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Old 05-18-2010, 06:45 PM   #1
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Axle off center...and...

Hi all-

Attached are two pics of the axle/wheel placement on my '64 Bambi II. It seems strange to me that the axle/wheels are off center front to back in the wheel well...ie the tire is closer to the front of the wheel well opening than the rear. It is straight...same side to side (passenger tire is same distance between wheel well opening). It seems strange to me that it is not centered.

I also think it is strange that my trailer sits so high. Is this normal? Most other pics of the smaller '60's Airstreams I have seen seem to show the tires sitting much further up into the wheel well opening and the trailer body closer to the ground. Just some observations as it sits in the driveway waiting for restoration...hoping this axle and its placement are OK as there are enough other things that obviously need replaced!!

Ben
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:32 PM   #2
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You need to pull the wheels and put it on jack stands. Then run a string from the jack to the center of each hub. That will tell if the axles are parallel. I just worked on a tradewind that the axles were not centered in the opening either though the axle was parallel. Remember these are made by man and everything is not always perfect.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:34 PM   #3
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It looks like the original axle may have been replaced with one that has a higher starting angle than stock. As the trailing arms pivot downward, the spindles will rotate forward, causing the tires to be further forward.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:39 PM   #4
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Yes, it does appear strange

Quote:
Originally Posted by PA BAMBI II View Post
.. It seems strange to me that the axle/wheels are off center front to back in the wheel well...I also think it is strange that my trailer sits so high. Is this normal? ...
As far as off-center, there is nothing that can easily be done. It is an aesthetic issue, though, unless the tire is contacting the wheel well or skin.

The height is okay by most standards; Nothing to worry about.

Tom
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:55 PM   #5
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Very interesting responses, folks. I know not whether the axle was ever replaced. Its placement has puzzled me since I first looked at the trailer, but that did not hamper me from buying it ;-)

Incidentally, I know I am the third owner of this '64. The second owners took it from NJ to California on a cross country trip in the early '80s. It then was used a bit over that summer, and parked since 1983...the last tag registration. I am currently working with the previous owner's nephew, from whom I bought the trailer, to get it titled in PA. Seems since the PO died and left the trailer to his nephew who then sold it to me, we need to produce a death certificate for the Uncle as well as a short certificate from the estate...since the nephew can't verify without those items how HE got it and is now has rights to sell it to ME. Fascinating.

And so it sits...not like I have time to get to it anyway! I did seal the roof vent as it was leaking and have been exploring it a bit, but can't get to it in earnest until mid summer.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:39 PM   #6
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I would guess that airstream moved the axle back a couple inches to get more tongue weight when it was built.
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:38 AM   #7
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can you climb under and take a photo of the axle for us? Try and focus in on where the axle tube meets the frame. Also in which direction does the arm coming off the axle face?
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:00 AM   #8
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After another look the axle is forward. Shouldnt the upper corners in the wheelwell be more rounded?
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:48 AM   #9
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After another look the axle is forward. Shouldnt the upper corners in the wheelwell be more rounded?
No, that's pretty much how they were.
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:52 AM   #10
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After another look the axle is forward. Shouldnt the upper corners in the wheelwell be more rounded?
Look here, http://vintageairstream.com/archives...iII/index.html every one here has the rounded corners on the wheel wells. Looks much different then yours.
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:54 AM   #11
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There should be a data plate on the axle tube somewhere(most likely on the front of the tube and off to one side. If it is original it will be rusty but a little 4/0 steel wool will polish enough to read the capacity of the axle and other info. Might help.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:12 PM   #12
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Wheel well shape

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Look here, 64BambiII every one here has the rounded corners on the wheel wells. Looks much different then yours.
I know...I have looked at many other Bamib IIs in pictures. The wheel wells are square-ish on this one. Mine is Bambi II serial #2 if that says anything. Maybe they had not ironed out the exact shape they were looking for yet as it was only the second one off the line in Jackson Centre and an early production (probably) five facet AS to boot. Seems I might find some other seemingly prototypical things as I get into it. It is unique.

Ben
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:32 PM   #13
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More photos of axle

I crawled underneath the trailer tonight and shot a few more pictures. It looks like the torsion part of the axle is behaving appropriately. I did notice that the axle looks slightly bent right at center...not sure if this is correct or not or whether it affects anything we've discussed in this thread.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA BAMBI II View Post
I crawled underneath the trailer tonight and shot a few more pictures. It looks like the torsion part of the axle is behaving appropriately. I did notice that the axle looks slightly bent right at center...not sure if this is correct or not or whether it affects anything we've discussed in this thread.
The bend is normal, and is part of the preset camber adjustment. It also looks like the trailing arms of the axle are still pointed downward, a good thing, and one reason why it is still sitting higher than most. Also, don't forget Airstreams were built in two locations, and yours might have a history with "the other factory". That may be why your wheelwells are slightly different from others. Our '63 had wheelwells similar to yours, though in a two axle configuration.
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