Dexter axle problem (?)

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Dexter axle problem (?)

Postby les45 » Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:14 pm

Started the restoration/modification project on my 1989 Jayco 1006 by trying to remove the Dexter torsion axle to clean and paint it. When I jacked up the camper and removed the wheels, the torsion arm only dropped about 5 degrees from horizontal, and both sides dropped about the same. That makes it impossible to remove the rear mounting bolt since the bolt head is between the frame and torsion arm with almost no clearance. I talked to a technician at Dexter and she says it may have lost its pre-set due to age, and that the arm should drop well below the bolt when unloaded. This is my first experience with a torsion axle and it seemed to ride fine on the two hour trip when I towed it home. Anyone have any similar experiences with a torsion axle? Do they lose their set over time? Is it time for a new axle?
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Re: Dexter axle problem (?)

Postby Redneck Teepee » Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:06 pm

Can't hurt it......Get a pry bar and pry it down till you can get to the bolts.
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Re: Dexter axle problem (?)

Postby les45 » Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:05 am

Redneck Teepee wrote:Can't hurt it......Get a pry bar and pry it down till you can get to the bolts.


I tried prying it up and down but it is so tight that there is nothing to pry against. Also, when you pry on the torsion arm, it binds the bolt to the point that it won't move. I bought all new bolts, nuts and washers (except the one that won't come out) and just put it all back together. Since it seems to be towing OK, it's sitting level, and not sagging, I plan to clean it up along with the rest of the frame from underneath (wire brush and paint) and use it as is. I can always re-pack the bearings later before I put it on the road.

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Re: Dexter axle problem (?)

Postby les45 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:24 am

I'm bumping this post to see if I can get any more input. I'm sure that others on the Forum have used older pop-up frames with Dexter axles. Do these axles lose their pre-set over time? I find it strange that both sides are doing the same thing and that the axle seems to work fine while towing under load.
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Re: Dexter axle problem (?)

Postby angib » Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:36 am

The approved testing method from the folks over at FiberglassRV.com forum is to set the trailer on the ground on its wheels and get your largest friend to go inside and bounce up and down, while you check there is some movement at the axle each side. No movement = shot axle, which generally seems to be after 30 years or so, so not a bad service life.
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