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Old 01-03-2005, 03:20 PM   #1
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Fiberglass Nose / Tail Cap options

From reading other posts, I know that the fiberglass caps in the nose and tail contribute to the structural integrity of the shell. I would like to replace these with aluminum so that I can remove the rear bath and put a double bed or bunks in the back. Does anyone know of the sutible gauge and grade of aluminum that could be used to replace the cap and still retain the strength required?
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Old 01-03-2005, 05:48 PM   #2
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I assume you are going to do a segmented aluminum replacent? Should be interesting work. Aluminum of the same gauge as the interior panels should be plenty. I'd tell you what it is but I don't remember. It is found somewhere in the archives however.

Mark
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Old 01-04-2005, 01:12 PM   #3
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Hello Mark,

Quote:
Originally Posted by j54mark
I assume you are going to do a segmented aluminum replacent? Should be interesting work. Aluminum of the same gauge as the interior panels should be plenty. I'd tell you what it is but I don't remember. It is found somewhere in the archives however.

Mark
The segments are what I have in mind. I'll just have to find out what the gauge / type of aluminum was uesd on the rest of the interior. I wasn't sure if there's anyone who had mocked up the segments for a '69 or newer nose or tail since I believe from what I read that from '69 through the 70's had the same geometry for the shell construction.
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:50 PM   #4
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I believe the interior aluminum gauage is 0.024 or 0.025. At least it is on my 1973 AS.

My guess is that you could use some relatively stiff poster board to make some pattern pieces with if you don't want to start in directly with the aluminum. If you start in the middle you could work your way to one side and end up with a set of patterns that could be used on the other side too. I think if you temporarily fasten a piece of poster board in place that you can draw a nice line along its edge by using the edge of the next pattern piece or a flexible straight edge of some sort. Later you can mark each edge enough oversize to allow for the desired panel overlap. If you use masking tape on the existing part of the body you can establish all your panel alignment points as you create your patterns so it will be easy to place you aluminum later. It would also be easier for you to decide how much aluminum you need.

Once source of aluminum is the following site:

http://www.airpartsinc.com/

Another is:

http://metalsupermarkets.com/

How you intend to finish the aluminum probably will be the main factor in deciding what type to get. If you are going to paint or add some other type of covering then the 5052-H32 at metal supermarkets is a good deal (if there is one in your area). If you want to shine it up you might need something fancier. The outside skin is usually made of 2024 T3 ALCLAD and is definitely more expensive. I don't know for sure but airparts might ship their product with some sort of protection layer while metal super market does not. Hence some scratching of the surface could occur.

Give us some idea as to what you are thinking of doing with the finish and I am sure someone on the forums can recommend the best grade of aluminum.

I would be interested to hear how this comes out for you.

Malcolm
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:19 PM   #5
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Aluminum endcap finish

Malcom,
My main concern to begin with was to make sure that the segmented aluminum contributes to the structure as the fiberglass endpieces did. Although I love the look of brushed aluminum ala CCD style, I hope to put a bed in the rear of the trailer and have thought of using the carpeted wall type material used in the safari models. After reading the thread about it,

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=12652

I thought that since the material was stain resistant, It might work well in this case

Although I would like to go with an all CCD type wall finish, budget concerns speak otherwise. Thanks for the input,
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:12 AM   #6
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fake it. Tin Can Luv used some Aluminum sheet in roll form from Home Depot and covered the end caps to make it look like a CCD. Came out quite nice. You coach probably has the same smooth dome my 59 has and it would be easy to make it "look" like the earlier style segmented inner caps.

Click on the name and they have some pictures up in the photo album.
Here is a thread they did documenting the process.
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=10521



Another thought is paint it. There were some pictures posted where somebody else used a nice warm Mercedes silver and painted the the whole inners skin and end caps that color and even without the segmented end cap if gave the CCD look quite well.

