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Old 09-12-2004, 03:23 PM   #29
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When you replace that panel, use two panels of .032 or a single panel at least .050 or .063.

Also I would suggest that you double the rivets in the vertical stringer as well.



Till.

Someone has already replaced some of the rivets in the vertical stringers, with pop rivets.

That's a no-no. Could be your water leak as well.

Also add three rows of rivets to the hold down plate, and double the rivets in the vertical stringer.

That should stop the problem from returning, provided you are not violating one of the big three no-no's.

If you are, the extra rivets will still help more than you think.

Andy
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Old 09-12-2004, 04:12 PM   #30
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Wow, thats thick - but as I think of it a really good idea. Thanks!

Ken
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Old 09-12-2004, 04:38 PM   #31
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Andy,
I have yet to do repair work yet. Every thing you see is all PO. I plan on replacing every pop or Olympic rivet with bucked ones were there should be a bucked one.

I can't wait till I get ready to tow this thing.......
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Old 09-13-2004, 12:58 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
John G

The real problem with the front holdown plate/front panel is inadequate number of rivets.

Installing hard rivets in place of the original rivets, won't stop anything.

If the rivets are hard enough so they don't shear, then the holes in the sheetmetal will enlarge, causing a greater problem.

Olympics work fine, if you increase the number of rivets by 300 percent, or so.

Taking out the front lounge and interior metal, just to use buck rivets, seems hard to justify.

Andy
Andy,
I agree that removing the inner panel just to use buck rivets would be hard to justify and in the case of someone not having their interior panels removed I would agree with using 300% more rivets and Olympic Rivets, but in Rluhr's case he does have the inner panel removed as seen in the photos in his post above and in that case I would always use the stronger rivet. It wouldn't hurt to add another row of rivets, but sionce they are solid rivets I wouldn't thin that he'd need to add any more than another row as in the case of using Olympic Rivets.

I think we got to comparing apples to oranges for a minute there.

I'm replacing the panel in front that wraps under the wing window and to the side and the new is .040 guage 2024-T3 replacing the old .032 guage piece of 2024-T3 aluminum. In this repair I can't jusify removing the inner panel either and I will be using Olympic Rivets and shaving them, but if the inner panel were off I would use soft buck rivets instead.
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Old 09-28-2004, 08:46 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG
in Rluhr's case he does have the inner panel removed as seen in the photos in his post above and in that case I would always use the stronger rivet.
You're right JohnG. I had already removed the dinette, water tank, and front interior panel before I posted the first time. It turned out that removing those items in the Caravel took less than half an hour.

Anyway, an update: I ordered rivets from Aircraft Spruce but they didn't arrive before the big trip to Acadia, so I put everything back together (taking the opportunity to improve a few items along the way), and put in new Olympics.

I returned nine days later, with about 1,000 new miles on the trailer, and three broken Olympic rivets. Then I removed everything again (in about 20 minutes, easier with practice) and we bucked in the new rivets. Within about four hours, start to finish, everything was done.

I used a little of the Gord's polish to remove the orange anodizing from the rivet heads and now it looks like factory. Unfortunately, I have only one relatively short trip planned between now and winterizing, so the real test won't occur until next spring. Still, it will be interesting to see if the solution works. If not, I may add another row or two as recommended by Andy.
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Old 09-28-2004, 10:37 PM   #34
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I will be interested to know if this holds up. I do think that it will do just fine since you only had 3 broken Olympic rivets and have now done a complete replacement with the bucked-in rivets. The harder rivet should do the job and you should not need to do any further repairs in that area. I'd almost bet on it!
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Old 01-09-2005, 11:31 AM   #35
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Well, here's the conclusions. First of all, I didn't get a chance to road test the new rivets. It was too close to the end of the season, and I ended up winterizing the trailer without having used it.

But in the past few weeks, suspecting a larger problem, we took it to GSM Vehicles in Plattsburgh NY (a new Airstream vintage specialist) and he found that the forward floor was pretty badly rotted (see pictures). There was also severe rot in the battery compartment area, much like Stef's Caravel.

The rot meant that the floor was not bound into the C-channel, which is absolutely critical for the aluminum monocoque structure to have strength. So the upshot is, no rivet alone would have solved this problem. The floor needs to be replaced, which GSM is now doing.

We're not at the "Full Monty" yet, but I think we are looking at about 1/2 the floor. The moral of the story is, if you are shearing rivets on a vintage trailer, you need to check out the floor.

After seeing so many vintage repairs on this forum, I have come to the conclusion that every unrestored vintage trailer has some rot in the floor --- you just may not know it yet!

-- RL
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Old 01-09-2005, 01:06 PM   #36
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Very familiar indeed. The soon to be famous water-tank filler leak rot curse. Did you check the floor under the toilet. If that's gone you might as well do the . ........... I cann't bring myself to say it.
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Old 01-09-2005, 02:19 PM   #37
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Richard

I agree - and I've said many times - is that all vintage trailers probably need floor replacement. On my 58 the floor was rock solid, but the front panel had buckled - after tearing out the floor I found a little bit of rot just under the shell c channel - just enough to make it buckle - you could jump up and down in the trailer and see the skin buckle - now with a new floor it is rock solid.

Also just because the floor is solid does not mean its good - in my case my trailer looked like it had been over some pretty rough roads as the bolts had loosened from the floor - just around the bolts.

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Old 01-09-2005, 04:50 PM   #38
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Andy:

I have 59 that was rotten as rotten can be and not a single rivet in that plate has ever been replaced or failed.

The older coach I have I noticed the the front of the frame at that plate is closer together then the newer coached. Thank that might have helped and why people like Don and I did not see the problem even with rot problems?
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Old 01-09-2005, 04:56 PM   #39
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Some of my 59 floor looked fine. When trying to take out the sheet metal screws holding the channel to the floor they just turned around in place. Rotted out around the screws and little else in spots. 45 years of condensation on those cool screws adds up. new screw will be into epoxy filled holes.
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Old 01-09-2005, 05:59 PM   #40
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59toaster

Several things contribute, singularly or collectively, to the loss of rivets on the front plate,

1. Type of axles.
2. Lack of proper running gear balance.
3. Type of tow vehicle (soft or hard suspension).
4. Spacing between the A-frame as it joins the shell.
5. Road conditions.
6. Hitch rating. (Heavier duty torsion bars than needed).
7. How many rivets that hold the front plate to the shell.
8. Added weight to the A-frame (from loading or a spare tire or extra
batteries.

Adding extra rivets to the front plate, will reduce or stop future losses.

Olympic rivets work fine as replacements, when correctly installed. NO WASHER TYPE OLYMPICS.

Andy
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Old 01-09-2005, 07:07 PM   #41
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SS rivets are easy to come by they are much stronger and they won't react with the steel or the aluminum.
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Old 01-10-2005, 07:24 AM   #42
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It's the FULL MONTY!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
Did you check the floor under the toilet. If that's gone you might as well do the . ........... I can't bring myself to say it.
You called it! Additional info has come to light since I posted. There is a spot of rot under the bathroom sink, another by the refrigerator floor vent and near the door, and a suspected third spot under the shower.

Add to all that the fact that we know the black tank has cracks on the top, and we're looking at the infamous Full Monty ... just like Stef ... just like so many others on this forum.

I may have to start a new thread or photo album with the pictures. But it's not a problem financially ... my daughter doesn't *really* need to go to college!
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