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Old 12-01-2016, 02:12 PM   #15
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Here is another source: https://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-p...heets/=15a6us5
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:36 PM   #16
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I have not addressed the cap yet but I might soon.

What are the white pieces? Are they ABS plastic sheets? How thick are they?
So then you used ABS glue between the cap and the reinforcing pieces?
Did you then put up fiberglass insulation behind the cap?
Yes, the white pieces are strips of ABS. I got mine from Pop Signs on e-bay but, it looks like the same thing in your link. Use a heat gun to soften the strips on shape them to match the contour of your end cap. I placed a wet rag on the other side of the end cap so that it did not distort when placing the hot strip on the end cap. Often when I let it cool the first time it did not fit as well as I wanted. I simply heated it back up and did it again until I liked the fit.
I used 1/16" and 1/8" pieces. The thinner material is easier to heat and shape but, the thicker is much stronger. I used the thicker material on simple shapes and the thinner material on more complex shapes like around the visors. The key is being patient and getting the shape just right before gluing it up. I used some of the black ABS glue used in plumbing but, I found that plain MEK works as well or better. Just brush the MEK on the surface until there is a significant slurry on the surface of both pieces then quickly assemble them and clamp for 24 hours.
Practice on a couple pieces of scrap until you get the technique down. I think I posted some pics and narrative in my thread 'countdown to kick off'
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:44 PM   #17
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Yes, I glued 2" thick fiberglass to the underside of the aluminum skin and let the glue set up overnight before replacing the ABS end cap. I used Formica glue but you can use about anything.
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Old 12-13-2016, 05:00 PM   #18
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Woo Hoo! I managed to get the 39-year old ABS plastic cap out without it shattering into 1,000 pieces! Clearly Airstream thought the coach would be in the junk yard before that thing needed to be replaced!

Now is the $64,000 question. Do I patched this one together and slap it back up or do we get a mold made from mine and get a brand new one?
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Old 12-13-2016, 05:32 PM   #19
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I am having to have the original cap refurb'ed and re-installed. I sent Fred a pm saying he can have the cab cap from my donor if it is OK
What did they do to refurbish it?
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:19 PM   #20
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They can be a bear to remove , can't they!
That doesn't look any worse than mine when I started. After repairing mine I did not even have to paint it, I was able to save the original finish.
Brad or Martin have some experience making a mold for the front valance. I bet they could give you an idea what something like that would cost. I would guess a couple thousand to make a mold and the better part of a thousand for each duplicate. They were working with fiberglass, I doubt making duplicates with ABS is an option.
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:42 PM   #21
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End Cap Color

When my 77 was "new", you had to look very closely to tell the difference between the more white vinyl covered aluminum and the ABS plastic end cap. They were virtually the same color. My end cap has yellowed like all of the rest and presently has just a few minor cracks. I don't know what the future holds.

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Old 12-14-2016, 06:31 AM   #22
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They can be a bear to remove , can't they!
That doesn't look any worse than mine when I started. After repairing mine I did not even have to paint it, I was able to save the original finish.
I've removed a total of four so far and didn't enjoy removing any of them

Quote:
Brad or Martin have some experience making a mold for the front valance. I bet they could give you an idea what something like that would cost. I would guess a couple thousand to make a mold and the better part of a thousand for each duplicate. They were working with fiberglass, I doubt making duplicates with ABS is an option.
Greg, from what I remember your cost estimate is pretty close for the mold itself. Each valance produced cost $600 which to me seems like a very reasonable price for something of that size and complexity. My personal opinion is the mold maker earned every penny considering the quality (or lack there of) of my original front valance.

Keep in mind there were no shipping costs involved with the valance project. The mold maker was less than an hour south of me which made it easy for me to take him my valance and in the end pick up the new valances. Shipping something the size of the valance or one of the inner caps could cost a small fortune. Martin made the drive from Boston to Richmond Kentucky to pick up his valance so if you factor in his time and travel expense the shipping was fairly expensive.

I think the cost of making some from ABS would cost a whole lot more than anyone would want to spend.

