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 > TT axle alignment & install - Detailed (long lot's of pics)

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SWD

Land of Living Skies

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Posted: 04/29/09 03:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

John...........great job! I'm interested in doing the brake feed upgrade. Can you give any more info?

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 04/30/09 10:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SWD wrote:

John...........great job! I'm interested in doing the brake feed upgrade. Can you give any more info?


Hi SWD

Thanks for the kind words. The brake feed upgrade, yes I will be creating a post soon on this as well as the Dexter self adjusting brakes. Going camping this weekend and will put another 200 miles on to get a better update.

I will PM you with a link when I get it up.

In the mean time, here see this post by LAdams, 7 pages worth of goodies. I borrowed some of his ideas..... He may pop in here any time soon and add more. LAdams brake feed upgrade


Thanks

John


John & Cindy

2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver

2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)


Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

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Posted: 04/30/09 06:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JBarca wrote:

Huntindog wrote:

John, you hsve really put together some great info, and I am sure that it will help others who have difficult alignment issues.

But, I have some other thoughts to share.
I don't think that precise alignment is necessary or maybe even possible due to the slop in the spring hangers and shackles. I know you went to some effort to reduce this slop, but I think some slop is actually beneficial. Look at what happens to the springs whenn the TT is being jackknifed into a parking spot. All of that slop and then some is taken up. If there was no slop, then there would be even more force on the spring hangers. I used to have those cheap peices of tin like you have on your TT. Shortly after I installed the Dexter HD shackle kit those hangers broke. I think the dexter kit contibuted to their demise. The hangers I replaced them with are about twice as thick. Longer zerk bolts are required. Also,the stock hangers were welded 1/4" out of spec. That's a pretty large error, yet it had no ill effects on my TT.


In addition I think the slop tends to help some while towing as it allows the suspension to find its center position and compensates for inaccuracies in the construction of the TT.

If one was able to precisely align the frame and axles, then the next problem would be aligning the TT box with the frame. I highly doubt that with the way these things are slapped together that most are straight on the frame.
I don't have the math skills to figure this out, but I bet that a error as little as 1/4" on a 30' TT would act like a 30' wing at highway speeds pushing the TT to one side.

At any rate to sum up my ramblings, TTs are just not built that precisely, but the errors must tend to cancel each other out as most TTs don't experience any issues. Of course every now and then a perfect storm comes along and a TT is built with everything so far out of whack in one direction that no cancelation is possible.


Huntingdog

H'mm, your findings are interesting. Thanks for sharing. And some time it would be good learning if you had more info on your hanger issues. There is always something to be learned from something that broke to not have it happen again. I'll add a few things that came from my info searching saga...

Both Dexter and AlKo both state that the front axle is to be held square to the frame and within +/- 1/16" from the wheel to the tow ball. And that front and rear axles are to be parallel to within +/- 1/16". That is the axle manufactures spec.

What we do not know is how the frame companies go about obtaining that and then when the TT builder puts a camper on it how does it hold that alignment??? The floor of the camper adds some level of rigidity and the frame will become stronger for parallelogram twisting once the floor is on it. And with the trend towards light weight extra steel structure gets removed. I have never looked under a 1960 or 1970 era TT. They use to be heavy and possibly more rigid. Back then the tolerance may have been able to hold better because of it before the floor was added.

From all my research, the better the alignment the better the tire wear and longevity. When the spring bushings get worn out, meaning more play, tire wear goes up.

Doing hard 180 turns. Yes this is hard on a tandem axle setup. Just look at the tire doing really squirming things which is part of the ST tire need. However I have not figured out how more play here will help the TT frame or suspension. These stock nylon bushings or even the bronze ones are a whopping 1/16” wall thickness new. When new on the bronze, there is about 1/64” running clearance with the spring bolt to the ID of the bushing. As the bushing wears 50% that is about 1/16” slop in the hole. (1/32” wear each side) During the 180 turn that 1/16” play gets taken up real quick in the turn progression. Yes this is play and it does self compensate some, but I can’t figure out how that would actually help the hangers as it all pulled to one direction real quick and then the forces are still just pulling on the hangers. And when you have brand new bushings, the play is very little. So the hangers have to take it on new bushings just like worn bushings.

