Time to replace the axle?

Boat trailers and trailering

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BarnacleMike
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Time to replace the axle?

Post by BarnacleMike » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:56 am

This is my first boat trailer, and my first time around at replacing bearings and hubs.

I'm guessing the spindle shouldn't look like this?
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-Michael

"How long does it take to build a boat? Until it's finished" — yours truly

Blog (Utility & Zip): http://barnaclemikeboats.blogspot.com/
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rleete
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Re: Time to replace the axle?

Post by rleete » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:52 am

I've seen worse. Heck, I've cleaned up and rebuilt worse, and it lasted for years.

One the other hand, a competent machine shop could fix that in under a day. That's if you know where to look. Lots of places don't do piece work like that anymore; too many headaches dealing with the general public.

Depending on cost, it might be worthwhile to just replace it. An RV dealer should have stuff like that in stock if it's a common size.

Cyclone
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Re: Time to replace the axle?

Post by Cyclone » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:36 pm

It looks like there was some sort of mishap with that axle, perhaps in the past before you owned it. It looks like a basic small axle as I see no flanges for mounting brakes. A small basic axle like that should not be very expensive. I had tent trailer with a 1-1/16" axle (2200 pound rated axle) and it had flanges on it for mounting brakes that were specific for a type of brake that was no longer available. I wanted to replace the brakes on the axle, but since I could no longer get brakes to fit the flanges the cheapest option was to get a new axle with new flanges rather then have the brake flanges changed on the old axle. The new axle with brake flanges was about $140.00 Canadian which was about $110.00 American. This was several years ago, so it might be around $150.00 American today. It came with mounting instructions and new hardware which I would say is a must as you would not want to reuse old hardware. I remember they had good prices for hubs, bearings, and seals so I had them supply those too. I jacked up the trailer and put it on axle stands under the frame, removed the axle and took it to a shop that specialized in trailer axles. I left it with them and the next day they built one up for me to match the old with the same spring center dimensions. Later I picked it up and at home I bolted it to the trailer following the instructions and using a torque wrench on all the fasteners to the specified torque. I remember rechecking the torque on the fasteners after the first trip and all was good.

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galamb
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Re: Time to replace the axle?

Post by galamb » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:01 pm

I would replace it - as noted above, they are cheap for very light duty axle like that (can find them at discount auto places - a quick google search of US suppliers turned up 2200 lb axle with 5 on 4 1/2 hub and bearing buddies for under 100 bucks).

To me that looks like it toasted an inner bearing and somebody just kept hauling for a while.
Graham

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BarnacleMike
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Re: Time to replace the axle?

Post by BarnacleMike » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:22 am

The guy I bought the trailer from had also purchased it second-hand. He said the previous owner had stored an oversized and heavy fiberglass boat on it. Perhaps that is what caused the damage, but who knows how long ago that was.

It is apparently a pretty old trailer. When I registered it in my county, the deputy said the VIN Number on the trailer did not conform to the 17-digit standards in use since 1981. The manufacturer, Tennessee Trailers, is still in business. I called them with the stamped number, and according to their records, the trailer was made in 1970.

In any case, I think the trailer is old enough that many of the "standard" replacement axle sizes I'm finding online won't work. My rough measurements showed the axle is 56 inches wide, with 42 inch spring centers, 1-inch spindles and 4-bolt hubs for 8 inch wheels. I finally found this one online, and will probably order it: http://www.easternmarine.com/karavan-ga ... 0-00333-zn

It's only rated for 1,500 pounds, but that should still be plenty for my little boat.
-Michael

"How long does it take to build a boat? Until it's finished" — yours truly

Blog (Utility & Zip): http://barnaclemikeboats.blogspot.com/
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Roberta
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Re: Time to replace the axle?

Post by Roberta » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:28 am

I think that will work just fine, Mike. Brand new on both sides. You might want to get larger diameter wheels and tires if you can. 10 or 12 inch will decrease the RPMs of the wheels and save on wear and tear. Nice to see the zerk fittings for easy lubrication, too, are included. Eastern Marine are good people to deal with. It might be a good idea to replace the springs and U-bolts as long as you are investing that much to make things right. Yeah, I know. It never ends. :lol:

Roberta :D :D :D :D
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

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BarnacleMike
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Re: Time to replace the axle?

