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Thread: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

  1. #1
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    Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    In reviewing posts on the Forum, there are many who have problems with bent or broken axles, bearings constantly failing, or a combination of suspension and axle failures. Most often, it's a weight issue. They're trying to haul more stuff than the trailer is rated for.

    On dual axle trailers, it's usually a wheel failure lugs break off and the hub burns up. What's happening here?? Most trailer users have no real clue on how or why this happened. Mis-information on what can be used is all over the internet. Just because a wheel is an 8 lug X 6.5 bolt circle does that mean it will fit and work? After all, that's what the trailer wheel measured. You see ads all the time where sellers say the wheels will fit all Ford, Chevy, Dodge trucks as well as trailers. In all of these vehicles, the hub is supposed to carry the weight, not the studs. You have to use the wheel center that fits the hub.

    If you take a Ford wheel and install it on a Chevy or Dodge The wheel center is larger than the hub centric location and will only be supported by the studs. If the same Ford wheel is installed on a trailer hub, it will appear to fit, however, the Ford wheel center is 0.10" smaller than the trailer hub. What happens is that the wheel will not lay flat against the hub and will eventually break the studs and fall off.

    My intent here is to educate just one person so that they can haul safely and not have failures on the road.

    Now on to the topic of the post

    I absolutely hate paying the high cost for axles over 7000 lbs. You shop all of the vendors and you realize that there really isn't much of a price difference. We all know how to weld and can make a trailer chassis in whatever configuration we want, but are limited in what we can do with suspension and axles. I have a 45 ft gooseneck trailer and a dedicated 500 gal water trailer to water my horses. I am going to build a 16 ft utility trailer and a 20 ft high side dump trailer. I have 3 acres and will be building a hay barn and a stable. Lots of things for a trailer to haul.

    I made quite a few comparisons between trailer spindles and those used on the rear axles of 3/4 ton and one ton trucks. Interesting that the same hubs were used in single wheel and dual wheel configurations. We have a company called "U Pull and Pay" that sells auto parts really cheap. I had to decide what vehicle I would use as my hub donor and it all came down to what was available. There were few Dodges and Chevy's. Fords were plentiful. Now I had to decide whether I would use 8 X 6.5 or 8 X 170 hubs. Again, it was a matter of availability and since I needed 8 hubs for two trailers, I chose the 8 X 170 that was used on 1999 t0 2003.

    https://weldingweb.com/vbb/asset.php...1496024479Ford F250's and F350's.
    This is where we are going. I will be posting full details in a few days.

  2. #2
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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Link didn't work. Are you revisiting this build?
    https://weldingweb.com/vbb/showthrea...ild&highlight=
    Dave J.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Quote Originally Posted by sancobg View Post
    ...the hub is supposed to carry the weight, not the studs. You have to use the wheel center that fits the hub.
    That is interesting. I always thought the hub center was meant to ensure the rim turns true to the hub.

    Back in the day I used to spend hours in junkyards pulling front spindles from Pacers, Javelins, Ramblers and Gremlins. They were four bolt and you could make some nice rectangular tube axles with them. They were not 7000 pound axles but they were pretty strong. Still running them on a dual axle trailer that I built in the early 80’s.
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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Quote Originally Posted by Fab54 View Post
    That is interesting. I always thought the hub center was meant to ensure the rim turns true to the hub.

    Back in the day I used to spend hours in junkyards pulling front spindles from Pacers, Javelins, Ramblers and Gremlins. They were four bolt and you could make some nice rectangular tube axles with them. They were not 7000 pound axles but they were pretty strong. Still running them on a dual axle trailer that I built in the early 80’s.
    He's partially wrong https://buytruckwheels.com/pages/hubpilotvsbudd I've converted stud piloted wheels to hub piloted wheels. There is a huge difference. The hub piloted wheel takes the full load on the hub itself. The stud piloted wheel is held on, and transfers the load, due to clamping force.

