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Old 05-19-2006, 11:47 AM   #1
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Shell-On Floor Replacement -- who has done one on 1950s model?

I am in quite a pickle out here in the boondocks, with my "solid floor," "no water damage," "all appliances and systems working," "running gear in good condition" recent acquisition.

Although great effort was expended to hide the damage (second layer of plywood -- over fill material in worst spots -- covered by sheet vinyl), the subfloor is seriously rotted and must be replaced. I have removed interior, am now in quandary re. shell-on vs. shell-off replacement.

Shell-on seems more feasible, in that I can get a welder to come to me for work on frame, but have NO idea where to find a skilled buck-riveter to help me reassemble things if I take the shell off.

However, I'm not sure about being able to make major frame repairs shell-on, should I find them needed.

Has anyone done a shell-on replacement of this vintage trailer? I have lots of questions! And although I've found a couple of links to a few pics, most of the links were "parked." The few pics I could find didn't show what I needed to see.

Thanks for any input!
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Old 05-19-2006, 11:57 AM   #2
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Lynne, I did a "shell on" floor replacement, but it was on a 1973 model. I had to do a shell on because I had no way to remove the shell. There's quit a bit of difference in yours and mine. Somebody with more knowledge of your model can better advise you. There will be similarities between the two trailers, however, so if you want to see how I did it, look at this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...nte-15132.html

Jim
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Old 05-19-2006, 12:09 PM   #3
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Lynne,

RJ Dial, who has the site www.vintageairstream.com is doing a shell on floor replacement on his 1956 Flying Cloud. He has a number of pictures on his project. Also his site is a tremendous resource for airstream history, parts, suppliers etc.

Bill
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Old 05-19-2006, 12:28 PM   #4
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I replaced just the front half of my floor with the shell on. I also had a welder come in and weld about 10 breaks in the frame, including some serious problems around the step. Then I slid pieces of marine plywood back in and screwed down through it into the frame. I didn't even pull off the bellypan. Two years later you wouldn't even know I had it all apart.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ive-14679.html

Good luck!
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Old 05-19-2006, 10:56 PM   #5
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Lynne,

If you do need to remove any parts of the body that are rivited on you do not necessarily need to re-install bucked rivets. A lot of restoration work is done using Olympic rivits which can be installed from one side with a pop-rivet tool (either a manual one or a pneumatic one). Do a search for Olympic rivets and I think you will find plenty of information.

I also favor shell on floor repair and did so with my 1973. It can be done.

Malcolm
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:41 AM   #6
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Thanks Jim, Bill, Stephanie & Malcolm.

I've looked thru all the threads on this I can find, am still a little unclear on:

(1) Best way to deal with belly pan (can't remove mine completely without removing same rivets I'd need to remove for shell-off). I would like, after I get done with everything else, to take the trailer to someone skilled in buck-riveting for replacement of just the straight side pieces you can see of belly skin - they're sliced in several places by outriggers, and patched poorly in one place. I THINK I can re-use existing sheetmetal for the parts you can't see further under. Front and back curved pieces, altho there are a few dings, are OK with me.

(2) Best way to jack, level and support frame before starting: how many places, best spots, best equipment?

(3) Best way to brace shell before I start removing floor: I know using 2x4s screwed to ribs, but is it basically same as for shell-off, or less complex? I probably want to do whole floor off at once, so that welder can make just one trip.

(4) Best way to jack shell up to remove pieces of floor, slide in spacers, replace pieces of floor.

(5) Is it possible to use full sheets of plywood side-to-side, as in shell-off?

(6) Where the heck can I find 5/8" marine grade plywood?!?!? I've called all kind of places in the (250 mile radius) area, they have 1/2" and 3/4" (even these are special order), but no 5/8"!

Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:27 PM   #7
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Lynne, let me take a shot at a couple of these. First of all, let me say again, there are big differences between my ’73 and your’59.

