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Old 11-27-2009, 08:01 PM   #15
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Bought some .025Ē 5052 aluminum and figured out the pattern I needed to cover the end of the grey tank. Sounds a lot easier than it was. The end result is a neat little detail that looks like it was supposed to be there. I had to create extensions of the belly pan where it wraps around the rear curves because of the additional thickness of insulation (originally, they didnít bother to insulate back there). Iím cutting a door in the pan to get to the cable actuated Valtera dump valve ÖI hope nobody needs to get to it.

Anyway, the final inspection of the belly pan for missed rivets and patching old holes at abandoned gas lines is all that remains before pushing it back under the shell.

Philosophical aside: At each step in this process, I approached with some trepidation as to my ability and inexperience. Iíd read the restoration threads and made many notes. I went over each process in my head and set priorities in order not to have to repeat or undo an installation. With each small victory, the seed of satisfaction germinates and self confidence grows.

The following depicts the grey tank brackets that hold the belly pan away from the tank, the end cap fabrication of the new sweep look, a couple of shots before moving the chassis, a shot or two showing the insertion (rated X), and a couple of shots attesting to my ability to back a 28 foot trailer to within ĹĒ of dead center over an undulating desert terrain. Ok, I admit, that last part was pure luck!

With Kris and Matthew (the skeptic regarding this whole endeavor), we removed the restraining cords and the 4x4 posts and lowered the shell by brute force. Two guys can lift each end at a time, but I wouldnít recommend it. I now understand Mr. Byamís determination to control the situation! If two more people had been there, Iíd have been getting an estimate on a Sky Crane or a fork lift. All that aside, weíre elated that the two pieces have gotten so close together after so many months.

In closing this installment, youíll notice a few really shiny spots on the trailer shell. I call these ďmotivational aidsĒ. When all seems to go to crapola and stuff wonít fit and drill bits break and you cut the dog out of your fingers, take a look at that shiny little spot that tells you what your goal line looks like. No, donít just glance at it, sit down, take a break, and really look at it. Youíll get up ready to tackle the next phase.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:04 PM   #16
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Final shots
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:24 PM   #17
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Outstanding

Your photo documentation is outstanding!It is especially valuable for those of us who are beginning a redo on a 60s Ambassador.Thanks,and keep the pictures coming.Great job!
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:29 AM   #18
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WOW-this is better than new from the factory.
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:15 AM   #19
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Ambie, absolutely remarkable job you're doing. Thanks for posting the pics.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:53 PM   #20
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Nice work!
Carol
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:23 AM   #21
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Trying to coax the shell to line up with the rivet holes on the wheel wells took 3 days. The first thing to align was the front plate (which Iíll be adding another row of rivets to). The method to assist in the wheel wells was to leave the carriage bolts off and have a bit of play to move it back and forth under the sub floor until shell and well holes line up. Then, use self-tapping bolts through the well flange, subfloor, and outrigger. With these three pieces aligned, the rest of the shell can be used as a template for drilling holes in the new c-channel. Youíll note the use of bender board located in critical spots around the trailer. This kept the skin from catching on the c-channel as it went down. It takes a minimum of two people to accomplish this, however.

Kris and I dropped the shell in position last Sat. evening and I had the halogen work lights on in the trailer when it started to rain. We declared Happy Hour and enjoyed the sound of the downpour while relaxing in the salon.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:11 AM   #22
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Nice looking lounge. Thanks for posting the detailed description of how you got the wheel wells to line up. I should be at this step within the next couple months so your description could be handy. Have you started riviting yet?
Norm
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:31 AM   #23
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Love, love, love your work, your posts and all the fantastic information.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:13 AM   #24
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OK, this thread needs an update as I was by your house yesterday and saw undocumented progress. Get with it.

Brad
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:49 PM   #25
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Geez! Some Airstreamers tend to get pushy! Without further ado:


We spent yesterday finishing the riveting of shell to chassis. For those of you who havenít tried it, the process is a lot of fun! Just had a couple of hard to rivet spots and a couple of rivets that didnít want to seat. I highly recommend using the plastic caps that fit over the rivet gun head to protect the shell from Ďísmileysíí. We started at the front and went around to the door, then went from front on the street side around to the same point as the door on the other side, then curb side to wheel well and street side to wheel well, curb side to rear curve, street side to rear curve, finally back door area. Everything lined up surprisingly well and I finally got to remove the wood bracing after soooo many months. One small note for people who are doing this, the rear part of the shell might be higher than the chassis/floor even after you level everything beforehand. Donít be discouraged. I lifted the rear chassis approximately 1Ē in order to get the shell to sit on the fender box (or whatever that thing is called). After riveting, the trailer is one solid puppy. The wheel wells are waiting for the new aluminum edging material to arrive. With help from a friend, we lowered the trailer to the ground, hooked it up and took a victory lap around the block!

Next up, sealing the inside of the outer skin at windows and seams. Spray on truck bed liner looks like what they used or would have used if it had been around in '64 (thanks to flyfshr for coming up with the right description for that balck stuff). Iíll use Sikaflex 221 around the c channel (will also entertain any alternates you might suggest at this point)... opening huge can of worms!

The other thing needed to do is my wiring diagram which Iíve put off for too long. Since Iím moving all the brains and brawn to the front of the trailer, everything will be the reverse of what was original. In other words, the home runs will go forward instead of aft. Since weíre using the old interior skins, Iím stuck with locating outlets and switches at original locations and adding new devices where I think weíll need them. A person could go bat guano crazy trying to predict future accommodating needs, so Iíll also be running flexible conduit to boxes from the service section located below the jalousie window. Iíll post a diagram as soon as it gets out of my head.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:55 AM   #26
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Ambie,
Great ,solid work! Thanks for posting the pic of the rear access door.Mine is not original and needed a good pic .Can't wait to see you finish this puppy out.Will help me alot on my 65 which I am starting in a couple of weeks.Steve
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:04 AM   #27
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I took a breather from all the decisions that need to be made regarding the electrical system. We removed the Coleman a/c unit to take to a qualified tech. Weíre hoping itís salvageable. That dang thing is heavy! It was bending the roof of the trailer and the support struts didnít even attach to the vertical ribs. I remembered my tour of Kipís trailer at the resto rally in ABQ. He was making some really nice structural improvements (to the point that I thought he could roll that thing down a hill and not have a dent). I decided to fabricate angle brackets to tie the vertical struts to the floor. I also made brackets to tie the horizontal roof pieces to the main struts. I then made additional horizontal pieces to further brace the roof to create a Ďíladderíí or catwalk across the top of the trailer. In my case, the vertical struts werenít continuous at the door and where the a/c was placed (still scratching my head as to why they did this). Additional bracing was placed to transfer the load to the proper support members. Iím not putting any more rivets through the roof, but the bracing allows for a more stable shell and the angle hold downs at the vertical struts will take the vibration stress off the rivet line around the shell. When the interior panels are installed, the shear wall system will be completed.

One other thing...a certain Airstreamer keeps coming by to check on me, but never seems to be wearing the proper clothing to help. Is that some kind of traditional initiation rite???
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:41 PM   #28
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Quote:
One other thing...a certain Airstreamer keeps coming by to check on me, but never seems to be wearing the proper clothing to help. Is that some kind of traditional initiation rite???
Now who the heck could that be? He needs a serious talking to.

Brad
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