    By "he", I mean the OP.
    Last edited by farmersammm; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:53 PM.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    He's partially wrong https://buytruckwheels.com/pages/hubpilotvsbudd I've converted stud piloted wheels to hub piloted wheels. There is a huge difference. The hub piloted wheel takes the full load on the hub itself. The stud piloted wheel is held on, and transfers the load, due to clamping force.

    By "he", I mean the OP.
    On the big rigs I'm really beginning to despise the Budd wheel system, I've seen the results of too many tire shop fools using the wrong inner nuts. Either too long or too short, both can create quite the disaster.
    In the last few years it seems that the selection of proper length hub studs has really dwindled too.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Quote Originally Posted by Fab54 View Post
    That is interesting. I always thought the hub center was meant to ensure the rim turns true to the hub.

    Back in the day I used to spend hours in junkyards pulling front spindles from Pacers, Javelins, Ramblers and Gremlins. They were four bolt and you could make some nice rectangular tube axles with them. They were not 7000 pound axles but they were pretty strong. Still running them on a dual axle trailer that I built in the early 80’s.
    I wonder what the modern equivalent vehicle would be?

    One hub I'd like to find is the one on my car dolly.
    It's a completely sealed hub more like the rear of a front wheel drive car. I'd like to figure out which car if it is.

    Over 200,000 miles towing on it and never replaced the hubs.
    Regular trailer hubs would never do that without service. Not sure they would make it that far regardless really.
    Dave J.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    I wonder what the modern equivalent vehicle would be?

    One hub I'd like to find is the one on my car dolly.
    It's a completely sealed hub more like the rear of a front wheel drive car. I'd like to figure out which car if it is.

    Over 200,000 miles towing on it and never replaced the hubs.
    Regular trailer hubs would never do that without service. Not sure they would make it that far regardless really.
    My 94 F-350 has hub piloted wheels, you might be familiar with them. But I'm not sure that the front spindles and hubs would be suitable for a trailer application. Check out the older 1 tons.........I believe they all had this system. I might be wrong.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    I can’t say as I think pick up hubs are going to be any stronger than trailer hubs. A big pickup has a gvwr of what 10000 pounds divided by 2 axles. Like anything there is better quality parts if you look deep enough and spend the money. Once you have the right parts it needs to be serviced regularly and properly
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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    I built quite a few axles. In the late 70s, early eighties I saw a flood of tractor powered generators, and wood splitters. The weight involved was within the range of small cars.

    Local junk yards were cheap in the day. If I got specific & wanted a pair of rears from an Audi, they cost hundreds. I could go to a local junk yard, ask for rears from a front wheel drive. Albert said: "Yeah, I got one a them Audys."

    $25. I left with cut off wheels, tires, hubs, bearings, spindles & brakes. I welded these to 2" 1/4" wall square tube. I had an axle.

    My wood splitter has Pinto front spindles. I think the tires may be original. I got them junk 39 years ago. I believe they were free.
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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    I built a bunch of light duty off the road farm type axles using those mobile home axles that everybody hates. I would cut the spindles out of the cheesy original tubes and turn the stub down to fit snug in 2.5" sch 80 pipe. Worked well for little fertilizer tanks and such. Built one trailer to fit 68" spud rows with 3 axles and they routinely put 15 tons on it... That's not what it was built for.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    I built a bunch of light duty off the road farm type axles using those mobile home axles that everybody hates. I would cut the spindles out of the cheesy original tubes and turn the stub down to fit snug in 2.5" sch 80 pipe. Worked well for little fertilizer tanks and such. Built one trailer to fit 68" spud rows with 3 axles and they routinely put 15 tons on it... That's not what it was built for.
    My 1979 auto trailer used 1970 vintage mobile home axles. I can't say how many sets of new tires since 1979. I believe it is still on the road. Electric brakes & drums are at least 50 years old.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    I dont think you can build them with the springs and paraphernalia, for what they can be bought for. Unless you time has no value. i would love to build a set with hydraulic disc brakes, 2500 per axle seems rediculous But you salvage the whole axle assembly from whatever truck then you have a hub with bigger bearings but hollow, most rearends cost 3-500 from scrap yard, tubing around a 100, Still need to buy springs and and all the other stuff And hours of machining and fitting to get the brake calipers working right. I would be more tempted to try it of i found the rears with tires and wheels already
    Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    I built a bunch of light duty off the road farm type axles using those mobile home axles that everybody hates. I would cut the spindles out of the cheesy original tubes and turn the stub down to fit snug in 2.5" sch 80 pipe. Worked well for little fertilizer tanks and such. Built one trailer to fit 68" spud rows with 3 axles and they routinely put 15 tons on it... That's not what it was built for.
    The biggest cause of death with those tires is that people never inflate them to the proper pressure. IIRC they run at very high psi.

