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Old 02-17-2009, 06:08 PM   #99
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What to do with my Bargman 2's




For the past few days, I have been wondering what I will do with my trailer's lights. While towing home, only the side clearance lights worked. No brake lights, signal lights, electric brakes...you get the idea. The wiring sure is old in here, and the sheathing is some kind of fibrous material that is peeling away. I decided to pull the bezels off the tail lights to check them out.


The tail lenses and bezels are in good shape aside from a hair line crack in one lens, and rust stains from the old screws it had holding it in place. The gaskets I peeled off the lenses however were not as lucky. They were cork and about 50% gone from each light. This with the rear hatch were probably my biggest problems for leaks. I will need to make a new gasket with rubber from the hardware store, or perhaps enough butyl putty and vulkem will make it nice and tight (Just kidding).

After removal and inspection of the lenses, I turned my attention to the bulb fixtures. You can see that on bulb has two wires going to it while the other bulb only has one. It also is interesting that the bulb with two wires going to it has two filaments in it. None of these have worked since I brought it home, so I don't know which bulb works for what. From the picture I have here, you can see how badly the wire is coming out of the fixture. I want to replace all the wiring, but this will likely mean new bulb fixtures. Anyone know where I can get them that are still this size?

The last thing I need to deal with back there is the center light which doubles as a license plate bracket holder. One of the screws holding the lens on is a star pattern that I am unfamiliar with. This light has never worked, and the wiring is pulling out like the rest of the fixtures. The housing is badly pitted, and I believe that the bulb housing will be in just as bad of shape as the others. Your thoughts are welcome and appreciated.


Lens with star headed screw

Wires in bad shape and a pitted housing.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:44 PM   #100
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Steve, The wiring insulation that is flaking off is most likely asbestos braided or asbestos wrap type wire covering. It usually flakes off in little pieces like cardboard that has broken down over time and with moisture damage. All that wiring should be replaced as you are also doing with your interior electric wiring. The sockets may be able to have the guts replaced. New springs and connectors are available from Carquest auto parts or other auto electric supply stores. The belly pan aluminum is readily available from Alcoa thru a local metals supplier. I have a place right here in Milan that sells surplus or can order direct from Alcoa at their Bettendorf, Iowa plant that is 10 miles north of here. on the Mississippi river. You may very well have a surplus dealer or a shop that can order these sheets new. The surplus place here can supply me with surplus sheets and only needs a thickness. When I strip off the belly I will be replacing it all as it has been patched several times by the PO's. I will also have to have the box around the black tank rebuilt and I am looking at where I can get that done locally. Needless to say there is always (found) work to be done on my Aluminum Dream Project. Ha! Hope you can get what you need there in St. Louis but if not let me know and I will find what I can for you here. If you can get the thickness of your belly pan panels I can check prices here. Then you'll have to road trip to haul 'em home. Let me know> Regards to Amy and Colin. Ed
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:32 AM   #101
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Quote:
After removal and inspection of the lenses, I turned my attention to the bulb fixtures. You can see that on bulb has two wires going to it while the other bulb only has one. It also is interesting that the bulb with two wires going to it has two filaments in it. None of these have worked since I brought it home, so I don't know which bulb works for what. From the picture I have here, you can see how badly the wire is coming out of the fixture. I want to replace all the wiring, but this will likely mean new bulb fixtures. Anyone know where I can get them that are still this size?
Steve,
The bulb with the single wire and filament will probably be a running and/or turn signal lamp. The bulb with the dual contact and dual filaments will probably be a running and brake lamp. One filament is used as a running lamp when the vehicle running lights are turned on and the other filament illuminates when the vehicle brakes are applied. Somebody around her probably has a wiring schematic for your trailer.

Could your mystery screw on the license plate bracket be a torx head screw??? The screws in the photo are blurry so I couldn't be sure. But phillips and torx head scres are the only fasteners that I would would describe as being star patterned.

Torx head screw pattern...
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:12 AM   #102
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Dietz,

I am going to get a better pic today, but I don't think it is a torque bit. It may be, but I don't think so. I want to get new pigtails for the lights and have fresh wiring.

Steve
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:29 AM   #103
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steve, you could Dremel a slot for a flat head screw... I'm sure that's not an orginal bolt.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:36 AM   #104
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gasket kit

Hi Steve. I have purchased gasket kits from auto parts stores that include several small sheets of a couple different gasket materials, one of which was a kind of rubberized cork.

The cork sheets came in two different thicknesses, and cut fairly easily with a good, sharp x-acto knife. You could trace a pattern from your light housings and go from there. Just another option.

We're looking forward to the rallies this year, and a whole lot warmer weather.

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Old 02-18-2009, 09:52 AM   #105
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I have been outside all morning getting ready to work. First I had to move my BBQ trailer into the front yard from the drive way. Next I hooked up the ambassador that is in the side driveway, and moved it into the main driveway. It isn't sitting level, but the fridge isn't on so it should be okay. Next was to move the BBQ trailer into the back yard. I have a very tight area to maneuver, and couldn't get the truck past the Ambassador. My main goal is to move the flying cloud out to the side drive to give a better, more level, and more stable working area. As long as the wheels are on the side drive, I should be alright.

Lets hope the wind dies down and the temp goes up, but doesn't look that way right now.

Steve
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:45 AM   #106
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Good help is hard to find. I hired a laid off union carpenter/welder to do the work on my trailer. We met for a few hours the other day and he told me his experience. He lived close by so the commute was right. My hired hand showed up this morning to quit the job without even starting to work. He said he knew how special the trailer was, and didn't want to risk messing it up. I greatly appreciate him for this, but the search now must start over.

