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Old 06-04-2011, 10:44 AM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Oakley , California
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Replace Subfloor without removing shell?

This may have been answered already, but I can't seem to find it. My newest AS acquisition (1976 Argosy 26) is suffering from a rotted floor in the bath and the smell from the front flooring area is too much to bear. Is it possible to replace the floor without removing the shell? If so, how to go about it?

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Old 06-04-2011, 10:53 AM   #2
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it's actually very easy to replace the front and rear sheet of the sub flooring. For those sheets the shell and the C channel it is bolted to sits on top of the floor. That will be for the end cap sections of the shell only. The straight sections along each side have the channel wrapped around the edge of the floor.
You will need to remove the inner skins(walls) to get at the bolts that hold the C channel to the frame. The belly pan will also need to be opened up to get access to the bottom of those bolts.
Once the bolts are removed and the screws holding down the floor you can just slide the section of floor out and replace it with new. Then rebolt & screw, reinstall the inner skins and it's done.

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Old 06-04-2011, 10:58 AM   #3
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Thanks! Super fast reply and complete as always.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:14 AM   #4
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You're welcome Matt.
When you remove the main holddown bolts(2 front & especially 2 rear) the frame will drop away from the shell. Once you are reinstalling them make sure the frame is supported level both side to side and front to back other wise you will lock in the twist or sag to the frame against the shell.
When I cut my rear ones loose the frame dropped 3 or 4 inches and scared the c**p out of me.
If the bolts are really rusted up and they will be, just grip them with vise grips and bend them back and forth to fatigue the metal and they will snap off. It's much easier than trying to grind the heads off or trying to sawzall them off. Ther will be a few small sheet metal screws in the channel. They are used to hold the channel in place against the floor, either chisel or grind the heads off as they will too be rusted beyond recognition.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:39 AM   #5
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If you block and level the frame before you began work then you will prevent a frame drop and also assure that the inner skin holes will line back up when you put the panels back in. I was told to block in at least 8 places.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:35 PM   #6
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We replaced the entire sub-floor in our '56 w/o removing the shell. You can see the entire resto process in our "It's a Girl!!!" thread.

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Old 05-07-2012, 07:15 AM   #7
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Argosy Front and Rear Sheets

I have found my 75 Argosy 24 also has the aluminum extrusion that captures the plywood along the straight portion of the rear (between the curved parts). Mine uses 5/8 plywood and the slot that captures the plywood also has an additional web that will necessitate a saw cut to the edge of the plywood. This means I am digging old rotten wood out of two 1/4 inch slots.
Has anyone else found this in Argosy models?
Overall, my floor is pretty good, and I only need to replace about 12 inches across the back. Too bad we cannot used treated plywood, but I learned from a boat forum that treated wood and aluminum are not compatible.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:52 AM   #8
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air chiels work good jus be real carefu
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:11 AM   #9
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There is another active thread that touches on some of the same questions:

good luck!
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:07 PM   #10
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Did you just replace the 12 inches? How did it go? I have a very small area by my rear hatch that I want to replace. I am not removing belly pan or shell or interior. It's such a small area that it wouldn't be worth the effort. Can you further explain your process? Thank yoU!
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:55 AM   #11
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1976 Argosy 28
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I am about to take this on with my 76 28' Argosy in the front and rear. I will be replacing both sections complete back to the first joint (about 4').
I already have the old stuff (or what was left) torn out and most of the screws out (a few will need some help).


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