Bent torflex 3.5K Dexter axle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-03-2017, 07:38 PM   #1
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Bent torflex 3.5K Dexter axle

A shop in Utah changing tires on my 17' Escape single axle trailer, jacked my Torflex axle at the mid-point and bent it upwards. I just noticed this while replacing brake assemblies and repacking bearings today. Now I wonder how this will effect the alignment of the tires and whether I need to replace the entire axle???? Has anyone had experience with this situation: leaving axle as is; having shop bend it back down; or replacing axle?
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:43 PM   #2
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My axle is bent upward in the middle. It was designed that way to maintain proper alinement.
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:12 PM   #3
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Really BENT

It was jacked up in the middle of the axle and I can clearly see how it has been bent up. Was not like this until they serviced trailer with new tires.
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by charlsara View Post
My axle is bent upward in the middle. It was designed that way to maintain proper alinement.
Correct (except the word is alignment).. but if you know for a fact they jacked the axle and bent it.. make them replace it.

EDIT: I can understand how someone who does not know better would jack up a trailer by the axle near the wheels. But I cannot understand why anyone would jack up the trailer near the center of the axle.
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:23 PM   #5
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I think you need to provide photos for clarification here and on the Escape Forum, and if you are going to try to make a claim against the shop.
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:39 PM   #6
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As in post number 2, this is where the axle is adjusted so the tires wear evenly. I have had a trailer “alignment” shop do this to our Scamp and to our Lil Snoozy to correct tire wear, sometimes on the inner tread and sometimes it was on the outter tread.
Document your perception by creating a paper trail with communications with the shop that did the damage, and if your tires start wearing unevenly, (usually within a couple thousand miles) have them pay the cost of a “realignment”.
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:39 PM   #7
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If you will go on the Dexter Axle website, you can find a picture of the light duty Torflex. It clearly is bent. This to maintain “alignment” . It keeps the axle under extreme load from bending the opposite way. The shop will tell you the same thing. It wouldn’t make sense to jack under the middle of the axle.
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:59 PM   #8
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Doesn't Make Sense

I agree it doesn't make sense to jack in the middle of the axle; but that's what they obviously did. This was in September in Hurricane Utah; I live in Vancouver BC.. so I don't see trying to get them to pay for the fix.
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:09 PM   #9
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So Ian, from Utah to BC did your tires wear excessively on the outter treads? If no wear, your good to go.
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:48 PM   #10
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Tire wear driving home

Yes the new tires had abnormal wear.... but I'm the guilty party, which only serves to confuse the issue. When arriving in Utah I noticed my tires were bald on inner and outer edges (original tires, 4 years old) with correct inflation. I took it to tire shop and they put on new tires. Over these 4 years I had used the easy lub feature and greased the bearings once a year; but never checked the bearing adjustment. When I got home, saw the tires, then found I could turn the axle nut at least 3/4's of a turn to snug it up. So my bearings were loose; and explained the tire wear. Today I replaced the bearings and cups; along with the brake assemblies; which is when I noticed the markedly bent axle. I note on the Dexter site a slight curve to the cross part of the axle; but mine is bent a lot more. A shop could pull the centre of the axle down.. I'll call them tomorrow and see what they think. I also need to check the camber of each wheel to see what the bent axle has done. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:27 AM   #11
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A loose bearing will definitely cause abnormal tire wear. I have been there.
Let us know how your adjustment turns out.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:16 PM   #12
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Took Measurements

I measured the curve in the centre of the axle; there is 1/2" difference between the centre and the edges of the axle where it attaches to the frame.
I checked the camber of the elevated wheels: right wheel was 100% vertical with no camber; left wheel had a positive camber of 3/4".
I checked this out with a good alignment and frame shop; they said they should be able to true things up without any trouble. So I will take it to them when I take my trailer out of storage in the spring.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ian Hall View Post
I measured the curve in the centre of the axle; there is 1/2" difference between the centre and the edges of the axle where it attaches to the frame.
I checked the camber of the elevated wheels: right wheel was 100% vertical with no camber; left wheel had a positive camber of 3/4".
I checked this out with a good alignment and frame shop; they said they should be able to true things up without any trouble. So I will take it to them when I take my trailer out of storage in the spring.

