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Old 07-08-2004, 10:15 AM   #43
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I've heard that also - doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to do
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Old 07-08-2004, 11:56 AM   #44
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Sheet metal overlay

Sheet metal "overlay" is the abbreviated form of "proper repairs."

It will "NOT" eliminate any leaks.

From an insurance point of view, overlaid sheetmetal will pay less hours than the proper method of "R & R" (remove and replace).

Caravanner Insurance was death on "ANY" dealer that used an overlay method of repair, and would accordingly, deduct an appropriate amount from the dealers payment.

Dealers that did that type work, were "removed" from the recommended repair facilities.

That should speak for itself.

Andy




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Old 07-08-2004, 05:43 PM   #45
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Yet overlay is exactly what the Airstream factory repair department does! Jim Parrot says that's the way they have fixed them for decades.
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Old 07-08-2004, 06:13 PM   #46
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Since it has been brought up, the Airstream factory was also penalized for overlay repair work.

No one, is entitled to be paid for a complete job, when they only do a partial job. Not even the factory.

Next time someone is at the plant, for a plant tour, ask Don Ambose, how many times they were penalized for doing an overlay, for their own insurance division, namely Caravanner Insurance.

Should additional damage occur to the same panel, that was overlaid, the next repair job takes more time, because of now having to remove two panels.

Therefore if that repairer is entitled to more money, and he is, then the original repairer should be penalized that same amount.

That is exactly what Caravanner Insurance did, every time they learned that it happened.

The basic fact, in my professional opinion, factory or not, overlaying panels is a short cut way to improper repairs, and a way to charge an insurance company for work, "not done."

R & R means "remove and replace." It does not mean "overlay."

Just because the Airstream factory may choose to overlay, "Does Not Make The Repair Correct."

Airstream body repair is flat rated. I know, I wrote that manual back in 1970.
Charging flat rate and doing less work, in my book, is cheating someone.

You decide who.

Andy
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Old 07-08-2004, 06:20 PM   #47
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Andy,
Aside from charging for more work that what was done, and the potential of a subsequent bigger repair in the future, are there any other downsides? I guess one is more weight.

Jack
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Old 07-08-2004, 06:59 PM   #48
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Jack.

Sure is a major downside, over and above the weight.

The biggest one is, for example, lets say we replace the left lower side sheet.

In order to do so, the front and rear of that panel must be cut back a couple of inches or so. Then those edges must be folded inward. What kind of edges? Sharp ones.

What is running within the same areas? Wires. Lots of them.

How do we guarantee ourselves, that the repair person who is charging for a job that they are not doing "by the correct book," will also make sure that those sharp edges cannot possibly cut into the wires?

Lets not hold our breath. It's not going to happen!!!!

The winner. The repair shop.

The loser. The coach owner, "everytime."

We all agree that Airstream strives for quality. Agreed, they slip, sometimes. But, don't we all? Why then would we want to repair the trailer, and put in back into a condition of lesser quality.

If we are willing to accept that type of repair, then we should also be willing to accept a second rate coach.

NOT!!!

Some people criticize the quality as it is.

Since I write appraisels for many Airstream coaches for insuarnce companies, I will automatically make a deduction for overlaid repairs, as being less than proper repairs.

That in itself, can and does devalue a coach, possibly into the thousands of dollars.

If any of us would not buy a patched coach, then why in the world would we allow someone, anyone, even the factory, to patch one for us?

Doesn't make good sense, nor does it make good "dollar sense.".

Andy
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Old 07-08-2004, 09:09 PM   #49
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Andy is a true value to this forum, I truely enjoy ready his posts. I myself have been fighting ( repairing ) poor repairs from the past on my current trailer, the many hours have taken the enjoyment out of ownership. I have delt with people that are happy to ripoff another Airstream owner as if that is expected of them! Enough of that, lets move on to the next question about skin repair. I am currently repairing (removing) a roof panel that leaks (an old repair) and am interested in what ways to weatherproof the seam? What would be the correct item to use between the sheets along the rivet line?
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Old 07-09-2004, 10:36 AM   #50
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Roof sheet replacement

Roof sheets can easily be replaced, "and" sealed so they won't leak.

First you start off by supporting the frame of the trailer, so that it "CANNOT" move vertically. Removing the roof panel severely weakens the ability of the shell to support itself, and it "WILL" move, if not properly supported.

Next, remove the roof sheet, carefully using #30 drill bits.

Next, remove the sheet.

Next, located the area that had the leak. Address that issue accordingly.

Next, put the sheet back in place and lock it in using a number of # 8 x 3/4 inch or so, PK screws.

Redrill all the holes with a # 21 drill bit.

Next, remove the sheet again.

Now for the fix.

Install masking tape to just cover the edges of the adjoining window sheets and the front and rear segments, by not more than a 1/16 of an inch.

Install and or apply lots (plenty, more than adequate, mucho) "VULKEM" sealer to every main bow, horizontal stringers and the the adjoining window sheets. "DO NOT BE AFRAID OF USING CONSIDERABLE VULKEM." Do not leave "any" gaps in the vulkem. It must be installed in a continuous bead on top of "all" the exposed metal.

