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Old 07-07-2005, 09:21 PM   #1
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1963 16' Bambi
Philadelphia PA, and Takoma Park MD
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new airstream owner..what should i do?

i recently acquired a 1963 16' bambi. i am not really knowledgable about airstreams, or trailers in general. this bambi has not been maintained for a long time. anyway, a friend reccomended i jack it up and replace the tires, brakes, and check the axle and bearings. replace the tires is obvious, since the dont really hold air and are cracked, and the brakes will also be replaced, but what kind of brakes should i look for? also, what should i look for in the axle and bearing, and what is a safe place to place the jack on the bambi?

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Old 07-07-2005, 09:36 PM   #2
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1967 30' Sovereign
Leavenworth , Kansas
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Welcome to the forums and congrats on your purchase. Suggest you search "brakes" on this forum. Many of us have had to replace them. Fortunately our axles on our Sovereign are still good. Many forum members have Bambis and will offer their help.

Join us in the chat room on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. central. You'll get your questions answered, especially since most members will be back from international by then.

Good luck with your "baby"

Beth and/or David

67 Sovereign, double bed, rear bath-"Moby"
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Hemi, Quad Cab-"Ahab"
"Vintage trailer, vintage owners"
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Old 07-07-2005, 09:37 PM   #3
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1961 26' Overlander
Gabriola Island , British Columbia
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Start by checking the axle condition.The best source for info is at , click on the axle link.With the trailer sitting empty the trailing arm of the axle should have a downward angle, see website.As a rule of thumb most older Airstreams need a new axle.The axles usually come with brakes installed.
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Old 07-08-2005, 08:51 AM   #4
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1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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Originally Posted by roadtrip07
... a friend reccomended i jack it up and replace the tires, brakes, and check the axle and bearings.

and what is a safe place to place the jack on the bambi?
You have a good friend. Follow their advise, take the wheels and drums off. Repack the bearings and replace the grease seal. Inspect the brake shoes, magnets and springs. Replace bad parts.

1966 Mercury Park Lane 4 DR Breezeway 410 4V, C-6, 2.80 - Streamless.
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Old 07-08-2005, 11:22 AM   #5
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Axle condition


Please be advised that there is a high failure rate of the old Bambi and Caravel axles, because of the small spindle that was used.

The spindle simply fatigue cracks, causing the wheel to come off when the trailer is in motion.

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Old 07-08-2005, 11:42 AM   #6
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Talking First things first!


I would do the inspection suggested in post #3 prior to any other work. If the rubber cords in your axle a shot, new brakes and bearings would not be prudent . Check the angle of the trailing arms first.

Depending on your findings – the rest will fall into place quickly. If a new axle is needed it can be ordered “complete” with all new componets. If not, parts are readily available from many sources.

Good luck and welcome to the forums. You will find many folks willing to help with your project.

Best Regards,

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Old 07-08-2005, 12:22 PM   #7
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1966 22' Safari
1979 30' Argosy
Armada , Michigan
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And, since no one has said, ONLY jack the coach as the frame where the axle is attached, NOT ANYWHERE else, not on the axle itself, nowhere else on the frame, yo u can damage your axle and or coach that way.


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