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Old 07-19-2022, 12:35 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Hi Jim,


12. There is an axle alignment procedure that ideally should be done before long term towing starts. This is done before you tighten the U bolts if you are doing it with an axle flip. ÖÖÖ..,..

This is your choice if you want to tackle this now or over the winter, You tell me.

John
Just to clarify on #12.
Do I need to do this now or wait till I redo all suspension this winter?Ö.sounds like I can wait but I want to make sure thatís what you are saying. I am doing long mileage towing now.


All the rest is wonderful tidbits of info. Great tips. Iíve been reading over some of the old threads on doing this, and none have mentioned the things you just did. A great post for anyone interested in this .

I did see mention in one post about center of gravity raising. I hope this will not be a problem. Seems as if all the axle flips have been done on larger campers. I have not seen any a 17í camper, or shorter.
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Old 07-19-2022, 04:18 PM   #82
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On #5.
I did not realize this about turning over the spring pin bolt. The video on etrailer does not show him doing this. It will be interesting when I get the kit, if they changed the need for turning over the pin. If I had known, would have ordered new pins at the time.
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Old 07-19-2022, 06:22 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimS View Post
Just to clarify on #12.
Do I need to do this now or wait till I redo all suspension this winter?Ö.sounds like I can wait but I want to make sure thatís what you are saying. I am doing long mileage towing now.


All the rest is wonderful tidbits of info. Great tips. Iíve been reading over some of the old threads on doing this, and none have mentioned the things you just did. A great post for anyone interested in this .

I did see mention in one post about center of gravity raising. I hope this will not be a problem. Seems as if all the axle flips have been done on larger campers. I have not seen any a 17í camper, or shorter.
Hi Jim,

To do an axle check align now or to wait and do it later when you rebuild your suspension, is the question. Ideally now is the time, but all things considered doing axle alignment the first time is a for sure learning process and it will take time to read, research, understand and then do it. And if you find a problem, what do you do to correct it?

I thought about this a lot on how to help best with your limited time situation and this is what I came up with. See if this helps.

I'm "assuming" you still have your older 15" tires mounted on rims. Yes/No? Assuming yes, those tires can tell a story and help you answer what to do with an alignment check and adjust now versus later.

Compare all 4 tires against each other. You are looking for wear patterns, and tires wear the way the wheel & axle are aligned.

Here is a comparison to my 2004 T1950 project camper I finished restoring last year. I wanted to see the original tires on that camper, and yes from 2003, they were still on it when acquired it in 2016. It sat idle for many years but it was towed cross country at least 2 times I know of from the prior owner. It had enough miles on the tires I could see how they were wearing.

See here, the tire on the left is very close to the same as the other 2 tires, so I have 3 pretty good wearing tires and one bad wearing tire shown on the right. These are ST205/75R15's Load range C like yours were.



And a close up of the bad wearing tire


Having been through enough trailer tire wear and alignment issues I could tell I had a wheel toe angle issue and maybe a little wheel camber angle issue. More then likely that wheel took a hit on a curb or a mega pot hole and bent the axle tube which knocked the toe angle out of spec big time. The tire then scrubs the road as it rolls and burns up rubber a lot faster then the other 3 that have little wear.

If you visually compare your 4, 15" tires side by side, look for uneven wear across all 4. If they all look like my tire on the left in the top pic, your camper is not in bad shape and it is easy to make a decision to wait for an alignment check.

If you have something uneven on all tires or only one wheel, take pics of the good and questionable and post. We can look at them and then see how bad, bad is. If your wheels are out of alignment beyond spec, and pending how much, then your new tires will wear just like your old ones as nothing changed in the alignment. This then comes down to how bad is it, and how many miles do you think it will be before you and take the camper down and dig into the suspension rebuild and alignment.

