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Air Tahoe

Torsion Axel failure- What are the options?

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Air Tahoe

Took the 2002 VLX out of storage to find one tire up near the fender. Did some research on here and sounds like the common axel failure.

What are the options?

1. Can we limp it along 40 miles to the lake? Risk blowing a tire, have a spare onboard just in case. Just need to get it there for the summer and leave it. We don't tow much.

2. Trailer repair shop is booked up and said Unique Functional Products that makes the axels usually take 4 weeks to get new axels. (there goes the boating season, it is short here) Replace all 4 torsion axel parts. I haven't been able to get UFP to call me back. Keep getting a voicemail.

3. Rent a trailer somehow? Buy a new trailer? How much are these trailers these days?

Any advice on this issue is appreciated.

http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii568/icloud22/IMG_6500_zpspozqxxjb.jpg~original

The troublesome axel:

http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii568/icloud22/IMG_6511_zpstufnpfvm.jpg~original

http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii568/icloud22/IMG_6505%203_zpsebqddp7d.jpg~original

The good side:

http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii568/icloud22/IMG_6504%203_zpsoqy3n5nn.jpg~original

http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii568/icloud22/IMG_6518_zpsjxsimibs.jpg~original

Comparison. It is only one torsion axel, the other is carrying most of the weight on the right side:

http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii568/icloud22/boat%20axel_zpsclnopqvx.jpg~original

Edited by Air Tahoe

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REHinH20

No repair help here, but wondering if you can jack it up and run a weld across the axel to hold the tire off of the fender. Might be a temp fix to allow you to get boat to water, then drop the trailer off at the repair shop.

OR - will a serious drop hitch allow you to bring the tongue down enough to remove most of the pressure off the rear axel, will it tow that way?

Edited by REHinH20

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85 Barefoot

If you just want the boat in the water I'd suggest you call a flatbed wrecker, put in on the bed, get to the lake, dump the boat, voila.

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oldjeep

I can't think of a safe way to tow that 40 miles. There are a few things I would do to get it to where I could work on it, but a flatbed truck is your best bet.

Looks like somebody stole your brakes too.

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malibu2004

You could take the wheel off and pull it to the lake. You have to get the weight off and the trailer will right itself and you can take it to the shop.

Do you live close to Salem Or?

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malibu2004

I towed mine about 20 miles on 3 tires with no issues.

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Michigan boarder

Flatbed. If one torsion axle failed, how far away from failure is the next?

If you try to tow it with that tire on, the tire will be toast. You will spend just as much on the flatbed tow as you will replacing one tire. Plus all the time, BS, etc. Tow it and get to the lake as planned, then get it fixed.

If it suddenly failed on you as you were towing, then yest tow on 3 tires. But why risk it now that you know there is a problem?

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oldjeep

You could take the wheel off and pull it to the lake. You have to get the weight off and the trailer will right itself and you can take it to the shop.

Do you live close to Salem Or?

Yeah, don't do that. Because then that swing arm, stub and hub that is designed for 1500lbs is taking 3000lbs if the trailer is at capacity.

Trying to limp a trailer along at a very slow speed if it fails on the road is a whole lot different than intentionally leaving on a 40 mile trip with a buggered up trailer.

Edited by oldjeep

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Air Tahoe

Thanks guys. I knew you would have some creative insight.

I was also thinking about the quick fix weld idea. I don't know why they can't weld it in place until parts arrive. It is 40 miles to the lake. The lakes are too low this year to leave the boat anchored like we usually do. So we have to use the trailer to take it out each weekend and store it at the marina parking lot. Otherwise, all of this would be a whole lot easier. I wonder if it is a liability issue from the shop or if they would be ok with that. I'm getting them to look at it tomorrow. Still no response from the axel company.

I will look into the flatbed idea and see if they can carry a boat and trailer.

Never thought about the 3 wheel concept. That is basically how it is riding right now. All the weight on the front tire and the back tire is just floating probably. Maybe put the newest tire on that area and take it slow on the highway.

We are near Lake Tahoe this year, but appreciate the help Malibu2004.

The brakes are on the front wheels of the this trailer.

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oldjeep

The brakes are on the front wheels of the this trailer.

Ah, one of those states where they don't need to be on all wheels? When you fix the trailer consider upgrading to a braked axle.

What state are you in?

Edited by oldjeep

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Air Tahoe

Ok good advice on the safety issues. It is mountain highways. Not the smoothest pavement and not a lot of safe shoulders to pull over.

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Air Tahoe

Ah, one of those states where they don't need to be on all wheels? When you fix the trailer consider upgrading to a braked axle.

We only drive it 80 miles a year. So it doesn't put much wear on our vehicles. It seems to stop pretty well even on steep mountain grades. I didn't know some states require 4 brakes. I'll read about it. State is NV and CA. Thanks.

Edited by Air Tahoe

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oldjeep

We only drive it 80 miles a year. So it doesn't put much wear on our vehicles. It seems to stop pretty well even on steep mountain grades. I didn't know some states require 4 brakes. I'll read about it. State is NV and CA. Thanks.

You have to meet the law where the trailer is registered.

In CA that means brakes on at least 2 wheels

IN NV that means brakes on all wheels

http://drivinglaws.aaa.com/laws/trailer-brakes/

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shawndoggy

are you in Reno? Have you called washoe metal fab? They are usually pretty good about turning stuff around this time of year.

