My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

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Re: My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby capnTelescope » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:56 pm

Since this discussion, which led me to go Timbren, I have put on about 20K miles on the trailer. Here's a couple of my thoughts:

kayakdlk wrote:Hers is a picture of the completed frame with axle and tires

[img]
111047

Pay attention to the frame section near the axle. This area needs strength. I'd suggest a crossmember before and aft, near the axle assembly, plus the 2x2 that Timbren made a hole for.

My trailer weighs 1820# with bicycle & carrier. Don't necessarily go for the 3500# HD, just because it's only a few bucks more than the 2000#, unless you are sure you need the heavier axle. I made that mistake, and it was obvious that the trailer was riding hard. Changing from trailer tires to passenger car radials helped quite a bit, but I ended up replacing the 3500# rubber spring with the 2000# ones.

I recommend this axle. The installation is easy enough and hard to get wrong. Timbren's customer service is also good. A fine product.
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

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My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby Dave Nathanson » Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:15 am

When it comes time to weld the 2x2 cross bar tube ends (connecting left & right suspensions), how will you avoid melting the rubber springs? I guess you'll need to remove them before welding?



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Re: My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby capnTelescope » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:11 pm

Dave Nathanson wrote:When it comes time to weld the 2x2 cross bar tube ends (connecting left & right suspensions), how will you avoid melting the rubber springs? I guess you'll need to remove them before welding?


Based on my experience, you don't need to worry. There's plenty of steel to absorb the heat between the tube ends and the rubber springs. I welded without removing and had no problems or burnt rubber smells. :thumbsup:
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

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Re: My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby Dave Nathanson » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:37 am

Well, I bought the Timbren Axle-less suspension system. When drove the very empty trailer over to Baja Custom Trailers in Gardena, CA it bounced like a rubber ball all the way there. BUT when I drove it home with the new Timbren suspension, it was smooth! No bouncing! Such a difference! I think the whole trailer will last longer now that I am not pounding it like that.

Despite my best measuring efforts and a call to Timbren to ask about ride height, the end result was about 2 1/2 inches lower than it was. That is with the straight spindle. I had to buy a set of the 4 inch drop/lift spindles and those are going in soon. This time I measured 4x as much as I did the first time, and even ran the TD up on 4" wooden blocks to see how it would look. Yup! We want that 4" to get the galley counter back up where it goes, and so we don't knock our heads on the open Galley lid.

I will say that I bought the ASR1THDS02 which is the TImbren axle-less suspension; 3500# rated metal, with the 1500# spring (soft), straight spindle, & longer spindle offset for wide offroad tires (8.5"), then they down rate it to 2000# for offroad use. It is far more heavy duty than I expected, it is a beast. I seriously doubt I can break it. Timbren said the rubber "springs" will last more or less forever. Sort of expensive, (especially since I got the wrong spindle the first time) but looks like a killer upgrade that will have benefits for many years to come.

I'll have a full write up of the TImbren suspension pretty soon.

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Re: My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby Andrew Herrick » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:21 pm

Just want to resurrect an old thread to say how much I appreciate the thorough and thoughtful write-ups in this thread. I'll be springing for my first Timbren suspension soon, and this really helps iron out the wrinkles.
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Re: My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby frusteri4 » Wed May 08, 2019 11:46 pm

Looking at the spec sheet on the 3500# hd timbren axles, it is showing the deflection as 2.625” does this mean just over 2.5” of total suspension travel? For everyone who has used these, What is your experience with total suspension travel? Not enough, to much, just right?
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Re: My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby Dave Nathanson » Thu May 09, 2019 1:07 am

Even with the maximum "lifted" offset spindles, the Timbren suspension does not have a lot of travel. As a Jeeper, I'm used to seeing a lot more travel - BUT the whole trailer is pretty light, moves easily, so the trailer suspension does not really need so much independent travel. A Jeep is a lot heavier and the suspension may need to droop a wheel into a hole, or compress over a rock, which requires more suspension travel than a lightweight trailer does.

That said, the Timbren rides WAY smoother than my old leaf springs ever did. And has more travel too. But, yeah, only about 2.5 inches of travel.
Have you actually checked how much travel a leaf spring allows? Not as much as you might think. My old leaf spring suspension only had about about 1 inch of travel, as evidenced by the shiny area of the shock absorber.

