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Old 10-05-2017, 11:38 AM   #121
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Old 10-05-2017, 06:50 PM   #122
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Hello TouringDan: Installing awkward axles by yourself is a chore. I had the same experience. I had to widen the slot in the axle plate as well as drill two new holes. I also drilled a pilot hole first before pushing that 5/8" drill through it. The 8 new holes wore me out.

My axles are 2800 pound max rated. They came with 10" drums, which I understand is the standard. The old axles were 12" drums.

I make a little cradle to hold the axle from tipping while I jacked it up with two floor jacks. It worked good enough.

Your Airstream will ride smoother with the new axles. When the axle rubber gets hard as a rock, there is no longer any suspension at all. And then you start seeing sheared rivets, overhead lockers coming loose, and the like.

New axles also adds value to the trailer.

Work safe,

David
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Old 10-05-2017, 07:55 PM   #123
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Excellent advice, Dan
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:19 PM   #124
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ASTREAM QC PROBLEMS IN 1966!

I had installed both axles and 3 out of 4 of the shock absorbers. I went to install the 4th shock absorber and it would not fit. There was physically not enough space between the shock absorber mount on the axle and the frame. This can be seen in the first photo. The shock mount welded to the frame is directly behind the mounting bracket where the lower part of the shock is suppose to attach to the bracket. If you look at the last photo of post #121 this shows where the shock bracket that is welded to the Airstream frame is suppose to be welded. It was clear that I would have to grind off part of the shock mount that was welded to the frame to make room for the shock absorber. I measured the distance between the bracket on the axle and the frame. The second photo shows this measurement- 2 1/16". I then measured the shock to see how much space was needed. The next photo shows this is 2 1/8". So still not enough space, I will just need to grind off part of the head of the shock mounting bolt to make room for the shock to fit.

The reason I brought up the qc comment is that there was plenty of room on the left side of the Airstream to install the shocks. The problem was on the right side. One of the shocks barely had enough room to be installed, the last one clearly does not have enough room, but I think that I can fix this. My theory is that the person installing the shock mounts on the left side did it correctly while the person installing the shock mounts on the right side screwed up.

Dan
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:05 AM   #125
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I love your cork floors. They look so nice!
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:14 AM   #126
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I finally got my last shock installed. I had to cut away part of the mounting bracket that was in the way (photo 1). I also had to grind off part of the shock bolt head. However this solved the bolt clearance problem, but the shock itself was right next to the bracket with no clearance at all. To fix this I replaced the thick shock washer with a thin washer. There is plenty of clearance now.

The second photo shows the installation from the inside. There is room for a flat washer for one of the locations, but not for the other. It was also not possible to use a socket on this nut. I was able to toque the bolt to 150 ft-lbs just using an adjustable wrench on the inside to hold the nut.

Dan
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:02 PM   #127
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DEXTER EASY LUBE SPINDLE- I LIKE IT!

When I ordered my axles from Colin Hyde, he told me that they were available with the easy lube spindle. I had not heard of this feature and did not know what it was, but I ordered them this way based on his recommendation. The axle installation instructions contained no information on the easy lube feature so I went to the internet and found the figure shown in photo 1. This shows the grease flowing from the grease fitting through a hole in the center of the spindle, then flowing through two passages to an area behind the inside bearing, then through the inside bearing, then through the outside bearing then exiting the spindle through the clearances between the D washer and the outside bearing.

The next photo shows the spindle with grease flowing out a single passage. Note that I only saw one passage, not two. Maybe this is because mine is a small axle, only 3,500 lbs standard capacity. The next photo shows the spindle with both bearings installed. The last photo shows the hub installed along with the disc and the disc brake caliper. It is now ready to grease using the easy lube grease fitting.

Dan
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:27 PM   #128
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What the diagram doesn't show is the grease pumped in is being forced out the rear grease seal. Some folks have done an excellent job of greasing their brake drums by pumping too much grease into the axle.

