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Old 09-17-2002, 04:59 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2002
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'58 Overlander in need !

Here is our story!
After falling in love with a restored mini at St. Ignace auto show several years ago,"IS THERE A COOLER TRAILER?", I had priced the new models, and was suprised to find the retro bambi model retailing at 43 thousand dollars. I read what Wally said, but goodness. I did some checking at dealers for used units, and was informed that they seldom saw them and had a waiting list,
I was afraid I was entering the realm of the rich and famous.
After several years of looking for a gem in the raw, I discovered,
quite by accident the 58 overlander, 5 miles from my mothers house! Devine intervention?
The son of the origional owner had it for sale for $1,500!
After selling Buicks for 6 years dickering was in my blood, I however thought I was stealing it from the guy, and paid his price gladly. I even got him to tow it to her house as the trans was-is out of my 1 ton turbo. Enough about me......
My girl has a pretty nice topside skin, except where the kids carved their initials into her, and the underside has a few neglected stump- beauty-character flaws.
Nearly all the window and door drip edges are bent up, they are not so bad. I am deathly afraid of drilling rivets for such a minor
blemish, is the loss greater to remove and replace, or live and let live? I hope someone will take pity on me and offer sound advice.
I immediately purchased new baby moons and top of the line goodyears, being afraid of split rims.
Our interior has been carpeted a lovely shade of poop brown, with holes drilled to hang matching poop shade flowered curtains
and the skin has been painted a lighter shade of brown.
I assume for the year that my girl is in excellent shape, no soggy floors, leak marks or other visable signs of water damage.
I lit the furnace, the pilot lit , but only 2 of the 3 little round burnerswould lite. Is there a prefered method to trouble shoot these? I am not sure if I should tap on the bad egg, or attempt to disassemble it to check for blockage ect?
I was told the hot water heater was inoperative, and apon investigation it looks brand new, although a T fitting has no connections hooked up to it, and there is red rubber hose laying on the floor. It doesn't appear that there is any water damage,
I am not sure how to proceed as there was not a manual for the 50's models? I have checked the sites for them, and wonder if anybody knows sombody who may have something of use?
I am really against removing exterior panels if unneccesary, and sure would like to keep her as origional as possible.
I guess if I knew what the missing fitting connections were, I could try to pressurise it and hope a flood doesn't ensue!
The problem I have is I have some mechanical aptitude, yet know nothing of what to look for, and am scared to death of damaging
I plan on posting some before and in process photos soon, and would appreciate any sound advice I might recieve from all you good people, darn newbies anyway!
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Old 09-17-2002, 05:11 PM   #2
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Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
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Welcome & good luck Scott!

Most of us were in the same boat at one time...for us it was less than a year ago! You will find that the folks here on the forums are very friendly and willing to help you in any way they can. Browse through some of the past threads and you'll be surprised, some of your questions may have been discussed previously and the answers are already there.

The best advice I can give is to break your troubleshooting & restoration up into managable sized "mini-projects" and attack them one at a time. Feel free to post questions & really help! And they chart the progress you have made ~

Anyway, congratulations on your new baby!

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Old 09-17-2002, 05:50 PM   #3
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Rule number 1. Don't let it overwhelm you. The best advice I was given is to start at the ground and work your way to the top, one task at at time. When you climb off the ladder, you are done.

Good luck and keep us informed of your discoveries.

AIR# 123

-"You want to make it two inches - or, if you're working in centimeters, make sure it's enough centimeters for two inches."-Red Green
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Old 09-18-2002, 01:02 AM   #4
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Don't let that furnace spook ya' Scott..

I'm playing the same game with my heater on my '62 Overlander. Ten years back she needed a good cleaning and minor repair, but now I am into refabricating the heat exchangers which meant pulling the whole unit. My approach was look and think, look and think somemore and then get to it. I was spooked at first but am now on the way to a refurbished heater. Sounds like yours needs a good cleaning ( lucky)! If you make a mistake, so what, trust me we all have at one time or another! Good Luck, Oscar
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Old 09-18-2002, 07:05 AM   #5
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LOST , Hawaii
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I agree with the cleaning. It should be pulled and checked. At it's age the burners have seen a lot of use, and a lot of sitting which allows rust, cobwebs, etc. to form. Check it carefully for your safety and peace of mind.

My drip edges were riveted through the window frame and skin. If they are not bad it might be possible to straighten them on the trailer. Just remember as you work them a lot of force could cause a leak.

The water heater heater should be teed of the cold water, same as in your home. I don't know what the rubber hose is, but you should use 24" of copper on the inlet and outlet for heat disappation before any other line. As it really is not installed I would also put in a bypass now, much easier to winterize.

I believe your skin has a cladding, if the initials are deep they probably went through it. Are you planning to polish it? Nearly anything you do is going to make a difference in appearance.

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Old 12-29-2002, 10:57 AM   #6
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I have a 1958 overlander myself and had actually had it in the local paper for sale and had flyers up in stores within a 50 mile radius, and even though I only wanted $1750.00, I only got a half-dozen calls and only 2 people actually looked at it.

I realized after no takers, and a "Gut Check," that I'm glad she is still parked out back.

So, needless to say, even though she is usable and road ready (after I take the tornado straps off), I am now contemplating restoring the interior, perhaps to a more MODERN look. most original things still intact.

You have a keeper, Scott.
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Old 12-29-2002, 11:21 AM   #7
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1959 24' Tradewind
Phoenix , Arizona
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Sounds like a good start...

to having a great trailer and alot of fun fixing her up. In the beginning, everything you look at seems overwhelming. Shari had good advise, small tasks lead to big accomplishments. We all know just how you feel. Ask lots of questions, read other people's posts, think it through and you'll be successful.

Enjoy the ride!

4CU 2699 / AIR 10 / TAC AZ-1

I'm haunted by aluminum.
Charter Member of the 4 Corners Unit.
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