There are several components that bolt together from the hanger until you get to the wheel and the wheel is what is suppose to be in alignment.

- First the hangers have to be put in the right spot in relation to the tow ball.
- Then the frame should not twist before the floor was put on.
- Then there is the springs and there length tolerances.
- Then there is the spring bolt that is up inside the axle seat to keep the axle seat in location. In this one location these is almost +/- 1/8” play between the axle seat hole and the spring bolt pilot head. I could not believe it was that sloppy, but it is.
- And some how this is suppose to come out at +/- 1/16” from wheel to tow ball

I agree, many TT’s are made where they are not that good and still run and may not wear tires badly. There is no adjustment in the process.

What I was really looking for in my research saga was, well how far out can you be before you are seeing tire wear like I was having? Now where could I locate that. I’m sure some well seasoned axle repair guy knows it as he has lived and breathed it for the last 30 years. I just wish he would write about it….. and would tell us so we can go read it…

I had a hard enough time coming up what recommend was. So I figured out how to create the recommended. It will only stay in spec until the bronze bushings wear on the spring hanger, then I will start to loose it. Fortunately I have a grease fitting now to help slow down the wear. Part of my annual TT maintenance inspection now will be to measure bushing wear and track it.

Also curious where you found longer hanger bolts. Did you get them on line? If so have a link?

Thanks

John


I discovered the broken hangers at a boondocking campsite pretty far into the woods. They had been broken for some time, but interestingly the TT towed fine. Naturally I couldn't move it after discovering it. Luckily I was only a couple hundred miles from home. So I ran home a picked up every tool I thought I might possibly need. Back at camp I was able to weld the hangers back together. A patch job top be sure, but a good one.

At home I cut the hangers off and took them to Arizona Axles. The man behind the counter grimaced and said "let me guess, a TT right?"
He said that those hangers were the cheapest availible, and though rated for a lot of wieght, their durability was poor. The were originally made for mobile homes which use throwaway running gear as they are typically only towed once.

He sold me the new thick hangers and longer zerk bolts.

Recently I had one bolt that wouldn't take grease. Upon inspection the bushing had disintegreted and the bolt was damaged. I guess annual greasing is insuficient for my usage. I got a replacement bolt at Auto Safety house.

Both places had the bolts in stock, so it must be a common item.

I think that the Dexter HD shackle kit sped up my hangers demise. The HD shackles are much more beefy that the stock ones and results in a more rigid connection. The downside is that the forces from jackknifes then attack the next weakest link. The hangers.

This is why I think that some play/slop is actually beneficial.

Your TT is larger and heavier than mine yet it has the same stock hangers. But I get the impression that your towing mileage is quite a bit less than mine. So maybe your hangers will last longer.

On the other hand, it is a real pain to fix away from home.


Huntindog
100% boondocking
2010 Palomino Sabre 30 BHDS
84 gal. Grey. 84 gal. Black
2 bathrooms, no waiting
2011 Silverado CC DA big dually.



JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 04/30/09 09:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Huntindog wrote:



I discovered the broken hangers at a boondocking campsite pretty far into the woods. They had been broken for some time, but interestingly the TT towed fine. Naturally I couldn't move it after discovering it. Luckily I was only a couple hundred miles from home. So I ran home a picked up every tool I thought I might possibly need. Back at camp I was able to weld the hangers back together. A patch job top be sure, but a good one.

At home I cut the hangers off and took them to Arizona Axles. The man behind the counter grimaced and said "let me guess, a TT right?"
He said that those hangers were the cheapest availible, and though rated for a lot of wieght, their durability was poor. The were originally made for mobile homes which use throwaway running gear as they are typically only towed once.

He sold me the new thick hangers and longer zerk bolts.

