M101A1 Axle

old_CWO

Well-known member
So I got what I feel is a pretty good price for a 66" Dexter #5000 axle, 6x5.5 bolt pattern with electric brakes and top mount spring perches. $460 shipped unassembled.
Nice. I didn't realize you could get those big 12" trailer brake drums in 6x5.5; just assumed they were all 8 lug. Should be a pretty bulletproof setup.

Here's my previous trailer with spring under axle and old skool GY MTR 245/75R16 tires:
015.JPG

It looks like you could fit your 32s with it spring under if you needed to get it lower.
 

4lowdean

Observer
I haven't ordered it yet. I've been debating on that. The trailer o got set for years and the parking brake handles are pretty seized up. Debating whether it's worth messing with.
The one feature I really wish my current trailer had that it does not, is parking brakes. The M101 isn't small and it can build up some momentum on it's own. I remember I was trying to level it at the MOAF in PA one summer and just when I thought I had it perfect the trailer pivoted one wheel forward and one wheel in reverse and unleveled itself. Yes it has leveling jacks, but I only like using those for stability, not weight bearing.

From that point forward I swore one day I'd do parking brakes... just been procrastinating since other things (ls swap) took priority. I can get new brake drums for my current axle, but I'm not sure if I'm going to leave it under my M101 or swap it over to my M116. Time will tell.
 

Jshields

Member
Nice. I didn't realize you could get those big 12" trailer brake drums in 6x5.5; just assumed they were all 8 lug. Should be a pretty bulletproof setup.

Here's my previous trailer with spring under axle and old skool GY MTR 245/75R16 tires:
View attachment 578057

It looks like you could fit your 32s with it spring under if you needed to get it lower.
If I measured right then with the new axle, 285/75/16 tire and the original springs it will be just about level with my Tacoma.
 
Looking forward to see it come together.

Mine looks well sized behind my Colorado though it looked giant behind my Montero Sport.
 

Jshields

Member
Still shopping for a axle (I am horrible when it comes to decisions). Anyone have experience with Ultra-Tow axles? Northern Tool has them kn 3500lb in the length I want.
 

Jshields

Member
Got a Dexter 5200 idler axle on the way. Will probably show up while I'm at the Law Enforcement Academy 😡.
Decided to wait in brake till I see if I can find replacement parking brake handles.
 

DCH109

Adventurer
One bit of advice before you start: Most M101 series trailers are less than 48 between the fender wells - something like 45 if I remember right. In my opinion that is an Achilles heel on a trailer this size and capacity. I would strongly suggest moving the fenders out to at least 50" between the wells before settling on axle dimension. If you ever wanted to carry a 4 Wheel camper, 4x8 sheets of drywall or an ATV you will be glad you did it. The welds holding the fenders cut out pretty easy and then they can be slid out a little and re-welded. You would need a couple of fill plates for the floor of course. No biggie.

It will look a bit like a factory M101A3 when you're done and you will have a much more practical trailer. I personally would never own another M101 without that mod.
This is a good tip. I am looking at possibly putting an non overhang Alaskan camper on mine. I have an M101a2 and will be making this mod for sure.
 

DCH109

Adventurer
Got a Dexter 5200 idler axle on the way. Will probably show up while I'm at the Law Enforcement Academy 😡.
Decided to wait in brake till I see if I can find replacement parking brake handles.
Interested in what you picked up. I am getting ready to start my build this summer (once I sell a vehicle to make more room in the Garage)
 

Jshields

Member
I ordered the 5200. R and P Carriage makes them from 6000 axles. They called today and said the actual weight rating would be less than 5200 cause of the spaces between the hubs and spring perches so they upgraded to 7000 axle at no extra charge. I would highly suggest them.
 

4lowdean

Observer
I ordered the 5200. R and P Carriage makes them from 6000 axles. They called today and said the actual weight rating would be less than 5200 cause of the spaces between the hubs and spring perches so they upgraded to 7000 axle at no extra charge. I would highly suggest them.
Seriously? I'm running a 3500# axle with no issues on the stock springs. I'm glad you scored the upgrade for free, but even a 5000# axle is overkill for an M101.
 

old_CWO

Well-known member
This is a good tip. I am looking at possibly putting an non overhang Alaskan camper on mine. I have an M101a2 and will be making this mod for sure.
I saw a trailer set up like that for sale on CL a few months ago. It was well executed but all I could think was how much does it weigh? Both the M101 and the Alaskan camper are fairly heavy. Given that they are both also very well made it follows I guess.
 

DCH109

Adventurer
Per Alaskan's site on a new one. 1636 wet or 1380 dry
So with the trailer your looking at 2976 total weight wet not including any gear.
Payload of a stock M101 is 1500 cross country and 2250 highway per the Olive Drab website.
So it is over on a stock M101 when going off road, but on par going on highway.

Here is one from 2015 that was for sale on here.

I think it will be ok with a beefier axle and electric brakes for sure. Judging from the pic this one does not have either.
I think the good thing here is that it will lower reducing the center of gravity.


Sorry @Jshields for the hijack.
 

Jshields

Member
Got my axle in along with new led lights, Jack and 7 pin wiring harness. Going to get new tires this weekend if all goes as planned. Then hopefully one weekend when I'm home from the Law Enforcement Academy I can get it all together.
 
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