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Old 04-29-2014, 04:45 PM   #61
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Don't forget to post pictures of the inspection we would like to see the rest of the frame!
Cliff
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:01 PM   #62
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Millertime's rear bathroom rot '76 Tradewind thread

No worries Cliff pictures incoming soon. Weather pretty crazy here in the panhandle today so our guy couldn't make it by.


On another note my wife and I sat down and made a task list for the possible upcoming shell off and then a further time/cost list to get the airstream right where we would like it. We worked out the numbers at 51 work days and $9000. Seems like a pretty fair estimate. Hope this doesn't fall into the triple the time and quadruple the money formula that I have read about on the forums.


Question for the group, my wife is concerned about mold. We found a little behind the front gaucho on the wall, but it does smell a bit inside the trailer (she's way more sensitive than I am). Could just be the rotten floor? She's especially concerned about it being between the outer and inner skins. Will a shell off provide the adequate inspection to find any and what insulation will best handle the inevitable leaks?[

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Crossmember under water tank

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Forward crossmember under water tank

Oh and pretty much every outrigger around the wheel wells is pretty much gone.

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Same photo of main frame rail behind the step

More to come perhaps after our friend comes over as we will probably pull off the rest of the skins
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:14 PM   #63
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Did you insure it for what you paid? You could always "forget" to chock the wheels on a secluded cliff somewhere.

Not that I condone that, I never would, but I doubt the frame would be any worse at the bottom of a ravine.

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Old 04-30-2014, 01:16 AM   #64
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Millertime's rear bathroom rot '76 Tradewind thread

For a frame off everything comes out including the inner wall skins, by the time you are done mold will not be a problem, unless you reinstall it..



The rust on that frame is phenomenal. I wonder it it caught some serious submersion in salt water ala hurricane damage......

Seems a big part of Pensacola was under water just a few years ago....

(Ivan 2004)

Maybe the seller forgot to mention something?

Maybe there are records that might indicate the storm surge severity where the trailer might have been in 2004?

I don't know, but the frame of my 72 which spent its life in muggy, humid, semi rain forest central Arkansas was in much, much, much better shape. Granted there is no salt water air here, but still, looking at your frame.........

It really made me think it has been submerged, THEN I remembered Ivan.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:18 AM   #65
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Looks a little challenging but not by any means insurmountable (yes I spell like a junior jar head) but that smell (love the way women can smell stuff) probably just a little mouse perfume but its again all good and you will find out for sure when you drop the bottom inside skins for the shell off. I like the estimates, they are about there + or - some cosmitics that she may want (girl stuff). Time wise if you can keep the welder on track and the social/work schedule does not go haywire you can do it and maybe in a little less time. Save where you can ie wood regular plywood not Marine grade (not good for aluminum) use that military discount! Most important keep us posted!
Cliff
OBTW Awesome you and her will do great!
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:24 AM   #66
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By the way, if I were doing that project I would pull the frame out to duplicate it. It would much harder to build without having the old frame out....

In fact, the old frame might make a suitable makeshift jig, just build the new one right on top of it....

(Thinking out loud here)
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:30 AM   #67
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Re it being submerged, my wife had the same thought! The PO said he got it 9 years ago from an rv dealer friend....which is right around the time of Ivan. I wonder if someone received an insurance payout for it at some point. Argh, not much use in wondering about that right now, might explain the rust around the galvanized steel if she sat in water for some time...

The wife will be happy to hear that the mold will be found/eradicated anyway with all this work. Glad that those estimates sound close to reality. She just needs to be towable by January!
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:51 AM   #68
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If that trailer lived near the coast, I don't think it would need to be submerged to get that bad. Another 10 yrs and mine would have looked like that. High humidity, lots of rain and ocean salt will do just about anything in. 99% of all Airstreams on the east coast are going to have problems like this unless kept inside. It looks like the top sections of the frame are ok. A u-shaped patch might fix that section where the step is. The cross beams are not that big of a deal. Those can be patched and POR15 coated. I wish I knew what I know now when I bought mine.

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Old 04-30-2014, 12:22 PM   #69
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Glad to see you're going ahead with resto. I hope you find time to post your progress as you go.

You may have seen this thread, but it's highly recommended reading.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html

Someone should put together an updated version of this; there are several great recent threads (such as Vernon's, posted above, for one).

Remember: enjoy the process!

Alan
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:23 PM   #70
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WAG... and yet another "Half Vast" Idea for Outriggers

This is strictly a WAG (wildass Guess) - but perhaps a call to Jackson Center might be useful. They MIGHT be able to point you to a .pdf specification or blueprint for the frame build.

If I'd drunk the Koolaid (to be a restorer) I'd be glad to have the dimensions - but I'd beef up the frame with box rails, etc. rather than use an open C channel.

Here's the "Half Vast" Idea:
I wish I had some graphic design experience because I've never understood (or liked) the design of the "outriggers". They're just welded along the edge to the frame rail! And there are a LOT of stories about how the welds break and the outriggers sag, so here's my idea for an outrigger that would cling on even with broken welds.

