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Old 11-25-2023, 03:31 PM   #1
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1969 27' Overlander
Richmond , North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2023
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Wheel studs or bolts? 1969 Overlander

Hi, pulled our 1969 Overlander International out of a field and replaced the rims and tires, but not the axles. Waiting until we know our rebuild weight to do that. In the meantime, need to move it 90 miles and have an issue.

The bolts are not long enough to fully screw on the lug nuts due to the new rim being wider so we need to replace the wheel studs or wheel bolts with longer ones, which is probably our cheapest option to securely get the lug notes on and tow the vehicle to our house for the restoration.

Unfortunately we are not at the location so wondered if anyone knows whether this model has wheel bolts or wheel studs and what the current length is. Our backup plan is to head up in the next week or two and disassemble everything and check it but thought maybe someone might have gone through this before. So if so, please let us know whether it's wheel studs or wheel bolts and the existing size and diameter. If known it would be super helpful. Thank you!
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Old 11-26-2023, 06:02 AM   #2
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1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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Some assumptions as you did not state -

You bought the trailer at some distance and the tires are shot.
So you want to go there with new rims and tires mounted to those rims to tow the trailer to your home.
Some how you have either been there and attempted to change out a rim or the seller has told you the rims you have will not work. ---- And re-reading your post you stated you have changed out the rims. If you have done that how do you not know if there are lug nuts and studs or lug bolts?

If the axle has bolts (not studs) there are not extended length bolts that I am aware of. My '66 Overlander (27') had lug bolts. However '69 was a design change to a wider body trailer and the axle would have been longer too. Not sure if that caused a change in mounting from bolts to studs & nuts.

If studs, one would need to removed the hubs and push out (6 X 4) 24 studs and then reinstall the hubs with repacked bearings and new grease seals.

In whatever situation the trailer is you may be playing with fire. The trailer rims have a 2600 pound load rating. Higher than most passenger cars and light trucks. If whatever replacement rims you have do not fit flush to the hub, this is changing the offset relationship and moving the load away from it's designed location. Plus the rim mounting has to maintain a clamping force of the rim to the hub at a greater distance. Meaning sheared bolts or lugs are possible because the added angle could exert pressures that were not designed or expected. (An Overlander is not a light trailer) Especially if the replacement bolts or studs are not as strong or have the same strength ratings as the originals.

You would be far safer to go to the trailer, temporarily lift it and remove the wheels. (Or use the rims that were removed initially) Then take them to a local tire shop and have new tires installed. Then install the new tires with the existing wheels installed for the tow (home). Using a rim that does not fit correctly is risky for a 90 mile tow.

Please clarify if the details are different.

Action
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Old 11-26-2023, 06:15 AM   #3
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My 75 had bolts on the original axles. If the 69 has originals, axles should be on your list of things to replace.
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Old 11-27-2023, 08:29 AM   #4
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1969 27' Overlander
Richmond , North Carolina
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Hi Action, thank you for your reply. Notes and answers to your questions.

Your first assumption is on target. We bought the Airstream from a family member and want to move it from its current location, a family farm, to our home in Richmond so we can do all the work in our backyard. The old tires are rotted away we could have bought new 15" tires for the old rims, but we plan to move to 16" tires so we would have used the 15" tires for one trip so instead we bought 16" tires and rims (same Sendels and Michelins recommended on these forums), repacked the bearings and mounted them to the axels. Problem is the new rims, Sendel T03's are thicker where the bolts go through the rim and therefore only about 3/4 of the lug nut will tighten on. Or said another way, I can see about 1/4 of the threads of the nuts because they won't go on all the way. The rims do snug up against the plates just fine.

I don't think it's safe to move without the nuts being fully on the bolts. We could trailer it, but the angles for parking at our home are very tight. We are using a friend's trailer dolly to get it into our yard and think a full flatbed trailer may not make the angle to exit the parking area (we have a wide way in, no way to turn around and a skinny way out, hence the idea to pull it in, park it, and then the truck we are using to pull it can easily make the way out, but maybe not with a trailer.

