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Thread: Now a bent axle????

  1. Print this Post   #1
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    Now a bent axle????

    Bought a 2016 BH270 Aug of 2018. Used, from a dealer. Good looking trailer, but the durability and build quality is really starting to show. I'm starting to realize why the previous owner got out and why we got such a deal. Plumbing leaks, and the obvious lack of care when build was happening. Now the newest item: after a trip from stl to Strasburg Pennsylvania and back, determined that my eyes were not deceiving me.

    My left rear tire always seemed to be kicked out, but I wrote it off to a preload from completing a turn. Nope. It finally got bad enough that I couldn't ignore it, and tire wear confirmed it.

    A bent axle or worse. Haven't tore into it yet, but we got home. Never ran over anything, but it has progressively gotten worse.

    This far out, I don't expect warranty help from anyone. What I would like are suggestions about retrofitting heavier axles. I'm a former aircraft mechanic, auto mechanic, machinist, and refinery employee, so this is doable here.

    Im asking for suggestions on which axles from which vendors would be the best, and I'm not averse to overkill. 6 lug/8 lug.

    This thing travels level, with nearly empty tanks, and a full fridge. Clothes and bed rolls didn't do this.
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  2. Print this Post   #2
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    Re: Now a bent axle????

    Picture appears sideways on my screen, but as you said, it's out of warranty, but IMO, call HL w/ VIN, be courteous, explain things to them and see what they say about all your issues. They may tell you to pound salt, but worth a shot.

  3. Print this Post   #3
    Moderator danemayer's Avatar
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    Re: Now a bent axle????

    Dexter warrants the axles and you may still be covered under the Dexter warranty. In August 2016, they moved to a 5 year warranty. I'd suggest you call them directly.

    Of course the warranty covers manufacturing defects. Bent axles are usually caused by road hazards. But phone calls don't cost much.

    You'll probably need a picture of the label on the axle, which requires you crawl under the trailer. You may also need the trailer VIN #.

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    Re: Now a bent axle????

    Quote Originally Posted by Hemifish69 View Post
    Bought a 2016 BH270 Aug of 2018. Used, from a dealer. Good looking trailer, but the durability and build quality is really starting to show. I'm starting to realize why the previous owner got out and why we got such a deal. Plumbing leaks, and the obvious lack of care when build was happening. Now the newest item: after a trip from stl to Strasburg Pennsylvania and back, determined that my eyes were not deceiving me.

    My left rear tire always seemed to be kicked out, but I wrote it off to a preload from completing a turn. Nope. It finally got bad enough that I couldn't ignore it, and tire wear confirmed it.

    A bent axle or worse. Haven't tore into it yet, but we got home. Never ran over anything, but it has progressively gotten worse.

    This far out, I don't expect warranty help from anyone. What I would like are suggestions about retrofitting heavier axles. I'm a former aircraft mechanic, auto mechanic, machinist, and refinery employee, so this is doable here.

    Im asking for suggestions on which axles from which vendors would be the best, and I'm not averse to overkill. 6 lug/8 lug.

    This thing travels level, with nearly empty tanks, and a full fridge. Clothes and bed rolls didn't do this.
    In your pic it looks like axle is off front to back and not up and down off center..please confirm..
    I had an axle issue that looks like yours, I contacted Dexter,sent pics and they said bent axle.Dexter sent new axle, no improvement.
    After checking all measurements ,measuring spreads between axles,I determined I had a flattened spring on my rear axle on drivers side.the spring had lost its tension and was 1/2 In longer from shackle bolt to shackle bolt than the other 3 springs.
    This caused the Equiflex suspension to collapse..this pulled axle out of center.Heartland shipped 4 new spring packs ,Equiflex Suspension and supplies to my home.Heartland replaced springs with heavier spring packs than OEM.
    Since I installed new gear,,,,,no issues
    Worth looking at maybe your issue.

  5. Print this Post   #5
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    Re: Now a bent axle????

    Got under the trailer and saw it plain as day. Back axle bowed down, front ok. Don't see cracked springs, but I won't rule out one flattening.

    I'll be calling the axle manufacturer, per the replies, and eyeballing the springs harder.

    The pic is hard to interpret, but the bottom is kicked out. Thanks for the suggestions, apologies for the harsh tone of my original post. I was really peeved about this when we got home. The rig is probably out of service for the season. Still cant believe the poor build quality I've seen inside this thing. Under the tub, and the sink.

    Oh well, 8 trips since last August. That averages the purchase price to $2k per trip

  6. Print this Post   #6
    Senior Member wdk450's Avatar
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    Re: Now a bent axle????

    Quote Originally Posted by Hemifish69 View Post
    Got under the trailer and saw it plain as day. Back axle bowed down, front ok. Don't see cracked springs, but I won't rule out one flattening.

    I'll be calling the axle manufacturer, per the replies, and eyeballing the springs harder.

    The pic is hard to interpret, but the bottom is kicked out. Thanks for the suggestions, apologies for the harsh tone of my original post. I was really peeved about this when we got home. The rig is probably out of service for the season. Still cant believe the poor build quality I've seen inside this thing. Under the tub, and the sink.

    Oh well, 8 trips since last August. That averages the purchase price to $2k per trip
    You might want to contact a truck alignment shop to see if they can simply bend it back into alignment with their air jack/U-Hangar setup and laser alignment system. Believe it or not, this is the standard way to align tube axles. This You Tube Video shows a trailer in a truck alignment bay. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRyTeqYuGBk I had this done in Nebraska in a small town along I-80 (don't remember the town name - It was BEAR alignment), but they used a 3 piece steel adapter plate setup for the jack that had fingers (like you hanging on a pull-up bar) that hung on the axle tube with slots for the crossbar that supported the air jack. The tech could easily swing this rig 90 degrees on the axle to do the other adjustment.
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  7. Print this Post   #7
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    Re: Now a bent axle????

    I've heard of bending it back, but wouldn't it bend again?

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    Retired Colorado Chapter Leaders gwalter's Avatar
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    Re: Now a bent axle????

    Quote Originally Posted by wdk450 View Post
    You might want to contact a truck alignment shop to see if they can simply bend it back into alignment with their air jack/U-Hangar setup and laser alignment system. Believe it or not, this is the standard way to align tube axles. This You Tube Video shows a trailer in a truck alignment bay. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRyTeqYuGBk I had this done in Nebraska in a small town along I-80 (don't remember the town name - It was BEAR alignment), but they used a 3 piece steel adapter plate setup for the jack that had fingers (like you hanging on a pull-up bar) that hung on the axle tube with slots for the crossbar that supported the air jack. The tech could easily swing this rig 90 degrees on the axle to do the other adjustment.
    Was it Bear Frame and Axle in Grand Island, NE? They fixed my bent axle on my boat trailer and also on friends boat trailer too. Very well respected company in that area. Once fixed I never had any problems.
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    Senior Member Gary521's Avatar
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    Re: Now a bent axle????

    I replaced an axle last year. I went to a local trailer repair shop and they carried Dexter axles. It took me less than a day to replace the axle. Call Heartland to get the specs on the axle or check the axle label and call Dexter to get the specs. Fortunately for me, the local shop carried the axle in stock. They need to know the distance between the spring mounting flange centers and then they weld on the mounting flanges. The length of the axle is the distance between the brake mounting flanges. I took the old axle to a local recycling center.

  10. Print this Post   #10
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    Re: Now a bent axle????

    Quote Originally Posted by Hemifish69 View Post
    I've heard of bending it back, but wouldn't it bend again?
    Bending is how they do the alignment. Works great and it's done all the time.

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