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Old 02-22-2012, 09:48 PM   #1
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1957 26' Overlander
Victoria , British Columbia
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1957 Overlander Renovation

After 6 months of shopping, reading and researching I finally took the plunge and bought a 1957 Overlander. It needs a complete re-work, new floors, windows redone and all new interior. The good part is the PO did new axles, tires, brakes, and springs and rewires all the running lights so that is all brand new.
So far I have taken out half the interior with and am trying to get a rough plan together for the order of things to be done.

So, I am thinking:
1-Remove all the interior bits
2-Take down the interior skins and remove all the bolts and screws holding the shell down--
--- Can I take down all the interior skins at once, or do these need to stay to provide strength???
3-Remove the floor in pieces
4-Remove the belly skin
--- Do I just cut this away or should drill the rivets out where the shell attaches to the C channel???
5 - repair frame, paint, etc
6 - put tanks into belly and plumbing layout
7 - waterproof the shell
8.-fix windows
7 -replace floor
8 - rewire, insulate,
9- put interior skins back on
10 finish interior

Thoughts? I would rather not do a shell-off floor replacement, but if that is the easiest way to go I would...but is it necessary if the frame is in good shape?

Thanks
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:15 PM   #2
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1977 31' Excella 500
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cool trailer!

I can't speak to all of those questions but I'll add what I have learned so far...

You can take out the interior skins. They are not the strength in the shell. You will probably be cutting many rusted bolts holding the shell down.

I'd drill the rivets holding the belly pan. These trailers come apart easily when you get all the rivets out... if something doesn't want to come apart easily, there is a hidden rivet or screw somewhere.

Get some good drill bits and have fun!
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:12 PM   #3
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Sparky 57 Iam starting to put mine back togather I wish I had taken more detailed pictures . Dont give up and have fun
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky57 View Post
So far I have taken out half the interior with and am trying to get a rough plan together for the order of things to be done.

So, I am thinking:
1-Remove all the interior bits
2-Take down the interior skins and remove all the bolts and screws holding the shell down--
--- Can I take down all the interior skins at once, or do these need to stay to provide strength???
3-Remove the floor in pieces
4-Remove the belly skin
--- Do I just cut this away or should drill the rivets out where the shell attaches to the C channel???
5 - repair frame, paint, etc
6 - put tanks into belly and plumbing layout
7 - waterproof the shell
8.-fix windows
7 -replace floor
8 - rewire, insulate,
9- put interior skins back on
10 finish interior

Thoughts? I would rather not do a shell-off floor replacement, but if that is the easiest way to go I would...but is it necessary if the frame is in good shape?

Thanks
That sounds like pretty much we did, check out my "It's a Girl!!!" thread to see & read what's involved.

Good luck, looks like a nice trailer for a jumping in point ~

Shari
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:59 PM   #5
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1957 26' Overlander
Victoria , British Columbia
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Gutted

Got it all gutted today and I think that I am going to take some TSP or lysol (maybe both) and scrub the wall skins before I take them down. Part of me feels like pressure washing it...hmmm. I have one serious load of bits to take to the dump.

Also drilled my first rivets out today- all that anxiety and it was actually simple. Had a look to see how the frame is attached to the shell and belly pan...Looks like my belly pan is wrapped around the C Channel really tight, so how do I get the belly pan off the C Channel? Drill out the rivets then cut?
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:51 PM   #6
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Gaylord , Michigan
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not sure I would take it to the dump just yet..others out there may need parts you have ..throw it on the list here and see who nibbles on what you have...
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:52 PM   #7
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1957 26' Overlander
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Spare parts

Well I think the only thing worth salvaging is the copper and the stove. I'd be happy to give it away to anyone from the forums. Where do I post it? It looks to be original, all white and I'd guess it works....
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:34 PM   #8
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Nowhere , Washington
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Not sure what you are planning for the interior, but it is a lot easier to replicate the curves with the old cabinets as templates to follow. I found a lot of the old parts were very useful in my restoration.

If you are replacing the floor, pressure washing is not a bad idea. I pressure washed my interior and did several washes with TSP before repainting.

