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Old 08-04-2006, 12:21 AM   #1
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1962 16' Bambi axle replacement

Hello,

I just purchased a 1962 13' Bambi. I'd like to replace the axle and wheels right away.
Can you please advise me with manufacturer and specification selection?


Thanks,
Kamo
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:41 AM   #2
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Axle Replacement

There are 2 ways I see of doing it.
Hire it out to a competent facility or Do it yourself.
Either way can get expensive ( Talk is cheap Airstreams aren't ).
I suggest looking at 'Floor Replacement 63 Bambi' if you are a do it yourselfer.
Inland RV would be a suggestion not a paid endorsement if you had $$$.

R
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamo
Hello,

I just purchased a 1962 13' Bambi. I'd like to replace the axle and wheels right away.
Can you please advise me with manufacturer and specification selection?


Thanks,
Kamo
62's are wild cards, as that was a transition year fromleaf sprung solid axles to the torsion axle. Many of the axle beams were welded in place. Might not be on yours, but then again....
Seek professional help, at least for an estimate first.
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Old 08-04-2006, 07:13 AM   #4
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if it's a tortion bar axle, i just swapped out mine on my trade wind and helped a friend on his overlander. i ordered my axles from dexter. i think they were like $400 +/- each, including shipping. they put the brackets on backwards (front to rear) though, so i ended up redrilling the mounting plate, bolting them, and running a weld bead down the outside edge for peace of mind (for that inevitable unseen pothole on the highway).

basically, it's an all day job. you should definitely have a spare set of hands with you, those axles aren't too terribly heavy, but they're awkward as anything to move around. it's no fun having the whole trailer supported on jack stands, and you under it either. what i did there was lay a 2X8 across the width of the trailer, then put 2 automotive jacks under the frame. the board protected the belly. then put to stands up for added safety.

oh, one last thing, DON'T get under the axle when you're takign it out. we had to beat them out of the overlander, and when they finally gave, i lost a very fresh beer. NEVER leave a man in harm's way!



jordan
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Old 08-04-2006, 08:41 AM   #5
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Double

Double what A-Merry-Can said. When you order your axle make sure that they reverse the brackets on the axle. They forgot to do that on mine and it caused a great deal of work. If they do it right it's much simpler. If you like I could send you some diagrams. Dexter has a factory in the greater L.A. area.
Don
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Old 08-04-2006, 08:49 AM   #6
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you know, i even e-mailed them a detailed sketch of the axle, and they STILL got all 3 axles backwards. it's supposed to be longer on the front, rather than the back. i was concerned about leverage being weaker and it popping out the front bolt. i HATE fixing things twice!

jp
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Old 08-04-2006, 09:17 AM   #7
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Reverse brackets

Here is an image of Dexter's reverse brackets vs. original. This is the axle from/for a 68 Safari.
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Old 08-04-2006, 09:26 AM   #8
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1960 24' Tradewind
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Axle spec

Airstream actually lists this as a 16' (ball to bumper) 1875# DRY weight, 200# tongue weight. The original axle was 2500# rated with a 22 1/2 down angle, near or slightly down from horizontal was referred to as "normal load position" and 35 up from the 22 1/2 start was "extreme shock position" The problem with these axles was the size of the spindle, too small and resulted in some failures over time. Go with a 3000# if you change it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamo
Hello,

I just purchased a 1962 13' Bambi. I'd like to replace the axle and wheels right away.
Can you please advise me with manufacturer and specification selection?


Thanks,
Kamo
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Old 08-04-2006, 04:41 PM   #9
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Axle corrections.

A word of caution to those that have had to modify the axle mounting brackets on Dexter or for that matter on any torsion axle.

Cutting the mounting plate off, and rewelding it, will absolutely burn a part of the rubber rods, resulting in a reduced load capacity and ultimate failure.

You cannot and must not heat the rubber rods from welding.

As far as the Henschen warranty is concerned, cutting and moving the shock brackets, is ok, as that will not harm the rods.

However, they will void the warranty when heat is applied to the square tube.

Andy
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Old 08-04-2006, 07:26 PM   #10
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Inland RV, you are right on about heat and the axle tube. Thats why I separated the mounting bracket from the Axle bracket before doing any welding. However I did have some, not mentioning any names, suggest welding on the tube. The mounting bracket was bolted on to the axle bracket. So welding the bracket on as a separate piece is OK. Then bolting the axle in place when there was no heat. One should never apply heat to the tube or any part predominately attached to the axle.
Don
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Old 08-05-2006, 07:25 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies.

I now have the Bambi at my house. Axle is welded to the frame.
So does that mean the new axle has to be welded, or can this be converted to a bolt-on axle?

Thanks,
Kamo
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Old 08-06-2006, 02:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamo
Thanks for all the replies.

I now have the Bambi at my house. Axle is welded to the frame.
So does that mean the new axle has to be welded, or can this be converted to a bolt-on axle?

Thanks,
Kamo
A new Henschen axle, will be bolted to the frame.

Andy
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Old 08-07-2006, 12:40 AM   #13
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Bolt on!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kamo
Thanks for all the replies.

I now have the Bambi at my house. Axle is welded to the frame.
So does that mean the new axle has to be welded, or can this be converted to a bolt-on axle?

Thanks,
Kamo
Kamo,

Just ask the axle supplier to supply an A/P kit (attaching part kit) and they will be happy to provide a set of brackets that can be welded to the frame. The axle will then attach to these brackets, typically with 4 bolts.

Regards,
Henry
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:51 AM   #14
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Henschen axles "do not" require any welding of any kind in order to be attached to any of the older trailers, or for that matter "any" Airstream since 1961.

Saves time, money, and no need to make sure the axle is in proper alignment with the trailer frame and shell, which is an absolute must, or the trailer will tow dog leg.

Andy
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