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Old 10-03-2015, 10:01 AM   #1
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1983 31' Airstream310
Bossier City , Louisiana
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310 Front Floor Removal

Hi found some damaged floor in the front passenger area. Floor held down with very large screwheads.

Are these screws (tapped into metal framing or like bolts with nuts and washers?

How do you remove them? what tools needed? -- my drill with bit doesn't work.

Thank You for your help

Gman1957
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:05 AM   #2
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Hi found some damaged floor in the front passenger area. Floor held down with very large screwheads.

Are these screws (tapped into metal framing or like bolts with nuts and washers?

How do you remove them? what tools needed? -- my drill with bit doesn't work.

Thank You for your help

Gman1957
I'm not exactly sure what Airstream was doing in 83 for fastening the floors down but on the 86 models they used screws similar to what you're describing that were self tapping and in between each of those screws they used nails. The nails were the twisted shank type that sort of act like a screw once they are shot into the wood.

When I was dismantling the 345 there were two methods that I used to get the screws and nails removed, one was to use a cutoff wheel in 4-1/2" grinder to cut the heads off and the other was to use a torch to burn the heads off. Of the two the torch method worked the best as I was able to burn through the bolt and the wood.

For you the torch is likely not an option so you will probably have to resort to the cutoff wheel method.

Of course you might get lucky and they will unscrew but don't get your hopes up on that method.

Good luck!

Brad
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:17 PM   #3
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Gman1957

Those are called elevator bolts they have a heavy Phillips head. You need the right size bit and a impact driver. Use a heavy hammer and a heavy punch to give the head a couple of good hits then use the impact driver to remove.

The nails are 1 1/4 concrete nails use a large crow bar to remove
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:17 PM   #4
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I'm at work and going by memory but I believe the screwheads were like large 3/4" widths.

Just need to do passenger side where captain's chair is located

Thank you so much for helping

John
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:42 PM   #5
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Gman1957

Those are called elevator bolts they have a heavy Phillips head. You need the right size bit and a impact driver. Use a heavy hammer and a heavy punch to give the head a couple of good hits then use the impact driver to remove.
I will admit my reason for choosing the two methods I tried was for speed. I couldn't take the chassis to the scrappers until the wood decking was removed. So time was more important than neatness

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The nails are 1 1/4 concrete nails use a large crow bar to remove
I never tried prying them out. They were buried below the deck surface and it didn't seem worth the effort. I've often wondered why Airstream chose that type of nail on the decking. My best guess was for speed in construction.

Brad
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Old 10-03-2015, 08:08 PM   #6
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Brad

On my 85 32.5 the nails are all that Airstream used what a P I A to remove along with the OSB.
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:10 PM   #7
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John, that 86 345 had nails and those elevator screws. My first attempt at getting the wood floor up entailed just cutting the heads off those elevator screws with a cutoff wheel. It wasn't until I tried prying the wood up that I realized there were nails as well. Needless to say I was pretty ticked off at that point. That's when the cutting torch was put into play!

Brad
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Old 10-04-2015, 12:44 AM   #8
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Use an angle grinder with a cut off wheel. If you don't own one, it will be one of the best tools you'll ever buy. It will give you a nice flush cut in some really tight spots, and you will never waste your time wrestling with a fastener again. I like the Milwaukee heavy duty version. With enough cutting wheels you could take down a whole building.
Remember the safety glasses!!!
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:39 AM   #9
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Is this what the screws look like?

SCREW 1/4-20 X 1 3/8 WAFER HD 345073-08 [345073-08] - $0.20 : Out-of-Doors Mart!, More Airstream Parts on-line than anyone!
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:52 PM   #10
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I just had the entire front of my 1979 MH apart last summer. The plywood was installed with elevator bots. Most of them were so corroded that I chiseled the wood out from around them and grabbed them with a visegrip. As I recall most of them snapped off. If they came out great , if they snapped off I just ground them down flush with a 4" grinder. There are some pictures in my thread 'Count down to kick-off'.The pictures may give you a better idea of what you are getting into.
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Old 10-06-2015, 02:03 AM   #11
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Thank You ALL!!

I now have a better idea whats in store for me.

HiJoeSilver that is exactly what they seem to look like!

Gregsch I will look up your thread

John
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Old 10-06-2015, 04:15 PM   #12
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Thank You ALL!!

I now have a better idea whats in store for me.

HiJoeSilver that is exactly what they seem to look like!

Gregsch I will look up your thread

John
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Now you'll know where to get new ones. They're supposed to be self tapping but a pilot hole makes them go in a lot easier.(5/32 or 3/16")
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:48 AM   #13
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Thank You Again -- They removed pretty easily and the new plywood piece is being cut and installed!!

John
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Old 10-07-2015, 03:53 PM   #14
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Thank You Again -- They removed pretty easily and the new plywood piece is being cut and installed!!

John
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Wow! Why don't I ever get that lucky?!
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