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Old 23 April 2012, 05:15   #1
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ever wondered what was inside your axle?....

I've had quite a few people ask how the torsion system on a trailer axle works and what's inside the beam axle. Well, I had to cut an axle up the other day (sacrilege I know!), so I thought I'd post a couple of pics for those who'd like to see.

It's all very basic really - you have a rubber length in each corner and the trailer drop arm rotates against the rubbers. The denser and bigger the rubber, the higher the weight capacity.







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Old 23 April 2012, 05:51   #2
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Is it possible to change the trailer drop ARM without the whole axle. Mine is very rusty but the hub and axle are in good condition?
Thanks for the pics I have always wondered how it works.
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Old 23 April 2012, 07:17   #3
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tbh, it's probably not economically viable for a company to do it. I remember asking a well known trailer manufacturer decades ago about doing it and I shan't repeat the reply on an open forum!

You can imagine the pain involved in stopping the production run to place an axle in the machine and reverse the huge press to pull it apart and then press new arms in.

Unfortunately, if they're not easily repairable (need to be careful if you weld them, due to heating and ergo softening the rubbers) then a new axle's the only way to go.
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Old 23 April 2012, 08:40   #4
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Does the rubber age and/or wear over time and loose its strength at all?
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Old 23 April 2012, 08:59   #5
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It does, I'm afraid, especially when introduced to salt water. You'll know when they're on their way out, as the drop arm will no longer return to it's original pre-loaded position, or has even gone past horizontal, when loaded.
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Old 23 April 2012, 15:10   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailer Guy View Post
It does, I'm afraid, especially when introduced to salt water. You'll know when they're on their way out, as the drop arm will no longer return to it's original pre-loaded position, or has even gone past horizontal, when loaded.
My last trailer axle did that after about 3 years, the axle also had badly machined stubs that caused the seals & bearing to fail the new trailer ruined the tyres after 6 months due to the rubbers not being pressed in squarely both axle's made by Knott
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Old 23 April 2012, 15:30   #7
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Originally Posted by Trailer Guy View Post
tbh, it's probably not economically viable for a company to do it. I remember asking a well known trailer manufacturer decades ago about doing it and I shan't repeat the reply on an open forum!

You can imagine the pain involved in stopping the production run to place an axle in the machine and reverse the huge press to pull it apart and then press new arms in.

Unfortunately, if they're not easily repairable (need to be careful if you weld them, due to heating and ergo softening the rubbers) then a new axle's the only way to go.
It was worth asking but I'm not looking forward to paying for a new axle. I managed to chip off the rust and coat it all with shiny paint. The steel was still ringing when I smacked it with a hammer so it will last the season.
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Old 23 April 2012, 15:53   #8
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I have examined them before and wondered how the different loads are calculated, it seems a very crude system of knowing how dense the rubber is, vis the 'squish' area of it being deformed inside the box,... but it is effective for something that gets regular immersion
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Old 23 April 2012, 16:28   #9
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Inside of that square housing holding the rubbers can be a great place for Rust to get a foothold.
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