Avan axle replacement

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 09:56
ThreadID: 92005 Views:7605 Replies:5 FollowUps:8
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We have just completed a trip from Brisbane to Bermagui with a second hand Avan. When we reached 95-100kph the van started to sway. A friend driving behind us said one wheel had a lean on it. On closer inspection the right hand wheel leans in and the tyre is worn on one side. I suspect the previous owner has run over a pothole and bent the axle which has caused the wheel to lean inwards and cause the swaying. The axle is a step one. Can it be fixed by having a new stub axle welded on or should the whole axle be replaced?
Can anyone suggest where I can buy a complete axle? It is a square 45mm axle with stepped stubs.
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Reply By: brushmarx - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 10:53

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 10:53
I would suggest contacting A'Van Australia, but based on past history, you could die of old age waiting for a response from them. I am still waiting for answers to a couple of questions I emailed to them over a year ago.
The A'Van club has been far more helpful.


I think the A'Van has an Alko suspension system that relies on a rubber type torsion axle, and I would think that if this was bent, a new stub axle wouldn't be the best answer.
I may well be wrong, and ask you don't take my response as gospel.
I did look at an damaged A'Van a year ago that had hit a culvert pretty bad, and the axle was bent and displaced, and my local A'Van caravan distributor was talking big dollars for a replacement.
It looked like a new standard axle, coills and shocks, may have been a cheaper option, but would require engineering for support strength.
AnswerID: 478305

Reply By: customline - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 10:56

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 10:56
G,day Lesterb ,I would check the wheel bearings .Sounds to me like they have collapsed .New bearings and grease required .If you cannot do it yourself find a mechanic .It is not a big job if the the old bearings come off easily .Hope this helps .Regards Graeme.
AnswerID: 478306

Follow Up By: lesterb - Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 14:55

Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 14:55
Checked and repacked bearings before leaving home, jacked the van up last night and checked for movement and there was none. After dropping the van down the wheel looked much straighter in fact as I jacked it up and the weight was taken off the wheel I heard the tyre scrape on the ground as if it was moving sideways.
Travelled from Bateman's Bay to Queanbeyan today without incident but didn't go over 90kph.
FollowupID: 753979

Reply By: ozjohn0 - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 16:19

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 16:19
Any of the following will be able to supply the appropriate axle.
just Google:
# Alko (Original Avan supplier) Melb.
# Melbourne Caravan and Trailer Supplies.
# Vehicle Components. (Brisbane)

PS> If you would like a little more height then order a 'Straight' Axle in lieu to the original 'Overlay' Axle.
AnswerID: 478331

Reply By: lesterb - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 17:06

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 17:06
I've contacted OzCruzin (Brisbane A'van dealer) who advised that Alko do all repairs to their caravan suspensions. Contacted Alko and they quoted $240 for a new axle. Another trailer/caravan parts supplier quoted $190.
My enquiries have highlighted an anomaly in A'van's load ratings. The plate on my van says tare weight 1185kg, max 1600kg but supplier quote between 1400kg and 1500kg max load for a 45mm square axle.
AnswerID: 478334

Follow Up By: ozjohn0 - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 17:09

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 17:09
I've never known an Avan to have an underrated axle combination.
Could you please quote from the Vans VIN Plate, the TARE - GTM - ATM - Axle Load rating.
Thanks, Ozjohn.
FollowupID: 753920

Follow Up By: lesterb - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 18:52

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 18:52
Hi Ozjohn,

Thanks for your interest.
The A'van is "The Rhys" and is single axle.
From VIN Plate
Tare = 1185 kg
ATM = 1485kg
Axle Load Rating = 1600kg
GTM = blank

FollowupID: 753933

Follow Up By: ozjohn0 - Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 09:41

Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 09:41
Look for another axle supplier.
45MM square axles (Straight or Overlay) are available in 1600Kg capacity as per the
axle load rating currently on the van.
With a TARE or 1185Kg and an ATM of 1485Kg you have a personaly payload allowance of 300Kg for water, has and everything else added by you onto or into the van.
The GTM (Maximum legal weight that can be supported by the wheels) must not exceed the Axle load capacity or the ATM.
So, it's less than 1485Kg.
If you load the van to it's legal maximum weight (ATM) and distribute the weight correctly you should have a ball weight in the vacinity of 150Kg which would place the weight on the wheels at 1335Kg. That's well below a 1500 - 1600Kg axle set.
So alls looking good.
If you order a 'Straight' axle ask that a Camber Bend is included as occasionally that's overlooked on straight axles for some reason.
A Straight axle will also raise the van around 48mm. Doesn't sound much, but the extra clearance on the rear of the van is a great asset for clearing park curbs and service station driveways etc.
Good luck.
FollowupID: 753965

Follow Up By: lesterb - Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 15:05

Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 15:05
Thanks Ozjohn,

Would changing to a straight axle constitute a modification and require Dept. Transport approval?

It was Al-ko that quoted 1400kg max. for a 45mm square axle and I believe they supply the axles, springs and brakes for A'van.

They told me that an axle with parallel bearings will take more weight. I know these have the same size innner and out bearings but why are they called parallel ? I thought all bearings would have to be parallel.

FollowupID: 753981

Follow Up By: ozjohn0 - Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 15:36

Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 15:36
Before answering your questions let me be quite frank in saying that my answers are not as an approved department engineer, but purely that of someone with experience in the area and should not be taken verbaitin, but considered with caution until you have verified the information with other sources.

Parrallel bearings are actually Tapered Roller Bearing of the came size that fit on a parallel axle spigot.
They are standard with thr 45mm axles with 6 stud hubs.
the standard 45mm axles usually have a 1400 -1450Kg load ratuing and have slimline bearings. Small tappered outter and larger diameter inner ball bearing to fit a stepped axle spigot.
So the 1400kg will probably be the correct replacement if you have 5 stud hubs.

If upsizing (Different axle, hubs and wheels etc) then the aurthorities may need to be notified if different wheel/tyre configuration is used as a replacement VIN plate/Tyre Placard will need to be afixed to the van.
If only the axle is changed then it only increases the axle load carrying capacity, but does not in itself alter the ATM or GTM, and thus no notification will probably be required. Your Insurance company 'may' require notification re: modification to the trailer, but they wouldn't have any idea what the original axle was anyway.

Personally I would go with the original axle capacity as it more than covers the load of the van, but would opt for a Straight axle in lieu of the original overlay for the benefit of the inreased height.

If in doubt contact your state rego branch for more info.
Cheers, ozjohn.

PS> Radical Suspension modifications such as underslinging axles require the approval of the original chassis manufacturer or approval in writting of a departmental approved engineer. I note, that quite a few repair places carry out such modifications without approval and in doing so may leave themselves open to litigation in the event of a suspension failure.
FollowupID: 753983

Follow Up By: lesterb - Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 17:16

Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 17:16
Thanks Ozjohn,

You are a wealth of information.

FollowupID: 753992

Reply By: lesterb - Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 18:18

Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 18:18
Well I'm back in Brisbane from Bermagui via Canberra without incident and have checked the wheel that appeared to be leaning in and it now appears straight and there doesn't appear to be any uneven wear on the tyre. My mate and I would swear that it appeared to be leaning in both when he was following me and on the slab in the caravan park. And that was before we had anything to drink.

I spoke to Main Roads about changing the axle and replacing it with a straight axle and they were very non-commital and kept refering me to the standard or regulation VSB1. However, he did say that if I replaced the overlay axle with a straight one of the same load capacity or greater that would be considered a repair not a modification.

I don't have anywhere at home that is flat and big enough for the car and caravan so I'm going to the local supermarket carpark when it is quiet and measure everything I can think of which includes;
Level across the van when on a level surface.
Distance of each wheel from the towball in case axle is not aligned correctly.
Verticle angle, if any, of both wheels.

Can anyone suggest any other measurements I should be checking?
AnswerID: 478852

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