1. Take a look at Ankornuta’s thread. He has a ’58 that is probably pretty close to yours. Lots of pictures and info there on a “shell off” resto. Here’s the link: http://www.airforums.com/forum...ion-20215.html.
2. My frame was pretty level even after I got the interior out and the floor up. I just moved it out of the backyard and onto the concrete driveway and leveled the wheels and tongue jack. Your results may be different based on many things (rusted frame members, etc) One word of caution, do not move the trailer radical distances (i.e. miles and miles, more like feet). You can cause BIG problems with the structure of the trailer once you start removing the interior walls and so forth if you move the trailer.
3. I didn’t have to brace the interior in the “traditional” way that you see in the pictures. The way the ’70’s models are made, the shell rests on the frame in such a way that you can cut the floor out of the trailer and leave a “border” of the old floor material under the shell around the outside of the frame so that the shell won’t move around. Take a look at some of the pictures in my thread and you’ll see the border of wood I’m taking about. Here’s the link: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/doin-full-monte-15132-9.html.
4. Post 167 shows how I did it. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/doin-full-monte-15132-12.html.
5. Full sheets probably are just a little too big. Take lots (and I mean LOTS) of measurements before you remove the floor. Measure many times and then cut.
6. I didn’t use marine grade ply in mine. I found it in a hardware store on the gulf coast, tho I’ll bet a call to a local boat dealer would give you a couple of leads (say, in Corpus?). $90 a sheet was way out of my league. Couple that with the fact that I used West Marine Epoxy and Varathane to treat the B/C grade plywood I ultimately went with, I think all will be fine.

Hope this helps a bit.

Jim
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:08 PM   #8
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replacing sub-floor without good pattern/flashing the edge

I am FINALLY to the point of replacing sub-floor this week, have two questions:

(1) Most of my original sub-floor did NOT come out intact (some parts I thought might never come out at all!), and in many areas the perimeter was totally rotted away. I have read in some places that the subfloor is supposed to extend about 1/4" past the outriggers. Does that seem right to those of you who've done a sub-floor replacement? Not in the front where the little short outriggers are, but everywhere else?

(2) Has anyone come up with a good detail for flashing the threshhold and the places fore and aft where the frame pierces the skin right next to subfloor edge?

I hope to get some pix up soon. Thanks to everyone for your continued advice and support!
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Old 07-13-2006, 05:06 PM   #9
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The 1/4" extension of the plywood sounds about what I remember.

Regarding replacing the subfloor without removing the belly pan it is possible to reattach the floor from above with self-drilling/self-tapping screws. I bought mine at Home Depot. If you are replacing more than one sheet you can also use a few elevator bolts from the top along the open edge of any given piece of plywood as long as you can reach in under the floor from the edge.

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Old 07-13-2006, 06:35 PM   #10
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I found the self tapping screws did not have sufficient holding stength and tended to strip if tighten down. I believe a shell off is in fact easier and quicker than fooling around with getting the floor sections to fix and secured with the shell on. Taking the shell off is 4 hours work, putting it on another 4, if everything fits.
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Old 07-13-2006, 06:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
I found the self tapping screws did not have sufficient holding stength and tended to strip if tighten down. I believe a shell off is in fact easier and quicker than fooling around with getting the floor sections to fix and secured with the shell on. Taking the shell off is 4 hours work, putting it on another 4, if everything fits.
And you have a place to put the shell while replacing the floor.

Bill
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Old 07-13-2006, 07:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
I found the self tapping screws did not have sufficient holding stength and tended to strip if tighten down. I believe a shell off is in fact easier and quicker than fooling around with getting the floor sections to fix and secured with the shell on. Taking the shell off is 4 hours work, putting it on another 4, if everything fits.
I have the upper shell "on," but the belly pan is trimmed back to ~6" from lower rivet line, so I am easily able to use standard elevator bolt attachment of sub-floor to frame. Somehow my thread and Stephany's (who did a partial sub-floor replacement with shell AND belly-pan on) have gotten mixed up!

Many factors went into my decision to do it this way. I'm still thinking it was best for me. And if it turns out that removing and re-bucking the entire lower rivet line (which will need to be done eventually, to replace the belly-pan) really only takes 8 hrs, I will be SO happy, because I'm planning on paying someone else to do it! And if I can't find anyone to do it (still looking), I guess I'd be thrilled if it only took me 16 hrs....
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