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Failed Lift Tag Axle, 1997 WB (youtube)
07-19-2019, 13:42 (This post was last modified: 07-19-2019 17:18 by Kev.)
Post: #6
RE: Failed Lift Tag Axle, 1997 WB (youtube)
SUCCESS! Our broken tag axle has been replaced with a new 8" drop center axle made by Dexter Axle in Ontario. Along with the new axle we also replaced the hubs, drums, shoes, brake chambers, airbags and shocks.

Since the tag axle is welded to the Ridewell tag suspension we thought that replacing the tag axle would require removing the entire tag axle suspension assembly from the coach. However, we found that the broken axle could be cut away from where it attaches to the suspension, thereby leaving the suspension in-place and saving a lot of time. The new axle was simply set in-place, lined up, and welded. Removal and installation of the axle was about a days work from start to finish. We expected it to take much longer.

The most difficult part for the guys in the shop was the removal and installation of the drive axle airbags and the tag lift airbags. Those particular bags are just hard to access!

We haven't driven the coach since having the work done other than the drive from the shop back to the RV park. Our drive tires still need replacing so we're waiting for those to get installed before we start logging more miles. I will say, however, that the ride from the shop was noticably smoother than before.

All in all it was a great learning experience, albeit a very frustrating one at times! We looked at every repair option that was available to us - from welding the old axle to finding a used axle to building a new axle - and we are confident that we made the right decision for our situation. We now know that our new tag axle is stonger than the original axle that Blue Bird created and should be good for at least another 22 years! That is a great peace-of-mind for us and hopefully reasurring for whomever the next caretaker of our coach happens to be.

Our thanks to everyone who was willing and able to help us gather information as we learned what it takes to fix our bird's broken leg.

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Kevin & Kerry
1997 WLWB 43' "BB Belle"
2005 Jeep Liberty Limited 4x4
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RE: Failed Lift Tag Axle, 1997 WB (youtube) - Kev - 07-19-2019 13:42

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