Brad
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Old 12-14-2016, 07:24 AM   #23
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I wonder if anyone has ever tried to use a headliner fabric and adhesive to cover the end cap in place. If the end cap is just cracked and not falling apart, and there is no deflection along the cracks, and its purely an aesthetic thing, might be a decent option.......maybe?
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Old 12-14-2016, 06:00 PM   #24
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What did they do to refurbish it?
Basically just drilled holes at the end of each crack to stop them spreading Fred, the fill the crack and repainted.
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Old 12-14-2016, 06:06 PM   #25
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I've removed a total of four so far and didn't enjoy removing any of them



Greg, from what I remember your cost estimate is pretty close for the mold itself. Each valance produced cost $600 which to me seems like a very reasonable price for something of that size and complexity. My personal opinion is the mold maker earned every penny considering the quality (or lack there of) of my original front valance.

Keep in mind there were no shipping costs involved with the valance project. The mold maker was less than an hour south of me which made it easy for me to take him my valance and in the end pick up the new valances. Shipping something the size of the valance or one of the inner caps could cost a small fortune. Martin made the drive from Boston to Richmond Kentucky to pick up his valance so if you factor in his time and travel expense the shipping was fairly expensive.

I think the cost of making some from ABS would cost a whole lot more than anyone would want to spend.

Brad
I can 'sort of' understand why none of the commercial vendors stepping up and getting involved in the process of making the pre-face lift valances because they are a limited market. But as all the Argosy and many of the Classic MH had the same cap so there must be a considerable market for replacement caps, and Fred seems willing to allow his one to be used as a mold - there must be money to be made!
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Old 12-14-2016, 06:41 PM   #26
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I can 'sort of' understand why none of the commercial vendors stepping up and getting involved in the process of making the pre-face lift valances because they are a limited market. But as all the Argosy and many of the Classic MH had the same cap so there must be a considerable market for replacement caps, and Fred seems willing to allow his one to be used as a mold - there must be money to be made!
I'm sure bunches of people would like to have nice replacements. I think cost would be the fly in the ointment. I can see where one could be made for around $600 to $900 (excluding mold costs) but I'll bet shipping costs could easily be $300 or more. The size of the crate would be huge and it would have to be solid to keep the cap from getting crushed or damaged.

Aside from that it would be nice to have new replacements
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:07 PM   #27
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Basically just drilled holes at the end of each crack to stop them spreading Fred, the fill the crack and repainted.
So they did not remove it. They just left it in place. Correct?

I can understand why they did that. I have to admit that I was TERRIFIED I was going to shatter the thing many times! It took some force to get it out.

The front is held up by a black C-channel. The rear goes under (i.e. above) the aluminum panels and there are rivets UNDER the aluminum so the front cap definitely went in first! It would have been installed in the front channel first and then fastened at the back. The rest of the interior goes in on top of it. Argh!

I will likely just patch it up, paint the underside, and put it back up into position. It is really cracked in three places, one larger one in the back and two others where there the sunvisors attach. It seems the flexing of the coach puts stress on the tightly fastend ABS plastic causing cracks!

I have all of the supplies. this is my winter project and I am determined to be out in the coach at the first dying signs of winter (or heading to Florida if I finish early)!
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Old 12-15-2016, 01:29 AM   #28
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So they did not remove it. They just left it in place. Correct?
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No it was fully removed, actually the one currently installed in Bella is the one from the donor.

When we got Bella the skins were already completely removed, which simplified the process of removal of the cap (or more accurately, made the process more apparent). However they still put a larger(15-18" long) crack in the original removing it (centrally, running from the back forward). They used that as a learning experience so did not damage the donor one in removing it Then they drilled the 'crack stop' holes (approx 1/8" dia) and filled from the reverse (cosmetic filling only as the shop would not/could not use the ABS/MEK approach to repair). Then it was prep'ed and sprayed (same color as the dash) in their booth before re-installing. They used a different method for re-attachment. The rear lip is not held by the skins but has an additional/overlapping aluminum trim piece, so future removal should be more straight forward.
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