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Old 03-15-2010, 10:25 AM   #43
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Yes HSS bits work well. Please beware the bit killer and hole oblongenator - the steel mandrel of some pop rivets that bind and/or throw the bit off center. A tap with an awl to drive it back allows the drill to self center properly. This gets to be more of a problem the larger the rivets get.
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:28 AM   #44
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I was actually doing that very thing with an awl. I just tapped the awl with the hammer and put a tiny little divet in the center of the rivet and that was enough to keep the drill bit centered...

I saw the trick on the Classic Rides Airstream renovation show.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:39 PM   #45
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Removed some interior panels today. Decided to stop till I could get a good dust mask...that insulation is bad for the lungs. Surprise, surprise, some fiberglass over the old bathroom instead of aluminum. Hmm wonder if that it stock?
Not sure what your pictures are showing me. Are you saying there is fiberglass on the lower panels? Or, is it the upper dome?

If it's the upper dome, then it is original. Airstream used molded fiberglass domes in the fore and aft upper curved sections in this vintage and length of Airstream.

I'm not a big fan of drilling out rivets, but I really enjoy putting them back in. Especially the solid rivets that have to be "bucked" into place. I found that to be a lot of fun.

-Marcus
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:11 PM   #46
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It is the upper dome, good to know that part is stock, wonder why they did that? I guess I can expect to see it again up front when I get there too then.

Yes drilling them out has proven about as much of a pain as I expected.

The plastic fender covers are cracked and unserviceable so I've pitched them. The inner covers look like they might be galvanized sheet metal. Mine are corroded pretty bad so I expect I will have to redo them.

I noticed something like corrosion on the very bottom of the inner aluminum panel near the door. About an 1/8 of an inch has been eaten away. I had never seen aluminum do that. I thought it might have been touching a dissimiler metal and it might be due to electrolosis but I haven't found the culprit yet.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:14 PM   #47
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Aage...keep me honest!!! What is the ideal weight ratio for one of these trailers in terms of weight forward of the axle and aft of the axle?
I leave to those better informed than me to give you the fine detail, but my feeling is that it should be fairly straight-forward if you keep overall weight fairly evenly balanced left to right, and remember that tongue weight is usually 10-15% of total weight.

Come up with some estimates and post them for comment. You're sure to hear about it if you're wrong
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:17 PM   #48
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Bring on the feedback, I have thick skin and I am not afraid to change the plan for a better solution.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:25 PM   #49
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In it's completely empty state it feels like the tongue weight is much higher than that. I am planning on putting the tanks aft of the wheels or very near the wheels if possible.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:45 PM   #50
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It is the upper dome, good to know that part is stock, wonder why they did that? I guess I can expect to see it again up front when I get there too then.

Yes drilling them out has proven about as much of a pain as I expected.

The plastic fender covers are cracked and unserviceable so I've pitched them. The inner covers look like they might be galvanized sheet metal. Mine are corroded pretty bad so I expect I will have to redo them.

I noticed something like corrosion on the very bottom of the inner aluminum panel near the door. About an 1/8 of an inch has been eaten away. I had never seen aluminum do that. I thought it might have been touching a dissimiler metal and it might be due to electrolosis but I haven't found the culprit yet.
Yup, aluminum actually will corrode if exposed to moisture long enough, and galvanic activity will hasten the process but it can happen even without that.

And I'm guessing Airstream found that molding the fiberglass domes was cheaper than using aluminum, given the compound curving that those domes have. Older units than yours are mine used aluminum strips that resembled the exterior ones, but I suppose the fiberglass process matured enough during those years that when ours came down the line they were able to do it with fiberglass. I actually overlaid my rear dome with aluminum to make the entire bathroom nice and shiny.

-Marcus
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:03 PM   #51
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I actually overlaid my rear dome with aluminum to make the entire bathroom nice and shiny.
Oh lord don't tell my wife or she'll have me doing the same thing!
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:03 PM   #52
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Don't have a wife... but I will sure do the same...
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:45 PM   #53
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Marcus, faithfully reading these threads as you recommend. I have to say I am inspired and humbled by what some of these builders have been able to accomplish. My own efforts seem so amateurish by comparison.

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Congratulations on your new Airstream. You've clearly done some research, yes floor replacement is in your immediate future.

You might have found them already, but if you haven't, I consider the Major Renovation threads to be required reading for anyone who is about to tackle the job that you are setting out to do. You can find them here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html

There are many of them, and some of them are quite lengthy, but the amount of knowledge that can be learned from those threads is vast. They are excellent not only as a research tool, but also for inspiration, either when you're stuck with a design dilemma, or when you're consumed by despair, wondering if you will ever actually be able to use this thing. I've read all of them at least once, and several of them multiple times.

Good luck!
-Marcus
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:48 PM   #54
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Don't have a wife... but I will sure do the same...
It's not that I don't think it's cool, I just don't think I have the skills to pull it off yet.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:53 PM   #55
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I need a good step by step photo tutorial on putting in olympic rivets, any suggestions?
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:34 PM   #56
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You will find a mile of fiberglass insulation behind the dome.Wear your mask for removal.This pic I am attaching is what I found under my corroded aluminum on the doorsill.Swiss cheese steel.This will be replaced along with the strip used for riveting the skirts and bellypan to
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It is the upper dome, good to know that part is stock, wonder why they did that? I guess I can expect to see it again up front when I get there too then.

Yes drilling them out has proven about as much of a pain as I expected.

The plastic fender covers are cracked and unserviceable so I've pitched them. The inner covers look like they might be galvanized sheet metal. Mine are corroded pretty bad so I expect I will have to redo them.

I noticed something like corrosion on the very bottom of the inner aluminum panel near the door. About an 1/8 of an inch has been eaten away. I had never seen aluminum do that. I thought it might have been touching a dissimiler metal and it might be due to electrolosis but I haven't found the culprit yet.
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