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Old 07-14-2008, 04:06 PM   #43
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S######, can you get some more pictures of the door damage and fuselage dent. I was thinking that if you could get the door up to me I could fix it over the winter months.
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:24 AM   #44
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Kip,
That idea is sounding better. But I'm hoping for a shorter duration. :-) Deadhorse rally in Feb!!!!!!

I need to find out which aluminum to buy if I need to replace the side wall.

Thanks, I've PM'd you.
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:45 PM   #45
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Replacing the skin and stringer

The biggest obstacle was the lower door hinge attachment. Very strange rivets, heads shaped like Maddonna's bra, but it turned out they were 5/32" solid rivets that were easy to drill out. You can see the aluminum backing plate in the left photo. This plate was very tenuously held onto the ribs, but was mostly in place due to the rivets through the outer skin.

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Here's the steps we went through:

1. Remove inside closets, partions, and partion rails.
2. Remove fiberboard wheel well covers.
3. Remove door hinge pins and remove door.
4. Drill out lower hinge rivets.
5. Drill out all inside skin and outside skin rivets.
6. Remove lower outer skin.
7. Remove lower inside skin.
8. Use outside skin as template to match drill and shape new skin. Don't match drill all holes on the bench--consider using the joints where other skins are on top to match drill with the new skin in place on the trailer. Cut the new skin to provide a very slight overlap of skin to the door frame.
9. Reinstall the hinge backing plate using flush solid rivets.
10. Once all the holes are checked across the entire skin (in place), apply Vulkem to appropriate surfaces and put the skin in permanently. Continually monitor the placement of the ribs and the alignment of the inside skin holes to the ribs. Pay close attention to gaps and joints along the wheel well and the "C" channel immediately adjacent. It may require significant gasket, eg, maybe some butyl tape and certainly a liberal application of Vulkem.
11. File the skin down to match the door frame (there was a very slight curve in the door frame, about 1/16" over the height of the lower skin, that made the skin proud of the frame (this is the desired condition, as it can be fixed with a little filing).
12. Replace the insulation.
13. Pop rivet the inside skin to the ribs.
14. Done. About 7 hours for steps 9-13. About 6 hours for steps 3-8.

A note here about the stringer. It was a very flimsy "C" channel of 0.032. You can see in the photos the significant deformation of the flanges and especially the web. It was a real shock to find that the inside flange of the stringer was not attached in any way to the inside skin. This was also true for a similar stringer about 18" lower in the same wall. The outside flange was only attached with 5 or so solid rivets, very flimsy indeed. Also, the inner skin joint line was about 3/4" above the outer skin line.

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The stringer was replaced with a "Z" channel made up from two 0.040 stringers that had been previously fabricated by AEROWOOD. These were for larger 70s Airstreams so they were 1-34" wide and the Bambi needed 1-1/2" width. Two of these larger stringers were cut down, one flange off of each one, then riveted together with a double web to make a new "Z" channel. The "Z" provided sufficient offset so that the outer and inner horizontal skin joints each fell on a flange, so the inner skin is now firmly attached to the stringer. The shell is now significantly stronger along the skin joint and very flat.

Zep
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:17 PM   #46
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fixing the door curve

The Bambi door is really two jobs, the outside main door and then the door within a door. Each has a rib that needs to be re-curved. The nice thing about this door is that all the solid rivets can be accessed, drilled out, and re-bucked without removing any inside skins. Here's the steps we took to put the proper curve back in the door:

1. Made a template of the shell shape immediately adjacent to the door using 1/8" luan.
2. Cut a female 1/2" plywood fixture to match that shape.
3. Clamped the plywood to the door to see if the door would follow the curve of the plywood. Yes!
4. Removed the solid rivets from 18" below the lockset to 24" above the lockset. Same for the pop rivets on the inside door skin.
5. Removed the plywood and re-clamped it to the door, but this time with shims top and bottom to over-bend the door slightly. This was an experiment, starting with 1/8" shims and finally settling on 1/2" inch at the top and 3/8" at the bottom, with a 1/4" shim on the inside of the door for the clamps on that side.
6. Added some screw bucks to the plywood so it could be attached to the door and the door closed to check the fit. Surprisingly, just 5 #6 by 1" screws were able to hold the fixture on the door. It seemed that there was way too much force in the clamps for this to work, but it did.
7. Replace the rivets with the door now clamped to the fixture (screws went through the existing rivet holes, so they had to be removed and clamps used for this step). This required some innovative thinking on where the fixture was clamped, so as to avoid compressing the skin permanently.
8. Similar steps for the door-within-a-door.
9. Total elapsed time was about 6 hours.

