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Old 06-20-2010, 08:35 PM   #1
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1961 16' Bambi
Jacksonville , Florida
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1961 Bambi wheel hub

Hello everyone,

This is my first post as a member, although I have been visiting this site for years. Today I purchased a 1961 Bambi. It is not in great shape, actually, it is pretty bad, but I was looking for a project. It has been sitting for years. My plan was to repack the bearings and pull it the short distance home. But I already ran into my first obstacle. I removed the dust cap and the nut. The outer bearing came right out, but the hub will not pull off, and the hub does not turn. Any ideas? Could the brake be locked up? Am I missing something?
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:08 PM   #2
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If it has been sitting for years than your theory that the breaks are "locked up" is probably correct. Over time rust and scale builds up inside the unprotected surface of the brake drum and this causes the brake shoes to grab the drum. if you can get to the adjustment star wheel than it may turn but is probably frozen in place too.

I used a hard rubber mallet on a 66 Mustang i got from "the woods" one time to bang the drum loose. It was an all day job. More than likely the drum is shot and splitting it off could be an option.


How far do you have to tow it? Back roads or highway? It may roll if you give it enough of a tug. Then the drums may break loose - you won't hut the brake shoes any more than they are already. Hook up and pull it a short distance and see if it rolls - stay off the road.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:17 PM   #3
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1961 16' Bambi
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Thanks for the reply. I have to take it about 25 miles. I have to get some new wheels/tires before I tow it. I will see if I can break it loose by pulling it - off road of course. Any ideas on where to find a new hub for this year/model?
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:13 PM   #4
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I'm not so sure you will be able to. If anyone will have those parts it will be InlandRV in LA, CA. Of coures he will try to sell you a whole new axle, that would be your choice.

The rebuild on yours for parts for the brakes may be costly. A complete new axle is the path i took for my 66 Caravel - it's not that hard and took me doing it alone about 4 hours in my driveway. Does this unit have leaf springs or is it a torsion axle? Leaf springs can be rebuilt. new brake sets from the backing plate out are available and can be changed in the field with ease (well, easy for me to say, I won't be doing the work).

Some pictures for others to chime in would be great.


Mike
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:23 PM   #5
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Brian,

The previous post is correct, pull it and it WILL break lose. But, be know that they will need to be replaced. Look up Axis Axle and they will build you the correct axle for around 300 bux complate with brakes. I have used axis on several trailers with no issues and thousands of miles towed.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:43 AM   #6
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1961 16' Bambi
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Thanks everone for your help. A new axle is one of my first priorities. I just want to get it home first. From what I can tell, it sat for at least 20 years. It is a torsion axle - no leaf springs. I cleaned up the outer bearing, and it looks good. I can't get back out to it until this weekend.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:41 AM   #7
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1961 16' Bambi
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If I try to back off the shoes with the star adjustment, which way do I turn the star to back off the shoes - Up or down? Is the star adjustment access at the bottom back face?
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:33 AM   #8
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1962 16' Bambi
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Hey BrianY.......Welcome! I hope you enjoy your Bambi. We have a 62 Bambi and restoring it has been a great "fun" learning experience. There is a wealth of info. in these forums and many great AS owners willing to share knowledge. If you would like to see the final outcome, check out the photos in our Profile (on left side, click on the "8" images).
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:06 AM   #9
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62Bam, Beautiful Bambi! I am a long way away from that. Here is where I am starting (if I can post the picture correctly)
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:34 AM   #10
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You may not believe it right now, but that looks like a great starter Bambi. Great find - what is the history? how did you get info in it being in the woods?

The star wheels on brakes always give me a head ache in trying to determine which direction to turn to relieve tension or add tension. Start in one dirction and see if you bottom out and cannot go anymore, it would only take a couple of tries to see what is the correct rotation direction - I would also be amazed if they turned at all but you may be very lucky.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:08 PM   #11
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1961 16' Bambi
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It was found on Craigslist by my wife. She knew that I have been wanting one of these for years, so she started checking Craigslist daily. The owner recently inherited the land.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by clancy_boy View Post
I'm not so sure you will be able to. If anyone will have those parts it will be InlandRV in LA, CA. Of coures he will try to sell you a whole new axle, that would be your choice.

The rebuild on yours for parts for the brakes may be costly. A complete new axle is the path i took for my 66 Caravel - it's not that hard and took me doing it alone about 4 hours in my driveway. Does this unit have leaf springs or is it a torsion axle? Leaf springs can be rebuilt. new brake sets from the backing plate out are available and can be changed in the field with ease (well, easy for me to say, I won't be doing the work).

Some pictures for others to chime in would be great.


Mike
Mike.

1961-1964 Bambi's and Caravel axles used a small spindle, that in time usually suffers a fatigue crack, during travel.

The hubs used on those same models, are no longer available, and have not been for many years, primarily due to the bearings being too small for the intended job.

As always, it's the owners call to repair, modify or replace, for that matter, anything on any part of an Airstream.

Andy
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:47 AM   #13
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1961 16' Bambi
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Andy,

Thanks for the info on the axle. This appears to be the original axle, so a replacement is on the "to do" list, but first I need to get it home. I am going to pull the hubs, repack the bearings, and take some back roads home. Do you (or anyone else) know the part number for the bearing seal so that I can track one down before I pull the hubs?
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:43 PM   #14
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Andy,

Thanks for the info on the axle. This appears to be the original axle, so a replacement is on the "to do" list, but first I need to get it home. I am going to pull the hubs, repack the bearings, and take some back roads home. Do you (or anyone else) know the part number for the bearing seal so that I can track one down before I pull the hubs?
Airstreams part number for the correct grease seal used on the 61 Bambi, is 680374, which unfortunately is no longer available,

However, Chicago Rawhide's number is 16811, and Trostel's number is GW240-144-6.

You may not need to replace the seals if your only going a short distance.

Andy 9.8
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