Recently I had one bolt that wouldn't take grease. Upon inspection the bushing had disintegreted and the bolt was damaged. I guess annual greasing is insuficient for my usage. I got a replacement bolt at Auto Safety house.

Both places had the bolts in stock, so it must be a common item.

I think that the Dexter HD shackle kit sped up my hangers demise. The HD shackles are much more beefy that the stock ones and results in a more rigid connection. The downside is that the forces from jackknifes then attack the next weakest link. The hangers.

This is why I think that some play/slop is actually beneficial.

Your TT is larger and heavier than mine yet it has the same stock hangers. But I get the impression that your towing mileage is quite a bit less than mine. So maybe your hangers will last longer.

On the other hand, it is a real pain to fix away from home.


Huntingdog

WOW… Now that’s an adventure. Glad for you the thing did not come apart on the road, yikes.

First off thanks for posting back. Very help full to explain your point. After reading this we do fully agree on some points.

First, yes I agree these 1/4 “ thick hangers are not the best. They about go along with the rest of the stock suspension. In my case I have 5” long hangers. That is the way this TT is setup. To me this is not really great being on 5” long 1 /4“ hangers. I also have to do a 180 degree turn in my yard to turn around. It is not a jackknife but not far from one. So yes I too have concerns about these long thin hangers like you do. Actually that was why I was inquiring about where you found longer 9/16 spring bolts as I need to get some.

What I did not yet post is what I did to the center hangers to beef them up. I actually did it to raise the camper slightly to get more wheel clearance. So I helped 2 issues at once. I will do the same thing to the end hangers once I find some longer spring bolts. I even already have all the rest of the materials. So thanks for the lead on where to go looking.

From my point of view and in my TT setup, the flexing hangers come from being too thin too long unsupported. And when doing full turns on dry pavement they take the strain. And your case of broken ones seems supports this same theory. In my case I have not broke any but did slightly bend them. And they bent on the old worn totally out of align suspension with no HD shackles. So again this was part of how I cannot yet see how running with play in the bushings will help stop hanger flex. Once the play is taken up, the strain still keeps coming. The hard 180 is tough on these things the way they are built.

My TT does have 2 x 2 squre tube that span inside the frame where the hangers are. So the frame is rigid in that location, but the hangers hanging 5" down are really hanging out there so to speak.

So this is what I did do to my center hangers to beef them up. It is a different approach then your heavy ones but you may not have 5” long hangers to be able to do this.

I started with 2, 1/4" thick plates 3” wide. I laid out 3 holes in them to match my existing hanger setup plus I would drill 1 new hole in the hangers. 2, 9/16" holes and one 1/2" hole. I could buy longer grade, 8 9/16 bolts for the equalizer as there is no grease fitting in that bolt. See here when I put the plates on to transfer the one top hole into the existing hangers. I used the original axle bolt holes and then lowered the plate extention to the new location.
[image]

Then I welded a 1/2-13 nut on the one side of the plate and then welded the plates to the ends of 2” sch 40 black iron pipe that would go across the TT to the other side.
[image]
[image]

Here you can see part of the test fit up. I put it together on the frame and tached the one plate to the tube in place then took it out and finished welding the plates on. That way it fit exact.
[image]

Now that the plates are fully welded, I cut a piece of 2” pipe to exactly fit between the hangers. The EZ flex has a heavy solid center bushing the exact same length as the ID of the hanger. So when I tighten up those 3 bolts that new hanger setup is solid and no longer flexing like it did before.
[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

My 10” I beam frame only has a flange of slightly over 3/16” thick. Welding 1/2“ thick steel 5” long hangers to it in my case would move the weak spot off the hanger to twisting the hanger off the frame. So I went with the approach of adding extra support to the hanger I have now to stop it from flex in a cross loading situation. While the pipe and plate idea was mine, I did not come up the concept myself. I researched this and found it on an off road forum where guys weld 3” channel iron across the hangers to stiffen them up. For me it was easer to get 2” sch 40 black pipe.

