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Old 07-15-2011, 09:21 PM   #71
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Just recently put my shell back on the new frame. Now I'm in the process of puting in bolts and rivets and fenders...Upgraded hold down plates to stainless after seeing condition of originals. Also used Nyloboard decking for entire floor, no more rot, ever. Was going to get a new outer fender trim ordered, but the shipping was realy high. So if anyone is going south past OODM let me know, I'm in SC.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:07 PM   #72
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Just recently put my shell back on the new frame. Now I'm in the process of puting in bolts and rivets and fenders...Upgraded hold down plates to stainless after seeing condition of originals. Also used Nyloboard decking for entire floor, no more rot, ever. Was going to get a new outer fender trim ordered, but the shipping was realy high. So if anyone is going south past OODM let me know, I'm in SC.

Musicmaster.. did you use Nylosheet G4?

NyloSheet Styles & Sizes
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:17 PM   #73
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1976 31' Sovereign
Sandpoint , Idaho
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Frame Cleanup

This was a busy weekend. I've got the frame out and cleaned up, almost ready for sandblasting. Removed all of the tanks from the frame, and all but one piece of the underframe belly wrap. Which brings me to my question. How in the world are you supposed to remove the sheathing under the main water tank?

I've attached a photo of the area in question. The sheet of metal is sandwiched between the frame and the axle bracket. I can't see anyway to remove it without loosening the back axel brackets.

The good news is that all of the crossmembers of the frame look in good shape. I have at least 3 outriggers that need to be replaced. Also, the frame along the last 3 or 4 feet near the back of the frame are fairly heavily rusted. Clearly the water leakage at the back of the AS has been a long term problem. Now I have to figure out how to identify the outriggers that need to be replaced by some sort of part number.

Removed the customary number of dead and dedaying mice along with a pile of fairly fresh looking rat poison. Starting to wonder if they aren't part of the factory installation process. Spent a lot of time under the frame removing things. Had to force the sheathing down under the main fresh water tank to get it out. That is when I ran into the current problem of how to remove that sheathing. Decided after about 5 hours of working on the frame, and a face full of dirt from the latest repair patch that I removed, to call it a day.

I was surprised by the size of the gray water tank. Seems rather thin but very broad. All the rest of the plumbing came apart easily. Found several places where the plumbing had to be fixed. They just cut into the pan under the dump valves and then patched with another piece of screwed on metal. Guess I'll be having a new pan fabricated somewhere to replace the one removed.

I thought it would be easy to remove the tanks once the plywood flooring was removed. However, I have two additional frame pieces running the length of the frame that prevent any upward removals.

Tomorrow I'll order the marine grade plywood and spend some more time cleaning up the frame by removing a few remaining electrical wires, bits of rivets still present and the spare tire holder so it is ready to go to sandblasting after I get that last piece of underbelly sheathing removed.

Pete
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:58 PM   #74
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This was a busy weekend. I've got the frame out and cleaned up, almost ready for sandblasting. Removed all of the tanks from the frame, and all but one piece of the underframe belly wrap. Which brings me to my question. How in the world are you supposed to remove the sheathing under the main water tank?
Pete if you look at the front of the fresh water tank you will see a piece of angle iron. That piece is bolted on either side to two more pieces of angle iron running front to back. Remove those bolts and the forward piece of angle iron will come out. The fresh water tank is sitting on a 1" thick piece of plywood with a sheet of belly pan on the bottom. Spend some time cleaning away the sealant holding that plywood and the shhet of belly from the two side and the rear piece of angle iron. The plywood should slide forward and come out of the side angle iron. Once it is out far enough support the fresh water tank until the plywood is completely out. Then remove the water tank. I got lucky and mine slipped right out but some others have had to use a block and tackle arrange ment to pull the plywood free.

I've attached a photo of the area in question. The sheet of metal is sandwiched between the frame and the axle bracket. I can't see anyway to remove it without loosening the back axel brackets.
The piece of belly that is sandwiched between the axle brackets and the main frame rails will not come out until the axles are unbolted and dropped down. I just cut around the axle brackets as I was replacing the entire belly pan anyway. For the reinstall I needed to drop the axles to get the new belly pan in place.

The good news is that all of the crossmembers of the frame look in good shape. I have at least 3 outriggers that need to be replaced. Also, the frame along the last 3 or 4 feet near the back of the frame are fairly heavily rusted. Clearly the water leakage at the back of the AS has been a long term problem. Now I have to figure out how to identify the outriggers that need to be replaced by some sort of part number.
Crossmembers are either curbside or roadside, solid or slotted and there are two special crossmembers for the steps. You can use either slotted or solid it doesn't matter. The slotted ones are a weight saving measure. Solid ones are needed at the wheel wells. So curbside ones for the curbside and roadside for the roadside. Each wheel well uses one each of the roadside and curbside solid outriggers. IIRC curbside is curbside in front and roadside in the rear and roadside is roadside in front and curbside in the rear. The only difference is which direction the flange faces. The flange should face away from the wheels so the solid face is against the wheels.