Something I learn from auto's long ago, once a good tire starts wearing a bad noticeable pattern even if the problem is corrected, that tire will still wear uneven until it is removed from service. A new tire then in that location will wear even as the alignment is fixed and you are starting with a new even tread pattern. The same I do believe goes for trailers as the tire tread is still touching the road across the whole face. It will wear as good or bad as the tread face is even if the alignment has been corrected.

Have a look at your 15" tires and report back.

By the way, I was able to bend back to align the bent axle back into alignment on my T1950 with the old equipment I have in my shop. I used a very old, very heavy, Greenlee conduit bender and with a little know how, bent the axle back in spec. Here are a few pics for those curious. I have a full set of pics yet to post I never made it to on my T1950 project camper.




Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-19-2022, 06:37 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimS View Post
All the rest is wonderful tidbits of info. Great tips. I’ve been reading over some of the old threads on doing this, and none have mentioned the things you just did. A great post for anyone interested in this .

I did see mention in one post about center of gravity raising. I hope this will not be a problem. Seems as if all the axle flips have been done on larger campers. I have not seen any a 17’ camper, or shorter.
Jim,

Thanks for the good words on the tips, I'm glad it helped. I have a lot of stuff I have been meaning to create repair posts on, I just never it to them yet. I will as time allows and members need help on a specific topic.

You concern on raising the center of gravity of the camper and the fact you have a shorter camper.

Yes, the longer campers drag the ground in the back faster then shorter ones so it may be more popular for longer campers to be lifted. I know there are several 20 ft'ers lifted, I just have to dig further to find some shorter. You may be the first on our forum to lift the camper due to wheel well issues or at least who have posted about it. Most times it is due to dragging the back end of the camper.

In pure theory, raising the camper center of gravity has an effect, the question then becomes, how big or small is the effect? From what I have seen myself, and as reported by others here on our forum who have low riding Sunlines that were then raised, the effect is not large enough to be able to feel or see it when towing.

You have a 3/4 ton van, that is a very stable tow vehicle for your camper. Just tweak your loaded camper tongue weight back up higher once you get your wheel clearance sorted out.

If one has a very marginal or overloaded, under powered tow vehicle, then the "effect" of a higher camper with more air drag being higher might show up. But you would of already had issues before the lift. This is my opinion only, but I'm sure other may chime in also on their camper once it was lifted.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-19-2022, 06:37 PM   #85
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Hi Jim,

Something on your leaf thickness is not adding up between the 2 notes. Which one is not correct?

Are you more sure the stack of 3 leaves is: 0.941"?

Or is the single leaf thickness 0.341" which would then be 1.023" for all 3?

The total pack of 3 springs is what aligns into 2 different springs on the Dexter chart.

Using 0.941" lines up 1,250# springs, Dexter number 072-006-000 Which has, a "loaded" eye to eye of 24" and a loaded arch height of 2.50". Using these springs, at 1,250# each x 4 = 5,000# which aligns with the GVWR of the camper at the axles, not counting on the truck to hold part of the weight on the tongue.

Using the 0.341" single leaf, this creates 1.023" for all 3 which aligns "close" to Dexter 07-042-00 which is nominal 1.027 for the stack of 3 at 1,750# per spring pack. But the loaded eye to eye at 26" and loaded arch at 1.50" seems all wrong.

Is the 0.341/spring a typo?

.

John
I remeasured this tonight.

I still get the average .941Ē for all three,

For a single, the smallest I get is .328

I trust the .941 more than the single.
I think if I sanded down the surface rust on both sides of the single spring it would get small enough, where is the three stacked together wouldnít have that rust between them.
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Old 07-19-2022, 07:26 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimS View Post
On #5.
I did not realize this about turning over the spring pin bolt. The video on etrailer does not show him doing this. It will be interesting when I get the kit, if they changed the need for turning over the pin. If I had known, would have ordered new pins at the time.
I have seen some of the Etrailer videos. Many are very good, others I myself do not agree with totally. There is most times more then one way to do something, just on this leaf spring pack center bolt, I would say it is a miss if they did not flip it. It will work with not flipped, however it may not/will not work as well in all conditions as it would being flipped. Maybe I'm just more picky about these things, but it is jus not the right way the axles are setup from on day one.

