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Old 08-01-2005, 05:16 AM   #61
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Persistant Problems Unresolved?

Is it correct to assume that there will still be leakage problems that will probably never be resolved? Will venting allow evaporation?

Are there full time professional experts giving similar advise?

Please continue sharing, our trailer is due a new floor and it scares me!
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Old 08-01-2005, 06:11 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 59toaster
Ours was rotten in the same place and it is a box frame and sealed there by a cross member.....
i wish i would have thought of that before the welding was done on mine. now i'm going to have to come up with something different. i've been thinking about making a filler panel out of aluminum, folding tabs back, and sealing it to the inside of the frame channel with vulkem or something similar. then, when i wrap the front belly back on, sealing and riveting it to the filler panel. just an idea. i'll be tackling that this week, hopefully.
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Old 08-01-2005, 06:12 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Rob
Is it correct to assume that there will still be leakage problems that will probably never be resolved? Will venting allow evaporation?

Are there full time professional experts giving similar advise?

Please continue sharing, our trailer is due a new floor and it scares me!
plan for the worst, man! it certainly won't hurt!
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Old 08-04-2005, 07:33 AM   #64
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Floor Progress... slow and steady....

The floor is coming along nicely, although slow. I decided to use Ny-Locks instead of normal nuts, to make sure the floor wouldn’t loosen over time. The problem is, it’s almost impossible to keep the heads from spinning while i tighten the bolts from beneath! I’ve tried a number of different approaches, and the best seems to be DON’T smack it home with the hammer until you get the nut almost tight. Up until that point, I hold the top of the bolt with a pair of pliers, then smack it home with a hammer and hope for the best.

At any rate, 3 out of 4 floor panels are in, and with them, the new wheel wells i had fabricated. they look great! A local shop did them for $125 a pair. I couldn’t say no to that. They built them out of galvanized metal, as the originals were. My big problem with the originals is the tabs were rusted pretty badly (obviously), but more important than that, the inboard tab at the bottom of the wheel well was only 1 inch, BUT the distance between the outside edge of the frame and the back of the wheel well was 3 inches, leaving a 2 inch gap, that the factory filled with a piece of scrap aluminum. As you would expect, the floor was rotted there as well, since the belly pan didn’t cover that section. Look at the picture from beneath for a better view of what I mean.

The tail panel is going in tonight, then I have to replace the straight channel pieces on the side, before working on the belly. I’m planning on picking up the aluminum tomorrow ( .025 3003h14 mill finish).
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Old 08-05-2005, 05:07 AM   #65
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Looks great! Getting to that point felt like a major accomplisment for us.

My wife and I have a system for the Ny-locks. I put my Heel on them while she tightend LOL.

Where did you find aluminum locally and what sort of price? I still need a peice about 4x8.
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Old 08-05-2005, 08:05 AM   #66
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the prices of aluminum vary widely, based off the alloy. i don't totally understand all the numbers yet (beyond the thickness). for basic belly aluminum (mill finish), i'm eaither going to get ours from Metal Supermarkets (770.218.0550), or Wrisco Industries (404.622.1066) their prices for .025 ranged between $30-40 a 4X10 sheet. i think for our belly, we're going to need 5 to start. a 10 foot piece will be perfect for the front up to the nose on each side. on the rear, i'm just working around the edges until i get my tank mounts finished. the tanks i've got hang down a little more than i'd like, but the capacity is probably more important (32 G Fresh, 27G grey, Black not yet decided), and i like the fact nothing will take up valuable floor space up top.

