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Old 07-16-2010, 10:57 AM   #1
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Skin repair method?

How would you go about repairing the skin damage in the pic? I was thinking to either cut the damaged aluminum away in a straight line with the beltline and slip new aluminum under that sheet and rivet or adding aluminum over the top of the damaged aluminum. All rivets will be bucked since I have the interior panels removed.
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:33 AM   #2
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I would (and did) replace the entire panel, especially since you already have the interior skins off. The aluminum itself is not that expensive - should be about $300 or less for that entire streetside panel. If not, I would always regret not doing it, later - it would always bug me knowing it was a patch. But then, that's just me...my motto always seems to be "if it's worth doing, it's worth over doing".

Shari
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:45 AM   #3
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That would be my preference also, here are some of my issues. I already have enough new aluminum to patch the repair, I will be doing whatever I do by myself, that piece is 14 ft long, I've only bucked 2 rivets in my shop on some scrap to see how it works, not sure my first skin repair should be so huge, oh and of course the almighty $. I love your work and refer to your threads often thank you for sharing.
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:54 AM   #4
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Hanging it by yourself is not that bad I would think, clecos are your friend.. for bucking you will HAVE to have help, but their part isn't hard, just tedious.. I doubt I would be overly bothered with a patch, it is after all, a "vintage" trailer with a life and history before the one you share with it. If you are or have a need to have it perfect, for shows or whatever, replace is the better answer, although I am squarely in the original, with patina camp myself.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:03 PM   #5
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I would replace the whole panel. Splicinig in a piece would be just about as much work as replacing the whole thing.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:48 PM   #6
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Hey Silverhoot,

If it were our trailer I'd replace the panel as well and use bucked rivets. The end results will be more pleasing to the eye. Don't let let the lack of experience working with a rivet gun and a bucking bar stop you. Get some practice time under your belt and by all means ask questions of those here with experience. Kip and Zepp would be my resources of choice..

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Old 07-16-2010, 12:52 PM   #7
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Oh Man! I blew it.

In February I ordered my aluminum and had not planned on replacing the entire panel so ordered 12', thought that would be enough for doing the repair + have extra. DANG. I should have asked here, BEFORE I ordered and could have got an additional 2' for $31.50. What to do..
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverHoot View Post
That would be my preference also, here are some of my issues. I already have enough new aluminum to patch the repair, I will be doing whatever I do by myself, that piece is 14 ft long, I've only bucked 2 rivets in my shop on some scrap to see how it works, not sure my first skin repair should be so huge, oh and of course the almighty $. I love your work and refer to your threads often thank you for sharing.
Well, doing it yourself would be a problem, but even if you plan on bucking a handful of rivets you will need a helper.

Thanks for the kudos on our work...but, we had never done anything like this ourselves either when we began...it's really not that difficult, you just have to have a "I can do it" attitude. If we lived closed - I'd help you buck the rivets...I thought it was fun! I'm sorry (not really) we didn't have more to do or another riveting project!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverHoot View Post
In February I ordered my aluminum and had not planned on replacing the entire panel so ordered 12', thought that would be enough for doing the repair + have extra. DANG. I should have asked here, BEFORE I ordered and could have got an additional 2' for $31.50. What to do..
Well, you could offer up the 12' piece for sale in the classifieds then buy the 14' piece you need. You may have to discount the price you paid for the 12' a little - but at least it wouldn't be a total loss.

Shari
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:20 PM   #9
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Another Tidbit

This panel had been replaced previously and is attached using Olympic type rivets. This was also the waviest panel on the trailer. I'm leaning heavily towards replacing the entire panel. Anyone needing some aluminum 4' x 12' 3032 T3 Alclad let me know. Especially if local and can pick it up, otherwise I am sure I will use it somewhere.
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:29 PM   #10
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Better recheck your alloy number, you should be using 2024-T3. 3xxx alloys only come with an H or Hardening number like H32 or H34 etc.

Kip
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:45 PM   #11
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Thanks Kip, for the correction I was just in the Airparts Catalogue and got my numbers mixed. I have 2024-T3 .032 thick.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:07 AM   #12
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What tools are suggested?

I'm all about having the right tools for the job. For this panel replacement I think I will order .040 thick as I read somewhere it is easier to work with, please set me straight if this is incorrect. I have non-swivel head electric shears from Northern Tool, A pair of Wiss straight cut shears, clecos, modified (an456) brazier head rivet in a soft 1100F alloy 1/4" and 1/2" length, bucking bar and 3x rivet gun from Aircraft Tool Company.
The tools that I wonder if I need are: an air or electric nibbler, I'm not real clear on exactly how these work or if needed, can I get by with a hand nibbler? I find the electric shears a bit difficult to use and am not real confident of accuracy of cut, this may be due to rookie operator. Thinking that I will drill new holes since I do not have a 'pancake or offset drill so that I can use existing holes in ribs and floor channel. I can't afford to make a mistake when cutting out the new panel so would rather invest in the tools than try it with the wrong ones. All suggestions are most appreciated.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:54 AM   #13
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Not sure how my shears will cut .040 2024 T-3 in comparison, but I had no problems using the electric shears with the .025 5052 material for the belly pan.
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