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Old 04-01-2008, 07:47 AM   #1
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Flooring

Hi,
I'm restoring a 1962 Overlander in the UK. The floor is totally rotten & has to be replaced- do I have to remove the inner skin to remove it? I can't see a way of getting the old one out without doing so.
Thanks
Arjo
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:56 AM   #2
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Yes Arjo, I'm afraid you must. The edge of the floor supports the body; if it is totally rotten, you must take the top off and rebuild it from the frame up.

There are a ton of threads here that describe the process. Use the search function on "floor replacement". When you take it apart, you will also be able to inspect and repair the frame if necessary, and rewire and replumb.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:39 PM   #3
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Some folks have notched the inner liners to gain access to the outrigger bolts without removing entire inner panels - but if you have a lot of flooring in bad shape most likely you need to refresh the insulation and gauge metal corrosion in various places so it's liner's out time....
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
Yes Arjo, I'm afraid you must. The edge of the floor supports the body; if it is totally rotten, you must take the top off and rebuild it from the frame up.

There are a ton of threads here that describe the process. Use the search function on "floor replacement". When you take it apart, you will also be able to inspect and repair the frame if necessary, and rewire and replumb.
Hi Mark,
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I hope you mean just the inner skin & not the whole shell, or I think my wife may divorce me. Anu tips (I real basic stuff I'm not a good DIY type at all & I think I'm in a bit over my head).
thanks a lot
Adrian
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer
Some folks have notched the inner liners to gain access to the outrigger bolts without removing entire inner panels - but if you have a lot of flooring in bad shape most likely you need to refresh the insulation and gauge metal corrosion in various places so it's liner's out time....
Thanks for taking the time to reply. This sounds like a horrible job, but there it is. Could you tell me what size rivets I need to get?
thanks
adrian
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:59 PM   #6
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- dont' want to discourage you, arjo, but it IS a pretty big job...and that's if you have a good set of tools (power and hand) and some experience in home maintenance type stuff...

- you can find many threads on floor replacement...I'm almost finished replacing the bath-only part of my floor:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...air-38434.html
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:53 PM   #7
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Hi Adrian and welcome to the forums. I am repeating the first part of this note here here even though I answered with this in another thread where you asked about the floor in case someone else reading wants the information too. I suggest that you go to the Search function at the top of the forum and search for "floor replace". Also a good place to start is the following thread. If you look at my post number 10 I give some other links to places where I give details about tools and techniques that worked for me.

Removing the body shell and installing new floor completely - any one done this?

In general best approach for you depends on several things. Whether or not you have to take the body off to replace the floor is partly a matter of personal choice and partly a matter of just how bad things are underneath the floor. In my personal opinion the most compelling reason for taking the body entirely off is if you need to either completer replace the frame or if you need to actually take it somewhere else to have it rebuilt. Otherwise it is possible to replace the floor with the body in place. Assuming that you do not have to remove the body because of the above reasons then where you are working on the Airstream has a lot to do with the choice. Leaving the body in place with proper bracing gives you a sort of workshop within which to do the work. In my case I have to do all of my work outside and so leaving the body in place helped with keeping the weather out. It is pretty important to support and brace the body both if you remove it and if you do the work with it in place. There are lots of examples of frameworks for doing this in the forum. I think the thread above shows some examples. If you need more information about this let us know.

Also you may or may not have to remove the belly pan to replace the floor. I removed about half of mine because it was in such bad shape. The other half I was able to leave in place. I was able to replace my floor in that area by using somewhat different techniques for attachment of the floor to the frame.

Removing at least the bottom row of inner skin really does help with a floor replacement. There are screws or bolts through the bottom of the u-channel inside of the bottom of the wall. It is not all that hard to remove the inner skin either. All of the interior rivest are stardard 1/8" diameter aluminum pop-rivets that are pretty commonly available here in the US as most any hardware store. I don't know how hard they would be for you to get in the UK. You can easily remove the riviets by using a 1/8" diameter drill bit to drill them out. Once in a while you will find a rivet that spins instead of drilling out. For that I used a sharp and stiff paint scrapper type of putty knife like a chisel to chop off the head of the rivet. See the picture below. I suggest that you carefully label the parts as you take them off. I wrote on the back sides of mine with an indelible marker. While you may think you will remember where everything goes it might be harder than you think if it takes you longer than you think it will. Also take note of which panel overlaps which panel. One thing that I wish I had done on my panels was to have somehow marked the holes on a given sheet that had rivets that were only under the panel that overlapped it. When you are putting back the underneath panel it is hard to decide which holes to put rivets in and which ones to wait until the overlay sheet is in place to rivet.

I hope this gets you started off on the right foot. Feel free to ask specific questions here in this thread. Also if you like you can send me a personal message.

Malcolm
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium
Hi Adrian and welcome to the forums. I am repeating the first part of this note here here even though I answered with this in another thread where you asked about the floor in case someone else reading wants the information too. I suggest that you go to the Search function at the top of the forum and search for "floor replace". Also a good place to start is the following thread. If you look at my post number 10 I give some other links to places where I give details about tools and techniques that worked for me.

