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Old 02-08-2009, 12:10 PM   #1
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1975 25' Tradewind
Huntington Beach , California
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Skin Repair: scab over?

I just discovered that someone in my Airstream's past did a strange thing. In replacing the curbside lower quarter panel they opted to cut-out the dented section and then put a new complete panel over the old one using field rivets. This repair seems like it would be less than optimal but also seems to have held up reasonably well. I currently have the interior skin off (apparently what they were avoiding) and I wonder if I should re-do those rivits using solid type and furthermore should I remove the previously damaged panel? OR just leave well - enough alone...

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Old 02-08-2009, 12:35 PM   #2
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It's up to you. The full panel overlay is accepted as "standard" for a repair. Like you surmised it is done when you can't or don't want to remove the "guts" of the trailer to get to the backside. Replacing a panel with bucked rivets is not that difficult once you are at the stage you are at - it's just a matter of if you want to do it or not. But be careful - it's a slippery slope! You might be entering an early phase of "while I'm at it, I might as well <fill-in-the-blank>". Don't ask me how I know...

I guess one of the biggest concerns would be if a new panel would stick out like a sore thumb due to lack of oxidation if you are not going to polish the exterior. If you're going to polish - no problem.

Shari
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:26 PM   #3
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Yes... I have an overlay panel on the front section below the front window. I also have a 2nd overlay panel on the front streetside banana warp. I never noticed either during my inspection and only found them as I remove the trim pieces and recaulked.

I seems to work fine and I also have a some 'field' rivets around the front curbside wrap windows and I dont seem to see any leaks.

Basically, it your repair looks good and is not leaking... I'd leave it be.
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:11 PM   #4
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Ditto the previous answers - if it ain't fixed, don't broke it. My '74 Argosy had this same panel dented and an overlay done at some time (though with bucked rivets). I'd say it looks like they took care with the caulking on yours. If the floor edge hasn't had water damage I'd say that fact is proven.
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Torii View Post
I just discovered that someone in my Airstream's past did a strange thing. In replacing the curbside lower quarter panel they opted to cut-out the dented section and then put a new complete panel over the old one using field rivets. This repair seems like it would be less than optimal but also seems to have held up reasonably well. I currently have the interior skin off (apparently what they were avoiding) and I wonder if I should re-do those rivits using solid type and furthermore should I remove the previously damaged panel? OR just leave well - enough alone...

A few dealers have made repairs that way instead of removing the old panels, as they were paid to do by an insurance company. Of course the previos owner could have done that as well.

If it's done properly, replace the rivets if you wish, but leave it alone as it really doesn't hurt anything.

Andy
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:50 PM   #6
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When in doubt blameit one the previous owner I say if aint broke don't ......A pretty good moto with these old girls.
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:06 PM   #7
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What is a "field rivet"?
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:11 PM   #8
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What is a "field rivet"?
Field rivet is another name for Olympic Rivet. They are called that because they can be installed in the field without removing any interior.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:24 AM   #9
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Smile

Thanks for all the good advice. I think I'll just leave it alone. As Shari pointed out, It could lead to other things... "while I'm at it, I might as well <fill-in-the-blank>" I've already been down that road on this trailer in a few spots. The wing windows are in need of some work so I think I'll do that while Ive got the skins down. See what I mean..
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