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Old 10-10-2011, 01:46 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
Morinville , Alberta
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Upgrade central control panel

Hi There,
I'm currently just Starting A restoration on a 1974 31ft International land yaught with rear bath twin beds. I seen an advertisement for a New Airstream with a modern central control Panel that is the size of a Plug in receptacle.
I was wondering if I can upgrade my control panel using the same wiring and sensors of my current panel. Any one ever do this even Possible without having to completely re wire everything.

Dupes.
1974 31ft International land yaught
Twin Beds rear bath
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:30 PM   #2
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1974 25' Tradewind
Berryville , Virginia
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let me know if you find anything on this

let me know if you find anything on this, I would like to replace this and capture some more space.
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:41 PM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
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The early Airstream didn't have this item. On some of the '60s models of control panel, it was out in the open, and looked really space-age cool.

I have the same one in my trailer, and I can't think of any reason I would bother doing a lot of work on it just to re-capture a bit of space.

Besides, without also completely moving the airduct that is behind it (stove hood), how much space would you really gain?

Naww... waste of time.
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:53 PM   #4
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I sure like that control panel. Reminds me of my 76. Dang I miss that Airstream. Looks like you're also missing the fan knob but if you are changing it I guess that dles not matter. You can go as deep as you want with a new modern panel.
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:32 PM   #5
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1974 31' Sovereign
Morinville , Alberta
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I e-mailed airstream on this and they say that the sensors would not work with the new control panel. So unless you re-wire everything the upgrade will not work. And i am not even going to go there.. I'll fix this up a bit and re-finish with dinoc film. Off topic but I am looking at finishing the walls and cabinets with dinoc film. you should check this stuff out on line it looks amazing.

THANKS FOR THE REPLY'S
Darin
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:40 PM   #6
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Interesting stuff, that Di-Noc film.

Will investigate it when I have a bot more time.
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:51 PM   #7
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1972 31' Sovereign
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The control panel on my 72 Sovereign is incredibly brittle. I was thinking of building a new one from brushed face aluminum or tinted acrylic sheet plastic. Do they make an OEM replacement?
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:54 PM   #8
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The control panel on my 72 Sovereign is incredibly brittle. I was thinking of building a new one from brushed face aluminum or tinted acrylic sheet plastic. Do they make an OEM replacement?
Unfortunately, no.

Andy
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:00 PM   #9
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Andy

What are most of the people doing? Are there any after market panels? Is this something I should make a few of. Would anyone else be interested in a good looking recessed panel that you could drop in and transfer your solid state panel, switches and lit openings? Only the first one is a pain. The second one is merely time and materials.
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:42 AM   #10
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This is my first posting. I want to say thanks to all the members past and present who have taken the time to share insights in restoration of vintage trailers. The forum is truly a great help for any one new to Airstream construction.

In my first resto of an Airstream I can up against a damaged control panel and the only option was to rebuilt it. Some lights didn't work and the clock was damaged. The gold and walnut of the original face wasn't going to work either.

After careful measuring I sent plans to an engraver for the back plate. New and old components were then installed and soldered. I was able to replace a bad transistor controlling the fresh water indicators at this time as well.

I also added backlighting in place of the original panel light. I wanted to maintain the trailers vintage feel and decided to use analog gauges in place of digital.

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Old 09-18-2015, 07:53 AM   #11
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Nice job, Ironwood! Looks great! Too bad these aren't for sale.
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:53 AM   #12
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Nice job, Ironwood! Looks great! Too bad these aren't for sale.
Thanks. I'm happy with how it turned out.

If anyone is interested in something similar let me know.
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:36 AM   #13
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1968 24' Tradewind
1967 17' Caravel
Northborough , Massachusetts
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Great job!!!

Perfect modernization without loosing the original purpose or feel.
I don't think digital/analog gauges would have been an issue if tastefully chosen. I'm talking about the digital ones that look like analog ones with backlit LCD or LED display. Could be sharp with your backlit solution.

Chuck

BTW ... to refurbish an old one...

Take a picture of it.

Dissassemble everything from the faceplate.
Wet sand the faceplate back to a perfect aluminum finish... use 600 grit or better for the last step. (1200 would be extra smooth)
Make new labels for the functions on a label-maker... one of the new ones that produce a label similar to the ones on the panel.
Carefully apply these labels to the faceplate with an exacto blade... just peel the backing off of the labels after inserting the tip of the blade between the backing and the label sticking the label to just the tip of the blade.
This allows you to precisely control its placement without getting fingerprints in the glue. Use a clean cloth on your finger (one of those silk cloths for cleaning your glasses works best) to firmly attach the label and remove any air or bubbles after placement.
When all labels are placed, spray paint with a clear coat. Make sure it will not "curl" or otherwise damage the labels by doing a test label on something else... Do a couple of even coats.

You can bake the panel in a 250-275 degree oven to make the clear coat last better... just make sure it just past tacky to the touch before you do or it may curl as it dries. 20 min to a half hour should be enough to properly cure the coat(s).

At this point the panel should look like brand new.

Reinstall all of the old equipment or new replacements.

This is the technique I used for many years as a technician to do test equipment and prototypes for various electronic equipment.


Chuck
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:42 AM   #14
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One more thing...

Make sure you clean the panel carefully between sanding and applying...
Any oils on the surface will cause the clear coat to not stick creating what looks like a pock mark in the finish. Acetone or brake cleaner works best to remove oils... let evaporate off and be careful not to touch afterwards.

Chuck
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