How to install Timbren Axles (steps not completed yet)

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How to install Timbren Axles (steps not completed yet)

Postby iconicflux » Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:31 am

I haven't really seen a great resource on here for how to install Timbren axles so I thought I'd spend a moment going through it.

Timbren axles are actually an "axle-less" setup that consists of a spindle attached to a suspension device. Each side of the Timbren axle is independent of the other. Unlike most axles they bolt onto your frame which makes them particularly interesting for building a teardrop. They come in various configurations such as 4" drop spindle, straight spindle, and 4" lift spindle. As it might sound, the 4" lift spindle has roughly 8" more height than the 4" drop. In real-world setup, a 4" drop spindle on a 3" tubing puts the floor of the trailer about 16.5" off the ground.


When you first order your kit off etrailer it usually arrives in 4 boxes.
Box1: The main suspension pieces that bolt on
Box2: The control arms / spindles
Box 3 & 4: The hubs

The first thing you should do is INSPECT THEM. I always inspect things immediately and because of this I found that one of the grease seals was significantly damaged and I had to request a new hub.

It should be noted that there are parts missing from EVERY Timbren install. The reason for this is because they cannot know the method you're going to use to install the axles. MANY options are available but typically this is one of the following 3 methods.
1. On frames that are about 6" wide such as a C channel frame with an extended width added it's possible to bolt horizontally and vertically directly to the frame.
2. You can create an angle bracket in order to drill the holes and bolt through it.
3. You can use a 2" steel square tube to act as a cross member. It goes through the suspension pieces on both sides and is bolted or welded on. The biggest benefit of using this method is that you do NOT have to do any vertical drilling or fabrication. It's simply bolting the suspension parts to the frame and then sliding the tube across before bolting it down. The manufacturer doesn't have a minimum tube gauge. It probably depends on the width of your trailer and the engineering forces. Anything up to 8' I think is probably okay with 11ga or 3/16".

Things you're going to need that don't come with the kit:
6 1/2" grade 8 bolts and nuts.
12 1/2" grade 8 washers -- I didn't see anything about whether they need to be lock washers or not. I used loctite on the threads and flat washers. I think that properly torqued the washers shouldn't come loose either way.
150 lbs + torque wrench. Technically you should have one that'll do 450 lbs also but I don't think that's necessary because the hub when torqued to 450 lbs on the castle nut can't spin. Backing it off 1 turn as is mentioned in the instructions means you've loosened it enough to turn. You CAN just tighten it down until it doesn't turn and then back off 1/8 turn at a time until it turns but nothing feels loose.
1/2" drill bit
A little bit of oil to act as cutting oil (cooking oil in a plastic cup works well)
Grease


(I'm going to save this now and begin adding the steps starting with measuring the frame which is seriously one of the most important parts)
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Re: How to install Timbren Axles (steps not completed yet)

Postby ptulli » Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:34 pm

This is a great thread, very interested in this as I am looking at using these for my build!
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Re: How to install Timbren Axles (steps not completed yet)

Postby KCStudly » Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:50 am

I can't imagine that the instructions call for torquing the spindle nut to anything higher than a few ft-lbs. Doing so can seriously damage the bearings causing minuscule flat spots that quickly deteriorate the bearings in use.

If there is a concern that the bearing races are not fully seated, that should be addressed prior to assembly, not by over torquing the spindle nut. Just saying, based on all of my mechanical experience and training, implying that some number over 100 ft-lbs is required to adjust wheel bearing preload (in the size of bearing we typically deal with in these applications) seems wrong to me.
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Re: How to install Timbren Axles (steps not completed yet)

Postby John61CT » Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:04 pm

Any serious questions like that please contact eTrailer.com support

or Timbren directly
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Re: How to install Timbren Axles (steps not completed yet)

Postby twisted lines » Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:40 pm

iconicflux wrote:Technically you should have one that'll do 450 lbs

I have never had the opportunity to see one;
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Says NA.

Swap 100 lbs to seat new bearings; in Some Heavy Diesel Applications it's plausible. (Better Back OFF)
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Re: How to install Timbren Axles (steps not completed yet)

Postby Squigie » Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:52 pm

iconicflux wrote:
The first thing you should do is INSPECT THEM. I always inspect things immediately and because of this I found that one of the grease seals was significantly damaged and I had to request a new hub.


Mine were missing the spindle hardware packages. Washers, bearings, castle nuts, etc.
eTrailer ended up RMA'ing a good set of axles, just to rob the hardware. Timbren wouldn't ship it to me. :thumbdown:

But I don't know if eTrailer would have done so under other circumstances. I had just saved them a lot of headaches, by identifying a batch of wheels that were mis-labeled by the factory and had the wrong offset / backspacing. At the time that I was talking to them on the phone (after having gotten to my return), the guy said they had like 200 of them in stock from the same lot.
:frightened:
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Re: How to install Timbren Axles (steps not completed yet)

Postby MickinOz » Sun Oct 24, 2021 10:08 pm

150 ft-lbs? Surely not. The bearings would be shot.
inch-lbs maybe?
I wind 'em in until I feel the inner races seat on the spindle, at which point there is a order of magnitude change in resistance to turning the nut. I stop right there and back her off a bit. When in doubt, I wind the nut right off and slip the hub off to eyeball the inside bearing inner race is fully seated. Assuming the seal will let me.
Talking normal trailers here, not big trucks. I don't go near them, everything's too heavy for an old fart like me.
I wouldn't need anywhere near a 150 ft-lbs torque wrench. I use a normal spanner. If I need more grunt than that, there is something wrong.
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Re: How to install Timbren Axles (steps not completed yet)

Postby Squigie » Mon Oct 25, 2021 9:23 am

The 150 ft-lb reference is for the attaching hardware, not the spindle nuts.
Calm down, people.

The list was made in a confusing manner, and the wording about torque is a bit strange.
But Timbren doesn't call for 150 ft-lb or 450 ft-lb on the castle nut. At least not in the documentation that I have.
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