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Old 07-05-2006, 07:19 PM   #15
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1962 16' Bambi
1960 22' Safari
New York , New York
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The Bambi Shell is OFF!!!!

Hi Everyone,

Inspired by all of your support and encouragement I've decided to proceed and this weekend, since it was my birthday (4th of July!) and I had several friends visiting I went for it. We moved the new 1960 Safari (photo above) into the spot where the Bambi had lived and I moved the Bambi out to the flatter and more protected area in front of the house and decided to just get it done once and for all.

I built a basic cross bracing out of 2 by 4s (not as elaborate as some I've seen) and created 2 handles that went out wide and then with my friend Chris and I lifted the shell enough to get each of the handle pieces under and then we slowly propped the whole thing up on cinder blocks one side at a time until we were high enough to walk the chassis (with wheel wells attached) out from under. Then we lowered it down one block at a time and I hammered 4 metal fence posts into the ground and screwed them onto the wooden frame we'd built to keep the whole thing (hopefully) from flying away.

The body flexed quite a bit (more than I expected even after all the warnings) but I think that although it's not perfectly level we've got it placed in such a way that there are minimal torquing stresses, I don't think anything was damaged (no rivets popped or anything) and I think it's going to be OK until I can get the frame finished and the new floor and C channel in place. I was confused about whether the C Channel was coming up with it all or whether the C Channel remained behind and in the end it seemed that the removal of the lower rivets had released the body in such a way that it would come up without the C channel and that's how it happened.

I'm trying to decide what to do next. I of course am trying to get down to bare frame. The belly pan wraps around the C-channel all the way around and I'm wondering if I should un wrap all the belly pan, or cut the bolts and try to sort of remove the C channel with the belly pan still attached to it. If I do this will I be able to drop the belly pan without taking it completely apart or is this a pipe dream? I downloaded Nor Cal Bambi's whole thread and I'm going to do some studying tonight to see if there's some insight in there. I guess it's time to order the new axle. I'm going to put the disk brakes on it. Beadblast and repair the frame and then totally powdercoat it. I'm thinking of a contrasting color instead of plain old silver. Maybe black or maybe even a deep hunter green. Any thoughts? Is this blasphemy or perhaps a unique (albeit reversible) detail?

I will post pictures of the process tomorrow, but they're all on Jocelyn's camera right now and I don't have the cable to put them on my computer until we get back to the office.

Thanks again for you support. I promise the pictures will begin to come.

Steve H.
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:23 AM   #16
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1962 16' Bambi
1960 22' Safari
New York , New York
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Pictures of the Bambi Shell Off

Here's some photos of the rig I set up and of the finally free trailer chassis.

I used fenceposts hammered about a foot and a half into the ground and screwed them to the wooden frame to help keep the shell from blowing away.

Despite recommendations to keep it on the ground I felt I needed to maintain a little bit of distance to aid in lifting it up again so I left one set of cinder blocks all around.

The circumference arc is really secure. There's one stringer holding out the ends to maintain their shape. I'm counting on the structure to keep them from drooping, but I notice in the pictures especially one from the back that there must be some droop because the midsection appears a little narrower than the back section. All in all though as I said there does not seem to be excessive stress on any joints or sections and there was no shearing that I'm aware of although I do feel a little concerned that the seam along the front endcap may have overflexed a little.
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Old 07-08-2006, 08:13 AM   #17
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1963 16' Bambi
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Yreka , California
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The pay off

Hi, we just returned from our first rally in our restored Bambi. The work was well worth it. We enjoy our new TARDIS. Great pictures. Keep them coming.
Don
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Old 07-08-2006, 11:47 PM   #18
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1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
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Hi,

We have questions here. Is the tube looking thing on the roof of your Bambi an awning? Or is it a storage tube for your awning? Ours is quite different on our 1963 Bambi.

Keep the pictures coming! Looking good so far!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:07 AM   #19
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1962 16' Bambi
1960 22' Safari
New York , New York
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The Tube Looking Thing is In Fact An Awning

It's a "Trans Awn 2000" (sounds like a product from a cartoon huh?) a large aftermarket awning that is quite nice, but I feel like it ruins the lines of the trailer and I'm going to take it off and sell it to someone with a newer trailer or perhaps SOB. I also discovered after getting the interior walls off and working in the rain that the screws used to attach this behemouth are a terrific source for leaks. Or at least one of them is. I'm going to take it off and sell it on ebay. I have the strip along the roof line that you have that is for what I think they call the "zip dee" awnings and I intend to get one of those.

