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Old 09-01-2009, 04:48 PM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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C-Channel - can I salvage?

This past weekend, we replaced the hinge on the rear hatch over the bumper. Did other stuff too, but the focus here is the rear end of Little Girl. The bottom of the hatch frame was bent, so I took the little piece of inside skin off so I could whale on the frame with a block of wood and hammer to straighten it out (which I was very successful at doing btw).

When I took the inside skin off, the pictures below show what I found. Apparently, at some point in the past, a PO had done a repair to the rear floor channel. Not a very good repair in my eyes… But, probably to fix a separation problem I’m guessing. There are 8 bolts total and each one has the frame cut away for access to the nuts.

Anyway, I think I need to replace the rear floor c-channel when I pull the floor out. Thoughts?

Chris
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:32 PM   #2
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
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I don't see the "C" channel as being your biggest problem, but to repair it you could just nest an angle under the bolts and and the vertical legs to double up the cut areas. the best repair would be to replace that section with new and splice the new in with bent up nesting sections or angles. It also looks like the galvanized section behind the "C" is toast also. I replaced mine with a heavy section of aluminum.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:11 PM   #3
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Hmm.... I hadn't looked behind the c-channel as yet. I thought that was the outer skin, but, after seeing the rust in the picture, I see that it's certainly not aluminum!

I do know we have a lot of steel repairs we need to do to the rear end of the frame. Rust, missing pieces here and there, etc. Nothing will surprise me too much once I remove the belly skin and floor and get a really good look at the condition of everything hidden.

Aerowood, I do like your ideas on how to repair the c-channel. Sounds easier than replacing the entire thing, provided that the rest of the channel is structurally sound. Starting this weekend, I'll be removing the belly skin, and then I'll start having a better idea of what's what underneath.
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:02 PM   #4
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1965 20' Globetrotter
Fairfield , Connecticut
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Hey Chris, I think I'm at just about the same stage you are. I'm working on 65 GT. I pulled the floor at rear this week and the two areas along the back,just before it starts to curve, were very wet. I went out and removed the trim piece,which was missing a few rivets and away from the skin. I found th hinge flange to be completely loose and that there are two pieces af allum. to fill in where the trunk lid curved. These two conditions were directing all water to the interior floor and the u chanel that supports it at rear. Your picture looks as if it was taken in my trailer. I am now concerned that I will have to remove shell to repair frame. Something I had hoped to avoid. I hope you do not find the same conditions but thought it was worth mentioning. Good luck with your project, Jim
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:34 PM   #5
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Hi Jim,

We’re a bit ahead of you I think. Check out http://www.airforums.com/forums/f185/little-girl-refurb-50967-3.html
starting at post 30. We’ve taken the rear end of her apart, did repairs, and put the rear end back together again. We had a bit of luck in that a PO had done a rear end separation repair before, albeit badly, but there was extra iron added to the frame to tie the rear end frame to the shell better. And we added to that some, so I think it’s the strongest section of frame to floor to shell attachment on her now, instead of being the weakest. Can’t see it in the pics, but we put a lot of vulkum in that seam as well, between the shell and the c-channel/plywood.

You can do frame repairs without removing the shell – depending on what needs to be repaired. Our actually wasn’t too bad. Rust, and few sagging outriggers, but no broken main frame pieces, or cracks, or a sagging frame.

Good luck with your Airstream! Good thing this is fun, right??

Chris
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