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Old 09-05-2010, 08:51 PM   #1
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Maxwell gets some TLC - 1964

Now that we are done with Birdy, our '56 Safari, it's time to get Maxwell back into shape! We originally did our restoration back in 2002 which at the time seemed like a MAJOR project. Several years and with Birdy's restoration behind us, we have some time to pay attention to a few "minor" projects we didn't need to address when we first got started. No floor-off resto is needed, just a few maintenance items. The toilet/black tank/valves and changing out the Univolt for an Intellipower are the first two projects.

The last couple of times we've gone out in Max, we've noticed something going on with the toilet & black tank. It seemed to have a slight leak and the original valve just wouldn't hold 100% - no biggie, we always tried to have full hook-ups - if we were boondocking, we'd take Birdy.

So, this weekend, we started to "dive in" to the situation to see what was going on. First we removed the toilet. This is "scary" because it is the original Swirl-O-Matic for which re-build parts are made out of "unobtainium". little did we know, it was practically just sitting on the tank un attached! The flange had rusted out and was just gross! But this made the Swirl-O-Matic (don't you just love that name!?) easy to remove. It was mounted on a piece of wood that spanned over the black tank. Kinda "hokie", but that's the way it was originally built.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:02 PM   #2
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Wow-impressive photos, but not in a good way! We are considering putting in a Nature's Head composting toilet in our Tradewind...perhaps you should do the same!
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:06 PM   #3
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I'm jealous - I wish my toilet had a name as cool as a 'swirl-o-matic'!
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:06 PM   #4
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Next, we cut the vent pipe and the grey water pipe. Then we had to remove what was left of the flange. There was no way it was going to unscrew - it was rusted too badly. So, Mr.InsideOut spent about 2 hours with a cut-off wheel cutting through the throat of the flange to separate it from the black tank. Finally we dropped the belly pan...double yuck! The black tank practically came down with it! It was basically resting on the belly pan...we knew we had some rust with the black tank pan (that's why we started this project ), but we had no idea how much! BEtween that and the crush/soiled 46 year old insulation - these pics are not for the feint of heart or stomach!
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:11 PM   #5
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Alas, it was free...
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:21 PM   #6
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We took the tank to the quarter-carwash and power wash it inside & out. It looked much better after that, but I didn't take any more pics. We discovered a couple of things...

1) The worst leak we had was from around the valve. It will be replaced as well as the old obsolete fittings. (Back in 2002, I searched high & low for a term cap to fit...now we won't be needing that any longer)
2) The black tank itself has two pinhole leaks, but nothing major. Mr.InsideOut used to glass surfboards and feels these two pinholes can be patched - no problem.
3) The toilet itself looks to be fine - dirty, but fine. We plan on just cleaning it up rather than cut into the fiberglass bench to fit a new toilet. This one is porcelain and should clean up fine.
4) We were able to remove the old valve without damaging the tank...so that saved several hundred dollars and we won't have to buy a new tank, which we were planning on doing!

I'll take & post more pics of our progress tomorrow...

Shari
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:22 PM   #7
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Wow! I am stunned by how narrow that tank is! What's the capacity?
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Wow! I am stunned by how narrow that tank is! What's the capacity?
I believe it's 10 gallons...but it is VERY shallow...no wonder it's easy to achieve a "cone effect" if your not careful! It is sloped to the center by the valve, so it flows well.

Our goal for this next week is to order up the valve, flange and metal box so those can be on their way. In the meantime, we will be working on the tank and general clean-up back there. If the parts don't come by next weekend, we will switch gears and work on installing the Intellipower.

That's it for now...

Shari
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:49 PM   #9
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I, too, am shocked by the thinness of that tank. Glad its all going to get fixed. Looks like Maxwell has hiding a secret for quite a long time.

Brad
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:02 PM   #10
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We're so much wiser now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfshr View Post
I, too, am shocked by the thinness of that tank.
The whole thing fits within the 4" frame...
Quote:
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Looks like Maxwell has hiding a secret for quite a long time.
Yep, if we only knew then what we know now, we would taken care of this project a lot sooner. We were pretty inexperienced in "restorations" first time around (and AirForums didn't exist when we started!)...it looked okay from the top side and we never looked further.

Shari
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:01 AM   #11
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Wow-my 1960 Tradewind has a black tank that sits above the frame and not below-it looks like your black tank could potentially get clogged very easily.
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:23 AM   #12
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Yeah, our '56 sits above the floor too - different models have different tanks. Our above floor tank is a custom one we had made - it's taller and not as big side-to-side, it actually fits the curve in the "corner". Both are 10 gallons, just different configuration. We've not really had much trouble with the '64 tank clogging - but we "go light" with the TP and make sure it's always the RV type.

The '64 has that cool, sleek "airliner-design" bathroom, which is very cool and so easy to keep clean. It's a huge plus...who wants to spend all their time cleaning the bathroom when their camping? I makes up for the need to conserve on TP.



Shari
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Looks like Maxwell has hiding a secret for quite a long time.
Yeah, he was carrying around a couple other "secrets" too...
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:42 PM   #14
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Okay, so we are done with the demo phase and ready to move into the repairs. Valve parts are on order w/VTS, the new pan is measured up and the order will be placed tomorrow. So this week, we will fix the two tank pinholes and get the back ready for the new waste tank pan. Hopefully, we will get the pan back before the weekend and can get this wrapped up quickly. The Intellepower goes in next, but the waste tank has to go in first.

Here's a couple of pics of things cleaned up.

Shari
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