I'm still a disassemble, clean, inspect, pack by hand, and reassemble guy. I feel like I accomplished something significant when I do this. Old senile men are hard to change.

David
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:08 PM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
What the diagram doesn't show is the grease pumped in is being forced out the rear grease seal. Some folks have done an excellent job of greasing their brake drums by pumping too much grease into the axle.



I'm still a disassemble, clean, inspect, pack by hand, and reassemble guy. I feel like I accomplished something significant when I do this. Old senile men are hard to change.



David


David

Grease is going to take the path of least resistance. It will go past a failed grease seal and cause problems if the seal is defective. If the grease seal is performing properly then it will flow out the front of the axle.

Are you saying that you would not order this feature if you were ordering new axles today?

Dan
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Old 10-09-2017, 06:35 AM   #130
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DEXTER E-Z LUBE IN ACTION

The last photo of post #127 shows the hub installed but without the D washer and the spindle nut. I had already greased the bearings manually but now was ready to grease the hub using the E-Z lube grease fitting. After about 25 strokes of the grease gun, the hub was filled with grease and the grease started pushing the visible bearing out (photo 1). A couple more strokes and the bearing had been pushed out about 1/4" (photo 2). I then installed the D washer and spindle nut and continued to fill the hub with grease. The third photo shows grease coming out between the clearances at the end of the spindle. I could detect no difference in the amount of effort required to operate the grease gun once the hub was filled with grease. This operation convinced me that grease was flowing through both bearings when the E-Z lube feature was used. I believe it greases the bearings just as well as when greasing them manually.

The last photo shows the disc brake fully assembled with the grease cap in place. Before I installed the grease cap the bearing end play was adjusted and the spindle nut keeper was installed. Now when I want to grease the bearings all I need to do is to remove the rubber plug and apply grease using the E-Z lube feature, and I will have the confidence knowing that the bearings are being properly greased.

Dan
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:50 AM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisetmike View Post
I love your cork floors. They look so nice!


Thank you chrisetmike. We have been very happy with them and they have held up well except in some places that have gotten wet.

Dan
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:33 PM   #132
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Hello TouringDan: I believe I installed 2800 pound rated Axis axles under my Trade Wind if memory serves. I believe that's what Colin Hyde recommended. He rightly pointed out how we add modern appliances, better mattresses, bigger furnaces, fancy floor coverings and the like which add weight to the trailer.

What weight rating axles did you put under your trailer? You mentioned 3500 pound axles. I think Dexter is the sole manufacturer of the "dura torque" rubber rod axles now. I think they bought our Axis. I'm not sure on this. Axis used to offer rate ratings in like 200 pound increments.

I wonder if higher rated axles are like putting overload springs under our trucks. The ride might get pretty stiff.

thanks,

David
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:45 PM   #133
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David

I believe that you are correct that the original axles were 2,800 lb. The last time I weighed my trailer the weight was 4,800 lbs with a tongue weight of 600 lbs. This means that each axle carries 2,100 lbs. I ordered 2,500 lb axles. I believe that with the changes that I have made over the years that I am lowering the weight of my trailer, not increasing it. Most of the changes I have made have reduced the weight. Here are the changes: lighter AC unit (5,000 btu window unit), lighter toilet ("Curve" porta potty), lighter converter, lighter brakes, etc. I believe that I have lowered the weight by about 200 lbs. I will find out when I finish my renovation work.

Dan
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:08 AM   #134
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MORE QC SHOCK MOUNT PROBLEMS

Post 124 and 126 discussed QC problems associated with installing the right front shock due to the location of the shock mount. The location of the shock mount for the right rear shock is also causing problems now. It is not a problem with the location of the rear shock (photo 1), but the shock mount that extends about 1" below the frame is in the way of the flexible brake fluid line that has to connect to the right rear disc brake caliper. I had to cut the part of the shock mount off that extended below the frame (photo 2). There is now plenty of room for the flexible brake line.

