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Old 02-22-2008, 10:54 PM   #1
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1991 34' Limited
Port Orchard , Washington
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Thumbs down Repaired with NO CAULK of any kind........

When I purchased my 1991 34' Limited Aniversary Edition, I found a note in with all the original paperwork from when this unit was purchased new. I do not know when in the life of this unit the note was added.
The note says:
" leak over right front window". That is all.

So during my rebuild of the interior, I removed the front ABS plastic ceiling end cap so I could weld a pair of cracks and paint it. When I got the end cap out, I find a water stain trail starting at one rivet and 2 empty rivet holes, YES, EMPTY HOLES that are only in the inner center segment
, and leading down to the top of the right front window.
There are numerous empty holes but only these two had leaked.
On inspection, I find that the right front roof segment has been replaced at some time in the past. This segment is secured with Olympic rivets that where obviousley installed WITH OUT ANY SEALER. In fact the rivets where not very tight as the repair persons had not removed the old sikum from the inside of the center segment nor the smaller lower right segment, leaving the "old" sealer to act as a shock absorber and not compressing down as the rivets should.
There is not even a hint of sealer between the segments. The only sealer had been applied from the outside and "some what" shoved into the edge of the seam. I do not know why it was not a sieve............

Now I am taking out all rivets and cleaning and putting it back together in the correct manner. Sikum between the segments, on the Olymics and etc. etc. etc.

To remove the rivets, I modified a pair of "end nipper" wire cutters and a pair of angled side cutters by grinding the inside of the cutting edges so they are thinner and sharper. I also ground down the outside of the cutting surfaces to a sharp edge.
This allowed me to easily cut of the rivets from the inside of the trailer and leave no marks on the outside.

All my "cleco's" are 1/8" size and the holes are 5/32" so the cleco's are loose. I solved that problem by cutting some 1/16" wide strips of an old trophy name plate and using them as a spacer in the hole with the cleco. Works great.
I will be able to replace all the rivets utilizing the existing holes so it will look good from the outside. The spacing appears to be correct.

Anyway, I just am having a hard time in understanding why someone went to the trouble of replacing the segment WITRHOUT caulking. And they obviously used a rivet shaver as all the rivet heads looked great.

Wish I had a shaver but don't so I will do it the hard way with a die grinder & dremel polisher.

Happy caulking.

Claude

P.S>
Can we shoot people that use silocone caulking????????
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:52 AM   #2
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It's amazing how much effort people sometimes put into being lazy. There is no excuse for that kind of shoddy work, IMO.
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:54 AM   #3
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
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I,ve replaced several skins on my 71 GT and also removed an upper segment and not a single one of them has had any kind or sealer on the mating surfaces. I guess that Airstream felt it would be to difficult to do or would take to much time in the construction process. Then people wonder way they leak with just a small fillet seal. If sealent had been placed in the mating surfaces during manufacture the trailers would never leak. It would only cost Airstream another 100 dollars to do this.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:44 PM   #4
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1991 34' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catson4
All my "cleco's" are 1/8" size and the holes are 5/32" so the cleco's are loose. I solved that problem by cutting some 1/16" wide strips of an old trophy name plate and using them as a spacer in the hole with the cleco. Works great.
laude
Not sure I know what a "cleco" is. Can you explain and how you used the spacers?

I think I understand why Airstream doesn't use sealant between the panels. This would require a very talanted installer to install a very small amount of sealant otherwise sealant would be squeezed out onto the outer surface of the lower panal as the rivits are compressed. A major clean up.
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Old 02-23-2008, 05:14 PM   #5
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
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A cleco is a temporary sheet metal fastener. They come in all the popular rivet sizes, 3/32, 1/8, 5/32, 3/16, 1/4, and I have some 5/16th's too. Putting sealant in between the sheets is the only way to positively seal the mating skins, and yes it does make a mess with the sealant oozing out all over the place during assembly. It is worth it though to not have any leaks. After it is cleaned up you will never have to keep putting on the little fillet seals on the outside skins. I think the reason Airstream doesn't do it is they are on a big denial trip thinking it would be to hard to do. They would save a substantial amount of warranty work if they just sucked it up and did it
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:45 PM   #6
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1991 34' Limited
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I used the thin - narrow spacers to take up space in the rivet holes. This allows the 1/8 " cleco to get a grip in a 5/32" hole and hold.
I cut the spacers with a pair if tin snips so they are about 3/16 ' wide and the metal I used is about a 28 guage and soft.
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