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-   -   Bent Axle on my Extreme trailer (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=801063)

brianl 02-04-2014 3:08 PM

Bent Axle on my Extreme trailer
 
Just thought I would jump on here and get some advise from all of you. I have a 2003 Malibu Wakesetter VLX and In the past 2 years I have had about 3 blowouts on the same side on my trailer (some new tires even). Dual axle trailer and the tire that blows out is the second axle on the star bird side. The last blowout was quite bad, the tread got stuck up in the wheel fender, shredding the fender and light system.

The report back from the repair shop was that I have a bent axle. I am trying to figure out if one or all of these things contributed to my problem:

1. When I pull in my garage to park my boat I have to basically turn at a 33 degree angle to fit my boat in the garage. Sometimes the wheels squeal to get the proper angle.

2. The crappy roads in CA with potholes. I try avoiding them as best as possible....

3. When we go camping I load up the boat with H2O, beer, camping chairs, and all the gear. I also load up the Tahoe but what doesn't fit in the Tahoe goes in the boat.

4. Maybe the original blowout caused the axle to bend?

I am the original owner and have had no issues for 10 years. Now the stupid insurance company is threatening to "salvage" my trailer because I only have it insured for $2500 and the cost of repairs are more than they are willing to fix.

So my questions are: What happens to a salvaged title on a trailer? And am I doing something wrong to get the blowouts all of the sudden.

Thanks everyone!

tyler97217 02-04-2014 4:16 PM

Do you store it for long periods of time in the same position? Like not move it all winter? I know they recommend putting your trailer on jacks if so.
Why not just call UFP and buy a new axle. Have a buddy help you install it. It should be way less than you are thinking...

boardman74 02-04-2014 4:21 PM

I would say it sounds like you are getting blow outs because of the bent axle. So the only thing you are doing wrong is pulling around a trailer with a bent axle. Axles can be bent from a number of things. The most common is over loading. I guess hitting a pothole at high speed could bend it, but I would think it would take out the front axle first. I'm not sure about the sharp turning, but doubt it.

I had a bent axle on a trailer a number of years ago that needed replaced. It cost around $500 installed. If you are being quoted upwards of $2500 for a axle replacement you are getting the screws.

As to how having a "salvage" title on a trailer works, I'm not exactly sure. If its anything like a car You don't want anything to do with it. Greatly effects the value and licensed dealers then can't take the vehicle on trade or sell on their lots. The insurance company also has to compensate you for the loss of value from having a "salvage" title as I under stand.

greg2 02-04-2014 5:44 PM

Are you sure the entire axle is bent or could it just be the arm the spindle is attached to? Sure would be easier to just replace the arm than the axle, but I am making an assumption that this is a torsion axle trailer.

kirk 02-05-2014 8:46 AM

I burned up the spindle on my Extreme a few years ago ( dont ask) and looked into just replacing the spindle. I was told by almost everyone I talked to that I should just replace the axle, which I did. The cost wasnt that much more than what it would have cost to have a new spindle welded on. I ordered a new axle from Extreme and did the labor myself.

onthecreek 02-05-2014 9:05 AM

can't help on the axle but flats are more often the rear tire than the front on a dual. the front tire kicks up road debris up for the rear tire to hit. being the starboard side of the boat is also the curb side tires where there's more road trash.

brianl 02-05-2014 9:53 AM

@Kirk do you recall what you paid for the new axle from Extreme. For some dumb reason since I called insurance, they wont allow me to do the work because I am not an "Authorized repair house".

Thanks everyone else for the comments.

I store my boat all winter long due to work travel and I think the "placement on jacks" sounds like a good idea as well. Thanks Diggs

bftskir 02-05-2014 10:18 AM

Take it to topside marine in San Jose they know how to deal with insurance companies and fix trailers right.

antoddio 02-05-2014 10:55 AM

How you are storing your trailer and turning sharp doesn't make a difference. Radial tires don't care if they don't move over the winter. I wouldn't waste you time on that. True for older tires but not for radials.

It's either the axle or bad luck. I would test the temperature of the tire after driving it for awhile and see if it is heating up. If it's getting excessive wear causing it to blow out it will be significantly hotter than the rest.

Good luck

tyler97217 02-05-2014 1:26 PM

Todd - Not the tires. Leaving a boat on a trailer in one spot for long periods of time without any movement can be hard on the axle and in turn bend the axle and blow tires like described. Not sure that is the situation, but it does happen. Hence the suggestion to jack it up and take some pressure off.

cadunkle 02-05-2014 2:36 PM

Axles don't bend from sitting with a normal load on them (up to what they're rated for). No idea why people keep mentioning that because it doesn't make any sense so long as you're not over loading the axles.