Side note: Remember to plan for 10% tongue weight (or a little more, but not less than 10%). See this great demo of how tongue weight really matters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9Dgxe584Ss

A couple of things to watch out for:
I did everything I could to try & get a great installation. That included having it installed by a professional boat trailer builder, and having him weld on a strip of 5" x 1/4" steel all the way from the front to the back, along the underside of the trailer. One on each side. Attached the Timbren suspension to that, so it could not twist in/out. Really made the frame a lot stronger (I've torn the frame before). Also added the cross bar (not an axle, but I don't have anything against axles) to brace the 2 wheels against each other for strength. Timbren says that bar is optional, but recommended for us 4x4 guys.

Welp, we still have a minor issue with the tires being farther apart at the bottom than at the top. Which is causing faster wear on the inside edges of the trailer tires. Now that the weather is nice, I need to climb under there & see what else I can do about that. Shims, maybe.
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Re: My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby joshwhite » Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:08 pm

I'm looking at getting a Timbren setup myself but I'm not totally sure what components I need exactly. I'd like to also use Jeep wheels with 5 on 4.5 since that's my tow vehicle. This way I can carry a spare that will work for both if needed.

Here on eTrailers site there are so many options. I need something over 2k lbs rating I would think. They have options with 5 on 4.5 but some say for off-road tires and others say regular tires. I'm not totally sure I understand what the original poster ended up going with to achieve the desired result.

https://www.etrailer.com/s.aspx?qry=timbren+axle-less

I'd like to keep my trailer at the same height it is at now, so no drop or lift. Also, I don't think I need any braking system as part of the setup. I want to be able to use 33" to 35" tires on 15" wheels with the 5 on 4.5 pattern and make sure they clear my trailer with the correct Timbren setup.

My build is on a HF 4x8 trailer that has been reinforced with welds and a longer tongue that extends back underneath the trailer. I can certainly reinforce it more if necessary to install Timbrens. If someone can help me understand what I'd need to accomplish this, that would be awesome. Will Timbrens for regular tires using a spacer do what I need? Is that what the original poster did?

Here's a recent shot of my camper below. I'd like to get my Timbren setup complete and then fabricate my fenders around the setup.
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Re: My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby Dave Nathanson » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:18 pm

Hey Josh, I would definitely get hubs with brakes, even if not required by law. It makes a huge difference in safety & you'll definitely feel it. While you are at it, try to get hubs that are set up for a cable parking brake. Man! I wish I had a parking brake! It seems so lame to always be messing with wheel chocks & parking on a slope can get complicated if you unhitch. It's like $10 or $20 bucks more to get hubs set up for parking brake cable. I might put the parking brake lever up front, near the tongue. Or have 2 levers, one by each wheel? Aw, probably the one brake lever up front is better. Military trailers have a brake and in my opinion all trailers should.

You'll need hubs for the TImbren, or any axle. Wheels have to connect to something. Your choices of hubs will be with/without brakes, and what wheel rims they fit. I suggest matching the bolt pattern of your tow vehicle, just as you mention. That is a smart idea. I've needed extra spares when I ripped sidewalls on 2 Jeep tires the same day. Watch your rim backspacing, that can be an unexpected issue.

You can call Timbren tech support with any questions, including about the correct size & height. ETrailer is helpful too. In my case, I needed the 4" lift spindles to get the trailer back to the same height as I had with the old hubs, leaf springs & same 30-" tires. (Which do btw match my Jeep bolt pattern). I re-used my old hubs with the new Timbren suspension. How tall your Jeep hitch is may be part of the equation.

I bought the Timbren suspension model: ASR1THDS02 (plain spindle, no lift).
Then immediately added the 4” lift spindle: PO25 to level the trailer when being towed by my Jeep Wrangler.
It would have been cheaper to get the kit that included the lift spindle in the first place. I will say the Timbren stuff is waaay sturdier than the catalog photos might indicate. Seriously strong, thick & heavy.

You are def going to want a crossbar (not an axle, but same idea). That is going to help keep the frame from twisting, but it might twist a little anyway. Ask Timbren about that. Scroll back & read my message of Feb 14, 2017 if you haven't already. We also added a strip of metal plate, something like 6" wide by 1/4" thick running the length of the trailer, welded to the frame & crossbars. That was all about preventing frame twist. Might have been overkill, but it seemed like a reasonable idea at the time. Anyway, it doesn't twist.

