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5 minutes ago, notbadbutgood said:

So what's the protocol on maintaining the rear axel, then? Just avoiding long hauls? Obviously reducing weight as much as possible...is there anything else? Repacking/greasing? 

I'm sure you Toyota mechanic can advise you well on this. But without proof, you've got to assume that nothing has ever been maintained. I'm sure you'll be inspecting the brakes, so you might as well pull and inspect the axles and replace all the hoses, fluids, bearings and seals.

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8 hours ago, linda s said:

While I think some of his expectations are beyond what this little camper can deliver, I do think it's a very cute, and worth restoring. Please do take one project at a time. This is a big one and if you tear everything apart we have just seen too many times people just gave up and the rig ended up getting junked. That Dolphin clock in the rear is fabulous. Make sure you save it

Linda S

Agree! I plan on saving anything I pull out of it, and selling to new homes. 

I'm a HUGE fan of restoring things and giving them more life, as opposed to scrapping them and buying new. I do realize sometimes that's the ONLY option, but most of the time, it's not. It's just that someone doesn't want to put in the TLC (read: elbow grease and frustration) to make the vintage thing work again. 

I really wanted to restore an older camper. Yes, I seriously had considered a Sprinter, @Maineah, and was planning on that for a while. But in the end, I decided that I wanted a more ambitious project, and that I wanted to give new life to something that was older. 

I am loving all this feedback, though, as it's really helping me reevaluate some of my plans and desired features that might not be worth investing in from the start. 

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2 hours ago, notbadbutgood said:

So what's the protocol on maintaining the rear axel, then? Just avoiding long hauls? Obviously reducing weight as much as possible...is there anything else? Repacking/greasing? 

There is no way to access the bearing without destroying the seal. The seal has to go on the axle shaft before the bearing is pressed on. In short, the bearing and seal have to be replaced as a pair. New bearings and seals are still available and will run about $100.00 per axle (parts only). This would be a good first step.

The problem with the axle shaft itself is metal fatigue caused by the stress of the offset wheels. Foolies or singles with a big offset place undue pressure on the shaft usually at the bearing race. Add the overweight factor of the coach body itself along with many years of carrying that weight and these shafts will break. Remember, on a semi-float axle (like yours) the axle shafts are carrying all the weight by themselves. This is why later Toyota motorhomes were made with full-float axles.

My advice is stay within AAA towing range if you're going to keep the factory setup. Also P metric tires are the wrong ones to have on your vehicle. They're designed for passenger cars.

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50 minutes ago, fred heath said:

.. P metric tires are the wrong ones to have on your vehicle. They're designed for passenger cars.

A P245/60R14 is rated for (IIRC) 1675lb. More than enough for a wee one with a GVWR of 4600lb.

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3 hours ago, Derek up North said:

Agreed on sorting the mechanical stuff 1st, but also sealing any water leaks before rot gets worse. As long as it's not moldy, you can still start using with a 'mushy' house pending repairs.

Seconded. That roof wants to be under at least an oversized tarp 24/7 immediately, and sealed/repaired asap. Expect a full new roof equivalent repair and cabover gut just from the pictures. Undo cabinets and store them in a space that is dry/safe from elements until there is a good case for use. You will likely end up using not much more than the framing/doors from the wood work. 

Get a moisture meter until roof seal is verified. Inevitably apparently dry spaces wont be dry after all.

 

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So step one is do the roof...okay, that's what I'm going to undertake next week. 

I'm already on the tarp; I tarped it that night, though now that you said "under a tarp", it gave me the idea of using the pine trees you see behind the camper. I can clear that area, create a large tent, and pull the camper under it. In the end, it'll be worth it because not only will it protect the camper, it'll enable me to work on it even when the elements are against me. 

A question: There are three places for vent fans. I've already ordered materials for a rubber roof replacement, but I'm trying to space out my spending. I don't want to purchase the nicer vents just yet if I don't have to, and I'd rather just buy run of the mill $15 vents for now. Would I be shooting myself in the foot? Should I just cover them a different way for now until I can purchase the nicer vents that I want? Or should I just bite the bullet and buy those vents right now? 

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The Pic aint pics. They are links to posts where Toys in bad shape were repaired, including Neubie's . You should see them if signed in on a computer.

Derek can you check to see if there is a problem?

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I'm not sure how the rubber roofs work. As far as 3 vent fans, that seems excessive to me given the length of your coach. Determine if you can function with less. Then cover the surplus holes prior to installing the rubber roof.

