<VV> Corvair trailering

Louis C. Armer,Jr. carmerjr at mindspring.com
Thu Jul 13 01:11:22 EDT 2006

Hello everyone, Yesterday and today I undertook my annual inspection 
and repair of Darth Vair's ride to Mosport and Buffalo. I first went 
to the local coin car wash and washed the trailer down thoroughly 
with the engine degreaser option and scrubbed from stem to stern with 
a red scotch brite pad to remove all grease oxidized paint etc. from 
the fenders and bed of the trailer. Then I power rinsed
everything and let the trailer bake in our 90%+ Georgia sunshine. 
This was followed by a trip to the local ACE hardware where their
"Now and Later" spray paint was on sale at 2 for $3. This trailer is 
outside at Ted Fahrenthold's shop or my driveway 365 days a year and 
it needed a paint renewal. 12 cans of gloss black and presto we are 
spruced up and ready for the road.
      Today I pulled all four wheels and the spare and reinspected 
the tires for nails screws etc., general condition of the tires, all 
5 valve stems were replaced last year and all checked out okay. Next 
the brake drums were pulled and each assembly sprayed and cleaned 
with aerosol brake cleaner, linings inspected, wheel bearings 
inspected and greased, drums cleaned and all reassembled. I had a 
first for  me. On the front tandem axle which is about a year old, 
(the previous front axle assembly was stolen off the parked and 
secured trailer, another story) I found two rather discouraging and 
totally unexpected safety issues. The first issue was the "new" brake 
drums had no rim build-up at their inner lip where they meet the 
backing plate. This allowed water to enter the inside of the brake 
drums on both sides of the trailer while sitting in the parking lot 
at Teds shop. Simple driving rain was the obvious culprit and the 
condition was more serious on the side of the trailer that did not 
have another vehicle parked close to buffer the driving rain. The end 
results were considerably more rust on the drum lining and a frozen 
star adjuster on one side. All these trailer axles now have many 
Chinese components and I have little doubt that most if not all of 
the brake and drum assembly were manufactured in China. I had to 
scrub both brake drums with a scotch brite pad to remove the interior 
rust. I had to completely remove the rusted star adjuster, spray it 
liberally with PB Blaster, and secure it in my bench vice to work it 
loose. Now of course this was the fourth wheel that caused this 
problem. With the bench vice and vice grips I was able to finally 
free the adjuster threads and reassemble the brakes on that wheel. 
The four year old rear axle which DID have the normal inner rim 
build-up (looks just like our Corvair drums) showed little or no 
symptoms of the problem. Now one of the points in this long post is 
you may want to check your new(er) trailer brakes and see if you have 
the drums that cause this type of problem. The second point is you 
need to adust your trailer brakes once a year or at least every 
3-4000 miles since they are not self adjusting brakes. These Chinese 
star adjusters appear to have a very high ferrous content and rusted 
very easily and quickly. They are nowhere near the quality of our 
Corvair adjusters and I would use Corvair adjusters if they would fit 
but they are too short in length.
If you are towing, it's time to inspect, repair or replace as needed 
so you have a safe trailer to haul your Corvair to the races and/or 
the Convention. My trip to Cedar Rapids last year was over 2000 miles 
in tow and this year I suspect it will be at least 2500 miles
and lots of  mountains and hills where I sure want a safe trailer 
beneath Darth Vair.

Chuck Armer

CORSA Member
CORSA Tri-membership Chairman
Corvair Atlanta Member
Corvair Atlanta BOD
Corvanatics Member
SECC Member

1965 Corsa Coupe
1964  Greenbrier
1966 Monza Convertible
1966 WTBRT #112 xcrosser 1/2 owner

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