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rugger

I would email the UFP contact found in previous threads. If you can't find it, I'll look for it. When this happened to me, he sent axles right away, and took awesome responsibility of a faulty product -- even though it was out of warranty and I was not the first owner. Will ship straight to your house, then you can go bolt it on and drive it home. For me, I had them ship it to my local trailer place so they could paint it first. But you could do that later if had to.

Otherwise the flat bed trailer is a good idea. Heck, when I sold my old Malibu to MartinArcher (across the country), the transport guy showed up with a trailer that holds FOUR boats and trailers! Was awesome.

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dalt1

null_zpsdc619b5f.jpgBeen there. You can weld the Spindle to the axle tube until you get new axle. I did that after UFP suggested it then they warranteed my 6 year old axles. I picked them up at the manufacturer. Cost me a tank of gas in the truck for replacement of both my axles.null_zpsc08f2732.jpg

Towed over 300 miles this way with no ill effects. Saved a weeklong houseboat vacation as it broke on the morning I left to tow it to Dale Hollow. About 2 hour delay and I was on my way. I was able to do the welding at home myself.

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mikeo

If you're in the Tahoe area call CTW (California Trailer Works) in Sacramento. The might have replacement axles at the shop and you could pick them up to have them installed locally, or install them yourself.

CTW:

6486 Florin Perkins Rd

Sacramento, CA 95828

(916) 381-7619

There are plenty of links above, but after all the trouble I've seen I don't think I'll ever willingly purchase a torsion axle trailer.

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Michigan boarder

Dalt - are you wearing crocs in that pic??

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formulaben

I had my torsion axle go out just a couple days before a big trip. I did the weld and it was just fine. Make sure you check with UFP about a warranty replacement set of axles.

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Air Tahoe

UFP was very nice and said they would send replacement axles in 3 weeks. That is a long wait in the middle of the short boating season at Tahoe.

UFP also said just pull off the wheel on the bad axle and run the trailer with 3 tires. They said it should be fine for short careful hauling of 40 miles :dontknow:

I'm really interested in doing the welding fix. I don't have the expertise to do that myself but taking it to a shop tomorrow to ask about it.

Back-up will be the flat bed truck idea.

Super thankful for everyone's suggestions!! You guys are so helpful! At least we have a few options. Thought we were going to miss half the boating season.

I'll be sure to pay it forward. Replaced the steering cable last season from info on here and it saved me tons of time and $.

UFP was 10x nice to deal with then SBT trailers. SBT literally laughed on the phone about my ordeal and the part failure. Put a bad taste in my mouth about them.

Edited by Air Tahoe

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justgary

Dalt - are you wearing crocs in that pic??

Really. You should at least have your safety flip-flops on.

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Chia

UFP was great, replaced my axles even though trailer was out of warranty.

Check the max weight capacity on your tires and determine if one tire can support half the load. If it is a 10 ply, i doubt you will have any trouble towing with 3 wheels for 40k.

Although age of your tires is also a factor: from mobil oil site: https://mobiloil.com/en/article/car-maintenance/basic-car-maintenance-tips/tire-buying-guides-and-tips

2. Plenty of tread means plenty of remaining tire life.
Here’s the truth: Many are surprised that tires can reach the end of their lives without having gone far or done much work.

Some auto manufacturers recommend replacing tires every five or six years, regardless of tread depth. A tire that's been on a car seven or eight years is much like a 65-year-old human: No matter how fit and healthy he looks, he shouldn't play football against 19-year-olds. If it's 105 degrees outside, a simple stroll can be deadly to both out-of-shape older people and poorly maintained old tires.

Here's how you can tell how old your tire is:

  • Look on the sidewall to find the letters "DOT." Following that will be a sequence of numbers, which may be in three or four separate windows. The last four numbers tell when the tire was made: "3112" means the tire was built during the 31st week of 2012.
  • Check for hairline cracks in the sidewall. Cracks are a strong indication the tire needs to be replaced.
  • Inspect for deteriorating rubber, which can be a big problem for rarely driven vehicles, such as motor homes, collector cars, exotic cars, vehicles owned by senior citizens and vans operated by charitable organizations.

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malibu2004

UFP was very nice and said they would send replacement axles in 3 weeks. That is a long wait in the middle of the short boating season at Tahoe.

UFP also said just pull off the wheel on the bad axle and run the trailer with 3 tires. They said it should be fine for short careful hauling of 40 miles :dontknow:

I'm really interested in doing the welding fix. I don't have the expertise to do that myself but taking it to a shop tomorrow to ask about it.

Back-up will be the flat bed truck idea.

Super thankful for everyone's suggestions!! You guys are so helpful! At least we have a few options. Thought we were going to miss half the boating season.

I'll be sure to pay it forward. Replaced the steering cable last season from info on here and it saved me tons of time and $.

UFP was 10x nice to deal with then SBT trailers. SBT literally laughed on the phone about my ordeal and the part failure. Put a bad taste in my mouth about them.

I do think you'll be fine. I would just drive slow and shoot you got 2 spares. What could go wrong?

The dual axle trailers are the same as the single axles only 2 more wheels.

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Chia

I do think you'll be fine. I would just drive slow and shoot you got 2 spares. What could go wrong?

The dual axle trailers are the same as the single axles only 2 more wheels.

the difference is the tires.

With a single axle trailer each tire has to be rated to carry at least 50% of the max GVW weight of the boat and trailer.

With a dual axle trailer each tire has to be rated to carry at least 25% of the max GVW weight of the boat and trailer.

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Fman

What is the primary cause of a torsion axle failure? I have had three torsion axle trailers and never had a problem with them. I think they tow better than leaf spring trailers.

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