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Old 07-01-2005, 02:35 PM   #15
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Some of those belly pan front plate rivets may be blind, that is not through the skin. You shouldn't have to take any exterior panels off. You may need a rather heavy duty putty knife style scraper to slide up between the rib and belly pan and with a hammer shear the rivet off. There should be a hidden rivet on each side of the door on the ribs and on each end of the well wheel.

Use the 5/8 plywood. I used 3/4 and it wasn't necessary. What are you painting the frame with.
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Old 07-01-2005, 04:32 PM   #16
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1959 18' "Footer"
1964 24' Tradewind
1954 29' Liner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkR
Jordan,
I'm at the same point as you with lots of the same questions, like the "putting it back together sequence"...
you and i definitely need to share photos of what we discover along the way! ha! thanks for the weight info. this evening, i'm planning on building the wooden body braces. i plan on spanning the set of ribs right at the end cap on both sides, then another one over the wheel well. since the bottom aluminum channel has to come out, i assume i can temporarily lift the shell from the ribs, but then store it with a temporary wooden footer, so as to not stress the body for the 2 weeks (month?) the shell will be off.

i need to trace my patterns for the floor before i lift it this weekend, though. i hope i'm not missing anything!

jordan
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Old 07-01-2005, 04:35 PM   #17
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1964 24' Tradewind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
Some of those belly pan front plate rivets may be blind, that is not through the skin.....
thanks for the tip as well. i will try that next. one problem i can definitely foresee is the rivets behind the LP tank mounts. i can barely get to them as is. i think i'm going to have to dremel the heads off the rivets and hope for the best. if i have to smack something up from the bottom in that area, i won't be a happy camper!

as for paint, i'm not certain yet. a good friend of mine has a spray booth, and i was planning on putting on a thick coat of single stage epoxy (i think that's what he said), and baking it on, then a nice thick coat of silver. if you have suggestions there as well, let me know and i'll add them to my growing notebook here!

thanks!

jordan
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Old 07-01-2005, 05:22 PM   #18
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The hidden rivets i discovered, in addition to the ones mentioned by Over59, were in the corners, where the ends and the sides meet.
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Old 07-02-2005, 02:32 PM   #19
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Hi Jordan, No I didn't remove the shell. Didn't see the need for it and I am not equipped to do so anyway. It came out really well. I used the old floor pieces for patterns. Everything fit back together perfectly. I had a new black tank made and I am putting it back in the same spot. The gray water tank is a blue boy, since I boondock more than anything, it just easier for me. I made all the plumbing Valterra, much easier to get than Thetford, FYI
Chris
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Old 07-02-2005, 04:27 PM   #20
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1959 18' "Footer"
1964 24' Tradewind
1954 29' Liner
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assembly sequence

ok, i had to illustrate this as clearly as i could. i didn't know exactly how the belly pan was attached. a few hours with a cut off disk, a pry bar, and a few beers, and NOW i get it. i couldn't figure out why the pan wouldn't just drop when all the rivets were removed. it seems on mine (and maybe it's this way on every airstream, i don't know), the belly pan is folded over the "C" channel before the body is riveted on. this is a ton of work, but very rewarding. the best thing about a true shell-off to me seems to be that you can build them back literally like they were made the first time.

anyways, it's ridiculously hot out, so after sweating my bollocks off all afternoon, i decided to do some simple 3D renders of what i found out, in case there were other confused first-timers out there (like me!) i'll post pics of where i am on the trailer later, once i get them all sorted off the camera.

on to my reassembly sequence.

Step 1: renew frame, axle, etc (pic 1)

Step 2: install sub-floor (insulation not shown for simplicity)

Step 3: install outer channel, and bolt through to outriggers (pic 3)

Step 4: wrap belly pan from underneath, and fold over the top of the channel (something tells me i'm going to need some bandaides for this step!)