Norm
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:48 PM   #9
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I washed the skins on the lawn after we had removed them. Much easier to scrub with a long handled brush when they're laying flat. Then I stood them on end up against things to dry, rolled them up, used that plastic on a roll to hold them in a roll, and stored them until we had the wiring and insulation done. Make sure you label them when you remove them so you know where they go when you want to put them back up!

Kay
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:11 PM   #10
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1959 26' Overlander
Powder Springs , Georgia
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Parts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollerboy View Post
not sure I would take it to the dump just yet..others out there may need parts you have ..throw it on the list here and see who nibbles on what you have...

I agree! That pile looks like candy to me! I'm desperately looking for some light fixtures, knobs, and some other hardware!
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmbosa View Post
Not sure what you are planning for the interior, but it is a lot easier to replicate the curves with the old cabinets as templates to follow. I found a lot of the old parts were very useful in my restoration.

If you are replacing the floor, pressure washing is not a bad idea. I pressure washed my interior and did several washes with TSP before repainting.

Norm
I agree, it saves a lot of time when the old cabinets can be used for templates, I tossed a few things I shouldn't have. Looks like you are off to a great start!
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:08 AM   #12
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1957 26' Overlander
Victoria , British Columbia
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Bits and pieces

I will post pictures of the bits I saved- hinges, handles, a couple fixtures, the gas lamp (might keep this) and some lamp shades. I did save the curved room dividers so that I can re-make them.

Next step is to wash the interior down with TSP and soap and water- then take the panels down and store them. Then on to the floor and frame.

The wheel wells are rotted so I'll be making new ones of those too.

Just ordered clecos from VTS, rivets, etc, etc...and found the local Fastenal store has all the numbered drill bits - so I got $40 worth of those. Looks like a fun weekend ahead.

Still planning on a frame on floor replacement at this point.
Still confused about how to get the belly pan off- it is wrapped tight around the C-Channel.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:24 AM   #13
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1959 26' Overlander
Powder Springs , Georgia
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Hidden rivets

I think hidden rivets might be your problem. Here's my post about it:
1959 Airstream Overlander, "Someday": Lessons Learned

Good luck with that belly pan!
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:40 AM   #14
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1963 26' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky57 View Post
Still planning on a frame on floor replacement at this point.
Still confused about how to get the belly pan off- it is wrapped tight around the C-Channel.
So there are a couple of issues here, if you want to do a full floor replacement with the shell on.

First, the way to remove the bellypan, is to drill out all of the rivets all the way around the outside. I'm glad you already got your bits, you're going to use up a bunch of them, it goes much faster with fresh, sharp bits. If it's factory original and no previous owner has messed with it, then your trailer was assembled in this way. 1) Floor is bolted to frame. 2) C-channel is bolted to floor and outriggers. 3) Floor/frame assembly is flipped upside down on a rotisserie, where the bellypan is wrapped up and around the sides of the c-channel. 4) Floor/frame/bellypan assembly is flipped back right side up, and shell is riveted on to the outside of that.

This has a couple of implications for you. One is that there are the "hidden rivets" that Someday59 mentioned. These are there because the bellypan was riveted to the c-channel (and in your case and many others, wrapped around the c-channel) before the outer shell was attached. So the outer shell covers up some of those rivets. These can be removed by using a really sharp putty knife (the kind with the metal end on the handle, all-plastic handle ones won't hold up) and placing the blade between the outer shell and the bellypan, and then pounding it with a hammer to sheer the rivets. Obviously, you'll need to remove the inner skins before this step.

The other implication is that if you remove all of the hidden rivets holding the bellypan to the c-channel, and then remove all of the exterior rivets holding the shell to the c-channel, and if you do this all the way around your trailer, your shell will now be floating, unattached to the frame, floor, or anything else. Only friction will be holding it up, and I don't know that the Force of Friction will be enough to stabilize it.

I only did the back half of mine, so the front half remained stable. I removed the bellypan and detached the shell all the way around the back half. I then removed the elevator bolts and the subfloor on the back 2 sections (8') of plywood, inspected/cleaned/repaired/painted the frame, and put new plywood down. Then reattached all of the c-channel, re-riveted the shell and new bellypan sections, and reinstalled the inner skins.

So if you truly want to do a shell-on, and do the entire floor at the same time, then you might consider how to stabilize the shell in the meantime.

Good luck!
-Marcus
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