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Old 04-09-2012, 07:54 PM   #61
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Spring is here. Time to get to work!

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Old 04-25-2012, 11:52 AM   #62
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I've been working for the past couple of weeks to get rid of the major leaks in the roof. My progress is documented at this thread since I went to the forum to ask for help.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f456...eal-89333.html
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:55 PM   #63
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Just went out in a big rain storm to check out the new rivets. Everything I have worked on does not leak. There are still leaks around the tops of the windows and doors but I know that I need to replace the sealant in those places anyway so that may be next on my list. I think I may see light at the end of the tunnel.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:04 PM   #64
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So it is now a shell off!
I removed the floor and realized I was 90% of the way to taking off the shell.


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So I built bracing with scrap wood I had laying around. I attached 2x2s vertically to the main ribs with machine screws and then attached 2x lumber as the main horizontal brace to the 2x2s with 3" deck screws in pre drilled holes, I then made the two main perpendicular braces perpendicular to that. These were attached using steel angles and plywood gussets to keep things square. I put another one of these in the middle and then added X braces with some 1x2s and some plywood.


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I dug some holes with a post hole digger on each side just behind the wheels and then one in front of the door. I placed 3 vertical posts in some concrete at a depth of at least 2 feet and piled rocks in the top of the holes and packed it down with a 4x4. On the left front, I didn't want to dig up my brick path so I built one saw horse out of landscape timber and piled big rocks on it to holed things down. I made sure all the posts were plumb and secure.


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I drilled out the rivets that attach the front skin to the big metal piece attached to the frame and everything released nicely after a few curses and a deep breath. I added a few emergency webbing straps to prevent any big movements. I attached a 2x2 to the front cross beam and positioned a bottle jack between the frame and the 2x2. I thn started jacking the shell off the frame. Of course there was an elevator bolt that I had forgotten which I had to saw out with a hack saw since I had put all my bracings in front of it. The shell started rising in the front. As I lifted it up, I kept a level on the main cross which was set parallel to the frame. Both sides rose together. I was shooting for 28" off the ground since the wheels are about 27" tall. once I got the shell 4" above the frame, I slid a long 2x4 under the shell and attached it tot the cross member.



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To keep things safe, I kept screwing in vertical boards to the main cross at each new elevation so if I screwed up it wouldn't fall more than the last stopping point which was never more than 2". I also added straps to attach the long 2x4 to the main posts so that the whole thing couldn't slide down the hill. The frame and the shell were still attached with c clamps at the extreme rear of the trailer.


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At this point, I had to take a break so I screwed some extra bracing to the the front cross member, tightened all the straps down and allowed myself to relax a bit. I think I might lift the front a bit more but I'm going to jack up the back end first tomorrow so it is not all resting on the back part of the shell. As I thought about it, I should have done them both more together, but I Think everything still looks OK.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:11 PM   #65
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I wonder if the moderator Is reading. If so, I would like to change the name of this thread to 1980 Caravelle shell off renovation.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:34 PM   #66
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Good job man!
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:46 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timzog View Post
I wonder if the moderator Is reading. If so, I would like to change the name of this thread to 1980 Caravelle shell off renovation.
Tim
Nice work Tim. Usually, you have to send a PM to a mod. They can surely do it. Keep it up!
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:43 PM   #68
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I raised the back up this morning the same as the front although it was faster, as expected since I was less afraid and more aware of the issues.


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I was a bit worried About having enough clearance so the wheels could make it under so I jacked up the front a bit more. It turned out that I had just enough room so I didn't have to dig or take air out of the tires (plans B and C). I took out all of the straps, screwed the cross members to the posts in 3 different ways, and put the wheel on the front jack. I attached the safety chain to a come-along and then to the tow hook in the front of my Honda Pilot and started to pull it out. It went really smoothly and slowly since I was nervous about screwing something up. Here is the process in stop motion.


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Now I am happy.
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:26 AM   #69
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Very nice, that frame looks to be in good shape! A little clean up and paint and you will have it back together in no time!
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:50 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman54
Very nice, that frame looks to be in good shape! A little clean up and paint and you will have it back together in no time!
Thanks for the encouragement Tinman. The rear crossmember is rusted out but my neighbor is going to weld in a replacement for me. I'm going to get rid of the rear bumper box and let the water off the back of the trailer flow down to the ground instead of underneath the floor. I'm also going to put in a bigger grey tank so I may add an additional brace for that. I also need to replace some small sections of C channel that has been messed up. On my Caravelle there is only C channel along the sides (it actually is shaped like an upside down F) and the entire front and back just has an extrusion that looks like an upside down J that rests on top of the plywood only. The J stuff is in really good shape although the plywood floor that it used to rest on was in BAD shape due to the bumper leak in back and a fresh water tank leak in the front. I am still trying to decide if I want to use prodex or foam to insulate the frame. It seems to me that if any water got on top of the prodex it would flatten it out on top of the bellypan. I've read a bunch of threads about this on the forum but still am not sure. Any experience would be appreciated.
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:09 PM   #71
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Tim, I did not use any insulation under the floor, I don't camp in the cold and if I do iI will wear some slippers. I felt any type of insulation down there will hold water and lead to more problems then cold feet. I did use two layers of prodex in the outer shell and am very happy with that.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:43 PM   #72
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I took off the rest of the bellypan and the grey tank and everything that wasn't welded on.
Here are some pics of the frame. It is in pretty good shape except the rear crossmember which I will replace soon.
With the grey tank.

