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1987 Coleman Columbia Project
07-31-2015, 10:11 AM
Post: #1
1987 Coleman Columbia Project
So it's technically a 2x0 not a 4x4, but it's a random build project so I think this is the place for it.

I started the search for a Popup earlier this year. I thought about building a teardrop for a while now but determined that it wouldn't be too much better than sleeping in the back of the Jeep - plus it would have to be unloaded.

SO I moved to small popups. It's camping so I don't need anything fancy or big. Portable, pop up, shelter is what I was looking for.

Wasn't really getting any hits. Almost went after a few but they were missing titles (or registrations), were too big or were too whipped and the owner wanted too much money for them.

Got a message on the popup message board about a lady selling a 1987 Coleman Columbia with a transferable registration for $200. Sold! Didn't really care about condition.

She said it had a fender bender last year (looks like guard rail) and that the canvas was shot. I figured worst case scenario for both - but she sent a picture of how it looked pre-wreck and the cushions. It was in really good shape as far as I was concerned. I agreed to buy it.

Since the Jeep is death wobbling ... I had to take the Focus to pick it up.

2 hours down, 2.5 hours back. Focus got 32 MPG towing it at 65-70 MPH. Tires were fully inflated and the bearings weren't running hot.

Here's some pics:

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When I got it back to Syracuse I was like a kid with a new toy so I had to set it up. It has about 10 holes in the canvas (anyone do canvas work???). For now, I'll just patch with duct tape.

For $200, I wasn't expecting much. It has a working faucet and stove. Battery tray with battery - connected to what I believe is an inverter and 110V outlets, lighting, working awning (with lights). The floor is NOT rotten - surprising for being a 1987 - and the frame is very clean.

So this weekend I am going to do the following if I can register it in time:
- Clean the canvas / demold it
- Vacuum the mouse poop out and bleach, bleach, bleach!!
- Lubricate cables and pulleys for lift mechnism
- WD40 the jacks
- Repack bearings
- Swap tires (one of them is so old it was made in the USA)
- Duct tape the wreck to keep water out and just attach a cheap HF marker light
- Duct tape the canvas holes

Mike
2000 XJ Cherokee - 3.5'' lift / 32'' Tirerecapper Pizza Cutters / Front Locker
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07-31-2015, 10:42 AM
Post: #2
RE: 1987 Coleman Columbia Project
Nice find!! Looks like it is in great shape.
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07-31-2015, 10:53 AM
Post: #3
RE: 1987 Coleman Columbia Project
I haven't posted a picture of it open yet ConfusedConfused

It needs work haha

Mike
2000 XJ Cherokee - 3.5'' lift / 32'' Tirerecapper Pizza Cutters / Front Locker
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07-31-2015, 11:36 AM
Post: #4
RE: 1987 Coleman Columbia Project
Very cool. Its nice to see that you aren't limited to towing it with the Jeep.

Too Many Projects . . .
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07-31-2015, 01:16 PM
Post: #5
RE: 1987 Coleman Columbia Project
(07-31-2015 10:53 AM)Miller88 Wrote:  I haven't posted a picture of it open yet ConfusedConfused

It needs work haha

Well at least the outside looks nice being towed around!
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07-31-2015, 01:54 PM
Post: #6
RE: 1987 Coleman Columbia Project
(07-31-2015 11:36 AM)Smithy Wrote:  Very cool. Its nice to see that you aren't limited to towing it with the Jeep.

That's probably the biggest reason I wanted something small. 30MPG can get me pretty far for pretty cheap. There's places in PA that I want to go and see along with the Delaware Water Gap.

(07-31-2015 01:16 PM)yellowx16 Wrote:  
(07-31-2015 10:53 AM)Miller88 Wrote:  I haven't posted a picture of it open yet ConfusedConfused

It needs work haha

Well at least the outside looks nice being towed around!


I'm going to be cleaning it tonight, tomorrow with some Woolite. I bet it will look good once I get it cleaned.

