Shocks?

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Re: Shocks?

Postby RJ Howell » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:01 am

tony.latham wrote:I think you are chasing a problem that doesn’t exist. Somewhere on Dexter’s site it shows the up and down travel distance of their Torflex axles.

T


Did some serious research this morning (slow morning) and it looks like you're right (again). I chasing an issue that doesn't exist.. My mind always looked at the cords and thought while rock crawling (all weight on a tire) the center tube could roll past the cords leaving you with one heck of a situation. Everything I read so far shows that as next to impossible (or taking so much more effort).

Thank you for your patience and assistance.
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Re: Shocks?

Postby ArkansasDon » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:42 am

I changed out leaf springs & added shocks, the shock absorbers make for a softer more controlled ride, slowing axle articulation down keep the tires planted to the ground longer. My trailer tows nicely on hwy & rough off road use. The wife & I do a lot of dispersed camping 95% were 5% is spent win public RV grounds with our son & his family.
I removed the original stock factory leaf springs & hangers, kept the 3500 Dexter Axle. I added long 31" leaf springs & hangers. Theirs many advantages by adding longer leaf springs to the trailer: the trailer can't react as quickly to a bumps, it spreads the load more out evenly from the axle.
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Re: Shocks?

Postby working on it » Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:44 pm

* While researching all about trailer axles prior to replacing the "too-small" weight-capacity axle on my TTT, back in 2014, I tried to discover if torsion axles had an internal "stop" to prevent over-flexing and possible damage to fender, frame, and especially the rubber rods inside the axle tube. Only on the Inland RV/Airstream site did I find any reference to "stops" in any torsion-axle website. https://inlandrv.com/dura-torque-axle-article/

* I had envisioned some off-road travel for my trailer, sometime in the future, so I wanted over-travel of the wheels to be compensated-for, or eliminated, due to past experience with really bad roads/trailer interaction. Since I couldn't find any reference to other torsion axle manufacturers' over-travel prevention measures (and the expense of making my own, if not found), I opted to use a leaf-spring axle instead, with a type of over-travel-prevention device that I'd used on several vehicles over the years, cushioning bumpstops (various durometer rubber types, and construction types had been used).

* The axle I chose had to be about 3500 lbs rated, with brakes installed, and at that time I found the spring-type to be about $150 less than torsion, and $250 less than the equivalent Timbren axle-less axle. I already preferred the leaf spring axle for easier parts sourcing and ready availability, so that was what I went with. For around what a torsion axle alone would've cost me, I was able to install all-new axle/springs/hardware + my homemade shock absorbing active bumpstop + the welding machine I made it with (with additional steel frame reinforcements, too). An equivalent Timbren set-up would've been double that???

* The benefit of making my own suspension from individual components is that I could easily (and cheaply) replace any if it failed to function as I wished. The springs are standard double-eye 25.25" size, and come in available weight-ratings from 1500-7000 lbs per pair (I bought 3000 lb per pair, since I knew I'd need nearly that capacity, eventually), and cost $50 per pair, then. The key to making them work correctly (no sag or no bounce, either) on the road, was by tailoring the Daystar progressive bumpstops to precisely fit between axle and frame, with adaptive cushioning since they are hollowed-out. If they needed to have more "give", then I could sever an inner tension for that, as is, they work well, and haven't needed any alteration.

*
Timbren Active Off-Road Bumpstops vs homemade version, in lieu of shock absorbers.jpg
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Re: Shocks?

Postby ntsqd » Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:55 pm

Typical short trailer springs are designed to maintain ride height with varying loadings. As such they don't move much and without a large range of motion a shock absorber is not going to do much. Move to a more supple spring and now it will move more and need the damping a shock absorber provides.

My take on the Torflex and shocks is that probably don't need them for mostly pavement & low speed off pavement use, but if you're going down Saline Valley Rd or Baja roads at any speed at all then shocks are a must for these axles. I would suggest that Timbrens can benefit as well. A spring is a spring whether made from metal or an elastomer and elastomeric spring won't also function as a damper.
thom

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Re: Shocks?

