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Old 07-18-2010, 11:21 PM   #1
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1963 16' Bambi
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C Channel Replacement

Hey everybody. So, in the process of removing the floor to my 63 bambi, some of the c channels got mangled. I plan to fashion some new ones-doesn't seem too hard...(famous last words). Anyway, has anyone done this? What thickness aluminum should be used? Any other tips? Thanks,
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:52 PM   #2
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anyone?
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:18 AM   #3
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I have the C channel at the rear covered up again (fixed some rear end separation), so this isn't exact - but it's on around the order of .040". The ribs are much thicker.

If the channel section is straight, you can make it as thick as you can bend; the curved sections are trickier, of course; going overboard there will just make things more difficult.

When replacing that floor, try some coats of marine epoxy at least over the outer six inches of the floor; this will keep slow leaks from causing problems. Also, coat the underside of the wood where it rests on the frame, and paint the frame w/ a good moisture-cured polyurethane... if steel gets wet next to wood, it rusts - and the rust attacks the wood something fierce.

Oh yes - and while you're there, if your Bambi has the same terrible rear end design as our 71 Tradewind - fix it. The bumper storage compartment cover doesn't belong under the C channel - and the rear hold down plate should be made of stainless; steel and aluminum should not be in direct contact anywhere near water.

Lastly, use stainless bolts and self-locking nuts to hold the C channel to the floor & frame.

- Bart
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:12 AM   #4
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thanks for the great advice! one question-what are you referring to when you say "rear hold down plate"?
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadtrip07 View Post
thanks for the great advice! one question-what are you referring to when you say "rear hold down plate"?
There is a bent angle plate at the very rear of my trailer; it's bolted between the rear frame cross member and the plywood floor, and then bends up to follow the rear of the trailer; it is riveted to the C channel, but not to the skin, interestingly enough.

On my trailer, the rear storage compartment top is hinged to a sheet of aluminum, which anchored just underneath the hold down plate and on top of the frame. This design leads water directly to the frame & plywood... and everything starts rusting, corroding and rotting...

I replaced the rear hold down plate with one bent from .060 304 stainless, and riveted the plate to the skin as well. I omitted the hinge mounting sheet entirely, and am placing an heavy aluminum angle between the frame rails to support the top of the storage compartment. Water is going to enter that compartment; I'd rather not have the water end up under the floor of the trailer...

- Bart
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