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Author Topic: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!  (Read 6354 times)

LivinLite AZ

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3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« on: September 03, 2017, 03:23:59 AM »
Hi Everyone.

I just wanted to post the results of my install of this 3.5" lift for my 13QBB to the CL community. I was so inspired by Scout's thread on the Orbital Machine Works Lift kit, that I had to get one for myself. This kit now known now as the Dexter Torflex #10 Axle Lift Kit over at Perfect Casita http://perfectcasita.com/casita-axle-lift-kit.html . At $90 shipped, I am quite pleased with the quality of the kit itself, of of course, the final results!



Here's how it went down (err, up)...

Disclaimer: I know I risk being viewed as a yahoo for using my 26" scissor jacks to make this install possible, but after wasting quite a bit of time trying to crib my jack and jackstands to give me enough height, I said enough and proceeded as follows. Stacking fresh cut 7"x8" pieces of pressed wood blocks (alternating grain) under my scissor jacks and lifting each corner 1.5" at a time clockwise, I was able to acheive a super stable platform to work from.

Also, the kit's instructions say to remove the wheels first. I sat and thought for a moment and decided that it was totally unnecessary, and more importantly, not nearly as safe. If at any point something fell or failed those rubber doughnuts would save my bacon. Another plus was that at no point did I have to support the axle itself.

Doing it again, it would take about an hour, but even with wasting time with the jackstands, and methodically over thinking it took about 2.5 hours.

Before pic showing original lift height and initial block setup:




Step 1: With the wheels still on the ground, loosen all four 15/16" axle nuts quite a bit. This allows the axle to articulate in future steps.




Step 2: Detach the brake wire anchor clips on the frame near the axle.




Step 3: Start jacking from corner to corner in small increments to keep it level as you go up. When the tires are almost off the ground, Completely remove the axle bracket bolts on one side only.




Step 4: Continue jacking up only on the side you removed the bolts from until the axle drops just far enough to accommodate the lift block.




Step 5: Slide in the lift block and loosely attach it to the axle bracket with the awesome hardware provided.




Step 6: Jack down just far enough to get the frame bracket bolts through the side holes and hand tighten everything.




Step 7: Repeat steps 4-6 on the other side. With the tires just barely off the ground, wiggle the axle around to find its happy place then torque all bolts to 100lb/ft. Lower the jacks a little at a time going corner to corner. Zip tie the brake wires as seen fit - I used the now vacant bolt holes on the axle brackets. Here's what you'll end up with:



Up and away. Now we're ready for our anniversary trip to Canyonlands next week! Rear deck, be damned - you're next on the mod list.

Thanks for checking it out. I hope there is some value to others here.

: ) Steve


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pjcd

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Re: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2017, 09:52:04 AM »
Nice job, lifted my 21RBS last year. Well worth it.

FastEddieB

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Re: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2017, 10:58:54 AM »
Nice job, lifted my 21RBS last year. Well worth it.

Just curious...

...could you list/articulate the perceived advantages?

We've been towing our "unlisted" 21BHS for 3 years and about 15,000 miles and can't think of a time that being lifted would have helped.

pjcd

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Re: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2017, 12:48:17 PM »
More ground clearance,  I installed new tires with a slightly higher profile, (overall lift was maybe 3 three inches). With the dump valve higher its easier to use my SS01 Sewer Solution Kit. Lifting the trailer was an option I wanted, not all the camping we do is on paved roads and the added couple of inches was just a peace of mind option I wanted. The down side is the entry step, its a bit of a step up to get into the trailer.

pjcd

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Re: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2017, 12:50:34 PM »
I also had an experience with a previous TT, it had an enclosed bottom and some where during one of our travels, something snagged the bottom and tore off the aluminum enclosure.

FastEddieB

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Re: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2017, 12:53:28 PM »
Clearly, if gnarly surfaces are routinely encountered, more ground clearance is a de facto good thing!

Have you noticed any hit on gas mileage?

pjcd

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Re: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2017, 02:03:35 PM »
I haven't noticed any difference in mileage, I tow with a 2500 series diesel truck, mileage has been consistent at around 10 -12 mpg, when not towing  I get around 17, if I can ease up on the peddle ;).

LivinLite AZ

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Re: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2017, 03:04:45 PM »
Nice job, lifted my 21RBS last year. Well worth it.

