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Old 04-09-2004, 08:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ken J
Don

My thinking is to cut the belly along the frame. Then drop as much of the wraps as I can. Then when I put it all back together, I plan to put a new sheet of metal up the middle - between the frame and rivet the new skin and the belly wraps to the frame. This is how the belly is put on my 75, so I figured it would work here.

I need to wait till the weather warms up - as of now I'm doing lot of major thinking and planning.

Ken
Ken,

Great plan. I was planning to do the same, but more to provide access to my plumbing, tanks, and wiring. Makes a lot of sense to do it as part of your floor replacement. I think 59Toaster is doing that also.
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Old 04-10-2004, 04:54 PM   #16
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Alright, I'm going to take the shell off.

By the way, the toilet is still stuck.
So's the shower drain. No lifty, no turny. Arms breaky.

So I'll be taking the shower pan (aka bathroom floor) out and just tearing the pipes/connections upward, through what's left of the floor.
I was able to cutoff the pipes from underneath.

Now, as soon as I rinse the steel out of my eye, I'll wish you all a happy Easter & a nice weekend.

I'll post more, but I won't be looking at the trailer again for at least another week.

-Chuck
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Old 04-11-2004, 12:04 AM   #17
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Chuck,

Before you make your final decision, review Ken's idea above. If you want to cut the belly pan open between the frame rails, you may be able to reach far enough in to get at the perimeter bolts. Just a suggestion.
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Old 04-11-2004, 07:51 AM   #18
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I DO like that idea, Don.

I assume I'd cut the belly pan just inside the frame rails, so I have that area to fasten the side pieces to the frame with, right?

I could reach the bolts (maybe) with a long-handled ratchet...

And then fashion a new piece (that extends from across the far side of one rail to the far side of the other).
Does that sound right?

I think I like that idea better than taking the whole belly pan off..
Wait, I need to drill the rivets out anyway if I'm going to lift the shell...

Ahhh....what to do.
-Chuck
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Old 04-11-2004, 09:07 AM   #19
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I was hoping to see a body on floor replacement. I've heard that others have done it, but have never seen it documented.

The main thing is you want to leave enough wrap material to rivet to the frame. Then the new piece can be cut to fill between the frame. In my case the belly material is pretty bad anyway, so its got to be replaced anyway.

I've got some wrap repairs to do, so I'm hoping I can use the old belly wrap material (think I have enough) to fix the wrap so as to use orginal looking material.

The thing I've not figured out - and won't till I get into it - is up front where the frame narrows and there is more wrap "outside" the frame. I'm thinking about cutting that out to within 6in or so, then, when I put it back together (neatly) use lots of rivets and vulcem to put a piece in between that cut edge and the frame. - would use one piece of metal across the entire front of the trailer. Also plan to use about 4 foot sections so it I ever have to get back into the belly, don't have to take off the whole bottom - sheets do come in 12 foot lengths.

Looking forward to the weather warming up so I can get this started - 4 inches of snow this morning yuk!

Ken
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Old 04-11-2004, 09:52 PM   #20
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Don-
Question for ya. (or anyone).....
Don, in your nice, detailed instructions, you say to drill out the rivets (and we're talking about the exterior ones, I believe)- and you said to use a #30 drill bit. The #30 seems too small, no?
The Olympic rivets (that I am assuming I'll replace these with) are more like a #20 or #21 by diameter.
Are the rivets that I'll be drilling out strangely smaller in diameter? (I doubt this, since the heads are so darned large).
Did you mean, by chance, to use the #30 for the interior rivets (although to me, 1/8" seems to be a better choice there)?

And am I correct to assume that I'll be replacing the exterior rivets with Olympics? (I know that under the front and the rear, the rivets are neatly hidden behind the screwed-in rubrail, and the rivets on the sides are quite obvious).

