View Poll Results: Guess the tongue weight
under 250 lbs 3 9.68%
250 to 275 lbs 1 3.23%
275 to 300 lbs 5 16.13%
300 to 325 lbs 9 29.03%
325 to 350lbs 2 6.45%
Over 350 lbs 11 35.48%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-17-2010, 11:37 PM   #183
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Thanks Lew. I have no plans to redo the blue stripe. Mine is fine. The beltline as well as the trim around the blue stripe was black tapestripe. A/S applies the tape and then rivets the trim on. originally I removed mine and it was apain to get all the little bits from under the rivets. I had applied a tapestripe over the rivets but didn't like the look as it rose over the rivets so I removed it. I am now thinking about masking off the trim and spraying it black. That won't be until next year after polishing and when the weather is warmer. Right now even with the heaters on in the shop it's still quite cool in there. The vulkem takes 4 or 5 days to set up now instead of 1.5 days like when it was warmer.
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:44 AM   #184
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Chris,
The black tapestrip on my Excella is mostly gone or coming off as well. I plan to paint the strip like you mention, but have a question about it. Since the trim is fastened with pop rivets that evidently penetrate the skin, is it possible the vinyl strip helped to waterproof the pop rivets? Should there be any concern regarding the waterproofness (nice word, hey?) of the pop rivets in that application?

Also, is the wide blue strip the same color blue as the paint you used on the letters?

Thanks again,
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:57 AM   #185
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Lew I don't think that the tapestripe did anything towards the waterproofability(another new word) of that trim. When I reattached mine I applied Vulkem to the top edge as well as to all the rivet holes before riveting. I used enough Vulkem so that once the trim was installed it oozed out of each rivet hole and out of the top of the trim. Yes definately the rivets should be sealed. The mothership applied vulkem to the interior of these rivets. I think that sealing it from the outside is better than sealing it from the inside. I just removed my other taillight housing the other day. While removing the vulkem in that area some of the vulkem around the interior of the end cap seams came off. There was significant corrosion under the vulkem. It wasn't leaking into the shell but the seam is very corroded under the vulkem. The point is seal it outside and stop the corrosion on the inside. If your roof leaked would you seal up the ceiling to keep the water out or fix the roof?
The wide blue strip is slightly darker than the paint I'm using but that could be that the paint has darkened with dirt after 37 yrs. I used a can of FORD tractor blue spray paint as others have suggested. The only direct contact between the large blue stripe and anything I painted is the nameplate by the door so I'm not concerned about exact color match.
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:11 PM   #186
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Thanks Chris. Guess I'll go ahead and remove all or as much of the vinyl strip as I can.

I do agree that sealing the outside is most important as did some PO of my unit....as can be seen below. I'm not removing any of the old silicone until Betty is inside for the winter. I think I have a task ahead of me though...That heavy silicone is around every opening and all the windows with just a few splatters on the roof..
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:51 PM   #187
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Lew if you look at minno's thread on little girl he has a post about how much damage the silicone around the TV antenna did. It almost corroded a huge hole in the shell. He had to actually make a patch to cover the entire area.
Don't get me wrong I still intend to seal up the seams and openings from inside as well but IMHO it's important to seal the outside also.
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:45 PM   #188
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The Empty Shell

I spent today pulling the rest of the interior panels. The top panel overhead was the toughest. It just didn't want to let go. I actually had to hit it with a hammer and a block of wood to free up the grip the mounting trim had on the panel.
While removing the inside part of the A/C the connecting block for the thermostat wires broke while trying to remove the wires. It was hanging by another block of wires and that connector let go and as it fell the first block broke. I'm now going to be looking for a new part for the A/C.
I found a few more mouse nests. One was roadside about 3 ft above the wheel well and the other was inside the front end cap. All the pink insulation is now out.
I started removing the vista view shades tonight and removed the fridge vent from the roof. All the sealer for the fridge vent had dried out and it was leaking badly.
Under the top panel I found the original wiring harness for the electric TV antenna. The PO had replaced it with a regular crank up antenna. I just happen to have a spare electric antenna that I got from one dealership I worked for when they went bankrupt. I think I can retrofit the original control panel to operate the new antenna so it will look vintage yet be a brand new antenna.
I really didn't want to pull the rest of these panels but what the heck I've gone so far now, might as well finish the job. Actually it's a good thing because I found that most of the seams all along the shell between the top skin and the side skin were leaking. They all show signs of corrosion. While inspecting the roof I found quite a few spots where the mothership missed on the rivets and left holes in the shell. Interestingly ther were several QC notes written on the inside of the shell about leaks,bad rivets and wrong rib locations.
Aage the first pic is for you because I know how much a Simpson's fan you are. Pics two and three show the empty shell, pic four shows the seam corrosion( the worst part above the roadside vista view shade) and pic five is the QC note(Even during the build they knew the vista views leak).
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:10 PM   #189
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Could you give a rundown of the pieces of steel that you needed for the frame construction?
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:42 PM   #190
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Daniel You can order the cossmember and outriggers from any Airstream dealer. I used INland RV in California. They are specialists in vintage A/S. There were 13 outriggers per side and twelve crossmembers. The outriggers are different depending on their location. There are roadside and curbside, solid and pierced as well as two smaller ones on each side at the front. I did't have much luck with the crossmembers from A/S as they were too short. I managed to use them by boxing in the frame rails and the rest I had a friend make. The main frame rails are not available so you have to have a steel shop make them for you. it is 5" C channel and I can't remember the guage right now. It is somewhere back in this thread. You need a few other pieces to make the axle plates, tank brackets(fresh,black & grey) as well as some kick paltes at the rear end of the frame.
Do you intend to make the frame yourself or have a welder do it for you? If your'e having a welding shop do it they can fabricate the frame rails and crossmembers etc. Order the outriggers because they are so cheap that you can't make them yourself for that price.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:49 PM   #191
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Awesome. Thank you so much!
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:27 AM   #192
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WC, is she still inside your wrokshop? Looks like it from the pics. For some reason, I thought you had taken the inner skins off before you took the shell off the frame. But now that you have her gutted completely, you can see where all the water leaks are or were and seal the shell properly. I used parbond on both the outside and inside seams where I could reach them. I had also found a two missing rivets, and some that had pulled free from the outside skins. I attrubuted the missing rivets to them going AWOL over the years, not that the factory missd installing them. Like you, I aosl found about 8 notes written on the inside of the shell indicating leaks and where rivets needed to be hit again. All part of the learing process I think.

