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Old 06-09-2010, 03:24 PM   #21
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That is what the ones that collapsed looked like for my son-in-law.



1/2-20 grade 8 nuts - Purchased at NAPA for 50 cents each. You need 16 of them (I torqued them to 60 lbs). Total cost of $8. If you have enough thread (I didn't, he did), I would add a lock washer between the 2 nuts. IMHO, this is cheap insurance to help keep the U-bolts attached while driving.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:30 AM   #22
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Greg, I think the double nutting is a good idea and provides an extra measure of safety to ensure the u bolt nuts don't back off . In fact I will be doing that in the future.

However I don't think that was the cause of my axle failure. I believe the axle cruushed at the spring pad making the distance from the bottom of the axle tube to the top of the spring and retainer plate shorter and that was why some of my u bolt nuts were finger tight. It was the effect rather than the cause.

I had checked the torque on those nuts before my last trip and they were good. A couple of years ago, after reading on this forum about axle and u bolt problems I checked mine and found some nuts too tight and some too loose. So now before my major trips each year I check the torque on all the running gear nuts and wheel lugs. I usually take 2 1500 mile round trips each year so the nuts get checked at least twice a year. After the first retorqueing I did back then I have found little or no adjustments to be necessary. In other words the nuts were not loosening. I checked the torque on the nuts on my front axle whenI discovered the damaged rear axle and hey were fine.

Just as a side note on the double nutting for those that do this. I would recommend as part of your maintainance program you still check the torque at least annually.To do this you will have to remove the top locking nut to torque the main u bolt nut. This will ensure that if there has been any stretching or settling of the u bolt that it will get retighened properly.
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Old 06-10-2010, 02:33 AM   #23
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If some one wants to go back on the old site and bring up my pics of my axle I think mine was a littl eworse, I never had a flat ( untill we had the issue ) and never jacked the camper any where.

I know my u bolts didn't come loose, That was not the issue on mine.



Our camper was built in early march, We picked it up 3-17-2007. That very close to the same build date and very close to the same issue as this one. Makes me go Hmmm
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Old 06-10-2010, 01:38 PM   #24
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Kurt,



I agree that the loose U-bolts is a result of the collapsing axle, not the cause. I am convinced that the axle was collasping for at least the entire day wewere driving (and likely longer before that).In fact (in perfect hindsight), my wife saw the first U-bolt come off. She thought something either came off the roof (it bounced that high) or from a passing truck carrying exercise equipement. I've had a car hauler for 30 years and never hadthis kind issue before. So I will admit (since this is my first RV trailer), regularly checking the axle integrity was not part of my routine. But it is now.



I also find it very disconcerting that all trailers that are having problems were made about the same time.



Greg



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Old 06-11-2010, 06:10 AM   #25
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I looked at the pictures and it looks like the axel was crushed from the top down. This bothers me because my camper was 1-15- 07.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:56 AM   #26
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Well, I finished the axle repair the other day. I haven't taken it out for a test run yet to see if the wheels fall off.Here are a few pics of the old 5200 lb axle next to the new 6000lb axle. Every thing fit as advertized.. The only physical difference I could see was that the new axle uses a cotter pin to secure the castle nut and the old one used a tab washer. The 6000lb axle is supposed to have a thicker walled tube. I weighed both axles and the new one weighed about 4 lbs more than the old one. I guess that could be due to a slighly thicker walled tube.



Notice that not only did the axle crush on the back part of thespring pad, but the welds were torn loose on the front of the pads. These weld tears probably happened after the crushing of the tubeand loosening of the U-bolts. At that point I was driving down the interstate with a loose axle getting slammed by potholes and ruts and taking some serious torsional strain with each bump.

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Old 06-30-2010, 10:58 AM   #27
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Here is another comparison pic. Notice the torn weld.

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Old 06-30-2010, 11:03 AM   #28
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Here is another pic of the welds. Any of you welders out there care to comment. I don't believe these welds should ever pull away like that if the weld is prepared and done properly. What say you?

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Old 06-30-2010, 11:25 AM   #29
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Did you steal my pics ? Mine looked just as yours did.



