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Old 08-08-2005, 09:44 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, 10:12 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcferguson
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, 08:12 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, 09:03 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, 06:13 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, 02:35 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, 11:36 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, 05:44 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkR
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, 07:35 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, 05:21 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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Old 08-14-2005, 10:16 PM   #81
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Turn it Over

I keep thinking about the old picture I see on this site with the frame upside down and the belly pan installed.

Is it hard installing the sheets up side down, from the bottom up?

Understanding the grabity of the situation and would like to help, but I am three sheets to the wind and up side down. I like pun-ishment as much as the next guy though.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:03 AM   #82
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Airstream curved, wheel well straight. Vulkem good.

Pull the shell to the wheel well around the bottom edge of the well. On the inside ther will be a gap between the well and the shell. I had a half inch of vulkem in there.
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Old 08-15-2005, 07:53 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Merry-Can
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.

I think that gap is standard issue - it was there on my 62' airstream when I took it apart and I just filled it with poly sealant (like vulkem) when I put it back together. Then I sprayed it all with undercoating under there and it disappeared.

As for the seams, I agree those are tricky, I just finished mine a couple weeks ago. The problem is that it can't be easily fixed later. There is one part I was thinking of redoing and it would have been nice if I could have left it 'til later to see if it was visible when the renovation was done. Instead, the belly pan has to be done before the top comes back down... I ended up leaving the little mistakes and putting the shell back on. I decided if you have to be on your back in the dirt to see the problems... Also, if you get this one perfect, there won't be any room to apply knowledge and improve on your second airstream.

What metal did you use for the belly? I chose 3003 .024 which was pretty soft. It went on ok, but I think it might dent fairly easily. I am picturing kids kicking. I remember well how much fun it was as a child to push down those little fins on air conditioner heat sinks. I read some posts from others complaining of difficulty getting the harder stuff to conform though...

Carlos
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Old 08-16-2005, 06:39 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcferguson
What metal did you use for the belly? I chose 3003 .024 which was pretty soft. It went on ok, but I think it might dent fairly easily. I am picturing kids kicking. I remember well how much fun it was as a child to push down those little fins on air conditioner heat sinks. I read some posts from others complaining of difficulty getting the harder stuff to conform though...

Carlos

i used the same stuff... .024 mill finish. i'm definitely pulling that corner out and starting again. i just can't believe i didn't notice it until i had finished! what can i say to that? i was on my back on a creeper for anhour, and never crawled out to check my work. i certainly won't make THAT mistake again!

i hope the skin replacement is easier than these d@mned front belly corners! guess i'll find out when i rastle this pan in....
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