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Old 08-02-2016, 06:30 PM   #15
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You're so luck you didn't have to cut trees! My Bambi II sat in the woods 20 years & had to be cut out. But the tires held air, just like yours!! My project took 2 1/2 years of pretty diligent work. I enjoyed every minute of it! And the best part is it's exactly how I wanted it & I can use it knowing every inch of it. Enjoy your project -- glad it's home safe!
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becky B. View Post
You're so luck you didn't have to cut trees! My Bambi II sat in the woods 20 years & had to be cut out. But the tires held air, just like yours!! My project took 2 1/2 years of pretty diligent work. I enjoyed every minute of it! And the best part is it's exactly how I wanted it & I can use it knowing every inch of it. Enjoy your project -- glad it's home safe!
Becky-

I guess I left that part out of the story. One of the reasons I brought loggers with me WAS to cut out trees. We had one cutting and three of us hauling out the mess. We took some liberties with the tree trimming so we had no issues maneuvering out or scratching the panels. You could have taken an 18 wheeler through there.

Right on for your 2 1/2 year project. That takes some real perseverance. I hope to be done in 3 years but that is with me touching every inch of this project.
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:13 PM   #17
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I'm in year three of my resto-mod. Of course, it probably has something to do with my habit of admiring my own work with a beer for copious amounts of time. Looking forward to following your progress and congrats!
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:30 PM   #18
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I'm in year three of my resto-mod. Of course, it probably has something to do with my habit of admiring my own work with a beer for copious amounts of time. Looking forward to following your progress and congrats!
Ha, I know how that goes. If I can stay focused or my three kids don't need me much I may make this happen.
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:42 PM   #19
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I hope to keep this thread as a journal and post in topics for specific questions. That way if others are looking for similar answers they can find it a little easier than reading an entire journal and getting way off topic.

I have some questions about removing the shell. If anyone can help take a look over here.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ml#post1830134
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:37 AM   #20
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Removing the shell

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmtb View Post
I hope to keep this thread as a journal and post in topics for specific questions. That way if others are looking for similar answers they can find it a little easier than reading an entire journal and getting way off topic.

I have some questions about removing the shell. If anyone can help take a look over here.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ml#post1830134
Hey jjmtb, the thought of pulling the shell is way more intimidating than actually pulling the shell. It's a lot of work, but nothing is particularly difficult:

1. Gut the interior
2. Pull the inner skins. The rivet drilling tool from Vintage Airstream is a must have tool.
3. Discard all of the old insulation
4. Remove the lower belt on the front and rear of the trailer. It should be screwed on
5. Drill all of the rivets, including all of the rivets around the wheels. There are some blind rivets that are a PITA that you have to find and drill from the inside. You'll know when you've got them all because the shell will easily pop free.
6. Truss the shell so that when you pull it off it will retain its shape. I just used scrap lumber and 1"x2" - the trussing doesn't need to be beefy, just triangulate everything to ensure the shell keeps its shape.
7. Park the trailer where you want the shell to live for awhile
8. Build two gantries. Use 12' 4x4 for the verticals and a 10' 4x6 for the horizontals. There are plenty of examples throughout the forums. Get two chain hoists from Harbor Freight, attach them to the gantries and drop them through the front and rear air vents. On the inside of the trailer use a 12'x2"x8", drill two holes large enough for the hooks of the chain hoists to drop through and use a couple of 1"x8" galvanized nipples to lock the hooks in place.
9. Lift the shell. If you've gotten all of the rivets it will come off easily. You've probably missed a blind rivet or two.
10. Pull the bottom end out, put some plastic down and set the shell down
11. Tie the shell down to the ground! The shell in this state is very light and fragile, if you don't tie it down a big wind could come along and end your project.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDickey View Post
Hey jjmtb, the thought of pulling the shell is way more intimidating than actually pulling the shell. It's a lot of work, but nothing is particularly difficult:

