Busted axle - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by mountainbikeguy, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. mountainbikeguy

    mountainbikeguy New Member

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    Coming home from a 600 mile trip, the dexter torsion axle on my 1990 Starcraft Starflyer tore away from the steel frame which caused the tire on one side to go into the wheel well and blowout. I thought it was just a flat at first, but when I looked at the damage, I saw the steel lip ripped from the frame. I had it towed to a local trailer company, but they wanted $1100 to fix it which includes a new axle. I only paid $1800 for the whole trailer so I decided to park it for awhile.

    Should I take this opportunity to go to a leaf spring suspension since I mainly boondock with it? Any cheaper solutions?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. R00

    R00 Active Member

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    Leaf springs on independent axles (i.e. no thru axle)
     
  3. R00

    R00 Active Member

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    Ouch I didnt catch the frame damage. That trailer is hurtin' fer certain. :-(
     
  4. 94-D2

    94-D2 Happy Campin'

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    You can always find a 3500 lbs doner. A swap is as complicated as finding the fulcrum, marking the appropriate spring mount locations, a couple welds, some bolt up eyelets and shackles and the necessary cans or bottles of your favorite malted beverage. A few buds to help and it's almost as much fun as the camping.


    That would be my suggestion.
     
  5. mountainbikeguy

    mountainbikeguy New Member

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    I have no idea why the first photo is upside down. It's right side up on photo bucket.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  6. mountainbikeguy

    mountainbikeguy New Member

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    Yeah it looks pretty bad. The damage is only on the axle mounts which are welded on to the frame. The frame itself is fine.


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  7. Wayne In Florida

    Wayne In Florida Member

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  8. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    since the axle is bolted onto the frame and it looks like it broke where there is a tab. Could you remove the section on the frame and have it welded back together using 1/4 inch thick plate to span the two sections. If so I would also have plates added to the other side.

    If you can do this. Wrap the axle section of the tube with wet rages to keep it cool because there is rubber in the axle and you would not want it to melt.
     
  9. tsimpler

    tsimpler New Member

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    Duct tape, shoe goo, and some bailing wire and she'll be all gooder.

    Ok maybe a welding shop is the answer.

    Trent
     
  10. mountainbikeguy

    mountainbikeguy New Member

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    That sounds good. I'm not a welder but maybe I can find a buddy who could do it.


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  11. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    Serious rust I see. The force is gone with this one.
    New axle you must. LOL
     
  12. dcbain

    dcbain New Member

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    I'd weld that, plating as necessary. To be fair, my son is a skilled welder so I'd do any fabrication; he'd then do the welding while I stand and criticise! The heat should be far enough from the rubber inserts to not affect them. I'd certainly scratch my head for a long time before I spent the price of a new axle.
     
  13. mountainbikeguy

    mountainbikeguy New Member

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    I believe what looks like rust is red dirt from a recent trip to Arizona.


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  14. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    I would make sure they are a real welder?? Not someone that just hack. I can weld but I would not do it myself. This is a suspension part. I think it will need to be ark welding and make sure they wrap the square tube with a wet cloth and keep it wet. I would think if you take the axle into a shop it would be about $100?? also have them look at the other side??

    A true welding shop may figure out a better way?
     
  15. xshield

    xshield New Member

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    I'd weld that - both side I'd reinforce. Any skilled welder using correct rods and plates will make it stronger than when you bought it.
     
  16. turborich

    turborich Active Member

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    There is absolutely nothing wrong with torsion axles. I have had leaf springs snap in half on a conventional "sprung axle" I once replaced a torsion axle with a leaf spring set up and was very disappointed with how it towed afterwards however it all depends on the trailer. They both have strong points. Just wanted to make this point. The same as the radial vs. bias tire argument. They both have strong points on different applications.

    As far as your axle goes, it it's still true then I would just weld it back up and reinforce it as was suggested by xshield. What he says is absolutely correct and will save you money. While you're at it I would also reinforce the other side.
     
  17. zorak

    zorak Member

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    Actually i would weld that with a mig or fluxcore wire fed welder. We do stuff like this all the time. I agree that some reinforcement would definetly be in order as well. I would keep a running hose nearby, weld a little, and put water on the axle and the weld area to col it off, then repeat til done. I would use a decent welder though. I wouldn't trust one of those $99 ones from harbour freight. For the price of a new axle you could buy a decent enough welder, a roll of wire and a cheap hood and fix it yourself, plus you will have a welder and a new skill in your toolkit.
     
  18. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

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    The torsion axle must be replaced. They do have a limited lifespan (torsion rubber breaks down, eliminating suspension travel and causing the subsequent failure) which was obviously exceeded. Yes, the torsion axles tow nicer than leaf springs.

    I paid $660 for a new axle on my '94 StarCraft (no brakes) including installation. The axles bolt in, no welding should be required.

    Just to be completely clear, there is no "fixing" of this problem with welder, wet rags, buddy Billy-Bob and cans of beer. A new axle must be ordered and replaced.
     
  19. dcbain

    dcbain New Member

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    Lifespeed raises a good point. Has the damage been caused by a failure of the torsion rubbers? The break is through the axle retaining bolt holes; does that suggest a stiffening of the suspension action? Unfortunately I can't see a way of testing the existing suspension movement without remounting it to the trailer; some welding to make good the fixings will be needed to either fit new or replace the old one. So many questions . . .
     
  20. zorak

    zorak Member

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    I see. I guess i know better than to give any advice anymore. I am not a " bubba" ,jackleg or whatever else you think! I am however a welder for the past 30 years and I have built trailers from scratch! I will from now on keep my opinions and ideas to myself. Have a nice day!
     

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