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Old 05-03-2017, 10:00 AM   #1
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1968 20' Globetrotter
Lago Vista , Texas
Join Date: Dec 2010
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1963 Bambi wheel (4 lug @4.5" spacing)

I am usually very resourceful and find or build most challenges I come across. This one has me completely stumped. No one has been able to help. I have tried www.vintagetrailersupply , www.airstreamsupplycom, local and national trailer wheel stores...no one has a solution for me.

Here is my problem:
4 lug axel with 4.5" lug spacing.
13" wheel well
I need a spare tire.

The spacing on the lug/axel is the problem. I don't know how to fix this. I finally found a specialty wheel where the pattern fits, however the wheel depth is too deep and it doesn't fit in the wheel well.

Any help or suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-12-2019, 02:17 PM   #2
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1978 31' Sovereign
2006 22' Interstate
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My traveling buddy needs this rim for her Bambi

Yes, we are having the same problem—where can we source this wheel for her Bambi. Any suggestions, greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2019, 04:10 PM   #3
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The early Ford Falcon was a 4.5 in pattern. There are 4.5 and 4.25 dual lug pattern after market wheels sold. The 4.25 is used on Pinto and Mustang II. Maybe a bit of checking to find an original falcon steel spare. Maybe you can find a dual pattern set of chrome wheels.

Just what I Google, so may be all wrong. Good Luck. Pat

Edit - a wheel shop can narrow the rim or re-position the wheel center to correct the back space.
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Old 12-13-2019, 09:17 AM   #4
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1968 20' Globetrotter
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I never found a replacement wheel. We ended up replacing the axel with a current 5 lug. No regrets.
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Old 12-13-2019, 01:53 PM   #5
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Little Rock , Arkansas
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Mrzog and PKI,
Thanks so much for your tips. Turns out Patti’s wheel was not damaged beyond repair—a bit of concrete from the curb encounter was stuck between the rim and the tire. Tire shop cleaned it up and she’s holding air, so she’s still road worthy. But Patti wants insurance, so we are still trying to source two 13”, 4 lug, 4.5” spacing wheels that will take her pan hubcaps.

The tip to look in the Ford/Merc vintage Falcon enthusiasts is a good one. Many more of those were built than Airstreams!

Thanks again, and if you think of anything else...well, you know what to do!
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Old 12-13-2019, 06:55 PM   #6
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The issue with using a car wheel on a travel trailer is weight rating or capacity.
Not sure about early Falcon, but Pinto was a 2000 pound car. The 60-64 Falcon with 4 hole wheels is lighter duty than the five hole wheel. When Falcon got a V-8 Ford shifted to larger brakes and a 5 hole wheel.

Falcon/Pinto also has 4 wheels to support the weight. Bambi is likely on a single axle with two wheels. Meaning more load on each wheel for the travel trailer.

Be careful about using car wheels on a travel trailer. Just because it fits does not mean it will do the job. Unless your trailer is just being parked for use.

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Old 12-14-2019, 12:53 PM   #7
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1978 31' Sovereign
2006 22' Interstate
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I understand what you are saying Action, and we will proceed cautiously keeping the auto vs trailer issue in mind.

Here are my thoughts so far:
1. Did they even make specific "trailer rims" back in the 60's?
2. A 1962 Ford Falcon had a ship weight about 2400 lbs Ford Falcon Weight
3. A 1962 Airstream Bambi weighs in at 1875 lbs Airstreamguy

Not sure how to factor the 2 wheel (trailer) vs 4 wheel (auto) issue. Which is complicated by the fact that trailer weight I presume is the "dry, empty" weight, and the auto weight probably does not include passengers, luggage, or gas.
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Old 12-14-2019, 06:35 PM   #8
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Older rims on trailers were truck rims or split rims. These could handle far more weight than trailer rims. Trailer rims can handle more weight than passenger cars rims.

The rim on a used on a trailer should have lots of reserve. Trailers see lot more stress than a car will ever see. Travel trailer suspension has about half the movement than a passenger car. The tire takes a lot of shock which is passed on to the rim.

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Old 12-14-2019, 09:39 PM   #9
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Good points, thanks Action!
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:49 AM   #10
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The early Airstreams with the 4 lug axle had a reduced diameter spindle that was prone to breaking. The issue was more prevalent on the Caravels. I’m sure that there is a thread somewhere addressing this issue. I know of one owner personally that this happened too. The skin damage was extensive.
I’m not a doomsdayer here but it looks like you have a nice Bambi. The bummer here is that the 63’s had the Axles welded on and are more difficult to replace.
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Old 12-15-2019, 01:02 PM   #11
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For that arrangement the spindle was too small under certain conditions . The wheel were OK.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...ion-29429.html

http://vintageairstream.com/65-caravel-axle-damage/

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