Postby lfhoward » Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:58 pm

My trailer has shocks because the military used them with the leaf springs on the M101 & M116 series trailers. So glad they’re there, because I get no bounce when I hit bumps.

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Re: Shocks?

Postby tony.latham » Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:03 pm

My take on the Torflex and shocks is that probably don't need them for mostly pavement & low speed off pavement use... or Baja roads at any speed at all then shocks are a must for these axles.


I dont' understand how one could add shocks to torsion axles. Has anyone done it? Is there a photo out there? How would you mount them to the trailing arm?

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I see the same problem with the Timbrens.

:thinking:

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Re: Shocks?

Postby ntsqd » Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:56 am

This is how they were mounted on our TrailBlazer:

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Re: Shocks?

Postby Socal Tom » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:32 am

ArkansasDon wrote:I changed out leaf springs & added shocks, the shock absorbers make for a softer more controlled ride, slowing axle articulation down keep the tires planted to the ground longer. My trailer tows nicely on hwy & rough off road use. The wife & I do a lot of dispersed camping 95% were 5% is spent win public RV grounds with our son & his family.
I removed the original stock factory leaf springs & hangers, kept the 3500 Dexter Axle. I added long 31" leaf springs & hangers. Theirs many advantages by adding longer leaf springs to the trailer: the trailer can't react as quickly to a bumps, it spreads the load more out evenly from the axle.


What shocks/mounts are you using? I haven't been able to find anything, but I'd like to add some.
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Re: Shocks?

Postby Squigie » Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:08 am

tony.latham wrote:I dont' understand how one could add shocks to torsion axles. Has anyone done it? Is there a photo out there? How would you mount them to the trailing arm?

I see the same problem with the Timbrens.

:thinking:

Tony

Timbren would be easy - especially if you go with a version that has the longer swing arm. Just mount a bracket to the spindle attachment point, that points inboard. Depending on desires and how the trailer frame is built, short shocks can go almost vertical and longer shocks can be angled inboard (like the M101/M116 photo above, but the angle could probably be more vertical, since Timbren suspensions have little travel).

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Re: Shocks?

Postby ntsqd » Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:44 am

Neither one of these suspension is anything close to "long travel". The shocks on our trailer are about as short a travel as Rancho makes.
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Re: Shocks?

Postby Squigie » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:52 pm

ntsqd wrote:Neither one of these suspension is anything close to "long travel".

All the more reason to dampen the bounce.
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Re: Shocks?

Postby tony.latham » Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:06 pm

Neither one of these suspension is anything close to "long travel".


Define long travel?

T
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Re: Shocks?

Postby ntsqd » Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:03 pm

I'd say anything over 8" of wheel travel is 'long travel'.

The reasoning behind my caveats for when dampers should be considered is based on the reported single failure that Adventure Trailers experienced with a Torflex axle. The description of the failure was that the trailing arm came out of the housing. They attributed it to grit getting inside, but no pictures had ever been seen of this failure. My analysis of the assembly under our trailer is that the rubber is vulcanized to both the housing and the trailing arm. In order for grit to get in there the vulcanizing would have to have failed or partly failed. The only cause that I can think of that would cause a de-vulcanization is heat. Based solely on the lone data point of our trailer, which has seen many miles (est. 10k+) of high speed washboard & worse both before we got it and since, is that it has had dampers on it from the beginning and shows no sign of such a failure. Given that dampers convert motion into heat I think that they effectively re-route some of the heat that would otherwise try to de-vulcanize the trailing arms and dissipate it through the shock body.

I don't think a mostly pavement operated trailer will ever seen that kind of "exercising" of the suspension and therefore probably don't absolutely need dampers.
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Re: Shocks?

Postby tony.latham » Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:23 pm

...on the reported single failure that Adventure Trailers experienced with a Torflex axle.


Exactly. One anecdotal incident. All new U.S. military "utility" trailers use Dexter Torflex axles. I suspect they were tired of breaking springs.

T
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Re: Shocks?

Postby ntsqd » Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:24 pm

I think that the change was made to eliminate the typical clanks and creaks inherent to leaf springs. They may be annoying to us, but they could be deadly to the military.
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