Thanks for all the great info so far.
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Old 04-12-2004, 10:42 AM   #21
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Chuck,
Yeah, you're probably right on the drill sizes. I can't remember much anymore. I found the numbered bits at a local hardware store, then dressed them up on my "Drill Doctor" so they have a nice split point. Centers really nice on the little dimple.
As for replacing the exterior rivet, I'll be using regular bucked rivets, which are cheaper and a lot faster to put in, and don't need to be shaved afterwards. That's the advantage of removing the lower interior panels, you have access to both sides for rivetting.
If you are going to do a double clamshell and section the belly pan, like KenJ, then you would probably be better off using Olympics. As you said, the front and back rivets will be covered by the rubrail, and the few you may need to replace on the body make bucked rivets less important, economically.

But if you doing a shell lift, and replacing all the lower rivets, I think the bucked rivets are the way to go.
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Old 04-12-2004, 02:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
But if you're doing a shell lift, and replacing all the lower rivets, I think the bucked rivets are the way to go.
Sounds like a fine idea to me.
I've got a little time to decide if I'll pull the shell on not (but I DO expect to at this point).
What equipment will I need if I want to buck real rivets?
There are some good rental centers nearby - can I expect to be able to rent what I need for a day?
Thanks.
-Chuck
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Old 04-12-2004, 05:31 PM   #23
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Bucked rivets

Quote:
Originally Posted by funchucky1
Sounds like a fine idea to me.
I've got a little time to decide if I'll pull the shell on not (but I DO expect to at this point).
What equipment will I need if I want to buck real rivets?
There are some good rental centers nearby - can I expect to be able to rent what I need for a day?
Thanks.
-Chuck
Chuck,
You won't find rivet tools at your local rental place, unless you live near an air base or aviation facility. Here is a good primer on bucking rivets.
RV rivets
There are lots of kits available on the web. Do a little research, or I can send you some other sites. Plan to spend $300 for a good kit, including a #3X rivet gun, bucking bars, clecos and clamps. Less if you want to try eBay.
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Old 04-12-2004, 08:57 PM   #24
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OK, Don.
I get the idea.
I read all the rivet stuff. My kind of exact precision, frankly.
But $300 is clearly prohibitive, when I'm looking at MAYBE a couple hundred rivets. Olympics may be the way to go (well, at least if I can rent a shaver from someone).

I DO know that a local rental place rents air rivet guns (but I fear it's for pop rivets, I'll have to go and look myself), but I think it's only for large rivets - aka 1/4" diameter minimum.

Anyway, am I correct in thinking that using a #21 drill bit (or 5/32") to drill out the bucked rivets around the outside, then replacing them with 5/32" Olympic rivets (and shaving them, somehow) will suffice? I've been able to do a nice job on the Olympic rivets with a Dremel tool.

Did I mention I'll give you a dollar to come get my toilet out?

Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2004, 09:20 PM   #25
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Chuck

I would use the #30 (1/8) to drill out the buck rivets - that way if you do goof up and make the hole bigger, hopefully it won't be bigger than 5/16".

Also another trick is when you drill the rivet, don't drill all the way through - just enough to clear the head, then tap it out - try not to enlarge the hole anymore than you have to - I know you'll be inlarging anyway, but seems to me like it will insure a cleaner hole.

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Old 04-12-2004, 10:52 PM   #26
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OK, Don.
I get the idea.
I read all the rivet stuff. My kind of exact precision, frankly.
But $300 is clearly prohibitive, when I'm looking at MAYBE a couple hundred rivets. Olympics may be the way to go (well, at least if I can rent a shaver from someone).
Thanks!
Chuck,

Ken is right, the original bucked rivets drill out with a #30. If you want to replace them with Olympic rivets, I think those are 5/32", so you would use the #21 if you are removing Olympic rivets.

One advantage of the bucked rivets is that you can oversize the holes to 5/32, an use a special rivet which has the same head size as the original 1/8" rivet.

