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Old 04-04-2003, 10:30 AM   #1
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Question front, end cap

I am presently repairing my 76' argosy 24' M.H.
I have a lot of hairline cracks/fractures in the OUTSIDE front end cap.
(the dome over the operator/passenger compartment OUTSIDE.)

I'm told this cap is aluimunum or galvnized metal well mine is NOT, it is a plastic of some sort, not fiberglass either.
I want to fill the cracks to prevent leaks as one would do to a fiberglass boat. BUT if I use the wrong stuff I will probably melt it .
Not the results that I have in mind
It appears the p.o.('S) ? have made some repairs (possibly low clearance problem) to the cap as it has some, what I would call, body filler(bondo?) applied. I would like to do it correctly the first time .
I should mention that I have a cap that appears slightly different to those that I have seen in the photos on this sight. mine did start it's life as a shuttle bus.Possibly that explaines the different cap. H E L P !!
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Old 04-04-2003, 10:49 PM   #2
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Sounds like a strange beast you have there George, an Argosy shuttle bus? Are you sure? How about a picture of it? All that comes to mind is perhaps having it spraying it with a color tinted rubberized bedliner material from an outfit like Rhinoliner or similar. Probably never intended for such an application but maybe worth a shot. I know a lot of Winnebagos, Foretravels and similar mh's had used a lot of plastics for end caps for some years now. Maybe get on another forum such as "Open Roads"(??)
where many more brands are represented.

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Old 04-05-2003, 05:56 AM   #3
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liquid bondo?

george

a number of years ago i painted a fiberglass gas tank on a vintage norton motorcycle.

i needed to use a primer that was flexible, i found a primer that was like "liquid bondo" a 2 part formula base and hardener.

the guy at the auto body supply shop said it was what the corvette guys use on fiberglass.

it went on nice and sanded well, hid all of the hairline cracks. the topcoat was standard gm urethane black with a clear coat.

the results were very good.

perhaps you could call around and see if your local supply houses might have something like it.

i don't recall a brand name, but i do remember it was very toxic when sprayed.

wear a mask! when spraying and sanding it.

hope this helps.

john
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Old 04-06-2003, 10:43 PM   #4
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George,

Welcome to the special group of Argosy MH owners. You may have a prototype nose on your unit. Looking at your pictures, the grill is not what would have been on a stock 76, and looks like a test for the 77 and up grill/headlights. As to the fiberglass/composite front cap I have no clue. You may want to take it to a local body shop and see if they can tell you what it is.

My 76 Argosy has a steel nose, there is very little Alumimum, including the cap and fenders, it all seems to be steel. Others have alumimum fenders, and a steel cap. Tthe fiberglass cap/caps would be a benifit for long term paint adhesion. Most of the steel caps do not hold paint very well and need special prep to have any long term sucess with the paint.
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Old 04-07-2003, 07:47 AM   #5
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end cap

Thanks for the reply N.K.

I am going to do some expermenting with stuff and see what works the best.
I, like you, lean to proto front end treatment. as the rivits are NOT pop type.
The surrounding stainless trim appears as it should for an 76 but the grill is not ,as well as the headlight bezels appear not 77 or later. also I had to re wire the headlights as they had the socketts/ plug for a single headlight system it was apparent they were never right from get get go.
The coach is all aluminun with the exception of the mentioned front cap, rear side valances(s.p.) seem to be plastic also like the front cap. the rear end cap is metal. what I do know is the coach started life as a special order "shuttle bus" for Detroit metro airport.and I do remember seeing them in service back then. ( I wish I would of had the chance to be inside it then. ) it has had 2 owners since then ,the last one did the conversion. Unfortinatly he is passed on and his son who I purchased if from was not very Knowledge of dad's work.
the drive line is p30 With a "350"motor ,475 trans and 4:56 axle the 56 Gal. fuel tank is mounted between the rear frame rails at the absoulte rear.
As most of us know "argosy" was indeed a test bed for airstream and what better test would a be low production shuttle to try new ideas. if problems would occur there would be not a large recall so to speak.
I noticed the shape of the cap where the 3 lights are located is kicked up so as to eliminate the need for a angle back mounting escution for the clearance lights. Are your INSIDE end caps or domes they might be called, plastic? mine are.
One question, what is located under the access door on your coach under the drivers window above the l.front wheel ?
I have seen other coaches with it .
later ,ol'George
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Old 04-07-2003, 09:39 AM   #6
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Argosy Archives

