Post by Don Ricardo on Apr 11, 2011 22:39:38 GMT 10
We'll wait for your invitation before we descend on you! ;D ;D ;D
Quite a few people on the forum have replaced their axle. If you do a search for "axle" I'm sure you'll find some useful info. I think the general consensus is that the best and easiest option is to fit electric brakes. That's certainly what we did back in '82 when we had to adapt our van to a modern tow car. It's been a good option for us and been very reliable.
If you need to change vehicles regularly, you can set up the brake controller so that you can unplug it from one car and move it to another.
Anyway do a search and you'll get a whole host of info.
Thats cool, I will would be great to show the experts what is there before I start a restoration. As I say, depending on my other projects I might start on it late this year.
I am still somewhat tempted to replace the axle set and use it in its unrestored condition for a while. The inteior is much better than the outside and really requires no work at all.
My thought at the moment is there is a company in Melbourne who sells Land Cruiser pattern axles for about $500 with brakes, so I might use one of those. Land Cruiser and Don caravan share the same stud pattern so I could retain the original wheels.
I am currently thinking I will use hydralic brakes, because I have 6 potential tow cars, both 6 and 12 Volts. The drawbar on the van has been extended and has a modern bolt on coupling allready so it would be quite easy to do.
Post by Surf Tragic on Apr 12, 2011 18:49:43 GMT 10
You are on the right track with the changeover axle you can see what I did, click here (thanks Cobber ) but there would be easier ways. I like electrical as it keeps the weight right off the tow car in all road conditions, instantanious.
We will look foreward to seeing you & the van whenever, late in the year is good. If you decide to discard the original axle, I would be interested in buying it from you. My Don 133 has the original axle with 4 stud (13 or 14 inch I have to check) wheels/rims, over-ride brakes, it looks good. When I picked it up it went straight into storage so have never had a good look at how it has been done.
One other quick thing I just remembered. You guys probably all ready know this but. I was speaking to my uncle yesterday, he toured the Don factory as a kid back in the 1950's. He told me that the vans were built using a pre fabrication construction method. The two side walls were built on a very large table, then placed onto the chassis and connected togother. Cheers Stewart
That would be a treat to watch way back then. The method is still used in modern factories, I toured the Windsor Caravan brand factory about 6 years ago & thats how they were still doing it.
Thanks for getting the photos posted, it is causing a lot of interest.
I think I would want to hold onto the axle so that I could allways do a full resto one day. Your conversion looks alot like what I want to do. I am thinking I may also fit a set of shock absorbers, to try to improve stability for higher speed towing.
I have had a good look at all the photos of your van, its coming along really well, you do nice work!
Like I said, I had no idea it was so rare, I am so used to it having grown up with the van.
Can somone tell me how to search for Don stuff? The search link won't accapt Don as it only has three characters.
The other thing I suppose I have told you guys nothing about is the interior of our van.
All the cupboards, beds and table are original and in good condition, the benches have been re surfaced in laminex, it has an electorlux 3 way fridge in place of the ice chest, the lights have been replaced, the water tank is gone and insted the van has a tank underneath with a pump inside, the wash basin is gone, the shellite stove has been replaced with an LPG equivilent from the late 60's. The floor is cork tiles. At this stage, I inted to do nothing inside other than clean and re wire. Apart from anything else, its the way its been since I was born and I would feel wried changing it too much.
Yesterday I transferred Don 718 into my name so now I feel like I really should do something with it.
I can't do much for the next few months but I want to start planning.
My current plan is to fix it up mechanically but leave the body alone for the moment.
I intend to replace the axle so that it will have brakes that work and install shocks so that it is a bit more stable, I was wondering if there are any things I should watch out for, I assume some of you guys have done this before.
I was also wondering what tyres other people are using? I plan to stay with the standard wheels.
Its been sitting here since 2005... About time it moved again.
