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Old 04-07-2008, 12:19 PM   #99
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stubborn & rusted screws

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Originally Posted by vhord
That's a good idea. I actually have one of those somewhere and had forgot about it. It is Great Neck brand however but works on the same principal. Thanks for the heads up. Now where did I put that???

Vernon
Thanks guys. The impact driver tool sounds like something I could have used a few weeks back. As you can imagine there are lots of rusted phillips head screws on this rig inside and outside. I have been using a pair of vise grips to get the rusted screws moving securing the window screens and interior window molding. I'm not sure, however, that the impact driver would work in such a delicate setting such as around windows.

During the process of removing the banana wrap on either side of the door frame I didn't realize that the wrap wasn't riveted behind the door frame. So I began removing two philips head screws on the bottom lower corners of the door frame. Those screws were rusted and stuck tight in place and very quickly the phillips head rounded out. This process was going downhill fast and before I knew it I had knocked the heads off the screws with an angle grinder. I think my idea was to obtain a flat surface and drill the screw out.

My little hand held miketa drill doesn't seem to have the horsepower to tap those screws. Now I'm not so sure how to remove the old screw. Probably need to try an electric drill to get a tap hole started. Someone suggested an "easy out" which is based, I think, on the tapping process. Here are a few photos showing where I am at this point with these screws.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:09 PM   #100
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Screws & Framing Around Windows

I'm in the process of removing the lower interior skins to access the floor channel. Eventually this shell is going to float! As I suggested previously the screws around the window molding are either stubborn or rusted or both. After I removed the window molding I discovered that the lower window frame support (not sure if this is the correct term) was completely detached from the window frame itself! I suppose it was only being held up by the molding screws! Now how did that window frame support detach from the window frame with all those rivets!? I was guessing that the window frame rivets somehow missed attaching to the support frame but the holes are there in the support framing and the window frame seems securely attached to the outer skin. I love the mystery and discovery involved in this work!
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:39 PM   #101
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The steel in the screws has been hardened - you will need a tiny Cobalt alloy drill bit to make pilot hole where you need one to be, then another cobalt drill to enlarge it to get a tap in. I've drilled Stainless Steel with a 2 "AA" cell 60rpm $4 screwdriver before (standing on tiptoes on roof to reach chimney flue liner & cap 40' off ground) so I know it has nothing to do with the drill, just the drill bit. Break the EZ-out off and I disclaim any advice was ever offered

You can also try a little percussion on it to relax the bite the corrosion has on the aluminum, straight on and 45° taps with a punch. Even if you don't see anything it will have weakend the rust weld bond or moved some aluminum.

I believe that is one job on mine that I simply cut the heads off flush and tore off the wrap utterly convinced notching the new wrap there & plenty of Vulkem will be the way it gets reinstalled...
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:52 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer
The steel in the screws has been hardened - you will need a tiny Cobalt alloy drill bit to make pilot hole where you need one to be, then another cobalt drill to enlarge it to get a tap in. I've drilled Stainless Steel with a 2 "AA" cell 60rpm $4 screwdriver before (standing on tiptoes on roof to reach chimney flue liner & cap 40' off ground) so I know it has nothing to do with the drill, just the drill bit. Break the EZ-out off and I disclaim any advice was ever offered

You can also try a little percussion on it to relax the bite the corrosion has on the aluminum, straight on and 45° taps with a punch. Even if you don't see anything it will have weakend the rust weld bond or moved some aluminum.

