flexiride and ground clearance

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flexiride and ground clearance

Postby jonnyo » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:00 pm

my trailer frame aluminum 6.5 x 13 36'' tongue

Image

1. dexter torsion vs flexiride: i know how to install a dexter with side mount. you weld the side mount to the frame and bolt the axle. simple

flexiride: how do you install those? i cant find any good documentation??? there website isnt great to education and informe. Do you need to drill the main frame and bolt the axle in it? is it a problem to drill holes in my 2X3 aluminum frame???? Anyone as good pictures of there set up? i would prefer a flexiride as i could set the trailer for road condition with lower drag and also have option to set it up for light off road...dirt road trips.....

2. what is the minimum ground clearance that i can have on my frame. i want it as low as possible so it dosnt come up much pass the subaru forester roofline. Trying to make it as good and easy to tow as possible for a ratter bigger ''tiny trailer''. what do i need to take into account with a 13 foot long trailer? would 10 inch ground clearance be enough? I define ground clearance from the side members of the frame...to the ground. The tongue goes under the frame and made of 2x3 and 3x3.... so that tongue will be 3'' lower... Is it the proper way to mesure?

any help would be appreciated.
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Re: flexiride and ground clearance

Postby Woodbutcher » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:15 pm

This is the only picture I have of mine. There is a 3"x3" angle iron welded to the side rail that the axle is bolted to. The Flexride came with a flange welded to the axle with 2 holes in it. Since all the articulation is in the trailing arms the axle can be attached right up close to the frame.

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Re: flexiride and ground clearance

Postby Esteban » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:25 pm

I struggled with that too. Never did find good flexiride documentation. The website at Southwest Wheel makes no mention of hanger brackets.

Would not want to drill through the frame tubes which may weaken them. Thought about making a "hanger" from an L welded inside the tube frame that the flexiride bracket could be bolted to. Seems like it could work. Would need to carefully specify the hanger bracket measurement and the hub to hub measurement. For most trailer tires the resulting overhang seems to be within spec.

My axle is a Dexter #9 with the extra hanger brackets.

edit: Just saw Woodbutcher's post and photo (above). His idea is a little different than mine where I suggested welding an L inside the tube frame. His method looks easier to do because the "frame measurement" would be easier to figure and there would be less overhang. It's simple when you see a picture of a good (brilliantly simple) idea. I spent countless hours trying to figure that out and never came up with a design as simple and affordable to accomplish as his.
:thumbsup: :applause:

You may need to be careful when you join a steel axle to an aluminum frame. Maybe use some kind of spacer in between them and stainless steel bolts? :thinking:


Could we nominate Woodbutcher's idea and photo for a sticky in Chassis Secrets. It would be of great help and solve a lot of head scratching. :thinking: Mike, admins?

Thanks Mike and admins. for making this a sticky. Thanks Woodbutcher for sharing your brilliantly easy solution for a better way to mount a flexiride axle to a trailer frame, your "how to do it" explanation and good photo documentation. It will help many trailer builders.
:applause: :applause: :applause:

The thought just occurred to me that Woodbutcher's idea allows the trailer axle to be moved forward or backward too to get the "best" trailer balance. Doubly brilliant. :thumbsup: :beer:
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Re: flexiride and ground clearance

Postby angib » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:45 am

For technical data on Flexiride, go to the manufacturer's web site:
http://www.ucfamerica.com/tech.html

There may be more information than you wanted and spread across several different documents, but it's all there somewhere. You do need to be able to read a technical drawing.
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Re: flexiride and ground clearance

Postby jonnyo » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:10 am

as i mention, i already read almost everything about that website. Could not find any drawing of the mounting options or recommendation. That said, i have no presomption to say i m good at ready this stuff, i have no knowledge of mechanical of building stuff... That s why i m writing here to see if someone can help me and explain to me in more simple terms?!

also, maybe a simple question instead.... is there any issue with bolting a axle straight into a aluminum member of the frame??? Seems like many company are doing it to install leaf spring axle into there aluminum frame (snopro)
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Re: flexiride and ground clearance

Postby bdosborn » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:42 am

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Here's mine, I welded the flange straight to the frame.

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Last edited by bdosborn on Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: flexiride and ground clearance

Postby jonw » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:53 am

I have a Flexride on mine. There are two plates (one for each side of your trailer/frame) welded to the top of the box frame/axle, each with two holes about 8 inches apart (IIRC) front to back of the plate (ie. parallel to your frame side member) - you can either use those holes to bolt the plates to your frame or you can weld the two plates. Either way works and is recommended by the manufacturer.

