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Old 04-14-2004, 10:20 AM   #1
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Question Step by Step 1959

So I will be picking upa 1959 Overlander May 1. I will be having new tires of the same and correct size and rating put on it and bringing it 1000 miles home. It is tandem axel. I'll need to make such nothing will blow off, ect.

It is 3250lbs and my gmc is rated for 6800lbs. It's 26 feet. Brake condition unknown. Lights unknown as has old 6 way plug.

Any advice which could help me be prepared for surprises would be appreciated. Is there such a thing as temporary lights for 7way plugs I could hang on the trailer or would I have to make them up myself.

Anyone know if the tandem and single axels used the same parts, ie bearings and what number they may be. I could see myself need to replace bearings to come home and having to try to find them.

I was thinking I could pull the hubs while the wheels are off getting tires, wipe off the old grease if it is old and it will be, pack with fresh and be good to get home. How does that sound?
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Old 04-14-2004, 10:35 AM   #2
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Here is something I had suggested to another member who was about to do what you are planning.

Since you are for sure replacing the tires. You may want to find a place that is local to the trailer and take it there for a bearing replacement/repack. They should have all the parts sitting on the shelf and that way you can also inspect the brakes. While they are working on that you will have time to get the wiring figured out. Since a 59 has leaf spring suspension you will not need to replace the axles unless you have a bearing failure on the road and un-temper the spindle. In fact the seller may be able to recommend someone that is close enough to work or can have it done for you prior to pick up.

Best suggestion on the wiring is to buy and carry a new plug that is designed to fit your truck. Along with the printouts of the wiring diagram from the Airstream site.

You could rig up lights. All you need to do is buy a set of the magnetic tail lights. They should stay on the bumper if they can make good contact.
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Old 04-14-2004, 10:48 AM   #3
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Went through the exact thing back in Feb - My 58 traveled about 1200 miles. The PO met me half way.

Have to admit I took my chances based on what he told me.

He told me the bearings had been packed, that he had never hooked up the brakes.

When I met him the harness was wired directly (no plug - just twisted together wire) to his truck. So I went off and bought a plug - the cord ended up too short and pull out everytime I turned a corner - I did get the brakes working and one stop light, but as I said that was useless when the plug fell out.

Soooo I towed it back 200 miles, no lights, no brakes. All in all, I have to say it did much much better than expected - never really missed the brakes and no one crashed into me. The trailer (mine is duel axle also) is very light and you won't know its back there.

HOWEVER, I do not recommend doing what I did - best to have brakes/lights - just want to point out as a worst case senerio.

Oh yeah forgot to mention, the tires that were supposed to be in great shape were cracked all over, and when I got home noticed they were "tube type tires"!

I do plan to replace axle, tires, rims and springs. I want all running gear to be brand new.

So this is a do as I suggest, not as I do thing, but I would have the new tires put on, have the wheel repacked and do the temp wiring as Brett suggests. If the brakes don't work, just try to avoid panic stops - kinda coast to a stop if you can.

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Old 04-14-2004, 11:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewkid64
All you need to do is buy a set of the magnetic tail lights. They should stay on the bumper if they can make good contact.
As an added precaution, I would securely duct tape the magnetic tow lights to the rear bumper so they don't bounce off on a bump or jounce. I've unknowingly dragged magnetic taillights down the road a bit. They bounce along quite well, but it's tough on the bulb filaments. The kinetic show amuses, but does not inform, drivers behind you.
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Old 04-14-2004, 01:01 PM   #5
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Ok... I have a wiring diagram for the usual plugs. Who knows maybe the brakes will work. I suggested to my wife that she sit in the back of the truck and give it the look if it acts up, but all that got me was the look. She really is a good sport in all of this.
I'm going to get a trailer end 7way with a cord and splice it to the 6 way tail. Then take temp lights with me in case I need them. And duct tape. Torque wrench, brake tool, and one of those bearing greaser things I saw somewhere. Need to find the ball size from owner. To bad they don't make rope light in 12v dc. I could add speakers out the back and give all those good all boys more Yankee stories to tell. Hope to load up on hickroy wood for the bar b also.

I have a Reese setup I'll use. Prehaps I should get a friction sway bar.
Next need to get Road Intel... Anyone know how I81 is South of Harrisburg to I77 South to I 40 West? In Pa I81 is over the mountains. Looks like is continues to follow the mountains all the way down?
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Old 04-14-2004, 01:13 PM   #6
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Oh yeah, forgot to mention the PO told me I did not need leveler bars or sway control - I've never towed anything without them - but ya know he was right.

This is a story I can laugh about now - at the time I was not.

The advice on duck tape is great - it will fix anything that could possibly ever go wrong.



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Old 04-14-2004, 06:06 PM   #7
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The tire
http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/ric...&.dnm=7a41.jpg
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Old 04-14-2004, 06:06 PM   #8
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The wheel. 4.5 or 5 inch lug centers
http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/ric...&.dnm=5928.jpg
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Old 04-14-2004, 07:10 PM   #9
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Just looked at all the pictures - looks to be in pretty good shape. Don't know if it makes a different, but its a 1960 because of that large Land Yaught badge was only used in 1960 - could be a 60 purchased in late 59.

Saw your hitch - it's a 2" ball

This is my take on the tires - I suspect that it orginally had split rims. Since its an International - probably had hydrolic (sp) brakes - so at some point someone changed out to electric and changed hubs out with different mounting for the the wheels. So you'll have to figure out wheel size etc to make it all work. As I think I said above - I would buy all new axles/running gear and put it back the way its supposed to be.