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Now without the grey tank. See how the middle supports between the back crossmember and the next one are cut off. That can't be right, can it? I'm going to extend those to the new rear crossmember so that the bathroom floor doesn't feel too squishyunless someone convinces me otherwise.
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Here is a close up of the rear crossmember. Serious corrosion thanks to a really badly designed bumper!
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Starting to clean up the frame in the driveway. It is cool how I can move it around by myself and even lift up the tongue by hand.
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Today I started cleaning it off with a 3" wire cup brush and a 4" wire wheel brush on my electric drill. Every time I hit an old hive or nest the dirt would fly. I also drilled out any forgotten rivets and used a cutoff wheel to knock off any forgotten bolts or screws that I had missed . I found an auto body store that sells POR 15 so I am going to give it the full treatment as soon as the welding is done,
Tim
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:48 PM   #73
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Planning for putting it all back together.
I've been putting together some parts and supplies.
Yesterday I bought some 3" x 1 1/2" x 3/16" steel C channel to replace the rear crossmember. This is the same material as the main frame but heavier than the existing C channel. I also bought some rectangular tube and some flat stock to fix a few other things. I just need to get my neighbor who is a welder to help me now
Today I ordered a bunch of stainless bolts, nuts, and washers as well as of tapping floor screws from McMaster. I am following Bart's lead of using stainless bolts instead of elevator bolts. I think a 1/4" stainless bolt plus a 1" fender washer and a nut locked in with Loctite is just as good if not better than an elevator bolt. Also the corrosion resistance for an integral part of the structure seems important to me.
I am planning on replacing some of the broken pieces of C channel on the sides. They were really wiped out when the fridge and water heater we installed. Any idea on good sources other than making it myself?
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:13 AM   #74
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The moderator helped me change the name of the thread today since it has morphed into a full shell off. I certainly did not see this coming when I bought it.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:22 AM   #75
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The moderator helped me change the name of the thread today since it has morphed into a full shell off. I certainly did not see this coming when I bought it.
Funny how plans change! We had no idea what we were getting into when we purchased the Cruiser. Most of the project was fun but It is a lot more fun now that we made it to the end!
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:12 PM   #76
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Spoke to my neighbor who is going to help me weld the frame. I'm hoping we can do it on Thursday. Otherwise I have to wait two weeks
Going to cut out the rear crossmember and replace with a beefier 3/16 c channel. Also going to extend those supports that seem to stop in mid air in the back with 1" square bar stock. Also going to weld a plate over the former waste hole in the frame and add some bracing for e new grey tank. I hope he is still my friend when it is done. I don't know anything about welding so I am not sure how much I am really asking.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:42 PM   #77
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I now have a solid frame!!!!!!!!!!!
With serious help from my next door neighbor Grant, we cut out the old rear crossmember. After cutting just a bit off of the top of one side, I was able to pull it out easily with one hand and break it off.


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and welded in a 3/16" x 3x 11/2" C channel.


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We then extended the pieces perpendicular to the crossmember with 1" x1"x1/8" square tube and welded them to the rear crossmember. It feels so much more solid now. It is tough to see but we also welded on a 2" x 1/8" extension along the let main frame member which is going to help support the grey tank.


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I am very excited to be making progress. Now I get to paint the frame and start putting it all together. I am going to test fit the grey tank and hope that it works!
Tim
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:23 PM   #78
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Test fit the new 40 gallon grey tank today.

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I was hoping to rest it on top of the bottom web of the main C channel but couldn't get it in that way. As it is, it fits nicely right under the main C channel frame and I will be able to bolt it in. I went with a 2" opening, but am finding that there aren't any hoses or terminations for that size. Whoops. I think I will put together something custom with stock parts. Maybe a screw on fitting in 2" ABS with a screw cap. Maybe just an adapter to a garden hose??
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:53 AM   #79
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I got some more works done this week. I cleaned up the frame and painted with POR15. By the way POR15 sticks to my hands I think it will stick to the frame pretty well.


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I then painted the exposed parts with blue automotive paint. I sprayed the topcoat on 3 hours after application of the POR because it apparently won't take a top coat after much longer than that.

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Old 06-16-2012, 07:12 AM   #80
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I am now ready to start on the floor,
I am thinking about the subfloor and really don't want to use wood. I've played out 100 scenarios in my head and I think I've decided on one. I'm going to build an aluminum torsion box with 1/8" aluminum sheet on top, .032" aluminum sheet on the bottom and an array of thin 3" aluminum c channels to provide the webs of the box. I'll fill all the spaces with 3" thick foam blocks to add rigidity. I'll use regular pop rivets on the bottom and countersunk pop rivets on the top. Where the top and bottom sheet meet the steel frame I'll use stainless rivets. Overall this should be lighter and stronger than the current system and be more resistant to water. I may beef it up a bit near the edges where it ties into the frame. I am trying to figure out the optimum spacing and where to get light c channel for the web. I may make he channel myself with really light weight sheet since the job of the web is only to keep the space of the skins at a fixed distance.
Torsion boxes have an amazing strength to weight ratio. I could use blown in foam to provide the web, but I am worried about long term durability under stress and don't want a totally sealed frame. I may seal the styrofoam to the aluminum web but not tot the steel frame to avoid locking moisture against the frame.

Has anybody tried this before??
Any experience would be appreciated.
Tim
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