In my case I used the holes to bolt it through the floor since I don't have a trailer frame on mine. You can (barely) see the plate on top of the axle to the right of the spare tire in this picture:
109458

Hope this helps...
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Re: flexiride and ground clearance

Postby KCStudly » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:32 pm

Try and look just a little closer.

Followed the link that Angib posted, double clicked "Data Sheet" and there was the technical drawing that he spoke of. http://www.ucfamerica.com/FlexirideTechnicalLiterature/Axle%20Data%20Sheet%20All%20Sizes.jpg

You can bolt thru your frame, but you should drill the hole large enough to weld in a length of aluminum tubing at each hole location to prevent the fasteners from crushing the tubing. These are coincidentally called "anti-crush sleeves".

Woodbutcher's method looks simple, but it adds height and weight. Also, it is not clear to me if it is putting a bending moment into the vertical leg of the angle. With the horizontal leg of the angle unsupported that could be the case. Easy to improve on, the horizontal leg of the angle could be gusseted back to the side rail, or extended and gusseted to the xmbr's at each end.

Depending on your tubing wall thickness, you might want to add fish plates on the vertical sides of the side rails between the xmbrs to beef up the mounting location.
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Re: flexiride and ground clearance

Postby jonnyo » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:24 pm

Here s what i found from a trip to the trailer dealership
Sno pro aluminum trailer(utility) 2999lbs capacity

They use a 3/16 aluminum angle welded to beef up the 2x3 1/8 Alu tubing. Then, drill right in it. It s a dexter axle in this pic but should be able to do the same with the flexiride?

URL=http://s25.photobucket.com/user/ironjohn36/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zps83f11f13.jpg.html]Image[/URL]
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Re: flexiride and ground clearance

Postby KCStudly » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:36 pm

Can you see if there is a nut on the top side of the tube? I would not assume that the bolt is threaded right into the aluminum. If it is they surely would have used a helicoil thread insert, or perhaps hole sawed and access hole in the top to allow a nut and washer to be placed on the inside of the tube.

To expound on what I said above about crush sleeves; one technique is to drill the top side of the box tube to suit the bolt clearance, and the other side to suit the OD of the sleeve. The sleeve length would be the height of the box tube minus one wall thickness. In theory this type of crush sleeve configuration would not need to be welded because the sleeve would be trapped between the axle mounting flange and rail, but I would still weld it if it were me.
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Re: flexiride and ground clearance

Postby jonnyo » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:49 pm

photobucket.com/user/ironjohn36/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zps23047c9b.jpg.html]Image[/URL]

Not the greatest pic. But yes, a nut and washer on top of the tube. I could not see any other holes. I look at it in person but can't see if they did something special inside.

That said, I think I understand what you describe and that would be a safer way to process. That said, I m only building something rated for 1/3 of the weight of that commercial trailer
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Re: flexiride and ground clearance

Postby KCStudly » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:58 pm

jonnyo wrote:That said, I m only building something rated for 1/3 of the weight of that commercial trailer


Doesn't matter what the trailer load is. You can crush the tube just by tightening the nuts. Then the tube can relax and the bolts are no longer tight. With the crush sleeves in they are in direct compression so the tube does not bend, therefore the bolts do not get loose.

Just do it.
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Re: flexiride and ground clearance

Postby MtnDon » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:20 am

KCStudly is correct. The steel tube can readily be deformed by tightening the through bolt unless there is a tube insert to prevent it. Bolts only make good fasteners when securing flat undeformable plates together, or when provided with tube inserts that effectively turn a tube into a solid. I've seen it with steel with my own eyes; I'm sure with aluminum it can happy with greater ease.
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Re: flexiride and ground clearance

Postby Woodbutcher » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:34 am

I found another picture. You can see the 3"x1/4" angle iron that has been welded to the outside of the frame rail. I drilled a few holes, allowing me to move the axle up or back if I needed to for the best balance. The axle just bolts to the angle iron. The welded tab is to bolt the body on with.


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Re: flexiride and ground clearance

Postby Esteban » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:42 am

Woodbutcher, Thanks for sharing the additional photo and details.

Where did you weld the 3x3 L to the tube frame (along the top vertical leg of the L, along the ends, and where the L and bottom corner of the tube touch)?

Is it a continuous welding bead?

If you were to do this again would you change anything, or suggest changes for people who may want to copy your idea?
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