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Reflection 220RK 6K Axle Upgrade Discussion - and help

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  • #31
    Yoda -- as you've read many times on this forum, disc brakes are the single most significant safety improvement you can do on a trailer. I understand it costs $$$, but worth every penny IMHO.
    Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

    2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

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    • #32
      Yoda Keith, the never lube bearing assembly is more costly to maintain as it's a complete replacement cartridge. Nice, but no maintenance.

      Through hub greasing - if possible leave it off, but I think it's pretty much a standard thing now.

      Don't be surprised if you find axles, but they need to weld the mounts on as RV use a special spacing vs utility type trailers.
      Joseph
      Tow
      Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
      Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
      South of Houston Texas

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      • #33
        Originally posted by howson View Post
        Yoda -- as you've read many times on this forum, disc brakes are the single most significant safety improvement you can do on a trailer. I understand it costs $$$, but worth every penny IMHO.
        Howard - I 100% agree, but not in the cards. I have never had a braking issues with the trailer, and I am sure the change form a 10" to a 12" drum will be an additional improvement - maybe the next trailer if there is one as what we have suits us fine. Now if GD brings back this model or one close in length with a split bath (slide does not block toilet access when closed) that would be the ticket.

        If I cant go disks is the never adjust like I have now the option to get?

        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

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        • #34
          I’m not sure about the value of the auto adjusters . . . they seem to be aimed at those who don’t know how to correctly adjust brakes on a timely basis. There are also reports of random over adjusting causing problems. On the expectation that you will pull the drums to repack the bearings and inspect the brakes, about once a year, you will likely have to loosen and readjust the shoes to do this. I think I would skip the auto adjusters . . . avoiding one more thing that can go wrong.

          As others have noted . . . if you ever go to discs, you will wonder what took you so long. The difference is so amazing that it is difficult to explain. One emergency braking event that saves your front bumper after someone cuts you off, will pay for the trailer disc brake system.

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

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          • #35
            Yoda My GD has 10" and I pull a enclosed cargo trailer for work with the 12". There is definitely a noticeable difference and I think you will be pleased. That said I would be remiss if I did not say I agree with Howard and think all RVs should have disc at this point, but I understand your problem there. I do not think self adjusting has any negative side, I would go that way. Definitely skip the exlube if you can but it does not hurt anything to have it. I am pretty sure they usually come as assemblies, you should get the axle, spindle, springs, brakes, bearings, and races in the assembly, but I could be wrong there. Mine did not because I went with the disc, they ordered all the parts separately, but if you are staying with drum I would think an assembly would be the way to go.
            Neil Citro
            2018 Reflection 28bh
            2019 F350 6.7L Long Bed Crew Cab

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            • #36
              Originally posted by ncitro View Post
              Yoda My GD has 10" and I pull a enclosed cargo trailer for work with the 12". There is definitely a noticeable difference and I think you will be pleased. That said I would be remiss if I did not say I agree with Howard and think all RVs should have disc at this point, but I understand your problem there. I do not think self adjusting has any negative side, I would go that way. Definitely skip the exlube if you can but it does not hurt anything to have it. I am pretty sure they usually come as assemblies, you should get the axle, spindle, springs, brakes, bearings, and races in the assembly, but I could be wrong there. Mine did not because I went with the disc, they ordered all the parts separately, but if you are staying with drum I would think an assembly would be the way to go.
              Neil
              Correct it should come as a complete assembly sans springs, but I believe it can come that way too fully assembled. I am getting a price on the never lube (sealed bearing ) hub. He has seen 1 failure in 6 years I think he said. Given the yearly - every other cost to repack it may be worth it. I still need to check end play yearly. I am considering 5200lb spring set over the 6 K set for a bit softer ride and still gain strength I may just do this myself if I can be assured what I order is correct, but then again having someone do it and be responsible if something does not fit is worth something.

              He told me they could have me in and out in 2 to 3 hours (4 guys) - not even disconnect from the truck. That is worth something too.

              The saga continues

              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

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              • #37
                With 4 people I can see it taking that or less. About 1/2 of that time is jacking the unit up, removing the tires, cutting the brake electric, then reinstalling all of it. 4 guys, 1 at each tire, short work for sure.
                Joseph
                Tow
                Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
                Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
                South of Houston Texas

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                • #38
                  I used a ball joint press to push out the wet bolts. May not be necessary but worked great.

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                  • #39
                    FlyStar Great idea, that's a lot better and easier than a hammer. Been there on pulling the bolts with a hammer, the tabs flex and not a lot of room in there for swinging.
                    Joseph
                    Tow
                    Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
                    Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
                    South of Houston Texas

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by FlyStar View Post
                      I used a ball joint press to push out the wet bolts. May not be necessary but worked great.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      Another tool for me to consider and you have Joseph helping

                      BTW I don't think you have enough blocking - just kidding. Looks like you have them labeled for use as leveling blocks too. You lucky to have the 2" box channel full length, mine stops just past the outboard spring hangers, so I need to be careful of the frame flange as it bends easily.

                      Thanks for the suggestion

                      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

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Yoda View Post

                        Another tool for me to consider and you have Joseph helping

                        BTW I don't think you have enough blocking - just kidding. Looks like you have them labeled for use as leveling blocks too. You lucky to have the 2" box channel full length, mine stops just past the outboard spring hangers, so I need to be careful of the frame flange as it bends easily.

