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Old 06-06-2004, 11:08 PM   #15
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Update on the summary

Lots of great ideas floating around, I like Malcolm's and Leonard's approaches and may go with some sort of hybrid approach.

Here is the link to my pics of the project to date:

http://www.airstreamphotos.com/photo...00&ppuser=5260
Malcolm - great idea, there is a lot of corrosion where the bath was and the frame needs a lot of work, so I will take out the center piece of belly pan. This has been harder than anticipated, the drill keeps gliding of the steel post of the rivet and going into the softer aluminum. I am currently using a grinder to get the rivet heads off since I have to replace a lot of the pan anyway. Ground part of my palm off in the process.

Leonard - is your lifting method for a clamshell type replacement, or have you removed all of the perimeter rivets and are completely lifting the shell? I can see some of the belly pan in some of your pictures.

59toaster - your incline looks very similar to mine, your cribbing looks right on, I am going to try for the shell on approach, leaving the option to go whole hog-shell off if needed.

There is no floor to use as a template, any ideas on creating one other than cardboard and a scribe????

Kevin
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Old 06-07-2004, 02:02 AM   #16
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Lightbulb Rivits and templates...

I spent some time taking off parts of my belly pan, removing some inner panels and etc. I did discover one helpful trick in getting off some of the harder rivits that you might want to try. What I discoverd was that you can chop them off. Probably the best tool for this would be a sharp wood chisel perhaps 1/2" wide. The only wood chisel that I had around in that size was a very nice wood working one that I did not want to risk (nice wood handle rather than a solid plastic one for example). So I used a razor blade utility knife instead. I put the blade as close to the skin as I could get it by flexing it a little I then hit the end of the handle just behind the blade with a hammer. A lot of the rivits I treated that way snapped off with one wack. A few that had more of the steel shank sticking out needed to be cut from more than one side but I still was able to get them off. I suspect that a little tapping of the hammer on the shaft (maybe with a nail set?) might have made it move into the rivit more but I did not try that. This trick worked especially well for the smaller interior rivits but also worked OK on some nasty ones on the belly pan. I think I am going to buy a chisel just for this purpose since I still have more rivits to remove.

I have a couple of thoughts relative to making floor panels without any old ones for a template. What I wanted to be able to do was to set a full sheet of plywood on the floor (or bare frame in your case) and transfer marks directly to it from the trailer. This in fact is one of the main reasons that I was thinking about running my floor panels length wise rather than cross-wise as in the original. If you run sheets cross-wise you can not set a full sheet of plywood in place to mark - you have to at least cut it to length first. Instead I wanted to be able to use a trick that I learned about for marking floor tiles to fit. The idea is somewhat like scribing (if you are using the term in the way I am thinking you are) but you transfer marks directly to your plywood instead of to cardboard. Basically you want to place the sheet to be marked a specific known amount away from the countour to be marked but perpendicular to the contour. Let me try to give a specific example. To mark a lengthwise panel that will fit along the side and into the curve of the corner place the panel along one side and slide it up toward the corner. The end of the panel might now be say 30" from the end wall. What you now need to do is to measure 30" from the body end (in many places around the curve) perpendicular to the panel end and plot these points on the sheet of plywood. Connect the dots and cut to the line. I thought maybe a triangular carpenters speed square and a yardstick might be useful for this techinque. By the way the sheet of plywood does not need to be under the body side if you do not want to while you are marking it. Just offset it out from the final placement edge of the frame a known amount (say for example 2"). Then use a marking stick that is two inches wide. Measure to the body with one side of the stick and mark to the plywood with the other side. I apologize if this explanation isn't making sense. If you are not comfortable marking directly to the plywood you could still use the technique with cardboard that is square on the end. It would be easier to draw a picture. Let me know if what I was trying to describe is not clear enough the way I told it and I will draw up something.

One thing to take note of too is that you may not need the clamshell approach to insert the end panel if you put all the panels length wise. You might want to stagger the joints between the panels on one side relative to the joints on the panels on the other side so there are no places where 4 panel corners meet.

I hope these tricks helps some and I would like to hear about any you figure out along the way since it seems like we are both approaching some of the same tasks.

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 06-07-2004, 06:30 AM   #17
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Malcolm,

The best tool I have found for cutting the rivets as you describe is a steel tang flat bladed paint scraper. It has a semi sharp edge, and is wide enough that you don't have to "aim well" to hit the rivet. It is thinner than a chisel, but thicker than a putty knife. It also has an extended corner for getting to rivets that are close to other things you don't want to cut. Another benefit is that it runs about 7 bucks. Much cheaper than a chisel.
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Old 06-07-2004, 07:40 AM   #18
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Use a drill for pop rivets, same bit size as the shank (usually 1/8" on these). You don't have to drill out the rivet, just take off the head, which means only the thickness of the metal of the rivet, it only takes a few turns of the bit. Then you can use a pin punch or nail set to push out the body if it doesn't fall out

Brown wrapping paper is also good to make patterns. Slide it under the curves of the body, tape it in position and mark it. I would make any of these you need before pulling the body of the frame, or disturbing the location any more than possible. It is real easy to move the side 1/4" when it is loose.

If you run the floor plywood the length of the trailer you will put the seam down the center of the traffic area. Make sure you use some really good voidless plywood, block it, screw it and glue it very well under the seam or you are going to get flex in that area.

