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Unread 12-19-2007, 11:06 AM   #1
Jerry Bransford
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Thinking about a SOA for my tent trailer

My tent trailer has the offroad clearance of a skateboard so I'm thinking of doing a spring-over axle conversion. Other than cutting the spring perches off the bottom of the axle and welding them back on top, is there anything else to doing a SOA I need to know about?

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Unread 12-19-2007, 11:37 AM   #2
timatoe
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I can't find the write up now (of course), but I saw one where a guy was going SOA on an old military trailer. Anyhow, it seems like that was basically all that was required. If I can find that one again I'll post it up.
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Unread 12-19-2007, 12:05 PM   #3
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That is all we did for my grandfathers trailer. He wanted to add stiffer springs and be able to pull it comfortably with his F250 so we needed to go higher. It has worked great for the past 4 years. It was a 7X10 single axle.
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Unread 12-19-2007, 01:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
My tent trailer has the offroad clearance of a skateboard so I'm thinking of doing a spring-over axle conversion. Other than cutting the spring perches off the bottom of the axle and welding them back on top, is there anything else to doing a SOA I need to know about?
Jerry, if it's a straight axle can you just flip the axle over? I've done a couple of them like that. I did one for a buddy back 15 years ago and we didn't even unhitch the trailer. It took 20 minutes tops. Even with a drop axle sometimes you can just flip the axle. If it has brakes on the trailer the added leverage of the flip can cause issues though, especially if it's a drop axle. And if you can flip it and it does have brakes then make sure the brakes are on in the correct direction. Most trailer brakes can just be unbolted from the axle and swaped side to side if you flip the axle. I know nothing about camp trailers except the sink, stove, and toilet are usually all in the same basic area. One of the main keys in axle installation is to make sure the spring dowel pin sets good in the axle perch. Many springs use a bolt type dowel and you may be able to clamp the spring, remove it, and turn it around the other way. The other advantage to a SOA on a trailer is in many cases you can add extra ground clearance by putting taller tires on as well. I'd say you should get a minimun of 3" lift from this with the stock tire size so the hitch angle may be all screwed up as well. Bob
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Unread 12-19-2007, 01:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbob
Jerry, if it's a straight axle can you just flip the axle over? Bob
Thats what I did to mine? Block up the trailer, unbolt the axle, take one bolt out of the leafs & roll the axle back and then back under the leaf, took me all of 20 minutes to do.
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Unread 12-19-2007, 02:44 PM   #6
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http://www.weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=17692 all I can find, if you have any questions for him, send em to me and I'll pm him
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Unread 12-20-2007, 09:43 AM   #7
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I did a SOA to my utility trailer. like said above, if the axle is straight you can just flip it. One thing to note, Do not try and turn the head on most trailer spring bolts that pass though the shackle. (broke a ratchet with a breaker bar...oops )
you need to remove the nut, then bang out .


see picture:
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Unread 12-20-2007, 10:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bairy
I did a SOA to my utility trailer. like said above, if the axle is straight you can just flip it. One thing to note, Do not try and turn the head on most trailer spring bolts that pass though the shackle. (broke a ratchet with a breaker bar...oops )
you need to remove the nut, then bang out .


see picture:
Excellent point. And if you don't have those type of bolts in there, get them. Or tack weld the bolt head.
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Unread 12-20-2007, 10:25 AM   #9
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If I simply flip the axle over, I'm worried if the drum brakes will still bolt up properly. Any thoughts on that issue? I'll try that before cutting and re-welding the spring perches off though, thanks for the suggestions.
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Unread 12-20-2007, 10:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
If I simply flip the axle over, I'm worried if the drum brakes will still bolt up properly. Any thoughts on that issue? I'll try that before cutting and re-welding the spring perches off though, thanks for the suggestions.
From what I understand, drum brakes do not work on gravity, they are held togeather with springs. Unless I am missing something, you should be ok.
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Unread 12-20-2007, 10:43 AM   #11
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Soa

Check out the forum below. It has a lot of information on how people have approched modifying off-road trailers, including posts on SOAs. I am actually restoring an old M416 right now and have the frame all done. I got a new 3500 lb axle from etrailerparts for about 90 bucks, and all i need to do is get the perches welded on. If it is a straight axle, all you need to do is flip. Also, regarding the drum brakes, it depends on how they are set up.

http://forum.ih8mud.com/trailer-tech/
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Unread 12-20-2007, 11:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
If I simply flip the axle over, I'm worried if the drum brakes will still bolt up properly. Any thoughts on that issue? I'll try that before cutting and re-welding the spring perches off though, thanks for the suggestions.
Jerry, usually those brake backing plates are bolted on. So you can just un-bolt them and put them back on the correct way. Usually trailers have a 4 bolt set-up for the brake backing plate and I am pretty sure you can flip them as well. Just remember how they are now as they do need to be set so the brakes activate in the correct direction.
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Unread 12-20-2007, 12:58 PM   #13
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Good enough, thanks guys. Hopefully the geniuses that designed the axle, backing plates, and drum brake assembly made the holes symmetrical so they bolt up.

It wouldn't surprise me though to find the engineer designed the axle flange and drum backing plate to only go on one way because of some engineer's misguided decision to make it impossible to mount them upside-down.

Thanks again for the thoughtful help and suggestions guys.
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Unread 12-20-2007, 01:58 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=

Thanks again for the thoughtful help and suggestions guys. [/QUOTE]

Make sure and let us see the results.
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Unread 12-22-2007, 12:39 AM   #15
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I did an axle flip on a boat this year. The thing towed terrible afterwards. The drop axle had to be mounted one way since it had some camber built into it. The straight axle I replaced it with had to be mounted right side up as well. I'm sure not all axles are built the same way, but I would just reweld the spring perches on the top of the axle. Then you won't have to worry about brake issues. Good Luck.
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