now for the Alclad stuff, that's a lot harder to find. most of the people i talked to wanted huge minimum orders. you can try Aircraft Spruce in peachtree city. they want $210 a 4X12 sheet for Alclad .040 2024-t3. does that price sound about right? i wish i could get it in 8 foot sheets. that would reduce my waste considerably. the side panels are exactly 8 feet long, and i'll be replacing both the lower and upper panels (4 sheets). the front and rear are something like 41", and the 4 corners are closer to 50" on the front, a little longer on the rear. i'm definitely going to need to lay all this out before i buy. (2) 8', (2) 10', and (2) 12' would be ideal.
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Old 08-05-2005, 08:33 AM   #67
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I got my aluminum from http://www.airpartsinc.com/ they can ship UPS ground a 32 foot roll which minimizes waste.Most other folks only ship sheets flat.Sime like Wicks are cheaper at first but with freight get very expensive.I found metal supermarkets way too pricey.I got about ten sheets at the recycler near the airport for about 30USD each.In aircraft we say scratched aluminum is scrap aluminum.Most of the sheets actually came from my work.I would not use anything but 2024-t3.For metal info go to http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...s/aluminfo.php
Instead of using nylock nuts I used a plain nut with Locktite .Much easier to put together just don't try to take apart after.
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Old 08-05-2005, 02:33 PM   #68
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i just got back from Wrisco Industries with the aluminum for the belly. 024 3003 mill finish, to the tune of $26.80 a sheet (4X10). not bad at all, really. they don't carry the 2024, but i'm going to check out a few salvage yards around atlanta before i commit to buying it new. i agree, Metal Supermarkets was WAY more expensive. they wanted $69.14 for a 4X12 sheet of the .024 3003. that's more than DOUBLE!

i can't wait to get the floor wrapped up, and the belly back on this weekend.

please don't rain....please don't rain....please don't rain....please don't rain....please don't rain....please don't rain....please don't rain.......

there goes the thunder again....
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Old 08-08-2005, 06:42 PM   #69
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belly dance!

i've managed to get the front street-sidecorner of the belly installed today. tomorrow i'm planning on getting the curb-side and center pieces at the front in. it went in really smoothly, actually. 024 is DEFINITELY the way to go. be sure to get the right tools from Home Depot to fold the edges down nice and crisply.

before i get too far, though, does anyone know if i need to seal the edges together on the belly pan? i wasn't sure if it was better to leave them unsealed so the area beneath the floor could breathe a little better or not? i had planned on sealing the body panels to the belly when i get to that point.

i'll post more pics tomorrow.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:11 PM   #70
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I just sealed the shell over the belly pan and left the rest alone. It wasn't sealed originally and I figured if I sealed then if water did get in it might pool. Just make sue that when you make the cut to angle up at the corners that you overlap so that as you drive down the road your not forcing air and water into the overlap.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:44 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 59toaster
Just make sue that when you make the cut to angle up at the corners that you overlap so that as you drive down the road your not forcing air and water into the overlap.
I am not clear on what you mean by "cut up at the corners" - could you explain this a bit more?

Carlos
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Old 08-08-2005, 09:12 PM   #72
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I am not clear on what you mean by "cut up at the corners" - could you explain this a bit more?

Carlos
Sure. See where the belly pan starts to angle up to the floor. There is a relief cut at the last full outrigger. Thats where you need to pay attention to what side the overlap is on.
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Old 08-09-2005, 07:12 AM   #73
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thanks for all the info. unsealed it is! i was suprised how easily the first corner went in. i didn't actually need a relief cut in my front right corner, as the door opening starts just a few inches behind the first outrigger. on the left side, however, i'll be sure to lap the front section over the back. i wouldn't have thought of that detail.

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Old 08-09-2005, 08:03 AM   #74
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Belly Pan Overlap (BPO)

On our '76 the belly pan overlapped the outside shell. It was origional.

The water seeped into the belly pan stayed there and rusted the frame.

Obviously you do not want the same result, good luck.
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Old 08-10-2005, 05:13 AM   #75
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second corner...

... then MORE RAIN!!!

I am starting with the front 2 corners, and working my way back to the cut-out for the below floor fresh water tank. Instead of cutting out the curves first, I cut them to square, used Clecos to fasten them to the frame from the inside out, then cut the curve. I tried using the old pan pieces as templates, and ended up with unusable pieces. One difference I ran across was the aluminum sizes. The original center panel of my belly pan was 52” wide. Since the new aluminum comes in 48” widths, and i am planning on a drop-out fresh water tank, the layout of the underbelly is completely different. If you look closely at the pics, you can see where the fresh water tank will go. i have braced the floor above the tank with 1”X1/2” aluminum channel. It will be more apparent after I get the belly pieces on either side finished.

