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Old 06-19-2007, 09:22 PM   #1
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Rebuilding 65 rear end to modify or not to modify?

I am in the process of rebuilding the rear end of my 65 Ambassador. I am replacing the last 4 feet of frame and the floor. I am wondering if anyone has decided to modify the lid to the bumper. To me this seems to be a major contributor to the floor and frame rot in that area. The cover lies just under the L-channel and is sandwiched by a piece of flat stock steel. If the seal to this cover is compromised the wooden floor is the first area to get the water. I am thinking about changing the black water tank to a side discharge and pulling the bumper in about 5 inches. I will also add some sheeting to wraparound and connect with the belly pan. I also read about adding fiberglass resin to the wood edges to help prevent rot. Is this a good practice?
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:41 AM   #2
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There are different types of fiberglass resin with the most common being polyester meant for bulk layup work that will be sealed by gel coats or paint so do not count on it being water proof or hard enough for a good top coat. Vinyl ester resin is a little more expensive but superior to polyester - I used VE on my plywood flooring with the 1st coats thinned with MEK. Epoxies are the best but will cost almost twice that of PE or VE resins.

But please don't blame the trunk for all the damage, every seam on endcap, all the gaskets on windows and utility hatch, tail lights, awning mounts, slow leaks on plumbing - they all contributed to the floor rot on my '73.

I am thinking about modifying the trunk also - expanded metal mesh floor and a true continuous barrier dropping from shell that wraps to beneath BW tank. Also, after noticing the bumper is just pinned on w/ 1/4" screws, I thought to make bumper flip-down or pull-out to eliminate the piano hinge and keep the trunk roof solid.

Also considering a marine inlet and detachable shore power cord; but having one end hard wired into trailer probably prevents opportunistic thievery...
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Old 06-20-2007, 03:11 PM   #3
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But please don't blame the trunk for all the damage, every seam on endcap, all the gaskets on windows and utility hatch, tail lights, awning mounts, slow leaks on plumbing - they all contributed to the floor rot on my '73.


No doubt was the floor rot caused by more than just the bumper compartment. After taking the interior skin off and observing in the rain I had a leak in my tub vent pipe, the black water vent pipe and it looks as though a possible leak occurred at the hot water tank. The PO also left the rear hatch off for several years, but the water was poring in from the bumper lid. Thanks for the info on the resin.
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:19 PM   #4
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Some before and after frame repair shots.
.
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...m/DSCF0285.jpg
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrom
But please don't blame the trunk for all the damage, every seam on endcap, all the gaskets on windows and utility hatch, tail lights, awning mounts, slow leaks on plumbing - they all contributed to the floor rot on my '73.


No doubt was the floor rot caused by more than just the bumper compartment. After taking the interior skin off and observing in the rain I had a leak in my tub vent pipe, the black water vent pipe and it looks as though a possible leak occurred at the hot water tank. The PO also left the rear hatch off for several years, but the water was poring in from the bumper lid. Thanks for the info on the resin.
Your frame damage is very typical of salt water exposure. If that's the case, a complete chassis inspection should be done at an early date.

Andy
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