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Old 10-15-2013, 10:46 AM   #15
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Pic from the inside of the trailer behind that center panel. Damage is certainly more evident. I'm surprised there are no vertical supports in this area. The only structure in here is a frame for where I guess the brake booster box was on the tongue.

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I'm wondering if I should add additional structure in here while repairing it.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:35 PM   #16
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Help! I'm trying to remove this center panel and I'm wondering if it can be done without removing the center window. Anyone know? I think that I have all the rivets that I can see out but the panel isn't budging. It feels like something is still holding it at the corners to the window frame. If so, I'm nearly certain it isn't a rivet that comes all the way through. I'm wondering if highly "tacked" this panel in place before installing the window on top and those "tack" rivets are now the problem. That's my best theory right now. I've been going at the panel with a torch and hot knife trying to get as much sealant out from under the lip of the window frame. It is only wiggling as much as it might from a rivet with a. Elongated hole or something. The sides and bottom of the panel are free in the wind and I was thinking this panel should just slide out from under the window frame lip (visible rivets removed from the frame) but no dice.
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:28 AM   #17
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Probably just a portion of a drilled out rivet. Use a sharpened putty knife and drive it up between the the window frame and the skin with a hammer. that should shear any rivet residue. A thick layer of sealant can also cause problems also.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:10 AM   #18
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Another Possibility

In a 1976 I was owned, that type of dent was caused by frame failure where the "A" frame of the tongue is joined to the frame. Moisture runs down the top of the protruding tongue members and collects where tongue meets frame (behind the skin).
As weld fails, tongue actually starts to bend upward, imperceptible to visual inspection, but enough to crimp aluminum skin as yours has done.
Mine was repaired from the bottom by removing portion of belly pan.
There is a thread on this where other Air Forums member had same issue.
Will try to find.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:18 AM   #19
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I'm having a hard time visualizing the problem. Did you remove the screen frame from around that front, center window? Removing the frame doesn't remove the window. I found hidden rivets behind the screen frame on the rear window of mine when I was searching for leaks.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:29 PM   #20
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Can you post a photo of the damage from the left side. In other words a photo facing the front of the trailer from the inside and far enough back so we can see what the structure looks like.

Perry
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:13 PM   #21
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Doh! I've already pulled the panel. Here are two pics hat might give perspective. The close up is from about the same angle as the previous photo I posted showing some framing pulled away from the skin. That was a rectangular box that must have previously been there either for the old converter system or the hydraulic brake booster. Then, the pulled out shot is the full front panel to hopefully help you see where the other two were taken.


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I was able to get the panel out by drilling out the two hidden rivets in the corners from inside. Wasn't easy. They were about an inch inside of the furthest out rivets along the top.

I certainly am interested in any opinions on the damage cause. I don't like thinking about the possibility of frame bending. I will try to do some measurements to see if I can find anything that seems off/inconsistent from side to side that might hint at something going wrong.
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:24 PM   #22
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Does that have the vertical steel plate in between the old battery boxes? I'm guessing that the battery box cutouts is what caused the problems in the first place. Cutting two big holes at the bottom of a big shearweb (front skin) is a receipt for failure in my book. The front of the trailer to starts moving around because the vertical steel plate is only attached to the skin in between the cutouts and there is no addition structure to carry the load around the cutouts.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:21 AM   #23
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Photos in progress ... clecos holding old panel to back of new to use as a template.

The new panel is 95% complete but I don't have a photo of that tonight. Just need to put the trim and inside panel back together. Well, there is going to be some rewiring and other stuff that will be a chore in putting the inside skin back.

Also adding corner segment protectors.

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Old 10-24-2013, 06:55 AM   #24
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I don't see any angles on the inside edges of the battery boxes like my trailer. Look at the photo below that I posted earlier and you will see what I am talking about. There really needs to be something other than the sheet metal that ties the hold down plate to the structure. As Aerowood stated above that having the battery boxes without some extra support around the hole is a really bad idea. The fact that your original panel had a third hole that almost connected the two holes for the battery boxes was a disaster waiting to happen. Holes in the structure are not so bad if the hole is surrounded by a frame that is riveted to the skin. This is the same reason I don't like the way most people (Aerowood excluded) install fantastic fans on the roof by cutting the old vent frame out and attaching a flimsy plastic frame to the sheet metal.

Perry

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Old 10-24-2013, 10:16 AM   #25
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Very helpful photo - thanks for posting. I actually ended up creating some vertical Z braces that went in about where you have some L channel. It came out really nicely. Will post a photo later today.

The only thing is... The gauge isn't as thick as the other ribs. I tried to find that channel at a metal supply but they didn't have it so I just fabbed it up on a sheet metal brake.

I'm going to study your photo to get some ideas on putting the inner panel and wiring back together. Mine is a mess right now.
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:54 AM   #26
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You can order metal from mcmaster.com. they have will what you need. Buck rivet if possible.

Perry
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:02 PM   #27
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Already got the metal and installed Tuesday and Wednesday. Picked up the metal at Aircraft Spruce.

Here are some pics. We left a message on the inside of the panel for someone to find in the future.

As you can see, there is a lot of cleanup of the inside to do now.


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Old 10-24-2013, 12:04 PM   #28
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And the outside...



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