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Old 02-06-2019, 10:01 AM   #85
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Kay

Every suggestion you made is excellent, all of which I am noting.

I have followed your thread and am so impressed with what you guys have done so far. Nice work. Hope to tap your knowledge as things progress.

Thanks again,

Bill
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:23 AM   #86
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Thanks Kay

Thought I had posted a reply but don’t see it. Try again.

All of the ideas that you offered are good one. I’ve noted all of them. Thank you.

I check in on your thread frequently and am very impressed by what you two have done. Good job!

As I go through next phases, I hope to go to school on the Minno projects.

Thanks again,

Bill
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:19 PM   #87
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Hello again from snowy Colorado: Enjoyed your post on your major progress inside Faith. Certainly there is a lot of stuff that comes out of an old Airstream. A lot of it is very useful to clean and restore, then reinstall. Or used as patterns for this new wall, or that new shelf. You will need that stuff in your interior remodel project.

The vista view windows were a problem. The sun cooks the plastic into hard and brittle material. Kinda like very stale toast. Crumbly. My battery box was the same way. I'm rather thankful my Overlander doesn't have vista windows. I think they were optional. Most folks like them for the light they allow. I can live without them.

At the point you lift the body off the frame, you have "turned the corner" so to speak. Activities on Faith will become restorative instead of destructive. You will see what needs rebuilt or repaired on the frame to make it like new again. After that, you can figure out your plan for the water tanks. Then you can replace the old subfloor. Faith will have a new "nest" to sit on soon.

I piddle around with new galley cabinet shelving, you are out there pulling the body off the frame. Big difference.

David
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:18 PM   #88
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Obserevation and two questions

Just a quick update
They say when restoring a vehicle, it always takes twice as long and cost twice as much as estimated. I have a feeling that an AS is similar experience. Before I outgrew cars (and some might argue with the truth of that statement) I built street rods and restored a couple of cars. It was all the incidental things that you can’t predict and don’t think about that elevated the cost of a restoration.
Case in point.
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When I towed Faith home, only one of the tail lights were working. The other day I discovered that the driver side taillight housing was mostly rust. But when I went to test the taillights again in preparation for moving Faith to a different site, the one light no longer worked. And I didn’t want to tow it across town with no lights. Then I thought about having to transport the frame less the body to the welder’s 60 miles away and that I would need temporary taillights to do that. So rather than messing with faulty ground wires and questionable connections, I decided to buy some temporary taillights. And of course the kit is mainly for small trailers with wire 20 feet long rather than the 40 feet I need to span Faith’s length. Ka-ching. $65 for the kit and additional wire.
The point being that the list of unanticipated stuff will continue to grow making original estimates obsolete before the ink was dry.
Two questions
First, here is a picture of a normal AS window latch.
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Here is one of Faith’s
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Not good. Anyone know where to begin the search for replacing a couple of these that are badly corroded.
Second, can anyone tell me what this is?
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Here is a close up.
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This thing is wired to the two taillights. I’m wondering if it is an indicator that taillights are working properly. If it is, something is missing. Anyone know what it is and have a picture of what it looks like in its complete state? More later.
Bill
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:13 PM   #89
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Latches for window:

https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com...p/vts-1094.htm

No idea what that thing is but you are probably right.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:46 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcronin4 View Post
-----------snip--------------------
Second, can anyone tell me what this is?
Here is a long view.
Attachment 333104
Here is a close up.
Attachment 333105
This thing is wired to the two taillights. I’m wondering if it is an indicator that taillights are working properly. If it is, something is missing. Anyone know what it is and have a picture of what it looks like in its complete state? More later.
Bill
That is probably a fiber-optic taillight indicator. The 'wire' that goes to the taillights is actually a plastic transparent fiber inside an opaque sheath that picks up the light from the bulbs and lets you see in the side mirror if the taillights are working. I think it's missing a cover.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:41 PM   #91
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taillight indicator

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
That is probably a fiber-optic taillight indicator.
"Fiber optic." 1978? I guess Air Stream was out on the leading edge with that. That will be a half-a-pound of wire I don't need anymore. What can I do with that spare weight.

Thanks RMKRUM for educating me.

Bill
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:04 PM   #92
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My 75 Overlander has the fiber optic tail light indicator on the street side of the trailer also. It works pretty good. Gives me a quick indicator that my tail lights are on and working. I can see it from the side mirror. I did remove the wrong polarity indicator.

