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Old 11-01-2006, 05:32 PM   #1
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A couple of things...

I took the old water heater out of my AS and put in a small ventless, gas in-line heater. I want to patch the big hole to the exterior. It's about 16x16". Not exactly though. I was looking to by an 18x18" sheet of aluminum to match the rest of the outside body. Does anyone have any ideas on where to find that and what thickness I will need? Also, when I bought my AS, there was no sheet metal in the back on the bottom. Has anyone ever had to buy some of this sheet metal because I don't know where to get a big sheet like that. Lowes has nothing of the sort. Thanks for looking everybody.
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Old 11-01-2006, 06:26 PM   #2
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Aircraft Spruce has the aluminum you will need. If you do a search here on the forums using "Aircraft Spruce" as your keywords, you will find lots of other posts from people that have gone there before you. Different years have different aluminum so someone with a 70's model will have to advise you on what particular aluminum you will need.

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Old 11-01-2006, 06:50 PM   #3
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Your 70's model will have .032 skin in this area - according to the manual I have. You can get aluminum that will polish out like the rest of your unit at

http://www.airpartsinc.com

It's the Alclad. I'm into vintage, why not leave the original door in place - cut a piece of sheet aluminum and rivet it in behind the door to seal the opening - your exterior remains as it was made..... Seal the edges of the added sheet with Parbond. Just a thought.
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Old 11-02-2006, 10:09 AM   #4
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Thanks. Any ideas on the thin sheet metal?
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:48 AM   #5
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Presume you are taking about the belly skin. The manual shows it as 3004 - .024. The same place has this but in 3003 - .025. I'd think that's close enough. You might try a local distributor of HVAC supplies too.

http://www.airpartsinc.com/products/...-3003-5052.htm
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Old 11-04-2006, 06:58 PM   #6
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I need a the aluminum on the bottom to be 6 feet wide but I can only find it in 48" thickness. Will I just have to piece it together or does someone know of a place I can find it in a bigger width? Thanks.
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Old 11-04-2006, 07:03 PM   #7
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I found some that was six feet wide, but it only came in 4 ft lengths.

Sorry about that. I don't think you will find it unless you live near an aircraft factory.
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:42 AM   #8
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It seems that the underbelly aluminum is .024. It's cheaper to get the .020. Does anyone think that would be ok, or is it just too thin?
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:19 AM   #9
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I just did this very thing on the Ambassador. You can see photos here.

I got my aluminum at Airparts Inc. They sell it by the foot, ie. if you order one foot you'll get a 1' x 4' peice.

I got .032 for the sides and .025 for the bell pan. Remember you wanl Alclad aluminum.
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Old 11-05-2006, 03:50 PM   #10
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Do I need alclad for the belly pan too? Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2006, 04:10 PM   #11
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sheet aluminum and stainless

If you dont want to work with aircraft suppliers...sometimes more expensive because of the "aircraft" designation....go to your local sheetmetal shop. You know, the ones that make up ducting and vents. They will either have, in stock, what you want or will order it for you on the next shipment they order. My local guys will even do some duplicating and cutting gratis, if not too time consuming. Other than that, they can do fab work for you.
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Old 11-05-2006, 05:27 PM   #12
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Great idea!
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Old 11-05-2006, 06:31 PM   #13
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Rama-do you now have the water heater space empty?--why not keep it as a place to put some tools or a radio ar a small television,or maybe a bar with ice bucket --You might even strenghten the door and put a better latch on it-seal it up for dryness--jim
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:00 PM   #14
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Personally, I wouldn't spend the extra bucks on Alclad for the belly - your not going to polish it.
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