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Old 07-29-2014, 12:22 PM   #1
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Adding panels on top of panels instead of replacing?

So the lower corner panels on all 4 of my corners are dinged up or scratched in one way or another.

These seem to just wrap around and don't have any crazy form like the upper corners.

My idea is to just rivet new panels right over the messed up ones instead of getting rock guards (the trailer is a 72) and instead of replacing the panels.

Keep in mind: I have all interior skin and insulation already removed for a shell off.
And: I can see these places getting constantly beat up over the years and would love a solution I can repeat without taking the whole inside of the trailer apart again.

So what do you think? Double layer corners or not? Thanks!!!!
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:14 PM   #2
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I think it's a great idea and might consider it myself!.. But what do i know...I'm just a noob here.
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:13 PM   #3
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The panels are compound curved so it will be very difficult to wrap flat sheet around them
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:47 PM   #4
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Yep, they look like a flat sheet that has just been wrapped around, but put a straight-edge vertically against them, and you will see that they have a subtle curve to them. As a result, overlaying a flat sheet isn't going to work. I replaced one of my lower segments as you describe, and I was sorely tempted to remove the original formed sheet and put a flat sheet in its place. I gave it a try, and not only was it a heck of a hassle to get it into place, it looked wrong both compared to the other side, and to the contour of the side of the trailer it was on.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:08 PM   #5
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The idea isn't bad though - my former owner put a flat panel over a dent on the side of my 31' and if you didn't know about it, you wouldn't notice it - it looks like it belongs there.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:40 PM   #6
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Thank goodness I posted on here first. I thought they were flat for sure! Ugh. Thank you very much! I will do some more research.

An idea : replace all 4 corners with flat pieces now. And then in the future when they get dinged up I will put flat ones on top. I'll try to post a picture of a ruler against it when I check the curve.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:46 PM   #7
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Just a thought really, but when you layer the panels up there'll be an exceptionally good likelihood of getting trapped moisture in there somewhere; which would be bad.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:50 PM   #8
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Welp, that is not gonna work...

Good/flat:
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Curved:
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:51 AM   #9
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I wouldn't recommend removing the formed segments and replacing with flat sheets. The issue is that you might be able to wrap that flat sheet around the corner of the trailer, but it will still have to be mushed and molded to fit the vertical curve of the adjoining sections on the sides (front and back center panels are flat). This is where the headache comes in. Probably not impossible, but definitely a pain. Then, when the time comes, putting another sheet over it so that it fits flat and flush will be another exercise.

But let me advise you on what your are giving up. Your original sections might be made of 2024 T3 Alclad or 6061 T6. These are unobtanium today. You can still buy a formed segment that will fit in that space, but it will likely be made of the same modern (soft) alloy that is used on trailers today I think it is 3004 (there might be some NOS somewhere, but its a gamble). These segments cost around $350 each, and the shipping is ridiculous. So if you have little dings and scratches, I would advise you to not get too worried about it. If you have big dents, then I would try to carefully roll them out from inside the trailer--don't get too heavy handed or use too tight a radiused wheel or you will do more damage than good.

Take a good look at the inside of the rivets that hold your corner segments in place. What you are looking for is an indication that the rivets are Olympic rivets rather than bucked. It could be that these segments have already been replaced with a softer modern alloy.

Good luck!
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Old 07-30-2014, 03:56 PM   #10
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Hi Belegedhel,
Thanks so much for your reply. They are all original buck rivets, and a web search tells me I have 6061 T6 on my trailer. And yeah, swapping the panels for new seems way too expensive and using flat pieces are not going to work.

The dents are really pretty minor so I might hire someone with more experience to work them out, and I just read that I can sand out the deep scratches- which I was worried about.

But since I will eventually polish the trailer, should all look uniform in the end.

Does anyone know where to get these recommended dent rollers I keep hearing about?
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Old 07-30-2014, 05:27 PM   #11
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Aerowood (who posted above) was manufacturing dent rollers--you might check with him.

I own an English wheel and made a handle that I could mount the small wheels from the English wheel on. I think I used too tight a radiused wheel (and pushed too hard) and managed to turn a dent in one of my lower corner segments into a big mess. It was then that I had to investigate all of the possibilities mentioned above. I finally ended up replacing the segment with a new one, and when you say your 6061 panels are getting dented up, you should see how easy it is to ding the 3004!
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:11 PM   #12
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Yikes! Well I just got the trailer- pre dented, so I actually don't know how little it takes to dent it, but from the sounds of it, I'm about to find out. Ugh
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:28 AM   #13
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If you have the original 6061 skin (which it sounds like you do), then they are pretty robust. That is to say, they resist minor dings like you would get from a pebble flying up off the road pretty well. You rarely see 70's and earlier trailers with lower segment rock guards, yet you don't see that these trailers are all dinged up from road debris. Likewise, it is rare that you see hail dimples on vintage trailers, whereas the newer ones get dimpled up like golf balls.

My lower segment had a big dent in it, probably about 12" in diameter. I would guess it got there when the previous owner tried to shove against the shell to move the trailer around, or something like that. I was able to put a suction cup on the dent and make it pop out, but with the slightest pressure, it would pop back in again. So then I tried the ol' dent roller trick, and was able to cure the big dent, but succeeded in making sort of little, skinny dents from pushing too hard and using too aggressive of a wheel radius. I then tried removing the segment and working it on my English Wheel, but being a novice, I managed to over-work it, and distort its shape until my only option was to replace it altogether.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:49 AM   #14
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Turning dings into bulges - seems like it would be a good idea to work with some practice metal several times - and only after a good amount of practice move onto pushing out real dents.

The old carpenter's saw "Measure once, cut twice. Measure twice, cut once." is the opposite of what needs to be done when working on dents.

"Under-correct, try again, Over-correct, CRY again! might fit the bill a lot better. Thanks for the thoughts. Was it Overlander63 who used an under-inflated basketball to push out some dents with great success?

Paula
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