Dexter does state "Locate the spring center bolt in center hole of the spring pad" in their instructions. While they never said to flip the spring center pin over, they did say they want the spring center pin in the axle seat (spring pad) See item 10 in their current instructions
https://www.dexteraxle.com/user_area..._conv_kits.pdf

I looked on line in Dexter's axle manual and other axle cut sheets. I cannot find where it states which side the spring center pin is supposed to fit into the axle seat. However, in any leaf spring application I have even seen, automotive, agricultural or trailer, the on purpose round head of the spring center pin fits into the axle seat (axle pad) and the nut end comes out through the U bolt plate.

By not flipping the center pin over, on an over/under conversion the hex nut would be piloting in the new axle seat and that is just wrong from all I know. I can get into the reasons if wanted.

In all my pics, I can't find the center pin out in the open, but here you can see in the original Sunline axle seat on top of the spring pack, the U bolt plate on the bottom, the hex nut is in the U bolt plate.

In this pic we are using a ball joint press to easily and safely remove rusted in spring pins. We also use to to insert them. You can rent these for free from Advance Auto. In my case I have the ball joint tool.

You can see the spring and U-bolt plate


Close up on the axle seat area


Here is my flipped leaf spring center bolt ready to install on the new lifted axle seat. I did not want any paint in this joint to mess with a proper spring pack fit. I did paint the springs and axle area, just not the matching surfaces.


The U bolt tie plate with the nut in the center for the spring center pin.




Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-19-2022, 07:29 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimS View Post
I remeasured this tonight.

I still get the average .941Ē for all three,

For a single, the smallest I get is .328

I trust the .941 more than the single.
I think if I sanded down the surface rust on both sides of the single spring it would get small enough, where is the three stacked together wouldnít have that rust between them.
I agree Jim, I trust the 3 stacked spring thickness. That points towards the 1,250# springs.
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Old 07-19-2022, 07:48 PM   #88
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If you are wanting to read up on axle alignment in your spare time, here is some reading.

My first deep dive into wearing tire issues in 2008.
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...next-9589.html

The correction for the wearing tires after I understood the problem.
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...ics-10043.html

Tod Osier's suspension issues. He and his family have done many cool cross country trips with their Sunline
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...ade-17574.html

Suspension wear
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...ter-18529.html

New axles and how Tod adapted my alignment system to the next generation.
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...ued-18949.html

Russ's axle post (RRS2670) He also adapted the axle alignment method and took it to the next level.
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...ity-19676.html

ScottK's axle up grade, he too used the method just these are torsion axles
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...ead-19707.html

I have since tweaked my methods too, but the basics remain the same.

You head may be swimming by the end of all this. When you get to it, we can boil it down to the what to looks for's and how to do it.

Thanks

John
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Old 07-20-2022, 06:01 AM   #89
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I may end up getting stalled out on all this. They are delaying my shipping now. I’ll be making a call into them today. Scratching my head on what else to do. I will call around a few local shops, I’m thinking if I could find new springs that would fit, I may give that a shot. Don’t know if that would help. I still find it hard to understand why the tires are so close to the wheel wells when I’m still 1,000# below rating. Perhaps a heavier rated spring would not give in and lower so quickly, if I could find such a thing locally.
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Old 07-20-2022, 07:40 AM   #90
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Delivery delays...oh boy. Hope that all works out.

On the old springs, it is possible you may have had some flattening going on over time.

As to, would stronger springs help, I feel some level of stronger would help. It the only reason I can think of why on my 2004 T1950 they put 1,750# springs on a 5,500# rated GVWR camper with such low tire clearance. The the wheel clearance is so far low that having the stiffer spring is one of the only reasons I can figure out how they could get away with less clearance. I'm not sure that it is the reason, but it at least adds up it could be.

