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Old 09-10-2019, 05:32 AM   #301
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
I consider repairing mine one of the biggest mistakes I made. If I was to do it again I would make them out of .125 aluminum. If a tire ever fails the plastic will not contain anything, but the thick aluminum may contain the tire from doing to much damage to the interior.

My above floor black tank is going to be right next to the wheel well and I’m going to put an additional steel wheel well on the inside to cover the plastic. Sort of a “scatter shield”.
Aerowood - my wheel well solution will be similar to yours. I’m going to fix the several cracks by gluing ABS patches across them. I’m going to clad the wheel wells with galvanized steel creating what you describe as a “scatter shield.” It may not be the ultimate solution but it will be far superior to the original,

Thanks for your thoughts and your solution.

Bill
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:28 AM   #302
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Short Version

Since the last time I posted to this thread, Linda has healed up from surgery and is doing extremely well. I am grateful to those who prayed for her. Thank you. Also we went through a harrowing week here with Category 5, Hurricane Dorian threatening the east coast of FL, which required us to evacuate and really slowed down the work on Faith.

After the storm passed, I spent several days making repairs, strengthening and installing the wheel wells. Following that, I reinstalled the taillights. Next project is to seal up all of Faith’s leaks.

Long Version


TEN TIMES LONGER – Colorado David has said several times that putting an AS back together takes 10 times longer than it did to take it apart. My experience so far is that that might be an underestimate. It has been ten months since I bought Faith. I was taking a picture of it after the wheel wells were installed, and it looks pretty much like it did when I bought it. Ten months and hundreds of hours of work, and to the untrained eye, it still looks like a sad, tired, stripped out AS. When I look at it, I see what it will look like when it is finished, and that prospect keeps a smile on my face.


HURRICANE DORIAN-Linda and I live on a barrier island in a small town south of Daytona Beach. As the Category 5 hurricane, Dorian, roared through the Caribbean, we knew that we would be ordered to evacuate the island. Just as it was poised to hit central FL, it decided to make a hard right turn and head toward SC and NC. None-the-less, we were still ordered to evacuate.

I had just put on the shell and bolted it down in the front and back but had not done any riveting to hold the shell to the C channel. So I used clecos as temp fasteners and hauled Faith to my Son’s house which was on the mainland, 20 miles away. There it weathered tropical storm force winds. Once the storm passed, I towed it back to the island and recounted the number of clecos I installed and found that out of the 43 fasteners installed initially, only 36 remained.

I got this picture in my head of the Charlie Brown character, “Pig-pen,” driving down the street dropping cleco debris all over the road. Despite the loss of fasteners, Faith weathered the storm and relocation without any damage.

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WHEEL WELLS- both of my wheel wells are cracked, but otherwise serviceable. As Aerowood pointed out on this thread, the plastic wheel wells are not sturdy enough to sustain damage from a blown tire. And, if that were to happen, repairing or replacing these plastic wells would be an expensive and difficult repair. It is common for restorers to replace the plastic wheel wells with ones constructed of thick gauge aluminum. I chose to repair and strengthen my wheel wells instead of replacing them. I repaired the cracks with epoxy and clad the inside of the wells with .063 aluminum. I had a sheet metal shop, which had a brake and wheel, to roll and bend the aluminum to conform to the wells. Because of the bends, valleys and angles needed for water lines and exterior electrical outlet, constructing new wheel wells would have cost between $600 and $700. The cladding was a $150 solution, the solution I chose.

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Another thought about wheel wells and why they can be challenging to work with when reassembling them. There are two pieces of exterior trim, one piece of aluminum that goes around the opening. Its channel is V shaped and the wheel well and body skin are mated in this channel. The second piece of trim is riveted in several places to the first piece of trim. EVERY rivet or remnant has to be removed from both of these pieces of trim, or your mom will not be pleased with the words that come out of your mouth when you try to reinstall them. It took me a couple of hours to clear the rivets out of both of these pieces of trim and that preparation made reinstalling them extremely easy.

