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Old 05-24-2020, 09:05 PM   #221
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1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
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When I installed our axles I used my transmission jack in the center of the tube and did not have the brakes on the axle mine were also a direct fit no drilling or mods.

BTW mount the shocks to the axle first or you’ll be lowering the axle to install them later .
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Old 05-25-2020, 08:49 AM   #222
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West Fork , Arkansas
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David, congrats on getting axles and brakes installed. As you know from our thread, when it came to axle replacement I found myself alone. My method was to get the floor jack from HF with two lift points and bolt a board to the axle to hold the assembly level. It was actually easier to put the new in place than remove the old.
Like you I ordered the axle with the 32˚angle and also with the added 1" mounting bump on top. This gave 3" more clearance total and allowed me to run the propane line between belly pan and axle rather than wrap the copper around the axle.
Your current project is going much more quickly than mine, perhaps because you know what you are doing. Carry on!
Jim
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:27 PM   #223
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Shocks Fit

Thanks Jim: I'm not sure I know what I'm doing, I'm just doing.

I wanted to show that your new shocks fit on the Dexter #11 axles and the original Airstream shock mounting studs. We were a bit worried they would not fit as the welded on Dexter shock mount location is quite a bit different than the old axle shock mounts. And we got the shocks on after the axles were bolted up.

Whew!

David
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Old 05-27-2020, 06:13 AM   #224
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Axle position

David, When reviewing a snippet from your recent post, I had a couple questions

We checked "squareness" of the axles to the frame rails and spacing to each other. We were satisfied with these measurements.

Did you check the measurement from the hitch to the axle? My bolt holes on the curb side are 3/8" further forward than the street side.
It doesn't look like my frame is wracked, but who knows. It seems that I read in Airforums, somewhere, that Airstream designed the bolt alignment offset (3/8"), that way. I actually posed this question to Colin Hyde. If I get a response, I will share it. (He was great source for my axles)

I am guessing that your tube cutout was bigger for the new axles. How did you make that adjustment? Did you take a little off each side of the cutout, or maybe used the frame's, rear bolt hole as the boss, and made the cutouts based on aligning the new axle rear bolt with the frame rear bolt hole?

Mike
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:37 PM   #225
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We used the rear Airstream axle bolt hole in the axle plate as our "datum", or boss as you say. So happens that the Dexter #11 axle brackets are 4 1/2" center of rear slot to the rear of the tube clearance notch. The Airstream axle plate is the same measurement. So we removed 1/4" from the front of the Airstream tube notch so the tube would fit. We did not have to remove any material from the top of the notch. The 1" high profile brackets we ordered "lowered" the axle tube enough to clear the notch.

We measured axle squareness from the trailer jack stand post to the center of the axle spindle. We used 20 gage wire as we could pull it tight with no sag. We wrapped it tight around the jack stand tube and pulled the wire to the center of the axle spindle on both sides. We put a little dot on the wire indicating the curb side, then stretch the wire over to the street side and did the same measurement. Maybe a 1/8" variation was detected. I'm sure Colin Hyde is laughing out loud.

David
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:55 AM   #226
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Axle position

David, Thanks! You provided some very helpful information.


Thanks
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:20 PM   #227
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Wrap it Up

You vintage Airstreamers following this thread know I'm a whine-er. Well here I go again.

I find belly pans and wraps a hard job. I suppose it is do to being on the creeper all afternoon. Up and down, up and down off the creeper. And it is awkward working with large aluminum sheets in a tight space. Drilling rivet holes in the frame is hard work. Then fitting around the step box, the battery box, the wheel wells, the water tank pans. Cry, cry cry.

We're making progress nonetheless. I have the curb side wraps hung up, and have started on the big street side ones. I'll be glad when this job is done.

David
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:13 PM   #228
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Bumper Storage Compartment Done

This is the area where it all started. Rear end separation due to rain water soaking the subfloor end grain. We took it all apart down to the frame rails.

As discussed, I like adding flashing to the rear body aluminum skin about 2" below the subfloor. Seal the flashing well, let the rain water drip into the bumper storage area. And I like having expanded metal for a rear bumper storage area bottom, or floor, to let the rain water drip to the ground.

We got it all put together today and got the bumper compartment door re-installed without that aluminum sheet piece that was more decorative, but distructive to the subfloor.

We also moved the dump valves down to the bumper storage area to avoid those nasty rear subfloor penetrations. I figure the more holes in the subfloor, the more places for moisture to soak into the plywood. This created some useful cargo storage area. Not a lot, but a little helps.

We can cross this item off the list.

David
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Old 06-04-2020, 05:21 AM   #229
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Looking good, great idea we’ll executed!
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Old 06-04-2020, 08:20 PM   #230
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Thanks. We shall see how well it holds up and works out while traveling. There is room for the sewer drain hose in the bumper storage compartment.

David
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Old 06-05-2020, 07:59 PM   #231
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Propane Plumbed

One of the first items to come off the trailer last fall was the propane piping. It comes down for access to the belly pan and side wraps.