This is what I did here to the 120 being restored at present, scroll down to the bottom of the page to see details. I wouldn't do this again, it would be much simpler & cost effective to do what Don Ricardo did.
My current thought is that I can get a new axle with the Land Cruiser stud pattern, hydraulic drum brakes and any drop I want for for about $500. Our van already has a modern coupling fitted so I am happy enough to fit an override coupling in its place.
As far as tyres go, Antique Tyres can supply 6.00x16 Excelsior Cross plies for $197 each.
Post by Surf Tragic on Jul 16, 2013 21:49:39 GMT 10
Stooy You certainly can do what you are saying, I did it for the same reason to retain the chevvie rims.
The only thing I was disappointed with was the tyres from the same place you mention, I think they are good for the likes of a small, lighter van like the 120, & have already fitted them to that one, but definitely wouldn't want them on my heavier 140, I really don't think they would be up to the task. It wouldn't be wise doing 80-90kph with an imperial ton in tow (loaded) on that particular tyre.
That's just my thoughts after using them,
That's why I will be looking at 14" for our family van with LT Radials fitted, peace of mind The last thing I want trouble with on any trailer is the tyres.
I am just thinking I wonder if I could get a set of Chev rims that are slightly wider to allow for a better tyre fitment.
I am really pleased to hear that you have had some issues on those tyres, this is just the sort of feedback I was after, I defiantly want to avoid that sort of thing.
All my tow cars (bar one) are pretty fast and capable of cruising 110kph easily so I want to get the Don to tow as well as possible, even if I still only to 90kmh. I also plan to use it quite a lot and I regularly travel long distances so it must be right.
I am thinking I should finally get around to getting Don 718 Back on the road (not that I really have the spare time).
I was wondering if you guys could tell me the correct colour and hopefully paint codes for it. I know it was cream and green with a silver roof, but I don't know much more than that.
I was also Hoping someone could give me a photo or two of the factory tail lights & side lights, I need to find a set (or something similar) as 718 now has 80's autobhan lights on it.
Background for people who haven't seen my post a couple of years ago. 718 was purchased new by my grandfather around 1953. The dual front windows were installed at the factory prior to him picking it up. It was used for an annual 6 week family holidays up until 2005 when it was parked.
If you can help me out with info that would be great.
ps. it might be worthwhile getting an administrator to merge all your threads into one to make your story more fluid and also move it from the technical and general sections into the members album. (they're very good at doing that sort of thing these days).
Post by Don Ricardo on Feb 6, 2015 21:40:03 GMT 10
Good to hear you're planning to get your Don ready for the road again.
Geoff 'n Jude have pointed you to the threads about the paint colours for Don caravans. I have a bit more info that I can give you if you're interested. Just send me a PM with your phone number and I'll give your a ring.
Regarding tail lights, etc, try this thread where I've posted some info about Don lights. As it happens I'm in the process of finding some more age appropriate lights for our van. If you read further down the thread I've given you the link for, you'll see why! But I can talk to you about where I've got to on lights as well.
It will be a light restoration this time, I will leave the interior in the non standard form the way it renovated in the 1970's/1980's because that is the way it has been all my life and it is still in good condition.
Unfortunately my Grandparents aren't around any more but my uncle and my mum who are in the 60's now are quite pleased.
If you guys are still keen to come around and have a look at the dual front window setup you are very welcome now that it's at my house. I am in Glen Iris so if you are in the area let me know.
Last Friday Night I finished rebuilding the suspension and installing a new axle and on Saturday I took it on its first trip in 12 years. We went to the Mt Tarrengower Historic Hill Climb at Maldon Victoria, where I raced my XB GT.
Also as an FYI, the bronze bushes which the standard Don suspension uses are available from Consolidated bearing Services.
Hi Stooy, What a fabulous photo !!!!! Love the XB & the door number...what ever happened to door numbers..Mr sponsor got in the way I expect. Great looking outfit. PS: I only drove one hill climb in a V8 Torana ,frightened the crap out of me.