John
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Old 06-07-2004, 10:05 AM   #19
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Kevin

Sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday, I was out of town tracking down some rims, my trailer presently has two original hadco split rims and two replacement 16 inch rims, axles don't carry weight evenly with this configuration. As to your question about the exterior rivets, no I didn't remove any of them. the only rivets I removed was underneath holding the belly pan and banana wrap up. I cut the belly pan off at the first full crossmember because it was trash anyway, when I replace it all I have to do is rivet it to the piece I left on. When I get home after work tonight (oops didn't mean to let that slip, I don't serf the forum from work) I'll take some picture's of the template I made and how it was done. My floor was in about the same shape as yours, looks like we had the same previous owner. Click on the link to see what I started with, this picture was taken after we unloaded about 8000 lbs + "stuff" out of it.
http://www.airstreamphotos.com/photo...cat/500/page/1
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Old 06-07-2004, 10:11 AM   #20
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The best method I've seen for running plywood the length of the trailer is to weld a stringer in the center of the trailer from front to back and bolt the plywood to that.

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Old 06-07-2004, 10:21 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
The best method I've seen for running plywood the length of the trailer is to weld a stringer in the center of the trailer from front to back and bolt the plywood to that.

Ken
Absolutely. One of the openings in my floor framing was 29"x82" with a 1/2" plywood floor, real springy. I welded 2 supports in there, 1 down the rest of the center.

John
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Old 06-07-2004, 05:00 PM   #22
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Drill does not always work...

I had the same problem with some of my rivits - most notably the ones on the belly pan that were probably added by a PO. The problem is that some of them have too much of the steel center pin sticking out of the center of the rivit. This makes it virtually impossible to get the drill to center on the rivit. Hence the chopping off approach.
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Old 06-07-2004, 05:04 PM   #23
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Question What size of stringer?

I like the idea of running a stringer down the center. What size, thickness and shape of metal did you guys use for yours?

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 06-10-2004, 02:51 PM   #24
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Okay - here is an update:

I removed all of the base interior panels using the Paint scraper method to cut them - worked like a charm! Thanks for that tidbit of info. Since the walls were not attached to anything after the PO removed the floor, they have a lot of play, and are slightly out from thier original position - Do I make the new deck end at the end of the outriggers? And then suck in the wall when I reattach them?

My banana wraps have a lot of small holes in them, that I could patch. But what about this idea - I am thinking of taking the shell off - but instead of taking out all of the rivets and sliding the banana wraps off, what if I cut the banana wraps leaving 3" of the original sheet still riveted to the side to be used as a strip/fishplate to attach new banana wraps to?

So, I would cut the wraps down, pull back the remaining, lift the shell and pull out the frame. What do you think?

Leonard - your photos are great. What was the sequence? You show the jack in place and then the new floor in place - did you do one side at a time moving the jack over between pieces? Also, how did you clean and paint your frame, wire wheel and primer or POR-15?

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Old 06-10-2004, 03:24 PM   #25
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Wood cross members?

I still need a couple more days to decide just how much repair and replacemet I need for my floor. I have almost everything out of the trailer now so I might as well do as much as makes sense since I am not likely to take things apart this far again. I have lots of thoughts bouncing around relative to how best to do each thing but here is one that I would like to toss out for consideration:

At least one of my frame cross-members (the one at the back of the trailer) needs to be replaced. I have not finished removing enough of the belly pan to examine all the others. I am sorely tempted to consider replacing the crossmember with treated wood (or maybe even plastic wood). The metal cross members do not seem all that sturdy to me. I could either use solid 2x lumber or maybe even costruct an i-beam with treated plywood. I could also use 5/4" plastic decking lumber (trimmed to fit).I can easily visualize how to attach the cross member at least as solidly as the metal ones that I have seen so far.

Is this idea way to weird or othewise imparctical? Any thoughts from any of you structural engineers out there?

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 06-10-2004, 03:29 PM   #26
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My question is how would you attach it? That would seem to be the biggest issue to me - those cross beams are welded in place and while on a 73 they look a bit wimpy - they do add a lot of strength.

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Old 06-10-2004, 04:07 PM   #27
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Attaching wood cross-member

Attaching wood (or plastic wood) cross members could be done farily easily. But for starters it does not seem like they would actually need much attachment. For one thing the plywood across the top of the cross-members does quite a bit to hold the frame together (keep it from spreading). The c-channel shape of the main rails would keep the cross-members from falling out the bottom or lifting up. Both the plywood floor and the belly wrap help locate the cross members front to back. Having said all that what I think I would do would be to drill two holes in the center of the main channel at each end of the cross-member (maybe just one depending on the size bolt I used). I would drill holes in each end of the cross-member that would alingn with the holes in the frame. I would use what they call a dowel nut or cross dowel (or some variation) that can be placed in the wood cross wise to the direction of the bolt. The following site shows what I mean graphically.

http://www.comdir.co.uk/components.a...rWebTemplate=C

These types of fasteners should be available from many different suppliers. I just piked one that had a good drawing of how to use them. They are often used in the furniture industry. I would have to track down a source of a suitably sturdy one - preferably galvanized or stainless.

What do you think?

Malcolm
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Old 06-10-2004, 04:14 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium
I like the idea of running a stringer down the center. What size, thickness and shape of metal did you guys use for yours?

Thanks,

Malcolm
I used 2"X3/16" and 2"X1/8", I already had the two sizes on hand thats why I used two sizes.
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