I guess the guys who tow off road have possible more issues then the paved road warriors. And I can see that as the TT is flexing while towing going behind where ever the 4 wheel drive truck it taking it.

So once I find the longer spring bolts thanks to your where to go looking, I’ll finish up the front and rear hanger bracket just like this center one. So I will have stiffer hangers to take the 180 turns and wheel alignment that will be in spec until my bushings wear. Thanks for the heads up on the grease timing.

We are both combating the same problem, just different approaches.

Thanks

John

Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

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Joined: 04/08/2002

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Posted: 05/01/09 10:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JBarca wrote:

Huntindog wrote:



I discovered the broken hangers at a boondocking campsite pretty far into the woods. They had been broken for some time, but interestingly the TT towed fine. Naturally I couldn't move it after discovering it. Luckily I was only a couple hundred miles from home. So I ran home a picked up every tool I thought I might possibly need. Back at camp I was able to weld the hangers back together. A patch job top be sure, but a good one.

At home I cut the hangers off and took them to Arizona Axles. The man behind the counter grimaced and said "let me guess, a TT right?"
He said that those hangers were the cheapest availible, and though rated for a lot of wieght, their durability was poor. The were originally made for mobile homes which use throwaway running gear as they are typically only towed once.

He sold me the new thick hangers and longer zerk bolts.

Recently I had one bolt that wouldn't take grease. Upon inspection the bushing had disintegreted and the bolt was damaged. I guess annual greasing is insuficient for my usage. I got a replacement bolt at Auto Safety house.

Both places had the bolts in stock, so it must be a common item.

I think that the Dexter HD shackle kit sped up my hangers demise. The HD shackles are much more beefy that the stock ones and results in a more rigid connection. The downside is that the forces from jackknifes then attack the next weakest link. The hangers.

This is why I think that some play/slop is actually beneficial.

Your TT is larger and heavier than mine yet it has the same stock hangers. But I get the impression that your towing mileage is quite a bit less than mine. So maybe your hangers will last longer.

On the other hand, it is a real pain to fix away from home.


Huntingdog

WOW… Now that’s an adventure. Glad for you the thing did not come apart on the road, yikes.

First off thanks for posting back. Very help full to explain your point. After reading this we do fully agree on some points.

First, yes I agree these 1/4 “ thick hangers are not the best. They about go along with the rest of the stock suspension. In my case I have 5” long hangers. That is the way this TT is setup. To me this is not really great being on 5” long 1 /4“ hangers. I also have to do a 180 degree turn in my yard to turn around. It is not a jackknife but not far from one. So yes I too have concerns about these long thin hangers like you do. Actually that was why I was inquiring about where you found longer 9/16 spring bolts as I need to get some.

What I did not yet post is what I did to the center hangers to beef them up. I actually did it to raise the camper slightly to get more wheel clearance. So I helped 2 issues at once. I will do the same thing to the end hangers once I find some longer spring bolts. I even already have all the rest of the materials. So thanks for the lead on where to go looking.

From my point of view and in my TT setup, the flexing hangers come from being too thin too long unsupported. And when doing full turns on dry pavement they take the strain. And your case of broken ones seems supports this same theory. In my case I have not broke any but did slightly bend them. And they bent on the old worn totally out of align suspension with no HD shackles. So again this was part of how I cannot yet see how running with play in the bushings will help stop hanger flex. Once the play is taken up, the strain still keeps coming. The hard 180 is tough on these things the way they are built.

My TT does have 2 x 2 squre tube that span inside the frame where the hangers are. So the frame is rigid in that location, but the hangers hanging 5" down are really hanging out there so to speak.

So this is what I did do to my center hangers to beef them up. It is a different approach then your heavy ones but you may not have 5” long hangers to be able to do this.

