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Komet trailer axle dillema



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 15th 18, 05:35 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Echo
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Default Komet trailer axle dillema

So I'm headed to Moariarty from TN with my 20 in tow in June. I have an older komet trailer, for which I had just gotten new tires, which I have yet to put on. I took the trailer to a shop locally to have the surge breaks adjusted, tires put on, and bearings repacked. After about an hour they called me to say they've never seen anything like it, and therefore are unwilling to work on it because they don't know what they're doing. He also suspects a bad bearing. However, they recommended, and offered to retrofit, a torflex axle and electric brakes. Quote for the whole thing redone, axle, tongue, wheels, and tires, is around 2K. While he's not wrong that a brake down with that system in kansas would cause quite an issue, I wonder what the odds of that actually happening are. Since a torflex would custom made for this west german antique, it now looks that it wouldn't even get here in time for the trip. So I'm now considering saying screw the axle...take it home and get under it to adjust the brakes, repack the bearings, and put on the new tires.

What have your komet axle upgrades looked like? I'd really prefer not to spend that much just to get the trailer worthy of a single long trip. Is there a stock torflex that works for a komet? Thoughts/suggestions welcome....

Jordan
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  #2  
Old May 15th 18, 05:42 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Mike the Strike
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Default Komet trailer axle dillema

On Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 9:35:44 AM UTC-7, Echo wrote:
So I'm headed to Moariarty from TN with my 20 in tow in June. I have an older komet trailer, for which I had just gotten new tires, which I have yet to put on. I took the trailer to a shop locally to have the surge breaks adjusted, tires put on, and bearings repacked. After about an hour they called me to say they've never seen anything like it, and therefore are unwilling to work on it because they don't know what they're doing. He also suspects a bad bearing. However, they recommended, and offered to retrofit, a torflex axle and electric brakes. Quote for the whole thing redone, axle, tongue, wheels, and tires, is around 2K. While he's not wrong that a brake down with that system in kansas would cause quite an issue, I wonder what the odds of that actually happening are. Since a torflex would custom made for this west german antique, it now looks that it wouldn't even get here in time for the trip. So I'm now considering saying screw the axle...take it home and get under it to adjust the brakes, repack the bearings, and put on the new tires.

What have your komet axle upgrades looked like? I'd really prefer not to spend that much just to get the trailer worthy of a single long trip. Is there a stock torflex that works for a komet? Thoughts/suggestions welcome....

Jordan


I had an axle replaced on a Komet trailer after a car accident bent the original. The US replacement had hydraulic brakes using an over-run mechanism in the hitch. It worked great, except it had no parking brake feature! If your original axle isn't actually bent or damaged, I'd be tempted to do a bearing repack and adjustment as you suggest. There is plenty of expertise at Moriarty to help you sort out any remaining issues.

Mike
  #3  
Old May 15th 18, 05:58 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Clay[_5_]
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Default Komet trailer axle dillema

You might try these guys: http://axleinc.com/axle-inc-document...order-form.pdf Is it an Al-Ko Kober axle on the Komet? They might have a bolt-in replacement if you're lucky. I bought one a while back for $450 or so with electric brakes (not for a Komet). Using electric brakes requires a 7-pin harness and an electric brake controller, which I doubt is necessary unless you're trailering something big. Wiring it up with a late model truck is easy, with a car less so. Can you replace the bearings on the one you have? Why did he think it was bad? May just need adjusting or repacking. But losing one enroute is no fun.

  #4  
Old May 15th 18, 06:05 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Clay[_5_]
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Default Komet trailer axle dillema

Actually I think the surge brake will be an issue. A US-sourced replacement probably won't have any provision for that, but doesn't hurt to ask. You might have to go electric.

  #5  
Old May 15th 18, 06:56 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Echo
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Default Komet trailer axle dillema

Yeah that's the issue, I want to preserve some form of braking so they suggested doing the full electric refit with a new axle
  #6  
Old May 15th 18, 06:57 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Echo
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Default Komet trailer axle dillema

Yeah I'm tempted to do just that
  #7  
Old May 15th 18, 07:03 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Clay[_5_]
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Default Komet trailer axle dillema

On Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 1:57:11 PM UTC-4, Echo wrote:
Yeah I'm tempted to do just that


I think there are old threads on here about this. You might want to do a search.
  #8  
Old May 15th 18, 07:22 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Bob Kuykendall
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Default Komet trailer axle dillema

I would run, not walk, away from the proposed deal. Have the wheel bearings replaced and carry on.

Electric brakes are a pain in the rear for a glider trailer. They don't adapt well to different weights (and glider trailers basically have two very different weights--going out on a retrieve and coming back from one). They require an electric braking module in the tow car, which makes it awkward when someone else needs to tow your trailer. It takes rather a bit of fiddling to adjust the module to apply the right amount of braking, and what works when full locks up the tires when empty.

The surge brake that Spindleberger and such install in their trailers is kind of hokey, but it tends to work pretty seamlessly and tends to fail gracefully. It complies with the NASCAR dictate that if it's stupid but it works, it ain't stupid.

--Bob K.
  #9  
Old May 15th 18, 07:56 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Default Komet trailer axle dillema

On Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 2:22:48 PM UTC-4, Bob Kuykendall wrote:
I would run, not walk, away from the proposed deal. Have the wheel bearings replaced and carry on.


Agreed. I believe the bearings in that trailer are serviceable and easily replaceable (later ones are sealed for life). In my experience, the stuff that goes wrong includes:

1. If the brakes are not adjusted periodically and/or the lining wears down too much, they can stick in the "on" position after a vigorous stop.
2. The surge mechanism can bind from corrosion, preventing the brakes from being applied or, after a hard stop, not releasing.
3. The damper in the surge brake can wear, causing the trailer brakes to be applied too harshly (you can feel and hear the trailer axle hopping off the ground when the brakes are applied quickly).
4. The tongue can break from fatigue.
5. The front mount where the tube is attached to the front cross member of the chassis and into which the tongue is inserted can break from fatigue.
6. The brackets where the axle is mounted to the steel tube rails of the trailer can fatigue and fracture, allowing the axle to begin pushing the floor up.
7. When/if bearings fail and/or the brakes are stuck in the "on" position, the hub can get very hot, causing the brake drum to develop a small crack in the thickest part where the bearings are mounted.
8. The rubber torsion spring/mount in the axle can fail, allowing the trailer to settle on the axle and reducing or eliminating the spring effect

I've seen/experienced the first 7 and heard about the 8th. There are more failure modes, I'm sure.

That said, I agree I'd just repack the bearings (replace if needed), inspect the brake shoes and drums, adjust, check the tongue/surge mechanism and adjust if necessary, check the tongue and mounting for cracks, and drive on.

There are hydraulic trailer surge brake systems with manual/cable-actuated parking brakes, however, and I'd look there before looking at electric brakes.

Chip Bearden
  #10  
Old May 15th 18, 08:24 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Echo
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Default Komet trailer axle dillema

I did.
 




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