How to Install Torsion Axlesby Chuck Brown
If you are tired of that up and down wave-riding sensation you experience when you tow your trailer, there is a solution. Installing torsion axles will smooth out that excessive motion and give you a much better, more comfortable ride. Torsion axles will eliminate metal to metal contact in the suspension system and reduce wear. With this added cushioning, you will have less cargo movement. If you are proficient with a welder and know suspension systems, installing torsion axles is a project that will drastically improve your towing experience.
Measure the trailer and evaluate your current axle setup. Choose the location on the trailer for axle placement. Use the position of the wheel center and its relationship to the center of gravity to determine final axle placement and hitch load. Hitch load refers to the percentage of trailer weight the hitch can carry safely.
Select the method of attachment you will use for your torsion axle installation. If your trailer has tube structured frame rails, refer to the installation kit specs to select your attachment kit and get the torque specs for the kit you choose. You can choose to mount the axle with a top mount kit or a side mount kit. The bolt sizes and torque specs differ depending upon which you select.
Use the other selection chart if your trailer has either “C” channel or “I” beam frame. With the method of attachment selected, you must now align the axle or axles on the trailer frame. This is an exact, precise measurement with very small tolerances. Refer to the alignment diagram to see the illustration of the axle center line in exact perpendicular position to the horizontal center line of the trailer. This is how your axle must be positioned.
Use the appropriate bolt and plate mounting kit listed in chart 1, for your tube type frame. It is recommended by the maker to use the side mounting hangers for tube framing. Use a torque wrench to install these side mounts to the proper tightness.
Use chart 2 to find the correct mounting bracket size for your axles. You need to know the distance from the center of the wheel to the bracket bolt holes. Pre-assemble the hangers onto the axle using the hardware and diagrams provided in the AP kit.
Clamp the hangars firmly against the axle brackets. Tighten the bolts according to the torque spec on the chart. Situate the axle assembly onto the frame rails at the location you identified earlier and weld the side mount hangers to the frame.
Items you will need
- Torsion axles
- Installation diagrams
- Torque wrench
- Assorted bolts, washers and nuts
- camping,trailer image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com