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Old 08-20-2005, 04:28 PM   #85
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1964 24' Tradewind
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Talking Belly.... take 2....

It seems like forever since i sweated my sanity away on the Silver Pickle, but alas, this weekend I plan on making up for lost time. The first thing on the list was to fix that HORRIBLE front belly pan issue. Admittedly, those were the first pieces i installed, and it’s DEFINITELY a learning process (they showed it), so it was definitely worth the time to do it right. So what if i’m behind schedule. Has ANYONE out there ever finished a restoration AHEAD? Ha!

Anyway, step 1 was to remove the material that made up the first corner. It was badly dented from my (pathetic!) amateur installation, and I didn’t see any sense in trying to salvage what was there. That’s what all that extra .024 lying around the trailer is for! After cutting out the material (right at the main relief cut at the first outrigger), I cut a square piece to fill in, approximately 8 inches past the relief cut, so there would be decent overlap, and I would have sufficient material on both sides of the cut to minimize stress. Then, BEFORE i cut or fit anything, I cleco-ed the piece (flat) to the back corner center part of the belly pan, and the original side piece. Then, I marked all the holes with a pen, and rotated the piece slightly out from behind the center piece to drill it. Rotated it back in, and cleco-ed everything for a test fit. I did this flat, because I noticed when you start to torque the metal, it emphasized any mistakes, and riveting them then... well... look what happened to me!

Anyway, things went together incredibly smoothly. I’m going to try to remove the other side and do the same thing to it next. Another MAJOR fix i did was to lengthen the relief cuts in the tabs on the new piece. I remember thinking that if I kept the cuts as short as possible, it would help keep water out. Quite the contrary. It actually makes the aluminum slope outward, and gives the water an entry point. I double-checked the one piece of in-tact pan i have left to see how it was done in 59, and those cuts extended below the floor slightly. I was concerned that my wrap insulation was preventing it from sitting flush, but when cut right, it compresses down very nicely. I’m extremely pleased. Well worth the effort.

Measure twice, cut once, stupid!
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Old 08-20-2005, 07:31 PM   #86
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Looking good! I did this 6 month ago, and remember what a bear it is to suddenly have to think on 3 dimensions. 45's are easy, but up, around, and around the front is a whole nother thang.
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Old 08-22-2005, 03:08 AM   #87
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FINALLY, we have a trailer again! well not 100%, but REALLY close. My friend michael came over today and helped me get everything lined up for the big drop, then piece by piece, the saw horses came out, and the shell was lowered. Right now, the shell is still suspended above the body about 2-3 inches on spacer blocks. it’s going to take a little more work and fiddling to get the shell to sit back square on the frame, but overall, it feels great to have only 1 piece of junk in the yard now. Ha! Hopefully tomorrow I can get back in it, and get things lowered all the way.

I have a good foundation, as they say... now it's time to build a trailer!
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Old 08-22-2005, 08:46 AM   #88
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All's well that ands well!
Congrats!
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Old 08-22-2005, 10:46 AM   #89
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it ain't over till the fat lady sings, as they say... now i'm gathering all my tool info for the next step... skin replacement! it's funny, when i first got this trailer, i didn't even want to mess with the belly pan, but every rivet seems to get easier than the one before, doesn't it?

i am saving the door for last, though!
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Old 08-23-2005, 05:36 PM   #90
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trouble settling in...

well, the fat lady DEFINITELY ain't sung yet! the extrusion i used for the C channel is proving it's rigidity! the internal width is a little less than the folded stuff that was there, so i'm having to notch the extruded ribs to make them fit (the only extruded ribs are where teh end-caps meet the flat sides).

the GOOD news is the non-door side seems to be on just about spot on. it still needs to be "settled in" about half an inch, though. the BAD news is the door side isn't treating me as nicely. i think the rear needs to move rear-ward an additional 1/2 inch or so. in other words, the shell is racked a bit. so much so, the door rubs when it closes. i think tomorrow, i'm going to try bracing the door better, and coaxing the rear into place.

it seems like a wasted effort to work around the body like this to get it back on straight, when the very next thing i'm going to do is pull the skin, but i have to keep the weather out while i work, and i think the skins do keep it pretty much in line.

next time i'm doing this in a barn... did i say that already?
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Old 08-23-2005, 06:57 PM   #91
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I was where you are about two weeks ago and had the same troubles - door rubbing, tight fit in other places. The solution was just what you have been doing - I had to trim a rib or two at the bottom and use some pressure with clamps while I bolted the door frame to the floor. Ultimately it went together. I think it is better to get the shell pretty much bolted on to the c channel - or at least cleco-ed - before tackling the skin as it holds things in place pretty well.