Renovating an old 70s Airstream is expensive. I predict you will have over 10k in it before you are done. I will have that much in my Overlander. In round numbers, axle assemblies 2k, fridge 1k, water heater .5, cooktop .3, toilet .2, new tanks .7, frame steel and welding 1k, good plywood .5, paint bath plastics .6, belly aluminum .4, plumbing supplies .3 and on. I believe a well renovated vintage Airstream has good resale potential beyond the material costs, but not likely much labor costs. It is best to do the work yourself for free.

David
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:52 PM   #93
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Cost

David
I’m thinking more than 10k, like 15k.
Big chunk in frame axles, wheels and tires and you still have an empty shell.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:47 PM   #94
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Your estimated budget is very reasonable for the work you are planning. I keep all my Overlander receipts as well as photographs to document the work that was done should I ever decide to sell. Your project thread is also good documentation.

David
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:33 PM   #95
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A rusty mess

Yesterday, I moved Faith to her temporary home. I did all the work I could do on Faith in my driveway, but building gantries and lifting the body off would leave an eyesore for my neighbors that I didn’t feel comfortable with. My son manufactures surfboards, and suggested that I park Faith at his shop and do the lift there.
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Before I moved Faith, I considered that I needed to haul 12’ framing for the gantries, that I didn’t have a trailer big enough and my 6’ bed in my truck wasn’t adequate. So Faith came in handy.
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Since I wouldn’t be needing the lumber for the gantries for a while, I used 6, 2X6X6 that will be used for the base of the gantries to create a temporary lift for Faith to make the underneath work more accessible. I screwed each 2X6 together, and made chocks that were also screwed down. Not pictured are jack stands added after for safety. The three 2x6s provided 4 1/2 inches of lift, which turned out to be a perfect height for the underneath work.
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To do the lift, I am only removing the panels that would interfere with separating the body and frame. So the main belly pans will remain with the frame and be taken off later. Today, I was able to remove 75% of the banana pans, and side panels, which gave me my first real look at the frame.
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The hole you see above is in the main frame. While the pic is a little out of focus, there is no mistaking the damage. Under every panel I removed, I saw this picture; the frame was badly damaged. This was not a surprise to me. From what little I could see of the frame before the panels were removed looked pretty bad. This was confirmation to me that Faith’s frame could not be repaired.
The work underneath to remove gas lines, stabilizers and rivets was not as challenging as I anticipated. Like virtually everything else on this AS, the side pans and belly pans were so corroded that they are only good for patterns. The bolts holding the stabilizers all snapped off in the frame, but they don’t need to be drilled out since the frame is junk anyway. And again, since the pans will need to be replaced, I used the most expedient way to remove them, chiseling most of the rivets out without concern for the damage being done to the pans.
If there is a continuing theme for this “Frame Off” project so far, is that nothing I’ve encountered has required any significant skill. It has been tedious, dirty work and a lot of it. Again, nothing that would have discouraged me from undertaking Faith’s rise from the heap of rust.
In fact, Faith’s condition in my opinion IS the worst-case scenario. This is as bad as it gets. Everything in Faith needs to be redone or repaired. For those of you following this thread, I am getting help from the Forum for every step of this project and posting what I am learning here. Stay tuned.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:36 PM   #96
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Well, many other vintage Airstream renovators have discovered what you are discovering, a hopelessly rusted frame. You can use her frame as a pattern for a new one. Trailer frames are not the most difficult thing to fabricate. The frame's outriggers and cross members are available on line, maybe from Airstream. I'm not sure where. 5" by 3/16" channels and square tubing are readily available. The axle mounting plates can be fabricated too.

You will need a competent fabricating shop to do the frame project. Maybe others following your project thread can recommend one in your area. Pull the rust bucket frame to your chosen shop and they will weld a new one up for you.

David
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:07 PM   #97
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Out-of-doors Mart, odmrv.com, carries a nice selection of frame parts and outriggers. However, before ordering them, I'd talk to the local welding shop about which parts might be easier to fabricate in-house. Outriggers, unless you need them to have a hole, are just a piece of steel channel with the correct curve cut in them.

Definitely worth the price of admission to get a new frame if that's what you need.
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:58 AM   #98
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A welder

Hey David and the Greatlys
Thanks for your input on the frame.

Fortunately I have a longtime relationship with fabricator in Lake County, Florida. He is a very talented man, with experience building AS frames. I trust him, too.

So on that front I am set.

Bill
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