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Old 07-31-2011, 08:51 PM   #99
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Are those 1976 dump valves?
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:54 PM   #100
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Hi Pete I would go ahead and change out the dump valves now. Once the belly pan is back in it's a lot harder to change them.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:41 PM   #101
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Hi there!

I don't think the dump valves are original equipment but I'm going to replace them anyway. I certainly agree that it is easier to do so now than after it is all back together again. Will order replacements later tonight from Inland RV.

Drove to the local AS dealer (90 miles each way) to ask about my parts. They are expecting a new coach next week and the outriggers and the floor bow will be on board. They were able to order the outriggers from the factory. So guess I'll be headed back down there again next week.

On the road I was thinking about all of this. Why can't we design access panels into the floor so that maintenance work like replacing dump valves later, is a little easier than cutting into or removing the belly pan?

Also picked up a pint of the POR15 Silver topcoat. Hope to apply that later tonight or tomorrow after work.

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:49 PM   #102
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POR15 on my frame

Here is a pic of my frame as it sits waiting for new outriggers and me to spray the silver top coat.

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Old 08-01-2011, 07:54 PM   #103
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Holding Tank Pic

Ok, this is a pic of the holding tank from my rig. I was talking with the repair tech at my local AS dealer today about the sensors. Basically he said they aren't worth it because the get corroded and stop giving reliable readings. They sell replacement sensors for $2.95 but said you have to drill a new hole to install the new sensors. Don't like that idea at all.

I'm going to look at those external sensors to see what I find... will want to get those in place before I put the new flooring in place.

http://www.petehoyt.com/AirStream/im...oldingTank.jpg

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:26 PM   #104
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Your frame looks really sharp! Did your frame come with those two center rails, that run lengthwise? My '73 Sovereign doe not have those.

Mike
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:54 PM   #105
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My 76 does have the center supports on the original and new frame.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:48 PM   #106
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Hi Mike,

Yes, those are original rails. I'm guessing they are why the factory felt they could go with only 1/2 inch thick plywood.

Pete
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:00 AM   #107
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Quote:
Why can't we design access panels into the floor so that maintenance work like replacing dump valves later, is a little easier than cutting into or removing the belly pan?
How about access hatches through the pan?

Just cutting out hatches leaves leaves vulnerable gaps that are subject to tearing if there is a decent strike - or if vibration sets up an out-of-sight rattle oscillation. Folding back to double-up the opening edges would stiffen (either pan or hatch plate) up but leave pan corners maybe vulnerable. Then what to use as gasket to help defeat ants and water, or ice freeze cycles relaxing the tolerances?

If a backer plate was vulkemed and riveted on to frame the pans' hatch opening would close-spaced 1/8" rivets hold the cut-out piece in place secure enough on the backer-plate lip, sure drilling is required but no band-trim, banana wrap drop or plywood weakened when you get to claw your way back in to evict the norway rat... err, re-gasket the dump valves?
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:20 AM   #108
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I like the idea of reinforced, intentional 'hatches' to access critical points from under the belly wrap. I hate the idea of having to remove that belly wrap ever again! :-)

From the looks of my holding tank pan, it seems a PO just cut out sections of the pan to access the dump valves and then riveted patches of other galvanized steel sheet over the hole. Needless to say, it was a truely crappy way to close up the hole after making necessary repairs. It doesn't make any sense to basically assume that nothing is ever going to fail and seal it all up such that it takes a team of techs or one dedicated DIY'er to access the failed component. Ever seen the number of maintenance access points on a zillion dollar military aircraft?

I'm going to put in intentional access points. I know some people who should have the same! :-)

Pete
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:11 AM   #109
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Hey Pete lookin good!! I wouldn't over do it with the Por 15 top coat unless you are going to just hit the tongue and bumper area. Por 15 doesn't need top coating unless it will be in direct sun. I used por 15 hard nose for these areas. I am going to top coat the bumper with Por15 chrome. Please post pics!!
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:24 PM   #110
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Some Progress/Best Parts Suppliers?

Hi there,

Painted the a-frame and the tail end of the frame with the "sterling silver" POR15 topcoat. Also painted a few other parts I had cleaned up.

Also discovered the joys of sandblasting. Seriously, it is fun if you can get the equipment working... which I eventually did. Of course sometimes sandblasting rust away just reveals the the rust was covering rust-throughs... I'll need to fabricate a replacement for the spare tire holder. Oh well... :-)

Started cutting the new flooring today. It got me thinking about the tanks beneath the flooring and that led to the level monitoring system... Since I'm rebuilding the interior and all electrical systems froms scratch I need to decide what I'm using now so that I can run any below-floor wiring now.

I'm going to use the SeeLevel system.

While cutting the rear panel, I compared the U-Channel from the front and the rear. Was expecting the shape to be the same... not the case at all!

I'd also like to replace my grey water tank if I can find an exact replacement. What Airstream parts suppliers do you recommend I try? I don't see anything remotely like my grey water tank on the InlandRV site.

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:31 PM   #111
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Joining Plywood Flooring?

If you've replaced your factory floor with a new floor, how did you join the pieces of plywood?

That assumes you started with standard 4x8 sheets of plywood.

In my case, I've used 1/2 inch Marine Grade plywood for the new flooring. I'm in the process of cutting it and getting it ready to install.

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:37 PM   #112
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On our '72, we used "gussets" underneath the seams. Basically it's a piece of plywood that spans the width on both sides of the joint by about 2 inches. We glued and screwed it in as we added pieces of plywood. Our frame has every other cross member set 3/4 inch lower to allow for the gussets as that was how it was joined from the factory. We just happened to need to cut off the ends of the plywood sheets, and used that for the gussets so no waste. It's in our Little Girl Refurb thread somewhere...

Kay
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