Welding is supposed to create a bond almost as strong as if the parts had been manufactured as one, but I've always thought that an outrigger could be infinitely stronger if it were cut with tabs on it. Imagine if you can... cut the outrigger 3 inches longer than the finished product, bend it on a brake as is currently done, with about 2 inches for the plywood subfloor to rest on, now cut a slit 3 inches deep on the bend - and you have a tab that can go over the TOP of the frame rail, and be bent down so that it functions like an "over the door cloths hook" (no need for a weld on the top to hold the top to the frame rail). The top could be spot welded, but hooking it over the frame rail is literally a safety hook. The part that is welded vertically to the outside of the frame rail, would need to be bent at a 90 degree angle and spot welded to the outside of the frame rail... but you might want to cut it into 2 or 3 tabs and bend them left, right left. The result would function a lot like a joist hanger's nailing tabs. One experienced welder posted on the forums that vertical welding should always be SPOT welded so as not to create a vertical SEAM in the metal where it would be easy for it to fail. If you had tabs on either side of the outrigger the tendency to be pushed in and down by weight from above... well there's a lot more surface area to add strength to hold the outrigger UP and level.

Thanks for letting me rant. No problem if you need to tell me it's not a great idea.

Paula
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:18 PM   #71
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The outriggers really need to be connected together along the perimeter so they can strengthen each other and the c-channel should be connected every few inches to the bridge between outriggers. This would allow the shell and frame to strengthen each other.

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Old 04-30-2014, 05:11 PM   #72
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In my time modifying vehicles I have learned that one change now can mean that five changes are forced later on.

Other than box tube for frame rails I would keep the frame stock, especially on a first DIY attempt.

As I stated above, I would use the old frame as a jig so that everything goes right back where it was.

Somehow I get the idea that in the old Airstream factories that blueprints were maybe a bit flexible.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:02 PM   #73
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Thanks for all the support and good chatter. We are a ways from getting a welder, etc but what are the ideal improvements over the stock frame?

1) 3/16 steel
2) rectangular tube steel for the main rails

Would you have them fabricate all the outriggers or order them, which would be cheaper? Newbie questions I know please forgive
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:31 PM   #74
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I fabricated my outriggers and glad I did. I made them way stronger- I think I used 1/8" steel?

I did some modifications to mine- some because I had to, others to try and improve. With that in mind, I'm with J.Morgan, in that if you change too much, you may create alot of work re-designing as you put it back together.

One thing to keep in mind... Since you're not building new, you have to build it the way it is.... The frame has many areas that line up with the shell. If they are off by even a 1/2", it will cause problems with the whole thing. i.e. Outriggers that hold the steps, line up with the door frame. Outriggers for the wheel wells line up with the cutout on the shell. etc.

If it were me, I'd try and re-build exactly what you have- only WAY stronger. You'll have to determine the method of achieving that after you get the shell off and frame stripped. You can hopefully reinforce & fix rather than try and redesign a whole frame that must be EXACTLY the same dimensions so that your shell fits back on it perfectly.

The key for me, is to build it stronger.... These frames were meant to be light- and that means they were not as strong as they could have been, because they were designed to be towed with the family sedan. Nowadays we can pull some weight, so I wouldn't be afraid of adding weight to make it stout. Avion did it right- their frames are tough.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:48 PM   #75
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ahoy sir and if you change the weight then you will or may need to increase the axle rating for the heavier load! dont mount 12 inchers on a mike boat!!! first get the frame seperated from the shell. Next find your welder. repeat FIRST get the shell off of the frame! This means that you your camera and about 20 1/8th inch drill bits (Andy we in the south still use american standard) and a six pack and get busy while you are waiting for other things to happen and the storage locker idea will keep the better half from doing that flogging thing!!!!! Remember it is better and easier to start where airstream finished or as we say in the Corps from front to rear!!! If you want this done quick then it as*holes and Elbows sir! Half a heart beat aye aye sir!
More pictures swabby! Your will do an awesome job just stay focused!
Cliff
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:17 AM   #76
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If you use a #30 drill bit you get a little more of the old rivet out of the hole. I like these double ended short sheet metal drill bits. These don't punch a hole in the outer skin when you are drilling out interior rivets and don't break as easy as a long bit.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#double-end-drill-bits/=rrxj44

Perry
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:50 PM   #77
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On order!
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:43 PM   #78
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I bought those when I started, but then quickly ran out. I'm lucky to have a Harbor Freight 5 minutes away, so I'm a converted man. I have a buddy who's ex-mechanic with this $35,000 worth of Snap-On tools, and he really had me brainwashed to think that everything else is crap. Now, I do own some nice, name brand tools, (a $80 Snap On screwdriver comes to mind) that I love, BUT HF has alot of stuff for cheap that I'm totally please with. I have probably drilled 100 holes through 1/8" and 3/16" steel in my "new" frame, with HF bits, and they work perfectly. I had never been a metal worker before this Airstream, so I finally learned the key to drilling steel is lubrication and a drill press OR a slow & steady hand. Same bits have lasted a LONG time.

For the 1/8" rivet drillers, I buy the heck out of these: 1/8" High Speed Steel Titanium Nitride Drill Bits, 7 Pack

I've literally drilled THOUSANDS of 1/8" holes. They last just as long as the jobber bits I used to pay twice as much for.... All I'm saying is that if you have a HF close by, dont overlook them because its cheap junk. 12 jobber bits will get you going, but you'll be buying LOTS more!
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:27 PM   #79
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Things going slower this week than I would like but tomorrow morning I will be dropping the belly pan and removing everything underneath so that our friend can get a good look at the whole frame. Not sure we will like what we see! Pictures to follow soon.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:54 PM   #80
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Not an engineer, (I just work with them)....but if the frame were altered to be "stronger" meaning more rigid/less flex, then won't the force of the road shock as the trailer moves be transferred elsewhere, with unknown results? I don't know this for a fact, just asking?
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