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Old 01-06-2007, 08:23 PM   #1
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First Dent - HELP!

Howdy All,

Got my first dent today, and I am GRIEVED

Had very high winds today, and a step ladder blew over into the rear streetside corner of the Airstream. Put a nice ding in it. Man was I torqued.

Well, I got a window pane suction cup thingy and pulled the gross dent out just fine. But, there's a crease where the corner of the ladder hit it.

How do I fix this?

What I'm thinking is that I have to pull the inner skin out (or fiberglass...it's in the rear bath area) and use a shrinking hammer along with the proper dolly. But, I'm not sure.

I know there can be no body filler, no paint, etc. And the metal I'm pretty sure was stretched by the corner of the step ladder hitting it. So am I on the right track here. Anybody fix something like this?

Any of you A&P aircraft guys out there have a good recommendation for this? Zepp? HELP!

My trailer is old and has its problems, but the shell WAS PERFECT! Man this is a bummer. I want to fix it right. Any guidance would be appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:28 PM   #2
Mel
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Jim, sorry to hear about this "beauty mark". We've been having some pretty good wind storms too, and I've been biting my fingernails, afraid that something's going to hit one of the Airstreams. Good luck with this!
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:33 PM   #3
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To bad about that dent, I know how you feel. We all do. The aluminum is stretched and there is nothing that can be done for it. It is you first beauty mark. You can repair it by replacing the entire panel section. Take a pill or have a beer and learn to love it. Sorry but dents will happen sooner or later and for you it was later. Consider yourself lucky. Very lucky.
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:58 PM   #4
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An stiff drink and a favorite bumper sticker will fix that. I know the feeling. Same thing happened to us too.
Sorry.
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Old 01-06-2007, 09:06 PM   #5
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So sorry about your first dent. We've got a couple too. The great thing is that they don't affect the fun, and we owners are usually the only one who knows they're there. Being a "car guy" I choose to think of them as "patina" for the unpainted.
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Old 01-06-2007, 09:32 PM   #6
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Dent

Hi, Jim. Buy two three inch red reflectors, one to cover the dent and one to put on the other side in same location. Or just live with it. I scraped the side of my new trailer before I even got home with it. I cleaned it as much as possible and covered the rest with an American flag decal. Looks like nothing ever happened.


Bob
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:52 PM   #7
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hey Jim golden ,

You could take the interior apart to access the inside of the panel and you could get it all back to near perfect except the crease of stretched metal as has been posted,if you try to get it flat it may make it look worse ,If you got
a proffessional old time metal man that is an artisan of aluminum and copper
and soft types of metal ,it may go better ,how much is the question for the return of perfection ?? If you really want to go further you can pull on the dent with the suction cup and then work the skin at the outer circumference of the dent with your hands, working the aluminum inward as you pull out with the tool at the outer area where the indentation begins ,this is assuming you still have some more" pushed in metal "than the crease and its 3 " area
of damage as you show in your photo. tapping with a body spoon can work also ,but its tricky ,because you may find its worse not better ,this takes
an expert in thin metals to help you .I wish my 60 was perfect as I have quite abit of things on the skin done by the PO s of the past ,creases and dings and such ,but it is character after all .bob is right ,put small american flag
over it ,that will look good .I do understand your unhappyness ,but it will pass
and it won't be a big deal in a week or so hopefully . Don't let it eat you up now ,you still have a near perfect coach there. Been there myself.....alot.

Scott
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:55 PM   #8
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You'll probably have to keep it that way. I have many small nicks and dings and they aren't that noticeable from far away. I hope you never get one of these though. It happened a few weeks ago and I'm leaving it as is until I HAVE to repair it for sale if I do. It'll go to a body shop for sure.
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrodokk
You'll probably have to keep it that way. I have many small nicks and dings and they aren't that noticeable from far away. I hope you never get one of these though. It happened a few weeks ago and I'm leaving it as is until I HAVE to repair it for sale if I do. It'll go to a body shop for sure.
That dent, is easy and cheap to fix.

Segments are not cheap, and it takes about 8 hours to remove, replace, seal, rivet, and paint, when you know how.

Andy
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:58 AM   #10
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The dent is easy but what about the crease??
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:47 PM   #11
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Jim, You could look into the Electromagnetic Dent Removel System used in

the aircraft industry for dent removel. I believe some auto body shops may

have started using them to remove small hail damage areas on autos. You

may also inquire with this company Fluxtronic

to see if they would be in your area and possibly tackle your dent as a

demonstration on alternative uses for there machine. Best of luck.

Regards, Keith
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