When you go to install the upper wall skins, have at least 3 people on hand. Two just aren't enough. Four would be better I think. I had two nice tall young men help me install the first one (after Kay and I tired and failed by ourselves). Height comes in handy for that project.

The "A" looks pretty good!

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Old 11-20-2010, 08:50 AM   #193
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Gooooood Morning Minnesota!! Hi Chris. Yes it's still in the shop. I've still got a long way to go to make it watertight before it goes outside. So far the weather is holding out. None of the dreaded white stuff yet. I heard you got dumped on.
Why do they seal the seams of the end caps but not the rest of the roof seams?
When I checked the roof seams at least a dozen rivets were bucked in not exactly in the center of the roof skin. Right against the rivet there was a gap in the roof skin allowing the roof to leak. I am guessing that the roof skins and the side skins are predrilled and in those spots the holes didn't line up right.
Yeah I fugured on at least four people to get the inner panels back up. What are you and Kay doing next spring? LOL.
Today I'm going to look at staging(scaffolding) to see if it will fit over the roof and across the shell so I can get up on top and remove the TV antenna,roof vent sealer, A/C shroud and stink pipe vent lids.
I've got to get all these areas ready for polishing and resealing by next weekend. Doug (shacksman) is coming up to do some more bucking and hopefully a little polishing.
My new A/C shroud and the lower profile stove vent cover is at the body shop being painted and should be ready by Monday.
I decided the other night to attack one of the taillight housings with emery cloth to remove the corrosion. It took about four hours to get it looking pretty good. Another couple of hours and it will be ready to repaint. I have to modify it to accept the LED's and then modify the LED to accept the fiber optics for the taillight monitor. Inland Andy told me how to drill into the LED and insert the fiber optic cable so it will actually work as designed. I saw what you did by adding a regular bulb to the rear of the LED but I want to try Andy's method.
I'm thinking of using the I ARE SMART as an avitar. Whatcha think?
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:02 PM   #194
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I experimented with roof access last summer and documented my efforts in this thread and in my blogs.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f478...oof-66345.html

The pictures start at post #19

Gary
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:30 PM   #195
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Hi Gary I'm getting staging like that on Monday. It's only 30" wide, 7' long and 10' high. I'm getting two sets, one for eiither side and am going to put two 2x10's with 2x4's attached to strengthen up the 2x10's across the trailer that way I will have access all across the roof. Each set rents for $24 a month so for $48 plus $30 for the wood I will have full access to the roof.
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:50 PM   #196
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Hey WC,

Yah - we got about 8 inches of heavy wet snow last weekend. Lost power for about 23 hours (Sat at 3 pm Ďtil Sun at 2 pm). It's really quiet in the house with absolutely nothing electrical making noise. Kept warm with the fireplace and gas stove burners for cooking. Overall, not too bad. Fortunately, it wasn't terribly cold out - stayed right around freezing both days.

Interesting concept on drilling into the LED for the fiber optic. Please document that technique with photos. I had thought about doing that, but I didn't want to compromise the waterproof integrity of the LED tail lamp. The ones I mounted on the rear for the fiber optics are not regular lamps, but smaller LEDs, so hopefully they will never need replacing in my lifetime.

For your avatar, you need to add "eh?" at the end, as in "I are smart, eh?" Only true Northern Minnesotan or Canadian thing to do, eh?

MC
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