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Shackles flipped on trailer suspension


johnwen
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Most probably already know of this problem but it's a new one for us.  Pulling out of last night's camp site this morning I knew something was not quite right.  I got out and looked around the trailer in the cold winter rain and did not see anything wrong, so we trekked on to our destination some 300 miles away.  All along I just knew there was something different.  The gas mileage was a little worse off by about 1 1/2 mpg and things just sounded and felt a little off.  I blew the poorer mileage off because of rather stiff north west headwinds and hilly countryside.  I just couldn't put my finger on it until we arrived at out destination, pulled up onto a relatively level concrete pad and Wendy says " wow, this right side really needs to come up" during our leveling process.  We looked around and indeed the left side was quite a bit higher than the right.  Then we started looking around and found one of the suspension parts was different than the other side.  We remember someone driving from Florida to last year's Oliver rally had experienced a failure of the suspension on one side and remember the effort it took to remedy the situation.  We're in Wetumka, OK and immediately thought "well, who's going to help us out here, in the middle of nowhere?"  First reach out was to Oliver via a service ticket followed by a phone call shortly afterwards to Oliver's service department.  Hannah is an Angel!!!!  We thought this problem was going to be a nightmare.  Hannah calmly told us she had seen this problem on occasion and told us that an axle part had flipped over and the fix was to lower the nose to the ground and it would flip back.  Keeping Hannah on the phone we tried the suggested action to no avail.  Rats!  She said try jacking up the nose instead.  We did.  The axle part was starting to move and Hannah warned us of a loud snap.  And the snap was loud, and the trailer shook, and the trailer was level again!!!!!!!!!  YAY HANNAH!!!!!!!!!!  We had hit a very large bump in the road on the way to our previous stop; big enough to scrape the flap under the bumper of our tow vehicle.  We are very thankful it was an easy fix.  Just in case this happens to you...

Another testament to the quality service you get from Oliver 🙂

 

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Oliver II #996 "Bessie", 2019 Silverado LTZ 5.3, Veterans

https://wenandjohnsadventure.com/

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That is REALLY common with tandem axles, it is called shackle flip. Mine does it on both sides whenever I service the bearings. The easy peasy way to fix it is to find a parking lot with curbs, island landscaping works great, then drive both the wonky side tires up and along the curb. Bang, it will flip back where it belongs. You can do it on city streets too but it is harder, you have to find a curb cut (driveway) and be a lot more precise in your steering,.

I don’t understand why this isn’t in the owners manuals. I bet Oliver Service gets really tired about talking about this. I have had to fix it on “Mouse” maybe a half a dozen times.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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2 hours ago, John E Davies said:

The easy peasy way to fix it is to find a parking lot with curbs, island landscaping works great, then drive both the wonky side tires up and along the curb.

I presume the "wonky side" is the low side, and that the high side is the one that is higher, i.e., "normal"?

 

Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

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In the Oliver Service department they use a 4x4 to take care of this "problem".

I've never had it happen but I'm prepared none-the-less in the event it does.

A word to the wise - whenever those little hairs on the back of your neck stand up and/or something just doesn't seem right - do a through check looking for the source of the concern.  Not only will it calm your hairdo but it could save you a bunch of money too.

Bill

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15 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

In the Oliver Service department they use a 4x4 to take care of this "problem".

Do they drive the side of the trailer with flipped shackle(s) lengthwise over the 4x4, using it like a curb in John Davies' example?

 

Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

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Yep - just place the 4x4 in front of the tires on the side of the flipped shackle and drive slowly over it.

Be prepared for the rather loud "clunk" sound.

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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10 hours ago, Rivernerd said:

I presume the "wonky side" is the low side, and that the high side is the one that is higher, i.e., "normal"?

Yes, when the shackle flips that side of the trailer droops down. It is very easy to spot by looking in your rear view mirror. At least it is on mine, with the bubble level mounted there.

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John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Wow - I would have been totally freaked if this had happened to us - thanks so much for sharing!  While the method used in this video is not as good as the 4x4 you all mentioned, at 2:37 you can get a feel for the sound of the correction-flip.  Thanks again!!

 

 

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12 hours ago, Rivernerd said:

I presume the "wonky side" is the low side, and that the high side is the one that is higher, i.e., "normal"?

Actually, the wonky side was the high side and the good side was the low side.  I guess that's why jacking full up flipped it back.  I presume the shackle could have flipped the other way and the solution would have required jacking the tongue full down.

Oliver II #996 "Bessie", 2019 Silverado LTZ 5.3, Veterans

https://wenandjohnsadventure.com/

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3 hours ago, topgun2 said:

In the Oliver Service department they use a 4x4 to take care of this "problem".

I've never had it happen but I'm prepared none-the-less in the event it does.

A word to the wise - whenever those little hairs on the back of your neck stand up and/or something just doesn't seem right - do a through check looking for the source of the concern.  Not only will it calm your hairdo but it could save you a bunch of money too.

Bill

I agree 100%, Bill, I just couldn't see the problem staring at me.  A tilt to one side usually occurs when we pull off the leveling blocks so that was normal looking.  You can bet it is now boldprint on my predeparture checklist! 

