Torsion Axle for Gene's Tear In-Design

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Torsion Axle for Gene's Tear In-Design

Postby GeneH » Sun Dec 04, 2005 8:34 pm

After spending a bit of time with the group at Myrtle Beach I came home with a lot of ideas to think about. One was to use a torsion axle instead of leaf springs for better riding and less wear and tear on the tear. I looked around the web and found this one at Northern Tools website and was wondering if anyone had tried it ... northern tools



Its 2000 pound rating seems like it should cover my requirements but wondered how it might compare to a similar weight class Dexter Axle or Flexiride unit.
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Postby SteveH » Sun Dec 04, 2005 8:39 pm

Gene,

If it were me, I'd shy away from the Reliable unit because it is all welded together and therefore, the parts are not replaceable like the Dexter and Flexiride. Also becasue it is welded, ride height is not adjustable.
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Postby mexican tear » Sun Dec 04, 2005 10:25 pm

Gene
I used this axle at first. The trailer was so high it looked bad.

David in Nashville helped me change mine out to a 5 degree drop. It is a bit low now but realy looks good. Thanks to David who helped a guy in need on the road. I had the axle shipped to my son's house and then David and I changed it.

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Postby cracker39 » Mon Dec 05, 2005 8:48 am

I haven't bought my axle yet, but I agree with StevenH. I'm getting the Dexter #9 for about $12 less than the NT axle. You get to choose your drop on the torsion arm, and your specific width at no extra charge. The Flexiride costs more, but has adjustable arm drop to change your ride height. With the Dexter, you have to choose the drop carefully as you are stuck with the ride height you choose. Flexiride also sells individual torsion units that bolt onto either side of the frame. If you use these, you don't have to worry about frame width. A word of caution...DON'T do any welding on your torsion axle or you can damage the rubber pieces and ruin the axle.
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Postby Chip » Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:23 am

Gene: all the basic components have to come together as one unit,, if anything is wrong then you will have to make other changes to make it fit rather than getting it to fit right up front the first time,,

Axle length is a funtion of your box width, plus space between tire and box and also wheel back set, and then the axle perch where it attaches to the frame must be considered also,, any of these things get out of whack and you have a head scratcher on ya hands,, It may take a little longer but the chance of finding one thats just right on the shelf might be difficult,, Take your time here and you will have a bolt up deal rather than a cut and hammer to fit,,, Close enough for government work just aint good enough,,

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Postby angib » Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:10 am

Dale wrote:A word of caution...DON'T do any welding on your torsion axle or you can damage the rubber pieces and ruin the axle.

If you hang around the Fiberglass RV board, you'll find that most of the rubber torsion axles on these trailers (Scamp, Boler, etc) were welded in place originally and generally last 20-30 years, so I think this warning needs to be changed to:

"DON'T do any welding onto the tube of your torsion axle or you can damage the rubber pieces and ruin the axle. Welding the axle's mounting brackets to the frame is acceptable, although replacement will be more difficult."

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Postby cracker39 » Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:41 am

Thanks Andrew. I wonded if welding the mounting bracket would be safe. I was going to buy the mounting kit that can be welded to the frame and then the axle is bolted to the mount. I did some more checking through the Dexter Torflex literature and found this caution "Do not weld on the Torflex beam. It has rubber cords inside and the heat generated by welding could damage the cord." If by beam, they mean the axle tube, then we could assume that the bracket can be welded onto the frame.
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Postby bledsoe3 » Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:35 am

If you buy the mounting brackets you can weld them to your frame. The axle then bolts to the brackets.
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Postby asianflava » Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:43 am

My axle isn't going anywhere without a fight. We welded the brackets to the frame. The welds stop about an inch from the actual axle tube though. Also welded (and bolted) the coupler to the tongue.
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Postby cracker39 » Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:18 am

bledsoe3 wrote:If you buy the mounting brackets you can weld them to your frame. The axle then bolts to the brackets.


This what I've had in mind to do along...that or make simple mounting brackets from a piece of channel which would be cheaper. I think they sell the brackets for about $16 a set. I am also considering just bolting the axle bracket to the frame. I think two 3/8" bolts would be strong enough, and two holes through the frame vertically shouldn't weaken it appreciably, since the weight on the chassis side rail is spread throughout the entire body length.

asianflava wrote:My axle isn't going anywhere without a fight. We welded the brackets to the frame. The welds stop about an inch from the actual axle tube though. Also welded (and bolted) the coupler to the tongue.


