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Old 12-21-2009, 08:07 PM   #1
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Question replacing damaged skin on 2008 safari

I bought this safari back in Feb this year. I chase hail to repair damaged vehicles all over the country and just finished up for the year. I plan on using it this next year so I'm fixing to get to it. I have about 7 panels to replace on the road side plus front windows. I have all replacement parts and most all rivets out and was wondering what sealant is best to use. Trempro 635 - 636 - or is there something else you recommend. My dads helping me and he said the forums would be the best place for opinions and answers, not necessarily the same thing. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Phillip2009
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:55 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums.
Tempro or Vulkem is the "standard" sealant for the seams in the aluminum panels. They do make black and grey, make sure you specify grey, it will look horrible with black sealant.
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:08 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info. I would rather use the trempro 635 over the vulkem 636 because of the no VOC's but it says it doesn't have as long of tack-free time as the 4 hours with vulkem. Will that matter when it comes time to start replacing these panels? I have 7 on the street side to replace. I also have found after removing the large street side panel on the top side that it has a two-sided tape on the frame studs. Do you think that I should use the tape or the poly.

Phillip
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Old 12-26-2009, 02:09 PM   #4
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Hey Phillip,

Welcome. I would use the Vulkem, because as you stated it has no VOC's, and I believe that it seams to seal over the long term better than with trempro. It maybe a quinceadence, but the trailers that I have taken apart for repairs that used Vulkem needed extra work to get the "Vulkemed" areas apart! It does set up in about half the time so you need to plan ahead and work fast to get it done right. I should also point out that you should use buck rivets on this fix not Olympic Rivets that so many people uses (even Airstream certified shops)!!!! The Olympic Rivets will not be structurally strong enough for the replacement of 7 panels! This means that you may need to remove all of the interior on the street side to be able access the back side with a bucking bar! The two sided tape on the frame studs form my understanding is used for a thermal block, But due to the nature of construction I am not sure how Airstream is getting away with it due to the fact the rivet is not bucked properly with a soft material between two Aluminum pieces! I asked about this at the Airstream factory tour and did not get any answer other than it was something new! I believe that as this tape loses shape over time the rivets will loosen and leaks will be created! You would never do this in aircraft construction!

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Old 12-26-2009, 02:18 PM   #5
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hi philip...

the OEM factory sealant on this unit is sikaflex 221.

they also have a VERY LOW/no voc version of 221

this stuff is available on the a/s factory store website and from many vendors.

http://www.sikaindustry.com/tds-ipd-sf221-ind-us.pdf

they stopped using vulkem in new construction years ago.

cheers
2air'
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Old 12-26-2009, 02:30 PM   #6
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FYI... I have used both sikaflex and Vulkem and both work about the same.... Vulkem is 1/3 the price as sikaflex.... Would love to find a place that can sell it for less!

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Old 12-26-2009, 02:35 PM   #7
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here are some pix from inside the factory assembly plant.

taking pix is NO longer allowed

a stock pile of 721 used TOPSIDE (it's uv resistant)


Click image for larger version

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and 2 cases of 221 goo going inside a 16f bambi or old 22 safari (note the osb flooring)


Click image for larger version

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u can see just how heavily they apply this stuff,

think cake frosting!


cheers
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Old 12-26-2009, 02:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip2009 View Post
Thanks for the info. I would rather use the trempro 635 over the vulkem 636 because of the no VOC's but it says it doesn't have as long of tack-free time as the 4 hours with vulkem. Will that matter when it comes time to start replacing these panels? I have 7 on the street side to replace. I also have found after removing the large street side panel on the top side that it has a two-sided tape on the frame studs. Do you think that I should use the tape or the poly.

Phillip
Phillip.

Unless you an beat the Flat rate manual that was published in 1970, you should use the slower setting sealer.

The fast setting sealer is ok, for "very small jobs".

But, when you have a few hundred rivets to install, the slow setting is the only way to go.

Andy
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Old 12-26-2009, 02:50 PM   #9
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LOL.... What a great picture! OSB flooring with a case of Sikaflex on it! Airstream should of used Vulkem 1/3 the price and put the money in Plywood! Just a thought! No wonder Airstream does not allow pictures anymore!

Thanks 2air'

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Old 12-28-2009, 07:53 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the info. I'll check out the sikaflex as soon as this goofy Hughs net decides to work faster. It's the only way to get on the net in the hollers of Tenn. We've taken all the panels off now and are cleaning up all the glues on everything now. I also have some stud bracing that are bent that I have to straighten a bit. Not as bad as I thought though. I've already bought the olympic rivets for this job so I'll go ahead with them now, about 1500 rivets I think. If the factory uses sikaflex now it certainly takes what I would call extra work to get apart. I think you could leave the rivets out and it would hold together. The trailer was racked a little to the curb side but I believe I can pull it back in shape now that the damaged panels are off and the front window frames are out, I'll soon know. Oh, once I get started putting panels back will should I let the panels set up good before putting the front windows in? Can I also use screws to line up the panels before riveting or should I use the line up pins that are available? I know they have a name I just can't remember it.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:52 AM   #11
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. Oh, once I get started putting panels back will should I let the panels set up good before putting the front windows in? Can I also use screws to line up the panels before riveting or should I use the line up pins that are available? I know they have a name I just can't remember it.
Phillip2009
I would suggest that you purchase just a couple of tubes of Sikaflex. You will learn how fast it sets up. Then you can order the Vulkem.

Excellent sheet metal replacement has the sealer installed between the seams, prior to riveting. Airstream only seals after the riveting is completed, therefore they do not have a time problem, as you will have.

With as much sheet metal work that you will be doing, using the "CLECO" fasteners will work better than the sheet metal screws. Remember to also purchase "CLECO PLIERS".

A good source for those tools is Aircraft Spruce. Their prices and shipping is great.

Andy
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:30 AM   #12
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I have used www.averytools.com several times. They are a great source for cleco's and other sheet metal tools. They specialize in aircraft tools. Everything you will need to "properly" install the new panels.

Good luck.]
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