Removed the customary number of dead and dedaying mice along with a pile of fairly fresh looking rat poison. Starting to wonder if they aren't part of the factory installation process. Spent a lot of time under the frame removing things. Had to force the sheathing down under the main fresh water tank to get it out. That is when I ran into the current problem of how to remove that sheathing. Decided after about 5 hours of working on the frame, and a face full of dirt from the latest repair patch that I removed, to call it a day.

I was surprised by the size of the gray water tank. Seems rather thin but very broad. All the rest of the plumbing came apart easily. Found several places where the plumbing had to be fixed. They just cut into the pan under the dump valves and then patched with another piece of screwed on metal. Guess I'll be having a new pan fabricated somewhere to replace the one removed.
If you're talking about the belly pan it is a straight sheet of aluminium which is 65" wide and can be ordered in any length you need. It is available in that special width from any Airstream dealer. I got mine from Inland RV. Using the special width makes for a one piece seamless belly pan just like factory. Aluminium bought anywhere else is only 48" wide so mulitple seams across the trailer must be made every 48" which doesn't always coincide with the crossmembers and more cuts and seams must be made. The wide roll is more expensive but in my opinion better off in the long run, less work for the install and looks better and is also seamless and more watertight.

I thought it would be easy to remove the tanks once the plywood flooring was removed. However, I have two additional frame pieces running the length of the frame that prevent any upward removals.

Tomorrow I'll order the marine grade plywood and spend some more time cleaning up the frame by removing a few remaining electrical wires, bits of rivets still present and the spare tire holder so it is ready to go to sandblasting after I get that last piece of underbelly sheathing removed.
If you pull out the wires going up through the A frame to the tongue jack and break away switch use the old wiring to pull through a rope so that when you are ready you can easily pull new wires back through.

Pete
Pete read what I have inserted into your quote. I had to add these sentences so I could post the inserted information.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:34 PM   #75
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1976 31' Sovereign
Sandpoint , Idaho
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Short night tonight. Got the axles dropped on the curbside and was just moving around to the road side when my neighbor came over and offered to weld the last piece of my flat-bed trailer to wrap up that job... so off I went.

Playing phone tag with Greg at Inland RV. Want to ask him about replacement "U" channel for the very back of the floor. The piece I took out is split in two and is badly corroded by contact with the steel hold down plate on the back.

Thanks for the info Chris. Especially the reminder about the wiring thru the frame... timing was good too. :-)

Axle question: why shouldn't I just buy the axle replacement and re-furbish the electric brakes and drum?

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:46 PM   #76
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1976 31' Sovereign
Sandpoint , Idaho
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Some time very soon (I hope) I'm going to be putting everything back together again. At least as far as the frame and floor is concerned. This brings to mind a number of issues:

1. I think my gray and black water tanks are leak free. I did what I could to clean them out the other day and now they are drying out. The black water tank seems very solid and could probably go back into service. However, the gray water tank seems very flimsy. It was a lot thinner than I thought it would be and it feels more like some sort of bladder than a tank, however, it is clearly meant to be a tank. I'm wondering if that "flimsy" feeling might indicated some sort of degridation in the material?

2. Sensors. I removed everything and will be rewiring everything from scratch. I saw some newer sensors to indicated water levels. Got any recommendations for those?

3. Heating the tanks... or at least keeping them warm. I had a 2.5 inch diameter air flexible air pipe running into the tank areas which I assume was meant as a way to keep things from freezing. Is that still the recommended way to do this? Or has someone come up with a better way that might use electricty to keep things from freezing?

4. I want to be able to drain the fresh water tank dry during the winter. By design, you can't do that. Anyone else done anything to enable the tank to be drained? I'm guessing I can easliy drain the grey and black water tanks... after all they are designed to be drained on a regular basis. (wish the PO had done so! the grey water thank was MUCH worse than the black water tank to clean out).

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:06 PM   #77
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Por15?

Been watching my stripped frame dry off from the rain we just had. How am I going to apply POR15 to the inside of the boxed in part of the frame at the front of the frame? Or should I just ignore that part? Same question about the part of the frame just aft of the boxed in portion where they have cut out circles to reduce weight... that is going to be a bear to get to also.

Anyone tried to thin por15 and spray it in these areas? I could try that... but I'd likely want to buy a cheap sprayer that would be discarded when the job is done, can't imagine being able to clean up the equipment after spraying with por15.

Thoughts?

Pete
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:19 PM   #78
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Pete my whole frame was sprayed and the shop did dilute the POR with the solvent from POR. It worked fine and as long as you don't let the POR dry the equipment will clean up fine.
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:16 PM   #79
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Is it possible to buy replacement channel for the back end of the AS? Mine is in bad shape and split almost in two, at one point.
Pete - is your AS a narrow body? A 76 should be, right? Then Out of Doors Mart sells the c-channels for the front and rear: Floor Channel Bow - Narrow Body104463 [104463] - $58.95 : Out-of-Doors Mart!, More Airstream Parts on-line than anyone!

