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Old 10-17-2012, 08:01 AM   #15
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So, the door won't close all the way at the bottom, right? The door frame is in it's proper place and bolted to the outriggers through the plywood floor? If yes, then your door itself is wracked. The door can be re-curved.

There are some threads on the forums on how to do that. We have a few pictures on how we re-curved our door in our Little Girl thread http://www.airforums.com/forums/f185...b-50967-6.html in post 76. I made a plywood template (1/2" plywood) to match the curve of the door frame on both sides of the door (two templates), and used them as a guide to get the correct curve on both sides of the door. It's fairly easy to get the door to match the curve of the template on the non-hinge side because you can clamp the door to the template. Harder to do that on the hinge side though. From what I've read on the forums, it would be easier to re-curve your door if you take it off the trailer. I'll probably do that next year.

One thing to watch for. When you take the inner skins off to re-curve the door, look at the door frame and see if it's cracked anywhere. If yes, you should get the cracked repaired. Your door frame is probably cast aluminum, which would be difficult to weld back together. I read in one thread where someone fixed his cracked frame with an aluminum brazing type kit, which I bought to repair my door frame (that next year door project again). If I can find the link for that kit again, I'll post it here.

Chris
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:37 PM   #16
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One thing conspicuously absent is absolute opening measurements.

From my two trailers:

1972 = 28-1/2" exactly top to bottom; old style door, frame skinned over.

1973 = 28-9/16" top; 28-11/16" bottom; two hinge w/ external frame.

What says you?
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:25 PM   #17
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I have done a lot of auto body work and frame straightening in my day, restored 2 Airstreams and one Avion, and after reading what you have done I think I know what's wrong. When you re did the floor in the front, the radius on the corners was off just a little. It was a little large, so when the aluminum skin wrapped around it, since the distance around the right front corner was longer by only 1/2" or so the door jam gap got wider as the the side wall got used up by the bigger radius. This would not have happened if the door jam was still welded in all 4 corners but your was broken in the lower right corner. Thus allowing it to spread. The fix is to re do the front floor with a little less radius so the walls will come back toward the door to even out the gaps. The C channel will need to be un fastened from the floor so that the wall can move. Hope this all makes sense. Good luck, Brian
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:13 PM   #18
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I will check my door measurements.
I am at about the same conclusion about the front radius. This is the only place there was a deviation from the original. Also in trying to keep things as water tight as possible I scribed to the outside of the aluminum along the radius leaving just within the line.(measure twice cut once)
The real problem right now the winds are 40 gust to 70 for the next 48+ hours, so hopefully I have secured the shell, if not I'm sure upon landing on the prairie it will cure my door problem.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:34 PM   #19
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The one visible, or multiple(?) welds (is it OEM or repairs?) on the cracked bottom frame threshold may have introduced some 'spread' to the equation too... the shadow line air gap on both sides shows either its being pulled apart or debris in the gap kept it from closing up when/if strain was released...
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:11 PM   #20
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Dang, what he just said... The weld in one of the photos is all wrong and that is where the twist is. The frame broke, was welded improperly and broke again.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:49 PM   #21
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Thanks Wabbiteer and Frank. Frank I have been trying to call today to discuss this repair. Sounds like you fellows have seen this before. How should this door jamb/sill weld be performed.
All I have is FCAW unit so I will have to bring in a local welder. I would like to have everything cleaned, and jigged up where he can just weld.
All Advise will be greatly appreciated,
Thanks,
Jack
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:54 AM   #22
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Fortunately, I have not had to deal with this issue. When you go looking for a welder to fix this, ask to see some examples of the aluminum he or she(you can only hope, lady welders do awesome work compared to their male counterparts. Yes, sexist but true) has done. Steel is a piece of cake, stainless is a challenge, but aluminum is a whole other ball of wax. Once you find a welder who does good work, they will know exactly how to fix this issue. I think it will be a matter of cutting out the old weld and then filling it back in with new material once it is in the proper position. I would also suggest you look just forward of the door and make sure that the section of channel is in the right plane with the door. In the photos it looks as though the bottom lip is pushed out just a little. This might be because it is not in as far as it should be. This might also be due to the bad weld(s). I think you might also have a little adjustment on the hinges, but am not certain on this. The 71 we are currently doing has a different door hinge, but allows for a lot of adjustment via bolts holding it onto the door. Your era is just a little younger than we normally deal with.

Sorry I missed your call. I left my phone charger at home and the battery died first thing in the morning. Try me today and hopefully I can help you out.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:47 AM   #23
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Well it looks like I have shot myself in the foot on this repair.

There are only two welding shops in town (40 miles away) I have contacted both one there building burnt down recently and is out of business and the other will not return my call after repeated attempts to get them to come out to do the welding of the door frame.
I am about at my wits end on this one. The only other thing I can think of is to drill out the rivets around the door, pull the door and frame, take to Sioux Falls or Rapid City 3.5 to 4.5 hours away
As it is now the trailer shell will have to be raised to make the necessary weld, I have it clecoed in place at this time. I just didn't won't to remove the door/frame .
So I guess my question to all the experienced airstreamers is; How difficult is the door to pull and realign and install. After removal should I make a jig to hold the door frame in shape while the frame is being welded.
Any and all advise will be appreciated,
thanks
Jack
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