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Old 05-26-2011, 12:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by worldinchaos View Post
On the personal story note, just got accepted into business school so now I've got some real deadlines to get this trailer done by or I'll start getting REALLY busy.
Congrats!!! did you get into UCLA?

Way to go on the trailer! it looks great! Mine is sitting in my driveway and NOTHING has happened....well, other than my kids sleeping in it on weekends LOL!
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:12 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by worldinchaos View Post
Leaf springs + drop axle. Been checked out by specialist mechanics, and no concerns. That being said, I am likely going to change it out at Inland for a completely new assembly with no drop. I would rather have the clearance for the off-road trails that it will eventually hit.
Give Andy kudos from all here.
Drop axle? Interesting choice, wonder when that was done. Could be that the axle was flipped at some point.


Sweet Streams.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:37 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Give Andy kudos from all here.
Drop axle? Interesting choice, wonder when that was done. Could be that the axle was flipped at some point.


Sweet Streams.
Who knows... May have also been an original part from an earlier model. From what I remember, my drop looks identical to Steve's 53' Flying Cloud. I'm guessing it's another instance of Pacer's using up leftover production materials from the assembly lines.
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:24 PM   #18
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I'd like to suggest the thought of having it ready to roll prior to the interior work proceeding much beyond demolition/stripping. That is, brakes, axles, tires, signal lamps, hitch rigging equipment, etc. Breakaway switch, house batteries, etc. The aluminum tent. I know these all fit in "the plan" at some logical point, but the attempt to be persuasive, here, is the option of using the trailer really, really soon. Versus a year or more. Now, having stuck my neck way out, it's a fine thread, a nice trailer, and I admire the NP visit goal. These trailers are all too fun to work on, by themselves, and the weekends fly by is the thought . . the reality. The road performance/safety details take more time than is apparent. When out of the way that trailer is a whole other creature.
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
I'd like to suggest the thought of having it ready to roll prior to the interior work proceeding much beyond demolition/stripping. That is, brakes, axles, tires, signal lamps, hitch rigging equipment, etc. Breakaway switch, house batteries, etc. The aluminum tent. I know these all fit in "the plan" at some logical point, but the attempt to be persuasive, here, is the option of using the trailer really, really soon. Versus a year or more. Now, having stuck my neck way out, it's a fine thread, a nice trailer, and I admire the NP visit goal. These trailers are all too fun to work on, by themselves, and the weekends fly by is the thought . . the reality. The road performance/safety details take more time than is apparent. When out of the way that trailer is a whole other creature.
I guess I'd say that this is the direction we are heading, but not 100%. First off, we are going to continue to go to NP's, camping, backpacking, etc, even without the trailer. In fact, we have been on those trips two of the last three weekends, and are going to Catalina Island both of the next two weekends.

The first thing I have really completed is getting the tow vehicle ready with some upgraded gauge trailer wiring, suspension changes, auxiliary fuse box, and upcoming is the brake controller. On the trailer side, we do plan to have all the lights, running gear, hitch, and safety items ready by the time the subfloor is getting installed. We aren't doing it any sooner because we are going to run new wiring for the signal lamps and possibly brakes depending on what we find. Also, I don't want to move the trailer around until I see what the full frame looks like.

But I believe that's approximately what you are talking about. We may use it as an aluminum tent...
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:37 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by lisamomof2 View Post
Congrats!!! did you get into UCLA?

Way to go on the trailer! it looks great! Mine is sitting in my driveway and NOTHING has happened....well, other than my kids sleeping in it on weekends LOL!
Yep, UCLA and USC. Not gonna get into the rivalry debate on this site, but I'm still undecided at the moment.

As for the trailer, we spent a while there today doing a variety of tasks starting with lots of measurements and planning of where we will need all our electrical connections.

Our Jestco kit arrived, so we hopped on over to Harbor Freight to grab a polisher and did a quick test of the gray bar on a small area (hence the picture with reflections). Worked out better than we hoped.

We also replaced our broken Bargman L-77 handle stub on the trailer with a fabulous design from TG Twinkie, and it looks amazing.

Then we got into pulling down some interior panels so we can put the shell away and work on the insulation, wiring, and plumbing. As you can see, someone has been there before us with Killroy, and we also discovered one panel was replaced. The hardest part of the day was removing the old water heater vents which were attached with a combination of screws, rivets, and 3 types of NAILS.
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Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:00 AM   #21
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Thought I'd give an update. We haven't been spending much time actually working, but we've spent a lot of time planning.

We finished pulling down all the interior panels and insulation except for endcaps (to maintain some monocoque structure until we remove and replace the floor).

We removed the small curbside window as a test of what it takes to restore one to full polished and sealed glory. This led us to a huge shopping spree on VTS, starting with the glazing and backframe gaskets and ending with aluminum sheets for repairs, replacement trailer lights, etc. The reassuring part of this was that in looking on the threads for details of restoring Hehr Standards, it seems like many of the 1950's windows are heavily oxidized, pitted, rusted, and many are non-operable. All of ours are fairly clean and operable, just some holes in the screens and leaking gaskets. This is reassuring as to the trailer being cared for.

As for the planning, I've made a list of all the >$100 items that we need to buy and we've selected our choices. I also made a complete diagram of the plumbing and propane, with electrical in the works. We even went through some big box stores to get an idea of finishing details even though that's many months away.