Although, actully, your c-channel looks to be in better condition than ours was. Ous was actually borken in two, so I fabracated a patch out of angle aluminum, and just bolted it all all back together. If you check out our thread here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f185...b-50967-3.html Post 42 shows what I did.

Chris
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:08 AM   #80
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Sandpoint , Idaho
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Hello gentlemen...

Guess I'll need to buy some thinner today also cause I want to try and spray that POR15 into every possible spot on that frame.

I checked out that floor channel bow at Out of Doors Mart and it looks like the wrong one. I only say that because it seems to include the double 'c' portion to capture the plywood on both sides. The piece I took off only sat on top of the plywood and was bolted to the frame. I wonder what I'll get when the part shows up!? Either way, I'll make it work.

What is wrong with me? I was awake two hours early today (it is now 0500) thinking about a trip to Spokane (90 miles) today, to pick up the marine grade plywood, the POR15 and a visit to Harbor Frieght to see what they might have that I can't live without... must be that darn aluminitis disease... Spent most of that time trying to figure out how I can flip the frame over so I can sandblast and POR15 the underside easier... :-) Hope the wifie doesn't figure out what I was thinking about...

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:10 PM   #81
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Por15?

The frame is ready to drag over to the sandblasting company for an estimate on the cost. I've removed all the remaining bits and pieces.

Is it true that POR15 won't adhear to paint on the frame which means all the paint must be stripped from the frame?

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:40 AM   #82
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In the long run it might be easier to know you're doing the whole frame than trying to decide where to paint and where not to - I left the inside of the ladder frame forward of the axles original w/ new spray paint top coat - but any surfaces to contact aluminum got 3 coats of POR-15, etc. etc..

POR-15 has peeled off where over-coating my OEM frame paint ONLY when heated where welding new outriggers on - acting like a plastic coating over the well-bonded areas of the waxy frame paint but not really protecting the metal is not a total waste of POR but real close.

What is important is getting grease and oil off the surfaces. I used circular wire brushes and the scotchbrite biscuits to remove the OEM frame paint - and found using a solvent for final cleaning just made the paint-filled pits bleed out over the bright clean metal. Once its been stripped use the water-based prep products only or be chasing ghostly yellow-waxy residues bleeding out.

If you do get the frame stripped don't let them remove too much metal by shooting a 'fast' aggregate, the cheapest abrasive available here was coal-slag glass abrasive that left clouds of metal filings behind so was eating 'good' metal. Fast may mean less labor invested for the shop but it also means thinning metals and a springier frame.

POR is paint-over-rust, it likes the texture to bond into. If you go bare metal POR has a treatment to evenly etch and phosphate protect the bare metal.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:21 AM   #83
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Thanks for the info on how you treated your frame... good info. :-) I'm dragging the frame over to the sandblasting shop today for an estimate. I'm guessing it will be out of budget and therefore justify the purchase of a new, higher volume compressor so I can DIY the job using that el-cheapo (but works!) Harbor Freight sandblaster. I used it a few weeks ago on another trailer and it works. Just need to screen the sand to remove the bigger chunks that clog the works. It will take longer but I can sand blast and paint with POR15 in smaller sections.

Glad you mentioned the aggregate. I might have fallen for the faster (cheaper) method if they weren't too out of budget.

Thanks!
Pete
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:01 AM   #84
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You can clean & etch/phosphate treat each segment as you finish but with the POR application save it all for a cooler dry 18-hour paint-a-thon, The second coat going on just as the first one reaches 90% cured (small grab brushing fingertips across it) is everything for the seal.

Example - inevitably there will be bubbles in pits that popped and welds that resist even coatings that the second (even do-over nearly immediately third coat) handles... But to wait until the 1st coat cures means 300-grit sandpaper and maybe two coats over that to catch the spots the sandpaper knocked down to bare metal.

Working from quarts - I used canned-air computer cleaning aerosol to flood the fresh open quart surface and the small glass canning style jars I decanted 2/3rds of the quart into, even sprayed as I poured so the ambient air humidity would not be mixed in and start the curing process, absolutely keep POR off the jar rim and then don't hurry up and slosh tip the container to keep lid free of paint.

- The 2nd quart I only used about half of so had two leftover 10-12 ounce jars of POR that then kept for a year
- It releases CO2 as it cures so if your container starts bulging at all either use it immediately or place in safe spot or outer container for when it leaks.
- I used the recommended dilution and maybe more of their thinner for brushing it on, it stretched the paint and made it very fast to apply. And, yes there was the huge glob of sweat that jumped into the almost fresh 1/2 quart, yes it bubbled some as I brushed it out and yes it helped turn the dregs once I applied most of it into something like melted ice-cream but I swear their thinner kept it from killing the containers' worth.

I ended up reusing the aggregate, screening it to remove the flour & paint dust, time to find a new source if you have irregular grains fresh from the bag.

Maybe if you chose coal-slag a smaller grain size and bring the pressure down, its still scouring metal but not as bad as the huge-grain bags I was sold?
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