Step 5: drop body back on with shell frame, and rivet the whole lot together. no hidden rivets for me, just in case 45 years down the line some other idiot decides to restore this baby!

time for another beer!

jordan
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Old 07-02-2005, 05:48 PM   #21
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very cool graphics
so on step 5 (since this will be the first time for me) how difficult is it to "drop" the shell back down and hold it at exactly the correct elevation to fasten/rivet it all back together . . . my '51 has vertical ribs that seem to end randomly - 1/4"-1/2" above the top of the bottom channel/track - it doesn't seem like I will "know" when the shell is in the right space. I know I've brought this up before on your thread - still trying to get someone to chime in.
And again, nice illustrations.
Mark
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Old 07-02-2005, 05:57 PM   #22
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i'm afraid i don't know. i just got my shell braced for lifting it today. i'll post pics and updates in a sec. do you have any pics of your project? misery loves company! ha!
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Old 07-02-2005, 06:10 PM   #23
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Manufacturing variance

I know, I know....

I think I know.

That is the question.

Whether tis nobler to confront the common tolerance.

Plenty of loose fit here here.
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Old 07-02-2005, 06:18 PM   #24
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Errors in Manufacturing

Very funny Fastrob.

On our Tradewind the belly liner was over the top surface skin.

I have comt to the conclusion das the trailer was an economy model.

My frame has much rust.

The skin is unblemished like a Libra Princess.
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Old 07-02-2005, 06:22 PM   #25
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Silver Pickle update

Todayís work wasnít as visually rewarding, but a lot of progress none-the-less. It took me forever to figure out how the belly pan was attached and the specific assembly order!

Iíve gotten a ton of great info from these forums. It seems like no matter what you need to do, someoneís already done it. It takes the guesswork out of this madness! The trailer shell is now fully braced, and all of the rusted out bolts that connected it to the frame have been cut and for the most part removed. I have also removed all the rivets on the curb-side to the tongue, and all the way to the door. So, all thatís left is the small area from the door to the nose, and the street-side wheel well.

The wheel wells look really rough. Iím not sure the best approach here. The street-side one has buckled from the weight of the body, and probably should be rebuilt from scratch. It seems daunting to get the rivets lined up, but actually, as long as I leave enough material there, it might actually be easier to make new wheel wells, and install them, rather than trying (hoping) to line up the original holes. The original wheel-well mounting tabs have rusted away.

The body now sits on small spacer blocks made out of plywood. I wish I had done this prior to transporting it. I could have saved some body bends on the back panel. Iíll probably have to replace that panel anyway.

Iíve also gotten the temporary supports built today to hold the shell up when I roll the frame out of it this week (again, fingers crossed!) before I get too much farther, I need to make patterns for all the curves on the corners, and add some X-braces to the floor, to keep the shell straight once itís lifted up. Now all Iíve got to do is buy some beer and pizza, and get some unsuspecting friends lined up!

that's it for today! hopefully next post, she'll be in 2 big pieces! i'm still a little worried about the best way to support the bottom of the shell. i was planning on lifting the shell by the temporary 2X4 cross bracing i built, but it's only attached to 6 ribs. i'm not sure if that's enough support to hold it for an extended period of time, and some of my ribs don't touch the bottom channel piece either. i guess i could store it temporarily on the bottom channel pieces until the frame's redone. i'll probably replace all the channel anyway, while i'm in there. some of it had that white, powdery corrosion present.

jordan
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Old 07-02-2005, 08:43 PM   #26
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Let me see if I understand this correctly. The wood flooring sits on top of the frame. Then the channel to which the sides are attached sits on top of the wood with bolts through the wood into the frame. So when the wood rots it leaves an unsupported gap between the channel and the frame??

My first reaction is that this sure seems to be a bad design. Am I missing some nuances here that would indicate this to be a good design???
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Old 07-02-2005, 08:51 PM   #27
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It's no fun if you don't hide a few rivets.

Mark R what's the worry. Get the frame/ floor nice an level side ot side and front to back. You will likly need to jack up the tail some (cheap hydro jacks). Then let the shell down. Some ribs many be short due to corrsion or be bent. Get is down the best you can. I used L brackets to make up the difference. If you have the tongue jack holding the front then there will be a slight bow from there to the axel.

I'm finding the tail belly a real challenge. I suspect the front will be interesting as well.
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Old 07-02-2005, 11:45 PM   #28
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Nitty, that's why so many people doing the "full monty" treat the new plywood edges with all sorts of chemicals/paints/preservatives - to try and prevent the loss of structural integrity . . . I wonder how long/far the PO traveled around with my trailer in exactly the condition you mention - about 75% of the perimeter was about as strong as wet cardboard.
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