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Old 12-04-2014, 01:32 PM   #43
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What I found was that I am a big chicken when it comes to the battery. I wanted to get it out. the positive and negative attached to the power box would not come off the battery itself. I really wanted to cut it. But I didn't. I left it.

The safe way to work with battery terminals is to disconnect the negative cable first. Then if your wrench hits the metal frame of the trailer when working with the positive terminal, nothing happens (electrically, that is--no guarantee against busted knuckles).

Conversely, when installing a battery, hook up the positive lead first, then the negative.

Penetrating oil, tapping with a hammer (gently), or a terminal puller will do the trick.

12v is not enough electricity to hurt you, but it will set things on fire if you let it arc across a tool to the frame with the negative lead hooked up. Don't ask how I know.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:40 PM   #44
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Oh geez Mimi thank you and yes I got a giggle. Ok off to work now on my GT. Thanks all!
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:16 PM   #45
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Stove out. Getting that LP line out was stupidly difficult. Found a spot on the set up and got it off with a wrench. Sink out. Battery out.

Not done. Getting the Dometic out is near impossible. There is little room between the floor and the bottom of the refrig. I can cut the electric. But the stupid Sawzall blade is still an issue. Need to resort to cutting the LP line with it. Help coming this weekend.

Upper cabinets. Just can't figure out the right method to get the stuck screws out. Tried a 1/8 drill. No success. Tested the same on some rivets. Lots of spinning. I think I'm afraid of snapping off the bit.

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Old 12-05-2014, 05:23 AM   #46
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It's perfectly normal for rivets to spin when drilling them out. Just stop the drill, disengage, restart, reposition, and push harder. If still no luck, I can often use a sharp wood chisel and shear the head off.

Stuck sheet metal screws are harder. Penetrating oil helps get things unstuck. Make sure it is the right phillips bit. It takes a lot of push force to keep the screw driver firmly engaged in the screw. Twist slowly. Using a power driver sometimes is not the best answer. Push and twist slowly until it breaks free. Sometimes I try to tighten the screw, and then loosen it. Anything to get it to break free. Drilling the head off is the last resort for me.

Does the access panel on the outside of the trailer help you see the fridge screws?

David
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Old 12-05-2014, 05:25 AM   #47
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I didn't try Alaskan copper. Will check them too. The place in Ballard called Online Metals had 2024 T3. Thanks for the advice
My experience is that Pilot Supplies and Aircraft Parts from Aircraft Spruce is a bit cheaper than Airparts, however Airparts will sell you sheet material that comes off a roll, ie if you need a 13' long sheet, they'll cut it for you. Aircraft Spruce will sell you a 12' & you'll have to make a seam. I use both suppliers, depending on my needs. 5052 can be purchased through any local steel/aluminum supplier.
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Old 12-05-2014, 05:50 AM   #48
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I need to get the oil. The rivet tips are coming off easily. You are saying once those are off the rivet releases. Got it.

I didn't tackle the bath as I can't get three very stuck screws off the wall mount bracket of my upper cabinets.

This weekend I want to take advantage to the help coming and get all the panels out, numbered and laid out on the floors here my dog is.

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Old 12-05-2014, 05:53 AM   #49
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Colin. I will check the prices. Since I am not going to be that skilled person that can buy the sheets and cut from the old panel as a template, I'm going to need to take them to have the supplier cut for me. Still evaluating what I replace vs. what dents can be pounded out.! Thank you
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:19 AM   #50
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Colin. I will check the prices. Since I am not going to be that skilled person that can buy the sheets and cut from the old panel as a template, I'm going to need to take them to have the supplier cut for me. Still evaluating what I replace vs. what dents can be pounded out.! Thank you
You can buy a cheesy electric metal shear from Harbor Freight & cut the sheets really easily. I bought one when I first started, & believe it or not, it lasted quite a long time. I think it was about $25 on sale. I have since purchased a really good one.
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:33 AM   #51
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I learned a trip from an old airplane mechanic back when I had a plane and hung around the airport a lot. Many times when working on old Pipers or Cessnas you run across very tight and rusted in phillips head screws. Try to get them out with a regular screw driver and you nearly always mess up the head and you still have a stuck screw. What my friend did was use a 3 foot long phillips head screw driver (Harbor freight has them as do the big tool companies). With the long shaft on the screw driver you can get your body behind it and really push it into the screw head as you turn. The pressure keeps it from slipping and messing up the head and it won't slip out which on an airplane can be a diaster if you mess up sheet metal. Using this technique we would get 95% of the stuck screws out with no problem. Of course, there is ALWAYS that one screw that will take a hour to get out.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:29 AM   #52
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Sheet metal's not that hard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin H View Post
You can buy a cheesy electric metal shear from Harbor Freight & cut the sheets really easily. I bought one when I first started, & believe it or not, it lasted quite a long time. I think it was about $25 on sale. I have since purchased a really good one.
Have fun,
Colin
Colin's right, as usual.

