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Thread: EZLoad trailer I hate

  1. #1

    Angry EZLoad trailer I hate

    My 26' Hewes Craft sits on a tandem axle EZLoad tarailer. Lost a bearing on the front and scored the spindle. No one in Kenai can fix it and from looking at it the darn spindle looks like it is welded in there. Deweys said they could order me a new axle. I am starting to hate the design of these torsion axles. So here it is the middle of fishing season and I am stranded on land trying to figure out what to do. If it was alive I would kill it! Crap. Do any of you guys have any experience with these nightmare axles?

  2. #2
    Member SuYentna Dave's Avatar
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    Default A fix to get you in the water

    You'll have to get the race off. Heat it hot!! Just close to where areas are turning red. If you have a puller, try and pull it. Some times if you get a punch and dimple the top side, helps. If heating does not get it.... cut it off. Once you have it off clean up the spindle with 80 grit emery paper. Install the new bearing and grease the living crap out of it. You can never leave water in the bearing, especially seawater. This will get you through the season, but you will have to take the axle off this winter and get a new spindle welded on to fix it right.

    I was able to get home from the Yukon river bridge to Wasilla repairing the axle this way.

  3. #3

    Angry Spindle

    It was the outer bearing that failed and scored the spindle. There was no water present, just lots of clean grease. I don't think the race contacts the scored part. My son-in-law says those stock Chinese bearings are junk and they only use Tiptons on the slope. Everything came apart ok. I just keep getting told by repair places they can't replace welded in spindles. I heard they make similar axles that have the spindle arm held in by a pinch bolt and they can be taken apart and replaced. I have a big trip down the Yukon this Sept. Since I am leaving from Kenai it looks like a new axle. Poor designin my opinion.

  4. #4
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default

    Have you tried 6 Robblies (sp) or Trailer Craft for a new axle?

    Also when you go to reinstall and grease it up, go to Napa and get the blue Sta-Lube marine grease. I have been using it for about 15 years and have never had a bearing failure (knock on wood). However, as part of my spring checkup, I ALWAYS tear apart the hubs, inspect (and replace if necessary) repack the bearings and install new seals. Add this procedure to your spring checkouts.

    I don't want to be one of those boats on the side of the road with a jack under the axle waiting for someone to stop and rip my boat gear off.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by AKBassking; 07-18-2007 at 09:22. Reason: add

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
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  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKBassking View Post
    However, as part of my spring checkup, I ALWAYS tear apart the hubs, inspect (and replace if necessary) repack the bearings and install new seals. Add this procedure to your spring checkouts.

    It's better to do this in the fall when you are done with the boat for the season. If saltwater got in there it will sit all winter turning things to rust. Cleaning in the fall can save you from having to replace all the bearings and races. Don't ask me how I know.

  6. #6
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthRick View Post
    It's better to do this in the fall when you are done with the boat for the season. If saltwater got in there it will sit all winter turning things to rust. Cleaning in the fall can save you from having to replace all the bearings and races. Don't ask me how I know.

    Good Point. I will have to switch!

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
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  7. #7
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    Default

    I am an automotive technician. I'd have to see the spindle to say what to do. But if the race doesn't ride on the damaged area then I'd say roll with it for now. Are the threads on the spindle good? Is the scoring more in the middle between where both inner races ride? If so I say it would be fine. Even if it is in the area of the races you should be able to clean it up with emery cloth and it would be useable. Unless the inner race fits very loose. The race is not supposed to spin anyways so a little scoring would not harm anything really. Post a pic of the spindle so we can all se it.

  8. #8
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Default

    I 2nd FSHKLR. We need pictures. I fried a bearing on a trailer last summer and had to take a 12" ******* file to it and heat what remained of the inner bearing to get it off the spindle. Even after filing it I got the new bearings and races to fit great. A lot can be done when you don't have to worry about liability. This might be why no one wants to fix it.

  9. #9

    Default scored spindle

    The spindle is scored on the bottom right behind where the threads end. It might be a 1/16 to 1/8 deep and 1/4 inch long in 2 places. The old parts were easily removed, new bearings easily put in and I brought it home from Seward with no problem. I have checked several places with the same answer, "we cannot replace a welded in spindle because there is no way we can be sure to get it in correctly". Six Roblees is checking with the EZload factory for a new axle for me. Hopefully they make one with removable spindles. Some axles have them. It is a poor design the way it is. If it had removable spindles it woud be a easy task. I am to low tech to post pctures. I am also the idiot that should have replaced all the bearings last year instead of thinking I would do it this fall before I drove to the Yukon River Bridge from Kenai. Live and learn.

  10. #10
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Default

    Unless I'm missing something it sure sounds like it is runable and not in need of replacement or a spindle. If it doesn't interfere with the bearing/race fit or keep the nut from properly preloading the bearings it should be fine.

  11. #11

    Default Try this guy

    If anyone in Kenai can fix it, this guy can. Try Dan Dahlen @283-4485. Tell him Ben sent you.

