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Old 04-02-2013, 09:37 AM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Colorado Springs , Colorado
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Shell off '67 Caravel project, NEED ADVICE!!!

I am in the process of purchasing an old caravel that currently has the shell off and the PO replaced the floor and rebuilt the frame, etc. I was told that the entire bottom half of the exterior skin had to be removed and replaced because the rivet holes will not line up correctly on the original ones. I had never heard of this before, but if this is what must be done, I will have to have it done professionally. Is this really necessary? The exterior skin pieces with the exception of one are all in very good shape. I just dont want to get taken to the cleaner by a restoration company and turn this into a million dollar restoration!

Please help! I am open to all input!

Hunter
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by lewishw View Post
I am in the process of purchasing an old caravel that currently has the shell off and the PO replaced the floor and rebuilt the frame, etc. I was told that the entire bottom half of the exterior skin had to be removed and replaced because the rivet holes will not line up correctly on the original ones. I had never heard of this before, but if this is what must be done, I will have to have it done professionally. Is this really necessary? The exterior skin pieces with the exception of one are all in very good shape. I just dont want to get taken to the cleaner by a restoration company and turn this into a million dollar restoration!

Please help! I am open to all input!

Hunter
There are many very talented folks on airstream forums that can give you the advice and help you need we have a 66 caravel and we are doing a shell off and it will have 1 panel replaced by me (not hard) and that is only because I am picky. Have some fun and do it your self. Jeannie would do it if I did call dibs on it first!
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:32 PM   #3
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Oh yes we do love pictures! If You have any questions please feel free to post them. Besides a few soft spots on the floor I really want to replace the wiring, insulation and plumbing. I enjoy playing with aluminum
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:56 PM   #4
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Don't buy it! Really! This needs some pro checking. Don't buy it now at least.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:24 PM   #5
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No, let me explain better. I sought advice from a restoration company and that was where I was told that anytime a shell is taken off that the bottom half is supposed to be replaced. The shell seems in excellent shape and the whole interior of the trailer is braced to make sure the shell holds its exact shape. It wasn't the owner that told me the skin needs replacement!! That was why I was highly skeptical. It seemed unnecessary to pull the whole bottom half off just so it would go back together. It isn't damaged or anything like that. In fact, it is resting on all the bracing just a couple of inches off the frame.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:03 PM   #6
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I took the shell off my Bambi II and didn't need to replace the bottom half of the aluminum interior. I'm sure many others will tell you the same. Sometimes, the rivet holes don't line up exactly with the old ones, so you would have to drill new holes for the rivets. It's really not a big deal. And if you really can't get them to fit, new aluminum sheets for the bottom aren't hard to install either. I did it myself & I'm no professional! I'm a grandma!!!
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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Drill baby drill, holes do not always line up.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:12 PM   #8
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All the bottom panels weren't replaced during my shell off that was done by Colin Hyde. Only the ones that were completely damaged. Sounds like other there are extenuating circumstances or ? Seek a second opinion IMHO.

Ps. Colin doesn't brace them either, so that's not a reason.
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