Sunline did this also on the 8,600# campers. In this case they installed 10,000# of spring (2,500# leaf pack) on this lower GVWR. My son has one in the barn on a 2006 T264SR. He has the same springs as my T310SR with the stamped 10,000# GVWR. In this case, the T264SR has the same heavier frame as the T310SR just a lower GVWR rating.

In your case, new springs of the same original weight rating might help if the unloaded arch height is greater when new then what yours is now. That would indicate that yes, yours has lost some height over the years. If the new ones are the same weight rating and have the same unloaded arch height, then I'm not sure new springs would help as much.

Going up an amount over the 1,250# could help. Not that I would suggest you add more load to the camper then the 5,000#, but for wheel clearance, some level of more spring could help. I for sure would not go above 1,750#, as that could be too stiff. You only have so much tire capacity and the smaller 3" channel frame I would not add any more then the 5,000# of actual weight. Your bigger issue maybe the shorter springs eye to eye dimension trying to find them locally. They are available, just not as much as the more standard longer spring.

If you do buy new springs, look close at the eyes that the round eye circle is closed totally and pinched tight to the main leaf. I have seen some poorly made brand new springs with 1/16" to as bad as 1/8" gap in the curled eye. They are formed wrong. Most any gap in that closed eye will wear out bushings of any kind in shorter order. That is a known failure mode of a thin walled bushing, they are not 100% supported a full 360 degrees around and the full length. The soft nylon bushing swedge into the gap, the stiffer bronze bushings crack in the gap or lack of full wide support.

Good luck on your local search.

John
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Old 07-21-2022, 04:59 AM   #91
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The bad news on my tires is I did not keep track of where each one was located. I just didnít think of it. When I was working on the bearings, I did switch them around and took a look at the wear on them. I did notice that one was more worn on the outside, but not so bad that it was a big crisis. All the photos are with the outside of the tire to the left. The worse one is the first photo.


1CDD32E3-2949-4283-BE21-17107B875C87.jpg

8DCC8604-C607-4764-9EF8-71FE183DE402.jpg

D3133981-D37D-4330-929E-1479AE76A885.jpg

BC5586C2-296E-479F-B814-B6EB61AA2775.jpg



- Jim
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Old 07-21-2022, 05:11 AM   #92
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A loooooong story short, I now have the Dexter overslung/underslung conversion kits. I got them from a Proline trailer manufacturing plant, and they cost $50. The cheapest I could find before this was around $65, So I lucked out.

Today I will begin the process. Are there any areas that anyone would like specific pictures of? Seems like it’s been covered pretty well in other posts, but if there is lacking photos of something or details needed for future references, let me know.

Oh, and on the springs: None of the shops carry a 23.25” leaf spring. Apparently a real oddity. It would have to be ordered, so that nixed the idea of trying that option. Besides, I found the kits. As you mentioned John, when looking for a spring, the shops all ask for an unloaded eye to eye measurement and height. Kind of a “catch 22” when Dexter only gives you specs on loaded sizes.
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Old 07-21-2022, 07:34 AM   #93
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Hi Jim,

The good news, you found the over/under kit and you are "into it". Good luck. Some general pics of how you are holding up the camper may help. We all do this different pending what you have to work with. And then how you got the axle moved, you moved it towards the hangers or went towards the equalizer area to move the axle tube from under to over would be helpful for others.

Also, make sure the brake wires are coming out of the rear side of the axle tube point towards the back of the camper. There are fronts and rears to the axle tube/brakes, both for wheel alignment and for braking action. Just mentioning so the axle does not get flipped around by accident. If by odd chance your axle tube are not having the wires come out the back, let talk about it.

On the tire wear, yes you have one wheel that appears to have a toe alignment issue. First thought is excessive toe "in" angle to the road scrubbing tread wear as you go down the road. That is not a fast fix short of an alignment shop. But you can figure this out yourself too, and then possibly correct it once you know the problem.