If you compare the cost of the Olympic rivets to the bucked rivets, the breakeven point is around 300 rivets. That doesn't include the added labor involved in setting and shaving the Olympic rivets.

Of course the Olympic rivets are 'blind' rivets, which is definitely an advantage if you don't have the interior removed.

Conversely, the bucked rivets form a stonger joint.

It's a matter of individual circumstances.
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Old 04-13-2004, 10:44 AM   #27
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Back from vacation and sun burnt.

My big comment is DO NOT drill out with 5/32 till the shell is being reattatched if you go with the Olympics. There is no guarantee everything will line up perfectly. With bot rivets it is imparative that the hole be exactly right. If oversized then it alows for the possiblility of movement that ultimatly can lead to the failure of the rivet.

I went with the Olympic. I had planned to Buck but My buddy that works in Maintance for Delta and had the tools was a little busy with a new baby. I was in a time crunch so it had to be Olympics.

I'm happy with them for the most part. They did a excelent job of pulling everything together.

As for removing. I took advice from several sources including Mark, Ken and greg. Most of them I used a #30 and drilled till the head came off and drilled into a little of the rivet being very carefull to stay on center. I then took an awl and pushed the remainder out if any was left. If I missed center then once the head was off I took the awl and a quick tap with a hammer usuly freed it but there is the chance it streched the hole a little. Once you get a little pace going it goes pretty quick.
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Old 04-20-2004, 09:36 PM   #28
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OK!

I'm back.
Progress has been slow (well, I haven't spent too much time of the trailer, frankly).
I got the shower pan out. Had to tear it up, though.
Couldn't get the shower drain out, for one thing-- I tried with two screw drivers, then two huge bolts. Then I went to Lowe's and bought the right too for the job - a shower drain remover. Stick it in the drain, the four prongs sits in nice and deep, and put a 1/2 drive ratchet on the end. Give it a turn. Nothing. Throw some grease (elbow) into it - and the tool (All fifteen buck worth) snaps. Get out the grinder, turm it sideways, cut a square hole through the shower pan, around the drain. Voila! Shower pan comes out. At least that enabled me to tear the rest of the floor in the bathroom zone out - and this is all by hand, most of it turning to dust when I aimed the shopvac toward it. Now I just need to cut through the rest of the shower drain line (from above) that holds the small square of shower floor (and pan) up.

Anyway....
I'm currently back to the idea of NOT taking the shell off. Maybe the bad weather and winds and rain and tornado warnings we've been having had something to do with that.

I have cleaned out the inside a bit more- and all the lower interior skin is out now. Some of it will be VERY tricky to replace - one piece goes over the upper panel on the left, then under it in the middle, then it splits to go over and under later....you get the idea. The fact that some parts are Zolatoned and some are shiny will help with that.

And I've taken pages and pages of notes, and several rolls of film, and I've labeled almost everything with a Sharpie. Sometimes, I've even remembered to do it on the BACK side.

What I'm currently envisioning:

1. Remove all floor except a ring about 6" wide from all around.
2. Systematically remove chunks of said ring, while slipping 5/8" blocking inbetween channel and frame (outriggers, etc).
3. Sanding, prepping, POR-15'ing, maybe painting frame as needed.
4. Replacing flooring in sections; using plywood lengthwise, split down the middle (on an angle on center edges, of course). I imagine I'll epoxy the edges and seams. And predrill whatever holes I can, and epoxy them, too.
5. Haven't decided to use 5/8"ply or combo of 3/8" + 1/4" yet.
6. Haven't decided (looking for input) - do I place my insulation on the frame, etc, then floor on top of that? Or attempt (and struggle) to glue or staple the insulation to the flooring prior to placing it? Neither of these sounds easy.
7. Once I'm re-floored, I'll replace the interior skins.
8. Did I mention I then need to replace the ENTIRE interior? At least I have the whole old interior to use as templates.

I am excited - the fridge works.

-Chuck
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