                        Thanks for the suggestion

                        Keith
                        Keith, not that I am trying to stop you from spending your money, far from it as that is one of the fundamentals of this forum, spending someone else's cash . However, if you are looking to save a few bucks, you can also put a socket over the head of the bolt you are trying to press out and use a c-clamp to push on the thread end. That being said, the ball joint press as suggested by FlyStar is more stable (less stuff to align) and that avoids having a socket potentially fall on you when you open the clamp

                        When I changed out the bolts on our suspension, I lucked out and the bolts came out really easily, and if it did need a little persuasion to come out, I just used one of the old bolts and a hammer to push it out. The real pain was getting the knurling on the new bolts to seat into the spring hanger....

                        Speaking of spending your cash, make sure you have a nice new torque wrench, bottle jacks galore, and new jack stands. Never let the opportunity for new tools pass ​​​​​
                        2019 Imagine 2400BH
                        2019 F150 XLT Super Crew, EcoBoost, 6.5' box, 3.55 ratio

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                        • #42
                          Yoda Keith, while I do believe in owning tools, that's one tool I do not need often enough to justify storing in my tool chest. Instead I just pop into the local green auto parts store and "borrow" it on my credit card. Get all my money back when they get it back.

                          https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/c...set/ren1/67045
                          Joseph
                          Tow
                          Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
                          Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
                          South of Houston Texas

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                          • #43
                            This past week I was at the Lippert shop in Goshen where they work exclusively on frames and suspension. I had a conversation with the head of the service department about upgrading axles and how much more was advised or not. He told me that as an example going from 5200 to 6000 would not be an issue but more than that was not advised. He prefers whoever wants to upgrade call into Lippert with their vin number for advice. Apparently there are some manufacturers that try to go cheap and spec out axles within 50lbs of frame specs and in that instance an owner can go higher on axles.

                            Just and FYI because I had no idea Lippert could help out in this way if deciding to upgrade axles on your unit. I asked if upgrading axles would give your a bit more CCC he said absolutely not.
                            Vivian
                            2018 Reflection 303rls
                            Ford F-350 diesel long bed 4 x 4 SRW
                            Demco Recon

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                            • #44
                              OK here is an update. I took the spare in and verified that the 6K EZ-Lub will fit with or without the center cap. This was the 6 bolt 5.5 " center hub with 1/2" by 20 studs The never lube hub wont fit and would require new wheels As I don't want to buy 5 new rims at about $150 each that decision is now made.I know thei will make Scott Scott'n'Wendy happy. Hub will be Dexter 008-201-09. Just so folks know a repack service for 4 axles including parts is $475 to $550 here, but I think I can do it myself and I have all the tools. Given the mileage I put on it would probably be every two years. Also I now know which grease to get that I can find everywhere

                              The 3.5 "HW axle quoted is actually a 7 k axle with 0.5 in walls. I think I am going to go with that.The axle tube would no longer bee the weak link. As for the sumo springs I will probably reinstall, but just the spring without the spacers so it becomes a traditional bumper stop. As installed under slight compression,they act as a helper spring and stop

                              Now Not knowing the existing condition of the bushing and bolts in my shackles and center EZ-Flex I am thinking of getting this. https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Lea...de/MR46ZR.html It has bolts and bushings for everything including the EZ-Flex center. My current 2.5" shackles are standard 0.25 thick. I have an email into MORyde to verify the EZ=Flex fitment - I sent them a photo of what I have. Thoughts on this kit? There are other generics cheaper, but I don't know the quality of the components.

                              Springs I plan to go with Dexter 6K 5 leaf springs part number 072-073-00. They actually appear to have more flex than the 2200 lbs I have now (#072-078-00) The stack height difference is +0.59", plus .25" for the 3.5" axle gets me a +0.84" lift. This will level things out pretty closely. Spring perch height is the same for the new and my existing axle.

                              Axles at 1400 each plus $160 for springs each so 3120 total - includes shipping. I was quoted 6 hours to install at $105/hour. Does this sound resonable?

                              Now that I know what I want/need I will be getting direct quotes from Dexter too. I will be talking to my neighbor (retired mechanic) to see if I can hire him to help. I don't have enough jacks, stands, and safety blocks to do it unless I do one axle at a time (don't trust my sloped driveway) , but don't know how to remove the EZ-fles in that situation for bushing replacement.. Foo you folks that did this yourself, did you do one at a time - were you perfectly level and where did you place the blocking. I would need to be on the frame beyond the 2" box channel (see my sumo spring install pictures). I guess I could go to HD and get some 6x6 or 6x4 timbers and create a good 2' wide/long cribbing screwed together so it wold not wiggle on the drive slope.

                              So thoughts on this?

                              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

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Yoda View Post

                                Axles at 1400 each plus $160 for springs each so 3120 total - includes shipping. I was quoted 6 hours to install at $105/hour. Does this sound resonable?

                                I don't have enough jacks, stands, and safety blocks to do it unless I do one axle at a time (don't trust my sloped driveway)
                                Keith
                                First of all.....yes...Scott is happy with your decision...lol
                                Second of all.....I did the swap without jack stands. I went out and bought some 4x4 lumber, cut it into lengths, and basically 'cribbed' the trailer like a dock. Then before removing anything, I measured where the original axles are. From the front frame to the axle and then diagonally from street side to curb side and curb side to street side. If you install the new axles within the same measurements...you will be golden.
                                As for cost...well you know the deal I got back then.... whatever the cost is now...it is what it is.
                                You will be cutting the brake wiring...it doesn't matter about marking the wires...there's two for each axle and polarity doesn't matter. Brake coil will work either way. But get appropriate butt splices and heat shrink. Don't use wire nuts.
                                It's a really easy swap...pm me if you have any questions.
                                2018 Dodge 3500 6.7 Cummins w Aisin and 9 cup holders
                                2021 Reflection 303RLS, Haloview RD7, Strong-arms, Micro-Air364

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