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Old 12-02-2015, 07:50 PM   #71
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Brad, When I removed my valance I remove the wheel well trim first. It was a simple one man job. The wheel well trim on the Airstream is a two piece assembly I removed the #8 pan head screws that are exposed inside the lip. Once removed it exposes the screws for the second piece that attach it to the fender. The hardest part was removing the undercoating.
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:15 AM   #72
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Greg, I had a brain freeze

When I was struggling to get the valance back into position without breaking anything I was looking at where the edge of the valance met the wheel well and it looked like it was supposed to fit into a groove of the wheel well trim.

I had totally forgotten that the trim was under the wheel well trim. I didn't remember that until reading your post which caused me to go back and look at some pictures I had taken before removing the valance.

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I think once I trim the ears off of the front bumper supports I won't have any problems getting the valance installed by myself. I had always planned on reworking the front bumper mounts so trimming the ears is not a problem.
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Thanks!

Brad
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:21 AM   #73
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The valance is looking really good Brad
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:37 AM   #74
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Thanks

It was in a lot worse shape than I had originally thought. Little tears and cracks everywhere along with all of the major ones.

We're going to need to figure out how to go about getting a mold made once I have it mounted to a jig. I've pretty much come to the conclusion that I'm not really set up for or capable of making the mold myself. Worse, my friend is going to be tied up trying to make his house livable for at least a couple more months.

Over Christmas break I can probably check out the one in Somerset but if you have any other suggestions I'm all ears.

Brad
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:47 AM   #75
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The only other place close to you, that I have found Brad is GB Customs

They list custom fiberglass molds and are in Corbin (not sure how close that actually is?)
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:08 AM   #76
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Corbin is a little farther than Somerset but it's all interstate so just as quick. Beautiful drive as well

I just talked to GB Customs. They are willing to take on the job but will have to wait until warmer weather as they are full up for the winter and can't do any fiberglass work all winter. He will get back with me if they have a bay open up which would allow them to do the work inside. His initial response was a week or two to do the job. I think that's a little optimistic but then again I've not done mold making before.

He said a one piece mold will be cheaper and faster than a three piece arrangement as they would basically have to make the mold twice. I'm not sure I understand the reasoning but that's what I was told.

When I get a chance I'll try calling the place in Somerset.
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:39 AM   #77
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I finally found more time to start working on the valance again. Yesterday I helped add a door in the back of the house I've been helping resurrect.
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Now the valance. Here's a couple pictures showing some of the repairs.
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Before even trying to fit the valance this morning I trimmed the ears off of the front bumper supports. The ears were not used for mounting the bumper, not sure if the ears are from GM or if Airstream added them but either way they weren't used so I cut them off.
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When trying to fit the bumper there was interference with the shell, this side mount bumper ear and the valance. I felt trimming the valance would be the best way to go since this area of the valance is covered by the bumper.
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Once the ears were trimmed and the valance trimmed it was fairly easy to slip the valance into rough position. Yeah!
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Next steps are to start fabricating a support jig which will also help me actually fit the valance exactly where it goes. Once it's fitted into place I'll do what's necessary to make the jig hold there.

More to come....
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:02 PM   #78
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Time to fabricate the jig....

As I was getting set up I was taking measurements side to side and found that the drivers front sits about 1" lower than the passenger front. I jacked up the left rear of the coach and that took out about 1/2". Looks like my suspension needs some tweaking

One more thing that needed to be done before I could continue was to straighten and weld the drivers side front bumper support. This is the support I bent when I had a tow bar attached to the two front supports and was trying to back it into my shop in Arkansas. The drivers side support gave way and bent upwards which is what caused the two large tears in the top of the valance
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Now that the support was straight and fixed in place I could start fabricating the jig. I reattached the valance to the coach and then fabricated the jig using 2x4s and a 2x6. Here's the jig built in place.
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I attached the jig to the valance in 4 spots. On the sides I used the flat pods where reflectors mount and on the front I just picked two spots just inboard of the bumper supports. Once the jig was fabricated I removed the four mounting bolts and slid it out of the way.

I then removed the valance from the coach and reattached it to the jig. It slipped right into place!
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I noticed just a slight a mount of twisting when I tried pickup one end of the jig up so I plan to add a few more supports and braces to hopefully make it more rigid. Overall I'm fairly happy with how it came out.

While installing and removing the valance I did find a few more cracks that need to be repaired so hopefully this week I can remedy that problem.

After that it's time to find someone who wants to try and make a mold

Brad
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Old 12-12-2015, 09:25 PM   #79
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Great progress Brad, looking very good.
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Old 12-13-2015, 10:01 AM   #80
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Nice work!
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Old 12-13-2015, 11:16 AM   #81
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Thanks!

I've been thinking that it might be better to rework the jig so that the supports are on the inside which would make it easier to make a mold. I'm not quite convinced it's worth the effort but will look at the possibilities later this afternoon or tomorrow.

Sure does take up a lot of shop floor space....
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:41 AM   #82
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Awesome work sir, that support looks to have came out perfect! Making it support from the inside would probably make a better mold but what you have now will work well. There will be some clean up in those areas but honestly no matter what you do there will be some touch ups.

Another thought would be possibly mounting along the bottom of the valance? I can't tell from the pictures if that is a possibility or not due to the curves. That way and cleanup would most likely not be seen anyhow and it allows them free access to the front top and insides to make the mold.

Depending on the weight of the valance, if you do decide to go from the inside maybe you could use some 2" dowel rods extended from the 2x4 frame. That way you can get into the curves easier, gives you more room from the frame and valance, and it will be easier to work around when making the mold.

Love watching the progress.
-Dane
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:18 PM   #83
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Dane, what you're suggesting is actually what I've been working on for the last several days. I'm trying to get the arrangement to be all jig supports on the inside and the front of the valance pointing up. I should have this all wrapped up by the end of the weekend at which time I'll post some more pictures.

That should make it a lot easier to make a mold.

Stay tuned...
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Old 12-19-2015, 01:07 PM   #84
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At 1:45 pm today I'm declaring the jig fabrication complete and ready to go to a mold maker

As I mentioned previously I wanted to move the supports to the inside so the mold maker wouldn't have to work around the structure to lay the matting. That has now been done!
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The whole thing is fairly light and easy to move around. The next step is to find someone that is willing to take on the task in a time frame that is suitable for Martin.

I still want to repair a few more cracks but I'll tackle those as time permits.

Time to move onto other tasks.....like fitting a radio in the dash

Brad
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