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Old 06-09-2014, 10:17 PM   #1
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Help! Small tear from a minor collision!

I had a minor collision with a post I failed to clear. The collision broke off the grab handle by the door and made a tear in the skin. Has anyone ever tried to weld and polish?

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Any repair advice would be appreciated!
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:47 PM   #2
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I had a minor collision with a post I failed to clear. The collision broke off the grab handle by the door and made a tear in the skin. Has anyone ever tried to weld and polish?

Attachment 213945

Any repair advice would be appreciated!
You can add a patch plate over the tear.

You cannot weld the sheet metal.

Andy
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:13 PM   #3
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Hi Andy, any chance you have a grab handle with a wider top that could cover the damage?

Mike
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:19 AM   #4
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Hi Andy, any chance you have a grab handle with a wider top that could cover the damage?

Mike
I will check to see if I can find one.

Airstream does not have them though.

Andy
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:28 PM   #5
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Thanks Andy. How about this part, do you have this drip channel?

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Old 06-11-2014, 08:42 AM   #6
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You can weld it but proably need a pro to do it.
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:52 PM   #7
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Thanks Andy. How about this part, do you have this drip channel?

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Sorry, but no, we do not have that part.

Andy
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Old 06-12-2014, 06:02 AM   #8
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I had a fellow TIG weld a tear on an older Excella. I used a Dremel to tidy the whole mess up. Turned out to be a blemish, but perfectly acceptable. If I had to do it over, a patch and rivets would work next time!
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:41 AM   #9
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Patch, don't weld!

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You can weld it but proably need a pro to do it.
2024 Aluminum is NOT a weldable alloy.

A neatly done patch will blend into the background aluminum and you won't remember it's there in a few months, years, etc.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:14 AM   #10
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Look in the boat parts section of Ebay. There many nice assist handles and grips with larger bases available. They would easily cover your small rip and they install like any of those on an Airstream.
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:44 PM   #11
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I have been thinking about this all day. I once saw a fellow with an oops like yours. He replaced the handle, to patch the tear, he commissioned an artist to make a patch with the families name somehow embossed and enameled. It looked really nice, personalized, and covered the tear without looking anything like a patch.
I should have taken a photo.... It was just that remarkable.
If I recall, he also added Excella blue LEDS to illuminate the lean handle.
Nifty
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:45 PM   #12
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Argh should read Lexan handle.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:30 PM   #13
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Thanks for the advice. I did visit a very high end automotive restoration company today. These guys restore pretty much anything, and I don't think I've ever personally seen better workmanship.

They said its weld able, but might be a slightly different color.

I've got time to wait though, they said they couldn't look at it until August.

I'll look into the boat grips also.
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