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For all the careful fitting of the outer door, it just didn't take the right shape until the inner door was also re-curved. It was immediately apparent that this fixed 90% of the remiaing curve error. With one additional tweak to the outer door (just clamping with shims, no work on the rivets), the curve was exact. In the photos below, you can see we used a 2x10 as the form for the inner door.

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The final product is not perfect. The lockset is still canted slightly, although there is no noticeable crink in the door skin. Maybe there will be additional "fixing" at the 4CU maintenance rally.

Zep
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:23 PM   #47
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Good work Zep. I wish I could have been there to give you a hand. Did you get Sxxxxxe to buck for you?

Kip
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:29 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
Good work Zep. I wish I could have been there to give you a hand. Did you get Sxxxxxe to buck for you? Kip
You bet. She picked up the technique a lot faster than I did. I just had to admonish her once on the right radio calls--"ready" and "good." We never had to use "set."

The best thing about the second day was she proved that it's not just me that Vulkem wants to stick to...

She is the most amazing mechanical girl (uh-oh, dope slap). You only have to think the thought and she hands you the right tool or puts the part in the right place in the right orientation. A natural born mechanic. You couldn't do better than to have her working on your airplanes...

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Old 04-16-2009, 04:44 PM   #49
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Thank you for the kind words! And all the hard work! I would never have gotten something like this done myself. (major coward)

I'm so glad Zep posted, as he is mush better at detailing the repairs than I.

What more can I say about the repairs, I'm thrilled. But I can post some additional photos.

A horrible corner...

Panel installation... sorry about the lighting. We were working in an unheated barn with minimal electricity and I forgot to change the flash.
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:49 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
Good work Zep. I wish I could have been there to give you a hand. Did you get Sxxxxxe to buck for you?

Kip
Kip, we missed you! I'm sure it would have gone much faster with your help. I sure did learn a lot though. I can now buck rivets and am not so frightened of drilling them out in the first place.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:17 AM   #51
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New Panel in Daylight

Thought you all might like to see how the panel looks in daylight.


And the all important seam. It may not look like much but this is the aft edge of the door frame. It is an angled and smooth connection between the panel and the frame of the door. Zep filed this after it was on the airstream. We had left a good deal of overlap to begin with. At least 1/8".
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:28 AM   #52
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That is excellent!! Now its my turn, I'm next. Pick me.

Brad
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:34 AM   #53
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You guys did a great job on the side and the door. I remember how it looked last summer when we stopped by your place. You should be very happy to have your Bambi on the road again. C U soon...

Now to put all the stuff back inside.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:37 AM   #54
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Brad,

The skin along your side is probably quite a bit longer than on the Bambi. It was lucky that the Bambi skin was only 41", so we could get a 4'x4' sheet of 2023-T3 shipped for only $16 (I think the piece was about $80). Anything bigger would have cost $100+ to ship (but they can roll the sheet and still ship something bigger without having to go freight). We used 0.040, which is really nice to work with, a better "feel" than 0.032.

The other consideration is that we put the skin on with solid rivets--the inside partitions were removed so we could take out the inside skin. The job can be done from one side, but then you're stuck with Olympics. They look great if they are installed and shaved properly, and it would probably take a lot less time. On the other hand, dealing with the stringer (is yours bent, or do you just have skin damage?) would be difficult, but not impossible.

If you ordered today, you could probably have the skin in your hands by Wednesday. Airparts Inc. Homepage I know Luke is bringing a shaver. But I don't have enough Olmpics on hand, you'd have to get those, too.

Zep
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:37 AM   #55
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Thanks! - and - Can't Wait!

However, you should see the inside now:-(
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:39 AM   #56
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Oh, and I forgot to mention. I just crashed my truck. Spun out in the snow. Have no idea yet wether they will "total" it or not. I WILL FIND A WAY TO THE RALLY WITH BAMBI
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