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Old 07-11-2012, 03:08 PM   #1
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Rear end replacement floor channel bow

Has anyone used the replacement rear bow floor channel that AS sells through OutOfDoorsMart?
The factory folks tell me that it should fit a narrow body like my 73, but may need to be cut, a small piece taken out, and re-welded, so as to reduce the overall width.
Another issue is that the the lower channel that houses the plywood is smaller than mine, meaning I will need to reduce the thickness of the plywood somehow, at least around the edge.
I need to know if anyone has been successful in doing either or both of these tasks and if I should steer away from this course, finding alternate solutions.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:33 AM   #2
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I have a bow from ODM. I have had not had a chance to try to install it yet. However my plan is to cut that bottom leg off rather than try to make the plywood thinner. Also I laid what was left of my old bow on top of the new bow and the curve was pretty much the same, so I am confused on why you would have to cut the one you have. When I was there they had 2 different sizes of bows, one for narrow body and one for wide body. My 1975 is a narrow body.

Aaron
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:47 AM   #3
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Bow? what is this? got a link?
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:59 AM   #4
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Floor bow channel

Aaron, I actually picked up the bow from Airstream In Jackson Center yesterday. It is for a narrow body, but one of the customer service guys (formerly an AS tech) said that occasionally when he installed them he had to cut a piece out of the center and re-weld it. I laid out the new over the old, and like yours, mine was pretty close, maybe 1/2 to 1/4 inch wider. Hard to tell since my old one is in pieces. I really hope I don't need to cut and re-weld!
I tested how I would reduce the thickness of the plywood, and found that if I took off about 1/16" off of the bottom side of the plywood ( a strip on each end 1 1/4 wide by 1/16 deep, with my router, the channel fit perfectly on the plywood. I really like the idea of the bottom piece of the channel wrapping around the edge of the plywood. That wrap should greatly reduce the amount of water that will penetrate the plywood from where the body meets the storage area in the back.
I also bought 2 straight 16 footers to do the rest of the floor. And of course a green street sign that says "Airstream Drive"...hey I needed it!


Chuck, here is the link to the ODM site:http://odmrv.com/catalog/index.php?m...fdc1ea3e45c899

I bought the item from the AS Retail outlet at the factory.

Mike
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:52 AM   #5
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Ok, I see now. My trailer wasn't originally equipped with this; except for one 6" long section, located on the street side at the forward edge of the rear 4x8 sheet of plywood. I thought it was kind of odd; don't really see the point of that one little chunk. maybe it was an "oops". possibly they cut the plain "u" too short, and just used a cut-off piece of this to fill the gap? who knows...
anyway, it looks like it would be nearly impossible to put this in without doing a complete shell-off...or, replacing the aft sheet of ply in 2 sections.
I'm still trying to think of a way to flash that plywood edge.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauxter View Post
Has anyone used the replacement rear bow floor channel that AS sells through OutOfDoorsMart?
The factory folks tell me that it should fit a narrow body like my 73, but may need to be cut, a small piece taken out, and re-welded, so as to reduce the overall width.
Another issue is that the the lower channel that houses the plywood is smaller than mine, meaning I will need to reduce the thickness of the plywood somehow, at least around the edge.
I need to know if anyone has been successful in doing either or both of these tasks and if I should steer away from this course, finding alternate solutions.
Ok to me this looks like the C-Channel aluminum support that runs around the perimeter of the plywood subfloor. It gets riveted to the shell and elevator bolted to the ply. If thats not what this is, ignore this comment.

For my c-channel, after I had the cracks welded and I reinstalled it, my new plywood subfloor was 1/8" too thick to fit into it. My solution was to use a router and shave that 1/8" off the perimeter of the plywood. The key to do this is to measure the ACTUAL width of the channel that hosts the ply, and rout the plywood edge down accordingly to fit.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:22 AM   #7
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rear end flashing

Chuck, I was fortunate enough to get to the Restoration Rally this year. Kip (Aerowood) showed off some great metal bending techniques. I bet you could take a straight angle made of aluminum sheet, and curve it enough to follow the curve contour, past the main rails on each side...(the problematic area). One side of the angle would slip under the floor channel, and the other end would cover the edge of the plywood, and the curve would allow the angle to follow the contour of the plywood around each side past the main rails. My thought is it would be 2" X 3/4" X 62"ish and bent to match curve profile of trailer.
Then if you wanted more protection, you could bend another piece as a mirror image for the bottom of the plywood.

HF shrinker stretcher link
Metal Shrinker/Stretcher Set
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:58 PM   #8
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I will check into the thickness of the plywood vs the channel a bit later. Right now I am working on the boxes and frames for the holding tanks.

I do plan to either do a two piece floor section or shove down on the frame enough to slip the channel in place.

I am changing the design of the way the metal goes in across the rear. The flat piece that the rear bumper compartment cover attaches too is becoming an "L" shaped flashing. Yes it can be done with a stretcher/shrinker. We have one at our shop and I have already seen that it will work.

I also have to replace the outer skin below the compartment door, well not "have" to, but I am going to. Unfortunately I am going to have to order a 4'x6' piece of Alclad, to get it out of, anybody else need some? I will sell it at cost plus shipping.

My intent is that the ONLY way for water to get in will be from the inside, not from the bumper area.

Aaron
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:30 AM   #9
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that stretcher would be just the ticket....but I hate to drop that kind of dough on a tool that I'd use once.
now, to find someone who has one. hmmm......

I got other issues back there. off to start another thread.
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