Beam Axle wheel alignments

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 04, 2016 at 21:09
ThreadID: 133380 Views:3286 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
This Thread has been Archived
Evening All,

My old's just came back from their 6 monthly Northern jaunt to find their 2 year old van has flogged out the front set of tyres on the van. The second axle has scrubbing evident on the outside of 1 tyre only. Both fronts have eaten the insides out down to canvas almost. Who in Melbourne's S/E suburbs does these kind of wheel alignments? I suggested a truck alignment centre to Dad to try first as they do the bending of beam axles on trucks.
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Monday, Sep 05, 2016 at 07:37

Monday, Sep 05, 2016 at 07:37
Gday Paul
In a previous life we used Amberly alignment in Dandenong . Just google and the number will come up.
Muzbry
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 604118

Reply By: The Bantam - Monday, Sep 05, 2016 at 09:51

Monday, Sep 05, 2016 at 09:51
It would probably be worth starting with a simple straight forward inspection ...... a flat piece or roadway a tape measure, some string and a framing square.

What is very likely is the suspension bushes are flogged.

make sure the bearings are good and well adjusted and have the wheels spun, so you know they are straight and true first

If the axles are bent, it's probably cheaper and more effective to replace the axles than have them bent at a truck align.

If the axles are bent it is very likely they are bent between the spring and the hub.

cheers
AnswerID: 604124

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Sep 07, 2016 at 23:02

Wednesday, Sep 07, 2016 at 23:02
"If the axles are bent, it's probably cheaper and more effective to replace the axles than have them bent at a truck align."

I had min wheel aligned much cheaper than the cost of a new axle.

"If the axles are bent it is very likely they are bent between the spring and the hub."

Very few straight axles suffer bending. The problems occur predominately on with the overlay axles. When I had an alignment done on my van the truck aligner remarked that it was very unusual to get a van in with straight axles. His claim was that the overlay stubs very often don't get welded on the beam straight.
PeterD
Retired radio and electronics technician

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 873925

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Thursday, Sep 08, 2016 at 10:32

Thursday, Sep 08, 2016 at 10:32
Overlay axles not being straight to start with is a who other issue ..... and very likley
0
FollowupID: 873940

Reply By: Erad - Wednesday, Sep 07, 2016 at 15:09

Wednesday, Sep 07, 2016 at 15:09
My favourite hobby horse... Caravan axles and alignment.

My experience - 1999 build Jayco poptop. Single axle. 18000 km and the inner edge of the tyres srcubbed down to the steel belt. Measured toe-in, I had 10 mm toe-OUT at the tyre tread. Still under warranty - phone Jayco. I put new tyres on and drove home from Perth to Cooma. Removed axle and after lengthy delays with no response from Jayco, I took the axle down to Dandenong and asked the gateman a the factory where to park? He told me to park near the showroom, so I did - right across the doorway. This was after 3 letters, 4 phonecalls and a few faxes as well. Luckily the service manager was in at the time. In addition, Jayco had assembled the axle offset so that the U bolts had hit the chassis rail on a large bump and dented the chassis. Jayco sent the axle off to AL-KO (the axle manufacturer) and they "straightened " the axle.

Fast forward 2 years and by then I was on the 3rd set of tyres, only one tyre having blown out, the rest worn on the inner edge. I was in Kunanurra and saw that the tyres would probably not last the distance home. I contacted AL-KO and asked them what the toe-in should be. To their creedit, the manager said to limp home and then measure the axle, let them know and he would send me a new axle. He did this - no charge to me for the axle or the freight either way - and I fitted it after centering it properly. The new axle still had about 5 mm toe-in, but to date this seems to be working because the tyres are wearing (if at all) evenly.

I asked the manager about alignment and he said that they had to have some toe-in for stability purposes. I suspect that they have a toe-in because they weld a round axle onto a square bar. They probably put the axle in a jig and then lay one heavy bead of weld down one side. The weld will shrink on cooling, causing some deflection. Then they do the other side, hoping that the cooling will pull the axle straight again. It won't, but the little bit left over is the design toe-in. Personally, I doubt that they need any toe-in or toe-out, but that is what I was told. To their credit, AL-KO stood by me even though the initial claim was out of warranty.

They also backed me up when a brake drum/hub assembly failed due to cracking. I phoned the manager and asked where I could buy a new hub assembly, and he offered to send me 2 new hubs for free, as long as I returned the old hubs. Freight both ways was included as well. AL-KO have certainly backed their products with me.

Because of my experience with tyres wearing out, I naturally am on the lookout to help others in a similar position. I have seen about 20 vans with tyres worn on their inner edge and the owners unaware of the problem. It is easy to prevent this during manufacture - all it takes is for someone to throw a tape measure across the tyres before fitting the axle to the chassis and check that (a) the toe-in in correct and (b) the axle is to be installed the correct way - what was toe-in becomes to-out when it is wrong. But of course, caravan manufacturers don't do that sort of quality control. Incidentally, it isn't only Jayco vans which have had these problems but it normally is...
AnswerID: 604197

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Sep 07, 2016 at 21:22

Wednesday, Sep 07, 2016 at 21:22
I have Alko beam axles and the stubs are turned out of one piece of square steel. This means no deviation form dead straight. No toe in, toe out, or camber.
0
FollowupID: 873922

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Sep 07, 2016 at 22:01

Wednesday, Sep 07, 2016 at 22:01
Sorry but is absolute BULL$#!^ that a trailer axle needs toe in for stability.

Pretty much without exception beam trailer axles should be dead straighjht and linear

cheers
0
FollowupID: 873924

Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Sep 07, 2016 at 22:10

Wednesday, Sep 07, 2016 at 22:10
This rasies a very serious issue ...... Iv'e said it before and I'll say it again ....... most trailers are made of cheap nasty parts that very little engineering margin ... and that is regardless of the price paid.

One of the nastiest parts of the trailer is one of the parts that matters the most.

The axles and the hubs do not have sufficient load capacity ...... bent axles and failed bearings are tolerated far too much.

Then of course there are the springs and their attachments .......... have a look at your leaf sprung trailer ( or better still parts off the trailer), and compere them with similar items of a leaf sprung motor vehicle.

If replacing an axle because it is bent ..... it may be wise to look at a higher rated axle.

cheers
AnswerID: 604204

Reply By: Dean K3 - Sunday, Sep 11, 2016 at 17:47

Sunday, Sep 11, 2016 at 17:47
If it of any use with folks camper (independent suspension with camber and toe in adjustment) we used big wheels truck alignment - have several outlet throughout Australia -cost us $250 and 2 hours

solid axle are however a engineering marvel all depends on how its rigged up in first place
AnswerID: 604300

Follow Up By: Paul and Mel - Sunday, Sep 11, 2016 at 21:25

Sunday, Sep 11, 2016 at 21:25
Yeah Dad came back and had spoken to them and they can sort it for him.
1
FollowupID: 874048

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)