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Old 11-29-2014, 05:05 PM   #1
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1961 16' Bambi
Avinger , Texas
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1961 Bambi brakes?

Did the 1961 Bambi come with brakes standard or optional, or at all?

Looking into replacing axle, but if brakes were not original to the old Bambi's, does a 16' Bambi need brakes in your opinion?

TV will be 1/2 ton Chevy truck.
Will not be towing long distances with a bicycle 😜
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:45 PM   #2
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1963 16' Bambi
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Hey grayling,
Our 63 had original brakes. When I replaced the axle (Dexter) it came with the backing plate and brakes. They are nice for city driving and towing in the mountains. We tow with a 1/2 ton GMC. Get the brakes!
Tim
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Old 11-30-2014, 03:54 AM   #3
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1957 30' Sovereign of the Road
1959 28' Ambassador
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Peru , New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grayling View Post
Did the 1961 Bambi come with brakes standard or optional, or at all?

Looking into replacing axle, but if brakes were not original to the old Bambi's, does a 16' Bambi need brakes in your opinion?

TV will be 1/2 ton Chevy truck.
Will not be towing long distances with a bicycle 😜
Yes, your trailer has brakes, as all Airstream's do. I've replaced numerous axles on Bambi's of this vintage & everyone had brakes. The early Bambi's typically had a 4 lug pattern which is obsolete now. You'll have to get an axle with a 5 lug pattern, along with new wheels. Vintage Trailer Supply has wheels & hub caps to suit.
Good luck,
Colin
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:16 AM   #4
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Thanks all. When I get the axle replaced, I will get new brakes.
Yes 4 lug still present, needs upgraded.
Will also replace the 13" tires with 14" for lift. Etc etc.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:12 AM   #5
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Thanks all. When I get the axle replaced, I will get new brakes.
Yes 4 lug still present, needs upgraded.
Will also replace the 13" tires with 14" for lift. Etc etc.
You can replace you axle with many options.

You can upgrade to 12 inch brakes, self adjusting brakes, a greater starting angle, and an increase in weight rating.

All those changes cost nothing additional.

Andy
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:06 PM   #6
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Thanks all. When I get the axle replaced, I will get new brakes.
Yes 4 lug still present, needs upgraded.
Will also replace the 13" tires with 14" for lift. Etc etc.
14" tires won't fit in the wheelwell of a 61 Bambi. If you want more lift, the axle can be built with 32 degree torsion arms, instead of the original 22 1/2 degrees. Many of my clients have requested the higher torsion arms in order to gain ground clearance. Another option would to get high profile brackets on the new axle. As your trailer requires axle mounting plates to be installed (61's typically had their axles welded to the chassis) anyway, you could gain an inch without opting for the higher torsion arms. The high profile brackets would give the trailer a more subtle lift, without taking away from the original look. We have done both approaches on numerous client trailers & it works well.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:28 PM   #7
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1961 16' Bambi
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Wish you weren't so far away, Colin, or I'd have you fix 'er up.

Know anyone in northeast Texas, northern Louisiana or southern Arkansas who does a good job on vintage airstream axles?
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:44 PM   #8
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Hey Grayling,
Check with forum member Top.
Tim
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:01 PM   #9
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Wish you weren't so far away, Colin, or I'd have you fix 'er up.

Know anyone in northeast Texas, northern Louisiana or southern Arkansas who does a good job on vintage airstream axles?
We drop ship axles all over the country.
Colin
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:23 AM   #10
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Your trailers original dry weight was around 1800 lbs & the original axle weight rating is 2500 lbs.

Axles of this rating come with 10" brakes, which is what your trailer came with.

The current Industry Standard for 3500 lb (nominal) axles is 10" brakes. These axles can be de-rated as far as 2500 lbs or up-rated as far as 3700 lbs. 12" brakes are the current Industry Standard on 5000 & 7000 lb (nominal) axles.

5000 lb axles have a larger axle tube, spindle diameter, bearings etc than the 3500 lb version. 5000 lb axles can only be de-rated as low as 3500 lbs, which is far too high for your trailer.

5000 lb axles also have 6 lug hubs, which will not fit 13" or 14" wheels.

You should keep in mind that current production tandem axle models at the Airstream Factory have 10" brakes on trailers, up to 4800 lbs dry. They also use these axles on their lighter units, which are much heavier than yours.

Thanks,
Colin
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:00 PM   #11
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I put 14's on a 61 Bambi :/
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:13 PM   #12
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I put 14's on a 61 Bambi :/
What tire size did you use? I've tried 215/75-14 & they weren't even close.
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:15 PM   #13
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What tire size did you use? I've tried 215/75-14 & they weren't even close.
Colin
205's may work. They are used on smaller trailers with brakes.
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:51 AM   #14
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Wheel wells many times are opened by installing 1974 and up wheel well moldings.

Plus, they allow much more room when changing a tire.

Not a difficult task. A tandem cutout can be changed out in 3 hours or so.

Andy
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