Reinstall the roof sheet and carefully hold it in place with a few # 10 PK screws.

If you applied the vulkem correctly, it will start forcing it's way through each hole. GREAT!! TERRIFIC!! Just what you want it to do.

Next install all the "Olympic rivets". DO NOT USE RIVETS WITH WASHERS. The washers, in time, and/or with a lot of heat, as we have in our nearby desert, will fail.

Next, set all the rivets.

Next, remove the screws. Add a small amount of Vulkem if necessary.

Next, install the Olympic rivets in the remaining holes.

Next, shave the Olympic rivets.

Second to last, clean up the surplus vulkem with any solvent that "WILL NOT" attack the plasticote.

Lastly, scribe along the sides and ends of the roof sheet, so that you cut the masking tape. Remove the masking tape, which also removes the surplus Vulkem, without making a mess on the adjoining sheets.

Slap yourself on the back, and have a cool one.

Remove the jacks.

Job well done.

Buck riveting the roof sheet is "NOT" necessary.

They key to success is to use plenty of vulkem sealer, and the jacks, and the correct size drill bits.

Additionally, replace the sewer vent pipe gaskets and renew the sealer around each vent. If your coach has an AC, replace it's gasket before you reinstall the unit.

Splicing a section of the roof, is asking for trouble, and it will appear, in short order.

A "quality" metal repair job, has no short cuts nor is it a place to use junk parts or materials.

The above method of repair, also applies to the other sheet metal parts on the coach.

The test of time? This method has been used for over 30 years, without a single known failure.

Extra work? You bet!! Extra quality? Absolutely.

Makes a person smile, many times over, especially when you hear the tales of whoa, of improper repairs, others may have done or had done.

Andy
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Old 07-09-2004, 11:26 AM   #51
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I just want to say from reading these posts on skin replacement that it good to know there are people out there who are honest and take pride in doing a quality job and doing it right the first time. To many times all of us who have had work done by "professionals" realize after getting it back that the person that worked on it rushed the work, lacked real skill and coud generally care less. This seems to be becoming more common. Quality work comes form first, caring about what it is your doing ,having the patience to to follow through on the work and not take short-cuts and pride in the work and the results. Over the years you develope skills that hopefully people appreciate. My hats off to Andy and Island RV.
Jack
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Old 07-09-2004, 01:39 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickStream
Andy is a true value to this forum, I truely enjoy ready his posts. I myself have been fighting ( repairing ) poor repairs from the past on my current trailer, the many hours have taken the enjoyment out of ownership. I have delt with people that are happy to ripoff another Airstream owner as if that is expected of them! Enough of that, lets move on to the next question about skin repair. I am currently repairing (removing) a roof panel that leaks (an old repair) and am interested in what ways to weatherproof the seam? What would be the correct item to use between the sheets along the rivet line?

We use butyl seam tape part number 365001 between seams when replacing metal.

The process Andy described for changing panels is not necessary on all units, unless there is extensive damage. The process used at the factory service school is trimming the edges and overlaying the panel. We do not bend edges of metal inward. Also newer trailers (1994 and later) have structure tape between the ribs and panels which make removal harder and can damage or bend the ribs.
Processes change , we are in contact with insurance companies daily and work to provide the best repair as well as cost. We have no intention of taking advantage of the customer as Andy indicated.
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Old 07-09-2004, 05:29 PM   #53
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Thanks for clearing that up. We appreciate input from those " in the know" to us "who need to know".
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Old 08-02-2004, 07:44 PM   #54
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I started replacing the aft panel on my trailer today.The old panel was so badly stretched I could not see how to install the "U" channnel on the new floor.The new panel is held on now with only four clecos but is a nice tight fit.I will have to finish the "U" channel installation and the aft end of the belly panel before I can rivet on the aft panel.
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Old 08-02-2004, 09:10 PM   #55
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Panels with compound curves?

On my 1973 31' Sovereign the panel that needs replacing the most is, of course, one of the ones with a compound curve. It is the left rear panel in the second row from the bottom. It connects from the edge of the back window around to the first body bow. I took the old panel out over the weekend without too much trouble. It was actually a bit easier to get out than I would have thought and appears to have been a replacement itself. It did not have any sealer of any kind around its edges and was installed with Olympic rivits. Well the question is will this panel be hard to replace? Can I get a flat sheet of aluminum to fit the compound curve or not? I seem to recall seeing an AS factory tour segment on TV that showed the folks there shaping the metal panels to the compund curve using some sort of press. In the long run I intend to have my trailer painted so I am wondering now if I can maybe repair the old panel and put it back in. It does have a tear though. Has anyone had any success with getting a split welded on such thin sheet metal? Is their a source for replacement panels already formed to the curve?

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 08-02-2004, 09:15 PM   #56
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Greg,
Really nice work. How did you cut the corners? They look a lot smoother than the corners on my Tradewind, which look like they were cut with a chainsaw. Did you use a template, or did you scribe an arc?
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