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Old 01-16-2008, 06:29 AM   #1
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1961 28' Ambassador
Sherburne , New York
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'61 Ambassador recovery - need some specs

I'm heading 300 miles away to pick up a 1961 Ambassador that I just got on ebay and I'd like some info so that I can be prepared for the tow home.

-What is the ball size for this trailer?

-What should the ball height be?

-Any idea what the tongue weight is?

-I'd like a part number for the wheel bearings in case the ones on there are shot.

-Are the wheels for a 1961 the standard 6 bolt pattern?


Thanks for any help you can give me. I'm returning to Airstream ownership after about 3 years of non-ownership.

John
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Old 01-16-2008, 07:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoverOwner
-What is the ball size for this trailer?
2"
Quote:

-What should the ball height be?
a bit less than 19", allowing for axle sag.
Quote:

-Any idea what the tongue weight is?
should be around 500#, depends on what equipment is still in the trailer, and what has been replaced, and how much the replacements weigh, and where they are located. Kind of goes along with the ball height answer.
Quote:

-I'd like a part number for the wheel bearings in case the ones on there are shot.
I am at work, so I can't give you any part numbers, but be sure to get at least one grease seal for it.
Quote:

-Are the wheels for a 1961 the standard 6 bolt pattern?
Yes.
Quote:


Thanks for any help you can give me. I'm returning to Airstream ownership after about 3 years of non-ownership.

John
You're welcome, it's amazing how rusty we become if we don't use our knowledge daily. Good luck with your new trailer.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:27 AM   #3
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Thanks - what about the rims. I'm assuming that they are original. Will they be split rims in 61 or had AS gone to 1 piece by then?
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoverOwner
Thanks - what about the rims. I'm assuming that they are original. Will they be split rims in 61 or had AS gone to 1 piece by then?
The original wheels back then were "split."

Until the history or actual visiual inspection of a trailer is made, the only answers posters here can give you, "is how the trailer was built."

As an example, if the axles are shot, the ball height could be 15 inches.

A previous post today, includes a link, that will teach you how to check the axles out, when you see the trailer.

People modify things everyday, many times without regard to "safety" issues.

Best thing to do is take 4 tires and 6 hole wheels with you.

Again, assuming the trailer axles have not been changed out, the original bearing numbers are LM67048 for the outer bearing and 25580 for the inner bearing.

The grease seals can be one of two different sizes.

292100 is a felt seal and 412920 is a neoprene seal. They are not interchangeable.

Andy
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:09 PM   #5
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We are off to recover tomorrow

Tomorrow, at 3am, RoverOwner and I will be off for Cape Cod for a recovery mission to tow the 61 Ambassador back here to central NY. Cross your fingers for good weather and an easy tow!! Wish us luck!
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:14 PM   #6
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Heading West

We are all hooked on and heading west....almost to Springfield. So far, no issues except we had to cut the wires to the brakes.they would activate when you clicked on turn signal.....more to follow...
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:21 PM   #7
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...we had to cut the wires to the brakes.they would activate when you clicked on turn signal.....more to follow...
That should make for an interesting VAP discussion.
Squeel, roll, squeel, roll,...

Ok, does the left brake lock with the left turn signal?
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:32 PM   #8
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On the road!

Well, we made it to Cape Cod around 9am, batten'd down the hatches and wired the plug to the Sprinter van, air'd up the tires and hooked on...it's towing like a dream! We're now on I90 at exit three and so far so good. The tires were good, the bearings are cool and the door hasn't fallen off yet - it can't as it is rope tied closed. GPS says we'll be home at 630 pm. SYDTR.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:05 PM   #9
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Thumbs up

Rob,

We're all lucky to have an Airstream friend like you... and today it's John that is particularily lucky.

I'm glad things are going well.
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:42 PM   #10
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Congrats John, Welcome to the club.... Post pictures soon.
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:36 AM   #11
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Here are a few pics

Well, we made it.... we had an electrical issue right when we started where if you turned on the blinkers, or running lights, the brakes would come on.. so we had to snip the wires at the hubs and tow Freestyle... WE WERE CAREFUL!

At the toll booth coming into NY, when we started, the brakes on the curb side were on.... squealing the tires... and so we stopped.. backed up, and another 130 miles with no issues!!

It's now safely in John's driveway where the cleaning begins!