The tire wear is not a show stopper, more of a tire wear and shorter tire life issue. Worst case, you have to buy one new tire after XXXX miles before or just after you get to addressing the alignment.

Hope your day goes well

John
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Old 07-21-2022, 06:02 PM   #94
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Biggest question at this point is about the shouldered shackle bolts. They have the knurled shank near the head. I can’t get the head to seat because of the knurled shank. I have tried pulling them in by tightening the nut, using a c-clamp to try and pull them in, and bang on the head to drive them in.

Any helpful tips?

Otherwise everything is going good.
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Old 07-21-2022, 08:40 PM   #95
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Biggest question at this point is about the shouldered shackle bolts. They have the knurled shank near the head. I can’t get the head to seat because of the knurled shank. I have tried pulling them in by tightening the nut, using a c-clamp to try and pull them in, and bang on the head to drive them in.

Any helpful tips?

Hi Jim,

I have adapted two different methods on how to press in the serrated spring pins.

The early days, this was how I did it. My 12" clamp was the minimum sized clamp that would give enough force to press the pins in and cut new serration metal in the hanger. It was more about the clamp thread size, but the 12" reach also helped. The 3/4" thread gave me the power to do most pins. My smaller 8" clamp with a 5/8 thread did not have enough power to do any pins.

Here are the basics. If you are pressing in wet bolts with a grease fitting, you need to press around the grease fitting or remove it for the press in. In my case I used a 1/2" heavy socket to span the grease fitting. Like this.


Then hold the socket in place until the clamp slack is gone can you start to apply pressure.


Here is the clamp screw side, I needed a larger ID 1/2" drive socket that would allow the pin to pass freely into the hanger and socket and have the threaded pin not hit the clamp. The pin is able to move freely inside the socket and the socket is backed up against the hanger.


Plan B was when using the 3/4" thread clamp and the clamp did not have enough power to start cutting serrations, I would flip the clamp around. Meaning the screw end of the clamp is now on the spring pin head socket and the fixed of the clamp was on the threaded end of the spring pin.

That combo allowed me to apply all the clamp pressure my big clamp could give against the pin head, it still was not enough force, but then using a hammer, I hit the clamp screw square and true so the impact shock would go straight down the clamp screw, and into the spring pin serrated head. The combo of the larger clamp pressure, the impact shock directly and evenly into serrated head, the head started to cut serration grooves. The hanger was backed up by the fixed end of the clamp so the hanger would not bend. Once started and then more clamp pressure, the pins would go in. Sometimes I had to do the impact on two moves, but the pin pressed in all the way with this method when the clamp alone would not do it.

I did several trailers with that C clamp setup until method 2 came along and this method is far superior then the 12" clamp.

Method 2 uses a ball joint press. This thing is beastly compared to the 12" clamp with a 3/4" thread. The thread is much larger (~ 1" to 1 1/8") and best of all, it has a hollow fixed clamp end to span over the top of the spring pin pending which way I am pressing the pins in or out.

Here is the tool. You can use a hand wrench, ratchet and socket or a small impact to run the screw. See the hole (ring) on the end of the clamp that acts as the fixed end of the clamp. The impact zips the screw up close, then use the ratchet if you need fine control.


Here we are pressing out pins from the shackle area. We are not reusing these pins so we can press directly against the threaded end of the pin and we do not care if we damage the threads. This ball joint clamp has an end on the screw that has a little flex to it, but nothing like the large flex of a C clamp. This helps hold the pressing force straight and true. The round open fixed end is up against the shackle plate and the pin will pop out the center of the clamp hole.


Same thing at the hangers


At the equalizer hanger


Pressing the pins in works in a similar way, the clamp screw head is against a socket over a grease fitting if there is a grease fitting, or the clamp screw head is directly against the pin head if there is no grease fitting.

