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Old 04-18-2016, 12:17 AM   #1
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1976 28' Argosy 28
Middletown , California
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A Roman Argosy Renovation

I'm so excited to begin interior restoration of my Argosy 28 MH!
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ID:	260929 The engine runs great, cold start problems sometimes, but idles and runs great, starts right up hot.
I will post pictures as I go, I'll be completely renovating and weatherizing the inside, I'm literally spending all the hours of my day on this giving her all my love.

I want to strip the paint, going to use the pink goop stuff, works great on the piece I tested. I understand the end caps are darker than the aluminum skin underneath everywhere else. Is there a paint that approximates the color of the bare aluminum under the white that I can just paint the end caps with? That seems a good solution to me, I would love to see the shiny uniform airstream look. Also, once I strip the paint, if I'm going with the aluminum look is there a coating I need to apply after stripping that can help this process as well?
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Old 04-18-2016, 06:52 AM   #2
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Welcome to Airforums and Argosy ownership!

It looks to be in pretty decent condition. I can't really answer any of your painting questions but keep in mind the front and rear caps are made from galvanized steel. You have two options for the end caps, the first is to paint them as you mentioned. The second is to replace them. From what I understand you can buy from Airstream segmented aluminum sections to replace the galvanized caps. I don't know of anyone that has done this nor do I have any idea what the cost might be. If you really want a polished Argosy then segmented caps is the only way I know of to make it all polished.

Brad
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:05 AM   #3
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Oh nice thanks for the advice. That's a better sounding solution and I'm not thinking it's going to be too pricey.
I'm about to rivet back on the smaller curb side window with tubular rivets. I feel they are a good alternative to buck or solid rivets as I don't want to have to invest in an air compressor and air hammer yet want a nicer grip than pop rivets. Do you think that's a good idea to use tubular rivets for the new aluminum end caps? I'll have the inside skin out soon anyway to replace the fiberglass insulation with reflectorix.
What's your forte? Mechanical? It has trouble starting cold, maybe the fuel pump?
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:17 AM   #4
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Oh nice thanks for the advice. That's a better sounding solution and I'm not thinking it's going to be too pricey.
Unfortunately with the end cap segments coming from Airstream they likely will be fairly expensive. That's probably one reason why I don't know of anyone who has gone that route even though it would look the best.

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I'm about to rivet back on the smaller curb side window with tubular rivets. I feel they are a good alternative to buck or solid rivets as I don't want to have to invest in an air compressor and air hammer yet want a nicer grip than pop rivets. Do you think that's a good idea to use tubular rivets for the new aluminum end caps? I'll have the inside skin out soon anyway to replace the fiberglass insulation with reflectorix.
Not sure what you mean by tubular rivets. There are 3 types of rivets typically used on Airstrams. The first are buck rivets which require access from both sides to rivet into place. The second are pop rivets which are typically used to secure the inside panels to the ribs and for attaching various other fixtures inside. The last are Olympic rivets typically 5/32" without rubber washers. The Olympic rivets are used for fastening windows, doors, hatches, etc. to the exterior frame. When using Olympic rivets you dip them in Vulkem and insert them into the hole. A regular hand held rivet gun is used to set them.

Olympic rivets are the only rivets I would use on the outside of an Airstream.

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What's your forte? Mechanical? It has trouble starting cold, maybe the fuel pump?
I don't really have a forte! I just like to tinker with things

Hard starting seems to be fairly common when the engines are cold. These are carbureted engines which means they don't cold start as quickly as fuel injected engines. For cold starting try pushing the gas pedal to the floor ONCE and then release it. This should close or set the choke which will enrich the fuel mixture and should make cold starting easier. With the choke set and once it's running it should idle higher than normal. To drop the idle back down tap the gas pedal and it will release the choke.

