3 Tonne independent trailing arm suspension question

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 21, 2022 at 20:24
ThreadID: 144151 Views:3332 Replies:3 FollowUps:4
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Good evening all. Sorry for the long post. I am the second owner of a 2020 Fantasy F3 S-D 13' offroad hybrid and today attempted to adjust the brakes so they hold better on a slope and also hopefully work better on the road. Currently full gain and very little retardation. So, pull the LHS wheel off to check all before adjusting brakes. LHS bearing showing plenty of grease, pull the hub and find that the bearings, newish, have been spinning on the shaft. Shaft will need to be replaced. Brake drum is very worn and needs replacing. Brake linings are like new, but look to be original, so have not been doing much since new. Pull the RHS to check, bearing bone dry, looks to be original. Shaft is worn also, but no signs of bearing spinning? Brake drum also worn badly and needs replacing. Again brake shoes show very little if any wear. Bearings supposed to have been replaced under warranty. I need to replace the complete assembly on both sides, figure this will be cheaper and easier than buying and fitting component parts. So, the question is, has anybody on here replaced the brake drums and axle shafts as complete assemblies and if so, who do you get them from? Thanks in advance.
John and Jan

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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Friday, Jul 22, 2022 at 07:17

Friday, Jul 22, 2022 at 07:17
The axle hub is a bolt on design (I think). Try AL-KO, they make independent suspension. Maybe Cruisemaster as well. Couplemate...but I am not sure of their quality. Good luck....I,ve read of many hybridvans/campers not having grease on bearings from new and bearing fails on chinese gear is not uncommon.
AnswerID: 641214

Follow Up By: Gronk - Friday, Jul 22, 2022 at 20:11

Friday, Jul 22, 2022 at 20:11
The stub axles are part of the swing arms, so that will be an expensive job.
Very unusual to have drum wear but no shoe wear ?
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Friday, Jul 22, 2022 at 20:13

Friday, Jul 22, 2022 at 20:13
Pretty sure they are bolt ons.....still wont be cheap.
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Reply By: 1392 - Monday, Jul 25, 2022 at 16:45

Monday, Jul 25, 2022 at 16:45
Sounds like someone has taken some of the good bits out and swapped some old bits back in. Clearly, it is not possible to have 'like new' brake shoes and worn drums.

You say the stub axles are worn due to bearings spinning. This is most unusual in that the camper is not very old and must have done considerable kms for this eventuality. I changed stub axles on a Chinese camper a few years back due to them bending and cracking.

It was apparent that the axle material was not of an equivalent standard to the quenched and tempered steel that is in common use in Australia. The axles (both) had started to crack at the transition between the outer bearing land and the centre section. The radius at the transition was almost nil and this created a stress riser. Poor manufacturing!

It may be that the Chinese machining and bearing 'fit' has incorrect dimensioning that allows the bearings to spin. My suggestion is to remove the axles (if they are a bolt-on design) or remove the complete trailing arm assemblies and take them to a trailer parts manufacturer for assessment.

In WA we have one manufacturer of parts who could sort out this issue - Martins Trailer Parts. Cannot recommend anyone else to you as do not know your location.

If the axles are welded to the swing arm, it is vital that the repairer align the axles parallel to the swing arm bosses. If they are out slightly, you will have a dog time trying to re-align the suspension using those stupid and piss-weak cam systems!
AnswerID: 641248

Follow Up By: Member - John - Monday, Jul 25, 2022 at 17:04

Monday, Jul 25, 2022 at 17:04
1392, Thanks for the reply. I agree about the good bits out etc, bearings supposed to have been changed out by supplier, but it seems only one was done and maybe new brake shoes fitted at the same time. Bodge job whatever happened. The stub axle is welded to the swing arm. I have contacted the supplier, to see if they had any swing arms, the response was, " Storeman couldn't see any", but we are in the middle of relocating. I would have thought stock inventory would be on a computer? The contingency is to have the old stub axles removed and new ones welded, as you say, aligned correctly. I should have included my location, which is Melbourne, so you lead for WA is not applicable, but thanks for the response.
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Reply By: MichaelR - Saturday, Aug 13, 2022 at 21:21

Saturday, Aug 13, 2022 at 21:21
Hiya John. If you need new brakes and stub axles I would reckon this might be a good time to consider upgrading to disc brakes on your trailer. The disc brake hardware is about the same price as the drum brakes except for the electro-hydraulic actuator which is about $1000 for the Aussie made Felk. I have just gone this route myself and I reckon it will make maintaining the brakes much easier as well as 30% better braking force. The best thing is getting away from those electro-magnetic brakes the last lot of which simply fell to bit on corrugations. Not to mention constant handbrake issues
I suspect you might find it difficult to find someone who will re-weld stub axles and you will probably need new swing arms. If you do decide to go down the disc brake path then find a manufacturer who is disc brake compliant. I have been very happy with a smaller supplier in Melbourne called Teko (no association). They seem to be an innovative company and happy to answer any of my persistent questions
Anyway good luck.
AnswerID: 641425

Follow Up By: Member - John - Sunday, Aug 14, 2022 at 17:37

Sunday, Aug 14, 2022 at 17:37
Michael, thanks for your response, too late now, but I didn't even consider disc brakes. So far costing about $2200 just for parts, so another $1000 odd for an actuator would exceed by budget. I agree about corrugations and magnets, the old ones on the van were not "offroad" magnets, new ones will be.
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