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Old 10-24-2005, 04:15 PM   #29
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Not to open another can of worms here... but what do you think about replacing the old axles w/ new ones. And I just saw that Airstream has now started using Dexter axles http://www.dexteraxle.com Anyone know much about these compared to Henschen axles?

I kind of got the impression that it's a good idea to replace axles, no matter what. Not to mention I plan on increasing the gross weight of this trailer, so it would help out there, too.
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Old 10-24-2005, 05:26 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ankornuta
Not to open another can of worms here... but what do you think about replacing the old axles w/ new ones. And I just saw that Airstream has now started using Dexter axles http://www.dexteraxle.com Anyone know much about these compared to Henschen axles?

I kind of got the impression that it's a good idea to replace axles, no matter what. Not to mention I plan on increasing the gross weight of this trailer, so it would help out there, too.
Ankornuta,

Don't you have spring axles on your Cruiser? They are easy to replace, but unless you have spring, brake compatability or lug pattern issues, it is probably not necessary. A conversion to torsion axles would involve quite a bit of work including adding reinforcements to the frame for the mounting of the torsion axles.

Bill
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Old 10-24-2005, 06:01 PM   #31
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I suppose that replacing the axles might be a worthwhile endeavor if you find that the brake parts or bearing seals or something are difficult to find. Otherwise, I don't really see much point. Your springs are easily and inexpensively replaced, and the axles will last basically forever. I'd probably just leave them until you have a reason to worry about them.

Yes, otherwise, as Bill said, they can be replaced with axles from a number of manufacturers that build torsion axles provided you do the proper fitment for them. Dexter, AL-KO, and Henschen are the three that I'm familiar with, and they are all quality axles. There are others also, but I don't have any personal experience with anything other than the three I mentioned. A search for "rubber torsion axles" on Google will provide you hours of entertaining reading.

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Old 10-24-2005, 06:32 PM   #32
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wkerfoot and 85MH325, thanks again for the great advice! Once I get my trailer back from Oregon (it's supposed to be here on 11/02!!) I'll double-check and see exactly what kind of axles I have on it. The mechanic who has it in Eugene right now is doing a thorough inspection of the running gear also, so hopefully he'll be able to see any tell-tale trouble signs.

I do plan on reinforcing the frame anyhow, in order to add a few modern amenities, so perhaps that would be a good time to have reinforcement added for the potential future switch-over to torsion axles.
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Old 10-24-2005, 07:03 PM   #33
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There's not much point in worrying about it until you get the trailer and then do your homework. Each axle company has a unique mounting system for it's axles, so if you decide to replace the factory installed solid axle/leaf spring setup, you'll need to figure out whose axles you want to use, send them the measurements they require, and then modify your frame as required to accept the mounts once you have the axles in hand. There is no 'one-size-fits-all" solution. It's going to be a total custom install.

Roger
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Old 10-24-2005, 09:29 PM   #34
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ankornuta-
I had my axle replaced here in town at Auto Safety House. They took off my old one and had one built to match it exactly. Well, not quite exactly because they replaced the hydraulic type for the electric brakes. I didn't want to mess with hydraulic brakes as there was a connection on the tongue of the trailer for connecting to the tow vehicle's hydraulic system so the two vehicles worked off the same hydraulic system. Not my cup odf tea.

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Old 10-27-2005, 04:34 PM   #35
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Cool... it's always nice to know of local places!
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:26 PM   #36
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Exciting news... the people shipping my trailer down from Eugene to Phoenix are picking it up today from the mechanic and will be starting their trip here on Monday (which happens to be my birthday )

So... it looks like I'll have it home by next weekend at the very latest. Finally! Then the real fun begins...
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Old 11-10-2005, 06:00 PM   #37
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Okay, it was a little late. But it's here now and I finally get to pick it up, hooray!
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Old 11-10-2005, 08:26 PM   #38
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Yea!!!! I can not wait to see some photos. I love two door Airstreams.
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Old 11-12-2005, 08:08 PM   #39
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Finally Home - Lots of Questions

So, the trailer is home now. I'm trying to figure out a few things.

Tile Floor
I lifted the crappy indoor/outdoor carpet out and found tile underneath. It looks relatively good, but it'll probably have to go as it's kind of dried out and lifting on the edges. Is there any way to save this stuff?

Water Pump
Also, my water tank has the air pump nipple, but I did find a water pump attached to it on the inside. Was that an option in 1958? It's hard to tell the age of it, it looks old... but original?

Battery Charger
There's a battery charger attached to the wall above the sleeper couch. It's kind of a neat idea for charging the battery while plugged into shore power. I guess one of the POs did this. I like it.

Stove
A lot of people talk about "Princess" stoves in 1958 Airstreams, but mine says "Dixie". Is that just a model name, or is this not the original stove... or is that another brand that was used as well?

The floor is in pretty good shape (no sag or rot - but covered in sand! ), but I found out the toilet's not original, that's going to have to be replaced. Anyone know where I can get a toilet for a 1958 Airstream? Oh, and I see that the belly pan is falling off. I was planning on taking that off anyhow to clean up the frame. Oh well.

Lots of fun ahead for me! I've decided to restore the whole thing back to 100% original condition.
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Old 11-12-2005, 10:16 PM   #40
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That Sureflo pump is not original. If it had a pump, it would have been an air pump to pressurize the tank. Later Airstreams had PAR, belt-driven piston pumps. I think that "Dixie" was one of the "Princess" models.... but don't quote me on that one. If the tiles are curling, they'll need to come out.

Good luck!

Roger
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Old 11-12-2005, 11:07 PM   #41
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In the period trailers I've seen, they either had a Princess or a Dixie. The Princess appears to be the built in and supported by the cabinet model and the Dixie was the free-standing model much like those used in small apartments. Just my .02 worth.

Glad to hear it made it home safely. Now the real fun begins.

FF
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Old 11-13-2005, 02:23 AM   #42
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Tile

If the tile is 12 inches square, go ahead and remove it. If it's 9 inches square, it's asbestos - and while it's down it's not really dangerous, but removing it will break fibers loose and then yikes!

Best to have asbestos professionally removed. This involves keeping the area sprayed and damp to keep the dust down, having HEPA filtered vacuums or a/c units running while removing, wearing protective garments and a respirator, wiping down the whole inside of the trailer with damp rags afterwards - two or three times. After the floor dries completely it should be painted or sealed with varnish to keep any stray particles down.

It looks like it's the 12 inch though - and if it was press and stick, you may find yet another floor under that!

As for restoring it to 100% original, I'm all for doing that for appearance sake, but for basic safety, use a new water heater and furnace (put the old face plate on the front of the furnace), have the stove elements completely redone by a professional and consider a new refrigerator. (I saw a beautiful "restoration" where the owner had the old door installed on a new refrigerator - you couldn't tell the difference, but he didn't have to worry about leaking ammonia.

Also I'd replace the old univolt with an up to date battery charger so you don't boil your batteries or risk a fire.

Tin Lizzie
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