While I’m at it, I’ve decided to replace all the straight sections of C-Channel with new stock. The original channel was just flat stock, bent to shape. I have replaced it with 1 1/2”X 1 1/2” extrusion. It’s MUCH stronger, and helps stiffen the floor near the edges.

Home Depot has all the tools you need to make working with the metal a piece of cake. Next up, the center panel of the belly, then off to the rear.

I have to admit, seeing final aluminum go on the trailer has been really exciting. Every step so far has become infinately more rewarding. I'm addicted. ha!
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Old 08-10-2005, 01:35 PM   #76
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ok, this is getting RIDICULOUS!!!!!



i think i'll take my thunderstorms scattered, smothered, chunked and.... >&*$%@< WHERE IS THE SUN???

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Old 08-10-2005, 10:36 PM   #77
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Jordan, did HD have the extruded channel, or did you get it somewhere else? And are you re-using your original "shaped" channel for the corners? If not, what are you using (my FC just had short 2" lengths about every foot or so and I want it to be more or less continuous).

Looks great, thanks for taking and posting pictures of your work.
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Old 08-11-2005, 04:44 AM   #78
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Jordan, did HD have the extruded channel, or did you get it somewhere else? And are you re-using your original "shaped" channel for the corners?.
hey mark,

i kept the original curved pieces. only one of them had significant corrosion, but fortunately it was all within about an 8 inch area, so i reused it. before i put the rest of the belly back on, i plan on cleaning the bottom of the channel, and painting the aluminum to sorta seal it. i wish i had done this to the front before putting the 2 corners on, but it had no corrosion at all, so i'm ok there.

as for the channel, i got mine from: http://www.mcmaster.com

the channnel on my trailer was only 1 1/2" wide. i've heard some are 1 3/4"... anyway, they only had 1 1/2" in 1/2" legs and 1 1/2" legs... so i opted for the larger. it realy stiffens up the outside edges of the body. i may have to tweak the vertical wall suports to fit back in it, but it'll be solid as a rock!
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Old 08-14-2005, 06:35 AM   #79
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I’ve gotten the front of the belly pan roughed in now. i’m not 100% happy with some of the seams (especially where they curve up at the front), so tomorrow, I’m planning on seeing what i can do to tighten up the front a little, then it’s time to start on the rear. I'm sure if i double up on the rivets in those areas it will really help.

Forecast says rain... of course... but we’ll see how far i can get. i'm also planning on redoing the small sections right before the wheel wells. i didn't leave enough material to blend in with the body when i put it back on.
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Old 08-14-2005, 04:21 PM   #80
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More belly challenges...

The 2 rear corners are in now, as are all the belly pan pieces in front of the axle. I’ve run into several things i’m not happy with, and unfortunately, look like things i need to start over on. The first is up front. When i was drilling the holes for the rivets that hold the center piece to the edges of the outside edges, i was putting a lot of pressure on the drill, hence deflecting the metal. now that corner looks dented in. ARG! HOW did I not see this when i was doing it, I’ll never know. HOPEFULLY, if I drill out those rivets, and let the aluminum fall back into place, I can drill new holes (through the existing visible ones), and pull it together a little nicer.

The second happened on the rear corner. i didn’t cut the relief slit until i was about 8 inches from it. BAD MOVE! by that time, the metal is twisted and formed to make the slit very difficult to get done neatly. CUT THAT SLIT FIRST! it’s going to involve a little doctoring to look right. I believe if i extend the relief slit down with a cut off wheel, it will help a little bit.

The last issue (which probably isn’t a big deal) is around the bottom of the wheel wells. There’s a sizable gap at the top. when i put the floor back on, it extended past the outriggers about 1/2” on each side. I believe that’s how it was on the original, but since my trailer was butchered when i got it, i can’t be certain. at any rate, when i get to the skin stage, I plan on sealing that up with Vulkem, and undercoating the rest of the wells.

Anyone, please feel free to comment on any of these issues. i could definitely use some advice. Part of me thinks "it's just the belly, so don't worry about it"... and the other side says "if you really believed that, you wouldn't be doing this project!"

Time for some BBQ and beer... good thing I ended up with an extra couple sheets of aluminum. I have a bad feeling i may be needing them... pretty much everything else is looking really good though (other than the 3 spots mentioned above).
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