Those Axles – 2

Well… nothing much to get excited about.  I got the old axles off.  Okay they are heavy.  Maybe solid.  Never expected that.  The old spring stacks are also much taller than the new spring stacks.  I’m going to see if I can use the old springs and hardware, but the tires and wheels are slightly taller.  I am concerned about clearance to the bed.

Original Post
Those Axles
By Bob La Londe

Sometimes nothing goes quite right.  3-ish years ago I picked up a gooseneck trailer to haul stuff and help my dad get his collection of junk vehicles in order.  Then my dad started making it difficult to do the things we agreed to do, so I parked the trailer and let him decide how he wanted to handle it.  Well, he passed away last month and nothing was done.  In fact there is now yet another vehicle that needs to be dealt with.  Along with everything else and taking care of my mom.

I started to get the trailer ready to go recover a truck on the other half of the state (can’t drive it as far as I know), and figured I’d finally get around to fixing the brakes on the trailer.  One axle had brake (not plural) and the other axle had no place to put brakes.  No problem.  If I am careful brakes on one axle would be adequate.  I figured I’d buy two brake assemblies.  Install one and replace the one that was still there, so they would be new, good shape, and matching.  Yeah, not a freaking chance.  As near as I can tell nobody makes trailer brake hubs in that configuration anywhere.  The original manufacturer is still in business, but they list them as long obsolete.   After days of chasing parts, emailing, and calling a new axle was the only option.  They are drop axles so just swapping the spindles would be problematic.

I started chasing axles.  Nobody makes an axle in quite the right configuration with the same bolt pattern hub either anymore.  So, both axles, and new rims… I figured new tires anyway, but still.  It got to be a quite expensive purchase.  Two new electric brake drop axles.  4 tires and rims, assorted hardware.  I found one (JUST ONE) company that had something that would fit if I customize it slightly myself.  They listed them as two plus weeks to ship, so I contacted them to ask what two “plus” means in real world time.   The person I chatted with assured me they were in fact in stock and would ship within a day or two.  On the third full day after I paid for them I asked when they would ship.  “Oh no.  Those are not in stock.  We have to get them from the manufacturer.”  To say I was not happy with them would be a little bit of an understatement.

It’s been ten days and they were supposed to be delivered today here in Yuma between 12:00 and 1:00pm.  They were.  Between 12:00 and 1:00 Honolulu time.  They definitely were not shipped in 1 to 2 days.  On a positive note it hasn’t been two plus weeks either.

So now a week behind schedule I have to put these axles on this trailer.  (Yes, I have a deadline to take care of at least one thing with this trailer and its not that far out.)

If you are going to call me up and tell me how I could have done it better faster cheaper… please don’t.  I may not have checked every possible option, but I spent a lot of time chasing down the best option, and the expensive solution was the best I could find.  I have these new axles now.  **

If you are going to call me up and say you will take those free axles f I am going to throw them away… because you are that kind of person… don’t.  I have plans for those axles on trailers that do not require brakes.  Bearings and seals are still available, so they should last a long time in a lighter load application as long I as repack them, and I don’t burn up a bearing so bad it takes out the spindle.

** Well, there was another option I considered.  I have an old “junk” travel trailer with similar drop axles, and the brakes are complete all the way around.  I considered jerking them out from under it, and setting the frame on blocks so I could use those axles on the gooseneck.  It would have been double the work, and they are old too.  If I needed parts I’d have probably run into the same issues with those axles.  I thought it would be faster to just order new axles with good complete brakes for the gooseneck.  Yeah, maybe not.  LOL

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