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Old 01-10-2005, 09:22 PM   #1
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Shocks

Anyone know what shock fits a 58-63 Overlander. It would help to be able to give the guy at the NAPA store a place to start. Looks like I'll have to work in the cold if I'm going to use "The Bat Cave Express" this season.
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:26 PM   #2
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Your shocks should be vertical. If so, try NAPA 94005.
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:33 PM   #3
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Now that's record service. Thanks Uwe.
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Old 01-11-2005, 02:43 AM   #4
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This very topic came up in another forum recently. Apparently these shocks were common for front axle service in many 70's and 80's GM trucks.
These would also fit for my 1963 Overlander. It's shocks are also vertical.
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Old 03-14-2005, 08:14 PM   #5
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Has anybody ever done a retro-fit of shocks on an older Airstream trailer that never had shocks to begin with? I have been thinking about installing a pair on my '58 Traveler.
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Old 03-14-2005, 08:41 PM   #6
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I haven't done a retro, but I did change the location and stroke of the shocks in my '59 Tradewind. I went to Monroe Magnum gas filled shock, mounted inside the frame. I had to go inside because the tire clearance was too tight for gas filled shocks. Also, I added a leaf to the springs and the stroke of the original shocks was too short.
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
Your shocks should be vertical. If so, try NAPA 94005.
Looks like we may have something in common....we have a few more questions but hopefully today we will be firming up a deal on a 63 Overlander....of course we can never find one in our back yard - so we are doing another long distance deal. (1000+miles one way).

Can you help me in the brakes and bearings end of things. We have a contact who will take care of servicing for travel and the PO will be taking it over there for us. (We will not have the time to spend on it when we get there!) (Fly in and out I'm afraid) Not sure if it will need new brakes and new bearings or both just need serviceing but we are trying to get a ball park on the cost to replace them if that is the case.

Also what is the going rate in US for the Napa 94005's (to see if we should bring with us or have them replace them as well)

The tires are good to get us home but will need new all around - lots of tread and minimal cracking on existing (but we may have a set on stand by just in case).

We have all the other goodies needed and will be taking the required wireing to set up a temporary harness. And about 60 rolles of duck tape! and a few boot matts - another story.....

Any assistance would be great...PS the steps to your refit will help Peter tremendously as this one is going to be rigged for convenience and upgraded systems too and not necessarily restored to original - as it has already been altered inside about 40% different. But is has a solid floor and good frame with all the appliances in it - some work some don't - so we are starting well ahead of the "frame-Off" stage. Still going to strip it down inside and refurb/restore or replace each part before re-installation and will be adding a grey tank.

You can PM me or e-mail me and we can exchange pics....all very exciting it is like having a second "child".
This one will become our vacationer and will be used for all the big long trips and the GT will be our weekender off to the Vintage Rallies.

Or how about we could daisy chain them and have our own caravan...

Always wondered why people had 2 - now we know.....
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Old 03-15-2005, 07:33 AM   #8
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Greetings GT6921!

Welcome to the ranks of Vintage Overlander owners!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
Looks like we may have something in common....we have a few more questions but hopefully today we will be firming up a deal on a 63 Overlander....of course we can never find one in our back yard - so we are doing another long distance deal. (1000+miles one way).

Can you help me in the brakes and bearings end of things. We have a contact who will take care of servicing for travel and the PO will be taking it over there for us. (We will not have the time to spend on it when we get there!) (Fly in and out I'm afraid) Not sure if it will need new brakes and new bearings or both just need serviceing but we are trying to get a ball park on the cost to replace them if that is the case.

Also what is the going rate in US for the Napa 94005's (to see if we should bring with us or have them replace them as well)

The tires are good to get us home but will need new all around - lots of tread and minimal cracking on existing (but we may have a set on stand by just in case).

We have all the other goodies needed and will be taking the required wireing to set up a temporary harness. And about 60 rolles of duck tape! and a few boot matts - another story.....

Any assistance would be great...PS the steps to your refit will help Peter tremendously as this one is going to be rigged for convenience and upgraded systems too and not necessarily restored to original - as it has already been altered inside about 40% different. But is has a solid floor and good frame with all the appliances in it - some work some don't - so we are starting well ahead of the "frame-Off" stage. Still going to strip it down inside and refurb/restore or replace each part before re-installation and will be adding a grey tank.

