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Old 04-04-2011, 06:28 AM   #1
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How hard to replace an axle?

Long story short....Something (possibly animal, possibly rocks from swowblower) got inside my wheel and when I moved the trailer in the driveway, there was a lot of crunching noises. Pulled the wheel off and bits of metal and magnet start falling out. Anyway...the brakes are shot, the back plate is bent, it is also welded and from 1983 so parts are scarce. I am considering two options for this trailer, a new axle assembly, or the scap heap. So my question is...how hard is an axle replacement? What do I need to know? How much is this going to cost? Is it a DIY job? HELP!!
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:05 AM   #2
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Trailer Parts Superstore - Recreational & Commercial Trailer Part Store for axles and other parts.

Trailer hitch, hitches and bike rack (800)298-8924 has a large selection of brake, hub, suspension, etc. parts, but not the axles themselves.

Trailer suspensions are pretty straightforward, and I would not hesitate to do the job myself, especially on a single axle trailer.

You should be able to work up an approximate parts cost from the two websites above, or another possibility is to go talk to someone at a utility trailer dealership/repair shop. The suspensions, axles, brakes, etc. are all the same as our TT's, but the utility trailer folks have more reasonable prices and seem to do better work on trailer components like this. They may even have all the parts and pieces on hand or readily available.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Steve Collins View Post
The suspensions, axles, brakes, etc. are all the same as our TT's, but the utility trailer folks have more reasonable prices and seem to do better work on trailer components like this. They may even have all the parts and pieces on hand or readily available.
In addition to what Steve said, don't overlook suspension specialty shops that work on big rigs' trailers.

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Old 04-04-2011, 08:58 AM   #4
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I am thinking of giving it a shot myself....Does any body know off hand what size I need to order before I climb under there to start measuring?
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by OPIE View Post
I am thinking of giving it a shot myself....Does any body know off hand what size I need to order before I climb under there to start measuring?
The '83 Sunline brochure rates your GAWR at 2,630#. Since the axles are available in 2,200# or 3,500# ratings, I think you'll want the higher rating axle. But that is a decision for you.

The rest, you'll want to verify all the measurements before ordering. In particular, you need to determine if you need straight or 4" drop, and then the measurements per the tech sheet here:
Trailer Parts Superstore - Technical Information - Measuring Trailer Axles
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:30 AM   #6
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Hi Opie

I just found your post. Sorry it took so long. I have replaced axles on my camper and it cane be done but a few heads up pointers.

The one thing before attempting this is you will need very stable jack stands or cribbing to support the weight of the camper plus safety margin. In my case I used 2 pairs of 6 ton jack stands which can hold more then twice the weight of the entire camper. The other thing is the larger stands have more foot print to give a stable footing. You will need a hard surface to jack/support the camper on ideally. The setup has to be stable for safety.

The other heads up is be prepared to deal with frozen U bolts. Cutting then off is often done on how to deal with them. You should put new ones on anyway.

As a source of brake axles, I recommend Dexter. They have great factory customer service and it does not matter where you bought their product, if it is a Dexter, they help you.

You can even call the factory to ask for help on sizing them up, springs etc. Considering the age of your unit you may want to think about springs. When you are buying an entire brake axle, the springs can come along cheap as a package deal verses separate.

I know these 2 posts may be way more then your after but the pictures may help.

TT axle alignment - Details (long with lot's of pics)

Hot wheels and blown tires !

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-10-2011, 04:27 PM   #7
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Thanks John,

The more info the better, I guess. I am still weighting options. And waiting for a little warmer waether. I'll let you know what I decide, and how it turns out.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:44 PM   #8
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Opie, with these things getting rarer by the day still in usable condition, someone will want to put a new axle on it, and you could even be able to sell it as such before junking it.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:03 AM   #9
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OK - turns out a single axle swap isn't that hard...but the costs can add up quick. The axle itself isn't too bad, but then you add in the brakes and it's a little more. Then they Dexter guy says you need to replace the hardware, and probably the springs too. Oh and by the way, the new axle has lug nuts, not bolts, so you need to change those to use the old wheels. But since you'll want to change to newer wheels you may as well just get them with tires too. And there going to be some wiring involved...and check the break-away while you're at it....Now I have a head ache!!
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:31 AM   #10
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And a wallet ache, LOLOL!

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