TAILLIGHTS – Reinstalled tail lights and reconnected all the wires without issue other than all the taillight plastic was either broken at the mounting holes, or sun damaged and foggy. After searching around, I found replacement lenses at Out of Doors Mart.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:07 PM   #303
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Hi: Very glad the hurricane made that hard turn back into the Alantic. It did wreak havoc with flooding up the coast clear to Canada.

Now you have a stronger wheel well, a good thing. My wheel wells are thin ABS plastic and would not contain an exploding tire. I only fixed a couple of cracks in the plastic and also tried to seal the seams so tire spray wouldn't migrate down my frame rails.

Press on, keep the Faith. She will be nice when you are done. And she certainly appreciates that new frame.

David
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:27 PM   #304
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Hi: Very glad the hurricane made that hard turn back into the Alantic. It did wreak havoc with flooding up the coast clear to Canada.

Now you have a stronger wheel well, a good thing. My wheel wells are thin ABS plastic and would not contain an exploding tire. I only fixed a couple of cracks in the plastic and also tried to seal the seams so tire spray wouldn't migrate down my frame rails.

Press on, keep the Faith. She will be nice when you are done. And she certainly appreciates that new frame.

David
Thanks, David. Always an encouraging word!
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Old 10-01-2019, 01:21 PM   #305
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Missing Posts?

Hey

I noticed that the number of pages of the most posts, went down from 22 to 16 pages. Has this happened to any of you?
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:24 AM   #306
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Hey everyone

I’ve working on the outside of Faith and noticed filiform corrosion in several places. What is the beat way to treat it and remove it without scratching the surfaces around it?
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:46 PM   #307
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Google it here on Air Forums. The 2000s trailers were particularly plagued with it. There are several threads on the subject and what owners did to stop it and then repair the surface. The first years of the new Alcoa coating showed filiform corrosion along cut edges, drilled holes, and the like. Expose the bear aluminum edge, and the worms begin to form under the coating.

Maybe are old vintage Airstreams don't care about it anymore since much of the clear coat has weather off. Hey, you could always spend 300 hours in the hot sun polishing your trailer, that would eliminate most of it.

David
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:31 AM   #308
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David, et al

About sealing

I am working from an assumption (you know what happens when you ASS-U-ME) that Vulkem (sp?), applied to the inside of the skin around window and other attachments that penetrate the outer skin, is the principle defense against water intrusion.

Example, I install a clearance light. There are three holes that penetrate the skin. I seal those three holes with Vul-whatever on the inside and I should be good to go? Right? The only reason that I might use sealant around the lights themselves is to keep water from being trapped behind them. Am I right?

Is this the same case with Vista windows? Other than the glass being sealed in the frame properly, is the Vulk-stuff, THE thing the seals the window to the outer skin?

The reason I ask, is every clearance light, every wing and vista window had a ton of silicone around them from the PO. If the Vulk-goo is sufficient, what sealant, if any, is needed on the outside?

Bill
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:16 PM   #309
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The Jackson Center Airstream service techs all had a can and applicator of Acryl sealant. It is rather thin and "wicks" under seams, into cracks and the like. It dries rather hard. I think smearing a caulk around a fastener might be a hit or miss deal. Acryl is available at the Airstream Store (rather expensive as it comes with an applicator), or search for wicking sealants.

Others may have different ideas.

David
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:10 AM   #310
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We used Vulkem under the outside edges of our Vista views when we reseated them. There are other sealants like eternabond tape. We used Captain Tollys Creeping Crack sealer when we resealed the roof this spring. It wicks into the seam. You keep going back and applying it until it no longer wicks in.
Silicone is ok to use if you get the right one. Some silicones eat the aluminum. We had to patch a piece on our roof from a previous PO using silicone to seal the TV antennae - ate the aluminum until it was very thin.
We used Vulkem under outside applications like your tail lights as well as inside. Our tail lights were the reason our floor in the rear of the trailer was rotted out, we think. Leaked like a sieve. Now they're very sealed.
Sikaflex is another sealant that wicks into seams and is used.
You can never completely walk away from sealing your trailer. It may need renewing at intervals. We resealed the roof this spring, probably should do it every couple or 3 years. No leaks but don't want them either.

