A question about my axle

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A question about my axle

Postby Thelgord » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:57 pm

I am currently tearing down a utility trailer that I got from CL for a great price. I even used it to move from CO to GA, though not without issue. On the way to GA the leaf springs slipped out of alignment and dropped one side of the trailer, nothing a high lift jack and a heavy hammer couldn't fix. However, now that I am to the point where I have access to one side of the axle with good visibility I have noticed a couple of issues. Just for reference it is a 4" drop axle.

The plate the U-Bolt goes through to hold the axle to the springs (I am not sure what this is called) is just a piece of 1/8 steel plate with some holes drilled in it. It looks like they are spaced to far apart as the bolt are just over 1/8 inch away from the springs and it appears bent. I am fairly certain this isn't normal.

The U-Bolts are the rounded type, but the axle is square tube. Does that make a difference?

The plate (for lack of a better term) that has the center pin to keep the springs together has a broken weld on the forward side of the axle, curb side. I don't have enough disassembled yet to get a good look at the other side.

The axel has an addition section of square tubing welded over the center section around a foot long. Is this a sign of modification? Or just some kind of reinforcement? Should I be worried?

As I tear down the trailer to get it prepped for my build I am worried that I may need a new axle. I was thinking of doing the springs on top of the axle to get it close to a normal ride height and to save some pennies, but now I am worried the axle may have been overworked for to long. It does pull strait, and seems to do well, but that was before I started finding some of these issues.

Am I worried for nothing? Should I just correct the issues as I come across them and drive on? Should I just not take the chance and get a new axle? Any advice would be most appreciated.
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Re: A question about my axle

Postby pchast » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:24 pm

pictures would help understanding what you see. Squared 'u' bolts are available too.
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Re: A question about my axle

Postby Dale M. » Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:13 am

A couple of things...

The spring clamping plate seems a little thin ... 3/16" or 1/4" plate would be better in my mind with clearances a little tighter...

The "U" bolt should conform to the shape of your "square" axle....

The sleeve on axle center indicates to me axle is modified and sleeve is in place to add strength to the "splice".. If done proper its ok, its a common thing trailer builders do...

Not sure what you are saying here here.. Picture would help...

The plate (for lack of a better term) that has the center pin to keep the springs together has a broken weld on the forward side of the axle, curb side. I don't have enough disassembled yet to get a good look at the other side.


If axle is a dropped axle as you state its not going to be to much if a issue to put spring on top of axle to raises ride height.. Personally I would like the lower profile of dropped axle... Only thing is you may have to drill axle a bit to provide hole to index spring and turn bolt over in spring stack so head of bolt indexes properly in axle......

All the parts you need like "U" bolts and spring clamp plates should be available from any decent trailer builder supply...

May want to cruse around on this site, if parts you need are not available locally to you...

https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Traile ... Bolts.aspx

Does not sound like these issues are to severe and all may be easily corrected, but If these issues bother you to much maybe selling trailer to someone that can deal with it and you getting new trailer without issues may be best solution for you...

Dale
Last edited by Dale M. on Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A question about my axle

Postby Thelgord » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:45 pm

As long the issues, mainly the sleeve are minor, I will keep it.

The part I was talking about is the center pin for the leaf springs. Maybe it is for the springs to rest against, I am not sure. I am fairly new to trailers. The welds on the split/reinforcement looks solid.

http://i.imgur.com/bYFwLB5.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/1zkH2wr.jpg
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A question about my axle

Postby Padilen » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:07 pm

Those do not look like the right plates for those widths of springs. And the u bolts should be the flat u bolts for the square axle.
What appears to be a weld line on spring by axle I've never seen before. Doesn't look correct or needed, if correct parts are used.


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Re: A question about my axle

Postby Padilen » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:25 pm

Ok I'm on a cell phone, hard to see details in pics. But now that weld line doesn't look like its on the spring but rather another plate. I guess it's suppose to be the spring perch. It's been to long since I've had a square axle to remember what the are suppose to look like. So I'm not going to be any help here.


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Re: A question about my axle

Postby Thelgord » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:26 pm

So then my course of action is:

1) Get correct hardware
2) Clean, paint and grease springs (maybe spring hanger bolts as well?)
3) reinstall everything

Should be good after that?
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Re: A question about my axle

Postby Thelgord » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:27 pm

Padilen wrote:Ok I'm on a cell phone, hard to see details in pics. But now that weld line doesn't look like its on the spring but rather another plate. I guess it's suppose to be the spring perch. It's been to long since I've had a square axle to remember what the are suppose to look like. So I'm not going to be any help here.


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So the builder made a perch using the weld bead as a sort of bump stop?
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Re: A question about my axle

Postby Thelgord » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:31 pm

I still have a couple of days of dissesembly before I have access to the other side and can drop the axle for new hardware. I am hopping to get that far by the weekend.
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Re: A question about my axle

Postby Padilen » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:44 pm

The pic I took of correct ubolts is northern tools catalog. But check on etrailer, I think I bought some before at Tractor Supply but it's been years since then.
Perhaps you can view a square tube axle and see the correct mount and hardware.


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Re: A question about my axle

Postby Thelgord » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:14 pm

Thanks for everything! I just ordered the correct hardware from etrailer. $45.45 including shipping. Not too shabby. This gives me hope of salvaging as much as I can from this old trailer.
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Re: A question about my axle

Postby Thelgord » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:01 pm

So I got the parts in today from Etrailer. Shipping was much faster than I had expected. The parts are much heavier duty than the current hardware. I think this was a REALLY good idea.

On the downside, I am still working on the trailer itself, so it will probably be a couple more weekends before I actually get to install these.
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