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Old 09-11-2013, 10:55 AM   #1
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replacing a panel

finally decided to get working on the 1973 31ft that is sitting crying for mercy!
We gave to replace a panel in the front lower street side.
What is the thickness of the front lower curved panels?
Also we wouldn't mind you someone shares the best source for AL
thanks in advance!
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:28 AM   #2
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That is a stretch form panel. It is available from Airstream, but the finish won't match your 1973 or polish. Your best bet may be a salvage panel from another 1970's trailer.

Bill
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:35 AM   #3
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Hi Bill

Thanks for the input, we are aware of thr fact that is a molded panel.
We were looking for a little over a year with no luck .
We saw that Aerowood replaced his, and we are ready to do it following his detailed advice and most likely we will replace both front lower panels to avoid any possible comsmetic difference.
Do you know the thickness? if I'm not wrong i think the sides and curved panels are 0.32 and the lower center were 0.40.
Any idea?
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:38 PM   #4
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In 1973, the trailers were made of 6061 T6. Aerowood's trailer was made in 1969, and at that time, they were still making them out of 2023 T3 Alclad, so I can see how having a proper match would be important to a trailer of that year.

Anyway, all the panels on a '73 should be .032" thick, the exception possibly being the formed segments that start out thicker, and get stretched to varying thickness.

I just replaced the lower front corner segment on the curbside of my '73 with a brand new panel I ordered from Outofdoorsmart.com. The shipping was painful, and the part arrived in a box about the size of a queen mattress. I'm not sure what the new replacement panel is made of, but aside from having a "brushed" appearance, the color isn't a bad match for the rest of the trailer (which is still in an unpolished, semi-clearcoated state).
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:46 PM   #5
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Also, sources for aluminum: depending on how much you need, you can order online from Aircraft Spruce or Airparts, inc.. If you need a lot of it, it will probably be cheaper to source it locally from some kind of sheet metal distributor.

If you are thinking of trying to build a formed segment from scratch, I would say it ain't easy. I have an English Wheel that I have been fairly successful at forming smallish items. I tried to make a segment from scratch and it wasn't pretty....at all... I was trying to use .40 6061 T6, which was probably my first mistake, as I probably should have been using something softer. Anyway, when the fun of nearly running my fingers through the English Wheel wore off, I ordered the new segment.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
In 1973, the trailers were made of 6061 T6. Aerowood's trailer was made in 1969, ......
Thanks for the info!
That makes the whole world of a difference in price!
We were ready to order a roll of 4x12 of 2024T3 for over 300 plus shipping and the 6061T6 is only $100!! That means that we can get a lot more AL now
We were considering the new segments but since the idea is to polish the trailer that probably will not work.
But Seriously, 6061T6? you just made my day!
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:26 PM   #7
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Yep, I almost made the same mistake as you, assuming that my trailer was Alclad. I just happened to stumble onto a page showing all the different alloys of aluminum used on the trailers over the years, and was stunned to find mine was 6061--I even called the Mothership to confirm. The history is attached.

I now have the center rear panel that is newly replaced with .40 6061 T6, the door has been reskinned inside and out, and the front corner segment of mystery aluminum (which looks just like the brand new 6061). Some day I will polish it all up and see what it looks like. I have done little bits around the lights I have replaced, and it seems to take a pretty healthy shine.

A potential pitfall of using a used segment is that the rivet holes will never line up, meaning you could end up with some seriously swiss-cheezy seams.

good luck!
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:35 PM   #8
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I wish you were in California, VeggieBullet. I have two panels sitting in my garage and think one of them is one that you would need. I have no idea how I am ever going to get rid of these things!
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellykellyi View Post
I wish you were in California, VeggieBullet. I have two panels sitting in my garage and think one of them is one that you would need. I have no idea how I am ever going to get rid of these things!
we wouldn't mind taking care of the shipping at all!
would you mind sending some pics to wvoram@gmail.com
please let us know asap since we are ready to irder the AL
thanks!
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:50 PM   #10
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I will snap some pictures and send them to you tomorrow. Pretty sure the fella that purchased them got them from Inland RV. It is a long story as to how I wound up with a garage full of Airstream parts but that is why I don't know for sure what part and what year they would be for. Vintage for sure. Look for an email from me tomorrow.

Kelly
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:18 PM   #11
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thanks Kelly

excited to see the pics, what else so uou have?
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Old 09-14-2013, 05:11 PM   #12
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Kelly,
Never got the pics, did you send them?
Regards
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:00 PM   #13
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Hello VeggieBullet. I emailed the pictures today. I also found a thread here on the forums where the Airstreamer that passed away whose parts I have, mentions the two panels that are in my garage. I am pretty sure that one is what you need. Here is that old thread. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...els-78884.html Toddster is the poster whose parts I now have.
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