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Bent Trailer Axle


wayner

Question

I recently bought a used trailer. After getting it all set up for my boat and going through the bearings and everything I noticed that the axle is bent! Now what do I do? Is this going to cause my tire to wear funny, or possibly even heat up and blow? Would it weaken it to straighten it? It is bent back, just inside the spring mount. If I eyeball the bent side with a square across to the other side it lines up about an inch and a half in on the straight wheel. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Replace the axle. If you mess with trying to straighten it, it will become the weak spot, and could be a hazard.

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Fleet Farm has new axles starting around $89. Check Northern, too.

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Does anyone think that I could get by straightening it. It is the axle itself that is bent not the spindle. This would only be mild steel not hardened. I've searched all the places that sell axles and I would have to have it special ordered because it is not a standard size.

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Well is the shaft solid or hollow? If its solid I would just straighten it. I have straighten a few here at my shop all for small boats, thou we never had a problem. You be suprised what machine shops straighten if its good for airplane parts it should be good for a trailer lol.

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Wayner

If it is bent "upward", it may have been built that way. Many of the 1500 -2000 lb trailers have camber built in by a ~1 1/2 inch upward bend in the middle of the axle. If it is bend "backward", it means the trailer has been pulled over a road obstruction. It could be repaired, but it will cost more to repair than replace. You could remove and try to straighten the old one, but how would you know how much of a camber bend to put in it?

You can get a new 2000lb, 96 inch wide axle for ~$40.00, or a new axle with bearings and hubs for ~$70.00 from Northern Hydralics or local fleet farm stores. You will need the distance between the springs and the size of the spindle when you go to get a new one. Check to see if you need new U bolts when you remove the old ones. They will need to be replaced if more than a year or two old and the nuts are rusted.

It took me about an hour to remove, and 20 minutes to put a new one in this spring. I took the old one in and the local fleet farm had an exact generic match. Four U bolts to mount the axle, grease the bearings and mount the old hubs on the axle and you are done.

It is not a difficult project if you have a jack and a couple of wrenches. Go for it

Roger

PS I did not find the axle in the catalog or on the Northern web page. Radco in Hibbing (a Northern outlet store)has many more axles than are listed in the catalog, and fleet farm had a large assortment.

[This message has been edited by N4652E (edited 05-17-2003).]

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If you are near the fargo - moorhead area, check out Pioneer Rim & Wheel. They had an axle custom built for me (the trailer had a stupid spring spacing) relatively cheap $135 with hubs andbearings installed on the shaft ends.

all you need to know is:
overall length
spring spacing center to center
spindle diameter (if you want to be able to use your old hubs but i dont recommend it)
if its a drop style axle, how many inches of drop
wheel bolt pattern.

maybe next year Ill have them build one for my boat trailer

Shawn

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Hey, Thanks for the replies guys. I ended up heating up the axle and straightening it with a bottle jack and a log chain. However it is not perfect. So I'm gonna see how the tire and bearings wear this season and probably think about a new axle for next year. My longest trips are an hour and a half one way except for a four hour trip in three weeks which is the one I'm worried about. As far as a major hazard, I'm not too worried. The trailer is built for a 3500# boat and mine only weighs half of that. Thanks again for all the advice. Wayner

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