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Thread: Bent trailer axles....re-bend?

  1. #1
    Mbryson's hairdresser I Lean's Avatar
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    Bent trailer axles....re-bend?

    My trailer tires are wearing on the inside edge....and the tires are visibly negatively cambered when the trailer is loaded. It has to be from repeated overloading, so I can't complain too terribly much.

    Can I fix it? I know the axles have a little bend in the middle from the factory--so I guess I'm asking WHERE do these axles typically bend? If it's bent between the spring and spindle, I may be S.O.L., but if it's bent across its whole length, I could save it. I'm just thinking a HF pipe bender in the middle of the axle to kink it back into submission. (and I could probably do that without even taking the axle out from under the trailer, if it's that simple)

    Thoughts? Personal experiences?

    If it matters any, it's two 3500 lb axles under my 18' flatbed.
    Carl

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  3. #2
    Registered User Stripingears's Avatar
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    Sids aligment in springville can straighten them out

  4. #3
    RME Resident Ninja bryson's Avatar
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    I would think it's more of a gradual bend - a smooth arc along the entire length of the axle. That way as the entire axle bends under load, it ends up more or less straight. If you were to put a single bend in the middle, you would have a very oddly shaped axle as the entire axle bent under load. I would think if you were to re-bend the axle, it would have to be done with a tube roller of sorts rather than a tube bender.

    That made sense in my oddly shaped head, did it translate to words well enough?
    Grammar. The difference between feeling you're nuts and feeling your nuts.

  5. #4
    Mbryson's hairdresser I Lean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripingears View Post
    Sids aligment in springville can straighten them out
    I may give 'em a call....actually, I think Alignment Specialists here in SLC can do them too.

    Quote Originally Posted by bryson View Post
    I would think it's more of a gradual bend - a smooth arc along the entire length of the axle. That way as the entire axle bends under load, it ends up more or less straight. If you were to put a single bend in the middle, you would have a very oddly shaped axle as the entire axle bent under load. I would think if you were to re-bend the axle, it would have to be done with a tube roller of sorts rather than a tube bender.

    That made sense in my oddly shaped head, did it translate to words well enough?
    You may be right, other than when you buy a new axle it has a visible bend right in the middle--it's not bowed evenly. (that might vary depending on supplier too, I suppose)
    Carl

  6. #5
    Registered User Bart's Avatar
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    I've always had good luck with Alignment Services and they are much closer to you.
    Too many projects, too little time.

  7. #6
    Master Blaster muleskinner's Avatar
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    Just weld spring perches to the bottom of the tubes and roll them 180deg

  8. #7
    Pretend Fabricator skippy's Avatar
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    When you figure it out Carl let me know my trailer is having the same issue. I have thought about just going to bigger axles anyways just to avoid the problem in the future
    Check out ALLJEEP.COM for all your JEEP, TOYOTA, GM, FORD and buggy needs.

  9. #8
    Formerly gravesdiggerxj Gravy's Avatar
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    Personal experience:

    Bent one 3500lb trailer axle on my car hauler towing up a gnarly road to my uncle's mountain property. (700 miles from home).
    Bent it so bad that the tire hit the side of the trailer and popped it.

    Called around no one had the right width axle in a 100 mile radius. Asked a trailer repair shop how they fix them and I followed their advise and fixed it for free.

    1.) Make sure the spindle itself is true.

    If the spindle is fine:

    1.) Cut pie wedge out of axle tube.
    a.) start small and cut a slice or two (the width of a grinding wheel) first.

    2.) Bend back.
    a.) use a level to set camber @ the same as the other axle (Mine was about 1* so loaded it was 0*)
    b.) triangulation and comparison with other axle and side of trailer to set toe.

    3.) Weld back up.
    a.) Reinforce by wrapping the cut with a wide width of strap steel, and a piece of fat angle iron.

    4.) Enjoy your non bent axle.

    I towed nearly 4k miles after doing this (before my trailer was stolen) with no further issues.
    In fact, I believe I got it more true than it was before I bent it because I noticed less tire wear than in the past.

    I'll see if I can't find a photo and edit the post.

  10. #9
    Formerly DeadEye J Jared's Avatar
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    I just parked a Jeep on mine and put a 20 ton bottle jack under the middle until it looked right after removing the jack. K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid) If that doesn't work (meaning it just lifts the trailer), chain an I-beam under the axle and put the jack between the I-beam and axle. I have straightened a few Dana 30's this way, and it works like a charm. The axle will generally bend wherever you put the jack.

    Jared

  11. #10
    wydej wydej's Avatar
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    Alignment specalists did great for me as well the only problem I had was my jeep is a pig and a year latter trailering on a dirt road the axle bent out of shap again and ruined some more tires on the drive home.
    YJ wrangler

  12. #11
    Mbryson's hairdresser I Lean's Avatar
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    As soon as I get motivation enough, I'm going to try the DIY HF pipe kinker method of self-aligning it. I figure worst case, I don't get it right and get to pay Alignment Specialists $69 per axle to do it right.
    Carl

  13. #12
    wydej wydej's Avatar
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    If the axle Dis-aligns again You can get a double tube axle from hendersens. That is cheeper that steping up to a higher wt axle.
    YJ wrangler

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