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Gentlemen,

I have a tandem-axle utility trailer for hauling material. Yesterday I had ~60 sheets of drywall on it and I was turning tight in the parking lot, when I noticed that the wheels appeared all out of alignment. Toe, camber - a mess. I thought one was about to fall off, or that the bearings were gone. But when I straightened out, wheels went back in line.

So today I lift it up on stands, all wheels off the ground, and check it out. And I discover that there's a whack of play where the leaf springs are bolted to the frame. That is, at the end of the leaf springs the spring is rolled into a cylinder, it slips into a yolk, and a bolt passes through to hold it there. On a truck, there's a bushing in there to eliminate play and insulate vibration. But on my trailer, no bushing, and the bolt is a good 1/4" smaller diameter than the passage in the leaf spring.

So it's easy to imagine that under the strain of ~4,000 lbs of drywall and a tight turn, the plays in these linkages added up to some out of alignment of an axle during the turn.

OK, mystery solved - my question is this:

Is this common to tandem-axle trailers? Maybe intentional so the wheels go along with tight turns? Or are there supposed to be bushings in there and they've disintegrated?

It runs straight as an arrow on a straight-away; zero drift on the highway. Which is why I never noticed this before.

Any part-time wrench turners out there who've disassmbled their tandem-axle trailer's suspension?

Thanks.
 

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yes there is definitly supposed to be some nylon bushings. similar to the ones in the pic http://www.princessauto.com/truck-t...ories/mounting-hardware/8212136-equalizer-bar


Brass bushings may be available

There are usually kits available that will supply new
spring bolts
equalizer arm/bar
bushings
and shackles.

The kit will supply basically everything except new springs and mounting brackets.


I highly recommend looking into this.
There is a good chance that if the bushings are gone, the shackles are warbled out, And the spring bolts are flattened out.



Also, is a good idea to avoid real sharp turn in a tandem axle, even in a new trailer the tires will try to turn opposite directions.

It makes sense when you think about it. The fulcrum is between the 2 axles. pushing out on 1 tire and pulling in on another..

Even dump trucks experience this effect.

It should take no longer than 3-4 hours to replace all the parts, a grinding wheel or a recip saw with a metal blade will help immensely. :thumbsup:
 

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None of my trailers have bushing on the rear of the springs.
I don't remember any bushing on the front either , but cant see them now.
My equipment trailer doesn't even have a bolt ! The spring just rubs on the bracket and there in a plate that stops it from sliding out .
"The front is bolted . If my trails are loaded the tires get out of whack on a turn . Sharp turns wear the tire fast try not to turn so fast.
 

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Most spring shops are very helpful (at least mine is). I think it might by well worth the trip.

Broken down with a 4000 pound load-sounds like a bad day!
 

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The trailers Ive dealt with seem to have this on the lighter duty trailers. When you get into the more heavy duty stuff like 10,000lb they are usualy tight and the havy duty like 20,000lb have grease fittings. Im guessing yours is about 7000lb?
 

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I have 12 year old 7000# cap tandem that does the same thing. I too once had about 4000# of drywall on it and when I made a tight turn the wheels looked like they where gona come off. And that was before the thing was worn out. I recently rebuilt mine with a kit from northern tool, $45. It came with all the bolts,new shackles, new idler beams, and all six frame brackets. It did not come the bushings. Mine were worn out too and the shackle holes where about twice the size they should be. I happend to have some moble home spings and idler beams laying around that I robed the bushings from (exact same size spings). The shackles in the kit are shorter than the originals (on my trailer) witch gives room for bigger tires.
 
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