Worn out Torsion Axle-stub. Can I adjust?

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by timothias, May 11, 2013.

  1. timothias

    timothias New Member

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    So, the first time I parked the PUP at home I blocked the left side to level it. I expected I would have to do this as it is an uneven driveway. I haven't actually camped in it yet, but this past week I took it to my dad's house to do some work. I parked the PUP on his level pad, and noticed the left side still sagging. I took the wheel off (was checking wheel bearings anyways) and noticed a good deal of rubbing inside the fender, though the tire looked ok. The right side rides higher and doesn't rub.

    As far as I have read, torsion axles can wear out? I understand that the rubber inside can dry out and loose its... rubberyness?

    The arm of the torsion axle is on splines. Is is possible to offset the worn out torsion system by rotating the arm clockwise on the splines?

    [​IMG]
    (ignore the finger [;)] )

    [​IMG]
    The splines in question.

    As you can see, other than dealing with rust, it should just slide off, clockwise and back on. What do I need to consider when doing this?
    What should I look at for replacing it if I can't rotate it?

    P.S., for those interested, the Pup is a '95 Bonaire BA700 with 12" wheels. I do not know the make of the axles.
     
  2. turborich

    turborich Active Member

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    I've never seen a torsion axle like yours. I have a Dexter torsion axle and the spindles are welded directly to the axle that goes into the housing. There is no adjustment.

    However on your axle it appears that you can in fact adjust the arm. I would spray it with some penetrating oil and let it set for a day. Once you get the nut off you could probably beat on the arm with a dead blow hammer and a block of wood. Then adjust it to match the other side. It's worth a try anyways. You may have to cut that bolt off and replace it due to the rust. You will just have to see how it plays out. An impact wrench may help, run it reverse, forward and repeat.

    I've seen torsion axles that were 20+ years old and they were still going strong however just like anything else, they can wear out. I prefer the ride of a torsion axle over a leaf spring set up any day!
     
  3. austinm48

    austinm48 http://s1174.photobucket.com/albums/r604/austinm48

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    i would try that too and while i was at it i would see exactly how high can i go with it too .................. with the hole in the center ill bet a puller would fit on it
     
  4. turborich

    turborich Active Member

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    One one thing I was thinking about when looking at the photo. Once you get that nut and bolt off you could probably open the split up just enough to pull it off with a steel chisel and hammer or an air chisel, Just like you would do when removing an A-arm on a vehicle from the ball joint stud.

    I wonder if the rubber inside gave up or if perhaps the splines themselves may have moved/stripped? Either way I would see what you could do. Let everyone know how this plays out.

    Good luck to you.
     
  5. daveo1289

    daveo1289 Well-Known Member

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    Just remember that the axle is under pressure. Mark everything as to where it is before you remove stuff. That way you will have some reference points. Then when you load the axle, you have some place to work from.
     
  6. turborich

    turborich Active Member

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  7. timothias

    timothias New Member

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    Thanks for all the input guys. It will be a couple of weeks before I have a chance to work on it, but I will update you all when I do.

    To daveo and turborich, one of the events that tipped me off to an issue is that when I lifted that side, the wheel did not release on the suspension at all. Normally (granted I've never worked on a torsion axle) when I have lifted a wheel, most of the jacking takes the weight of the suspension before the wheel leaves the ground. In this case, the "suspension" did not have any give as the wheel came off the ground.

    Is this characteristic of a torsion axle? I would assume, at the very least, the weight of the PUP would give a little twist on the torsion system...

    The idea of it twisting on the splines mildly scares me, as I cant really afford to replace the axle right now... but if it has to be done I guess.

    Thanks for all your input guys, I will keep y'all posted.
     
  8. turborich

    turborich Active Member

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    If the arm didn't move downward while you jacked it up then I'm guessing it's pretty much shot. Even if you removed the arm and adjusted to the correct height you wouldn't have any suspension. The rubber inside may have given up the fight. This would be my guess. You can always purchase a new axle if need be. You could stay with the torsion or go with conventional spring.
     
  9. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

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    I think both sides of the axle are connected. Try jacking up the other side and see what happens.

    Sent from my DROID4 using Tapatalk 2
     
  10. timothias

    timothias New Member

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    They actually are not connected. This particular PUP just has a pair of stubs.
     
  11. Big_kid

    Big_kid Virginia Beach, VA

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    Seems to me the spring is shot, unless it's just rusted up & seized. If you re-index the axle you'll still have no suspension, just at a different angle.

    For an overview you could search for how to raise/lower a VW Beetle. They used a similar setup on the rear of their air cooled vehicles. That how-to has been documented quite well over the years.
     
  12. phalynx

    phalynx Member

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    Seems as if you'd be fixing the symptom and not the cause.
     
  13. turborich

    turborich Active Member

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    Torsion axles are not connected, even if the torsion set up uses an axle beam that runs all the way across the two sides still function independently as they are not connected inside. It's basically independent suspension.
     
  14. timothias

    timothias New Member

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    @bigkid and @phalynx I realize that if (likely is) the rubber is shot all I would be doing is fixing the clearance. However, that would keep me level, and keep the tire from punching through the fender until I can afford to replace the axle.
     
  15. phalynx

    phalynx Member

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    If you re-index it, will it be against a hard stop or will there still be some flexibility in the suspension? If it's a hard stop and you essentially have no suspension, you run the risk of catastrophically breaking the axle. No suspension means the axle takes the majority of the stresses.

    Per the dexter axle applications manual:

    "Axle capacity will be reduced by at least 50% when used without a suspension system...."

    http://l.b5z.net/i/u/6149609/f/Applications_Manual_Complete_Catalog.pdf

    If there's still some springiness then it might be ok.
     
  16. timothias

    timothias New Member

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    The reality of it all is reindexed or left as is, I think it's sitting against the stop, or what would be the stop on a torsion axle. So I'd be non the better or worse if indexed it...

    Any thoughts on what to replace it with? What do I need to look for?

    Sent from my SGH-I317M using Tapatalk 2
     

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