My wife and I are tossing around ideas on ours. I want to do the wet bath in ours with stainless steel walls and step the head sits on to make it more water resistant (it was one of the worst areas of problem with rotten floors and even some rotten aluminum walls from corrosion from chemicals in the head). At this point I am leaning toward painting the dome a silver matched as close as I can the the SS sheet I will use. The rest of the coach my wife wants a Egg Shell color to retain some of the originality. I am leaning toward an automotive type enamel to make cleaning as easy as waxing any really bad spots.
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:07 AM   #7
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Stainless steel bathroom

Hi 59toaster,
I had seen Tin Can Luv's thread on this before. The flashing came out really well. I had already thought about doing some of the same as a backsplash for the galley like sneakinup did on his. There's a picture with post #2 on this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ead.php?t=9263

I'm thinking that for the nose, the painting route will probably give me the finish I'm looking for. I'm torn on the rear cap because I had hoped to gain some headroom for the bedroom in the back by eliminating the bathroom cabinets that are molded into the fiberglass. Another thought would be to extend the cabinets the length of the bed for overhead storage. I'm attaching the picture of the gutted rear of the trailer.

As for the stainless steel bathroom, I had been thinking along the same lines. I was really inspired by vintage vacations
and the work that they did in stainless on the spartan manor.

With putting thee bed in the back, my thought was to move the bathroom to the middle, but I'll need to look at re-working the black / grey tank configuration first.
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Old 01-05-2005, 11:06 AM   #8
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The aluminum on the interior of the CCD is the same thickness as the exterior (so I'm told) which appears to be either 032, or 040. I'm not too sure about using an ACLAD aluminum for only one reason. The ACLAD aluminum uses a very thin layer of "pure" aluminum coating to aid in corrosion protection. Although it looks great it is very soft and scratches VERY easy. Aircraft Spruce is probably your best bet for getting large quantities of what ever you decide. I could be wrong, but the CCD doesn't appear to use ACLAD on the interior - not sure though. BTW, all the aluminum sheet that I've ordered from aircraft spruce has a plastic coating for protection that you have to peel off.

Anyone know what grade aluminum AS uses ?

Here's a link for some more info on aluminum if anyone is interested:
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...s/aluminfo.php
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Old 01-05-2005, 02:00 PM   #9
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Actually I would be suprised if the plastic end caps are adding all that much to the structural integrity of the body - at least based on what I have seen on my 1973 31' AS. I have taken all my inner skins out inlcuding the end caps. There are things that I observed that lead me to believe that while the inner aluminum skins are contributing something to the structure that the plastic end caps may not be. Here is what I saw:

1.) There are no frame members in the end cap area expect around the edges.

2.) My plastic end caps are very flexible and do not seem at all stiff enough to contribute anything structural to the frame members around the edges. In fact it is my opinion that the frame members are contributing to holding the shape of the end caps which would otherwise droop and sag.

I would think that anyone that wants to change the overall appearance of the end cap areas might be well advised to use the plastic end caps as a base. Overlay something else on top of them if you want but leave the basic end cap in place. If you have cupboards that you want to elimiate consider cutting them out of the end cap and covering up the hole with some overaly such as aluminum or thin plywood. Even if the end cap is cracked it seems to me that it could be repaired enough to act as a stable base for some sort of overlay. If you are covering it up with something else then who cares what the repairs look like cosmetically.

Malcolm
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Old 01-07-2005, 05:22 AM   #10
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Question End cap

Hello all. Good info here. I have been keeping an eye on this thread. I am in a similar situation. Working on restoring the interior of my í75 Trade Wind. The PO had remover the plastic front end cap. What is in place now looks like fabric. Is this what is originally under the cap? Anyway it is painted a medium blue, which will not lend to the restoration we have in mind. I am looking to do something with this area, but, not certain what to do. We have thought of leaving what is there and paint it a mellow color or possibly make a vinyl overlay?????
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:23 PM   #11
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Balrgn,

In my 1973 there was nothing under the end cap when I took it out. Whatever it is that you have on yours must be some sort of add on by the PO.

Malcolm
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Old 01-08-2005, 05:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium
Balrgn,

In my 1973 there was nothing under the end cap when I took it out. Whatever it is that you have on yours must be some sort of add on by the PO.

Malcolm
Thanks, that question has had me puzzled. Now I am at that point, carpet out, floor in, I am going to paint over what is there. Need a lighter color. I may go to an upholstery shop and price out a leather piece. Iíve had no luck locating a replacement.
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