Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Wheels and Tires Win! Well, almost.....

I was glad to spend at least one hour polishing this weekend. I am so limited in the time I can spend on it each Saturday/Sunday. I have other work I have to get done at the Park, I am outside and not under cover so weather/sun effects when I can polish, and I will not kill our mostly evening/night weekend social time. Heck, it is still the weekend after all! I work enough during the week, although we know Airstream "work" is not really "work". I am not using all of this as an excuse, as the time I get to spend polishing is during our glorious outdoor summer months. On Sunday I worked on the rear crown (end cap), and uninstalled one marker light. I removed the really hard and poorly installed black caulk/gunk from the top of the marker light with the help of Acetone. The old square marker lights will be replaced with teardrop marker lights that I believe '64 trailers could and/or would have had original from the factory. My current hypothosis is that a PO installed the end cap marker lights in the early 70's, as the old side markers from the factory are tear drops. Regardless, I like the looks of the tear drops better on a Vintage. Oh, and the above picture is after one pass of the grey compound (step #1), a light rain storm, with silver tape from http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/.

So now to those #$%^ tires! 2 plus hours later I have the new tires and aluminum wheels installed. They look great now, but what a job getting them installed! The low riding Airstream with the small wheel wheel cut out area makes for one hell of a struggle getting new wheels and tires installed. The old wheels and tires came off without a hitch. The weight allowed each one to easily drop with gravity's help at a 45 degree angle away from the axle. Getting the new wheels and tires in was another story. My 81 year old neighbor actually came up with the best idea watching my struggles "why don't you take the air out of the tires?" It was a great idea, lessoned my struggles, but not entirely so. I fought the good fight, and finally won the battle, but those wheel wells did not give up very easily. In the end they are installed, and they do look good. Now I can go back to polishing and replacing exterior lights.

And here is the new long view. The exterior really looks great in this morning light right after a small rainstorm. Trust me, the interior is really pretty rough, and the smell of old mice p&p is rally hard to describe (yuk). But the exterior looks good, and even better with the new wheels and tires, and soon even better yet with a full polish!