Just curious...

...could you list/articulate the perceived advantages?

We've been towing our "unlisted" 21BHS for 3 years and about 15,000 miles and can't think of a time that being lifted would have helped.

Hi FastEddieB.

My wife and I have never camped in a campground. Our mission has always been to get to remote places in Utah and Colorado, dragging our popup through some pretty serious terrain, where on occasion after forward progress halted (after digging in with all four tires spinning in 4lo), I have had to drop our previous popup trailer and move our Jeep to grippier ground and then winch our trailer separately to get it up/over/through obstacles.

The reason we traded up to the 13QBB with the off road package was in hopes that we could continue this tradition of off the beaten path exploration with the smallest, lightest non-popup, with all the amenities. Since we have only done one 3 night shakedown trip to the rim above Sedona accessed by Forest Service roads where any passenger car could easily go. Our Camplite dragged the rear deck several times crossing dips and shallow ditches, detaching both tail lights along the way.

It was clear that the CL was not up to our usual travel habits due to lack of ground clearance. Between the optional rear deck, low hanging step and plumbing, we were significantly hobbled. We purchased our 13QBB in May, but after that one revealing trip realized that our summer trip plans would have to wait until we addressed the ground clearance liabilities. While I miss the go anywhere form factor of the old popup, I have been on a mission to get the CL setup for our off road needs.

Not wanting to concede that the 13QBB is the wrong tool for the job, I have been scouring this forum for ideas, and feedback for my posts all summer. What a great community! But I sense that I may be a bit of a black sheep, in seeking access to remote camping spots that few here would ever consider. The 11s and 13s, having the most potential for off road exploits due to their relatively compact dimensions, are also the rarest here.

So, my next ground clearance related modification projects are:

1. Removing the rear deck and reinforcing and raising the rear bumper to live on top of the rear framerails, and adding a stoutly mounted rear basket like this:




2. Remounting the sewage hose holder up under the framerails on hinges and also hinging the plumbing utilizing flex tubing to swing it up under the framerails when in transit, ending up with this:




3. Remounting the step above the factory brackets and elevating it with square stock to regain about 3" of clearance like this (I also really like this option - http://www.morryde.com/products/194-the-stepabovetm ):




4. 2" Taller tires after the current BFGs wear out.

That's where I'm headed.

: ) S
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Merlin

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Re: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2017, 08:23:19 PM »
Wow, great info and great job. You've created some really useful mods. Your camper is getting high up there; are wings next?  ;D
Michigan

LivinLite AZ

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Re: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2017, 03:12:23 AM »
Wow, great info and great job. You've created some really useful mods. Your camper is getting high up there; are wings next?  ;D

Thanks Merlin. No need for wings. Introducing the CAMP COPTER...



: ) S
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tbwrench

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Re: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2017, 12:15:03 AM »
Do your stabilizer jacks still work? Do they still touch the ground before opening fully?

tbwrench

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Re: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2017, 12:20:17 AM »
Also, your rims look the same as mine which are 14".  Have you figured out if there were two tires that will fit on those rims? If so,  what size are those tires?

   BTW, sorry about the double post.

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Re: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2017, 12:23:48 AM »
Errrrr. Now triple post.

Not "Have you figured out if there were two tires that will fit on those rims?". But, "Have you figured out if there are larger tires that will fit on those rims?".

LivinLite AZ

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Re: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2017, 12:24:16 AM »
Do your stabilizer jacks still work? Do they still touch the ground before opening fully?

Hi tbwrench.

On flat ground my 24" jacks give me about 1/2" more once they hit the ground. Not very useful in the places we camp though. So I am using 2"x8"x7" sections of lumber as cribbing for the moment. I have a set of 30" jacks sitting in my cart on Amazon that should work when the time comes.

: ) S
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LivinLite AZ

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Re: 3.5" Axle Lift Completed Successfully!
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2017, 12:34:10 AM »
Also, your rims look the same as mine which are 14".  Have you figured out if there were two tires that will fit on those rims? If so,  what size are those tires?

   BTW, sorry about the double post.

Here are some 2" taller ones I was considering for when the BFGs wear out:

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=General&tireModel=Grabber+AT+2&partnum=785QR4GRAT2OWL&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Kumho&tireModel=Road+Venture+MT+KL71&partnum=785QR4KL71&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes


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