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Old 02-15-2008, 08:13 PM   #1
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Have you ever tried to change a tire on an Airstream?

I'm curious if anyone else has run into this: I tried to change my tire today, and found that I couldn't get the tire on or off without letting out a lot of air. What I thought would be a 5 minute, before work kind of thing turned into an all morning and after lunch job. The tires are G78-15 8-ply, on new rims, and the sidewalls of the tire wouldn't fit between the wheel lugs and the inside of the wheel opening. The trailer was high enough of the ground that the tire could stand on the ground, upright in the wheel well. I called the mechanic that put the new brake drums/wheels/tires on, and he patiently suggested a bunch of things, then finally suggested letting some air out, which worked. I used an air tank, borrowed from our local corporation yard, and pumped the thing most of the way back up. Also, it took a few tries to find a jack that worked, and I ended up with a floor jack.

I feel like I earned another Airstream achievement stripe!

Peter
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Globie64
I'm curious if anyone else has run into this: I tried to change my tire today, and found that I couldn't get the tire on or off without letting out a lot of air. What I thought would be a 5 minute, before work kind of thing turned into an all morning and after lunch job. The tires are G78-15 8-ply, on new rims, and the sidewalls of the tire wouldn't fit between the wheel lugs and the inside of the wheel opening. The trailer was high enough of the ground that the tire could stand on the ground, upright in the wheel well. I called the mechanic that put the new brake drums/wheels/tires on, and he patiently suggested a bunch of things, then finally suggested letting some air out, which worked. I used an air tank, borrowed from our local corporation yard, and pumped the thing most of the way back up. Also, it took a few tries to find a jack that worked, and I ended up with a floor jack.

I feel like I earned another Airstream achievement stripe!

Peter
Peter.

A bad torsion axle would keep the tire up into the wheel well more than it should.

Also, assuming the rubber rods are bad, when the trailer is lifted, the tire will not drop down as fa as it should.

A quick check you can make, is what is the position of the torsion arm on the axle, as it goes rearward?

The torsion arm comes out of the square tube, goes rearward, and has the brake backing plate mounted on the rear end of it.

Andy
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:20 PM   #3
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Globie64:

An old trick that seemingly has become "lost art" is to remove the threaded dust cap off the outer end of your 1964 axle before changing the tire. This gives you a little more "wiggle room" to get the hole in the center of the wheel over the axle end when changing a tire, notwithstanding the condition of your axle rubber rods.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:03 PM   #4
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Something else is the G78 is a bit wider than the numerical size (as in 7.00x15) tire.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:16 PM   #5
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My trailer has the same problem if I place the jack under the aft end of the trailing arm. If I place the jack under the very outboard end of the axle tube, right at the frame attachment point, the tire sags down further and allows the wheel to fit between the hub end and the wheel well opening.

I'll go ahead a post the "don't jack under the axle tube" warning...
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Old 02-16-2008, 07:22 AM   #6
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I have to do that all the time with mine.......but I went to 225/75-16 BFG Commercial T/A tires and 16" rims, so it's a self-inflicted problem! The new set-up is just wider than the original and needs to be 'bled' to put on or take off.............
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:04 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Same Concern

Ran into the same concern on our 63 Safari, the new radials

have a wider profile and just wouldn't fit without a bit of trial and error.

Finally settled on this procedure for an on the road tire change. Using a

bottle jack, (link) and jack stand at the axle mount flange,removing the

bearing cap and coating the tire side wall with silicone grease, (in our

case the sidewall was too wide and would rub on the inside of the

wheelhouse opening.) we could change the tire without having to let any

air out. At the time we didn't have a portable compressor.

Have always taken the wheels off for winter storage, just could not get my

head around leaving them on thru a Buffalo Winter, sitting in the same

spot, imobile.

Do have a shop compressor and 200' air line so the Spring make-ready was

mount the flat tires and be done with it.

Trial and error....whatever floats your Stream.

JUST DO IT SAFELY!!!!


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Old 02-16-2008, 10:26 AM   #8
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other changes made?

You say you put on new wheels too? Are they the correct off set? How about the tire size? It might be a size to big. I had to go back to 225's on the Caravel because the other sizes were just about "that much" to big. I had moved up to one of Andys' recommended heavy duty Henchens.
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Old 02-16-2008, 03:45 PM   #9
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Hi, thanks for the input. I had the axle checked when I had the brakes done, and the mechanic said it was okay. They're pretty reputable, and I liked the work they did. For my post, I wrote G78, but they're actually H78s, or 225/78-15, so it makes sense that the tire is just a little too wide. I remember the old split rim wheel that came with it (laying inside, it had two mismatched Toyota truck rims to roll on when I bought it) They work fine other wise; I had the thing on the road this morning, and it all works well. I'm just stoked to have it rolling, and have a spare!

Peter
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:12 PM   #10
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Change a tire?

Lewster
I don't know why you are having clearance problems with your Commercial T/As, they are the same width as the ST225/75R15s. That is why I went went them.
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:15 PM   #11
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It sounds like the new tires are a little bigger than the width of the originals, H78 vs G78, so that might be the deal. I didn't see the original drums, but maybe these make the wheel studs protrude? Letting the air out to 20psi made it possible to slip them in.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beginner
Lewster
I don't know why you are having clearance problems with your Commercial T/As, they are the same width as the ST225/75R15s. That is why I went went them.
Beginner
The clearance on the fender wells is a little tighter than on the older units, and the outside of the fender drops a bit lower also, making for less room to get the tire on. The OEM size was tight but do-able......the 16's just miss..... but fit fine deflated.

I always carry a quality 12VDC compressor with me, so there is no problemto re-air.
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:13 PM   #13
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"...The OEM size was tight but do-able..."

thanks, I thought I was losing my mind, trying to mount the spare and it would not go into the wheel well. I'm glad I learned this in the nice, quiet lot where I keep it, rather than at night, along a highway somewhere.
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