I started with 2, 1/4" thick plates 3” wide. I laid out 3 holes in them to match my existing hanger setup plus I would drill 1 new hole in the hangers. 2, 9/16" holes and one 1/2" hole. I could buy longer grade, 8 9/16 bolts for the equalizer as there is no grease fitting in that bolt. See here when I put the plates on to transfer the one top hole into the existing hangers. I used the original axle bolt holes and then lowered the plate extention to the new location.
[image]

Then I welded a 1/2-13 nut on the one side of the plate and then welded the plates to the ends of 2” sch 40 black iron pipe that would go across the TT to the other side.
[image]
[image]

Here you can see part of the test fit up. I put it together on the frame and tached the one plate to the tube in place then took it out and finished welding the plates on. That way it fit exact.
[image]

Now that the plates are fully welded, I cut a piece of 2” pipe to exactly fit between the hangers. The EZ flex has a heavy solid center bushing the exact same length as the ID of the hanger. So when I tighten up those 3 bolts that new hanger setup is solid and no longer flexing like it did before.
[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

My 10” I beam frame only has a flange of slightly over 3/16” thick. Welding 1/2“ thick steel 5” long hangers to it in my case would move the weak spot off the hanger to twisting the hanger off the frame. So I went with the approach of adding extra support to the hanger I have now to stop it from flex in a cross loading situation. While the pipe and plate idea was mine, I did not come up the concept myself. I researched this and found it on an off road forum where guys weld 3” channel iron across the hangers to stiffen them up. For me it was easer to get 2” sch 40 black pipe.

I guess the guys who tow off road have possible more issues then the paved road warriors. And I can see that as the TT is flexing while towing going behind where ever the 4 wheel drive truck it taking it.

So once I find the longer spring bolts thanks to your where to go looking, I’ll finish up the front and rear hanger bracket just like this center one. So I will have stiffer hangers to take the 180 turns and wheel alignment that will be in spec until my bushings wear. Thanks for the heads up on the grease timing.


We are both combating the same problem, just different approaches.

Thanks

John

John,
My TT came with 3" hangers. The pictures you have sure fooled me. They look exactly like mine. I guess they probably are the same otherwise. The difference is that my TT has about a 5-6' length of 2x2 tubing welded under the frame and the hangers are welded to the tubing. That gives me the same 5" in height as yours. When I had my trouble I considered beefing up that tubing by welding some cross pieces across the width of the TT tieing thh to pieces of 2x2 together,,in effect a frame under the frame. I decided against it at that time as the present setup looked pretty strong as the tubing spreads the side loads over a large area of the frame. I watched carefully for a long time in case I had to go back and do it, and it has been trouble free.

I disagree on your take on the slop/play in hanger having no benefit. Slop/play will allow for some movement before the strain is felt by the hangers. That means that all of the small steering movements that are constantly being made would be mostly taken up by this slop/play. And in a jackknife the force will have a shorter duration.

All of this will add up to faster metal fatigue.

Have checked the toe specs after this latest mod?

This change in center hanger hieght although sleight should change the toe setting. The front axle is now rolled a little backwards and the rear a little forwards. Maybe enough to matter, maybe not.

* This post was last edited 05/01/09 03:17pm by Huntindog *   View edit history

mapguy

Puget Sound

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Posted: 05/01/09 12:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tearing hangers off the frame is a common thing on many trailers. Toyhaulers seem to see this a bit more that regular TT and FW. The more off-road work and tight turning the faster the stress fractures or even collapses the steel hangers.

If time and welding skills are limited Mor Ryde has a crossmember kit available. Not sure what it costs but is an option for those that want a bolt on solution.

http://www.morryde.com/php/products/aftermarket/SRE.php

Crossmember PDF

Map Guy

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 05/03/09 06:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Huntindog wrote:



John,
My TT came with 3" hangers. The pictures you have sure fooled me. They look exactly like mine. I guess they probably are the same otherwise. The difference is that my TT has about a 5-6' length of 2x2 tubing welded under the frame and the hangers are welded to the tubing. That gives me the same 5" in height as yours. When I had my trouble I considered beefing up that tubing by welding some cross pieces across the width of the TT tieing thh to pieces of 2x2 together,,in effect a frame under the frame. I decided against it at that time as the present setup looked pretty strong as the tubing spreads the side loads over a large area of the frame. I watched carefully for a long time in case I had to go back and do it, and it has been trouble free.