Here's a picture of the trailer with the awning open.
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:22 AM   #20
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1962 16' Bambi
1960 22' Safari
New York , New York
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Belly Pan off first or floor off first?

Now that I've got the shell off I spent the day yesterday peeling the belly pan off the c-channel where it comes up from below and wraps around. The belly pan dropped away all around the perimeter but remains secured around the middle of the belly. This morning I tried to tackle the "elevator bolts" in an effort to remove the floor from the chassis. (By the way, do they call them "elevator bolts" because they actually are used on "elevators" or because "elevation" is inherrently a part of their function or construction? This has always puzzled me a little.)

I was able to get a sawzall in and cut a few of them by slipping it in between the c-channel and the (largely rotted) floor, but this created holes in the c-channels as it sawed through the bolt. (I think I'm going to replace these assuming that they're avreadily available form of aluminum.) But some of the bolts I can't get to with the sawzall. I've heard people talk on the forums about "breaking them off" but I tried pounding on the ones I could get to with a hammer but they wouldn't snap they just bent. How do people "break" these off? The floor's rotted enough that I oculd probably rip it up but I'm trying to preserve it as best I can so I can use it as a template for the new floor.

Also I thought the floor would be only attached by the bolts around the perimeter but mine seems to be attached somehow in the middle too. (This may just be one section that appears to have been replaced before and there are screws going all the way accross the seam where the newer panel meets what appears to original floor.) Anyway, I'm at a loss. Should I get underneath and try to remove the whole belly pan first? Even if I do this how am I gonna get those rusty bolts broken or sawed off? I'm stuck for now.
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Old 07-09-2006, 06:37 PM   #21
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1963 16' Bambi
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Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HamiBambi
It's a "Trans Awn 2000" (sounds like a product from a cartoon huh?) a large aftermarket awning that is quite nice, but I feel like it ruins the lines of the trailer and I'm going to take it off and sell it to someone with a newer trailer or perhaps SOB. I also discovered after getting the interior walls off and working in the rain that the screws used to attach this behemouth are a terrific source for leaks. Or at least one of them is. I'm going to take it off and sell it on ebay. I have the strip along the roof line that you have that is for what I think they call the "zip dee" awnings and I intend to get one of those.

Here's a picture of the trailer with the awning open.
Interesting awning... we have the zip dee type strip and are working on the awning acquisition for our Bambi. Thanks! Do you have the "original" tube that held the zip dee awning? Ours was located under the belly pan. Just kind of wondering if that is where they went originally.. Thanks for the pic!

On your question about the "elevator bolts" and such... do you have some pics of what you are trying to do? Might help get a good answer.

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 07-09-2006, 07:52 PM   #22
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1962 16' Bambi
1960 22' Safari
New York , New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaddyGrn
Interesting awning... we have the zip dee type strip and are working on the awning acquisition for our Bambi. Thanks! Do you have the "original" tube that held the zip dee awning? Ours was located under the belly pan. Just kind of wondering if that is where they went originally.. Thanks for the pic!

On your question about the "elevator bolts" and such... do you have some pics of what you are trying to do? Might help get a good answer.

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
I'll be posting some pictures tomorrow. My camera broke and I've been using Jocelyn's but hers has a special dock to connect to the computer which is at our studio back in Manhattan so my weekend pictures can never get posted until Monday.

Meanwhile, my Bambi had neither a tube for awning storage, nor the original awning although it does have that strip that you can run the bolt rope through. My new Safari had the poles for the awning, and the strip along the outside, but I need the awning for it too.

I don't know if you've noticed but Vintage Trailer Supply is selling vintage style reproduction "pole and rope" awnings in a variety of vintage looking colors and fabrics. I might get one of those although I'm not totally happy with any of the colors they're offering. Neither of my trailers really has an original awning so I've just been searching Airstream books and photos to see what the originals looked like and how they worked.

If anyone has an original Bambi with the awning and can post some pictures that would be awesome!

Thanks!

