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Old 07-25-2009, 08:48 AM   #197
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Hey Don,

I've been reading your threads on your Bambi and FC since I joined 1.5 years ago, they are chock-full of great information, and I think most others around here do as well. I consider them part of the "Required Reading" homework for all who begin major renovations. I rarely comment on your FC thread because I know very little about the 50s trailers, but I am always watching and learning.

Anyway, please keep up the great work, and know that many many people read your threads. I will happily chip in any knowledge or experience where I have it, but you know far more than I do about Airstream reno, so usually I just watch and learn.

-Marcus
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:29 AM   #198
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Don, ditto what Marcus said, I thoroughly enjoy reading your updates. I was sorely tempted to flip my frame and floor like you did but realized that it was a bit out of my league; maybe on the next one..

Another day or so and I should find out whether it's the bracing holding the shell a little too high.

And wow that rub rail looks great Diesel, I didn't know the middle section should even be blue but it gives me an idea that I'll ponder on... The photo you posted also reminds me that I haven't seen any other units where the number plate is screwed directly through the shell like mine. It seems like a sketchy idea so I'll be modifying it somewhat.
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Old 07-26-2009, 04:13 PM   #199
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All good fun!

I'll admit the riveting had me a little nervous, with my girlfriend as bucker I had visions of a mangled Airstream and ending the weekend single but it went really well. In fact it was really enjoyable; well except for working with Vulkem, it mysteriously transports itself from the tube to my hands, clothes and tools.

Here's a couple of action shots when the shell was about an inch up in the air.

We got the ends all done and only one rivet doesn't look 100% so I'll just drill and replace.

Next weekend we'll try the curbside 2nd up panel. I think I need to
- remove all bracing
- whip off the eyebrow and gutters
- take out the windows
- remove the door hinges
- use the old sheet to template a new one
- drill holes, test fit, drill to correct size, clean, vulkem, replace, cleco and final rivet.
- I'll need to fabricate some new stringers as they are all bent up

I'm considering whether to cut the template for the doorway or whether to just skin over it and cut it out with nibblers and a file when I'm ready to re-install the door. Any advise bearing in mind the door still needs to be re-skinned on both sides and I'm not going to be ready to do this for some months?

NEWS. I've got a confirmed place on an Aircraft Structures course starting this fall so by spring '10 I should be better placed to get the door just right

Also whatever catch like device for the door(s) was on the curbside is long gone, could someone tell me if it's an available part or how I can prevent the door whacking the panel in a light breeze?
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Old 07-26-2009, 04:33 PM   #200
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Also whatever catch like device for the door(s) was on the curbside is long gone, could someone tell me if it's an available part or how I can prevent the door whacking the panel in a light breeze?
Lookin' good.

Seems that door catch is not quite available but should be soon at VTS: Door Latch At least that's the one on mine and I'm guessing for yours as well.

cheers,
steve
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Old 07-26-2009, 05:12 PM   #201
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NEWS. I've got a confirmed place on an Aircraft Structures course starting this fall so by spring '10 I should be better placed to get the door just right
Sweet, you should be all trained up just in time to come down to Seattle and help rebuild my door.

Have you managed to get the wheel wells lined up yet?
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Old 07-26-2009, 05:28 PM   #202
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I'm hoping that I might score a little extra shop time at school for a door rebuild session, they unsurprisingly appear to have some cool tools, not to mention the fun I expect to have in the composites lab...All I need to find is a good night class in welding and I should have all my bases covered for the next project trailer.

The wheel wells are still not aligned correctly, a think I'll go and take another look see, maybe I'll find something I missed but if not I'll adjust the template to fit. Part of the problem may be that the curbside panel was bowed out around that wells when I picked her up. I thought the door opening in motion may have not only dented the panel and mashed the stringers but stretched the sheet a bit. Now the panels look straight which is great improvement. I have my fingers crossed that removing the bracing will solve the problem.
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Old 07-26-2009, 05:56 PM   #203
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When we were putting Ryan's shell back down we had a lot of trouble getting the rear street side to line up correctly. Working slowly back and forth, strategically removing bracing and adjusting the jacks on the frame eventually got everything lined up.

I'm expecting problems with my wheel wells - at least on the street side. During the polishing, I realized my streetside wheel well is pushed in at the front of the wheel well. That prompted me to take a look at the inside of the wheel well under the kitchen cabinet and I found it had been shoved into the cabinet framing. So, I'm probably going to need an entire new wheel well for that side. I saw David Winick sells pairs of single axle wheel wells for $275/pair.
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:35 AM   #204
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I think this is your door latch... Bargman Lock
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Old 07-27-2009, 06:34 AM   #205
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Just a quick thought regarding the extent of the misalignment on the wheelwells. Run a stringline the lenth of the frame and see if there is a guz-down in the middle.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:19 PM   #206
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no more gymnastics

At last I've installed the steel bow anchor brackets and whipped out the bracing cats cradle, what a relief, now I can move around without feeling like Forest Gump.

With the bracing out I tried all sorts of techniques involving jacks etc but the gap remains constant and the frame straight so I'm going to go with plan B which is tailoring the replacement side panels to match. On that note I'm getting cold feet about replacing the curb side 2nd up panel, I mean how many people do I need? two? I'll try the street side lower this long weekend and go from there.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:28 PM   #207
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At last I've installed the steel bow anchor brackets and whipped out the bracing cats cradle, what a relief, now I can move around without feeling like Forest Gump.

With the bracing out I tried all sorts of techniques involving jacks etc but the gap remains constant and the frame straight so I'm going to go with plan B which is tailoring the replacement side panels to match. On that note I'm getting cold feet about replacing the curb side 2nd up panel, I mean how many people do I need? two? I'll try the street side lower this long weekend and go from there.
Man that interior looks clean and fresh. I sometimes wish I had gone ahead and done a full monte as you are.

And then I look at your expected departure date in your signature, and I become a bit happier about my shell-on job.

Regardless, the work you are doing is top-notch, and you will never regret any of it.

-Marcus
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:39 PM   #208
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could you post some pictures of the issue you are having? This might help me visualize a solution to this misalignment.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:02 AM   #209
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Sound like you have tired everything to get alignment. Here is one other thought. When the shell is lowered down onto the floor all the ribs of the shell must slide down into the "C" channel. On my trailer the ribs all touch the bottom of the "C" channel. Maybe the ribs that are next to the fenders have not seated down. This is not enough space to match your misalignment but sometimes every little bit helps. Your trailer work is looking great. Did you put penetrating epoxy on the floor to get that shine or something else?
Don
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:23 AM   #210
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Hey Don, I used a couple of coats or East System epoxy with aluminum powder on the underside to protect a little better. I don't think I'd go this route again though, maybe automotive undercoating underneath and a sealer topside.

I'm going to take some pictures on Franks suggestion and post them up so maybe that will conjure up more ideas. The ribs between the bows do hover just at the height of the channel but they are not snagged. The trailer seems to be built in a kind of "organic" way, I mean ribs aren't even parallel to each other but I'm really pleased to have got the wave out of the side panel that I can deal with a little massaging.
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