We've hung it back up these last few days. We have a new furnace and a new stove which have different propane locations. The fridge and the water heater were newer and didn't need replaced. We used the existing 5/8" "main" line from the tanks to the axles. It seemed in good shape. We did use new line from the appliances down through the wraps.

I don't know about you folks, but man I have trouble with 3/8" OD soft copper tubing. It seems different than the good old days. It is like working with a plastic tubing. It is so soft it won't cut with a tube cutter, just kinda creases in making flaring difficult. It is so soft it doesn't like to bend a sharp 90 degree corner. It just flattens, won't hold a round shape. It kinks really easy. Many times my flare results in wrinkles. I wonder if they are making it out of old recycled copper, or maybe there is a new industry spec on it. I will say the old stuff we reused cuts, bends, and flares much better.

We checked for leaks and fixed the ones we found. We then tested the appliances and they all worked. Good deal.

We are getting ready to put the wheels back on the thing and take it off the jack stands where it has sat all winter. Did someone mention maiden voyage?

David
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Old 06-06-2020, 06:07 AM   #232
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copper tube types

David, I installed new 3/8 on my last A/S and it worked well, maybe 5 years ago.... mine went well. I do remember that I needed a tubing bender for the 90's, or they would kink. I remember looking at various copper types, but forgot what I used, and what each was for, so I looked it up today. Maybe the link below will help.


https://inspectapedia.com/plumbing/Copper_Pipes.php


Mike
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Old 06-06-2020, 07:27 PM   #233
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Thank you Mike: I did not know there were so many grades of flexible copper pipe. I've got a lot to learn. I will look tomorrow and see if I used the correct grade for LP gas. I do have a small tube bender, but the dumb pipe would still kink. It just seems like the stuff I used was too "ductile", or soft.

I'll check it out.

David
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Old 06-06-2020, 07:42 PM   #234
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Done?

When is a vintage Airstream project done? We have worked on this 76 Sovereign since mid October, almost every day. It had the usual list of problems for the seventies trailers including rear end separation, bad axles, floor rot holes, plumbing freeze splits, and some poor design features.

So we tore the trailer down, "gut" is as they say, and addressed each problem with a solid fix. Well today, we deemed all the problems we identified have been fixed. There are still quite a list of cosmetic items to do, but the major items are done.

Today we put the wheels and new tires on the new axles and took the trailer down off the jack stands where it had rested all fall, winter and spring. I know we have more than 1000 man hours in it. My friend towed it home and says he will camp in it for a few nights just to check out all systems.

Here are photos of the trailer finished interior and as it rolled out the door.

Done?

David
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Old 06-07-2020, 05:54 AM   #235
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Congratulations David. It is a great feeling seeing your handy work driving down the road. Your buddy is lucky to have you as a friend and must be thrilled with the results.

Can't wait to see what you fill up that big hole in your shop with. - Mark
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Old 06-07-2020, 06:02 AM   #236
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Very well done, David, both you and your friend should be proud and satisfied at what you’ve accomplished in a relatively short time.
DONE?—probably not, there is always some fine tuning to do, especially as you use things and realize...”hmm, if I just did this...”
Congratulations on a job well done!
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Old 06-07-2020, 10:26 AM   #237
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Nice job and well done David. Your friend truly found a gem in you. )
It turned out really nice and it is sound and reliable with all systems checked and ready to go. It's been great to follow the project. Now you can relax and enjoy the camping season ahead.
Happy trails,
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Old 06-07-2020, 10:30 AM   #238
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Congratulations on finishing the project! It's been great following along with you. What are your plans now? These days everyone needs a good project.
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Old 06-07-2020, 08:28 PM   #239
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Thank you all for your kind words and following along on my project. My friend got it home without an axle falling off and then his family spent the night in it. Very brave guys. They said all systems worked as intended. He was a little concerned as the pump took longer than anticipated to prime. Airstream used a fresh water tank requiring a 4 foot long suction hose. Could have been done better in my view. By the way, we did the bumper bounce test when we had the trailer on its wheels. It passed with flying colors. When we started, it would open a 2" gap on the street side frame rail.

I'll soon put the Overlander in the shop and find and fix a rain water leak that my moisture detector alerted me to. It is on the street side window somewhere. We'll seal it and then test it. We hope to take a trip in the Overlander come late July just here in Colorado. Depends on the pandemic quieting down, which is seems to be doing in our state.

David
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Old 06-08-2020, 11:15 AM   #240
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1976 31' Sovereign
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David Johnson is amazing...

He is a master fixing old Airstreams. But he is an even better human. I cannot begin to express the gratitude for being under his tutelage. I have had a ton of fun and have come out the other side being half way decent at a lot of this stuff. I have him to thank. Countless hours spent together fixing strategizing, ideating and 98% of it was a damn good time. Lots of laughs.

Ill post a complete list of what we did to this trailer when I have time to type it all in.

Thank you David.
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