Spring over axle success

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by Matt Benoit, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Active Member

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    Jul 30, 2017
    Warren, MI
    Spent the afternoon pulling the axle and moving it under the leaf springs. Also replaced the very worn shackles. Gained 3.5in. I have one question for the suspension experts on the forum. What torque do you use for the axle u-bolts? So far I've torqued to 40ft/lbs. I was concerned about overnighting the bolts and stretching them out. What do you guys think? Time for some larger wheels! Probably going to move up to 12in wheels load C. Should leave me enough suspension travel for my driveway curb...lol My stabs should still be fine, but the single portable folding step we were using is now far too short! Door sill hight with new wheels/tires will be at 22in. Also now have an issue with the tongue jack not being long enough. At max extension, the trailer is perfectly level.... Thinking of getting the caster wheel instead of the foot, that should add a few inches. Or replace with a taller jack? 20180327_180309.jpg
     
    jnc likes this.
  2. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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    May 7, 2013
    Somewhere in Idaho
    It will depend on the size and grade of the metal in the U-bolt.
    https://www.autoandtrucksprings.com/recommended-u-bolt-torque

    You can always use Lynx blocks to help with stabs, I have a special made end for the trailer jack that gave me about six extra inches.

    But is is looking good.

    From my memory, you will need it on SE Michigan roads in the spring:eek:. Those pot holes get nasty, quick.:D
     
    Matt Benoit likes this.
  3. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    2,726
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    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    A couple of things,, are the spring perches welded to your axle? if not braking action will cause the axle to rotate, no matter how tight the u bolts are, and is the arch of the axle is still facing up?
    What size are the u bolts? 3/8, 1/2, or 7/16. and is it safe to assume that you used new u bolts?
    As the old bolts have already been stretched once. . If they were new, the mfg would included torque specs.
    The torque will vary on the different size bolts
     
  4. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Active Member

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    Jul 30, 2017
    Warren, MI
    U bolts are 7/16" definitely new!
    Arch of axle is still facing up
    Spring perches are not welded... Yet. Also, no brakes on this pup.
     
  5. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Active Member

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    Jul 30, 2017
    Warren, MI
    Per your link I seem to be 4-5lb/ft short on torque. I will tighten them up tomorrow. I didn't purchase a kit. I am lucky enough to have a spring shop a few miles away. Bought the u bolts, perches, shackles and nuts for about $55. Do you guys think that the perches NEED to be welded since I have no brakes?
     
  6. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I would still weld them on just for the added safety.
     
  7. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

    1,438
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    May 7, 2013
    Somewhere in Idaho
    I'd have them spot welded. Mine are.
     
  8. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Active Member

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    Jul 30, 2017
    Warren, MI
    Ive spent all morning calling everywhere i can think of to get the spring perches welded onto the axle. Almost every shop says they won't do it...The couple that will, want to disassemble the suspension again (which means new u-bolts) and weld them while the axle is off of the trailer. Called a couple of mobile welders, cheapest guy quoted me $225 to come to my house and lay a few beads (honestly its like 3-4 inches total) WTF!! The axle shop i bought the hardware from will do it, but the will charge a minimum of 1 hour per side (2 hours total or about $160). Seriously, what happened to buying a guy a six pack and doing a favor?
     
    Katskamper likes this.
  9. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    For that kind of money you could just buy your own 90 amp welder.
     
  10. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Active Member

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    Jul 30, 2017
    Warren, MI
    I torqued the u-bolts to 45ft/lbs today. And took some pictures to show a few different shops where I wanted them to weld. Because of the crazy prices I've gotten, I'll probably just let it go. The axle cannot move side to side because of the old spring perches being located between the new u-bolts. The only concern is with the axle rotating. At most it could rotate 90 degrees before the old perches hit the new ones. But with no brakes I can't really imagine the axle rotating... The wheels would rotate instead. I think I'll probably just have to keep an eye on it between trips, if I notice rotation, I may just have to shell out some cash to weld them.
     
  11. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Active Member

    158
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    Jul 30, 2017
    Warren, MI
    20180328_111418.jpg 20180328_111424.jpg
     
  12. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    If that's the way you are going than I would suggest etching in some witness marks for easy viewing latter on.
     
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  13. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Active Member

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    Jul 30, 2017
    Warren, MI
    I can use the original perches as "witness marks". Because they are welded to the axle. I can just take a glance and make sure both sets of perches are still 180 degrees opposite each other.

    While i had the wheels off, I took the time to replace/repack the wheel bearings, and replaced the rear seals. This was my first time doing it, really wasn't as bad as id feared....just messy! Used #2 Lithium grease. The part i struggled with was determining how tight to tighten the castle nut. After much online reading, I managed to find a sweet spot where the hub turns freely with no side to side movement. While I was at the local RV shop getting supplies, I spoke with several employees about the Bearing Buddies that were installed on the pup. They all advised against....So i bought and installed the standard dust cap instead.

    Waiting for the new wheels/tires to show up! Come on warmer weather!
     
    jnc likes this.
  14. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    2,726
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    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    With no brakes on the pup, there isn't anything that would cause the axle to turn. I wouldn't worry about it. Cannot believe the prices u got for a 10 minute job....ripoff!!! I couldn't charge someone that munch and sleep
     
  15. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Active Member

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    Kentucky
    It likely isn’t the amount of work, it’s the potential liability. With the crazy litigious society we live in, any shop is going to look it all over while they are under it, which is why the one shop said they wanted to take it apart and do it all themselves. It stinks for everyone involved that people are so quick to file a lawsuit, even when there is absolutely no merit to it. Yet it still costs tons of money to defend yourself. The age of the 6 pack job is over, unless it’s a friend or family.

    Edited to add: I’m not saying the OP would sue, it’s the crazy idiot texting while driving that pulls out in front of the OP that would sue.
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    Jun 5, 2014
    Franklin, MA
    Dang. So much for a few beads. I wish I lived closer. I'd lay a few beads and help you drink that 6-pack.
     
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  17. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Active Member

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    May 23, 2018
    South Carolina
    I was wondering if you ever found someone to weld the perches. Shops could be concerned about eddy currents going through the bearings during the welding process. Bearings self-destruct after that. I've seen bearings destroyed from static electricity generated by tires. I've also seen mechanics destroy bearings by clamping the weld ground to the wrong spot on the machine to be welded.
     
  18. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Active Member

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    Jul 30, 2017
    Warren, MI
    After talking with an rv dealer, the concensus was that its not necessary. Only because the pup does not have brakes. No brakes, no possibility for the axle to rotate.
     
  19. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

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    Apr 6, 2017
    New Plymouth, ID
    Vibration is a tricky thing....even with no torque from brakes, a good stretch of washboard road *could* possibly cause movement. wish you were a bit closer, I'd slap a couple of beads on those perches, & let you keep your beer......
     
  20. Katskamper

    Katskamper Active Member

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    Nov 21, 2015
    Fort Worth, TX
    8284572A-2600-482B-9236-3D3A463B9F1F.jpeg
    matt, is this what you had”before.”? all mine is bolted
     

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