1. Gut the interior
2. Pull the inner skins. The rivet drilling tool from Vintage Airstream is a must have tool.
3. Discard all of the old insulation
4. Remove the lower belt on the front and rear of the trailer. It should be screwed on
5. Drill all of the rivets, including all of the rivets around the wheels. There are some blind rivets that are a PITA that you have to find and drill from the inside. You'll know when you've got them all because the shell will easily pop free.
6. Truss the shell so that when you pull it off it will retain its shape. I just used scrap lumber and 1"x2" - the trussing doesn't need to be beefy, just triangulate everything to ensure the shell keeps its shape.
7. Park the trailer where you want the shell to live for awhile
8. Build two gantries. Use 12' 4x4 for the verticals and a 10' 4x6 for the horizontals. There are plenty of examples throughout the forums. Get two chain hoists from Harbor Freight, attach them to the gantries and drop them through the front and rear air vents. On the inside of the trailer use a 12'x2"x8", drill two holes large enough for the hooks of the chain hoists to drop through and use a couple of 1"x8" galvanized nipples to lock the hooks in place.
9. Lift the shell. If you've gotten all of the rivets it will come off easily. You've probably missed a blind rivet or two.
10. Pull the bottom end out, put some plastic down and set the shell down
11. Tie the shell down to the ground! The shell in this state is very light and fragile, if you don't tie it down a big wind could come along and end your project.
DDickey-

Wow, those are some seriously great and invaluable instructions. The intimidations factor gets smaller and smaller as I figure the steps out and run through them in my head.

I wasn't sure if I should take out all the interior skins. If I could it would give me a few more things I can put on the list to work over the winter. Your advise helps tremendously.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:34 PM   #22
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A Little about Me

So far I have told all of you a little bit about Sylvi. Some details of how I got her back to home base but you know nothing about me. So, a quick introduction to add a little background.


The intimidation factor for taking a project like this isn't too bad. I am a little handy. My "handiness" though has never been applied to a camper. There are things I don't know that I will have to figure out but from what I have found reading these forums is there is a wealth of information to find or waiting to be shared. I am confident to getting the answer I want.

I have been working in, on, or around aviation for over 20 years. I started as an airframe mechanic in the Navy. Bending and riveting metal was my first job. Transferable skills I would say. I know the difference between a 470 and 1097 rivet , 2024T3 and 2024-O, and 2024 and 6061. I know what a cleco is.

After my time in the Navy I got a job outfitting $50m custom airplanes. I have been there for almost 20 years. I have worked in sheetmetal fabrication and all the fit and install of furniture and components. I have friends and coworkers that are custom cabinet makers, custom upholsterers, and electrical technicians. Again, transferable skills.

So I know this is going to be a heck of a project but the intimidation is not knowing about the issues with these old AS. What mistakes not to make? Best ways of doing things? I look forward to the help and making this thing a beauty.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:40 PM   #23
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Inner Skins

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmtb View Post
DDickey-

Wow, those are some seriously great and invaluable instructions. The intimidations factor gets smaller and smaller as I figure the steps out and run through them in my head.

I wasn't sure if I should take out all the interior skins. If I could it would give me a few more things I can put on the list to work over the winter. Your advise helps tremendously.
There are three reasons to pull all of the inner skins:

1. You'll want to replace the old insulation. You can significantly increase the R value by going back with a radiant barrier, then new insulation.
2. The wiring is 60 years old and it needs to be replaced.
3. When you water test your shell you're going to be shocked at how bad it leaks, that's why your floor is rotten. You'll want to wire brush all of the old velkum and go through the routine of sealing the shell back up. I'm using TremPro 635 on every single seam and every single rivet on the inside, and I'm using Captain Tolley's on every single rivet on the outside. Furthermore, I've removed all of the windows too so that I can rebuild them. They leaked terribly, and with them removed I can ensure that I seal them properly.