Dan
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:08 PM   #135
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Glad to hear you were able to order the weight rating you wanted for your trailer. Yes, you have made your Trade Wind lighter. The original toilet was a monster. It must have weighed 50 pounds. And the original univolt was a heavy weight too. My air conditioner maybe weighs 80 pounds. PEX is lighter than copper.

You reduced more weight by trimming that shock mount. I sure wish my trailer had disc breaks. It would be great to have in these mountains. I'm glad my Super Duty diesel does a good job with engine braking. I don't have to ride the brakes too much.

David
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:25 PM   #136
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David

I am really excited about having disc brakes. I love the simplicity of them and that they perform much better than drum brakes. Now if I can just get the rest of the braking system installed and working properly, I will really be a happy camper.

I was thinking about some of your comments about working on your back. Granted, it is not easy, but lately I have been really enjoying the view. What I see is everything new- belly pan, frame freshly painted, disc brakes, axle, shocks, banana wrap, etc.

Dan
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:50 PM   #137
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BANANA WRAP WOES!

I have always thought that the rear banana wraps on the 66 Tradewind was one of the most attractive design features. I needed to replace mine because the right one was creased and the left one had the utility hole in the bottom that I no longer have a need for.

The first photo shows the area with the repaired floor, repaired electrical conduit and the painted frame. The second photo shows the area insulated, not exactly easy or neat. The third photo shows how not to install the banana wrap. I started at the front and worked toward the rear. This did not work. Do not do it this way. I cut a new piece of banana wrap and installed it starting at the rear and working toward the front. This worked much better. It was dark when I finished, so no photo tonight. I am happy with the results. Tomorrow I will complete the left side banana wrap.

Dan
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:27 PM   #138
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Disc brakes were created by the aircraft industry I think. I do know Jaguar used them on their 57 D type Jag and won LeMans with them among other factors. I remember my buddy's 62 MGA "Deluxe" had disc brakes. They were a big deal as I was growing up. I wish I had them on my Overlander as my 10" drums on the former Trade Wind got pretty hot coming down our mountain. I could smell them. Maybe I didn't have the controller adjusted right.

You must be a true vintage Airstream enthusiasts if you enjoy working on your back under a dirty old trailer. Just think, all those improvements you made under there aren't going to show! All those improvements will add value to your Trade Wind. A solid frame, solid subfloor, good insulation, new belly pan, new axles, and fancy disc brakes will add significant value even if no one can see them.

I did start from the rear of the trailer on my rear flat wraps. (They don't look like bananas to me, so we will officially change the name.) I had to trip a bit to make the wrap fit close to the frame and match the rear wheel outrigger. I struggled with these pieces. They are flat and give the trailer the appearance of a significant rear approach angle. This changed with the new body style in 69. You can kinda see the rear wrap in the attached photo. I was installing a new above floor black tank in the son's 69 Globetrotter. Above floor tanks with straight down drains are the pits.

Go lay on your back under your trailer and smile.

David
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:07 PM   #139
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Here is the photo of the finished right side banana wrap. It took two tries to get it right. I was hoping that I could do a similar nice job on the left side, but it did not work. I am not happy with the results. I will let it go for now because it is crunch time to go camping with my family, but in the future I will need to redo it.

David- time to go lay on my back now and install hydraulic brake lines for my disc brakes.

Dan
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:06 PM   #140
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Now that I am finished with the right side banana wrap I just had to post of photo of the before and after. The before photo shows the gray tank dropping down, due to the metal box support rusting away, and the banana wrap with a crease in it. The after photo shows the gray tank modifications- no box to support it and the removal of the frame extension that is no longer needed for the box and the new banana wrap.

I was not able to come up with a better design than Airstream had for the top of the bumper trunk that tends to allow water into the interior allowing it to wick water up to dampen the bottom of the floor, so I sealed the top, bottom and edges of the new flooring that I replaced and caulked the joint, between the bumper top and the outside trim to keep the water out (photos 3 and 4). I used TremPro 635 caulking (probably the stickiest caulking I have ever used).

Dan
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