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Old 06-17-2018, 11:16 AM   #1
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Are my Axles bent?

2012 26 rks here. Not a very common FR product. Bought it brand new. Has been sitting on a seasonal site since. Besides picking it up from one of the guys from shipping wars show in Detroit and putting 300miles on it, and taking it out twice for 400 mile trips trailer has not been anywhere else. Just removed TrailExpress tires that came with it and noticed bent(?) axles. When trailer came to me initially the tires had less tread on inside and out. All four were like that. Insides of tires were as new. All of them were worn equally. My first trailer, so I thought it was normal. After the second trip I have noticed cupping and uneven wear on tires. Tires were properly inflated to 50 psi as sidewall states. TW is a 2011 Silverado with adjustable airbags in the rear to help levelling the trailer. Any ideas? Advice? If they are bent, do I need new ones, or can this be straightened?Click image for larger version

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Old 06-17-2018, 11:45 AM   #2
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If all 4 tires were worn on the inside, it sounds like the axles were installed upside down. There should be a slight bow UP on the center of the axles.
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:12 PM   #3
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All tires have similar wear, and yes, there is a slight bow on the upside. Mainly on the front one, and not the rear
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:12 PM   #4
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Bring it to a place that aligns trailer tires, and they shouldn't charge too much. A bent axle isn't necessarily a concern as they will bend them to align them, but the tire wear in such short miles is a concern.
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Old 06-19-2018, 01:37 PM   #5
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I'm having a bent axle replaced right now. Mine resulted from hitting some obstruction on the road - I was unaware until I found a bent wheel. Fortunately, the tire didn't go flat, so I didn't notice until later. As has been stated, axles should crown slightly upward in the middle. Mine had a visible Downward bow nearer to the wheel that had been damaged. My wheel was bent UP, resulting in excessive (but even) wear on the inside of the tire. Wore it to the cord in about 1,000 miles, only on the inside of the tire.



Your irregular wear seems to indicate something more than just a bent axle, maybe a significant alignment problem.
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Old 06-19-2018, 02:46 PM   #6
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"Trailer axles should have a slight crown up in the middle". That much is true. How much is the correct amount? I have no idea nor have I ever heard of a spec on this. IF your tires are wearing excessively on the inside you could take the trailer tires/rims to a tire shop and have them remove the tires, reverse the tires and re-install. I've known many people who have done this with their TT or 5-er to even out tire wear.
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Old 06-19-2018, 03:03 PM   #7
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Bent axel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurman View Post
"Trailer axles should have a slight crown up in the middle". That much is true. How much is the correct amount? I have no idea nor have I ever heard of a spec on this. IF your tires are wearing excessively on the inside you could take the trailer tires/rims to a tire shop and have them remove the tires, reverse the tires and re-install. I've known many people who have done this with their TT or 5-er to even out tire wear.
I just replaced both of mine, 3500# rear was actually bowed "down" in the middle. Left me with 3deg. neg. camber on curb side and 2 deg. neg. on other side. Replaced both and reweighed trailer. Both axles were well under load. Prior owner must have hit a hell of a curb or pot hole.

Two new axles, 4 new springs and 4 new tires. Replaced bushings, bolts, and hardware, brake assemblies while it was apart.
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:55 PM   #8
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Many times axles are bent pulling away from the curb. As you pull away the rear axle will tend to swing outward hitting hard against the curb. My old Montana was like that. Ran it for years that way, but never had abnormal tire wear. Of course this is the point where many posts tangent off into the wonderful world of China bombs and their many weird wear characteristics. When in doubt, many of the alignment guys are very good. Sometimes it's just easier to replace them. That's when it would be a good time to beef things up a little.
I run Michelin LT's by the way. Just FYI.
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:29 PM   #9
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As no one has mentioned the cupping of the tires, I will speak from experience.
It most often has to do with balance. Many people, including tire shops will tell you that tire balancing on a trailer isn't necessary. False. They should be balanced. flat spots (or cupping) occures by a tire being out of round bent rim or balance. A tire that is out of balance will pound the pavement at a specific area of a tire and cause unusual wear. Those flat spots will also cause a resonating sound similar to a rumbling pulse as the tire rotates. Unusual tire wear can also happen by a tire being out of round bent rim.

When ever we install a new tire on anything travelling highway speeds, it gets balance. When we do a tire rotation on a vehicle, we have the balance checked.
On one rotation, we drove away from the dealership and one tire appeared to be out of balance. On checking, it was determined the tire was out of round. It had to be replaced. Strangely, the problem was not evident in the previous tire position.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:35 AM   #10
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I agree. Balancing is key. Not only tire wear, but stress on the spindles and bearings, and lets not forget what vibration does to a trailers innards.
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