  12. #12
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    Default

    From what I read its still usable. If you don't like the idea of running it. Then the only option would be a new one. But like I said from what I have read I would be running it if it was mine and I wouldn't think replacing it would be necessary.

    I run fresh water not salt. But I repack the bearings every other year. They always look great but I do them anyways. I don't wanna be the guy on the side of the road miles from home. Been working for me. Maybe in salt you need to service them more often? What do you salt water guys think?

  13. #13

    Default Thanks guys

    I want to thank all of you for your suggestions and ideas. I will call the one guy mentioned. I ordered a new axle for $320.00 and will run it the way it is untill it gets here. I will probably buy new bearings more often in the future.

  14. #14

    Default Seals

    A friend of mine told me that he was replacing bearings and seals on his boat trailer yearly. He said he was using automotive seals until he talked with the factory rep. He said the factory installs a double lip seal. I suggest looking into that and maybe buy your replacement seals from trailer distributor. Even if this was not the cause of the spun bearing it is worth taking the precaution in the future.

  15. #15

    Default

    Most of the tor-flex axles a person can grind the weld where the spindle attaches and slip in a new spindle and weld it back up, a simple deal for about 40$ in parts. No need to replace the whole axle. Of course if you are getting rid of the old axle?

  16. #16
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deckhand-too View Post
    A friend of mine told me that he was replacing bearings and seals on his boat trailer yearly. He said he was using automotive seals until he talked with the factory rep. He said the factory installs a double lip seal. I suggest looking into that and maybe buy your replacement seals from trailer distributor. Even if this was not the cause of the spun bearing it is worth taking the precaution in the future.
    I ran into this problem a few years back with my trailer. I was using automotive seals and I was replacing bearings all the time. I called Easy Loader and DH you are correct that they use a "double lipped" seal. My axes have a "pressure" port, that will bleed off some grease. The problem was it would bleed off through the seals and not the correct ports. Easy Loader gave me the correct "National Seal" number and I haven't had any issues since then.

    This year I had to order my seals from NAPA for about $10 each, but called "Six Robblies" and the same seal is $2.00 each. My National Seal number is 470460.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
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  17. #17
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't know if Kenairmk is thinking what I'm thinking but before you throw that axle away...... I'd take it and run it in a heartbeat

  18. #18
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    Default déja vu

    Well...I have a 2003 tandem axle EZ Loader as well and one of its bearings failed yesterday and ended up with the similar damage as .338 MAG's trailer. The right rear spindle is marred on the weight bearing surface. To say the least I will be calling around tomorrow, namely 6 Roblees and Trailer Craft.

    .338 MAG...how did you resolve your problem? Did you end up getting a new axle altogether or weld a new spindle?

    I am in the Los Anchorage area. If you know of anyone who can repair it, please do let me know.

    Thanks for your time in advance.

  19. #19
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default

    Torsion axles are not weld-in spindles. The spindle is part of an arm that is mounted to the axle with molded rubber bushings. The arm is typically a single cast piece and the spindle cannot be replaced separate from the entire arm. It is not possible to cut the spindle off and weld on a new one with a cast arm. If the spindle is damaged, you are generally stuck with an entire axle replacement (depending on the axle design, some have bolt on arms that can be replaced individually), hence the reason most shops will turn you away if you ask to have the spindle replaced.

    That said, there is one option for repairing minor damage of a spindle, such as race-cut grooves, where the spindle is otherwise straight and good. You'll have to find a welding shop that can use a metal build up process to fill in the grooves, then machine the spindle back to specs. The cost of this work will usually exceed the cost of the new axle. Again, this is why most shops just tell you it can't be fixed.

    Having built and repaired trailers at a fabrication shop for many years, I can tell you that you generally have 2 options with torsion axle spindles. One is to replace the entire axle with with another torsion axle. You will still have a lightweight torsion axle that runs fine down in America on the interstate, but won't last long in Alaska on our rough roads. Or you can replace the whole setup with a leaf spring axle. This is more expensive initially and they'll have to fabricate spring mounts on the trailer frame, but you'll end up with a nearly bullet-proof axle. The weld-in spindles of a sprung axle are easily replaced, unlike those of a torsion axle.

    Also, while the torsion axle is a complete unit with fixed width, a sprung axle consists of a set of springs, a couple spindles, and all the mounting hardware. The axle itself can be fabricated from standard pipe to any length, so it can be custom fit to any trailer (note the pipe must have a camber bend put in the center, so it's not home workshop stuff).

    By the way, the brand of trailers that I witnessed as having the most problems due to poor engineering and substandard parts was EZ Loader. They seem to break down by the gross every summer in Alaska and often require significant re-engineering and extensive welding work to repair them so that they can handle the stresses we put on them up here. I guess they work fine if you're pulling a bass boat on I-95 in Georgia, but they just don't seem to last in Alaska.

  20. #20
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    Default Thanks JOAT

    Thanks so much for your reply, JOAT. It is very helpful in my decision making process.

    Regards,

    yhc

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