How to Install an Axle on a Trailer

by Russell Wood

Trailers are ideal for hauling cars and odd-shaped parts. As with any vehicle, trailers need maintenance. You might want to swap out an axle to gain extra load-carrying capacity or because your previous axle broke. Either way, swapping an axle isn't a difficult process, but it does involve considerable time and lifting heavy objects.

Lift up the trailer using the jack and place the frame and axle on jack stands. Make sure the trailer is completely supported by the stands before you crawl underneath it.

Remove the tires using the tire iron. Place the tires to the side so they're not in the way.

Unbolt the u-bolts that secure the axle to the leaf springs using the 1/2-inch ratchet and sockets.

Disconnect the brake line from the axle using the brake line wrench. By using the line wrench, you won't strip the sides, which is easy to do with a brake line fitting.

Unbolt the forward mount of the leaf spring using the 1/2-inch ratchet and sockets. This is going to drop the leaf spring forward and allow the axle to roll out from under the trailer.

Remove the axle from the trailer with the help of an assistant. This is going to be heavy, so you'll want help to take it out.

Slide the replacement axle into the same spot as the original axle with the help of an assistant. Lift it up and place it onto the jack stands to support the new axle while you tighten things up.

Lift the leaf spring back into the stock mount and secure it using the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket set.

Mount the axle to the leaf spring using the factory u-bolts and hardware, using the 1/2-inch ratchet. There is a bolt on the center of the leaf spring that will align with a hold in the axle pad, so make sure they're lined up before tightening down the u-bolts.

Tighten the brake line to the trailer brake lines using the brake line wrench.

Reinstall the tires using the tire iron, lift the trailer off the stands with the jack and remove the jack stands.

Items you will need

About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.