    I found an example........... https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Tir...a/AM10321.html

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    The biggest cause of death with those tires is that people never inflate them to the proper pressure. IIRC they run at very high psi.

    I found an example........... https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Tir...a/AM10321.html
    The tires I used in 1979 for the auto hauler trailer were rated for much more load than a car on a trailer weighed. My design was intended for BMWs or Jeeps. They weigh less than mobile homes. I do not remember restrictions on these tires that they were one use only. They were labeled "TRAILER USE ONLY". I looked at several sets. In the day, I found them advertised for sale in the free papers. Typically, a trailer dweller wanted beer money, he'd sell his axles. Most had been in a damp environment, tires laying in dirt several years. If the natural soil under a mobile home isn't wet enough, leaking septic will make it wet. Most were rusty, tires rotten on one side.

    I had to search long to find them in good condition.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    The biggest cause of death with those tires is that people never inflate them to the proper pressure. IIRC they run at very high psi.

    I found an example........... https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Tir...a/AM10321.html
    Yeah, and "single use" at that. Precisely why I absolutely will not build an on-road trailer using those axles or tires. I have a friend that has a mobile home moving service and carries 10 spares on his toter rig and a few more in the escort pickups. He did say that proper inflation pressures are a key, but even new tires like to blow out. Cheap cord material or rubber just peeling off is the most common failure.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    The axles I have built are heavy duty farm trailers. 10 bolt implement hubs 4” diameter spindles. Just the hubs and spindles cost close to 800$ a few years ago. The front axle is lighter only used 8 bolt 3-1/2” diameter spindles there. But the trailer hauls over 20000 pounds with zero issues
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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    I did some tire work today, and thought to take some pics showing the difference between hub piloted, and stud piloted, wheels for the guys that don't know the difference.

    These are stud piloted wheels. They just rely on the studs to carry the weight.

    Name:  tires9.jpg
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    Name:  tires10.jpg
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Size:  204.8 KB Note how the wheel doesn't center on any machined surface on the hub. It's centered by the studs when they're tightened.

    Name:  broken wheel36.jpg
Views: 612
Size:  97.4 KB This is a half azzed hybrid. It's sorta hub piloted........but the pilot shoulder does NOT carry the weight. Consequently, they have a tendency to get ruined when the nuts come the tiniest bit loose, or the wheel center depresses with time. The shoulder on the hub only centers the wheel..........the bolts take the weight.

    Name:  broken wheel63.jpg
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Size:  127.2 KB This particular hub was cleaned up, and a good shoulder was machined.

    Name:  broken wheel206.JPG
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Size:  209.7 KB The new wheel center was machined to fit the shoulder exactly. Square shouldered bore riding on square shoulder. No play.

    See next post

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Name:  broken wheel207.JPG
Views: 611
Size:  209.2 KB See how the wheel mates to the hub. About .003 clearance. This allows the wheel to transfer the weight directly to the hub without relying on the bolts/studs to carry the load. It's an exceptionally robust design.