Probably bent from an event such as a pothole, jumping a curb, or similar which would shock load one side of the axle. Sometimes you just get some bad luck and that's how it goes. If you're worried about it now would be an easy time to upgrade to higher rated axles which should have stronger tubes along with larger spindles and bearings.

Not sure what type of axle is on your trailer but you're probably looking at a few hundred bucks in parts and a days work. Depends on how much of your existing parts are good to reuse or if you want to proactively replace things, etc. I can't imagine anywhere near $2500. If insurance won't cover the parts to fix it then just bite the bullet and pay out of pocket. I've never made a claim on a trailer so no idea how that works, but it wouldn't occur to me to make a claim for a bent axle. Seems like making a claim on your truck for a rusted out shackle, worn bushings, failed ignition coil, or some other trivial thing... Basic maintenance or wear and tear items cheap and easy enough to cover on my own. I've always considered insurance to cover high dollar catastrophic events, like hitting a log or rock hard, or to cover things that are not your fault (someone hits your boat or trailer, vandalism, theft, etc.) so you get paid quickly and they deal with collecting from the other insurance company or person who damaged your stuff.

I'd just buy the parts, fix it, and carry on. If you've been having tire wear and blowouts on that axle then it has likely been bent for a while. Be happy you found it and can stop wasting money on tires.

tyler97217 02-05-2014 4:02 PM

Cory D - You may be totally right about sitting in one place for a long time, but I have heard that for years and might all just be rumor mill....

brianl 02-05-2014 4:31 PM

@Cory D yeah the reason for calling insurance was the last blowout destroyed my fender, light system and now apparently a bent axle but I really do appreciate everyone's input. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything douchy like storing too much weight in the boat while traveling/towing.

So on that note, no I don't jump curbs but the last blowout had the tire tread stuck up in my wheel well so it made a fairly damaging event to that side of the trailer.

nitrousbird 02-05-2014 4:50 PM

I can't see how it is a $2500 repair. Fenders aren't that expensive, lights and wires are cheap, axle is a few hundred bucks. Assuming a nice stainless steel fender and LED lights, I can't imagine the price getting over $800 retail. If they are trying to get you for what I would imagine is $1700 in labor you are getting ripped off. I would expect a full trailer restoration for that kind of scratch...these things aren't exactly hard to work on.

phatboypimp 02-05-2014 4:56 PM

I used to sell axles for a living - I will tell you on the majority they are not super high-quality components. Many of them do not test well beyond their weighted capacity. Axles are also relatively cheap and have an enormous mark-up. In every town you can find an after market trailer parts distributor that will sell directly to the consumer. Axles (for the most part) are simple to install - it gets a little tricky with proper alignment, drop axles, etc. You should be able to buy a matching (capacity) axle after market install it yourself and be just fine. Trailer axles for these types of applications come in 2000, 3500 and 6000lb increments (although I did this job in the 1990's so that may be off a bit) which will automatically determine your spindle (pre-installed), bearing package and seals. I bet you could be in and out with a 3500lb axle, slip on your rotor/hub with new seals and bearings and be done for $800-$1000 at the most.

kirk 02-05-2014 5:04 PM

Brian, It's been a while but I think it was under $400 unpainted and shipped to my business address. On another note... My Extreme has suffered about 4 blowouts over the years. Always one of the rear tires.

My solution... DO NOT buy Carlyle Tires...

Ewok01 02-06-2014 4:50 AM

If the trailer was overloaded a little and you hit a pot hole or speed bump that could potentially cause the axle to bend. You should weigh the boat full of fuel and coolers and anything else you load up with on the way to the lake to see what your pulling. Then look at the axle load range, the wheel load rating and the tire load rating to make sure your not overloading anything.

On my boat the dry weight is listed as 4150, and the trailer says it weighs 1,200. So 5,350 before fuel and lake gear. I weighed it on a truck scale once with full fuel tank and cooler and boards. I disconnected it from the tow vehicle to make sure I only got the boat and trailer weight and it came out to 6,400 lbs, quite a bit more than many people would estimate. Also make sure your tires are inflated to Max Cold PSI if your close to maxing out the trailer. On load class C tires it's usually 50 PSI. I just put some load class D tires on this past spring and they max out at 65 PSI.


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