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Old 06-09-2014, 06:26 PM   #1
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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1966 Tradewind Rear Belly Skin Help

I am having trouble "forming" the rear corner wraps on my old Trade Wind. I kept the old pieces as a pattern. This piece transitions from the curved sides to a flat bottom. It also follows the corner radius. I cut a new piece the same outline as the old one, made some 1" slits like the old piece, and started tucking them in between the outer skin and plywood floor. I started tucking it in at the rear. But I get a wrinkle and can't get the piece to lay flat underneath.

My photos are of the old pieces as I removed them, and of the old pieces lying on the floor "in the flat"

Is there a special technique for cutting and installing this part of the belly pan?

David
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:10 PM   #2
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I'm going to move this thread to the Belly Pans and Banana Wraps forum. I think I selected the wrong forum title.

David
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:36 PM   #3
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Boy that looks familiar. I copied mine and while I was pretty careful to duplicate the shape and the rivet holes, it wasnt quite exact. I secured it on the outside of the siding with rivets, not underneath like you tried to do. That is how it was originally attached.

Where it attached back to the frame it had a bit of a gap, but none of that is noticeable. The rounded edges also overlap the bottoms of the banana wraps and that doesnt have to be perfect. My logic is that if any water does get down inside, it should be able to run out easy enough, so a gap or extra hole underneath is actually a good thing.

So no, no special technique that I know about, just a bit of cutting and fitting and accept that your work might not be perfect, but certainly should be good enough.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:09 PM   #4
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I just did a complete replacement of the belly pan of a 1963 Bambi. The original was done in 2 pieces, with a seam down the middle. The material shop inadvertently sold me material in size thicker (0.040 ?). I was doing a shell off, so I could flip the frame/floor/wrap assembly over, and try pressing down, flip and press up. I tried and tried everything I could think every night for 3 months. I tried ratchet straps, hydrolic jacks with sand bags & 2x4's, on and on. I finally gave up, and took the whole thing down to a local sheet metal shop, and told them to give up trying to do 2 peices, cut corner pieces like your pic's

I probably got the closest, resting the trailer on 2x4's along the 2 adjacent frame sections (as if it were riveted to the frame) to "freeze" that area. Then using other jacks, and thick rubber ( I had 4"x6" piece of "hockey puck" type rubber), and little peices of plywood, pressed up around the corner. These corner jacks were always slowly slipping since they were at an angle.

It May have been easier with .032 material, and don't want to be a downer but the 2 front corners kicked my #%%, to try and form those compound corners.
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:12 AM   #5
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1966 24' Tradewind
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Thank you Airstreamer's for your experiences. This rear corner piece is giving me fits too. I appreciate Aquinob's describing the gab between the corner piece and the frame rail. I currently have about a one inch gap.

I started installing this piece by first slitting it about 1" deep by 5" tabs like the original. I then bent the tabs up about 45 degrees on the bench. I could see how the material wanted to overlap at the slits, so I made pie shaped cuts to avoid the overlap.

Then I started at the rear and stuffed the first tab between the outer skin and plywood floor. I worked my way around the rear corner doing this. The sheet of material was fighting me the whole way.

It is not perfect. It has wrinkles in it. I'm not happy with it. I'll take any help I can get.

David
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:37 PM   #6
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Try, try, try again!

I have a new appreciation for the 1966 Airstream employees who made the original belly pan. I think it may be easier to cut it to fit while the frame and floor are upside down, then snip and hammer the aluminum around the corners. Finally, flip the frame over and mount the shell.

I'm trying to stuff the tabs under the shell and it's not working.

I tried many 1" wide tabs today and felt it went a tinsy bit better. But I still struggled. The cut aluminum is sharp, and I think it digs into the wood floor as I try to slide it between the shell and floor. And I installed a new plywood floor in the bathroom and pounded it real tight under the c-channel and against the outer skin. I neglected to leave room for the belly pan tabs.

Here is a picture of the piece I made with more tabs. They collapse and overlap quite a bit as the corner radius is formed.

This is the hardest job I've had doing my Trade Wind bath rebuild project.

David
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:52 PM   #7
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I have a few wrinkles and a small pucker but not bad I did make the 5 inch x 1 inch 1.5 inch x 1 inch for the curve just a patients part! I do not envy the way that you are doing it I had the shell off and should have done the corners when I had it flipped but nooooooo It is just the corner!##+#%! Keep playing with it and don't dismay if it is not perfect as long as it serves the purpose!
Cliff
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:57 AM   #8
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Thank you Cliff. My rear corners are a long way from perfect. I'm frustrated with them right now and figure I can redo them when I get real energetic. I will patch spots to prevent critter entry. Thankfully they don't show unless your on your back under the trailer, out of sight, out of mind. It's hard for me to form a belly wrap curve in the vertical direction, and a variable radius in the horizontal direction. Sheet metal just doesn't want to go that way.

I do think it would be easier with the shell off, but a whole lot more work to get the shell off! More than I can do.

The front banana wraps are stamped aluminum, or formed aluminum. Man, I would hate to make one of those! My 86 has plastic banana wraps, cheaper and easier and they don't dent, just shatter! Don't ask me how I know! But it's related to a truck tire tread laying in the middle of the interstate.

I'm going to press on to the next phase of my project and leave the rear corner pieces as they are for now.

Thanks to all for your replies.

David
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:00 AM   #9
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Make them V-shaped

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Try, try, try again!


Here is a picture of the piece I made with more tabs. They collapse and overlap quite a bit as the corner radius is formed.
David
Here's a technique that might work.

Drill a hole at the point where each cut should end as you form the tabs. This acts as a stress relief so that the metal doesn't crack at the top of the cut.

Then make two cuts that intersect at the hole, forming a V shape. That will take out the overlap when you bend the tabs up.

Play with this until all you have to force between the flooring and the shell is one thickness of metal.

Good luck!
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:37 AM   #10
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Thanks mimiandrews. I did try "pie shaped" cuts on the tabs to reduce the overlap. I didn't drill stress relief holes at the end of the cuts. The material wants to pucker, or pleat as it is forced around the rear corner. And the tight gap between wood floor, C channel, and outer skin is no help. Airstream may have used some type of sticky sealant on this joint adding to the friction in sliding the tabs into the gap.

Maybe I should make a "buck" duplicating the rear corner shape. Then cut my aluminum sheet, make my tabs. Finally, I could bend the tabs around the buck and trim the overlap. At least I could see what is going on as I form the corner.

David
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:03 AM   #11
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Are you missing or did that trailer not come with "banana wraps" in the rear? From the first two pictures, I don't see any. They would wrap down from under the lower molding and snug up to the frame and provide a relatively flat surface to mate with the two curved ends in your second photo.



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Old 06-17-2014, 05:34 AM   #12
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Hi Aquinob,

My 66 Trade Wind is the "older" sixties body style. It doesn't have rear banana wraps. Essentially the transition from vertical exterior skins to the belly pan was flat under the rear bath. I have a picture of the Trade Wind rear curb side where you can kinda see the flat bottom. Reminds me of a "beaver tail".

The body style changed significantly for 1969 models. It was more rounded, less slab sided, and had rear banana wraps. I included a picture of my son's 69 Globetrotter. You can't see the banana wraps, but you can see the more rounded body.

So the rear corner pieces of my old belly pan transition from the radius side wall wraps to a flat rear end.

David
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