I disagree on your take on the slop/play in hanger having no benefit. Slop/play will allow for some movement before the strain is felt by the hangers. That means that all of the small steering movements that are constantly being made would be mostly taken up by this slop/play. And in a jackknife the force will have a shorter duration.

All of this will add up to faster metal fatigue.

Have checked the toe specs after this latest mod?

This change in center hanger hieght although sleight should change the toe setting. The front axle is now rolled a little backwards and the rear a little forwards. Maybe enough to matter, maybe not.


Hi Huntingdog

I think I may have found a 5er frame like you are describing with the 2x2 tube. This weekend we where out camping and the neighbor next to us had a 1994 Jayco 5er. It is a 10,700 GVWR camper similar to my 10,000 GVWR TT. This was interesting as Jayco not only added the 2x2 tube back then they also had a 1/4” thick strap plate spanning the shorter hanger to the tube to help strengthen the hanger. This has been the 1st time I have seen that extra strap. I have seen the 2x2 tube and shorter hangers but never the strap. This is also the oldest camper I looked at over the last year as I worked on mine as I looked a quite a few seeing how they where made. That strap practice may have been discontinued or at last greatly diminished in use. I see this setup, shorter hanger, 2 x 2 tube and mostly, the extra strap as a step up from how many are made.

See here. The strap sort of gets lost in the rust, but it is there.

[image]

[image]

Thanks for the heads up to look at the toe since I lowered the center hanger 1 1/4”, I did that mod at the same time of the axle rebuild. And yes I did check the toe before axles installed and once filly assembled with rims. The slight change in leaf spring angle, while it does ever so slightly rotate the axle, I cannot find the difference in toe angle with what I have to measure with. Toe at the tire is within spec.

I was actually thinking of using that same rotating concept to try and help salvage my old axle which had over 0.5 degree toe out. However the rotation would have to be so great, it was not worth it as the then the camber angle would no longer be straight up and down, so I gave up and bought new axle tubes that where made right to start with.

Now back to the suspension play, maybe we have a misunderstanding or maybe not. Let’s talk some actual clearance numbers here verses word descriptions so we can clear that up.

I referred to “tight” as being a brand new bronze bushings and new axle pins as shipped from Dexter as being “tight”. Tight is relative term here. Mine new axle pins literally fell into the pressed in bushing. The actual “felt” clearance I would is in the 0.005” to maybe even 0.010” range. In machine building, 0.005” on a 0.560” dia pin is a lot of play for a sliding fit. However of a TT suspension, I would say 0.005/0.010” it tight the way everything else is built. If they made it a lot tighter it may need heavy persuasion to assemble.

Here the clearance of a brand new bronze bushing and pin can be seen by eye and a camera when it is all pushed to one side.
[image]

[image]

Now on the other end of the wear, this I am calling “excessive” play. This is 0.065” play in my old nylon bushings. That much play and the entire shackle can move around a fair amount, that and the worn shackle itself.
[image]

From a point of perspective, the formed hole in my spring eyes, no bushing is 0.0705/0.710” dia. The old equalizer has a bored hole of 0.705” dia with no bushing. New axle pins are 0.560” dia. New bronze bushings have a wall thickness of 0.072/0.075” Pressed in bushing ID is 0.565/0.570” running on new 0.560” pin. Leaves about 0.005/0.010” clearance pending spring eye hole. So this is new out of the box.

I’m trying to understand your concept that a fair amount of play in TT suspension is a good thing. It may be pending what play we are talking about. So what diminsional running clearance is a good from your point of view? If you are a metric person, I can convert. Would you ream out new bushings to make more clearance and if so how much?

Above is my perception of "tight”, at least for a TT.