I don't really know if you need new tires or not - do they still hold air? Got lots of tread left - probably only few miles on them used by an elderly couple to local campgrounds
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Old 04-14-2004, 08:16 PM   #10
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So even with that kind of cracking the tires are servicible? They have to be 20 years old plus.
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Old 04-14-2004, 11:52 PM   #11
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As crackled as those tires are and being tubeless, I'd not chance it. Take off the spare and get five new tires and rims to match that spare for the trip home.

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Old 04-15-2004, 06:00 AM   #12
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looks like a double money solution. If the hubs are 6 on 4.5 which I hope to be not so wheels don't seem available. Looks like I'll need new 7 14.5 tires on the old wheels just to get home and then it all changes if I put on a new axel and hubs. How about putting tube in the old tires just for the trip?
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Old 04-15-2004, 08:59 AM   #13
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Paul

I was kidding - those tires are some of the worst I've seen in a long time - I would not (now serious) drive a block with them. To me they look like they will just fall apart. When I towed my trailer back the tires were in much better shape.


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Old 04-15-2004, 09:34 AM   #14
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We brought our '63 GT home last December - 2100 miles.. sight unseen. BUT, we did have all the gadgets we needed before leaving, including:

a hitch with weight dist. bars
safety chains
and had new tires put on the original split-rim wheels.
Brakes were checked
brake wiring was hooked into a new plug
I even had a brake controller installed in the Tahoe, which only took 20 minutes

...all this left us feeling very safe (depsite never having towed anything) driving through the slippery snow-covered Cascades, Bad Lands, etc. Best trip ever, because we knew a tire wouldn't disintegrate at 65 mph.

If one had to pick and choose, I'd obviously put the integrity of the connection to the trailer and the condition of the wheels and tires as a tie for first place, and brakes a distant second. Ours worked but on flat dry roads we wouldn't have missed them at all. Lights are as important as brakes, because people will be careening into you, without the warning of brake lights. No one knows how to drive anymore.

In snow and/or at night, I turned on my hazzard blinkers on the temporary brake lights whenever I saw someone appear in my mirrors, just for a little extra insurance that they knew I was driving s-l-o-w-l-y. Those temp lights, by the way, were magnetic, but we had them drilled into the bumper. I figured I can always patch two tiny holes later, or I may just leave 'em on permanently!
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Old 04-27-2004, 06:30 PM   #15
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Picking up 1959 Overlander Friday. Driving down to NC, eating pork butt, buyin a load of hickory for smokin my own butts this summer, and gettin another AS. I am a little concerned that my wife thinks it's a good idea. That means she has her eye on something to balance my indulgence. This will be the big one. The trailer we get ready for trips of 3 to 9 months in a few years. Still have work on the Caravel but will not be doing the extensive rework we'll be doing on the Overlander. New axel goes on it next week and we are ready for the season.
I have 4 new 7 14.5 wheels with new bias tires which arrived today. They look like trailer tires. If you see us between NC and CT give a wave.
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Old 04-27-2004, 09:49 PM   #16
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Have a safe trip - give us a full trip report when you get back

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Old 05-03-2004, 08:56 PM   #17
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I am home, at last. The trailer is parked behind the office. On the way home replaced both batteries on the truck as they got fried and the alternator. The later twice. All on the same day as we sped back for a vet appointment Monday. The people around Chambersburg Pa were super. A young gal delivered two batteries and an alterator to me on I81 are the PA rest stop. Took awhile but got them changed. The details will follow but if it weren't for the Advance Auto store and then Sears (yes they still have places with mechanic working on Sunday) it would have been a mess.
ps. Got home to find someone ran a car into the block wall of my garage, pictures to follow. This is not a pleasant thing at 1:30 in the morning.
Trucks fine, trailer will be the Bat Cave Express and is fine but may be cursed and need occult welcoming ritual. The garage and the car are not fine. Drunk female arrested for leaving the scene and of course being under the influence. Now I can relate to Chevy Chase.
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:56 PM   #18
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Glad to see you got it back home, to bad about all the problems. I like to think most folks here in PA are great when you find yourself in a pinch.
I can feel the pain of your towing experience. We picked our trailer up in Texas and on the way back home in Nashville I lost 1,2,3,5 and reverse. Luckily 4th gear got us the rest of the 800 miles to home. I couldn't begin to guess what a tow job for my truck and trailer would have cost from that far out.

I hope the construction on I81 near Harrisburg didn't cause you to much grief And I'm glad that at least they got the person responsible for the damage you discovered upon arriving home. Good luck with the 'new' AS.

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Old 05-04-2004, 08:32 AM   #19
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Harrisburg wasn't nearly as bad as the part of I78 east that is old RT 22.
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Old 05-18-2004, 12:40 PM   #20
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So I have started to remove the extra layers of flooring.
Took out carpet in front and the 1/2" particle board underneath which was added to the floor. In the kitchen there was an addition 3/4" layer of rather good grade plywood which is now out. Still have the particle board there to deal with. One area is bad under the front edge of the streetside window. Rotted right away. But the frame member is in good shape. Have another area where the fridge was that looks like it will be a problem. Hope it doesn't extend far under the particle board into the kitchen space. Pictures on the evening post.
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