John

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Oliver II #996 "Bessie", 2019 Silverado LTZ 5.3, Veterans

https://wenandjohnsadventure.com/

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2 hours ago, John E Davies said:

Yes, when the shackle flips that side of the trailer droops down. It is very easy to spot by looking in your rear view mirror. At least it is on mine, with the bubble level mounted there.

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John Davies

Spokane WA

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Yes, it would be nice to use my rear view mirror.  No view from mine as I have a shell on the back of my truck.

John

Oliver II #996 "Bessie", 2019 Silverado LTZ 5.3, Veterans

https://wenandjohnsadventure.com/

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34 minutes ago, Jim and Frances said:

Wow - I would have been totally freaked if this had happened to us - thanks so much for sharing!  While the method used in this video is not as good as the 4x4 you all mentioned, at 2:37 you can get a feel for the sound of the correction-flip.  Thanks again!!

 

 

Thanks, Jim and Frances, for sharing that video.  You just can't have too many options for a fix!

John

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Oliver II #996 "Bessie", 2019 Silverado LTZ 5.3, Veterans

https://wenandjohnsadventure.com/

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1 hour ago, Jim and Frances said:

Wow - I would have been totally freaked if this had happened to us - thanks so much for sharing!  While the method used in this video is not as good as the 4x4 you all mentioned, at 2:37 you can get a feel for the sound of the correction-flip.  Thanks again!!

 

This video recommends jacking under the axle.  I would NOT do this without contacting Oliver first.  The Dexter axles are not meant to be jack points.   Several owners have damaged their axles by using a jack under them.     The nose all UP and all DOWN is great info.... Thanks OP. 

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16 hours ago, John E Davies said:

island landscaping works great, then drive both the wonky side tires up and along the curb

I read this as running the flipped axle over a curb to raise it and correcting the issue.   

3 hours ago, topgun2 said:

Yep - just place the 4x4 in front of the tires on the side of the flipped shackle and drive slowly over it.

I also read this as running the flipped axle over a 4X4 to raise it and correcting the issue.   So it appears to me that both John D and topgun2 agree in the approach by raising the flipped axle.

HOWEVER,

In Jim and Frances video at 1:50 he shows and states "Put it (The jack) under the axle that is correct" and then shows raising the correct axle and the "Wonky/Flipped" axle bangs into place.

Ok guys, you now have me confused.  Will both approaches work?  Please clarify.

GJ

PS:  Scotty:  I agree with NOT jacking under the axles!

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Geronimo John said:

Ok guys, you now have me confused.  Will both approaches work?  Please clarify.

The object is to raise the normal axle that has the unflipped shackle in order to draw the equalizer away from the spring eye on the flipped axle. This increases the distance between the equalizer and  spring eyes until the flipped shackle rotates near the horizontal position where the spring pressure will force it overcenter.

Any method that significantly raises the normal axle will work. The jack method isn't lifting the weight of the trailer but. on the road, use whatever you've got. One of the Andersen style levelers will work.

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5 hours ago, Rivernerd said:

Do they drive the side of the trailer with flipped shackle(s) lengthwise over the 4x4, using it like a curb in John Davies' example?

I would think that placing the 4x4 piece at a 90° right in front of the tire with the flipped axle would do it.  That 4x4 would only need to be just a little longer than the tire width when the tire is being flattened by going over that 4x4.  If I understand your question, I don't think you would need a 3 or 4 foot 4x4 to have it act as a curb length.

John

John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 3.5 liter Ecoboost, with heavy duty tow package. 

2022 Hull #1290, twin bed with Truma package (a/c, furnace, hot water heater with electric antifreeze option), lithium pro package, picked up November 7, 2022

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Hannah at Oliver service said raising or lowering the trailer tongue to it's extreme will work most of the time.  When I raised my trailer tongue I had a 6x6 block under the front Oliver jack and it worked.  So I don't know if it would have worked had I not used the 6x6. I think I would hesitate using a jack on the axle as well.  The Andersen leveler seems like a good alternative.  Use both levelers or just 1 (on the same side) ?

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Oliver II #996 "Bessie", 2019 Silverado LTZ 5.3, Veterans

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4 hours ago, Geronimo John said:

lip back into its "normal" position.Ok guys, you now have me confused.  Will both approaches work?  Please clarify.

Isn't the English language wonderful?  Specifics, specifics!

You need to raise the tire that is connected to the axle where the shackle is in the correct position.  By doing this you take the pressure off the shackle that has been "flipped" thus allowing it both room (to unflip) and lack of resistance (pressure) so that it can unflip.  All of this occurs on the side of the trailer that has the flipped shackle.

In my example it really doesn't matter if you put the 4x4 under the front or the rear tire.  Nor does it matter which shackle is flipped.  This is because if the front shackle is flipped and you put the 4x4 under the front tire - nothing will happen as you drive forward over the 4x4.  But, as you continue to drive over the 4x4 with the rear tire the front shackle will flip back to its "normal" position.  This same principal is true for JD's solution using a curb.

Hope this helps!

Bill

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33 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

Raise the tire connected to the axle where is shackle is in the correct position.  

Now that works.  Short.  Easy to Remember = Effective Communication!

Thanks! 

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  • The title was changed to Flipped Shackles
  • The title was changed to Shackles flipped on trailer suspension

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