You can PM me or e-mail me and we can exchange pics....all very exciting it is like having a second "child".
This one will become our vacationer and will be used for all the big long trips and the GT will be our weekender off to the Vintage Rallies.

Or how about we could daisy chain them and have our own caravan...

Always wondered why people had 2 - now we know.....
Since your '63 Overlander will be quite similar to my '64, I can approximate the cost for a brake rebuild. I had the brakes rebuilt in 1999 after the WBCCI International Rally utilizing fully loaded backing plates - - the cost including having the drums turned and machining the brake shoes to match the drums was a penny or two over $750.00 - - parts were about 70% of the cost with the balance being labor.

Based on my experience when towing my '64 Overlander home for the first time, you might want to go prepared with a spare breakaway switch as well - - the old cylinder type that was on the coach was not functioning correctly (it had been added in the late 1960s or early 1970s by my coach's original owners to meet state regulations requiring the device) and finding a replacement of any kind was difficult when on the spot.

Good luck with your journey!

Kevin
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
Not sure if it will need new brakes and new bearings or both just need serviceing but we are trying to get a ball park on the cost to replace them if that is the case.

Also what is the going rate in US for the Napa 94005's (to see if we should bring with us or have them replace them as well)

The tires are good to get us home but will need new all around - lots of tread and minimal cracking on existing (but we may have a set on stand by just in case).

We have all the other goodies needed and will be taking the required wireing to set up a temporary harness. And about 60 rolles of duck tape! and a few boot matts - another story.....
Congrats. I am also the proud owner of a 1963 Overlander. Take a look at my thread "a 63 for me", there's lots of information and contributions from all over.
btw, Napa 94005's do NOT apply to Airstreams, in my opinion. They are gas charged, which makes them an active component of the suspension, which does not meet the design goal. They are very stiff, the bracketry in our airstreams is not designed to handle this sort of stress.
The Gabriel Airstream shocks are really what's best for these coaches. I believe that mild damping by hydraulic only type shocks is best for Airstreams, having towed and observed for a while now.
After posting the 94005 information, I went out and took alook at the shocks at a Napa Store nearby, and came to the above mentioned conclusion. No go for me.
Tires: Even minor cracks are a sign of big trouble. Especailly if you have to go 1000 miles on them. I would urge you to get good or new tires before you go on the road.
Best wishes!
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:08 AM   #10
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Not Really

Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
Your shocks should be vertical. If so, try NAPA 94005.
I retract statement above after doing more research.
I went to Napa to purchase these shocks, they were recommended on another forum for use on Airstreams. These do not work on my 1963 Airstream Overlander with vertical shocks. I posted this just below in the last post already, but just for clarification, these are gas charged, and very stiff, and even if the bushings would fit ( which they don't on my trailer), they are too stiff. The shock mounts are not designed to have a shock this stiff installed.
I retract this statement after doing more research.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:43 AM   #11
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shocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
I haven't done a retro, but I did change the location and stroke of the shocks in my '59 Tradewind. I went to Monroe Magnum gas filled shock, mounted inside the frame. I had to go inside because the tire clearance was too tight for gas filled shocks. Also, I added a leaf to the springs and the stroke of the original shocks was too short.
Any chance of posting a picture or two? I need all the help I can get as far as location because like I said before, my trailer never had shocks and I don't have anything to go by or a starting point. Thanks.
Ernie
'58 Traveler, 18ft.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:52 AM   #12
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Hi Ewe;

Thanks for the heads up - I did wonder about it - as we reasearched new shocks for the 69 and ended up right back at the designed airstream shocks as opposed to the other brands for the same reason - too stiff. But was not sure about the early 60's coaches I think the 63 is two changes below the 69 as there are subtle differences from 63 - 64 and then again from 65-66 and finally from 69-70.

Our delay in changing the shocks on our GT could very well have been the cause of our shattered front wing window on our way down to Sarsota - although it could have been a rock but unlikely as you usually find the culprit inside with the tempered glass. By the time we got home she was pounding pretty good. The axle is not bad about half way to being retired but she was loaded up too - but the shocks are toast!

Point taken on the tires - What is a good tire to get - I heard the softer radials do better than the replacement nylon tires for the same reason again - todays rubber is a lot harder than yesteryear causing too much stress on the structure - we don't need top of the line but a good solid one to get the job done would be fine.

Like you I am sure we will have lots of questions and will be diving into the photo albums to have a look see.


