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Old 06-26-2002, 08:23 AM   #15
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I replaced the floor on an Argosy motor home. When I did this, I left the channel on the body. From your pictures it appears that the motor homes and trailers use a different channel, yours is flat and sits on the plywood, the motor homes have a track the plywood slides into, this then sits on the metal framework. My reason for leaving the channel on the body was to leave as much strength in the bottom of the body as possible, plus saving removing a couple of hundred rivets. The channels set the shape of the body, must be the first pieces to go on the floor during assembly. Have you tried putting these back in (at least in the corners) to see how much distortion there has been from pulling the body? Aluminum is very soft and stretches easily, the bodies are relatively strong when assembled, but need all their components for this strength.

Do the channels fit the shape of your new floor as cut? If so the distortion is probably in the body. I may not be very popular for saying this here, but the quality of my motor home body was terrible. It is #217 and I would have thought any startup problems would have been history. I had ribs that sat on top of (instead of inside) the bottom channel, skins that were obviously distorted, dimensions that did not match, supporting channels that did not reach what they should support. Have you checked for these type of assembly problems? You can assemble it out of alignment, but as soon as something like a body off job is started, and the bottom channel is removed, the pressures introduced from an improper assembly will cause distortion.

I now have a question for those who have done a floor replacement. Why do you pull the body off the channel? It seems it would be much easier to set the flat channel back on the floor than to try and fit the body back over the channel, sort of a 16 ft. long slip fit.
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Old 08-03-2002, 09:22 AM   #16
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Well I got the shell back on at last - pics for your interest

http://www.airstreamphotos.com/photo...ort=1&user=155

Hi people...no time right now for alot of details as I am off out of the door to get the inner skins back on. Some pictures linked above.

It took a GREAT deal of time and fiddling to get the shell back on.

Main mistake made - I was advised to use .040 aluminum for the new belly pan. Ah. Well the original was .024...so that meant the floor perimeter was about an inch longer.

Result = the shell wouldn't fit the new floor when dropped back down.

I had to pull all the u-channel off the rear, remove the belly pan, cut off about half an inch all the way round the wood, re fit it all together and then hope I had cut off the right amount...

Manhandling the shell is like a big floppy wobble board that is very delicate, everytime I tried to lower it there was a big risk of a dent or a panel twist.

The best feeling in the world was getting the last rivet in and having her in one piece again.

WHAT A PAIN....got to tell you, if you ever are thinking about a new floor shell off restoration, think about it very carefully.

Best

Will Henshall
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Old 08-03-2002, 01:29 PM   #17
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Congratulations Will !!

I sure am glad it was not me that said use the .040. Back when this first popped up, I went back and looked to make sure I had not advise anything that would have caused this. Whew!!

Now, Onward thru the Fog!!

-BobbyWright
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Old 08-03-2002, 02:27 PM   #18
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My bad advice...not from anyone on here....

Thanks B

Heh, no, my bad advice re which belly pan thickness to use came from someone who used to work at a well known Airstream restoration shop.

He doesn't work there now, so no need to go this any more. Pleasant enough guy, but didn't know what he was talking about obviously.

So, I am today cracking on with fitting the trim, the inner skin replacement and then what ever else is next.

I am actually in my 345 right now parked next to the trailer and using the MotoSat 2 way internet system...damn, technology rocks eh?

See you

Will
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Old 08-03-2002, 09:21 PM   #19
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Why is the floor silver? Painted or covered?

-BobbyWright
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Old 08-05-2002, 10:26 AM   #20
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Floor painted...

...with a latex floor paint - reason is due to all the pushing, shoving, kicking, stressing, walking, rolling, and all...

the top layer of the abx ply was beginning to get very damaged in a few places. Actually coming off down to the next layer...

the last thing i wanted was to have to replace a section or two...AAARGGGGGGGHHHH

so I asked around and found that the latex paint is designed exactly for this purpose.

I put 2 thick coats down, and there has been no more wear at all. I am going to seal all gaps with silicon, around the wheel arches for instance and then do a final coat when I have done all the inner skin and after preparing and paint spraying the inner skin. I will post more pictures later. I got the inner skin back on in a couple of places over the weekend. Again, this is not as easy as it looks. None of the old holes line up any more. This is obvious if you think about it, as even a 1/4" difference on the shell sitting back down again will very subtley alter the shape of the whole structure.

It's getting there though.

Will
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Old 08-05-2002, 10:44 AM   #21
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I admire your willpower.( Or is it Wilpower?)
congratulatios on finishing this part of the project. Just remember - lots of people watching your progress, not to criticise, but to cheer you on!
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Old 08-06-2002, 06:28 PM   #22
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19 days to go!!!!!! (BURNING MAN)
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Old 08-06-2002, 06:44 PM   #23
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Talking Heh, too true :)

If any of you are going to Burning Man this year come see us and say hello at the "I'm okay, you're ok, corral", the co-ordinates are 2900' & 195 DEGREES and we are part of the BarCar crew

Will and Naomi
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Old 08-08-2002, 06:05 AM   #24
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More pics up of inner skin back on...

http://www.airstreamphotos.com/photo...ort=1&user=155

More pics up from the last couple of days.

Electrical next. More familiar territory for me personally...

Thanks to all for words of encouragement.

Will
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