Just trying to understand - what does the camber with the "elevated wheels" tell you?
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ian Hall View Post
I measured the curve in the centre of the axle; there is 1/2" difference between the centre and the edges of the axle where it attaches to the frame.
I checked the camber of the elevated wheels: right wheel was 100% vertical with no camber; left wheel had a positive camber of 3/4".
I checked this out with a good alignment and frame shop; they said they should be able to true things up without any trouble. So I will take it to them when I take my trailer out of storage in the spring.
Ian, I wonder what the curve measures on a new axle just like yours. That info may be shown on the factories web site specs. I'd look but I don't know what axle you have.
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:02 AM   #15
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Camber and Curve of axle

Of note, the wheels are off the ground (on stands). One wheel hangs perfectly vertical, the other is different with a positive camber of 3/4" (bottom of wheel is turned in... does not hang vertically). I have a 3.5K Dexter #10 torflex axle.
I assume both wheels should be 100% vertical with no camber as they are on trailing arms with torsion rubber suspension. Hope this thread is useful to others.
I would appreciate it if anyone could measure the curve, if you have the same axle, as I did above ( at centre and on each side where axle meets the frame).
I used a straight edge below the axle, from one side of the frame to the other side of the frame. Thanks for the input and questions.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:35 AM   #16
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The "curve" on the Dexter #10 axle on my 17' SD Casita is at least half an inch.
I have never measured it and it's raining today but it's really obvious and I don't think you have a problem.
There was a thread on the Casita Forum about your exact situation.
In the end it was determined the steel in the square part of the axle is 1/4" thick and not easy to bend.

Now on your camber, What if your trailer was not sitting level side to side.
Seems to me, could be wrong, that if the trailer was sitting wheels off the ground with the curb side high that would make the curb side vertical and the street side would have excessive camber.
So to get an accurate measurement the trailer would need to be on a LEVEL surface with trailer sitting on the wheels.

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Old 12-05-2017, 10:39 AM   #17
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You can't tell anything until the wheels are on the ground with weight on them. If your going to have an alignment shop Fix it make sure you take the trailer in fully loaded for camping. Everything full. Water tanks, propane simulated food and luggage since that is how you drive it down the highway.

Bending the center tube a little bit I doubt there will be much effect since the center tube isnt an axle. Its solidly mounted on both ends. Its not like a standard axle mounted on springs that will deflect if the center tube was bent. For the cost of straightening the axle you could probably buy a new one or buy tires more often if you didn't put allot of miles in a year on the trailer. Most trailer tires get too old before they wear out. Personally I would run it and let the tire wear tell me what to do.

What you should check is a toe in or tow out condition when the trailer is fully loaded and on the ground.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:06 PM   #18
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#10 Torflex 3.5K axle camber and toe settings

Thanks for the detailed input. I spoke to a very experienced trailer axle guy.. he noted Dexter is quite vague about camber and toe settings as people do very different things with their trailers. He did give me the settings, with this axle, FULLY LOADED.
Left wheel: positive camber 1/2 degree;
Right wheel: positive camber 1/4 degree
Both wheels positive toe in 1/8 inches. I will post this on both forums. Thanks again.
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Old 04-03-2018, 06:48 PM   #19
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AXLE NOT BENT

OK, Here is the update. Had alignment checked; it is perfect. So it seems I have been negligent Re: the bearings. I have the easy lub feature; and every year I repacked the bearings using the easy lub feature. I didn't know your needed to check the axle nut/ bearing adjustment every year. After 4 years and about 35,000 miles I went and checked the nut and found I could turn it 3/4 of a turn. So loose bearings were the cause of my abnormal tire wear. I replaced the bearings and races; and did the brake assemblies at the same time. Now am heading south trusting that all is well. Hope this helps others to pay attention to their bearings.
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:00 AM   #20
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Very informative. Thank you for taking the time .
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