And the other reason we haven't been doing a lot is we are in weekend trip mode. Two weeks ago we took the ferry to Catalina island, Avalon side, on a groupon. Last weekend we sailed my Coronado over there with a bunch of friends, but to the Isthmus harbor side. And this weekend we leave for a weeklong trip to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons. Next update in 2-3 weeks....
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1959 Pacer 18' Renovation - Knight in Shining Armor

Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:51 AM   #22
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Thumbs up 23 pieces of aluminum per window?

Everything we ordered arrived within a 7 day period!!! I now have Cleco's, and olympics, and a shaver, and polish, and 2024 T3, and a 42 gallon freshwater tank, and Bargman 99's, and teardrop markers, and galvanized screen, and Trempro 635, and ......... Ok I'll stop.

But the cleco's mean that we can re-hang the ceiling (only piece of aluminum we couldn't figure out how to store during the floor removal), and start pulling out subfloor.

And when I'm not at the trailer, I'm polishing window pieces in our patio. As for the post title, I knew that people said each Hehr Standard window took a full day, but 23 pieces of aluminum per window!?!?!?! Why?
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(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:14 PM   #23
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Talking Give a man a free weekend, he'll pull out the subfloor.

Woohoo! First weekend home in a while, and it went great for the trailer. I spent 5 hours yesterday and 5 today on her, and got the front endcap out, all the elevator bolts, screws, nuts, etc. out from the C-channel and subfloor, and then cut out the front two sections of plywood (our short little 18er only has 4 sections of 4x8 sheets). And don't forget about the Carlson in-floor heater unit, which probably took 10% of that time alone--by yourself: put channel locks on a nut above, then crawl underneath and unscrew. Swear incessantly. Repeat.

It was certainly difficult, being a shell-on, bellypan-on job, which as I may have mentioned before is due to space constraints of the densely populated area of Redondo Beach. However, with some scratches, prying, and pulling, all the subfloor came out from the wheel wells forward.

The really good news: Absolutely nothing so far shows evidence of any significant frame rot/rust/corrosion. Everything is extremely minor and no welding has been warranted on the front half of the trailer.

My goal this week is to clean up the inside seams of the exposed shell, i.e. minus rear endcap, and paint on a layer or two of Henry brand #209 Elastomastic metal roofing sealant. If I'm really feeling aggressive, I'll clean up the frame and put a coat of primer on, but it's doubtful.
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Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:38 AM   #24
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Polishing, Wirebrushing, and Priming

Spent my free time this weekend on removing all the exterior lights and polishing with gray bar and red bar. Also did the same to the starboard window area. Now that we got our glass tinted we can go ahead and install the whole assembly. Hopefully I'll have time to do that after work this week before we head to Maine for 9 days!

Also been wirebrushing and painting the front section of the frame. I know I'll get some strong opinions against this, but after lots of careful research, I decided not to go with POR15. Most of my frame has very little rust and some was still painted metal, so I wirebrushed and used Rustoleum Bare/Light Rusty Metal Primer on those areas, and for the small 2' section in the front that was slightly rusted I used Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer which is the POR15 equivalent, i.e. bonds to the iron oxide. After 2 coats, I will be adding 2-3 coats of Black "Stops-Rust" Rustoleum topcoat.

Oh and I also added that elastomastic and sealed the inside of all the exterior seams.

Check out Picture #2 below: My Airstream is a free funhouse mirror. I got dumbo ears and a mohawk!
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Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:34 AM   #25
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Insulation for cheap

If anyone is looking for a good source for Reflectix, I have been looking for foil-bubble type for awhile, and this is by far the best price I've gotten for the low volume that I need (4 rolls): Hardware City


Anyway, off to Disneyland for work tomorrow, then Maine for vacation

PS If any mods are reading this, I should probably change the title of the thread to '59 Pacer Shell-On Renovation or something along those lines.
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Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:16 AM   #26
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Positive Yardage...

UPDATE 8/14/11

Can't believe it's been so long since I last updated. I guess I've been distracted by actually working on the trailer. List of items I've been doing:
  • Modified 4 teardrop lights and Bargman 99's for LED. Installed on pre-polished areas.
  • Finished painting forward section of frame, insulated with reflectix and foamboard
  • Patched outrigger chafing holes and old floor heater hole in bellypan (and Olympic Rivet test run)
  • Completed and installed small curbside window. Removed front window. Ordered replacement Lexan
  • Finished stripping more zolatone on assorted pieces. Very little left
  • Polished front window area and Hehr vent cover. Starting to get some shine!
  • Cut and used router on new 3/4" plywood panel. First couple coats of resin are applied.

It's been lot's of fun.
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Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:26 AM   #27
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I just stumbled across your renovation and am really impressed by your patience, thought and good ole effort! I am currently looking to purchase an 18' Pacer to tow behind my moho for additional living space. Keep up the excellent work and please, please, please continue to post! All of your ideas (good or bad) that you try or are thinking of trying are appreciated!
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:45 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by GREENovaters View Post
I just stumbled across your renovation and am really impressed by your patience, thought and good ole effort! I am currently looking to purchase an 18' Pacer to tow behind my moho for additional living space. Keep up the excellent work and please, please, please continue to post! All of your ideas (good or bad) that you try or are thinking of trying are appreciated!
Well thank you very much! That's exactly why I'm documenting this rebuild. That and in a year or so I can look back and be even more impressed with my work, saying things like, "Holy COW I forgot about all the Zolatone!"

You should definitely get the Pacer, and be sure to put some pictures online and on the vintage airstream photo archives. We've got to document these short-lived models and all their leftover-production-part quirks.
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