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Old 10-13-2013, 09:10 PM   #1
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1964 26' Overlander
lewisburg , West Virginia
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'64 Overlander - Wiring mess I inherited

Hello folks,

I am a new owner of a 1964 Overlander Int. L.Y. "project". This is my second Airstream, having revived a '56 Overlander back in 1995, sadly then convinced to sell it in 1998.
I am trying to get the power/wiring back online from front to back. I have been able to determine the color wires & their designated purposes, but what the P.O. did was excessive and parts may be missing.
I need help putting this back together. The front Rub edge is gone, the front undercarriage is detached (Popped rivits) across the front and down the center 3-4 feet. The main plug-7 wires are hanging out from underneath, but spliced to dead end wires. There is also the original? round pin plug-7 coming out in front behind the hitch, going through the boxed frame. A rusty brake-away switch is hanging free and detached.
I am going to do some testing to check the wires, but where the junction is, is a question, as well as, how it looks when done correctly.
Anyone having photos to share with me, It would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, - LL
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Old 10-14-2013, 04:44 AM   #2
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Can you post photos of what you got?
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:12 AM   #3
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1964 26' Overlander
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Here's a few views of the mess. If anyone has an idea of how to put this back the right way... I'd be very grateful!

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Old 10-14-2013, 11:18 AM   #4
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1964 26' Overlander
lewisburg , West Virginia
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The rub edge is there - my bad, maybe it's the rounded "Banana wrap" between the frame A arms that's gone? P.O. sent his wife to get the trailer... felt like a "Fast dump" situation.
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:46 AM   #5
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Yes, it is a mess. Here is a suggestion for how to proceed. It is what I would do at any rate.

1. Get a charged 12 volt battery and connect the - pole to the frame. Most likely you can also connect it to the large white wire which is usually the negative one on all Airstreams.

2. Connect a 15 amp fuse and test wire to the + pole of the battery. Have extra fuses available.

3. Find the original trailer battery location and tape the ends that went to the battery. Do not plug the trailer into 120 volt power, in case the Univolt is still operational.

4. Touch the end of the fused wire to each of the smaller wires that are available, except the white ones. If the fuse does not blow, walk around and look at the lights, you may be lucky and find the marker lights, or tail lights, or right or left brake/directional lights operating. Mark each wire as you identify what it connects to. However, be aware that even if you find a wire which does nothing, it may be connected to a rusted socket or missing bulb in the rear lights, and needs to be repaired on that end too.

If you hear a click, you may have identified the brake wires. A compass put near the brake has also been used to identify when the brakes are activated, but I have never used that technique. What you are looking for, in this step, is which color wire goes to which item, directional lights, marker lights, and brakes.

The brakes are usually a larger wire than the others, and may be yellow on your year of AS. As I recall the charge line to the battery is often blue, but don't rely on any of that with the mess you have. The brake wires may be a pair, in a sheath like household Romex wires but more flexible. If you find anything that looks like that one side connects to the white wire (negative) and the other to the brake line from the Tow Vehicle. Both have to be connected to make the brakes work. It is also common that the lines to the actual brake magnets are corroded off, near the brake drum and each will need to be inspected and repaired.

The other large wire, blue, or black commonly, may be the one which goes to the trailer battery as a charge line, and also to supply the break away switch and power jack up front.

5. Once you identify which wire is for which system (brakes, charge line, right turn, left turn, marker and possibly back up lights) you can buy a pre made up umbilical cord with the now common Bargman type flat blade connector on it. It should come with a wiring color code telling you which colors are for each function. Then connect it up to the wires you have identified in the steps above and presto, changeo, you may be in business.

6. You can also send me a plane ticket and hotel reservations, and I might do it for you....lol. Also, a nutcase like me might be available locally at the WBCCI meetings who could help you out.

I hope this helps.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:17 PM   #6
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1964 26' Overlander
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Thanks idroba, I will get to it when I get dry daylight hours to. I am noticing in my photos, a square patch riveted on around where the wires are hanging out. Am I to guess that the wires were wire-nutted together and stuffed back in, to hang free behind that patch normally? No junction box?
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:43 PM   #7
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1964 26' Overlander
lewisburg , West Virginia
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Well, the joke was on me. The wires I found came from the front plug and not from the trailer's systems at all. The wires I need to connect to were about 2 foot back from the access panel. Looks like I'll be dropping the bottom pans & perhaps even do a Body & frame removal job.
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