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  #1  
Unread 10th February 2015, 08:57 AM
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Default flipping axle on 6x4 trailer

I have a 6x4 box trailer for general garden use for mulch/dirt. I don't use it camping or offroading. I am finding that the suspension is bottoming out when the box is only 75% full with dirt.
Is it an easy DIY process to flip the axle so the leaf springs sit over the axle without specialised tools?
or
Any recommendations for a shop to do this in Perth SOR?
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Unread 10th February 2015, 06:12 PM
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Gidday Lefty

A couple of things ...

1) when your 6x4 is three quarters full of dirt, it's probably well over 750 Kgs. Specially if it has 500 mm sides!

2) to flip the axle, you need to remove at least one hub. It will be far easier if you remove both ...

3) flipping the axle is otherwise quite straightforward. It will be a LOT easier if you have someone to help. Just make sure that you align the U bolt fish plates properly over the pins on the springs. You may have to make up a small fish plate for the top of the axle where it contacts the spring.

4) while you have the hubs and bearings apart, take the opportunity to give them a really good clean, inspect and re-grease with good quality wheel bearing grease. Do not use marine grease unless you use your trailer in salt water! It isn't as good as normal wheel bearing grease, just better at repelling water ... Probably a good time to replace the rear bearing seal in the hub.

5) tighten the hub nuts properly after refitting them. Too tight/loose will bugger the bearings, and possible break the axle stub.

Tools needed are normal spanners and a 10-12" shifter for the hub nuts.

When refitting the U bolts either use new Nyloc nuts or double nut them. I prefer double nuts. Tighten the first set of nuts in crosswise order to about 50-60 ft lbs, then holding the first nut with an open end spanner tighten the second nut down on it to the same torque. This will lock them together. I use a flat then spring washer under the first set of nuts. In about 50 years, I have never had a U bolt nut come loose ...

Last edited by Ratbag; 10th February 2015 at 07:12 PM. Reason: added some stuff
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Unread 10th February 2015, 10:16 PM
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I do the same but i usual double nut with a nyloc on the outside. Not sure if It's any better but doesn't hurt (unless the nut is over 18mm my bolt shop charges the same for nylocs or nuts.
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Unread 10th February 2015, 10:23 PM
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^ I agree, Id. Certainly can't do any harm!
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Unread 12th February 2015, 09:39 AM
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I have a feeling it's not quite 750kg, it's my first trailer so I'm not sure.
This is it bottomed out with dirt (no rubble) in the box. The sides are 35cm high
Doesn't even look 75% full???




this is from underneath, it's supposed to be heavy duty but why does it bottom out so easily?



side view - note my right rear strut is shagged

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Unread 12th February 2015, 06:57 PM
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Gidday Lefty

I estimate that there is roughly 670 Kgs of (very sandy) soil in your trailer - 1.220 x 1.828 x 0.25 x 1200 Kgs/cu.m. = 670. If filled to level at the top, that weight increases to around 940 Kgs for the soil. If it is damp, increase the 1200 factor to 1450 ... !

Add the estimated weight of the trailer at 270 Kgs, and there is 940 Kgs ...

Those springs do indeed look mighty heavy duty, but it's not their size that determines their carrying capacity but their rating. Judging from the provision of the shock mounting point on the lower fish plate, I am guessing that they may not have a very heavy rating. Perhaps as low as 500 Kgs per spring. That could explain the bottoming out.

How do the springs sit when empty?

I had around 0.75 cu.m. of damp sand in mine once, for less than a kilometre at about 40 kmh. That was around 1120 Kgs, plus about 250 Kgs for the trailer (then - about 30 years ago). That load bottomed out the springs like yours. They are rated at 12 cwt each (originally), about 610 Kgs each. My trailer is a 7x4 with 300 mm sides, but it was heaped!
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Unread 13th February 2015, 06:36 AM
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this is the trailer empty



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Unread 13th February 2015, 07:05 AM
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OK, Lefty.

In that second shot, the rear slipper part of the spring should be inside that piece of box section, not under it.

That will make your problem worse, not better, but it needs to be inside for safety reasons. It stops the rear of the spring from being free, i.e. restrains it when there is rebound.

This being the case, it seems that there is something very wrong with how your suspension and springs are set up.

The spring also seems too flat for all those leaves. Maybe the front spring hanger is the wrong length??

Take it to a trailer expert. He will tell you immediately what the problem is, but I can tell you that you have got one!
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Unread 13th February 2015, 07:09 AM
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^ Further to the above, I've just realised that your springs are fitted backwards!!

The slipper part is meant to be at the back of the trailer, and the eye of the spring and spring hanger should be at the front ...

Mate, this is seriously dangerous.
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Unread 13th February 2015, 08:01 AM
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wow ok thanks for the info
I will bring it into a shop next week
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