As 4wheeler, you will want an axle or suspension that is good for more than 2k pounds. The trailer can easily weight 1k-2k plus if/when you bounce it on the trail that is so much more force. My frame is 2x2 square tubing, but on the thin side. I've torn & broken it, then reinforced it with more metal. It is a balance between too much weight being a problem & not enough strength being a problem.

If you were going to only use your trailer on paved roads you can build it lighter & weaker. Otherwise, it becomes more important to strike a balance of adequate strength vs excessive weight.

Fenders are easy, you can select a size & bolt them on later, after you see how it sits.
HTH!
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Re: My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby joshwhite » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:20 pm

Hi Dave, thanks for the response, I will read this thread again more closely.
My problem with brakes is that I already have wired through using a 4 pin connector, not the 7 pin connector. From what I understand, the brakes are activated by the tow vehicle when I'd hit the brakes by sending current to them. So maybe I can just tap into my brake wires from my tongue box and run those to the hubs?
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Re: My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby Sparksalot » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:42 pm

I've been contemplating this system as well. I'd like to get away from the tiny bearings and limited speeds that causes. I'm also looking at a way to get rid of the slipper springs.
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Re: My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby joshwhite » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:05 pm

So I wonder if this kit will work for me:
https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Leaf-S ... S545E.html

The wheels I would use would be 15 x 8 with backspace of 3.75
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Re: My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby KTM_Guy » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:54 pm

You're on the right track but I would go with the 4" lift. That would be an expensive upgrade later. What is your TV? How does the trailer site now? Mine sits close to level with the 4" lift. We have Rubicon with 3.5" lift and 34" tires.

We did the brakes but didn't have them working for a lot of trips we did because we didn't have a controller. Right before our Colorado trip I got the Tekonsha P3, what a difference wish we would have done it from the start. I have it mounted by my right knee and I can easily reach the manual lever and make changes on the fly.

https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Controller/Tekonsha/90195.html

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Re: My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby Squigie » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:13 am

Keeping ride height in mind is definitely important.
I was dead-set on the 4" lift, until I actually took some measurements of my truck, in combination with deciding upon a rough tire diameter to work with.
I found the theoretical ride height of the trailer to be 3" higher than the static height of my hitch. So, with tongue weight on the hitch, it would ride significantly nose-down.

For me, the standard spindle turned out to be the better answer.

Have you actually checked how much travel a leaf spring allows? Not as much as you might think. My old leaf spring suspension only had about about 1 inch of travel, as evidenced by the shiny area of the shock absorber.

This old reply caught my attention, since it's something I've been dealing with on other trailers lately.
Most people would be absolutely blown away by how little travel there is with standard trailer leaf spring setups.
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Re: My Experience with Timbren Axless system (kayakdlk)

Postby joshwhite » Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:35 pm

Hi Todd-

Not sure what TV stands for.
Trailer sight? no idea, haha.

Currently the trailer is stock from harbour freight. I haven't towed it since I began my build. I originally towed the trailer frame home with a drop hitch on my Jeep. I have a 2000 Cherokee Sport with a 4.5" lift and 33" tires soon to get 35" tires.

I just don't want the camper to be too high and have my galley kitchen counters higher than they should be since they're already built. If I absolutely have to, I can redo the counter to make it lower later on though.

From my latest research, it appears the following two items will work together and give me a 5 on 4.5 lug pattern which is what I'm looking for.

https://www.etrailer.com/p-ASR35HDS02.html
https://www.etrailer.com/p-84546UC3-EZ.html

A few questions I have about this setup:

1. Would wheels like this one that has 3.75" backspacing work with this setup and clear the trailer, plus give me room to fabricate the fenders?
https://bit.ly/2RLE1PL

2. How does the brake setup work with a controller on a 4 prong trailer wiring harness? Can I run a line to the brakes from the braking wire? How would it connect to the wiring harness? My wiring harness was a kit that splices into the rear of Jeeps tail lights which I installed long ago before this build.

Thanks for any suggestions and I apologize in advance for my lack of knowledge on this subject.
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