As far as the skin goes, I would use .040 for the long piece on the sides if you are replacing - I used .032 and it is a little wavier than I would like. I am considering replacing my replacement and using the extra on the inside. For smaller pieces of skin such as the curved pieces on the front or rear, I thought .032 was fine.

Good luck - the new belly skin looks great.

Carlos
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Old 08-23-2005, 07:01 PM   #92
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I would make sure everything fits just right before removing as much as an inch of skin. It's important that the structure is squared and secure before yu remove sheets. You will be in aluminum hell if you start replacing panels on a crooked shell.
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Old 08-29-2005, 08:43 PM   #93
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skin thickness and options?

i was looking at a buddy's 66 globetrotter several days ago, and i like the way the side panels were done, so much, in fact, i'm tempted to do the same on the pickle, but wanted some opinions.

the end panels on both are pretty much the same, but the side panels are different. on my '59, the panels end pretty much where the belly pan somes up and attaches to the floor C-Channel. on michael's '66, however, the side panels extend downbeyond that, and fasten underneath the body, so at the waist line, all that you have is a nice line of rivets, and the alclad skin wraps underneath to make a hidden seam underneath. this has it's obvious advantages, in terms of pollishing.

the question is, if i did this approach, i assume i'd have to go with 032, rather than the 040, in order to make that curve? my side panels are only 42" tall, so i could do this modification without needing any additional material. the curve at the bottom could help stiffen the panel to prevent buckling.

just doing a little brain-storming, as i'm buying all the material this week. i think it could be a cool, seamless side treatment. i would definitely use 040 on the door, and upper side panels. actually, i had planned to use 040 everywhere, but after re-reading some posts, it sounds like 032 for the curved ends would be fine.

any thoughts?
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Old 08-29-2005, 09:05 PM   #94
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I would stick with .040 for the sides and .032" for the front and back.I also was not able to find .040 in lengths more than 12' so couldn't get it for front and back.Those front and back panels take on a bit of a compound curve where they meet the top end cap and I think .040 would cause difficulty.I was very happy with the .040 I used on the curb side.
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Old 08-29-2005, 09:13 PM   #95
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what do you think about wrapping the sides under the belly? if i go that route, do you think that 040 would be too stiff to make that curve?
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Old 08-29-2005, 09:23 PM   #96
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I prefer the sharp line the bottom of the panel makes.It would be difficult to roll the whole edge of a 2024-t3 panel , even in .032.
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Old 09-03-2005, 06:53 PM   #97
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hey greg,

after playing with this material, i think i like the straight edge better, too. even the 032 won't bend anything like the stuff i used on the belly. probably because the different alloy. thanks for all your advice so far. i've made some good progress today!

jordan
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Old 09-03-2005, 06:58 PM   #98
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Front Skin Replacement: Day 1. Lots of progress today, and even more planned for tomorrow. The first thing I did was pull the front right corner skin, and front panel. Then i got to start using some of the new tools i’ve been collecting over the last 2 weeks. i can NOT say enough about the Nibbler. if you swap out a panel, you NEED this tool. All i had to do was take the original panel, lay it flat, finished side down on top of the new 2024 (finished side down), clamp the corners, and run the nibbler along the edges. it has a built in guide which makes duplicating parts a piece of cake!

Next step is to put the panel in place, and use the handy pancake drill to back drill holes through the structure. the bottom of the end caps was easy, since they overlay. then cleco the hell out of it to get it tight. I found, after i started riveting that side panel in, that i had NOT clecoed the bottom, and consequently, there will most likely be a small buckle near the door. i’m hoping to “walk it out” tomorrow, by trying to evenly distribute it through out the panel before putting on the final piece next to the door.

Next step is to tape the panel in place, and mark on the tape where the rivet holes are (this makes it WAY easier to reassemble, plus the tape keeps that vulkem goop from getting all over everything... though that seems to happen anyway). remove the panel, goop away, and refit it. Let me say from experience, getting those front corners in there perfect, under the window trip and end-caps, with vulkem on them is in NO way fun... but everything cleans up with mineral spirits.

I went ahead and got a head start on tomorrow’s project by removing the opposite corner, cutting the new panel, and clecoing it roughly into place. Tomorrow, i’ll tighten everything down.

The only pieces i did not use the nibbler on were the square end piece, and the square piece by the door. My friend has a shear that will cut 48 inches and make a factory-looking edge.

Man, i HOPE these end caps polish up as nice as the new material looks. they have been sanded by the PO with what looks like 220 to remove white paint! (yep, somebody painted this trailer to look like an argosy!). once it's towable, i'm going to do some nuvite tests on the end caps to see what i can do.

Time for a beer!
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