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Old 06-12-2013, 08:57 AM   #1
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1972 25' Tradewind
fort lauderdale , Florida
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Floor channel questions

Hello Airstream faithful,

My question today is about the Floor C-channel and side channel aluminum. I recently removed the front c-channel and most of the side channel aluminum to clean up, paint and reinstall with new flooring. I was originally going to do a shell on but have since realized I may as well go all the way and remove the shell.
I would like to know, even with exact measurements of where the FC (floor channel) was originally fastened to the frame, it seems that lining up the shell to the FC perfectly (existing rivet holes) is going to be quite the task. Drilling new holes, in an already swiss cheese piece of FC does not seem like a good option.
Did any of the members doing a shell off just replace their FC with new pieces and drill new holes or is realigning the shell with the FC easier than I think?
I have posted a pic of a couple pieces of my FC pre cleanup and paint.

thanks in advance

Eric
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:58 AM   #2
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1976 27' Overlander
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JUST did this... I had the same thoughts on what/ how I was going to do this. It was actually pretty easy.

I installed the new flooring with the C-channel in place, but did not secure the channel. Then I rolled the frame under the shell and lowered it down. At that point I went around the perimeter to see how everything lined up. I used a hammer and/or a block of wood to tap the C-Channel forward or backward til the holes lined up. I inserted clecos as the lined up. On a couple of them, I had to jack up the floor/ frame from underneath to align the height of the holes.

Gotta say it was a pretty cool feeling to get everything realigned after such a feeling of chaos when everything was apart.

Hope that helps.
Mic
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:16 AM   #3
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Thank you Mixter,

That did cross my mind as one of the easier solutions. I'm glad to hear it worked for you, which means there's hope for me.

thank you again
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:29 AM   #4
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Lets see some pics when you get a chance. Would love to see how you're coming along!
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:39 AM   #5
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I just finished my belly pan, closing up access to the bottom side where the "C" channels attach, we had new channels made up and will be drilling thru existing holes in shell into new "C" channel, I think this will give me a good secure attachment.

Access to some bolts will be available just before buttoning up, so Mixters approach may be possible depending of how the shell if configured.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:53 AM   #6
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That looks good. I so badly wanted to attach all my belly pans when I had the trailer flipped over with the rotisserie. But there were so many things I still needed to address before I start closing up the side wraps. I just wanted to get my shell back on to dry-in my new frame and floor before the FL rainy season... I ended up mocking up all the underside, and pre-drilling any new attachment points, etc, so that its ready to go and will be relatively easy install while on my back underneath. I only installed the center belly skins then flipped back over and landed the shell. Now I still have access to the underside for getting it all re-attached.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:53 AM   #7
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I recently went through this as well. My plan was to replace all of the C-channel that goes along the sides, but the replacement stuff I bought had a tighter throat on it than the original and would not fit properly over the plywood, so I had to abandon the idea and use the original channel. When I dropped the shell back in place, I did as described above, moving the channels around slightly trying to get the holes to line up. Some of them did, but some of them wouldn't, no matter what I tried. I finally gave up in disgust and drilled new holes. I too had posted a question about this on the forums, and the responses I got were mixed--some drill new holes, some don't, so I decided to quit obsessing about it and drill.
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:34 PM   #8
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Yes Mixter,
Seems we are both dealing with the Florida rainy/hurricane season....especially these last few weeks.

As far as the attaching the banana wraps, I don think I'll be ready to put the wraps on at the same time as I drop the shell back on. I'll try, but if not, I was thinking of just attaching the shell with "some" strategically placed rivets around the perimeter, seeing as the B-wraps slide in between the shell and channel and they seem to share most rivet holes...except for a few blind, frustrating rivets I found during removal.

i'll try to get some pics on Mixter as soon as I can.

cheers

Eric
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:16 PM   #9
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FWIW... I originally really wanted to install EVERYTHING underneath while I had it flipped over. However, I'm now glad I didn't. Now I can take my time and finish up anything that needs to be accessed under the floor because the side wraps aren't on yet.

One thing to note for your specific application... DFlores has a '68. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think on the 60's, the wraps go on first, THEN the shell overlaps it- so I dont think he has the same option. My '76 isn't like that. The shell goes on first, then the wraps (I dont recall if they go "over" the shell, or "up to" the shell). Whether that's inferior design for shedding water or not is discussed in other threads. I dont think it will bother me because I did not re-install fiberglass insulation underneath, AND I'm not sealing up the belly with vulkem. I'm leaving all my seams loose underneath so if (more accurately WHEN) water enters it will simply drain or dry out.

I think now that I'm at this stage, leaving them off is advantageous if you can.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:19 PM   #10
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oh, and Belegedhel.... lets see some pics of your progress too! You're driving this train!
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