Removing the body shell and installing new floor completely - any one done this?

In general best approach for you depends on several things. Whether or not you have to take the body off to replace the floor is partly a matter of personal choice and partly a matter of just how bad things are underneath the floor. In my personal opinion the most compelling reason for taking the body entirely off is if you need to either completer replace the frame or if you need to actually take it somewhere else to have it rebuilt. Otherwise it is possible to replace the floor with the body in place. Assuming that you do not have to remove the body because of the above reasons then where you are working on the Airstream has a lot to do with the choice. Leaving the body in place with proper bracing gives you a sort of workshop within which to do the work. In my case I have to do all of my work outside and so leaving the body in place helped with keeping the weather out. It is pretty important to support and brace the body both if you remove it and if you do the work with it in place. There are lots of examples of frameworks for doing this in the forum. I think the thread above shows some examples. If you need more information about this let us know.

Also you may or may not have to remove the belly pan to replace the floor. I removed about half of mine because it was in such bad shape. The other half I was able to leave in place. I was able to replace my floor in that area by using somewhat different techniques for attachment of the floor to the frame.

Removing at least the bottom row of inner skin really does help with a floor replacement. There are screws or bolts through the bottom of the u-channel inside of the bottom of the wall. It is not all that hard to remove the inner skin either. All of the interior rivest are stardard 1/8" diameter aluminum pop-rivets that are pretty commonly available here in the US as most any hardware store. I don't know how hard they would be for you to get in the UK. You can easily remove the riviets by using a 1/8" diameter drill bit to drill them out. Once in a while you will find a rivet that spins instead of drilling out. For that I used a sharp and stiff paint scrapper type of putty knife like a chisel to chop off the head of the rivet. See the picture below. I suggest that you carefully label the parts as you take them off. I wrote on the back sides of mine with an indelible marker. While you may think you will remember where everything goes it might be harder than you think if it takes you longer than you think it will. Also take note of which panel overlaps which panel. One thing that I wish I had done on my panels was to have somehow marked the holes on a given sheet that had rivets that were only under the panel that overlapped it. When you are putting back the underneath panel it is hard to decide which holes to put rivets in and which ones to wait until the overlay sheet is in place to rivet.

I hope this gets you started off on the right foot. Feel free to ask specific questions here in this thread. Also if you like you can send me a personal message.

Malcolm
Hi Malcolm,
Thanks ever so for the helpful tips & encouragement. I will undoubtedly take you up on your kind offer to ask specific questions.
I thought I'd do it in sections, starting at the bath/shower end & working forwards. I must say that I'm dreading taking the inner skin off as I'm a bit of a clutz, but if a job's worth doing . . .
Thanks again
Adrian
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:52 PM   #9
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Adrian,

Actually taking off the inner skins mostly just takes time to remove each rivet. Just take your time and it should work out OK.

Malcolm
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:41 AM   #10
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Hi Malcolm,
The UK's metric, but converting 1/8th shouldn't be a problem what is the length of the rivets please?
thanks
Adrian
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:37 AM   #11
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Arjo,
I have a 1962 overlander and did exactly what you are planning to do on the rear half of the trailer. My blog which is below, has extensive pictures of what I did if you care to look it over. I began removing everything on Dec. 7 and we went camping (caravanning in UK speak) last weekend. I personally recommend that you drill out as many of the rivets as you can. I began by shearing them with a putty knife, but found that I had to go back and grind off or drill out the shank left behind. It seems a waste of time to do it twice. There will be rivets that you cannot drill out, and you will be forced to shear them off. I bought solid rivets and olympic rivets from Aircraft Spruce.
Also.... it will get very ugly before it gets better, stay focused and do not get discouraged. If I could do it, well, so can you. Frank
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjo
Hi Malcolm,
The UK's metric, but converting 1/8th shouldn't be a problem what is the length of the rivets please?
thanks
Adrian
As I recall most of the interior rivets can be fairly short since they just go through the inner skin and the body ribs. I think most of mine were in the range of 3/8" long.

Malcolm
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:15 PM   #13
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Hello,

My hubby did a frame off restoration and you may want to as well. The electrical systems are very inadequate in a trailer your vintage, not to mention about a zillion other things. It is doable. Hubby never did one before. Here is a link to his thread, he has lots of pictures and diagrams and discussions on the various issues and questions. Get a cup of coffee and have a long read!

Good luck on your project ~ when finished, it will be awesome! Here is the thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...mbi-17925.html

The best advice I can give... take digital photos of everything, from every angle, and take more than you think you would ever want while disassembling items. They will be a valuable resource when reassemble time comes around!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:54 AM   #14
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pictures

Arjo:

Can you take some pictures of the rotted areas and post them? I bought my airstream thinking it was in great shape and when I removed the carpet I found a rotted floor. Once I started making repairs I found out it was not all that bad. Just the back end was rotted out.

I agree what was posted about having the tools. I bought chinese made tools from a store in the U.S. called harbor freight. If you are not going to be using these tools everyday for the rest of your life I would not buy expensive tools. Get a complete set of wrenches, sockets, drill, jig saw, hand grinder, and a rivet gun.

SIU bound

Brian
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