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Reflection 220RK 6K Axle Upgrade Discussion - and help

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  • Reflection 220RK 6K Axle Upgrade Discussion - and help

    OK I had a chance to crawl under the trailer and take a few pictures of the existing situation. Both 4400lb axles are out of wack (bent) and I believe I have lost some arch on my springs.Tire wear is consistently more on the inside by about 50% on both axles, a bit worse on the rear. Shackle mounts appear to be ok, but seem spread at the spring eye locations or the outer lip of the bushing have warn. I also discovered two new zerk fittings on my E_Z Flex suspension center assembly.

    My plan for this thread is to document my upgrade to 6000lb Dexter axles - or possible Rockwell - both are now Dexter brands. The trailer currently has twin 4400lb axles.

    So folks know I previously ditched the 15" wheels and tires and up-sized to ST235 80 16 GY Endurance. The trailer has about. The trailer has just over 13,000 miles on the origional suspension and probably 12K on the new tires.

    First a picture before the trip and after the trip
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    Before and after the trip. I have slightly less clearance (maybe 1/2") on passenger side front.

    But first lets look at the E_Z Flex


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    From the 13-144 part number I have found theses will work with 6K axles, The two grease Zerks I found hidden are located up top behind the center hanger - one on each leg of the E_Z Flex. When I do the axle change I plan to rebuild thees with new bushings.

    This is what I found on Dexter's site.
    https://www.dexteraxle.com/Dexter-E-Z-Flex
    https://www.dexteraxle.com/user_area...ctionSheet.pdf
    https://www.dexteraxle.com/user_area...raw/EZFLEX.pdf
    These are the bushings I believe I need E-Trailer was kind enough to verify.
    https://www.dexteraxle.com/product/2...bronze-bushing
    I am also thinking of upgrading to HD shackles - unless I have them already - this would give me new wet bolts and bushings too.
    https://www.dexteraxle.com/product/2...suspension-kit

    BTW I have already found a lot better pricing.

    On thing I am still trying to find out is if the new springs come with new bushing already installed?

    Ill be posting pictures on what I found a bit later

    Keith


    2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel, SteadyFast system, Star White 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed (HAL), B&W 25K OEM Companion

  • #2
    My new 6k was a dexter axle, purchased from Performance Trailer Braking as a part of a disc brake upgrade. As such they did not order it as an assembly since the drums would not be used. That said my springs came with nylon bushings which I had them replace with bronze at the time of install. I reused my SRE4000 equalizer system and Morryde wet bolt and shackles.
    Neil Citro
    2018 Reflection 28bh
    2019 F350 6.7L Long Bed Crew Cab

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ncitro View Post
      My new 6k was a dexter axle, purchased from Performance Trailer Braking as a part of a disc brake upgrade. As such they did not order it as an assembly since the drums would not be used. That said my springs came with nylon bushings which I had them replace with bronze at the time of install. I reused my SRE4000 equalizer system and Morryde wet bolt and shackles.
      Neil - did you do the replacement, or did they? The reason I ask is I have been looking at videos on how to get the old bushing out and new ones in using a long bolt and my socket sets. Some folks also advise using anti-seize on the outside of the brass bushing before installing.
      Thoughts
      Keith
      2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel, SteadyFast system, Star White 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed (HAL), B&W 25K OEM Companion

      Comment


      • #4
        OK now for a few pictures
        Lets start with the base frame I visually inspected for cracks and any bows or bend and did not fin anything - however this was just a general look and I did not inspect every inch.
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        Now for the spring and shackle mounts

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ID:	94651 No bending or cracks, but I am wondering about the gap between the spring eye and the inner face. The wet bolt has a shoulder so it cant be tughtened any more. Should I get a supply of Stanless Steel shim washers to pad out any slop on the new install?
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ID:	94652 Again no cracks, but is the side gap normal?

        Question - as the wet bolt in knurled on the inside how do you remove without damage, or should I plan on replacing them?


        2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel, SteadyFast system, Star White 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed (HAL), B&W 25K OEM Companion

        Comment


        • #5
          Click image for larger version

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ID:	94654 Side view of one hanger showing no issues.

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ID:	94655 This is a typical shot of the springs. I believe they are starting to flatten near the spring perch.