George I'm a trailer guy myself and know nothing that could help you. But I checked your pix and want to say that that is a nifty looking unit you aquired.
Being that Detroit metro sounds like a public or quasi public entity have you considered searching their files for data such as sales contracts, brochures, proposal letters etc between them and Airstream.Must have been some info before he sale don't you think?
They'll hem & haw but they probably never throw anything away (cept taxpayer money). You could even go after it with a FOI (freedom of information) demand.

And what if any help has Airstream been. Don't be shy to ask them, who knows they might co-operate.

Have you any idea of how many of those shuttles the Metro had? And what happened to any of the rest of em? Prob a few in a area junkyard or maybe Metro's back lot??

One thing I do know, the more info you harvest the sooner, the easier it will be. Also is nice to have as much in the files as possible.
Airstream (the company) was a horrible archiver of data, or so they say.
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Old 04-07-2003, 09:52 AM   #7
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I have flown in and out of the Detroit airport and as old as everything is there I wouldn't be surprised if there were still a few of them in service. Nothing like the pungent aroma of jet fuel and Cinnabon at 6:30 in the morning, what a dump!!

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Old 04-07-2003, 12:37 PM   #8
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Hi Again,
As far as metro, they have spent a bundle on our tax $$ making things much nicer. FINALY
Me I stay away all I can. This ol' country boy don't like the big sitty.
As far as records I don't think they would be much help as I pretty much know what I plan to do with it . I am told that it was sold by metro at auction.
the po.s son said his dad acquired it in about 90' there was a previous owner to him that I believe stripped the
bus configeration and give up before he completed anything.
I will submit photos of the interior ( If I can remember how) in my photos.
I plan strip and paint the exterior as it was painted silver without primer over the origional beige with the famous "quick peel" enviormentally friendly auto maker paint of the late 80's
incidently there appears to be a RED paint on the front cap under the beige.
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Old 04-07-2003, 01:17 PM   #9
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George,

Based on the year model design the compartment you mention on the drivers side was most likely the house battery box. It will hold 2 batteries. You need to look at this and come up with a drain tray before you spend big $$ on a repaint. When the batteries boil, and they will, the excesss water and acid will drain out the bottom ouside edge of the box and run down the outside of the coach right on you new paint!

You may be able to use cut down marine style boxes with some type of drain tube???? I do not have this issue. My batteries are buried under the hood where I cannot check them without a complete disconnect and removal. I am working on changing that.

On the custom vehicle issue, I know that Airstreeam made bookmobiles and mobile offices as well on the Argosy motorhome chassis. I almost bought a bookmobile out of a boneyard, but felt it would take to much of my timew to get it the way I want.
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Old 04-07-2003, 05:48 PM   #10
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The N.Kid,
Now I am smarter, a battery box, ok, thank you!!. My batt's are under the hood (3) I cannot check then like yours also ,but I
did build stainless trays for them with a drain to solve the possible corrosion prob. I also have a HUGE battery container just to the rear of the L.front wheel there is a hinge on the lower curved pannel and it would hold maybe 6 or more normal size r.v. batterys I could put lotsa @$$ in there Me thinks, cause it were a bus = big bat. box. I plan on adding roof air and an old kohler 2500w. Lk gen. I've had since the 70's it's industructable and it's quiet as it only turns 1800 rpm's ( altho it weighs #265
a dinasour for shure, like me) the only place I can install it is just between the ribs rear of the r. rear wheel. I stopped by Camping World this wk. end and they have there low profile Duo Therm Penguin 13500 btu on sale for $608 installed altho I will do it myself. I need the lowprofile to get it in the barn, like the old joke says, just a couple inches more
Thanks for all of the replies !!
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