Thanks

John

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 05/03/09 06:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mapguy wrote:

Tearing hangers off the frame is a common thing on many trailers. Toyhaulers seem to see this a bit more that regular TT and FW. The more off-road work and tight turning the faster the stress fractures or even collapses the steel hangers.

If time and welding skills are limited Mor Ryde has a crossmember kit available. Not sure what it costs but is an option for those that want a bolt on solution.

http://www.morryde.com/php/products/aftermarket/SRE.php

Crossmember PDF

Map Guy


Map Guy

Thanks!! This matches up with what I had found about off road guys welding in 3" channel iron across the hangers on new trailers to stiffen thie up. Now I see Mor Ride even sells a kit.

I see Morryde will not even warrant there new rubber Equalizer with out one of the spanner beams. H'mm.... They know something

After looking again today, I need to add my cross tubes on the front and rear hangers soon. Just have to hunt down longer axle bolts to make a more ideal setup. Huntingdog gave me a tip where to go looking.

Thanks

John

Point Man11

Boston, MA

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Posted: 05/04/09 07:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow John,

Nice job. Now I finally know of someone else who had this alignemnet problem. You can see my prior post from 2008 on my issue with this same thing. Long story short: Under warranty and dealer replaced axles and back in business. 1k mile trip with no tire wear issue.


Point Man11
2007 Jayco 26Y Octane TH
2010 Toyota Tundra CrewMax, 5.7, Tow Pkg., Firestone Ride-Rites
2005 H-D Electra Glide Vivid Black
Former RV's
197? Lance Slide-On
2000 Holiday Rambler


Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

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Joined: 04/08/2002

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Posted: 05/04/09 08:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JBarca wrote:

Huntindog wrote:



John,
My TT came with 3" hangers. The pictures you have sure fooled me. They look exactly like mine. I guess they probably are the same otherwise. The difference is that my TT has about a 5-6' length of 2x2 tubing welded under the frame and the hangers are welded to the tubing. That gives me the same 5" in height as yours. When I had my trouble I considered beefing up that tubing by welding some cross pieces across the width of the TT tieing thh to pieces of 2x2 together,,in effect a frame under the frame. I decided against it at that time as the present setup looked pretty strong as the tubing spreads the side loads over a large area of the frame. I watched carefully for a long time in case I had to go back and do it, and it has been trouble free.

I disagree on your take on the slop/play in hanger having no benefit. Slop/play will allow for some movement before the strain is felt by the hangers. That means that all of the small steering movements that are constantly being made would be mostly taken up by this slop/play. And in a jackknife the force will have a shorter duration.

All of this will add up to faster metal fatigue.

Have checked the toe specs after this latest mod?

This change in center hanger hieght although sleight should change the toe setting. The front axle is now rolled a little backwards and the rear a little forwards. Maybe enough to matter, maybe not.


Hi Huntingdog

I think I may have found a 5er frame like you are describing with the 2x2 tube. This weekend we where out camping and the neighbor next to us had a 1994 Jayco 5er. It is a 10,700 GVWR camper similar to my 10,000 GVWR TT. This was interesting as Jayco not only added the 2x2 tube back then they also had a 1/4” thick strap plate spanning the shorter hanger to the tube to help strengthen the hanger. This has been the 1st time I have seen that extra strap. I have seen the 2x2 tube and shorter hangers but never the strap. This is also the oldest camper I looked at over the last year as I worked on mine as I looked a quite a few seeing how they where made. That strap practice may have been discontinued or at last greatly diminished in use. I see this setup, shorter hanger, 2 x 2 tube and mostly, the extra strap as a step up from how many are made.

See here. The strap sort of gets lost in the rust, but it is there.

[image]

[image]

Thanks for the heads up to look at the toe since I lowered the center hanger 1 1/4”, I did that mod at the same time of the axle rebuild. And yes I did check the toe before axles installed and once filly assembled with rims. The slight change in leaf spring angle, while it does ever so slightly rotate the axle, I cannot find the difference in toe angle with what I have to measure with. Toe at the tire is within spec.