I believe that is one job on mine that I simply cut the heads off flush and tore off the wrap utterly convinced notching the new wrap there & plenty of Vulkem will be the way it gets reinstalled...
I know what you mean about the possibility of breaking off an ez-out. I've done that before. The ez out would be very small in this case and thus easy to break. And these screws are "welded" in tight. So I've got to be very careful, using the percussion and drilling techniques, or maybe, as you suggest, I polish off the grinding a bit more and let the sleeping screw-dog lie... I'll try smaller drill bits. You can see the drilling tending to wander over into the aluminum a bit in one of the photos before I decided to stop.
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:11 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocoque
Thanks Malcolm. I wondered how folks were removing and reinstalling full sheets of flooring given the way the flooring fits inside the c-channel at the base of the midship walls. What about reinstalling? To reinstall it seems it must be necessarily to create an extra front to back seam. Of course there are no factory seams lengthwise. So I am trying to imagine how the factory installed the full sheets? Possibly flexed the walls out slightly? I posted a photo of the floor channel in no. 54 of this thread.
I did in fact reinstall with a lengthwise seam down the middle. I actually reinstalled my floor twice because I mistakenly used presure treated plywood the first time before I found out that it is ultra corrosive to metal - especially aluminum. The second install used Polyboard instead of plywood. For the plywood version of my install I installed the middle sheets lengthwise on each side of the centerline and put a spline down the middle with glue and screws. When I installed my Polyboard I also put a splice and spline down the middle but I added my sheets in 4' sections mostly because they were a little easier to handle by myself. The Polyboard is a little heavier than the plywood. I believe that some people in the forum have flexed the body out a bit to get the c-channel in place. I would be a bit reluctant to do that because it would be easier for the wall to fall off of the ends of the outriggers. I did have bracing in place that would prevent that so it might have been OK but I still favor an approach that distorts the body as little as possible. In my case I found that the middle on the curb side had slid out some because of floor rot in that area and had to pull it back into place with a ratcheting luggage strap.

I think for the original build that the c-channel might have been installed on the plywood before the body was set on the frame. Maybe even before the body was attaced to the u-channel.

Malcolm
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:31 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocoque
I know what you mean about the possibility of breaking off an ez-out. I've done that before. The ez out would be very small in this case and thus easy to break. And these screws are "welded" in tight. So I've got to be very careful, using the percussion and drilling techniques, or maybe, as you suggest, I polish off the grinding a bit more and let the sleeping screw-dog lie... I'll try smaller drill bits. You can see the drilling tending to wander over into the aluminum a bit in one of the photos before I decided to stop.
I used a dremmel tool cutoff to cut the slot in the screw down until I was into the shaft of the screw, with caution not to go too deep. A simple twist of the screwdriver would break off half the screw head. I would then use the dremmel and cut the second half of the screw head off. Very little is left holding it on. It takes a little caution, but with a hundred or so screws, you get the practice and quickly develop the skill.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:56 PM   #105
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Looks like I'm joining the ranks

Great post and photos, after owning 3 conventional mortal type campers I was always intrigued by the airstreams. I recently bought a 94 30 excella in pretty decent shape. After reading all the threads on here I could I still found myself kind of looking for the project airstream.....well today I happened upon a 73 25 tradewind that the owner was itching to get rid of. It seems nothing works on it, the superstructure seems to be ok,the door opens and closes,the windows work, one is shattered, there are no keys to get into the compartments, the inside door latch is gone, the hot water heater is out, the ac shround supposedly blew off in the chesapeake bay, it was recently towed from Maryland to Wilmington, NC so it does roll! All if the inside fixtures are intact and the interior looks pretty decent. These are just a few of the things I know what is wrong with it, I am sure there is much more. There is is good bit of rust etc on the rear under the bath, the side of the step is weak. From what I could see underneath with a flashlight the outer frame seems to be ok. I have a very good friend that welds. Anyway thanks for sharing your story as I guess mine is no worse. I towed it home and it sure seemed to act normal, of course my powerstroke thought it was a rag doll! From what I gather here and not to interupt your thread I should remove the entre belly pan and inspect, is the belly pan something I should try to salvage or just replace??? By the way I gave the guy 800.00 for this unit and the tits are still on the brand new trailer tires, guess they are worth something! So I thought the little headliner job was tough on the excella , guess I got something to work on now......somebody make me feel goooood.......

