I did mine in the driveway. I wouldn't pay more than a couple hundred to have it done. Took me 2hrs so thats $100 an hour labour
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:33 PM   #3
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As far as I can tell, Dexter Tore-flex are the ideal replacement for original axles on a 4500. The labour cost is probably justified by the fact axle is supposed to be welded to the frame.

http://dexteraxle.com/i/u/6149609/f/...ation_1-12.pdf

More specifications on welding tore-flex can be found on page 12 of this PDF document http://l.b5z.net/i/u/6149609/f/Appli...te_Catalog.pdf

This may not be as simple as turning a couple of nuts. The end result must be perfectly aligned, electric brakes reconnected and welding new hub frame may require to repair the old rusty frame first. The axle attachment point is one of the most critical section of the frame that often becomes corroded or cracked over time.



I would simply ask for more details, but dismantling the old, then welding new metal on a rusty and thin frame with precision requires skills and knowledge that leaves little room for error. A cheap job may ruin your frame or your shell and become dangerous down the road.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:42 PM   #4
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Jeff - thanks, unfortunately I'm not set up for welding right now, but this has pushed me to change that in the near future.

Martin - Thanks for the PDF links, just what I needed to explain/show the shop who didn't believe me there were hangers that could be used.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:28 PM   #5
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... stopped by the recommended local axle joint ...
I need to find somewhere in Southern Alberta that is more reasonable...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_L View Post
... just what I needed to explain/show the sho[p] who didn't believe me there were hangers that could be used.
I would be really surprised if Standen's - a commonly recommended trailer axle shop in Alberta - would be unaware of Dexter Torflex side-mount hangers. Have you tried them?

The hangers won't make the job any cheaper - they add some parts cost and some effort - but they do make the next replacement easier.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:32 PM   #6
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Brian - apparently it was Standens (who they order through) who told the local yokal that there was no such thing as a bracket and that it was a 'Boler thing'

From what I've read, it is not good to weld torsian axles as the rubber can easily overheat and no longer do it's job properly (at least that is what Flexiride claims)
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:48 PM   #7
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From what I've read, it is not good to weld torsian axles as the rubber can easily overheat and no longer do it's job properly (at least that is what Flexiride claims)
All the more reason for a bolt on bracket. Tack weld the brackets in place while on the new axle. Undo the bolts and drop the axle. Finish welding the brackets properly with more room to manouver then bolt the axle back on.

I doubt many shops are pulling the Flexride cartridges after tacking the the Axle tube in place.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:53 PM   #8
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I used the brackets, so if there is a next time it's a bolt in affair. If you look under the camper its just an L shape bracket with a few tack welds, no biggie! There is a drop joint in the frame, the bracket butts up against it and weld it on. I measured everything first, but seriously you don't even need a tape measure. It's an exact replacement that has an exact place to go. The point is it's very simple and should not be an expensive job to have done. My 35 year old torsion axle had dried out and had no suspension, it was pretty much a solid axle. Now my trailer floats behind me and is a dream to tow
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:59 PM   #9
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I'll think I'll have to try another shop in town, 5 hours of welding time seems a little much. That and they don't believe there is a bracket available isn't a vote of confidence if these guys consider themselves a trailer building shop.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:07 PM   #10
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Jeff - thanks, unfortunately I'm not set up for welding right now, but this has pushed me to change that in the near future.

Martin - Thanks for the PDF links, just what I needed to explain/show the shop who didn't believe me there were hangers that could be used.

I'll think I'll have to try another shop in town, 5 hours of welding time seems a little much. That and they don't believe there is a bracket available isn't a vote of confidence if these guys consider themselves a trailer building shop.
That's funny Dave to realize that we live in a world where 95% of people don't read manuals and beleive they are smarter than the people who designed the hardware in the first place. My dad is not a mechanic, but as general manager of a mechanic shop he often had to stand his point that his so called experts used the recommended welding rod type, the recommended procedure, etc. He was simply... reading the manual and was concerned about the quality of the end product for the customer and the cost for the shop if the repair had to be done over again. Sometimes, it meant scratching the ego of a mechanic who tought they knew without checking out the specifications. This is called the "human factor".

Whoever makes the decision to adopt a vintage RV, motorcycle, sailboat or car has to become self educated in "vintage maintenance". We must become skillfull in part and specifications research. Materials and techniques are changing, but fixing the old with new stuff requires the owner to understand the challenge. Not all technically oriented people are curious and humble enough to check out first. This forum is really a prime example of the imaginative spirit that is required to adopt a vintage RV.

By the way, my motorcycle is a Honda CM400 1980 and my little sailboat is a Sandpiper 565 (19ft) 1983. It goes along very well with my 1977 Trillium . Lots of fun, humble cost, but at the end, I must be the one who knows enough to maintain it in good shape. This is the price to pay, but it is part of the fun and the pride when we succeed.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:40 PM   #11
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Name: Dave
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I'm no stranger to 'vintage' restorations, a Trillium 1300 10 years ago, a Bigfoot 5 years ago and now my final trailer, the 4500 which will be redone top to bottom.

I've got a shop full old cast iron woodworking tools that are sadly no longer being made, all rebuilt myself. I just need to get my metal working up to speed, that's my goal for the fall, and an excuse for a new shop to work on the trailer refurb.
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Old 07-06-2013, 03:22 PM   #12
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I'll think I'll have to try another shop in town, 5 hours of welding time seems a little much. That and they don't believe there is a bracket available isn't a vote of confidence if these guys consider themselves a trailer building shop.
That seems like a reasonable approach to me. Also, don't be a afraid to call Standen's directly even if just for better information regarding an installation by a shop that might get the parts from Standen's: they have proven to be helpful in the past.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:50 PM   #13
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Standen's, while not cheep, get my vote for quality work. They put the air bags, and shackles on my travel van. Their estimates are accurate.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:52 PM   #14
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Name: Dave
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Talked to Standens today, SUPER helpful, great guys. I ordered a Flexiride through them, they derate the axle according to your trailer weight.

Just need to find an installer now as the 'trailer shop' (term used loosely) I originally went to were obviously lying or just plain idjits. Now, to find a half decent set of tires in Canada...

@David - haven't forgot about the Trillium serial #
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