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Old 10-05-2015, 09:23 PM   #71
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Ever since I bought this MH it has bothered me that the front bumper has been bent. Now that it is polished up it really looked bad. Looked to me like it had been hit right about the center. It appeared to me that it had been pushed in about 3/4" in the center which in turn caused the ends to spring outward. I tied it down and pushed the center out with a bottle jack. As with any metal that was bent it will never retain its original shape , but I was able to get it pretty close.
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:24 PM   #72
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I like the set up that you used to straighten it, and it looks pretty good from here. I hate to admit that I probably would have tied it off to a tree and thrown it into reverse.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:34 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Gregsch View Post
Ever since I bought this MH it has bothered me that the front bumper has been bent. Now that it is polished up it really looked bad. Looked to me like it had been hit right about the center. It appeared to me that it had been pushed in about 3/4" in the center which in turn caused the ends to spring outward. I tied it down and pushed the center out with a bottle jack. As with any metal that was bent it will never retain its original shape , but I was able to get it pretty close.
Greg, nice job!

What did you use as a base for the bottle jack? Looks like a piece of heavy channel iron.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:26 PM   #74
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Brad that is a piece of scrap 10" C channel, an I beam would probably work too. Amazing how much pressure it took. I was afraid the chains were going to snap.
I started repairing the front fascia. It had bee repaired with fiberglass by a previous owner. The fiberglass did not bond to he ABS. Time to make it right. Removed it from the MH and peeled off all the fiberglass. Made some patches out of ABS. Surprisingly easy to mold the material into shape with a little heat from a heat gun. Started gluing it together with ABS glue but, the results seam to be just as good with straight MEK.,
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Old 10-07-2015, 05:53 AM   #75
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Greg, thanks for the info. Where did you get the ABS flat sheet material? I'm probably going to need some as well.

Also how did you bend the flat sheet? With heat?

Brad
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:07 AM   #76
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Greg, great work man. Both my rear bumper and fascia need the same treatment as you just performed. Motivating!
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:02 PM   #77
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The ABS repair seems to be working out just fine. I set it in a position so that gravity is my friend and allow the slurry to flow into position. After 2 to 8 hours I move it so another surface is horizontal and repeat the process. Probably done that 8 or 9 times so far. Just about there.

I can not get everything to line up the way I want it. All indicators lead me to believe it never was right. The bumper is 7/16" higher on the left than it is on the right. I'm going to cut the bumper extension off and put it back on after I get all the plastic aligned.

Brad, I heat it up with a heat gun then wrap it around a form and clamp it in place to allow it to cool. Too little heat and you are just going to fight it, too much heat and it will distort. I have had much better luck with the new material than when I try rework the old material. That may be because if I mess up a new piece I simply cut another and start over. If I destroy the old piece I have no other options.
I bought the ABS on E-bay. The vendor was PopDisplays. You can cut the material with a saw and use the shavings to make your slurry or you can do what I did and buy ABS pellets.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:04 PM   #78
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The ABS repair seems to be working out just fine. I set it in a position so that gravity is my friend and allow the slurry to flow into position. After 2 to 8 hours I move it so another surface is horizontal and repeat the process. Probably done that 8 or 9 times so far. Just about there.
It takes that long for the ABS to set up after mixing with MEK?

Quote:
I can not get everything to line up the way I want it. All indicators lead me to believe it never was right. The bumper is 7/16" higher on the left than it is on the right. I'm going to cut the bumper extension off and put it back on after I get all the plastic aligned.
I'm not surprised at all to hear about that sort of miss match. I see that sort of stuff all over on my Argosy.

Quote:
Brad, I heat it up with a heat gun then wrap it around a form and clamp it in place to allow it to cool. Too little heat and you are just going to fight it, too much heat and it will distort. I have had much better luck with the new material than when I try rework the old material. That may be because if I mess up a new piece I simply cut another and start over. If I destroy the old piece I have no other options.
I think Keyair mentioned something in his thread about the older ABS didn't mix as well as the newer stuff he was using as filler. That sorta makes sense to me as the older stuff is brittle and obviously missing something in it's chemical makeup.

Quote:
I bought the ABS on E-bay. The vendor was PopDisplays. You can cut the material with a saw and use the shavings to make your slurry or you can do what I did and buy ABS pellets.
Thanks for the tip, I'll check the seller out.

Brad
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:06 PM   #79
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Finally finished with the repair to the ABS corner. I must have rotated the part and added ABS slurry 8 or 10 times (let it sit over night each time). This stuff is hard to work with. You cannot sand ABS. It works nothing like Bondo and you cannot get Bondo to adhere to it. I finally got out my Formica file and filed it into shape. Its not perfect but if I am ever going to take this thing to a football game I have to move on. Doesn't look too bad in primer, anxious to see how it looks with paint.
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Old 10-18-2015, 07:25 AM   #80
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Looks like a very professional job!
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:25 AM   #81
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Looks great in the photos. If you ever chose to replace rather than repair, they are still available direct from Airstream at $110 each side. I got a pair from Airstream Supply drop shopped direct from Airstream about 6 weeks ago and have them as a custom back-up if Brad isn't able to get a mold off his Argosy valance.

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Old 10-20-2015, 07:02 AM   #82
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I wish I had known that before I spent all that time. I thought I
saw them somewhere priced at $450.. Clearly I should have replaced them. Oh well, it was good experience. I used the same technique for other ABS repairs and I am sure the skill will come in handy again sometime in the future.
By the way I like what you are trying to do with the Argosy specific front bumper.. Hope it works out for you and Brad.
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:24 AM   #83
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Some of the other vendors do sell FRP versions for $450 Greg, I am assuming they have gone through the 'take a mold, reproduce in FRP' route when the ABS ones weren't available (I can't think if another reason).

I also remember a post that many of the old ABS molds got destroyed and those that didn't Andy at Inland RV had obtained and was making them, so maybe they are making FRP reproductions from the ABS molds....who knows!

I do wish Airstream would publish a list of parts that are available, because several times I searched high and low for used parts only then to find they were still in production, but also in a couple of cases had assumed they were still available only to to find they weren't after starting a task.

I am all for repairing something that is repairable so more power to you for doing so!
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Old 10-21-2015, 07:41 PM   #84
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Nice day,70 degrees, low humidity and calm winds. Not likely to see another day like this before winter. Not really ready but, today is the day. By the time I got it sanded masked and pre-cleaned it was nearly dark. No stopping now. Painted it with a trouble light in one hand and a paint gun in the other. No idea what it is going to look like. I guess I will know when the sun comes up tomorrow.
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