Sunday, August 10, 2014


Saturday, August 2 – In the previous post, we mentioned Paul had a little project to do on the 5th wheel. That involved the installation of a “wet-bolt kit” on the suspension.

Old shackles are on the bottom; new replacements on top.shackles

This was a pretty “heavy lift” project, and Paul was a little hesitant to take it on by himself. Luckily, he now has a boy in the family, new son-in-law, Dave, and Rick, visiting for a few days from Mission, TX. Together they tackled this project.

The biggest and scariest part of the job involved jacking the 12,000+ fifth wheel off the ground and securing it on jack stands so it would be safe to crawl under. Dave is experienced working on automotive projects, and Paul felt confident that with his help we could “getter done.”

Great to have a young man around – the young have no fear!jacking up 5er

Notice the heavy duty jack (20-ton hydraulic) and the big jack stand.  No fair looking at those boxers.
Paul under 5er.

It took a while but we were successful in jacking up and securing the trailer on several jack stands. Then we dismantled the suspension system that holds the springs and axles onto the trailer. The object was to replace the under-sized shackles and bolts the manufacture installed during construction and that have been reported to break while driving down the road. Any maintenance to prevent roadside breakdowns is a good thing!

Notice Dave has detached the spring from the trailer.  We are holding up the axle with  a floor jack.
removing spring

Paul is working to remove the spring from the front hanger.removing spring

Dave’s electric impact wrench sure came in handy breaking loose those bolts.  A little scary crawling around under the trailer and around all those jacks and stands.breaking loose bolts.

We were amazed to see the difference in construction of the new shackles compared to those installed during construction. What were those builders thinking?

Check-out the new shackles on the left compared to the old on the right.  If you look carefully, you can see the wear on those old bolts.  new shackles

The new bolts even have grease fitting for applying grease to the inside of the spring eyes to prevent the bolts from wearing and eventually breaking.

See the grease zerks.  Look carefully at the bolts on the right and you can see the holes the grease comes out of to keep the bolts well oiled. After installation, we greased them up and they squirted grease nicely.  Again, you can see the wear on those old bolts.zerks

Rick, our guest from Texas, hammers home a new copper bushing inside one of the spring eyes.  The old install had plastic bushings.Rick working on 5er

Check out the new shiny shackles!shiny shackles

It was a dirty, greasy, and sometimes scary job, but with the help of Dave and Rick, it was successfully completed and Paul tucked the 5th wheel back into its parking space until we depart in early September. Thanks Dave and Rick for all the help!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!