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Old 05-16-2009, 03:48 PM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Dallas , Texas
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Damaged Rib repair

Our 76 airstream recently lost a fight with a telephone pole and pushed 2 ribs in a little. The thing is that I can definitely see the indention, but I think the skin would flatten out and return to form.
Question is "What is involved in repairing the ribs?? Do you get to them from the inside or outside?
Any articles or resources to look at about repair .vs. replacement?
Nothing broken and I hope the creosote can be polished off te skin on the outside.
Appreciate any help you can give.
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:08 PM   #2
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I have a 75 Sovereign that got a snow dump ... It needs 2 new ribs (plus a bit of tweaking on some others). The repair required removing the inside skin. New ribs are shipped shaped for the curve but without any dimples for the runners or wiring harnesses. It appears that the general policy is to not to replace an entire rib but just a damaged section of it.

Aluminum stretches but does not shrink back. You'll likely have a few wrinkles.
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpark01 View Post
Our 76 airstream recently lost a fight with a telephone pole and pushed 2 ribs in a little. The thing is that I can definitely see the indention, but I think the skin would flatten out and return to form.
Question is "What is involved in repairing the ribs?? Do you get to them from the inside or outside?
Any articles or resources to look at about repair .vs. replacement?
Nothing broken and I hope the creosote can be polished off te skin on the outside.
Appreciate any help you can give.
Repairing or replacing a section of a main bow, depends on where it's located.

That dictates, repairing from the inside or outside, depending on what may have to be removed to get to it.

Andy
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:56 AM   #4
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1962 26' Overlander
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from the inside, you need to do it from the inside... from the outside would cause you to have to use olympic rivets to replace the panel in the end. Some will say that it is okay, but those who know, know skin must be bucked back into place.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:10 AM   #5
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tools

As with any tool or tools, the end result depends many times on the user.

Olympic rivets, properly installed, properly sealed, have a positive unblemished history of over 35 years.

But there will always be the "nay sayers."

Andy
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:56 AM   #6
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I am not going to get into a pissing match over this. I made my recommendation. If you want to PM I will glad to give you some pointers. There is the right way and there is the easy way. Good luck.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:59 AM   #7
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What about replacing a section of the side?

What about replacing a section of the side? Will it look ok?
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:57 AM   #8
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It would help if you could post a picture of the damage
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:34 PM   #9
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No photo available

Sorry, I just took the trailer to our nearest airstream repair facility, did not get a photo prior to drop-off. They agree with the outside approach, so now I am waiting for an estimate before proceeding...
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