Again, the thought of removing the inner skins is way more intimidating than actually removing them. You are going to need to invest in some riveting tools. I bought everything I need to do pop, buck and Olympic rivets. Most everything will go back with Olympic rivets, and you'll need the shaver. Some assemblies require buck rivets and it's not too hard to learn how to do, just takes a little practice.
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Old 08-03-2016, 05:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDickey View Post
There are three reasons to pull all of the inner skins:

1. You'll want to replace the old insulation. You can significantly increase the R value by going back with a radiant barrier, then new insulation.
2. The wiring is 60 years old and it needs to be replaced.
3. When you water test your shell you're going to be shocked at how bad it leaks, that's why your floor is rotten. You'll want to wire brush all of the old velkum and go through the routine of sealing the shell back up. I'm using TremPro 635 on every single seam and every single rivet on the inside, and I'm using Captain Tolley's on every single rivet on the outside. Furthermore, I've removed all of the windows too so that I can rebuild them. They leaked terribly, and with them removed I can ensure that I seal them properly.

Again, the thought of removing the inner skins is way more intimidating than actually removing them. You are going to need to invest in some riveting tools. I bought everything I need to do pop, buck and Olympic rivets. Most everything will go back with Olympic rivets, and you'll need the shaver. Some assemblies require buck rivets and it's not too hard to learn how to do, just takes a little practice.
Great advice. Thank you so much.

I do intend to remove all the inner panels. I wasn't sure I should do it before or after lift off. If I can do it before I can work on the panels in my spare time. It would be a time saver.

Another question. I want to remove and rebuild my windows. As you know there are a lot of them. Can or should I remove them before I lift off or after I have the shell on the ground? I see the pro's and con's of both. Do you have a recommendation?

Right now working on Sylvi is a challenge. She is still in the UP 3.5 hours away. I will be on vacation for the next two weeks and I want to get things done that I can bring back with me to work on. So windows are one of them.

With winter coming my goal is to have plenty of work to do at home. I will bring the frame back with me. I have garage space for it just not the whole thing. Make any repairs or mods over the winter and treat it. Have the sub floors remade and remounted. Repair or replace any c channel that needs it. This will also be the time I clean and rebuild all the windows. I will make any repairs to the interior skins, fill any random holes, and clean or strip as needed. If I am cruising along I will make a decision to replace the belly skin or not. Plus decide on rebuild or replace axles and get new tires and rims ready to go. That should be a good amount of work to do after my three kids are in bed for a winter.

If I get all that done then as soon as spring comes everything goes back up, shell on, bring her home and get going on the interior when I can put it in my driveway.

Easy peazy, right????
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Old 08-03-2016, 06:03 PM   #25
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1957 Caravanner Full Monty

I will add a couple of Full Monty suggestions. Before drilling and pulling the shell, screw a piece of ply across the bottom of the door opening so it won't spread or pinch during the shell off. Leave the wood there until you have the shell cleco'd back onto the frame. Once you pull the shell, measure the perimeter of the floor all the way around the C channel. When you start to reassemble, this will help get the floor assembly the right size so the shell will slip right back on. It doesn't take much of an error and the floor is too big/long/wide or small and you will have issues in resetting the shell to fit it.
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Old 08-03-2016, 06:26 PM   #26
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I will add a couple of Full Monty suggestions. Before drilling and pulling the shell, screw a piece of ply across the bottom of the door opening so it won't spread or pinch during the shell off. Leave the wood there until you have the shell cleco'd back onto the frame. Once you pull the shell, measure the perimeter of the floor all the way around the C channel. When you start to reassemble, this will help get the floor assembly the right size so the shell will slip right back on. It doesn't take much of an error and the floor is too big/long/wide or small and you will have issues in resetting the shell to fit it.
Ahh, great advice on the door opening. I hadn't thought of that. Plus, taking the door off gives me one more thing to thoroughly go through this winter.

I had assumed that the floor would/should be flush to the outboard side of the c channel. Is that not the case?
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:18 PM   #27
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:42 PM   #28
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