There are folks who build airplanes for a hobby. A lot of those airplanes are sheet metal work, just like an Airstream. Check out the local chapter(s) of the Experimental Aircraft Association (eaa.org) and you might find someone who would be glad to teach you how to cut metal sheets and rivet them in place.

As to stuck Phillips-head screws...
Make sure your screwdriver tip is the right size (most are #2) and make sure it's in good shape. Wrestling with stuck screws can damage the screwdriver, and that makes it more and more likely to strip out the screw head. I like the screwdrivers with a replaceable tip and I keep a supply of replacement #2 Phillips on hand.

For the really stuck ones, I use an adapter that puts the screwdriver tip on a socket-wrench ratchet. That lets me get my weight into the screw with one hand and put plenty of torque on it with the other. TWind's tip is also good.

Beyond that, it's lots of penetrating oil, prayer, and the occasional swear word. Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:31 AM   #53
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'65 GT 20' my winter project

So if you look at the photo of all the tools by day you can see my bevy of attempts to leverage anything to get these screws out. That method of long handled using body weight works as well as switching the heads. You name it I am learning it. But the oil trick is another new trick ! Home Depot has bits on sale. They do tend to grind down easy.

I love all your help!!

So I guess I'll make an attempt to cut the aluminum myself. Colin thanks.

After work I am going to build my big sawhorse tables for placing interior panels and windows on. The space and tools are the key to this being smooth.

Here is my yesterday picture sweating with the dog wondering what all the shouting was about. Indie hit my head at least five times in the f'inf fan. Kicked that fan hard to the garbage trailer.
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:34 AM   #54
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'65 GT 20' my winter project

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ID:	228067yep mad face. The screws are out of the refrigerator. It's the LP Valve attachment thing. The space is so small. I'm getting someone to cut it
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:11 PM   #55
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Thumbelinadj, you're going to learn so much doing your Globetrotter! Your doggie is going to be upset loosing his play space.

It's so cool that Colin Hyde has subscribed to your thread. Top level vintage Airstream expert. He'll probably hire you for his new NW area branch.

Here is a photo of a cheap metal cutter for aluminum sheets. It does make quick work of slicing belly pan material for me. However, I do have trouble guiding it straight. I use my hand shears for small cuts.

But I think you're months away from needing one. It was six months before I made my new belly pan and exterior patches. These trailers come apart a whole lot faster than they go back together. As you work on removing stuck screws and propane lines, start thinking about your interior rebuild plan. Where goes the sink and toilet, where goes the water heater and furnace, where goes the lights and outlets, etc? It's not to early to have that plan so you know what modifications you might need to your frame, which you are going to meet face to face pretty soon. Don't be shocked at the sight of it.

I'm slow, but it took me quite a while to develop the bath remodel plan so every thing would fit. Thank God I'm not an Airstream interior designer. They would have zero sales! They are good at it, me, not so much. But I did get the thing together and it does work. And I only did the bath, not the rest of the trailer!

David
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:20 PM   #56
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'65 GT 20' my winter project

Yesterday I was blessed with help. The missing tool was an impact driver. That removed my stuck screws.

The upper cabinets came down.

Four bolts held down the Dometic.
They were not budging.
I got underneath and hammered on them. We tried everything and wound up using the Sawzall. My friend showed me how to change the blade.
It took a good hour to get the thing out. Broke two blades.

Hallelujah I can use Sawzall.

I started removing rivets from my interior panels and photographing.

Once I get the pics printed I am going to label and remove and put up on sawhorse table.

Question for Zolatone removal. What is the best method? Aircraft stripper or the Citrus stuff.

Taking windows out of course and rebuilding. Any advice?

Left today is the base to the kitchen cabinet. Walls and closet into the bath.

Tomorrow I will remove plastic bath interior. Will not reuse this.
No surprise under the sink my floor is rotted in bath.

Not excited to remove toilet. What oh what will I find?

This trailer has been empty unused for years. The hot water tank in the bath had corroded. The propane line was disconnected and all parts were bad. I accessed it from under sink/closet. The door outside is unscrewed now.

I feel like polishing a section to give myself some future vision.
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