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Old 04-22-2015, 06:39 PM   #1
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Front interior cap/headliner replacement?

The plastic front interior cap above the driver/passenger in my 1977 continues to crack. Are there any replacements available? If not, what are my options for replacing it?

I did drill tiny holes to stop some cracking but it is falling apart around the sun visor mount.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:05 PM   #2
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Wood or metal seem to be the most common for those that completely remove the endcaps. I think I'll be doing aluminum, but I'm not quite to that point yet. Colin Hyde just came out with a kit, where he provides the precut and pre-punched aluminum segments. larry b did it in a way that looks relatively painless here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/...ed-102982.html
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:25 PM   #3
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The aluminum kits won't work in the motorhome cab. I have just had all new aluminum skins added to my 20ft, including the end cap, but the cab is a totally different shape and there is 'nothing' to attach a aluminum panel to - not saying it can't be done, but it is a totally different task to replacing an end cap. 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
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Old 06-30-2015, 06:01 PM   #4
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Fred, Not sure if you did anything with your cap in the last couple months. I just fixed mine by reinforcing it with some ABS plastic. Only time will tell but, right now it seems like the problem is solved. I removed it and made the repair on the back side. Total cost less than $100.
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Old 06-30-2015, 06:44 PM   #5
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I have not done anything yet. Priorities....

That is all good to know. Seems pulling it down and reinforcing it is the only option.

I did hear a rumor that the reason Airstream no longer has these is that the mold was lost in a fire(?).

I was told they are an ABS Plastic with a high petroleum content. This person recommended "Plastic Welding". I was also told to be careful not to get too hot or it will melt (i.e. using an epoxy or resin would create heat).

Did you coat the back with the ABS cement to reinforce it or just work on the broken spots? I was thinking about a full coating of ABS cement on the back to make the whole thing stronger.
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:43 PM   #6
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Just laying down abs cement won't add any support, it's got to be reinforced by something. Did the edges of my end caps by using a 2" strip of aluminum that I gorilla glue epoxied the whole length behind the holes that would support the end cap. Had to do about 1.5-2 ft a day so what I laid down could set without disturbing the epoxy as it began to set. Also drilled the end holes for cracks and reinforced the big cracks same way. I used wood clothes pins covered with masking tape as clamps along the edge.
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:45 PM   #7
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If you cement, glue, or epoxy make sure to clean and rough up the surface a little bit.
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:50 PM   #8
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Use slightly larger holes at the end of the cracks. 1/8-5/32". You can then tape over the hole and fill the hole with epoxy, then sand it smooth when set, it'll be almost unnoticeable if painted over.
Bigger cracks need reinforcement.
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:07 PM   #9
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Wonder what the break even point is (in terms of numbers) for getting a new ones made?

I spoke to a local company that can make a mold using my cracked one for around $1500-2000, but was then saying each cap would be around $700, so basically the first 10 would come in at around $900 to cover the cost of the mold.

This seems a little steep when the regular end caps (trailer or motorhome) are available for a little over $300 (Rear End Liner Motorhome Classic and Front and Rear Trailer 1983-1994)
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
Wonder what the break even point is (in terms of numbers) for getting a new ones made?

I spoke to a local company that can make a mold using my cracked one for around $1500-2000, but was then saying each cap would be around $700, so basically the first 10 would come in at around $900 to cover the cost of the mold.

This seems a little steep when the regular end caps (trailer or motorhome) are available for a little over $300 (Rear End Liner Motorhome Classic and Front and Rear Trailer 1983-1994)
If I remember correctly I also have the front and rear interior caps for a 1986 345. I didn't have the heart to scrap them when I dismantled the 345. They currently reside in my barn loft.

Not so sure your $900 would be considered to much to pay, I believe the real expense would show up when you tried to ship them to their future owners.

Brad
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:23 PM   #11
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If I remember correctly I also have the front and rear interior caps for a 1986 345. I didn't have the heart to scrap them when I dismantled the 345. They currently reside in my barn loft.

Not so sure your $900 would be considered to much to pay, I believe the real expense would show up when you tried to ship them to their future owners.

Brad
Good point Brad.

I may just have a play with the cracked one I have and see if I could get a mold off of it. It is trashed anyway so worth a try.
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:05 PM   #12
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Your shell is ABS. ABS is relatively easy to work with. ABS can be returned to its liquid state by adding MEK. If you mix ABS chips and MEK in a glass jar for a couple days it will turn into a paste. That paste can be formed to any shape and allowed to harden. If you don't like the result simply and MEK and start over. There are several threads on the subject, just search on ABS, MEK.
A previous owner tried to repair my front fascia with fiberglass. That just made a mess.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregsch View Post
Fred, Not sure if you did anything with your cap in the last couple months. I just fixed mine by reinforcing it with some ABS plastic. Only time will tell but, right now it seems like the problem is solved. I removed it and made the repair on the back side. Total cost less than $100.
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?
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:58 PM   #14
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Is this the type of thing you used? This is ABS sheets with a thickness of 0.060".

http://www.eplastics.com/Plastic/ABSWHT0-060HC24X48

Others are saying they used fiberglass sheets and ABS cement.
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