Because of all this, I think the best option is to replace the bolts/studs with longer ones for the trip. I was hoping to figure out which I have and get them this week before going back to where the trailer is located because if not, we'll have to go this weekend and physically remove the bolt/stud so we can see what we are working with, but that will delay our ability to get the trailer so just thought maybe we could save some time if anyone had replaced them on a 1969.

We are learning a lot about 1969 being a changeover year so there is some variation in many areas :-). Looks like we'll have to head up this weekend and see what we find. Will post pictures, dimensions, etc. here so others may use that information in the future.

azflycatster, we do plan to replace the axels, but won't know our finished weight until renovations are complete, and we've been advised by many commenters on the forum to wait until we do so we can get the correct replacement axel, so we are taking that advice.
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Old 11-27-2023, 08:59 AM   #5
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1966 26' Overlander
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Thanks for the reply.

The move to 16" rims and LT tires was a thing when Goodyear made Marathon trailer tires. The Marathons were an issue in the later years as trailers got heavier and the Marathon could not always handle the extra weight. Around 2017 or so Goodyear stopped manufacturing Marathons and now manufacture Endurance trailer tires. Endurance tires WILL handle the weight and still keep a lower profile. Moving to aftermarket wheels is only for looks. No longer a recommendation based on load handling.

For your situation I would buy used tires for the trip back. And mount those used tires to the original steel rims locally.

Finding longer wheel lug studs are possible. (Far more possible than the older wheel lug bolts that AS used in earlier models) However to make that happen, you will be spending the better part of a day lifting the trailer, removing the hubs, taking the hubs to some place that will press out the old studs and pressing in new studs. (24 times - obtain a couple of extra) Then repacking the bearings and installing new seals.For a one time use.

Getting used tires means you will skip the repack, new seals, finding a machine shop and waiting. (Your replacing the axle and will come with new hub and bearings) You might be able to trade in the used tires when done for a little credit on new tires.

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Old 11-27-2023, 07:22 PM   #6
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Replacing wheel studs is typically done with a big hammer (2 lb sledgehammer) if a press isn’t available.
Do you know anybody with a utility trailer that you could borrow their tires for a weekend to move the trailer?
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Old 11-29-2023, 08:59 AM   #7
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1968 26' Overlander
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May I suggest trailering the trailer to your house, take it off the flatbead and then use your other method to get it in the backyard, I'm sure you'll be OK for 50-100 yards at (hopefully) under 5mph.
Good luck, Mark D
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Old 11-29-2023, 09:17 AM   #8
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1973 23' Safari
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Ok. This is going to sound a bit far fetched but it might work. I think your axle bolts are 1/2 inch fine thread. As a temporary measure, you may be able to obtain some good quality hex bolts of the correct length that have treads all the way to the head of the bolt. Then screw on some regular lug nuts with the same thread pitch onto the bolt then screw the bolt onto the wheel. The ball seat with the lug nut would engage the wheel to center and secure it. I assume the trailer would be empty when you move it so not too heavy and you could stop 2 or 3 times on your 90 mile drive to check wheel torque.
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Old 12-02-2023, 08:25 AM   #9
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1969 27' Overlander
Richmond , North Carolina
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Possibly solved

Thanks for all the great ideas! As we are learning, many ways to solve an Airsteam challenge.

We did explore trailering it, but the best quote I could get was $1,200.

What we finally did call around to multiple places and finally found a set of used trailer tires at Discount Tire for $218. I took the 1969 rims in and they installed the tires. I know those rims will fit since they are original and the tires they had looked great and had deep treads. Tried weeks ago to find a set, but no one had any. Just lucked out I guess. They were going to recycle them the next day so happy to have found them.

Regarding the nuts, the person I worked with at Discount tire told me it's possible to buy a deeper nut as even some modern cars have studs/bolts that are too short for thicker rims. The nuts either have a taper that allows the nut to go deeper (e.g. 60 degrees vs. 45 degrees or the taper part it deeper. Just posting this in case anyone wants to explore this option. I attached an image, but first time doing that so if it doesn't load, the link is here: https://www.wheel-size.com/articles/lug-nut-wheel-lock/ Guess I never really thought about lug nuts that much so didn't know there were so many options. Didn't go this route, though I think it could have worked, but since they had the tires I thought it best to go with the original rims.
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