Can Trailer Upgrade From 3,500 lb to 5,200 lb Axle

Question:

I have an aluminum trailer with 2 dexter 3500 lbs axles. Although both the trailer and my vehicles have a max capacity of 7000 pounds I am interested in upgrading the axles to 5200 lbs for an increased safety factor. I would never exceed the 7k rating of the trailer but plan to load the trailer to about 6500 to 6800 pounds. Verified on a certified scale. Because of this I fear the axles are at their max load. Without knowing the safety factor dexter has in their axles, I am considering simply going up to two 5200k axles. This also has the increased braking benefits. Please let me know if you have any bolt on replacement parts. I do not want to have to move the spring mounts that are welded to the frame. Are there parts to accommodate this?

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Expert Reply:

While the simple answer is yes, you can replace your 3,500 lb axles with 5,200 lb axles, it will require a number of all-new parts and isn't going to quite give you the safety margin you are looking for. The reason for that is because capacity is determined by its lowest-rated component, so if you have a pair of 3,500 lb axles, your leaf springs are also likely rated for that much (or very close) and higher-rated axles won't supersede that rating. That said, in order to choose the correct replacement axle for your trailer you will need to know the dimensions of your current axle's hub face to hub face and spring center to spring center.

For example, the Dexter Trailer Axle Beam with E-Z Lube Spindles - 95" Long - 5,200 lbs # 6340624 measures 95" hub-face to hub-face and 80" spring-center to spring-center. You would also need U-Bolt Kit for Mounting 5,200-lb to 7,000-lb, Round Trailer Axles # APUBR-8, along with Dexter Trailer Hub and Drum Assembly - 5,200-lb E-Z Lube Axles # 8-201-5UC3-EZ and new brakes # AKEBRK-7-SA with Mounting Hardware # BRKH12 due to the different brake mounting flange.

You will also need new wheels to match the larger 6 on 5-1/2" bolt pattern that comes on a hub that fits a larger axle, and I've added a link to our entire selection of options for you. I have also added a link to our selection of 5,200 lb axles for you when you find the size you need.

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Kyle S

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