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Old 04-18-2010, 08:11 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Lug nuts vs. lug bolts

I managed to have a wheel come off my '74 Sovereign while going down I-75, thanks to my ignorance of the need to torque the lugs. Luckily, a passing trucker saw it wobbling and started gesturing at me frantically. The wheel came off just as I got over to the side.

For some reason, the front axles on my trailer have lug BOLTS, but the rear axle has lug NUTS. It was the left rear that came off. The original manual talks about lug bolts, so I am assuming along the way someone changed the rear ones.

Since I'm getting everything checked out and replacing tires and all, is there any particular advantage for having lug nuts instead of lug bolts? Can studs be attached to a drum currently having lug bolts? Is this something I should have done?
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:29 PM   #2
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Darfgog
Either someone changed one axle or changed hubs . Our 77 with the original axles had Hubs with bolts. When I changed axles the new hubs are bolts in the hubs and lug nuts.So it appears or at least sounds like a change has been made.You can buy new hubs( I'd replace em with new hubs with studs and new bearings and seals. You probably should replace backing plates and hubs and possibley bearings and seals both sides and then they should be like the other axle.Those old brakes are hard to find parts for best the shape of the magnuts has changed.
Good luck
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dorfgog View Post
I managed to have a wheel come off my '74 Sovereign while going down I-75, thanks to my ignorance of the need to torque the lugs. Luckily, a passing trucker saw it wobbling and started gesturing at me frantically. The wheel came off just as I got over to the side.

For some reason, the front axles on my trailer have lug BOLTS, but the rear axle has lug NUTS. It was the left rear that came off. The original manual talks about lug bolts, so I am assuming along the way someone changed the rear ones.

Since I'm getting everything checked out and replacing tires and all, is there any particular advantage for having lug nuts instead of lug bolts? Can studs be attached to a drum currently having lug bolts? Is this something I should have done?
There is a huge "failure" rate when lug bolts are used.

That type drum was very short lived on Airstream trailers.

Possibly someone changed out one axle, at some point.

Check and see how close the 2 axles serial numbers are to each other, as well as their weight rating.

There is a plate welded to each axle tube, that contains that information.

Andy
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:27 AM   #4
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Studs are much easier to place a heavy tire and wheel assembly up for mounting. Given a choice I would have studs with nuts.

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Old 04-19-2010, 10:04 AM   #5
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There is a huge "failure" rate when lug bolts are used.

That type drum was very short lived on Airstream trailers.

great. just great.

guess which ones I have?

So those KH drums--probably "original" (1973)?
{shrug} they still work.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:33 AM   #6
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My 75 has the bolts as well. It is a bit more difficult to replace a tire, but I have never had a bolt become loose.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:37 AM   #7
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I too favor studs because it is easier to change a tire.

It may be possible to replace the bolts with screw in studs., SeemsI have seen them at the Dexter dealer, At least it is something you could check on.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:39 PM   #8
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Thanks for the help everybody, I'm daily learning more about Airstreams that I ever wanted to know...

I was looking on the eTrailer.com site someone recommended. What size hub and drum fits? Are there different sizes for different year/model Airstreams? I would imagine they are the same, since all seem to use basically the same size wheel and tire.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:48 PM   #9
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My '66 has the original drum with bolts.

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Old 04-19-2010, 10:41 PM   #10
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Thanks for the help everybody, I'm daily learning more about Airstreams that I ever wanted to know...

I was looking on the eTrailer.com site someone recommended. What size hub and drum fits? Are there different sizes for different year/model Airstreams? I would imagine they are the same, since all seem to use basically the same size wheel and tire.
A 1974 Airstream used a 6 lug 12 inch drum.

The outer bearing # is LM67048.

The inner bearing number is # 25580.

That would be an exact match of the original.

Make sure you also replace the grease seal.

Anyd
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