Thanks for a great recovery mission John.
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:07 AM   #12
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Nice looking trailer. How did the Sprinter feel while towing?

My 62' Safari had one piece rims, not split.

Any interior photos?

Gary

ps. you will be removing that spare, Yes?
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:35 AM   #13
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Sprinter was SUPER

The Sprinter did very well - it's a 2500 model with a 140" wheel base and Turbo Diesel.. I'm sure John will charm in here... that spare.. not sure what John's intent is but you could keep it there no problem.
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:43 AM   #14
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1961 28' Ambassador
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I am indeed lucky to have a friend like Rob. How many people do you know that would give up a day off to get up at 2:30am, drive over 700 miles to help pick up a friends new toy (with the real potential for being stuck on the side of the road with a breakdown for several hours), AND buy you lunch? If you have one friend like Rob, you are very lucky, indeed. Thanks Bud, I owe you big time.

As Rob has said, our recovery went more smoothly than I could have ever hoped. I had the van loaded with 5 new tires mounted on 5 good rims, 1 floor jack, 2 twenty ton bottle jacks, 1 high lift jack, 4 sets of inner bearings, outer bearings, seals, races, grease, brake cleaner, air compressor, impact wrench, and every hand tool I could fit in my tool bag. Once we got to the trailer and looked at the condition of the wheels and tires we decided to hook up and take it down the road, stopping every 5 miles or so to feel for heat in the bearings. After 4 stops and no heat showing, we towed to MajorsRV in Bourne, Ma to pick up some parts for Rob's bathroom re-do and then headed for home. We stopped every hour or so to check the tires / bearings, but made it home with no incident except for the mysterious brake activation coming out of the tow plaza.

The Sprinter towed wonderfully. I got 18.25mph ave. for the day. I normally get a little better than 22 unloaded, so I guess I got around 14mpg towing. I plan on having a transmission oil cooler fitted and will be researching brake controller wiring for the van.

As for the spare, I like it there. If Wally can tow 12,000 miles through Africa with a motorbike on his bumper, I can drive 200 miles down the interstate with a spare tire on the bumper.
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:46 AM   #15
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great find! this is the one that was listed in the classifieds here, right? and it has "no leaks". bargain!!

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Old 01-25-2008, 08:39 AM   #16
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No leaks!

True! No Leaks! Well, except for the big hole where the Astradome used to be. In all honesty, the floor on this one is in remarkable shape. The belly pan has been removed, so I was able to give it a good inspection. There is a bit of rot in the streetside front and in the curbside rear, but all in all the floor is in better shape than the floor on the 1986 32 footer I sold a few years ago. The floor by the door is in good shape. I plan to do like Frank and replace it a little bit at a time. the front section will be first, as it will be the easiest to get at. I hope to be able to clean this baby up and be using it this summer. Time will tell.
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:44 AM   #17
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Rob - always working on his Airstream. We stopped at MajorsRV on Cape Cod where Rob was able to score some black PVC pipe for his plumbing. Hey Frank - are you seeing this?
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:48 AM   #18
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Getting ready to roll. We're all jacked up on Slim Jims and Mountain Dew at this point and ready for anything! I'll post more pictures on the interior later.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoverOwner
I am indeed lucky to have a friend like Rob. How many people do you know that would give up a day off to get up at 2:30am, drive over 700 miles to help pick up a friends new toy...
Don't let Rob fool you. I pay him quite well to gather these stories for the show!

Nice trailer BTW.... but mine is older than yours is... nener nener nener....
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:02 AM   #20
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Nice photos

As I said before, that looks like a nice trailer in very good conditon.

I think if you quit your day job , get Colin and his staff on it, kidnapp Rob and hold him hostage and maybe hire Frank with the promise of spare parts you can have it ready for summer!

But really, if the trailer looks as sound on the interior as it does outside, it should be a smooth project. I did sub floor replacement also and it was easy compared to the whole floor.

Check out one of Andy's posts on extended added weight to the rear end. It really is about leverage and bouncing. The vibration can really tear things up.
It also lightens the front of the trailer and sends vibration to the hitch. You will only notice it after the damage is done.

And the tire mounted there doesn't look so great either. I know what you are thinking, why does he care?

I just can't help myself. sometimes I care too much!

Good luck with the project.

Gary
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