The force applied by the ball joint press is far superior for this spring pin pressing application. The hardest part with the ball joint press is holding up the weight of the clamp. The screw has power to spare for the spring pins.

Do not try and use the nut on the spring pin to draw in the serrations. You can strip out the threads in the nuts, there is not enough force to attempt to press in the serrations.

Do not pound on the spring pin head directly with no clamp pressure, the pin is going to bounce, the hanger bend, serrations get buggered up, as all this impact force is not backed up like when you use the clamp. You have to use a large clamp to create the back pressure to hold the hanger from bending and bouncing when hammering.

Some auto parts stores loan out those ball joint pressing tools. You give them a deposit to cover the cost of the entire ball joint socket kit, and they give you back the deposit when you return the kit.

Worst case, Harbor Freight has a small kit that has the clamp press in it that will work for spring pins. These use to be cheaper, now not as much.
https://www.harborfreight.com/ball-j...les-63279.html

I have this kit which is bigger and was a lot cheaper in 2017 when I bought it. We use this on cars and trucks for ball joints. Trailer spring pins came along for the ride. This same kit is what Advance Auto loans out.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...rch_asin_title

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-22-2022, 04:50 PM   #96
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This is the underside of the camper. Itís right above one of the axles. Iím thinking I should patch around this, before I put the axle back. The seal is loose around the tube. I donít think it would be a good idea to try and remove the sealant from the cloth/insulation. Iím afraid it would cause more damage than good.

Should I just clean the hole with soap and water, then put Dicor there?


19AF005B-EB52-4E15-8B2A-F47F1858DBEC.jpg
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Old 07-22-2022, 06:32 PM   #97
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Since things were going smoothly, I thought it would be good to put new sleeve bearings in the leaf spring of the equalizer. Thinking that it might keep the bolt from ruining the leaf spring. Opening it up I found the shackle plates are more worn than I expected.

While the sleeves are still intact, I was very surprised that the plates were so worn. Iím suspicious that someone had replaced the sleeves recently. It goes to show that you do need to open them all the way to see how they are wearing.

Do you think Iíll be ok for 5,000 miles with these? I think I know the answer ☹️ .


1D5CF133-1B5E-4DF8-B67F-05A75CAF4795.jpg

608B6E92-C5E5-448C-8808-1E91D605EB7B.jpg

0DE6FE75-B72B-4FCA-8FE2-316677D9C8B1.jpg
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Old 07-22-2022, 07:30 PM   #98
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Prior to opening the shackle links, I checked the bolt and sleeve in the equalizer. This one was the worse of the two. Definitely worn, which I was expecting to replace this fall. The hole isnít oblong all the way thru, just on the edge. You can see the new plastic sleeve is installed and is bent to the bad shape. I figured youíd want to see this, considering the holes in the shackle links.

20D1D916-4452-4046-BC24-4B50D61E9473.jpg

8615BE54-19A6-43E1-9B6C-430742D63DE9.jpg
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Old 07-22-2022, 09:46 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimS View Post
This is the underside of the camper. Itís right above one of the axles. Iím thinking I should patch around this, before I put the axle back. The seal is loose around the tube. I donít think it would be a good idea to try and remove the sealant from the cloth/insulation. Iím afraid it would cause more damage than good.

Should I just clean the hole with soap and water, then put Dicor there?

Yes, seal up the hole. That is the start of a mouse entry point.

You mentioned cloth bottom, I'm not totally sure what Sunline used on the bottom of your vintage camper. The early campers had a metal bottom sheet. And the newer ones have a heavy plastic weave black tarp looking sheet called Dacro. Think like a heavy poly tarp, just a better material.