Kay
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:03 PM   #311
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I agree with Kay that tail light assemblies can be a major source of water leaks at the rear of the trailer. Check the plastic lense gaskets as well as the housing itself. And as always, the vent pipe cover gaskets on the roof can allow rain water to leak down the vent pipe and on to the floor.

David
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:33 AM   #312
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David and Kay

Thanks for your input on sealants. Yesterday I had the opportunity to be inside the AS during a torrential downpour. Noted five or six places that were leaking. Where I had applied Vulkem to the vista windows I repaired, no leaks where detected.

One of the rivers in the roof connecting the skin to a spar had popped out. If I hadn’t been in there during the storm I never would have found it. The rest of the leaks will be easily remedied.

I’m pretty sure none of faith’s seams have ever been seal, except for a non-judicious use of silicone. So Kay your quick primer on seams is much appreciated.

It will be nice to get Faith dried in.

Bill
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:39 AM   #313
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There are some silicones on the market now that are safe for aluminum, but older ones were not. If you have old silicone that was used, I'd clean it off PDQ, given what we saw on our roof when we removed the TV antennae to replace.
There are probably other sealants on the market that I don't know about. The ones I listed are the ones we've used. We're sold on Vulkem given what we found taking the trailer apart. The Vulkem on the interior sealing seams was still flexible after 40 something years of being in place, plus still waterproof. Our Vista view windows were the main leakers in our trailer (along with the rear taillights). We ended up re-setting and resealing all 3 windows. We made them single pane and used Vulkem to fill in between the window and the interior window edge. No leaks since we did that.

Kay
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:51 PM   #314
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Kay, David

Continuing our discussion on sealants, there are several patches I need to make to the exterior skin and I would like your input on how to properly seal them. As examples, I am eliminating the battery compartment door, covering a hole on the side where I removed the fiber optic indicator and covering a hole in the roof where the old antenna was mounted.

Based on our discussion, I think the proper way to do it is to first buck rivet the patch in place; on the inside, Vulkem the rivets and the seam where the patch covers the hole; and then on the outside, use a seam sealer around the outside edges of the patch. Correct?

Should any sealant be applied between the patch and the skin before the patch is riveted into place?

Wide open for help on this!

Bill
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:06 PM   #315
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I used a sealant between the patch and the exterior skins. I then sealed the Olympic rivets I used for the patch. I used Sikaflex if I recall correctly. I didn't use any sealants on the inside as I didn't have access to the backside of the rivets. I don't have a picture of the sealant as applied.

I installed some aluminum framing around my patch area as I am using this area for the utilities connection and wanted strength for "pulling the plug" out of the connector, and also to support the city water hose. And I wanted to connect the rear end cap rib back to the c channel, subfloor and frame just for a bit of added strength.

David
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:38 AM   #316
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Same as David, except I think we used Vulkem under and around the edges of the patch. We also sealed with Vulkem on the inside. We used Olympic rivets, instead of bucked. Vulkem can be messy, so around outside of patch, lay a strip of painters tape, then when you're done smoothing the Vulkem, you can remove the tape and any extra that extended out from where you wanted it to be.
Carb cleaner also cleans up Vulkem.

Kay
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:10 PM   #317
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I used a similar process. Liberal use of Vulkem between skin and patch, and vulkem in all the rivet holes, regardless of type. Then sealed the exposed edge of the patch with Sikaflex. Used mineral spirits to clean it up.

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Haven’t had any issues with the patches, just everything else seems to leak haha
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