Steve H.
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:03 PM   #23
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Elevator Bolts and C Channel

There are called elevator bolts because they are used in grain elevators. I had the same question. I looked up elevator bolts on the net and found information. I ground the top of the bolts off with a air grinder. You could also use a electric grinder. Harbor has one for a reasonable price. There are elevator bolts that go through the C channel and the plywood. There also ones that go through the plywood and attach to the frame. And there are screws that go thru the C Channel and into the plywood only. You can make straight C channel but the curved stuff is hard to find. Several have fabricated there own out of two " L" channel pieces. I've included some pictures. First bolts being ground off. Then a 3D graphic I made showing the elevator bolts. The ones that just attach the plywood and the C channel have the heads on the bottom of the plywood. The ones that go through and mount to the frame have the heads on top of the C channel. I did a lot of insulating of the bolts that go through the C channel. If you look through my thread you can see what I did.
Don
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:35 PM   #24
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Soldier on!!

Watching your progress with encouragement and admiration. My feet get cold too but with the help of folks here I just keep going. It's the others here who are both experienced and rookies that either help or make me feel less alone, or both.

As far as the second trailer -- no such thing as too much aluminum. If I had the parking room and the financial means, I'd have done the same thing without hesitation.

Go HamiBambi, go!!
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Old 07-10-2006, 06:49 AM   #25
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Hey, Steve!
I wish I had noticed this post earlier.
I'm not too far from you, and I've done a shell-off floor replacement on my 1956 Safari.
I live in Riverhead....I've probably seen you at Home Depot, pickup up supplies.

You're probably past many of the points where you'd need significant help. i wish I had offered earlier! Well, at the least, many hands help when it comes to the actual shell replacement.

-Chuck
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:24 AM   #26
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1962 16' Bambi
1960 22' Safari
New York , New York
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East End Airstreams!

Quote:
Originally Posted by funchucky1
Hey, Steve!
I wish I had noticed this post earlier.
I'm not too far from you, and I've done a shell-off floor replacement on my 1956 Safari.
I live in Riverhead....I've probably seen you at Home Depot, pickup up supplies.

You're probably past many of the points where you'd need significant help. i wish I had offered earlier! Well, at the least, many hands help when it comes to the actual shell replacement.

-Chuck
Hi Chuck!

It's great to make your acquaintance and I'm sure there'll still be plenty of opportunities to help so thanks for the offer!

Did you see pictures of our new '62 Safari as well? I'm sure we'll be crossing paths as the days, weeks, months, gulp, years of the restoration go on. My goal is to get the shell back on by winter so I can begin working on the inside when the weather's crummy.

Meanwhile perhaps we'll see you at a local rally or something.

Best!

Steve H.
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:37 AM   #27
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1962 16' Bambi
1960 22' Safari
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Elevator Bolts Explained

Hey N.C.B.

Thanks for those excellent pictures and your 3-D graphic is superb and inspiring! I'll get my hands on a grinder this coming weekend and that should help with the remaining bolts as well as a bunch of rusty screws that I can't get out of the plywood and that are screwed into I know not what.

It seems that perhaps the PO replaced part of the floor as I discovered that the plywood floor around the front of the trailer did not even go under the C-Channel and none of the bolts even went through that part of it. It must have really compromised the strength of the sandwich up front. Picture below of the 1 1/2" gap that existed between the plywood and the front of the trailer as well as one that shows the seam between the "new" floor and the screws running along it that just spun out under my screwdriver. Come to think of it I guess since they're screws I may have to drill them out and not grind like the bolts.

So next weekend will be grinding and drilling and slow slogging, but my goal for then is to get the floor up and the belly pan off.

Thanks!

Steve H.
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:43 AM   #28
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Sounds good, Steve.
Your Safari looks great!
It's always fun getting on and off the Island with the trailers.
I have several vintage silver bullets.
The '56 came from upsate NY. The '62 came from Eugene, OR. The '70 came from Traverse City, MI. The '72 came from outside Boston, MA. And I had a '67 from OshKosh, WI.
I agree that it's always nicer to take the ferry than to go through NY. I've virtually NEVER had a problem on the road, but I'd hate to have a blowout on the BQE or the middle of the GW Bridge.

I'd have to agree, you want to get the shell back on before winter.

If you need a hand in the meantime, let me know. I'm in Montauk every now and again, either fishing with my dad or driving with the family. Either way, I'm only an hour away. Or if you want to see the '56 Safari (with unattached interior), let me know. I keep it in Manorville (where I have indoor storgae for it), so unless you take a helicopter to and from Montauk, you drive right by every time you go east. Or west.

As far as the hardware goes, I have found pretty good sources, and probably have some leftover. I think I removed some elevator bolts with a grinder, others with an air chisel, and still others with a reciprocating saw. The air chisel was nice because it also loosened up some of the bolts from the holes in the frame (that were previously rusted in place).
Take care,
Chuck
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