Axle Problem

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Axle Problem

Postby Jim Marshall » Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:24 pm

I have a slight problem with my axle. When I welded my carriage to the frame, as careful as I was, I got my axle out of line by 3/16 inch. I tried to keep my frame square and did until my neighbor needed to get to my table saw to cut a piece of 1/4 inch plywood for one of his projects. My frame was resting on my table saw and I had everything clamped into position. When we move the frame it wracked and I welded it up that way, without thinking. I measured from corner to my axle from each side and now the axle is 3/16 back too far on one side. Can I correct this foul up with my tongue? I was thinking I could measure dead center of the ball coupling back to each side of my axle and make sure it was the same on each side. Would this work or is 3/16 inch nothing to worry about?
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Postby doug hodder » Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:32 pm

I think if you are building using springs...you can always drill the hole in the plate that will allow the bolt/ pin holding the springs together to move and pick up your 3/16"....I spoke with Mike A about this same thing a couple of nights ago and he said that this is a typical thing to do on Jeeps...just what I found out...If it is a torsion axle, I haven't had one so won't be of any help...I'm sure someone else out there has done it though...I sure wouldn't want to try something with the tongue if it were me...and I just don't know how much of an effect 3/16 will have on it, other than wearing out rubber quicker....I don't think I'd worry about it until you get it on the road and check out the tire wear...if it is a problem then take care of it....Doug
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Postby Micro469 » Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:56 pm

I think the problem isn't going to be with your axle as much as it's going to be with your frame. If your frame is wracked, then your whole tear is going to be out of square, and you'll have to adjust for every piece you cut. Better to fix it now and save having problems in the future. I know when I build cabinets, if they are not square every piece is not square... a real headache. How hard is it to fix now, compared to fix later? Just my thoughts.... :thinking:
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Postby doug hodder » Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:06 pm

Good point Micro...Jim...did you stretch a tape kitty corner and check it for square, if it is out, how much? or was it just the axle that moved? if the frame is out of square..that will be tougher to take care of, but a sawz-all cutting through the bulk of the welds and some clamps can take care of it, same thing if it has a twist in it. doug
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Postby Chip » Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:13 pm

Jim,, this is just my opinion, but If the measurement between the tongue coupler and some point on the wheels, hubs area is same same both sides the trailer will pull straight. but if its out a bit it could posibilly give ya some headaches down the road,,

If the axle is true to the tongue ya can build the camper box so that it slides over the frame and also bolt it down true to the tongue and axle,, Just allow for the 3/16" varience when you position the floor to the frame rails and get it all in line,,or find some way to trim it out if you are building flush to the frame top,, Just hope the tongue is not true to the frame and the axle is slid out of shape,,

good luck and keep us posted on how this one turns out

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Postby madjack » Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:46 pm

it may or maynot cause problems tracking or building...iff'n it were me I would go ahead and bite the bullet and fix it now...if it had to be fixed later the headache/disappointment/pain in the rear will just be that much greater
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Postby Jim Marshall » Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:03 am

Wow, thanks for the quick replies fellows. The frame is 3/16 out of square but as for building to the frame, that will not be a problem, like Chip said I can compensate for square with the floor.

In reading your responses here, I have an idea how to correct this. I do have leaf springs so I am thinking I may be able to ream the hole out where the bolt is holding my spring at the front (pivot point of spring) and weld a heavy washer on each side 3/16 inch forward for the bolt to go through, and bolt everything back together. As for cutting the welds, I over welded everything. Where there was a place to weld, I did. There are no tack welds on the trailer they are continuous welds and some are 26 inches long. I really really do appreciate ya'lls help a bunch. I will let you know what I find out and how I finally correct this goof up. Thanks again fellows.
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Postby Jim Marshall » Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:13 am

Doug, I went back and reread your post, were you talking about doing what I said in my last post about moving the bolt hole forward where the pivot point bolt is holding my spring to the frame?
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Postby doug hodder » Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:20 am

Jim...I was thinking about the bolt that holds the spring together...by wallowing out that hole, you should be able to come up with some play in the axle alignment...do both and split the difference... something else to think of....if you have up to 26" welds...did you just stitch them from one side to the other on the frame or just burn them in one pass...some may disagree, but my experience has been if you are burning a major weld on 1 side of something like that it can certainly pull things out of whack unless it's in a good (iron) jig, I got the idea that it was just your axle out of whack, not the entire frame...hope I didn't mislead you... :oops: doug
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Postby Jim Marshall » Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:38 am

Doug, when I was welding, I would weld until the rod was gone and grab another one. I am really bad to over build and sometimes that is bad, like now. LOL Doug you didn't mislead me, you gave me some good information and I really appreciate it. My wife just suggested to me how to make sure the axle would be in line. She said to pull a string dead center of the ball coupling to the center of the trailer at the back and measure off the center line at the same point close to the coupling to the same point of each wheel to see how far I am off there. I think that will work, I will let you know tomorrow. Thanks again Doug, and all of you fellows.
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Postby angib » Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:28 am

Jim,

If you mean your axle carriage is 3/16" forward on one side of the HF trailer frame from the other, that's 3/16" in 4'. That would mean that your trailer will be running about 5/16" out of line when being towed - as it's about 7' from hitch to axle.

I don't think that 5/16" is enough to worry about. As a kid my mother hit one wheel of a boat trailer (the type with the axle held to the frame by U-bolts) on a curb and knocked the axle so the trailer was towing about 6" out of line. It towed so well like that that they kept going to our destination, but the wheel bearings (already well-loaded) couldn't take the extra load and gave up after 50-100 miles. As your case is like 1/20th of this, I don't see it being a problem.

If instead you mean that you've got your whole trailer frame diamond-shaped by 3/16", then I could see that fixing that now would be less work than trying to deal with all the problems that it will cause later.

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Postby Jim Marshall » Sun Jan 29, 2006 9:57 am

Andrew, I believe the trailer is wracked 3/16 inch. The carriage isn't wracked because I had it welded when I clamped it to the trailer. Here is a picture of the trailer. I may just have to bite the bullet like Jack said and cut the wields and do it again. Thanks buddy.

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Postby Jim Marshall » Sun Jan 29, 2006 5:02 pm

We went back out today and flipped the trailer over and did a more refined measure. The trailer frame is only 1/8 inch out of square. I measured dead center of the ball coupling to the exact same point on the axle at each side and that measurement is maybe 1/64 in difference. I am going to go with it like it is now. When I put our floor in I will be sure that it is dead sq. I plan to put an aluminum trim piece at the bottom of the camper except for the back so maybe I will be OK with this. If I see that my tires are wearing or feathering, I will adjust then.

Fellows, it is really a great comfort knowing that we don't have to build this little tear alone because ya'll are here to help and we really do appreciate you guys a bunch, ya'll are the best!

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Postby madjack » Sun Jan 29, 2006 5:30 pm

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: ............................................. 8)
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Postby Chip » Sun Jan 29, 2006 5:57 pm

Jim,, sounds like a heck of a plan,,,, :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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