Try to hammer that spring pearch back where it goes, We had a 2lb hammer and a few boy's that thought they could swing a hammer and we never moved it, Not even a little. Grannit this was in a parking lot 4 hrs south of home lol



This looks so much like mine, Not sure about you but I'm not sure when it even happened that's the scary part. And I don't think (99% Sure ) my ubolts were losse. Thats why I look evey time I'm close to a camper, Even when they are not mine as It's easy to spot if some thing is wrong.Edited by: gtoguy1967
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:37 PM   #30
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Gto, Yeah I know exactly when it happened as I indicated whenI started this thread. Itall happened on my 750 mile trip home from Lake Havasu. I knowevery thing was OK and torqued to spec when I started the trip.



I agree itcan be pretty scary as I look over the rig at every stop. Even check the tire and hub temps. But from the topside of the rig I couldn't see anything going wrong. You can bet I will be looking under the chassis at evry stop in the future.
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:38 PM   #31
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My experience has been, if there is to much heat,or the arc of the welder is pointed more to one piece of the metal parts to be welded then the other, you won't have even penetration on both pieces. Hence, a weak weld on one side.
Glad to see you got it back together.


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Old 06-30-2010, 12:50 PM   #32
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Thanks Lloyd, That may well be what happened in this axle fabrication. The weld appears to have penetrated the pad and is holding to it but it did not penetrate or hold to the axle tube. Seems Lippert has a bit of a QA problem. Hope their welder was having a better day on the new axle.
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:20 PM   #33
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The only difference between welding and caulking is heat penetration causing the weld and steel to "melt" together, but you want it in the corner with equal "overlap". The only time you may be riding one side or the other is if the gauge of steel is thinner on one side. You'd run the welding rod at a 45 degree angle to make sure you "penetrated both pieces of steel. Back in the days when automobiles had frames I spent 7 years welding them. Did some mid duty Ford front pans also, they were argon welded and x-rayed for inspection. We did a front assembly for the Pacer also---for those of youwith good memories.
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:44 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicHammond
We did a front assembly for the Pacer also---for those of youwith good memories.
You are dating yourself Tom!
Yes I well remember the "pregnant roller skate"
You explained it much better then I did. Thanks.
It looks like wire feed welder was used (no spatters). Another thought I had was if the wire feed was set up to high for the heat range you don't get good penetration either. But todays welders are almost always required to be certified and a good CO. usually requires them to get re-certified every so often so maybe we shouldn't be to quick to blame the welder.
Poor quality steel just might be the better choice to receive the blame.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:18 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Farmer
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicHammond
We did a front assembly for the Pacer also---for those of youwith good memories.
You are dating yourself Tom!
Yes I well remember the "pregnant roller skate"
You explained it much better then I did. Thanks.
It looks like wire feed welder was used (no spatters). Another thought I had was if the wire feed was set up to high for the heat range you don't get good penetration either. But todays welders are almost always required to be certified and a good CO. usually requires them to get re-certified every so often so maybe we shouldn't be to quick to blame the welder.
Poor quality steel just might be the better choice to receive the blame.


I have some welds on my Cruiser Lippert frame that are the welders fault. It does not take a certified welder to look at a weld that looks like a turkey left his deposit to know it is a bad weld. Also if you look at the pictures posted you can see there was no penetration on one side of the weld. QA problem! <?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" />

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Old 07-01-2010, 03:08 AM   #36
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I'm with you Kurt I know it happened on the trip I was on, But do know at what moment or what you were doing when it happened ? I do not.

I have had people say, Boy you must have sptopped awfully hard to do that. Well let me tell yea, I should be able to over loaded ( I was not and have a weight ticket to prove it ) and drag the tire till there is nothing left of them and this should not happen.
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:48 AM   #37
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Don

Thanks for the carbon dating

Wire welding is actually easier and yes, indicative when lack of spatter.

(More spatter-A problem when you're older-according to the DW)

Still a factor of correct aim/pointing-----the welding I mean.

Tom
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:51 AM   #38
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Im glad that I kept track of this thread.



I put new springs on the TT this spring, took 2 trips, short onesand figured Id check the ubolt torque.



I planned on doing it soon but this thread reminded me.



They were a little loose but just probably from stretch because they were new. They are torqued up and ready for Cedar Point in a few weeks.



This is something that I definitely will keep my eye on now for sure.Edited by: fixit5561
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Old 07-01-2010, 01:16 PM   #39
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Please report on Cedar Creek, I have been meaning to spend some time camping and riding those coasters.

Tom
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Old 07-01-2010, 01:28 PM   #40
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Tom,



Ok will do, I will do a report in the campground section when we get back a few weeks from now.



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