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Old 04-01-2007, 09:00 PM   #1
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1964 28' Ambassador
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We have Lift Off!

After a year of playing like we're camping next to the garage, Kris and I decided to go ahead and test the patience and aesthetic tastes of the neighbors. They had no problem with my gutting the interior and storing all the cabinets in the garage. The smiled as we took out the interior skins and laid them on the drive to be rolled up for future use. They stared in amazement as I hauled the toilet to a private backyard location...known only to me and the two Goldens...how long does it take to potty-train those beasts? Anyway, I had promised a few photos of the on-going progress(?) I wanted to start my own thread for a '64 Ambassador re-build. I've learned so much from everybody on this site and wanted to share my most current Airstream Experiences. First off, the belly pan is a MAJOR pain to get down, but once you inspect the chassis and see no visual signs of rust and corrosion, you just want to keep going on. I'd like to also add to Winston Churchill's famous quote regarding the British answer to Nazi invasion of Europe, ''With Blood, Sweat, Tears, and Puking after inhaling rat droppings shall we persevere!'' We had a small problem with the belly pan, which caused a pause to evaluate the situation over a few adult beverages...not that I'm condoning that behavior, but necessity dictated a contemplative reevaluation, and Corona consumption seemed a proper medium. Due to the length of the Silver Tuna, we decided to perform a Caesarian midway betwixt the double axles. As luck would have it, the belly pan is singularly fitted to each side of the axle and a full yank toward the front is neither wise nor opportune. Our pan is two sheets of aluminum running the entire length down the trailer and traversing above the axles...that's where the problem arose. At the axles, drill out a few rivets in order to be able to ''scissor'' the two sheets away from the ill-fated attempt by the builders in cutting the belly pan ''to fit'' around the mechanisms that make your trailer road responsive. That one cost me a few Coronas...and I expect compensation at whatever rally we'll ever be able to attend. Here's a few shots, the substructure I built is working perfectly, the shell is solid (if not a bit goosey from the floor). I can see daylight on all edges and it'll be on 4x4's soon enough to cause total flabbergation from my ''what ELSE can he do to that thing?'' neighbors. Dar Dane
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:16 PM   #2
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Yepper, we got hose types too- and some have the nerve of trying to sell their house in between our projects??? Unbelievable. But hey, your project looks top notch! More pics- I love the shell-offs. I guess I'll have to get another one, so can play too!
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambie '64
...I wanted to start my own thread for a '64 Ambassador re-build. I've learned so much from everybody on this site and wanted to share my most current Airstream Experiences...
I see all the internal shell bracing so I'm assuming you are doing a shell-off restoration. How do you plan on storing the shell while you work on the frame? What condition are your axles in? I will be watching your thread with great interest as we just picked up a '61 Ambassador to restore.
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:42 PM   #4
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I'm embarrassed about not replying to Yukionna since the last post in July. Not much had transpired since then due to the trailer being a close approximation of the surface of the sun in Phoenix during August. I'm still a newbie to this site and if I've made a glaring jerk out of myself, I apologize. The weather finally broke and I jumped at the chance to further deconstruct the beast. We were very reluctant to do a shell-off, but when we got down to the sub floor, we were actually glad to see rotten plywood in areas not previously exposed. The belly pan on an Ambassador is a formidable opponent (and I can't say as I look forward to putting it back up). An air chisel is your best friend when demolishing the carriage bolts. My air compressor is too small and I have to let it build up pressure between cuts (buy a bigger compressor, folks). If I'm successful in uploading some more photos, you'll notice the front of the Airstream supported initially with those plastic sawhorses you get from Home Depot...they don't work to hold up a 28' shell. Use minimum 1000 lb. capacity heavy duty metal jobs. I almost lost the shell overnight. I'm still working on the back end sub floor with my face stuck dangerously close to the dreaded black tank where no matter what, I keep thinking of all the butts that have been before (and above) me.

The Brinks truck delivered the Por15 under armed guard today. Reading the label reminds one of the ramifications of taking Ambien or handling spent nuclear reactor rods. The stuff ought to come with a paint spreading robot, but Kris has volunteered to put on the Haz Mat suit and paint the frame...good thing she's beyond child-bearing age, what a trooper!
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambie '64
I'm embarrassed about not replying to Yukionna since the last post in July. Not much had transpired since then due to the trailer being a close approximation of the surface of the sun in Phoenix during August. I'm still a newbie to this site and if I've made a glaring jerk out of myself, I apologize...
No worries. I totally understand how "stuff" gets in the way of working on a restoration. I have a couple in progress myself but I haven't had much to report either since this summer.

Great photos and I love your POR-15 commentary! Be careful of getting any on your skin! I had silver dots on my arms for weeks after I finished painting our frame.
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:49 PM   #6
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I hope you are a writer by profession, otherwise the world has lost out on a great talent.
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:22 PM   #7
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juel, I design custom homes (go figure that I'm in a battle of wits and perseverance with an aluminum tube on wheels). My goal is to write about this experience with tongue fully ensconced in cheek. This forum is going to be cheaper than psychotherapy.
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambie '64
juel, I design custom homes (go figure that I'm in a battle of wits and perseverance with an aluminum tube on wheels). My goal is to write about this experience with tongue fully ensconced in cheek. This forum is going to be cheaper than psychotherapy.
With this forum and a ready supply of Coronas I doubt you'll be any farther from sane when you finish than you are now.
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