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          Same for this spring and I noticed the one spring clamp has separated. The reason the sumo spring is compressed is my drive has a slope to it and trailer is level, lower in front.

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          Another frame shot - no issues I can see.

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          I did not find any evidence of tire contact with the trailer underside, but did find this on the street side under the slide. I plan to do a bit of trimming with a rounded (folded) edge.

          I

          2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel, SteadyFast system, Star White 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed (HAL), B&W 25K OEM Companion

          Comment


          • #6
            Shackles
            Click image for larger version

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            Can anyone tell if I have HD shackles or not? Also how is the length measured should I decide to go the HD replacements.

            Thanks for any help

            I will be visiting several shops this week to check out thier equipment. The place in Farmington that I thought used Hunter equipment does not. He indicated he uses levels, etc - old school. He also just wraps a chain around the axles to re-bend them.

            More later

            Keith
            2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel, SteadyFast system, Star White 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed (HAL), B&W 25K OEM Companion

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Keith . . .

              I have been down this road . . . so, perhaps can offer some perspective.

              The gap between the hanger and the sides of the spring is “trailer normal”. I have tried spacer washers in the past, but these don’t seem to make much difference. You definitely want the nut to torque against the shoulder on the bolt. If the nut reaches torque against the hanger (because of slightly too many shims) the motion of the suspension will loosen the nut. (Ask me how I know this )

              The bronze bushings in your springs will be deformed and broken. Just drive them out with a steel punch, working around the end of the bushing. When you push in the new bushings, check that the hanger bolt still fits through the ID of the bushing.

              You can press the serrated bolt out of the hanger and still reuse the bolt. Put a wrench on the bolt head before loosening the nut . . . don’t count on the serrations to take that much torque. If you round out the hole in the hanger with the harder ridges on the bolt . . . you have a more complex problem.

              Your springs are slightly “W” shaped. Probably OK for a while . . . but if you are replacing axles . . . replace the springs. The light metal clip that some think is a rebound clip . . . is nothing of the sort. Just a place to put the part number or maybe a retainer during assembly. No where near strong enough to retain the spring leaves. In another thread, I posted pictures of a “real’ rebound clip about the thickness of a leaf and riveted in place.

              Rob

              Cate & Rob
              (with Border Collies Molly & Angel)
              2015 Reflection 303RLS
              2022 F350 Diesel CC SB SRW Lariat
              Bayham, Ontario, Canada

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cate&Rob View Post
                Hi Keith . . .

                I have been down this road . . . so, perhaps can offer some perspective.

                The gap between the hanger and the sides of the spring is “trailer normal”. I have tried spacer washers in the past, but these don’t seem to make much difference. You definitely want the nut to torque against the shoulder on the bolt. If the nut reaches torque against the hanger (because of slightly too many shims) the motion of the suspension will loosen the nut. (Ask me how I know this )

                The bronze bushings in your springs will be deformed and broken. Just drive them out with a steel punch, working around the end of the bushing. When you push in the new bushings, check that the hanger bolt still fits through the ID of the bushing.

                You can press the serrated bolt out of the hanger and still reuse the bolt. Put a wrench on the bolt head before loosening the nut . . . don’t count on the serrations to take that much torque. If you round out the hole in the hanger with the harder ridges on the bolt . . . you have a more complex problem.

                Your springs are slightly “W” shaped. Probably OK for a while . . . but if you are replacing axles . . . replace the springs. The light metal clip that some think is a rebound clip . . . is nothing of the sort. Just a place to put the part number or maybe a retainer during assembly. No where near strong enough to retain the spring leaves. In another thread, I posted pictures of a “real’ rebound clip about the thickness of a leaf and riveted in place.

                Rob
                Thanks Rob
                How did you go about pressing the bolt out? Did you leave the nut on loose backed off as far a possible and gently hit it with a hammer, or is there a tool (here we go again) I should have to properly do this.

                Keith
                2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel, SteadyFast system, Star White 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed (HAL), B&W 25K OEM Companion

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Yoda View Post

                  Thanks Rob
                  How did you go about pressing the bolt out? Did you leave the nut on loose backed off as far a possible and gently hit it with a hammer, or is there a tool (here we go again) I should have to properly do this.