Post by BarnacleMike » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:11 am

Roberta wrote:It might be a good idea to replace the springs and U-bolts as long as you are investing that much to make things right. Yeah, I know. It never ends. :lol:

Roberta :D :D :D :D
The springs actually look okay, but I did order new u-bolts and mounting hardware along with the Karavan axle. Hopefully the installation will go smoothly, and in time to take the boat to G11.
-Michael

"How long does it take to build a boat? Until it's finished" — yours truly

Blog (Utility & Zip): http://barnaclemikeboats.blogspot.com/
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Roberta
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Re: Time to replace the axle?

Post by Roberta » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:56 am

Good springs will save some money for you. Smart idea to get the mounting hardware. Often old U-bolts are really hard to get off and either get wrecked or torched off. I think you will be happy with the results of the retro fit.

Roberta :D :D
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

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BarnacleMike
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Re: Time to replace the axle?

Post by BarnacleMike » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:05 am

The new axle arrived yesterday.

This morning, after another cup or two of coffee, I'll finish cutting off the old U-bolts.

The old axle is round, and is mounted on the underside of the springs. The new axle is square, and many of the installation videos I have seen on YouTube show the axle being mounted on top of the springs. Is this just a matter of preference? Putting it on top of the springs seems easier.
-Michael

"How long does it take to build a boat? Until it's finished" — yours truly

Blog (Utility & Zip): http://barnaclemikeboats.blogspot.com/
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Roberta
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Re: Time to replace the axle?

Post by Roberta » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:26 am

Where you mount the axle to the springs, top or bottom, will affect the height of the trailer. There should be a centering pin or bolt on the springs and the axle needs to engage that. My guess is that you should mount the axle the same way, on the bottom.

Roberta
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Time to replace the axle?

Post by Bill Edmundson » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:48 am

On the Tahoe trailer the axle is over the spring. There is room for about 1 1/2" travel till it hits the frame.

Bill
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BarnacleMike
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Re: Time to replace the axle?

Post by BarnacleMike » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:56 pm

It has been a long day of messing with the trailer, but it's road-worthy again.

I wound up mounting the axle on top of the leaf springs, simply because that was the easiest thing to do... especially being a one-man operation. I was really lucky with the fit. The locating holes for the spring centers fit perfectly. Installing the axle was actually incredibly easy.

I then had to return the 4-bolt hub and wheel/tire combo that I'd bought at Academy Sports, and exchange them for 5-hole wheels. Again, I was lucky because they only had two 8-inch wheels with the 5-hole pattern in stock. I opted to continue using 8" wheels, because I knew clearance would be a concern with the axle on top of the springs.

Installation of the wheels was a cinch. My boy helped me get the trailer down off the cinderblocks, and I pulled the boat outside & washed it. The bow was filling up with water, so I drove the boat around the neighborhood in order to pull it uphill on the driveway & pump the water out. Grinding was a huge problem pulling the trailer in & out of the driveway. The brackets for the bunks were now considerably low, and I knew something had to be done.

So after pulling the boat back in the garage, I spent some time sawing off the lower portion of the brackets with my multi-tool and hacksaw. Now, maybe all I'll grind off is the license plate.
-Michael

"How long does it take to build a boat? Until it's finished" — yours truly

Blog (Utility & Zip): http://barnaclemikeboats.blogspot.com/
Website of Boat Photos: https://michaelsmaddox.wordpress.com

Gatorbot
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Re: Time to replace the axle?

Post by Gatorbot » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:21 pm

Mike Ive been reading through posts and all good advice. One other thought, If you reuse old springs, be sure to install new center bolts. They sit in a wet area and often rust nearly through and can break at the most in-opportune time.
I'm doing a similar upgrade on a 1970 Gator trailer with tilting tongue.

Good luck.

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