Mike
2000 XJ Cherokee - 3.5'' lift / 32'' Tirerecapper Pizza Cutters / Front Locker
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07-31-2015, 05:11 PM
Post: #7
RE: 1987 Coleman Columbia Project
nice clean find, the awning is worth that price

hopefully the exterior repair is simple enough

I vision larger tires & a spring/shackle lift for this Smile

ExpeditionNorth.com Its not about the destination, its the journey.
2004 GMC Yukon & 1966 Stevens M416 trailer
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07-31-2015, 06:48 PM
Post: #8
RE: 1987 Coleman Columbia Project
(07-31-2015 01:54 PM)Miller88 Wrote:  That's probably the biggest reason I wanted something small. 30MPG can get me pretty far for pretty cheap. There's places in PA that I want to go and see along with the Delaware Water Gap.

I grew up on the NJ side of the Delaware Water Gap. Tons of neat abandoned places along the old Tocks Island project, a sunken locomotive in the river a few miles south of there, and some great rock climbing to name a few things. The state owns thousands of acres in that area, all free to explore on foot.

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08-02-2015, 09:41 AM
Post: #9
RE: 1987 Coleman Columbia Project
I think this is going to be named the ladybug. They were EVERYWHERE in the popup ... and now they are in my apartment - all dead, of course.

Matt, you'll have to give me some more details on that stuff some time! Definitely interested in that!

So I got around to doing quite a bit yesterday. Spent about 8 hours on it.

I bleach bombed the inside and outside of the canvas (bad thing to do, but it is shot), vacuumed the mouse poop out of it, bleach sprayed the interior (cabinets, storage box), bleached the floor. Once that was done I started patching the canvas with gorilla tape ... since Duct tape is now a fashion accessory, I was able to find duct tape that is pretty close to the color of the popup. It looks pretty shady ... but for what I paid, no complaints. Once that was done I set some fans up inside to dry the inside out and hopefully blow the bleach smell out. It doesn't smell like mouse *or* bleach now. Pretty happy.

While it was drying out inside, I lubed the sliders for the bunks and the pulley mechanism with some silicone spray. Finished it up with repacking the bearings ... or at least planning to. Turns out they were repacked recently and have all new seals. Score!

The floor (underneath) is in great shape! No rot at all! Usually the wooden floors rot.

The more time I spend on this, I can tell that someone really took care. If I throw a new Canvas on it and find another panel for the side, I think it would be worth quite a bit.

(07-31-2015 05:11 PM)AA1PR Wrote:  nice clean find, the awning is worth that price

hopefully the exterior repair is simple enough

I vision larger tires & a spring/shackle lift for this Smile

One of the nice things about the columbia is it uses a straight axle and has a traditional leaf setup. Down the road, I would like to get some slightly larger tires and do a spring over with a small block. The neat thing about this axle is the perch is not welded on - it just gets held in place by the u bolt. Potentially, I could just switch it between two sets of tires for Jeep or car duty.

Pics!

It was pretty moldy and holy outside. Wish I had taken some before pics of the inside of the canvas. I had to scrub with bleach!

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Mold ...

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Liberal use of the Handyman's Secret Weapon
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And cleaned / patched
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Mike
2000 XJ Cherokee - 3.5'' lift / 32'' Tirerecapper Pizza Cutters / Front Locker
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08-22-2015, 09:59 AM
Post: #10
RE: 1987 Coleman Columbia Project
Started to put together a list of stuff I might need for labor day weekend. Measured the hitch height of the cherokee and found I would need an 8 inch drop. Then I realized it has no ground clearance and wouldn't make it to the camp site.

Luckily it gas real springs and not a torsion axle. Unfortunately it has a bend from the factory and can't be flipped

Picked up some spring perches ... going to have to weld them on and do a spring over conversion and maybe small blocks. And borrow some 4x100 tires

Mike
2000 XJ Cherokee - 3.5'' lift / 32'' Tirerecapper Pizza Cutters / Front Locker
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