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Old 02-04-2014, 08:49 PM   #1
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1951 15' Cruisette
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Correct aluminum for a Cruisette?

I'm in the process of restoring this 1951 Cruisette and am planning a full body-off restoration. One body panel that needs repair is the driver side flat panel above the wheel. There is a 2" tear in the aluminum and some denting, probably from a prior flat tire.

1) Does anyone know the right kind of aluminum panel with Alclad to use on a '51 Cruisette, and where I can buy this?

2) Would you recommend replacing the entire panel (rather large), or "patching" a piece the width of the original body panel that is about a foot tall to replace the damaged portion along the bottom?

3) Seeing as I am doing a full body-off restoration, do you have thoughts on what the right time is to perform this replacement? I can think of either (i) after I strip the interior but before I remove the body from the frame, or (ii) after I re-join body and frame but before I replace interior panels. Either way, I am planning on buck riveting.

I plan on polishing the entire trailer as a final step. Appreciate your thoughts!
Thanks.
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:27 AM   #2
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2024 T3 .032 alclad
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:53 AM   #3
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1951 15' Cruisette
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Awesome -- thanks. Looks like they sell some at Vintage Trailer Supply, although the biggest size they sell is 48" x 24", which isn't quite large enough for a one-for-one replacement.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:47 AM   #4
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There's tons of places for sheets stock, airports.com offers up to 32' lengths IIRC. With regard to when to replace I'd replace it after the shell is let back down onto the chassis. Get everything cleco'd back in place then remove and replace that skin.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckasaurus View Post
There's tons of places for sheets stock, airports.com offers up to 32' lengths IIRC. With regard to when to replace I'd replace it after the shell is let back down onto the chassis. Get everything cleco'd back in place then remove and replace that skin.
I think you mean Airparts.com Another source is Aircraftspruce.com & from my experience they are a bit cheaper.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:56 AM   #6
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aircraftspruce.com is perfect -- thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:00 PM   #7
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Thanks Colin, if anyone finds 040" in longer than 12' I'm all ears..
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:16 PM   #8
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Good luck, I ordered a huge piece for an aircraft skin years ago, I think was about 6' wide and must have been 20 to 24' long. they had to special order it right from the mill and it took forever to get it and obscenely expensive.

I asked my buyer here at work and 12' was the longest he has ever purchased. I think you can get .032 from Airparts pretty long but as I've never ordered any from them, I wouldn't know how long.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:18 PM   #9
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Ah yes in .032" they'll even roll it and UPS it in a carton up to 32' so maybe I'll have to just add some stringers to get that perfect skin.
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