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Old 12-16-2007, 02:13 PM   #1
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1968 26' Overlander
Ann Arbor , Michigan
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'68 Overlander Floor replacement HELP!!

Hello All

Well...the time has come. We have about 10 inches of snow on the ground and I am getting ready to do a floor replacement. Well...not right now! .

I
I have a laundry list of questions so please be patient with me
  • What size drill bit to I need to get? Brand recommendations if you have any.
  • Wood: Is it O.K to use ¾ inch exterior grade plywood on this age AS.
I would like to take the vinyl cladding off the aluminum inside, does anyone have experience with a product that worked?

I still need to stop the leaking from the front two widows before I put the floor in, otherwise is will be for nothing.

Lastly…even though I am under and overhang , it getting pretty darn cold up here… to investigate and stop leaks…will I have to take off all of the aluminum panels inside, heat the inside of the trailer to a certain temp then seal up the seams with some kind of caulking?

When replacing wood with a shell on ( I could not find anything like this)
Has anyone done a documented shell on floor replacement? If so….please share. If not…then I will try to document mine.

Tools I have for the job.
Sawzalls
4’ Grinder s
Circular saws
18v drill
Aviation snips

Will I need anything elase

Thank Again for taking time to respond
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Old 12-16-2007, 02:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aluminati

Will I need anything else?
Yes.
Master Card with no limit.

There's probably a dozen things you will need for this project, to get going on it. A jigsaw and router will help, along with a large box of screws. When I replaced the floor section of our Sovereign, I used 3/4" outdoor rated plywood, since you sren't doing a complete foor replacement, I would recommend going with what is there to keep from having undulations in the floor. I don't remember if it's 1/2" or 5/8". As far as drill bits, a set of good quality bits is preferred. You will be buying replacements of them.
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Old 12-16-2007, 05:35 PM   #3
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"There's probably a dozen things you will need for this project, to get going on it. A jigsaw and router will help",

Got them (check)

" since you sren't doing a complete foor replacement, I would recommend going with what is there to keep from having undulations in the floor.

I am ripping all the old flooring out!
I want everything NEW! as far as the floor goes.

"As far as drill bits, a set of good quality bits is preferred. You will be buying replacements of them."

What size?
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:27 PM   #4
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I am right where you are... I am doing the rear half this winter.

Drill bits... buy a lot, I mean a "lot" of 1/8" bits. They get dull after about 100 rivets or so and by buying in a lot you will save money. Graingers sent them right to my door within a day of ordering. Are you going to push the sheets through the front and back after dropping the belly pan and detaching the shell or do you plan on running a seam down the length so you can slide it in from inside. I plan on shoving it in through the back end after I detach the rear shell.
One more thing, you had a taker for your bathroom parts. He would have made it worth your while, for he is an honorable guy. I hope that ebay works out for you. As you go on in this project remember that others need your help as much as you need theirs.
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:37 PM   #5
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Taker?...I did?
No one bid on them yet so I can take it off ebay. No biggie...do you know who needs them?
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:56 PM   #6
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Several threads discuss the type subfloor material that can be used. I, like may others, used marine grade ply.

There are two places that will stand out if you don't use the same thickness material used originally: 1) the seam between the bottom of the door frame and the step cover plate (if the sub-floor is too thick, you will be able to see it, and if it is not thick enough, you will most likely have a cracked door frame in a matter of time); and 2) if the sub floor is too thick, the flooring material will be visible in the back of the coach because it is placed between the frame and the C-channel that attaches to the skin/shell of the coach, and if it is not thick enough, the shell will crumple where it contacts the frame in the back.
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aluminati
"As far as drill bits, a set of good quality bits is preferred. You will be buying replacements of them."

What size?
You will need assorted sizes, from 1/8" to 3/8". You will also need a hole saw to cut out for the water and LP lines, and sewer pipes to come back out.
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:15 AM   #8
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I am three days of work ahead of you

I bought a 73 overlander and I have started my restoration project last weekend. I wasn't planning on any project like this, but it has been a positive learning experience. This forum has all kinds of different ideas for you to chose from. The people have been wonderful with responses.

Find what is going to work best for you each step of the way and go for it. I didn't know anything about airstreams and I have already gutted the bathroom, dropped the back belly pan, dropped the black tank, removed the hotwater heater, removed the rub rail, and I am trying to decide if i want to remove the vinyl in the back or just cut 4 to 6 inches of it off to get to the channel bolts. I can always put back what I removed. I don't like the idea of removing electrical. I also have removed all the plumbing and the Univolt converter after labeling all the wires. The only electrical I have messed with.

You can tell I have used a bunch of names and terms that might be confusing to you. Just type those words in search and you will get definitions, explanations and pics.

SIU Bound
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:41 AM   #9
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I did a shell on floor replacement here
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...nte-26902.html
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:07 PM   #10
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There is a lot of information in the forums...

There is a tremendous ammount of information in these forums about floor installation. Also there are several of us that have done it without removing the entire shell from the frame. I was able to replace mine that way. In my opinion the main reason that someone would need to remove the frame entirely is if major rebuilding or restoration had to be done. Especially if the work had to be done somewhere else. I was able to have some welding done on my frame while sitting under the body. I also cleaned it up and painted it there. I think that floor replacement can also be done without removing the belly pan if the frame is not in too bad of a condition. I took off about 1/2 of mine mostly because it is going to need to be replaced. Here are some threads where I documented a shell on replacement technique and the use of a product called Polyboard as an alternative to plywood - but that another story.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...0&page=1&pp=20 Polyboard for a floor.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=14804

http://www.airforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11818 (title = Body and banana wrap on floor replacement technique.) Look especially at the first post where I added a drawing. I am not using this technique but it still should work fine if you want to replace the band around the edges first. You would be able to access all the bolts from above too which was part of the intent of the approach.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11814 (title = Shell Off vs. Shell On Summary) Look especially at my detailed progress report in post number 74. Among other things I include a pretty detailed list of the tools that I used. The bracing that I used there works great and does not require all that much in the way of materials. There are photos in my gallery that go along with that report. The technique does not require lifting the body entirely off of the frame - it just supports and locates it while you repair the floor under it. It would also be easy enough to lift the shell a little if you needed too.

Malcolm
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:32 PM   #11
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Floor repair vs. replace

Is it possible to replace the spots that are soft then go over the entire floor with another layer...say 1/2 inch thick?
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aluminati
Is it possible to replace the spots that are soft then go over the entire floor with another layer...say 1/2 inch thick?
The floor is an integral part of the structure. I does more than just keep you from falling through. You can patch parts of the floor, but the more pieces in the floor the more flexing you will get while on the road. In the original instalation all the floor pieces ar tied together forming one continuous slab.

To answer your question... yes it is possible and no it's not preferable. Either way, if you need to add another 1/2 layer of plywood, the original floor is not in good enough shape to cover over. Once you have the interior gutted, it is not too bad to replace full sections of the floor as required.
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Old 12-21-2007, 10:13 PM   #13
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rip it out... it is not too bad once you start. Just jump in there and start cutting those bolts and give it a yank. I only needed to replace a little in the back, but took out the rear 4 feet instead. I had so much fun doing it that today I went and removed 4 more feet... the second four feet was totally unnessary, but I could and I did. Doing this will also make it easier to prime and paint the frame... good luck and stop looking for the easy way. The easy way would have been to buy a new one.
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Old 12-22-2007, 03:20 PM   #14
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Buy only cobalt steel drill bits - they are 3x the price but last 10x as long.
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