I was actually thinking of using that same rotating concept to try and help salvage my old axle which had over 0.5 degree toe out. However the rotation would have to be so great, it was not worth it as the then the camber angle would no longer be straight up and down, so I gave up and bought new axle tubes that where made right to start with.

Now back to the suspension play, maybe we have a misunderstanding or maybe not. Let’s talk some actual clearance numbers here verses word descriptions so we can clear that up.

I referred to “tight” as being a brand new bronze bushings and new axle pins as shipped from Dexter as being “tight”. Tight is relative term here. Mine new axle pins literally fell into the pressed in bushing. The actual “felt” clearance I would is in the 0.005” to maybe even 0.010” range. In machine building, 0.005” on a 0.560” dia pin is a lot of play for a sliding fit. However of a TT suspension, I would say 0.005/0.010” it tight the way everything else is built. If they made it a lot tighter it may need heavy persuasion to assemble.

Here the clearance of a brand new bronze bushing and pin can be seen by eye and a camera when it is all pushed to one side.
[image]

[image]

Now on the other end of the wear, this I am calling “excessive” play. This is 0.065” play in my old nylon bushings. That much play and the entire shackle can move around a fair amount, that and the worn shackle itself.
[image]

From a point of perspective, the formed hole in my spring eyes, no bushing is 0.0705/0.710” dia. The old equalizer has a bored hole of 0.705” dia with no bushing. New axle pins are 0.560” dia. New bronze bushings have a wall thickness of 0.072/0.075” Pressed in bushing ID is 0.565/0.570” running on new 0.560” pin. Leaves about 0.005/0.010” clearance pending spring eye hole. So this is new out of the box.

I’m trying to understand your concept that a fair amount of play in TT suspension is a good thing. It may be pending what play we are talking about. So what diminsional running clearance is a good from your point of view? If you are a metric person, I can convert. Would you ream out new bushings to make more clearance and if so how much?

Above is my perception of "tight”, at least for a TT.

Thanks

John


Yes that 5ver is setup similar to my TT. Mine has steel plates welded over the ends. A little cleaner looking and a touch stronger.

Do you now if those plates over the hangers were factory, or added later?

At any rate the end result is very close to my thick hanger fix. Although longer bolts aren't needed this way.

I am going to try an extreme example to explain my thinking on play/slop.

Imagine that the axles are welded directly to the hangers. A solid no movement all connection. When any turning movement is initiated the tires (assume 0 wheel bearing play) imeadiatly flex and start to scrub.

Under this scenario, the hangers will experience more sideways force, or at the very least force of longer duration than if mounted normally.

If you disagree with this scenario, then I don't think I can ever explain it to your satisfaction.


The reason I don't think a precision fit is all that important has to do with how my TT reacted when 3 hangers were busted. 2 rears and 1 center. It didn't react at all! I have no idea how much play/slop was availible then.... Lets just say that a micrometer wasn't needed.[emoticon]

It towed perfect. I only discovered it when I tried to back into my next camping spot. (the previous ones didn't require backing)

Then the trailer wouldn't react properly and I got out to see what was wrong and discovered 2 of the tires rubbing together.

The hangers appeared to have been broken for some time.
It seems that so long as I was pulling the TT forwards that the axles sort of floated into position and caused no problems. That was practically unlimited play/slop!! Now of course it can't work like that. Any hard braking, turning etc. probably would've caused a major problem.

Now, I think we agree that most TTs aren't put together all that well. I had a hanger welded 1/4" out of spec, IIRC one or more of your hangers were welded on wrong, and others as well. Yet my TT had no tire wear or handling issues even though I feel that a 1/4" error is a pretty big one.

99% of the TTs on the road have no issues as well, even though it it is highly doubtful that 99% have the hangers welded on right.

So with my experience, I don't see any benefit in reducing play/slop. (I do like the HD shackle kit though for its strength)

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