Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I am scratching my head...

I had intended to post about how easy it is to install axles. "Intended" is the operative word there. Words are being chosen very carefully as I describe my utter frustration with it all. Yesterday I went out and bought a transmission lift to make putting them in easier. I work alone on just about everything, so another set of hands, even if they are mechanical, is a welcomed addition. I carry the axle out and put it on the lift and slide it into place. It goes up into the notches in the hanging plate like it was made to fit exactly. I am elated to see this happen. I am talking perfect fit side to side and the bracket is up tight to the frame rails when it is in the notch in the bracket. But then I hear screeching tires on pavement, metal to metal grinding, and the distinctive sound of a car, no a bus. A bus full of children(okay sorry getting too graphic, it was test dummy children in a test crash scenario) tumbling end for end in my head as I looked up at the bolt holes to see this.

Why is there light between the hole? I knew they were not going to be lining up with the existing holes, but not even on the bracket... Common' man you have got to be kidding me here... And then I look to the other side of the axle tube and that bus starts to slide on some rocks... the rocks break free, and the bus begins to tumble over and over down the side of the mountain.

For this is what I see there. Now one thing I can do is read a tape measure. I have made my living reading one for many years now. If... yes "IF" (little word with huge implications) I can center a new hole just right, there will be 1/16" of bracket left between the edge and 1/16" left between the two factory holes. This is of course relying on me not allowing the drill bit to wander at all. I just do not understand why the holes are there in the first place. If the bracket had not been pre drilled, I could just drill new ones into solid meat instead of creating swiss cheese out of it. You may also notice the old hole forward or the bracket. That is there because the bracket was installed backward even though I ordered it forward. Somewhere between the distributor and producer, someone decided to reverse it. I choose to accept it anyway, for it was still firmly on the hanging plate. So far, I not very pleased with my experience. I think next time I might try a different brand. Once the sun comes up in Indiana, I plan on calling the factory where these were made and asking them why it is done like this. I would call the dealer that I bought them from, but he is on a three week vacation. In six weeks, one day I will be camping and cannot wait for someone else to find the proper solution.


TomW said...


In the lower picture, why can you NOT use the upper hole? I realize that you may have to remove the axle to drill it. Am I missing something?

Also, if you use a center-drill first, you will not have to worry about the holes wandering.


John said...

Hang in there, buddy. Life is a learning experience. If it had gone together smoothly, you would not have learned. Let the knowledge wash over you and use it down the road on a customer's trailer.

Doug said...

Looks like a good place for a welder! Then there won't be any wandering.

Skip said...

How disheartening!!! For you, and quite selfishly for me as well.

I was hoping this would go well so that I would feel very confident in buying the same axles. Now I must weigh the issue you are having with paying the extra money for the "H" axles.

utee94 said...

Skip-- If your trailer is pre-69, then you'll have to drill out the "H" axles anyway.

But, ideally, the mounting plates would not look like Swiss cheese when you do that...

Frank-- What about welding doubling plates onto the existing axle mounting brackets, and then you'd have all sorts of virgin material to drill your holes. And, your axles would still be bolt-on and wouldn't require cutting apart welds in case you need to take them off?

Just thinking out loud here.

Good luck!


Steve Vande Kieft said...

For what it is worth I think Marcus has a good idea-Steve