Overlander64
Thanks for the info on the brake pricing I sure hope they are okay - this bill is going to run up real quick - especially just after our Holiday - YIKES!!!! Gas prices alone is going to run us about $500 there and back.

It was used up until three years ago - and the trailer is riding nice and high so we hope that the P-PO worked on the brakes as well as the suspension. No sagging on this one. Has some character blemishes on the skin but once shinned up they will become a "tall tale" around a campfire.
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Old 03-15-2005, 10:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aztlanco
Any chance of posting a picture or two? I need all the help I can get as far as location because like I said before, my trailer never had shocks and I don't have anything to go by or a starting point. Thanks.
Ernie
'58 Traveler, 18ft.
Here's the best i can do for a picture of the original location. The first picture is looking toward the front.

The mounting stud was a shoulder bolt (1/2" I think) welded to the frame. You could also weld the stud to a 3x3 fishplate of 1/4" steel, weld that to the frame to get a little better weld pattern.

There is a similar stud welded to the spring plate. I don't have a picture of the original, but I have a picture of the one that I used to replace the original. Thats picture #2.

The third picture is the 'inside the frame' modification I made to my trailer.

There is a website that has ALL the mounting information, and all the shocks available from Monroe. It's a lot of work to pick out a shock from the catalog, but if you know the stroke and end fittings you want you can find it eventually. Here's the website, check out the first two links listed, the 'mounting style' and the 'dimension' sheets. http://www.monroe.com/catalog_lookup...iscappinfo.asp
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
Hi Ewe;

Thanks for the heads up - I did wonder about it - as we reasearched new shocks for the 69 and ended up right back at the designed airstream shocks as opposed to the other brands for the same reason - too stiff. But was not sure about the early 60's coaches I think the 63 is two changes below the 69 as there are subtle differences from 63 - 64 and then again from 65-66 and finally from 69-70.

Our delay in changing the shocks on our GT could very well have been the cause of our shattered front wing window on our way down to Sarsota - although it could have been a rock but unlikely as you usually find the culprit inside with the tempered glass. By the time we got home she was pounding pretty good. The axle is not bad about half way to being retired but she was loaded up too - but the shocks are toast!

Point taken on the tires - What is a good tire to get - I heard the softer radials do better than the replacement nylon tires for the same reason again - todays rubber is a lot harder than yesteryear causing too much stress on the structure - we don't need top of the line but a good solid one to get the job done would be fine.
I doubt that shocks had anything to do with the window breaking. If you think the break was suspension related, then I would take a close look at the axle.
My 1963 Overlander axles were not showing the typical signs of bad axles, other than a very harsh ride. My findings were that axles that have the trailing arms still pointing down when loaded can still be bad, due to hardened rubber rods. My old axles were completely stiff, almost like frozen in place. The tires were offering more suspenion than the axles.
I took 2 wheels off, ( rear wheels) and did not notice ANY deflection on the front axle. Then I had someone weighing 200lbs bounce in the trailer while I watched the torsion arms, and could not detect any movement.

Tires:
I am running Goodyear Marathons, 225/75R15 LRD, ST rating.( on my 1971 Tradewind)
So far I have not had any trouble with them, but I do hear of trailer tires like the Marathons giving a few owners quite a lot of trouble. I do recommend the Radial tires over bias belted tires, having towed the same trailer with both at one time or other.
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:35 PM   #15
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Uwe,

What do you think caused the axle to fail while it still had positive down angle? Was it stored with the weight off the tires?
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Old 03-15-2005, 09:18 PM   #16
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Don;
Thanks for the pictures. That's exactly what I needed. Great job on your trailer!
Ernie
'58 Traveler, 18ft.
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Old 03-15-2005, 10:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
Uwe,

What do you think caused the axle to fail while it still had positive down angle? Was it stored with the weight off the tires?
Don, I believe that the rubber rods inside the axle tubes became hard and brittle, therefore not allowing suspension movement. What else could it be?
I have seen this happen on a friends single axle Safari once before, where the trailer actually got airborne on bumps when I followed it on a stretch of highway in Mexico. It's a scary sight, to suddenly see light under his tires.....
His torsion arms still pointed down as weel, but the suspension action was null.
I am no expert on chemical reaction, and perhaps I am completely off base. This is just an observation I am trying to make sense off in my wicked mind. I should have cut the axles open after I replaced them to have a look what's up in there.
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