    Dayton wheels are considered hub centric, which is basically the same thing. The wheel is held to the hub with wedges. The wedges keep the wheel on, but don't carry the weight. The hub carries the weight.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    Name:  broken wheel207.JPG
Views: 611
Size:  209.2 KB See how the wheel mates to the hub. About .003 clearance. This allows the wheel to transfer the weight directly to the hub without relying on the bolts/studs to carry the load. It's an exceptionally robust design.

    Dayton wheels are considered hub centric, which is basically the same thing. The wheel is held to the hub with wedges. The wedges keep the wheel on, but don't carry the weight. The hub carries the weight.
    How does the hub carry the weight if there’s clearance between the wheel bore and the hub shoulder? .003” is the same as .250”- in both cases there’s a gap. It makes it easier to put on, and the assembly doesn’t rely on the bolt holes to center it as you assemble it, I understand that, but if there’s an air gap, however small, there’s no weight transfer. It’s still the clamping force of the lug nuts that holds the wheel centered, seems to me.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxford1 View Post
    How does the hub carry the weight if there’s clearance between the wheel bore and the hub shoulder? .003” is the same as .250”- in both cases there’s a gap. It makes it easier to put on, and the assembly doesn’t rely on the bolt holes to center it as you assemble it, I understand that, but if there’s an air gap, however small, there’s no weight transfer. It’s still the clamping force of the lug nuts that holds the wheel centered, seems to me.

    Name:  tires11.jpg
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    Name:  tires12.jpg
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    Hell, you may be right.........dunno. Ford has used this system for decades. Same as I do the mods on my stuff when possible. Incredibly tight tolerances. The nuts do nothing but clamp the wheel to the hub face. I guess the question is, whether they alone, are holding the wheel in relation to the vertical load.

    My old 78 PowerWagon is weight rated the same as the Ford F-350, and it's strictly stud piloted.........no centering shoulder. And over time, it has cracked some wheels around the stud holes. It's another truck that's been run with excessive loads during almost its entire lifetime. The F-350 has been probably run as hard, or much harder, during its lifetime...............and no wheel issues.

    I'm wondering if the tight pilot shoulder/wheel bore helps to control deflection as the wheel/hub assembly rotates, flexes, and distorts, under heavy load. You know there has to be some movement, otherwise the assembly would have mammoth dimensions.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Now ya got me worriedName:  unsure.gif
Views: 567
Size:  897 Bytes

    I need to run out now, and shave a piece of 20# uncoated printer paper (.004 thick) in half, to slip in there one either side of the wheel (so's it'll be balanced). Or a single hair (.004avg). Again gotta shave the diameter in half on the hair so it'll remain balanced.

    But I guess if it isn't an interference fit, it's got some slop in it.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    And here is an excellent example of stud pilot wheels, notice there is zero hub support for the wheel. A lot of newer Budd hubs do have a pilot for the wheels, but not much. Name:  20210205_125335.jpg
Views: 523
Size:  128.1 KB
    And this one has the miserable inboard mount brake drums.
    Last edited by 12V71; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:59 PM.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    For what it's worth, I have yet to see a nut piloted Budd wheel come loose, but plenty of hub pilot unimount wheels come loose.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    For what it's worth, I have yet to see a nut piloted Budd wheel come loose, but plenty of hub pilot unimount wheels come loose.
    FWIW, I've chased more sets of Budd duals cross country than unimounts. Usually the Budd duals stay together when the studs break. The only unimounts I've seen come apart were when tire shop idiots stretched the studs to death with the 1" impact. 450 lb feet is plenty. If I pull wheels in my shop they get run down tight with a 3/4" impact that maxes out around 400 lb ft. then they get checked with a 3/4" torque wrench. That is called CYA. I'm not killing nuns or puppies.

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    Re: Trailer Axles--Build 'em

    I don't know, way different than I've seen. Big problem here is the rust and scale buildup that raises hell on both steel or aluminum wheels. Another reason the Budds seem to be trouble free is in most cases it's older trailers that don't see that many miles anymore. Of course the Budds still give the issues of the square drive snapping off and being a general PITA to remove without using the " pork chop" wrench.

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