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Old 04-20-2011, 07:50 AM   #1
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FOLLOW UP ON 8285WS Shifting Axles.

Here is my follow up on my 8285Ws axle repair. Spent all day at Allen's Pro trailer Service getting all back in order. The front and rear axles had shifted on their mounts due to UNDER TORQUE of all bolts that hold the axles in place. The torque specs for the side mounts (which Rockwood/Flagstaff and similar frames) is:

1/2" bolts, 110 (Ft, Lbs,) Minimum, 120 (Ft, Lbs,) Maximum.

5/8" bolts, 145 (Ft, Lbs,) Minimum, 155 (Ft, Lbs,) Maximum.

This is Al-Ko's Specs. for the rubber Torsion Suspension.

This information can be found in the Owner's Manual of AL-KO, for the 2,000lbs to 7,000lbs Axles on page # 31 of the manual.

My axles were checked for the proper torque at the start of the repair, the bolts were found at 55 ft. lbs. to 85 ft.lbs.. The axles were jacked back into place using a zero tolerance between the side axle mount and the RV frame, torqued to proper specs according to the owner's manual produced by AL-KO, using the above listed torque listed values.

The repair shop stated, all the bolts used should be grade #8. They also said, if the warranty had expired on the RV, they would drill a 3/8" hole above the bolt that is in the slotted hole position and a grade #8 3/8" bolt
inserted into the hole to prevent the axle ever slipping again.

They also stated, with the proper torque at the time of manufacture, the axles should be OK, never shift. The extra 3/8" bolt would insure of a permanent setting. But due to the manufacturer's warranty of the frame and axles statement of NEVER DRILLING a hole in the frame or axles would void the warranty.

The brakes were tested, were still not working proper. Found the emergency brake away switch to be defective on the king pin tongue (would not close). Replaced switch, tested satisfactory. Also the bolts being loose on the axles were not forming a good ground for the front axle
electric brakes, therefore front brakes were not working.

Over all, after repairs supposedly by two well known RV repair places in Jacksonville, FL. , one even stated that the brake away switch was tested, locking up the brakes. The switch was tested yesterday, could not pull the pin out of the switch without a pry bar. When pin was removed, the switch would not close to send 12V to the brakes. The statement "IT WAS TESTED", even placed on the bill. B.S. Do not take their word for it.

Hope this will help someone in solving your problem in some way. Any unanswered questions, feel free to PM me.

Oh by the way, there are two types of Rubber Torsion Axle mounts. Side mount Rockwood 8285WS. Top mount, which is not 8285WS ( has slotted holes in the RV frame in the box tube).
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:06 AM   #2
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Thanks for passing on important information. Sorry that you had to experience all of that, but at least your post will help others.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:28 AM   #3
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Thanks so much! You know where I'm going with my torque wrench!!
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:11 AM   #4
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Yep, headed that way right now. Thanks Sid.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for posting that Sid.
Glad they didn't see anything wrong with adding an extra bolt to make sure they don't move. Validates the repair I did to mine.
Since any new holes would be drilled into the carrier for the axles, and not the frame of the camper, I don't think warranty is an issue.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:18 PM   #6
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Did someone post somewhere that there might be a gap between the two for proper alignment? Has it been decided there is no gap and it's safe to put the top bolt in and secure it that way? I checked mine and the right side axles have no gap, but the left side has about 3/16" gap on both axles. Haven't checked the torque yet and they look like they have not slipped.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:35 PM   #7
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As you can imagine, moving the axles up and down on the front bolt would have absolutely no effect on the alignment. There appears to be no allowance for alignment whatsoever. I guess they mount them straight, and that's the end of it. If the mounting frame is made in a jig, and I imagine it is, the axles should go on in alignment, and stay there.
Odd tire wear would indicate if there was a problem.
So yes, it appears that the axle mounts should be tight up against the camper frame, and I am not worried about the bolts I put in to suck them up tight.
My axles are a heck of a lot more secure now, and I feel a lot more safe.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:39 PM   #8
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like stated above - thanks for posting the info
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:08 AM   #9
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Crocus, that's what I was thinking. It's not like caster or camber on a vehicle front-end that has to be aligned. I can't figure out why it was made like that in the first place. Why not just bolt it up solid and not have one bolt that has to have a certain anount of torque on a slide. Definitely not the way I would have made it. Gues I'll be crawling under mine when the monsoon stops and correcting the problem. Thanks!
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:16 AM   #10
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I have heard it explained that if the tire hits an unusually severe bump, that the axle will slip instead of damaging it? While that seems reasonable at first, what about the same axle that is bolted/welded directly to a trailer frame, as they are on car haulers? So I simply don't buy that arguement. The axles should be, and probably are, designed for that shock load themselves.
To me, it is far worse to have an axle slip without one's knowledge, and then have the other axle over-loaded, and risk blowing a tire because of that.
But that's just my opinion.
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