One thing I noticed while looking at the trailer today is that the aluminum is toast where the bumper exits under the shell/belly in rear, and where the A frame exits the shell/belly in the front. Anyone have a good way of redoing this to prevent alot of moisture from getting into the belly pan?

Steve
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:00 PM   #107
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Moving Day, Loving the Lectro, and an Illuminating experience.

Today was a big day in preparation of getting to start on the trailer. I started the day by moving the BBQ trailer from the drive and into the front yard. I then hooked up the Ambassador and moved it into the right hand side of the main driveway.

What a pair

This would clear the side drive for the Flying Cloud. After moving the Ambassador, I moved the BBQ trailer into the back yard, and finally moved the Flying cloud onto the pad.

Her new home (For now)

I hired a local unemployed union carpenter/welder to do the frame work and floor replacement on the trailer. Today he showed up on time, but decided to decline the job. After reading the Airforums threads, and knowing how important my trailer is to Amy and I, he didn't want to chance messing anything up with it. I thanked him, and proceeded without him.

In 1953 all the appliances and fixtures in Airstream trailers ran off of 110v shore power only. There was no 12v wiring, and in this model there was not a fresh water tank. A concern of mine through all of this was the Lectro brand hot water heater.


It never worked after I brought it home and tested it. Digging deeper, I tested the thermostat, and it tested fine (Electrically speaking). I uncovered a cast iron tank about the size of a basket ball with a metal band around it. The metal band was the heating element. It had two screws that apparently got so hot that they broke. I added a new cord, plugged it in, and to my suprize the band heated right up. I am so happy not only to have the original working, but now I don't have to cut a hole in the side and run propane. Since we are not having a shower, the hot water will only be used for dishes.

After taking the lights out yesterday I decided to try a little experiment. I grabbed my trickle charger, and clipped the fixtures from the trailer. My first objective was to get the propper bulb numbers. Each tail light has a double filament bulb that was a #1176. The other bulb in the tail light and the license plate bracket was a #1141.

Trickle charger setup

I clamped the negative lead of the trickle charger to the fixture housing, and touched the bulb wire for each wire in the #1176. A little snap and pop from the corrosion that was on the wire, but each filament lit up. I tried the same on the #1141, and got the same result.

Bulb #1176

Bulb #1141

The license plate light was a different story. I had to remove the red glass lens to get the ball rolling. The phillips screw came out with little effort, but the screw with an asterisk (*) shaped head was far more troublesome. It was not a torque head like some suggested, but after enough force and select four letter words, I was able to get the cover off. Inside was a glass ring and the bulb. The glass ring is cracked, and chipped in many places. I don't think VTS carries these, so I will need to call a glass manufacturer. After I removed the bulb, the rest of the pigtail fell out the bottom. The spring and wiring was completely corroded, and I will need to replace it. With enough finagling I was able to test it. Success!!!!!


I went to the local O'reilly's auto parts store and took my fixtures with me. I was able to get all new pigtails that work inside the old sockets. Overall cost was about $10.00 to get new wiring, terminals, springs, etc. Thanks to Scott with the 63 Safari from around the World on that one. No I need to figure out out of the three filaments....which is running, which is brake, and which is signal.

I want to thank Marcus for getting me out to work on the trailer. He challenged me, and it was something I needed to get going again. I want to start putting POR-15 on the frame, but it is still too cold, and hardly any humidity. My frame is rusty, and I want to paint directly over the rust. Not familiar if I need to use metal clean or metal ready on it since it is pretty rusty already. I am also curious about my hitch. It was welded on and still has the black factory paint on it. I want to paint it with POR, but don't know if I need to take this pain off it first, and POR should not be used over other paints.


Any comments would be appreciated
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:29 PM   #108
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Glad I could be of service, Steve, and it's nice to see you moving along.

Won't comment on the hitch, but for the frame, knock off all the loose rust with a wire wheel on your drill, and a wire brush in places the wheel won't reach.

Then use the Marine Clean on the old metal, right over any remaining rust, just follow the instructions on the bottle. When you're done with that, paint on the POR-15.

For any new steel that you might have to put into the frame, you can use the Marine Clean to get rid of any lingering machining oils, and then use the Metal Ready, which acts as an etching primer. Don't get this on any bare aluminum for your outer skins. After you've followed the directions on the Metal Ready, you can paint over it with POR-15 as well.

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Old 02-18-2009, 04:36 PM   #109
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Good work, Steve, but you're making me look bad w/ all this progress.

My license plate light has no lens at the end but has a couple of holes which, evidently, is how the lens is fastened.

I think that "pot" metal can be rechromed but I'm waiting for a basket full in order to minimize the costs.

If you get a minute, could you send me a couple of pictures of what you have for the license plate light so I can get going finding the proper red lens?

You're working outside today? The other side of the state must be a lot warmer and way less windy.
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:45 PM   #110
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Larry,

You need this from Vintage trailer supply.


Trailer Lens at Vintage Trailer Supply

Steve
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:55 PM   #111
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Work?

Steve,
You had me worried there. First you mentioned moving the BBQ then a fridge. If that happened around here I'd say work was over for the day and the cookout begins.
Black tank info to follow..........
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:50 PM   #112
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Thanks Robin....I'll be awaiting that information.


Something else is baffling me. On each fixture I have two lights, but a total of three filaments I wonder if I should just wire the single filament to the running lights green wire, and then combine both wires coming off the double filament to be brake and signal.


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