So, Asian, you welded the torsion axle (bracket) directly to your frame, right? That is another option to consider, and the easier one I'm thinking.

As for my hitch, I'm going to use a straight coupler (2" wide x 1 7/8" ball), since the angle of the two tongue pieces will be narrower than the angle of the Atwood style coupler. I'll weld a piece of 2" tube onto the ends of the tongue where they join and bolt the coupler onto that. That piece of tube will also help support the welding of the two tongue piece ends together.
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Postby mikeschn » Tue Dec 06, 2005 4:52 pm

When I had my trailer fabricated I forgot to order the brackets. So the guy welded the axle right to the frame.

I'm hoping I've got a good axle, otherwise I'll be out there grinding off the axle. But if I ever get to that point, I am buying brackets.

My suggestion... buy brackets...

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Postby SteveH » Tue Dec 06, 2005 4:58 pm

I know it would be hard to do with tubing as frame material, but I built my brackets into the frame. It would work with either an angle iron or channel iron frame.

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Torsion Axle for Gene's Tear In-Design

Postby GeneH » Tue Dec 06, 2005 5:55 pm

Lots of good comments guys ... I thank you and need all the help I can get.

My plan is to build my frame similar to the bolt together drawing Mike put together. I plan to use 2" x 2" x 3/16" angle with cross members every 20% of the length of the trailer. The 60% (approx) cross member will be the torsion axle mounted to 2" square tubing mounted inside the turned-down side rail angles between the 40% to the 80% members. The exact axle location will depend on the tongue weight calculations.

I plan to build the trailer sans axle then order it after taking the final measurements. While waiting for the axle delivery I plan to build the tear sides as complete units including building lock-down bolts built into the bottom structure with recessed nuts so I can stand them up and tighten them down after putting the axle on and building the floor on the frame.

That's my plan as it stands, now to see if it "survives first contact." :thinking:
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Postby asianflava » Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:03 pm

I don't think you will need so many cross members 1 maybe 2 max. The trailer body is where most of the rigidity comes from. Think of it as a box loaded with gussets (the cabinetry). Since the frame is bolted to the box, the frame will only flex when the box does. I only have one crossmember on my frame. It serves as reinforcement for the single tube tongue.
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Postby cracker39 » Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:37 pm

asianflava wrote:I don't think you will need so many cross members 1 maybe 2 max. The trailer body is where most of the rigidity comes from. Think of it as a box loaded with gussets (the cabinetry). Since the frame is bolted to the box, the frame will only flex when the box does. I only have one crossmember on my frame. It serves as reinforcement for the single tube tongue.


I also plan on having only one central cross member of the same frame tubing as the "box". I will add two more cross members inbetween, but they will only be 1"x2"x1/8 angle for floor support. I hope my tongue weight calculations work out correctly, as I don't see any way to move the axle once it or mounting brackets are welded to the frame, except to make some elaborate 2-piece bracket system that works with bolts to move and refasten. And that would drop the axle 2 more inches below the frame, requiring a 0 or negative start angle to keep the frame from riding too high.

So, here is another of Cracker's wacky ideas. BUT, IT COULD WORK!!!. I may even try it.

As I said above, this would lower the axle 2" beneath the frame, rquiring a zero or even negative start angle. First cut a piece of 2" by 1/4" tube, 10" (same length as the axle mount) and bolt it to the top of the axle mount. But, first, drill 2 horizontal holes through the piece of tube 7" apart.

Then, I'd calculate approximately where the axle should go, and weld a 18"-24" piece of 2" by 1/4" angle to the bottom of the frame side rail, centered on the approximate axle location. This would give me room to maneuver the axle back and forth from it's starting point. Before welding it on, I'd drill a series of holes through the side of the angle, 3 1/2" apart. This would give me a series of positions 3 1/2" apart for axle movement forward and backard.

Then, bolt the tube on the axle to the angle. If I needed to lighten the tongue weight, just remove those two bolts, move the axle forward one or two holes and rebolt it on. Same goes for increasing tongue weight, move the axle back. These end view and side view diagrams show what I mean (hopefully):

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Image

Now, is that as clear as mud? Does anyone see any flaw with this design for mounting a "repositionable" axle?
Dale

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