                  Keith
                  Leave the nut on at the end of the threads to protect the bolt. Put a large socket over the head of the bolt and use a large C clamp to push the bolt out of the hanger.

                  Rob

                  Cate & Rob
                  (with Border Collies Molly & Angel)
                  2015 Reflection 303RLS
                  2022 F350 Diesel CC SB SRW Lariat
                  Bayham, Ontario, Canada

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I didn't replace springs and axles, but did install CRE3000's, the heavy duty shackles with wet bolts and some shocks on my trailer.

                    Removing old bushings: Some will be brass and some will be nylon. The nylon bushing come out easy. Most of the brass bushing are crushed and ground into the spring eyelet. For some a socket and hammer worked, but for others I had to use a standard screwdriver and hammer and basically rip the bushing into pieces to get them out.

                    Removing bolts: Most came out easily once the weight was removed from the springs. for those that did not want to come out I did something not advisable. I got a hammer and pounded them out. If you do that be careful you don't bend the brackets.

                    Based on the condition of the bushing of my trailer after just 12 months of use (about 5000 miles), I would highly recommend you replace the bushings. If you do use wet bolts make sure the nipple is pointed in the correct direction.

                    My opinion here...I think upgrading to 6K axles is a great idea. While doing this I would highly recommend replacing springs, adding HD shackles and wert bolts, and upgrading the equalizer.
                    Momentum 21G

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yoda . I agree Wyeth those here, you'll shred out the old ones and press in the new. I had them do mine as a part of my brake upgrade, but I've done it on other trailers and this one when I put my SRE4000 and shackle kit. I pressed in the new with a vise where I could or a large c clamp.
                      Neil Citro
                      2018 Reflection 28bh
                      2019 F350 6.7L Long Bed Crew Cab

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ncitro Cate&Rob acoleman43 ncitro

                        Thanks for the advice. I have a good selection of sockets, c-clamps and several vices, so it sounds like I can do this. Then again maybe one of the shop's will impress me to have them do it correctly. Lots of questions to ask this week in my search. I still need to reach out to several axle suppliers.

                        Cutting and baling hay got in the way a bit - it was a very thick crop as I did not get a first cutting before my Alaska trip.

                        I was going to reuse the E-Z Flex equalizer (they survived the Alaska trip and appear to be in perfect condition). I was going to replace the bushing though. But now you have me thinking I should upgrade. Is the CRE3000's the best? It does not have the independent damping the EZ Flex has and my units are still good.

                        To be continued
                        Thanks
                        Keith
                        2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel, SteadyFast system, Star White 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed (HAL), B&W 25K OEM Companion

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yoda
                          Hi Keith,

                          All of the cushioned equalizers perform basically the same function. Whether the Lippert, Dexter or MORryde version . . . each will tell you that their's is better than the other two.

                          Rob
                          Cate & Rob
                          (with Border Collies Molly & Angel)
                          2015 Reflection 303RLS
                          2022 F350 Diesel CC SB SRW Lariat
                          Bayham, Ontario, Canada

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            One other question.

                            For those that have upgraded to 6K axles how much of a trailer lift did you get?

                            It appears I may get up to 1 to 1.5 inches (a good thing) based on spring stack height and overall spring arch depending on the brand of components. This is a benefit as I will be able to get my trailer level with the truck - now nose high.

                            Rockwell is roughly .5" more arch, while Dexter is .25" less but spring stack is .5 to .75" more depending on the spring selected (5 versa 6 leaf). I can get the Rockwell springs (6 leaf) on the Dexter axles. I do know the Rockwell springs are still USA made. I will be going bronze/brash bushing with HD shackles and wet bolts.

                            I was also reading that a 6 leaf spring may ride smoother than a 5 leaf stack - Thoughts?

                            Keith
                            2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel, SteadyFast system, Star White 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed (HAL), B&W 25K OEM Companion

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yoda I went with the SRE4000 to pickup the center cross brace as well as a inch of additional ride height to level out my rig.
                              Neil Citro
                              2018 Reflection 28bh
                              2019 F350 6.7L Long Bed Crew Cab

                              Comment

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