Most vent fans use a 14"x14" standard opening. My thought is having the fan(s) in place before covering the roof would make more sense than cutting into the new roof to install the fan after the fact. Maybe a member familiar with this process could give you more helpful advice.

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1 hour ago, WME said:

The Pic aint pics. They are links to posts where Toys in bad shape were repaired, including Neubie's . You should see them if signed in on a computer.

Derek can you check to see if there is a problem?

When you paste a link, the forum software does its magic and generates a title and picture for it. Some times it goofs. This is one of those times. Only some browsers or configurations show them. Nothing I have tried has presented anything but a blank space for all the links. This includes most mobile browsers, linux/firefox. I do have quite a few features turned off in browsers and a fairly low limit on the largest pictures it can automatically download to not slow down browsing. Probably has something to do with that.

I try not to eat extra cookies or take scripts or embedded stuff or remote fonts or the hundred other tracking things that are done. Probably all still immaterial/useless for privacy or security  but it improves interaction speed considerably at the cost of some missed media and a few squiggles instead of words.

Edited by neubie

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4 hours ago, Derek up North said:

A P245/60R14 is rated for (IIRC) 1675lb. More than enough for a wee one with a GVWR of 4600lb.

Yeah, the load index on the front tires is 96 (1,565lb) and the rear tires have an index of 98 (1,653lb), so they could handle a GVWR in the ballpark of 6,400lb, with the weight only slightly distributed to the rear. I'd love to put this thing on a scale and see how the weight is distributed empty, once I have it done. I'd like to keep my weight well under the limit, especially considering the rear axel. 

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Pretty much any time people have posted their weights, there's generally/roughly been 2/3 of the weight on the rear axle. I suspect yours will be similar.

1985 Dolphin weight.jpg

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The roof needs to be fully repaired before covering with the EPDM material. Other wise you will have a waterproof rotten roof. A lot of the rot is a fungus and will continue to spread the rot. End result is a roof failure.

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7 hours ago, notbadbutgood said:

Yeah, the load index on the front tires is 96 (1,565lb) and the rear tires have an index of 98 (1,653lb), so they could handle a GVWR in the ballpark of 6,400lb, with the weight only slightly distributed to the rear. I'd love to put this thing on a scale and see how the weight is distributed empty, once I have it done. I'd like to keep my weight well under the limit, especially considering the rear axel. 

Well, well under. Axle failures are no fun. You have access to toy mechanics. Floating axles do pop up fairly cheaply compared to the other expense you are planning. Why not over-engineer and be safe? You can do all the bilstein shocks and air bags and stuff all at once. Instead of doing brakes now, bearings later, lines latest?

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4 hours ago, WME said:

The roof needs to be fully repaired before covering with the EPDM material. Other wise you will have a waterproof rotten roof. A lot of the rot is a fungus and will continue to spread the rot. End result is a roof failure.

Right. Let a piece of cheese develop mold, then take a good whiff of it. Thats how the roof will be smelling unless parked in the desert sun six months straight. And even if, the first person setting foot will be landing in the living room. The wood quality is integral to the metal ply foam ply sandwich. foam by itself will let metal flex and a fraction of an inch thin aluminium wont hold 5 pounds.

Edited by neubie

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1 hour ago, neubie said:

Well, well under. Axle failures are no fun. You have access to toy mechanics. Floating axles do pop up fairly cheaply compared to the other expense you are planning. Why not over-engineer and be safe? You can do all the bilstein shocks and air bags and stuff all at once. Instead of doing brakes now, bearings later, lines latest?

There are no axle recalls  on the single wheel rigs. Could do with higher load rated tires and servicing bearings at this age would be a good idea. Even regular truck axles can fail if the bearings wear too much. I see no reason for the expense of a full floater

Linda S

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19 minutes ago, linda s said:

There are no axle recalls  on the single wheel rigs. Could do with higher load rated tires and servicing bearings at this age would be a good idea. Even regular truck axles can fail if the bearings wear too much. I see no reason for the expense of a full floater

Linda S

Linda,

Point taken. But would the expense, if incurred extravagently provide additional safety margin on these too?  There is also the "convenience" of limping with one blown tire. I admit this is not a straightforward replacement in any case, nor cheap.

Edited by neubie

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No limping required. All the wheels have the same lug pattern even if you buy wider ones for the rear. just use your spare. A full floater is stronger, yes, but it's also a lot heavier. Enough to impact the performance of this tiny rig? Maybe

Linda S

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