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Old 05-20-2011, 10:46 AM   #1
P&K
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1970 29' Ambassador
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Shell removal confusion

I am prepping my 70 ambassador for a shell off restoration. I have spent the last couple months compiling as much information as I can handle on the matter. I am still confused on one thing. Correct me if I'm wrong, but; the rivets under the belt line are the only thing binding the outer shell to the floor's C-channel. The channel then bolts to the frame and floor to bind the whole thing together. If I remove all the rivets holding the body to the C-channel what is keeping the shell from slipping down to the ground? In short, with all rivets out what is the body now sitting on? Do the ribs sit on the frame, thereby holding it up?
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:55 AM   #2
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what holds the body up

The shell is riveted to the upright ribs. The ribs sit in the channel, which is bolted to the floor and frame.

mike
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:34 PM   #3
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Thanks! That makes perfect sense. It looks like you might have been through this before Any tips or tricks?
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Old 05-20-2011, 01:18 PM   #4
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P&K you only need to drill out the rivets holding the shell to the C channel along the straight edges of the trailer. The end caps both front and rear do not need to be drilled out as that C channel actually sits on top of the floor and should stay with the shell during lifting. The C channel along the sides is actually a double C, one wraps around the edge of the floor and the other half is what the shell and the inner skins(walls) are riveted to. You will also need to drill out the rivets holding the ribs to the C channel along the sides as they will lift with the shell and the c channel will not.Of course all the lower sections of the inner skins need to come out for access to the rib rivets and the C channle bolts.
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:50 AM   #5
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Yikes. So the channel along the the sides is like a U sitting on top of a C, right? I thought it was simply a U channel all around. This is good to know.
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:14 PM   #6
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Here is what it looks like.
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:32 PM   #7
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After reading quite a bit, I still learned a lot when we did our shell-off.

I would emphasize:

Brace it well -- the shell really is an eggshell.
Level is your friend -- before removing and especially when replacing the shell
Wind is your enemy -- there are horror stories on this forum.
They aren't all made the same way -- beware the hidden rivets.

Lift very slowly unless you are sure you have removed every single rivet!
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