I'm not sure if yours is actual cloth or a plastic weave etc. On the Darco bottoms that have jagged cut outs around pipe and gas lines like yours. Sunline would silicone the pipe to the plastic with a big glob. While the silicone works for a short time period, it will separate over time as I have found. On a camper restoration I'm doing where drain pipes (1 1/2" pipe or larger), and you have a large jagged hole, I remove any silicone. I take the time and use sheet metal, like the thickness of roof flashing or a little thicker, and create a very close fit to the pipe with the flashing. The flashing is large enough to span to the main steel frame or from floor joist to floor joist where I screw the metal to the joist with the Darco above the metal. I caulk using Proflex or Dicor the sheet to the Darco and seal the pipe to the flashing. This creates a long term, long life mouse entry free repair.

Small pipes like a 3/8" copper gas line, I may caulk it direct to the Darco if the Darco is in good enough shape to hold the caulk. It all depends on how big and jagged the hole is.

In your case, it looks like some of the prior caulk is lifting off. Since it is already lifting off, I would try and remove it, it might fall right off. If the other line has a good tight bond, then maybe leave it. You make the judgment call when you see how big the material hole is to decide if you can caulk it direct to the bottom membrane or you need a flashing fill in the hole repair. For cleaning, yes soap and water will work if it is dirt your are removing.
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Old 07-22-2022, 10:16 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimS View Post
Since things were going smoothly, I thought it would be good to put new sleeve bearings in the leaf spring of the equalizer. Thinking that it might keep the bolt from ruining the leaf spring. Opening it up I found the shackle plates are more worn than I expected.

While the sleeves are still intact, I was very surprised that the plates were so worn. I’m suspicious that someone had replaced the sleeves recently. It goes to show that you do need to open them all the way to see how they are wearing.

Do you think I’ll be ok for 5,000 miles with these? I think I know the answer ☹️ .
This pic,


That is "exactly" what a text book perfect worn out shackle plate looks like.

The spring and shackle pins are spinning as the serrations have let go and the wear will accelerate into creating a slot like you are seeing.

Consider yourself lucky you dodged a bullet finding that, as that will fail soon and leave to stranded on the side of the road.

That shackle plate can let go at any time now. 5 miles, 50 miles, 500 miles maybe before it fails. For sure it will never make it 5,000 miles. Find new plates soon. The 1/4" thick ones are dirt cheap, and they do not last a real long time but they keep shipping brand new campers with them every day. Going with the heavy duty 1/2" thick ones, they do last a long time and they cost some more. BUT, if all you can get is the 1/4" think ones, they will get you going. This is part of why Dexter puts a 6,000 mile inspection interval on the suspension.

This is how I have found all that wear starts. I have come up with this from seeing many in different stages of wearing.

The bushing on the top of the equalizer in the hanger bushing wears the fastest. The motion on that top center bushing is twice as much as the joints on the lower parts of the equalizer. The most motion wears the most. And the weight is more on the center pin then each shackle pin individually. More weight is more friction which is faster wear.

Once the top center equalizer bushing starts wearing, the entire equalizer starts to flex left to right (in and out from the side of the camper) in the clearance of the wear. That flexing then allows the entire equalizer to start to twist left to right, (again in and out from the side the camper.)

As the entire equalizer starts flexing/twisting, it starts twisting the 1/4" thin shackle plates and pins. The leaf spring resists the twist being held by the front or rear hanger pin and the axle tube itself. This equalizer flexing over time at the lower joints, starts wearing the serrations on the head of the shackle pins. Soon the serrations have worn enough the shackle pin starts to spin.

As soon as the shackle pins starts spinning, the shackle plate starts wearing at an accelerated rate and the elongation slot in the shackle plates occurs. The shackle plate slot wear continues until the plate breaks through and the leaf spring shoots up into the fender well. AKA, this leaves you stranded on the side of the road.

See if you can find some new plates and pins. Tractor Supply sometimes has them if you are looking for parts on a Sunday.

You are doing a good job of finding the issues.

Hope this helps

John

PS Think of it this way, you have now learned exactly how trailer suspension wears and can fail.
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