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Old 07-07-2013, 11:50 AM   #1
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Domani suspension upgrade

We just purchased a 2008 Domani 5er. The numbers suggested that our 2012 2500HD would handle this unit quite easily. Actual numbers proved quite the opposite,so....enter new 3500HD.

After hooking up to the 3500, we find that 5er is now 6" off of level: high in front.
The pin box is up as high as it can go, and the hitch is as low as it can be to maintain the 6" clearance required.

What to do..what to do.

After talking with a suspension repair company, he is strongly recommending that I remove the existing torflex system and put in its place the leaf standard spring setup. (using appropriate weight axles of course).

I am not sure about this move. What do you guys think about this proposal.

Please, all opinions or thoughts appreciated.

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Old 07-07-2013, 12:32 PM   #2
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The Torquflex is a good suspension system. If you need to raise the trailer a couple of inches, use a 2" x 2" square steel section. Make this about 2' or 3' longer on each end past the axle mounts. Weld this to the original frame and remount the axles. There is no reason to go back to a spring suspension system.


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Old 07-07-2013, 01:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
The Torquflex is a good suspension system. If you need to raise the trailer a couple of inches, use a 2" x 2" square steel section. Make this about 2' or 3' longer on each end past the axle mounts. Weld this to the original frame and remount the axles. There is no reason to go back to a spring suspension system.

Agree 100%, there is no way a leaf spring suspension will ride as good as the Torquflex. And the conversion he is recommending with new axles will cost more than just adding a subframe as TXiceman suggested. Finally, a leaf spring setup does not provide the added cross bracing between the main frame rails that the existing axles provide, so what warranty would the installer provide against frame rail 'roll'?
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:10 PM   #4
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I agree with everyone else. The cost for the axles, leaf springs and all hardware may be a little cheaper than having the existing suspension raised. The torsion suspension is way better. Sounds like you need a 6" lift on the 5'er. Probably need a 2"x6" rectangle tubing subframe welded to your existing frame. Spendy but it would keep the integrity of the stock suspension. Another alternative is to lower the rear of the truck by removing the spacer blocks between the springs and the axle. Then install some air bags to re-level the rear after hooking up. You would at least gain around 2" that way.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:17 PM   #5
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Riding that high off level will not be good on the tires on the fifth's rear axle, they will be taking most of the weight.
The pin boxes can be modified (sometimes) by drilling more matching holes in the king pin sleeve and pushing it further in. If there is an interference at the top of the sleeve then a portion of it can be (plasma) cut off.
I don't think it's a solution in your situation since you are already close to the truck bed sidewalls, so you have to raise the fifth. If you are off level by 6" unfortunately it means it will have to go up by 6", it doesn't matter what your wheelbase is from the pin to the center of the axles. That's a lot. 4" is more typical in those situations, you might have to do a combination of the pinbox mod and axle mod. Good competent frame shop (don't go to a dealer, they'll just send it out and skin you alive) should be able to do it. Depending what the Domani frame is a section square or rectangular tubing could be welded in the area where the axles are and axles re-attached below that added tubing. Being square to the frame and to each other (axle) is very important here. Torqueflex suspension is indeed a good suspension in a dual axle setup, but it's also very finicky when it comes to installation, Dexter has a whole bunch of pages on how to "properly" install those, this might be a reason why the suspension company wants to switch to a conventional spring setup. I would not be too "disappointed" with a spring axles, these have been around for a long time and they work very well. I would guess that the shop wants to do what is known as an "axle flip", I had it done on my fifth to go from a very low setup with a pickup (19 inch tires),

to pulling with a semi (22 inch tires).

You can see in the second picture that the tires on the fifth are not as deep into the well (4 inches lower). What the "axle flip" does it mounts the springs " overslung" vs. "underslung" you might want to discuss this terminology with the suspension company. There are two issues with doing this, the tires will be lower in the well and I don't know how funky it might look on a Domani, maybe not funky at all. It certainly didn't make any difference (in the "look") on my rig (16 inch fifth tires). Second your rig will be higher and the steps might not work as well. On mine I solved the problem with an "accessory step",

which we add to the steps every time we set up. Pretty cheap from the RV parts supplier.

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Old 07-07-2013, 08:18 PM   #6
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golden eagle,
I had the same problem, I put on the airlift road tamer air ride suspension system on my pickup and set the ride height to about 5" lower than stock, now 5er rides less than an inch from level and the truck rides level. The only thing I had to adjust on the truck was the headlights, with the rear lower the headlights were aimed too high, turned them down and everything is good. Airlift no longer makes this setup, but there are 2 or 3 other manufacturers that do. Price runs between 2500 and 3500.

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