It's also possible the carburetor needs to be cleaned and/or adjusted.
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:11 AM   #5
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Oosh I suppose you're right. Airstream isn't cheap. I just paid $500 for a new window frame, hopefully that's going to be my biggest expense.
I've looked into the Olympic pop rivets, might go that route. I would like to retain the originality and use buck rivets if possible. Can I hammer those by hand or do you have to use a compressor?
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:13 AM   #6
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I've read the manual and tried the gas pedal method, doesn't really work. I have to use a little starting fluid in the choke. It does start right up warm fine every time however. Maybe needs a new pump anyway I'll have to take a look. At least new fuel filters.
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:59 AM   #7
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I've looked into the Olympic pop rivets, might go that route. I would like to retain the originality and use buck rivets if possible. Can I hammer those by hand or do you have to use a compressor?
For outside work Olympic rivets are the only rivet to use. They are the same rivets that Airstream uses when they make external repairs. Olympic rivets that are installed properly look basically the same as buck rivets. There are two ways to dress the Olympic rivets once they are installed. The least expensive method is to cut the rivet stems down to almost flush with the rivet head and then use a file to carefully file the stem down to where it's flush with the rivet head.

The second more expensive method is to buy a Rivet shaver for about $210 and use it to shave the rivet stems down flush with the head. I have a rivet shaver and it definitely makes life a lot easier and does a better job.

My assumption is if Airstream uses Olympic rivets for repairs then I feel it's appropriate to use the same type of rivet when I'm making repairs.


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Old 04-20-2016, 12:52 PM   #8
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From what I gather pop rivets are blind sided for when you don't want to take your inside paneling and skin off if it's a hassle. I was only considering buck rivets because I can access both sides when I take my paneling off. But hey if Airsteam uses them then I'll give it a go. Thanks for the tip.
Think I can use a dremmel instead of the special shaver?
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:03 PM   #9
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From what I gather pop rivets are blind sided for when you don't want to take your inside paneling and skin off if it's a hassle. I was only considering buck rivets because I can access both sides when I take my paneling off. But hey if Airsteam uses them then I'll give it a go. Thanks for the tip.
Think of Olympic rivets as being pop rivets on steroids. You install them basically the same way but they are considerably stronger than pop rivets and when installed properly create a water tight seal.

Do a search for olympic rivet installation here on Airforums and you'll find a slew of threads detailing how to use them with a lot of tips and tricks.

Quote:
Think I can use a dremmel instead of the special shaver?
Absolutely you can use a dremel tool with a cutoff wheel. Lots of people do it that way. I bought the shaver mainly because I have so many repairs to make to my Argosy I felt I could justify the expense. The only trade off using a dremel is it would take a little longer. End result should look the same.
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:30 PM   #10
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Haha great. Good to know, thanks a million. Olympic rivets it is!
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:55 PM   #11
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So I'm about to tackle getting this back curbside window back on. I have my 5/32 Olympic rivets, clecos and pliers, vulkem seal, and butyl tape. Is there any other sealant I need other than the butyl and vulkem? Looks like the stock installation had foam tape and a grey rubber sealant on the inside but I'm going to do an outside installation.
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:57 PM   #12
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Are 5/32 Olympic rivets the right size for window installation?
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:48 PM   #13
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Are 5/32 Olympic rivets the right size for window installation?
Yep, 5/32 Olympic rivets are what's used on windows and other exterior appendages.
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:50 PM   #14
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So I'm about to tackle getting this back curbside window back on. I have my 5/32 Olympic rivets, clecos and pliers, vulkem seal, and butyl tape. Is there any other sealant I need other than the butyl and vulkem? Looks like the stock installation had foam tape and a grey rubber sealant on the inside but I'm going to do an outside installation.
Was the foam tape on the inside or was it between the window frame and the exterior skin? That's where I remember finding the tape when I dismantled the 345.

Do a good job of sealing the outside and you won't need the vulkem on the inside! However if you have a way to access the inside by all means smear the vulkem around the frame seam.

Brad
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