Posted 2018-03-26 12:29 PM (#171440) Subject: trailer riding lower on one side
I used to post here often. It is great to see that so many people who were here then are still around.
I just bought a 1996 Logan Coach Malibu two-horse straight load trailer. I knew that there were some repairs to be made , but thought it was generally in good shape. It seemed structurally sound and pulled well coming home.
When I parked it at home, though, I saw that looking from the back, the left (drivers side) is somewhat lower than the right side. It is torsion axles, of course. Now, I think/hope that this can be adjusted. I read somewhere that I can loosen the trailing arm and move it down to raise the lower side. I don't know if that was talking about the same kind of torsion axle, though.
So, my question is whether this can be adjusted, and if not, what will I have to do to fix it?
I bought this to have and keep as a little run around bumper pull trailer. My intention is to fix it up well, but this was quite an oversight. Otherwise, it needs some welding in a non structural location, painting, a few clearance-type lights and a lock for one of the tack room doors. But, now it is first things first - the axle issue.
Posted 2018-03-26 4:51 PM (#171441 - in reply to #171440) Subject: RE: trailer riding lower on one side
Doing more research, it would appear that the axle cannot be adjusted- from what I can tell. It does have non-matching tires, so that could account for it, I suppose. Any information on replacement would be appreciated. Or, if someone tells me I'm wrong, that is even better.
The seller did assure me that the axles were in good shape:).
Posted 2018-03-26 9:22 PM (#171444 - in reply to #171440) Subject: RE: trailer riding lower on one side
Thanks Hosspuller. I can do that and check to see. After I came across that idea, I looked at photos of the traieler that I took yesterday. It really doesn't look like it will be that simple. What do you think can be done if it is as I suspect that the axle is making it lower on the one side? Just reaplace the axle? Can that wait ori is it something that has to be done right away? I just dont' really know about these axles. Thanks.
Posted 2018-03-27 8:21 AM (#171445 - in reply to #171440) Subject: RE: trailer riding lower on one side
With 22 year old axles, there's no telling what they've seen over the decades. But generally, torsion axles are fairly durable. As HP says, if the tires on one side are smaller, the trailer will of course lean to that side. On that note- it is critical that the tires on the same side of the trailer match and the trailer be level in order for the weight to be evenly distributed between the two axles.
You may want to jack up the trailer from the rear, and see if both axles swing down the same amount. We have occasionally seen a torsion axle that wasn't moving anymore. We didn't cut it apart so don't know exactly what failed but it was obvious when the trailer was raised that one wheel had typical movement and the other was "stuck". That called for axle replacement.
Now another point- if you find a worn axle, logic says both will be (not simply damaged, but actually worn). It is sensible to assume that the axles have worn over the past 20+ years, and it likely sits a little lower than it did when new. A normal process. If you replace one axle with a fresh one, I would have some awareness that it will be likely carrying some degree of extra weight. Thus if this was to be a regular use trailer, one may consider both axles for replacement. Not what you wanted to hear, but as we see more of these older trailers still in service, we are dealing with a new set of issues keeping them safe & dependable.
But- for very light use, if the wheel bearings seem fine, you may pull it with no apparent issues.
Posted 2018-03-27 10:44 AM (#171447 - in reply to #171440) Subject: RE: trailer riding lower on one side
Thank you nfor the additional information. That enables me to understand this a little more and do, at least, a preliminary examination of what is going on with the axles. Could you tell me what happens when torsion axles break down. /Such as if I'm pulling the trailer and an axle or the ales break down or whatever. What happens. I'm interested in knowing this for any trailer I might pull.
What do the axles do when they actually fail?
Thank you very much for the answer, and Hosspuller, too.
Posted 2018-03-27 12:13 PM (#171452 - in reply to #171440) Subject: RE: trailer riding lower on one side
I called the local Logan Coach dealer to see about pricing. The parts guy was nice but he has no information on this model and said that Logan didn't really keep records for old trailers. I don't think Logan Coach was one of the trailer companies that essentially went out of business a few years ago, but it seems that they don't keep even records of major parts numbers of older products. I don't like that in a company.
Posted 2018-03-27 3:02 PM (#171455 - in reply to #171440) Subject: RE: trailer riding lower on one side
Location: North Carolina
If the axles require replacement, look to see how they are fastened to the trailer. Bolted on ... and you're golden.
I don't think any trailer builder actually makes their own axles. Check with Dexter to learn what are the critical measurements to fitting new axles.
Welded on ... then the axles will have to be cut off and new axles welded. Either way, you'll need some measurements to get new axles. It may be the a good time to consider some changes if you like... arm starting in a different angle than original for instance.
Do you have an issue with swapping tires to see if the lean follows ?
Posted 2018-03-27 8:55 PM (#171459 - in reply to #171440) Subject: RE: trailer riding lower on one side
Hosspuller - I don't have a problem in changing the tires around, but cant do that until Friday or Sat. I knew I would need tires for it, so may just do that sooner. In looking at the tires more closely, I'm convinced that I wont be able to tell anything until I do something different with them. They are all different, every single one. Your comment about making improvements if I change the axles is one I would like to explore. I just don't know enough about this. I *think* they are bolted on, but will look tomorrow to make sure. I remember seeing bolts, and I don't remember seeing welds, but I wasn't specifically looking for that information. Thank you !
Retento - Thank you for the link. It is very helpful to know where to go to look for the things that are needed. Very helpful. Thank you!
Posted 2018-03-27 10:14 PM (#171460 - in reply to #171440) Subject: RE: trailer riding lower on one side
Location: North Carolina
I would hold off buying tires until you determine the leaning solution. Your tires are likely 15 inch. It's getting harder to find such tires. 16 inch tires seem to be more plentiful ... and competitively priced. If you replace axles, that would be a good time to change wheel size.
Also brakes ... do you have brakes on both axles? Older trailers had brakes only on one axle. Two axle braking is obviously better.
Posted 2018-03-27 10:23 PM (#171461 - in reply to #171440) Subject: RE: trailer riding lower on one side
Hosspuller, thanks for that advice. Your are correct that the wheels are currently 15 inch. So, you would change the rims when you changed the axles and get new tires at that time. Very interesting, and something that I did not think of doing.
I'll try to do the things that you and RTSmith suggested on Friday or over the weekend.
I think trailers of this age have brakes on both axles, but I will check that, too.
Posted 2018-03-31 7:24 PM (#171479 - in reply to #171440) Subject: RE: trailer riding lower on one side
We finally had a chance to change the tires around. We filled them, and changed sides. We moved it first so that we could ensure that the place was level. There doesn't actually seem to be any problem. Apparently, it just one, or a combination of, the three.
It does have breaks on both sides. SOmeone has tried to open them without removing the screws, so the cover is bent a little. I'll get tires next week. I liked the idea of changing out for 16 inch rims, but that is not something I will do now. The trailer says it uses "205 x 15". There are currently five different sizes of tires, including the spare. The spare is 225 rather than 205. My 18' utility trailer use 225. I wonder if it would be better to use 225, but will go with the 205 as stated on the trailer unless someone tells me otherwise.