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Old April 22nd, 2020, 09:09 AM   #1
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Default Trailer axle question

Looking at a couple trailer axles, it's a tandem set from a bigger trailer, not sure on the weight capacity of them, but they should be more than enough for my needs.

The axles are steel square stock, my questions is can I cut them and weld them skinnier? One project I want an axle fore requires a much shorter axle. Figured I could cut a section out of the middle and sleeve it and re-weld it together; just wasn't sure if that something I can actually "do" and not have it blow apart going down the road.
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Old April 22nd, 2020, 09:22 AM   #2
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With proper welding and sleeving I don't see any reason it'd be an issue.

FWIW, 5 lug fullsize axles are typically 3500 lb(there are also smaller, lighter 5 lug I believe), 6 lug are typically 5000-5200 lb, and 8 lug are typically 7000 lb capacity.
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Old April 22nd, 2020, 09:32 AM   #3
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Are they pre-arched? There are some axles out there that are ached with the intent of when they get weight on them they flatten out. If you shorten and sleeve this type of axle, it won't flex properly and you will wear your tires on the outer edges. I've only seen this on round axle tubes so I suspect you are OK. I don't see any other issues.

RE bbaXJ's comments, 8 lug could also be 10,000 lb capacity also. Again, I don't think I've seen high capacity axles in square tube.
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Old April 22nd, 2020, 09:38 AM   #4
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I think one of my old boat trailer axles was square tube and pre arched.

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Old April 22nd, 2020, 10:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by bbaXJ View Post
With proper welding and sleeving I don't see any reason it'd be an issue.

FWIW, 5 lug fullsize axles are typically 3500 lb(there are also smaller, lighter 5 lug I believe), 6 lug are typically 5000-5200 lb, and 8 lug are typically 7000 lb capacity.
That's what I was thinking, I would think they would be 3,500lb axles

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Are they pre-arched? There are some axles out there that are ached with the intent of when they get weight on them they flatten out. If you shorten and sleeve this type of axle, it won't flex properly and you will wear your tires on the outer edges. I've only seen this on round axle tubes so I suspect you are OK. I don't see any other issues.

RE bbaXJ's comments, 8 lug could also be 10,000 lb capacity also. Again, I don't think I've seen high capacity axles in square tube.
not sure if they are pre-arched or not; never seen a set of square tubes that are arched. I will have to wait till i see them in person. Pics don't look like they are. They are 5 lug hubs on them, so I assume 5x4.5.

What can I do if they are arched?
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Old April 22nd, 2020, 10:33 AM   #6
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What can I do if they are arched?
Cut off where the spindles are welded into the tube and shorten equally from both ends.
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Old April 22nd, 2020, 10:34 AM   #7
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What can I do if they are arched?
Measure the distance left to right at the bottom (road side) and at the top to see if they are different. If they are pre arched, the bottom will be closer together than the top. How much weight are you going to put on it? If you aren't maxing it out, just make it straight across.
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Old April 22nd, 2020, 12:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by whiterhino View Post
Measure the distance left to right at the bottom (road side) and at the top to see if they are different. If they are pre arched, the bottom will be closer together than the top. How much weight are you going to put on it? If you aren't maxing it out, just make it straight across.
if it's a 3,500lb axle, no way would I come close to maxing it out. Even with the weight of the trailer. One trailer is a small 4x8 utility that be lucky to see 500lbs, the other is either an ATV trailer i'm going to build, or going under a 6x7 homebuilt utility trailer for around the house use. Mostly I use it for leaf clean up at home, and occosional camp use.
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Old April 22nd, 2020, 01:38 PM   #9
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Square it up and weld it. Don’t forget the sleeve.
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Old April 23rd, 2020, 07:26 AM   #10
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Picked up the axles yesterday, things are nearly brand new; straight tubes, not arches. So should be super easy to change the length as needed.
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