Originally Posted by Mary Burris
Ballpark, what should I expect to pay for new tires, and new brakes for a 1960
Tradewind (to make it road worthy). Also, how do I know if I need to replace the axel?
If my information is correct, 1960
was the last year for the solid axle with leaf springs on most Airstreams. With a straight axle coach, as long as the axle is in proper alignment, and doesn't have serious damage -- you can follow the restoration path and have the leaf springs and all related hardware rebuilt to return the coach's ride to like new. You could also choose to install a Dura-Torque type axle as an upgrade, but it wouldn't be a direct bolt-in -- there would be some drilling requred as well as the potential for some other modifications to complete the mounting.
When you consider new tires, you need to verify whether you have split-rim wheels or solid steel wheels. Many, if not most, 1960 Airstreams had split-rims. Split-rims are frowned upon by most modern tire shops, and when not properly maintained, a split-rim can become dangerous. Most tire shops as well as utility trailer dealers, RV dealers, and boat dealers have sources for modestly priced steel wheels in the correct sizes for our Airstreams. If your coach has the same 15" split-rims that my Overlander had, you will be looking for a wheel with the following specifications:
- 15" x 6"
- 6 bolts on 5.5" center
- 4.025 Center Bore
- Zero Offset
- 2,600 pound rating
I am assuming that your Tradewind is a single axle, and my suggestion would be to consider ST 225/75 R 15 tires with load rating of D. You will want to weigh your trailer when ready to travel, and then inflate your tires according to your tire manufacturer's load/inflation chart to help insure the best ride for your coach.
I am not certain whether it is possible to purchase loaded backing plates for solid axle coaches, but if you can, they usually cost significantly less than the parts when purchased individually - - and a good part of the assembly is already done. I would also suggest having the drums machined to specification with the shoes matched to the drums -- this seems excessive to some, but it provides a remarkable improvement in braking performance -- at least it did on my Overlander.
Good luck with your Coach!