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Old 08-16-2011, 09:08 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1
Default on the road again

In November 2010, a rear wheel bearing failed on my '96 Rialta. The wheel tore off at 55 mph, red hot, tearing up the axle. I was all winter trying to find an axle. I found that a LaSharo ('85 Renault diesel) axle was a perfect fit, but it had 14" wheels and a weird 4-lug pattern. A mechanic installed the axle. I couldn't find 14" tires anywhere that would take the 1,960+ pound load per rear wheel of the Rialta. I also didn't want to carry 2 spare tires/wheels, so I had a machinist make wheel adapters for the rear to fit the 5-lug pattern of the front Rialta wheels. I ordered new Renault rear brake shoes and cylinders, from and lug bolts from Europarts, San Diego. Expensive, but excellent parts and fast delivery from both firms. After about $3,000 in parts/labor, I'm singing Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again." I get 20 mpg consistently with the 2.5 liter 5 cyl. VW engine, keeping the speed at 60 mph, using Mobil 1 oil. I never cared for the Continental tires. I've put 2 sets of Michelin Agilis (load range C) tires on it, and they have each lasted 50,000+ miles. An idea to consider: I removed the 2 rear captain's chairs and built a sturdy bed out of 2x4's and 3/4-inch masonite, cut to fit between the bathroom wall and the front captain's chairs. I bought a piece of 4" foam rubber to fit the masonite. I now have a permanent double bed about 30" off the floor with loads of storage underneath. I leave the rear dinette table up all the time. I recently added a Skyworth 15" TV/DVD player(12 volt) which is permanently mounted (centered) on the rear shelf. All appliances work great. I'm a happy camper. email me for photos of the bed, new axle, etc. Ken

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