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Old 04-08-2008, 10:52 PM   #106
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a path of greatest resistance

Quote:
Originally Posted by sluggo
After reading all the threads on here I could I still found myself kind of looking for the project airstream.....well today I happened upon a 73 25 tradewind...From what I gather here and not to interupt your thread I should remove the entre belly pan and inspect, is the belly pan something I should try to salvage or just replace??? guess I got something to work on now.
At least you bought your trailer knowing what you were in for. Obviously I was a naive buyer, probably stupid, and should have done the research on how to inspect a trailer in advance of my purchase. I have also been lucky to have had many opportunities to tow this trailer back to the trees it was sitting under. The PO is a close friend and believe it or not I still have a standing offer to rescend the purchase!

That being said I really like this trailer, for some reason, and I really enjoy working on it in my spare time. I wasn't really looking for the easy way out in the first place. In fact several close friends strongly suggested I should purchase a trailer I could use immediately and wouldn't require any work. Instead I decided to take a path of greatest resistance...come what may! Sort of like Ahab I'm pursuing this white (silver) whale to the end...I even tossed my pipe overboard. I haven't regretted that decision....yet. This is a great forum and as you can see there are a lot of really friendly folks here willing to share their experience and give support along the way.

Concerning your question. This is my first trailer and I don't have a lot of experience just a bit of curiosity. I first noticed a section of rotten floor and some rust on the frame and began inspecting it further. Obviously my initial inspection has grown to eventually include the entire frame. I suggest not getting in too big of a hurry. Work as slowly as possible, deliberately, step by step. Take lots of pictures and keep a notebook of key information.

Inspect the frame first without removing anything. If you suspect rust damage from a visual inspection without removing anything gradually begin removing the banana wraps one at at time. Remember to label everything because you'll eventually have to reverse your moves. As rock climbers understand don't climb up something you can't climb back down! Good luck!
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:02 PM   #107
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Dremmel Method - Screw Removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by FC7039
I used a dremmel tool cutoff to cut the slot in the screw down until I was into the shaft of the screw, with caution not to go too deep. A simple twist of the screwdriver would break off half the screw head. I would then use the dremmel and cut the second half of the screw head off. Very little is left holding it on. It takes a little caution, but with a hundred or so screws, you get the practice and quickly develop the skill.
This method works great. I've been removing stubborn screws from the window screen frame and other places as a step to removing the lower inner skins. After the screw heads are "popped" off I can now easily remove the frame. Then using a pair of vice grips its an easy step to remove the remaining part of the screw from the frame! Thanks.
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:09 PM   #108
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I purchased my first Dremel to work on my 67.
I love it.
Every DIY needs one.
Great for cutting off rusted bolts or screws.
Vice-grips are another must have.
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:23 PM   #109
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I've been out of pocket for about a week tending to other obligations and so this shell-levitation-project has been on the back burner.

But today I was able to jump back in and remove the remaining inner skins. The curb and street side sheets are long and seamless spanning almost the entire length of the trailer. I rolled them up to save storage space.

After inspecting the bolts in the u-channel I discovered two that just simply lifted out with fingers! Totally rusted. Several will only need a slight twist with the pliers!

Here's few shots of the interior with all the lower inner skins removed! Houston: "we're very, very close to floating this shell."
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:41 PM   #110
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curb side frame, forward of axles

I'm still finding frame rot, now forward of the axles curbside. Street-side, forward of the axles, looks okay. 100% of the belly pans are now removed.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:33 PM   #111
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Tip for scrubbing skins...

I too rolled my skins up to save space...

One little tip about cleaning your skins that worked for me. While I had them out I rolled them out on the lawn and used a small floor buffer with a scrub brush and soap to clean them up. I was then able to stand them up on edge by rolling them very loosely so that they would dry. A few pieces of grass on the back side hosed off easily enough once they were up on edge. If you don't have a floor buffer I suggest a good car was brush of some sort.

Malcolm
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:39 PM   #112
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Todd,

You might want to be a little carefull when you get all of the fasteners loose at the botton of the wall. The body in middle area on the sides has a little tendency to want to spread outward. If it does it can either fall off the end of the outriggers or at least bend up the bottom part of the c-channel making it a little harder to get you new flooring inplace. On thing you can easily do to help with this is to use a ratcheting luggage strap from side to side of the body to keep it pulled in.

Malcolm
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