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Torsion spring boat trailer axles

Old 08-26-2020, 02:44 PM
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Default Torsion spring boat trailer axles

has anyone had problems with them around salt water?
I am looking to buy or have an aluminum trailer built.
I have always though getting rid of the leaf springs that rust away would be a good idea, but I do not know anyone that has had the torsion spring axles for a length f time to say good or bad things about them.
I have read that Airstream used them , but those trailers are usually set and jacked up to level and take the load off the axles when parked
Old 08-26-2020, 02:56 PM
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I have a wesco under a 19 ft boat.

the nut that holds (I think, the stub axle on) rusts badly , rest of axle is good. Maybe that part is replaceable, need a diagram
Old 08-26-2020, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by edwardh1 View Post
I have a wesco under a 19 ft boat.

the nut that holds (I think, the stub axle on) rusts badly , rest of axle is good. Maybe that part is replaceable, need a diagram
maybe that nut is on the back side of the spindle
How long have you had that trailer in use in saltwater?
Do you rinse every time with fresh water after a trip?
Is the axle shaft hot dipped Galvanized , or something else?

I wonder how long the rubber inside is good for, since replacing it would probably mean buying a new axle instead of just the rubber being it is all pressed together from what I have read
Old 08-26-2020, 05:25 PM
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Way less crap to corrode or break on a torsion axle compared to conventional....they are still made of galvanized steel btw
Old 08-27-2020, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 99yam40 View Post
maybe that nut is on the back side of the spindle
How long have you had that trailer in use in saltwater?
Do you rinse every time with fresh water after a trip?
Is the axle shaft hot dipped Galvanized , or something else?

I wonder how long the rubber inside is good for, since replacing it would probably mean buying a new axle instead of just the rubber being it is all pressed together from what I have read
what are you calling the axle shaft? there is no long shaft (like on a non tortionaxle) that I can see- the tortion "arm" has a nut and a short stub- the stub has the bearings and wheel on on it
will try to grab a pix
Old 08-27-2020, 01:37 PM
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The torsion "arm" is cast (correct me if I'm wrong) and rusts like hell. I chip the rust off mine at the end of every season and re-paint them. They still rust the following year but I'm persistent and will repeat the process rather than have to replace them sooner than I have to.
Here's a breakdown:

Old 08-27-2020, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by edwardh1 View Post
what are you calling the axle shaft? there is no long shaft (like on a non tortionaxle) that I can see- the tortion "arm" has a nut and a short stub- the stub has the bearings and wheel on on it
will try to grab a pix
what i call the axle shaft is the square tubing that runs from one side of trailer to the other that the torsion part is pressed into.
the pic up above shows it.
yes they do make some that are not tied together like that, but they need something to bolt them to that can support it.
the stub you mention that the bearing and hub go onto is called a spindle

you did not say how long you have had it around salt water

Last edited by 99yam40; 08-27-2020 at 06:25 PM.
Old 08-27-2020, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Cobia 217 View Post
The torsion "arm" is cast (correct me if I'm wrong) and rusts like hell. I chip the rust off mine at the end of every season and re-paint them. They still rust the following year but I'm persistent and will repeat the process rather than have to replace them sooner than I have to.
Here's a breakdown:
I was wondering about that arm, and if they galvanize it also.

also wondering how the shaft the arm is tied to is sealed into the squared axle shaft to keep out the salt water, looks like spaces between the rubber and metal

Last edited by 99yam40; 08-27-2020 at 06:41 PM.
Old 08-27-2020, 07:38 PM
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have use it since 2011, salt water , used 7-10 times a year. is "sprayed" with a water hose after use. but still gets dunked

the arm on mine is galvanized


Old 08-28-2020, 07:36 AM
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They are even more durable if you paint the spindle and nut, all of it really, with a good coat of waterproof grease when you do the install.

I just got 15 years out of my last one, constant saltwater use. It does get a quick spray during the boat and motor rinse.
Old 08-28-2020, 07:44 AM
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Mine are hot-dipped galvanized steel and only used in salt water. Some have removable spindles, mine doesn't. Much better than springs IMHO.
Old 08-28-2020, 09:02 AM
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wonder how much more in my picture (post 9 ) to have used a galvanized nut, that would not rust so bad? $1???
Old 08-28-2020, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by edwardh1 View Post
wonder how much more in my picture (post 9 ) to have used a galvanized nut, that would not rust so bad? $1???
Yes, use galvanized or stainless wherever possible. Also try something like Tef-Gel for anti-corrosion between the dissimilar metals, and also serves as anti-galling for the stainless.
Old 08-28-2020, 02:11 PM
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I have galvanized torsion springs with stainless vault hubs, brakes, and calipers, so far rinsing has kept them working well. It's worlds better than leaf springs---but the leaf spring has the load equalizer which is more tolerant to weight irregularities and curb hopping. Don't hop curbs, set it right to start with and you will like the Torsion springs. They seem to track better too, but that could be the boat fitting trailer really well and 6 bunks.
Old 08-28-2020, 04:03 PM
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I like leafs. I can see all the parts
Torsion axle is a steel rod encased in a tube.
Old 08-28-2020, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by edwardh1 View Post
wonder how much more in my picture (post 9 ) to have used a galvanized nut, that would not rust so bad? $1???
you do know you can take that nut off and replace it with a better one.

I have replaced rusted leaf springs all of my life it seems like,
along with the hardware attaching them.
I have taken them apart when new and painted or coated them with different things to make them last longer, but the salt gets them over time.
with the comments so far, I just need to see what the ones they would put on a new trailer I have custom built are made of.
No one has complained about the rubber failing causing them to be replaced so that is good
Old 08-28-2020, 10:12 PM
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The custom factory trailer that came with my boat in 1999 still has a good torsion axle....even though almost every other part of the trailer has internally rusted to the point of being useless.
Old 08-29-2020, 08:06 AM
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Take a look at "Rolls" trailer, a better idea absolute stainless with a tortion suspension
Old 08-29-2020, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by dihrah View Post
Take a look at "Rolls" trailer, a better idea absolute stainless with a tortion suspension
not much info on their web site.
I see aluminum trailers and parts with no prices, and nothing about absolute stainless
Old 08-30-2020, 12:59 PM
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I have two horse trailers with torsion axles. There are some reports of the rubber failing but seems like that would be 20+ years down the road. My boat trailer will need new axles over the winter and I plan to go with torsion. I like they aren't as bouncy when towing empty. They also seem to run straighter down the road. Since they don't have the pivot in the center, the three point hitch on my tractor will pick the front axle off the ground. So I can maneuver the trailer in the yard without side loading the tires and leaving skid marks. It will pivot the trailer around the center of the rear axle then.
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