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Old 06-18-2009, 11:59 AM   #1
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1966 28' Ambassador
provo , Utah
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replacing interior aluminum skin on 66' ?

How crazy is this? I've removed everything out of my 66' ambassdor and now have decided I like the look of the bare aluminum over the wallpaper stuff. I've read the comments about stripping it off and it sounds like alot of work. Why would'nt I want to just replace the interior skin with new aluminum? On line it appears the cost is not prohibitive, plus I wont have alot of miscellaneous un-needed rivets all over the place... Anyone with experience doing this or direction to a previous thread?

By the way, I bought my AS because it was in such good condition, and now I'm redoing the whole thing.. kind of funny. However, I discovered alot of hidden problems when I removed the cabinets, etc. Broken water lines, bad, gas lines, bird nests in the stove flue et cetra.

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Old 06-18-2009, 12:07 PM   #2
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:09 PM   #3
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It's really just a matter of what you want to do. Just use the old pieces as templates for the new but delete everthing that you no longer want. Its really just Time, Materails, and Skill Set.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:27 PM   #4
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We replaced the entire streetside of our '56 Safari - both inside & out as well as the exterior streetside of our '64 Globetrotter. It's not difficult at all...especially when we had Kip to teach us how to buck rivets for the outside! The inside just uses pulled rivets, so with a pneumatic rivet gun it'll only take about a day to do the actual riveting - cutting/drilling from the old panels as templates will take another day or two. With a long weekend coming up you could probably get the whole thing done in three long days with some planning ahead.

The only thing that could be a problem with doing the entire interior would be the curved end caps - they are complex curves and not readily available "new". Without the equipment to form these, you will have to re-use your old ones - which will require stripping/polishing or painting. However, the straight lower panels are no sweat - if we wanted the look of an aluminum interior, I would certainly replace the panels rather than strip & polish the old ones - MUCH easier! And by the time you factor in stripper, time and polishing - it's probably not much more expensive to just replace them.

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Old 06-18-2009, 01:03 PM   #5
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Watch the flavor of aluminum alloy you put up inside -- if you strip and reuse the existing sheets they work out okay but are hard to get a consistent & lasting polish or texture throughout the interior. Remember the top ceiling liner came as one piece, in your 28' trailer that will be a long section not readily available so there is at least one piece to reuse?

If you shop around you can find sheet alloy that has a factory clear finish on it that would go a long way to looking fresh in 3-5 years...

2024 alloy like the old Airstreams used on the exteriors commands a premium price, I've seen it locally here in 4x12 sheets and comes with the factory plastic finish - I am tempted to do the galley area and part of the sleeping area with it even if it means applying it over the original...

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Old 06-18-2009, 01:11 PM   #6
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1966 28' Ambassador
provo , Utah
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Okay so what's the best way to detach the old aluminum? I am assuming you just drill them out with a drill bit through the center? Right? Do the old holes in the aluminum ribs become an issue when attaching the new aluminum sheets?
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:34 PM   #7
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1962 26' Overlander
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just do not drill the solid rivets in the three long panels on the roof. Unless you plan to remake that too. The three panels are riveted to make one long sheet. Airpart inc sells coil stock so you can get it as long as you want.

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