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Old 08-30-2006, 01:41 PM   #1
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how bad is too bad a dent?

I am looking at a 1964 Globetrotter. The interior looks to be very original and in good condition other that the linoleum. The problem is that there are two dents in the back that I am worried about repairing. These dents are on the back panels and go into a second panel and include a seam.
How hard is it to remove the dents good enogh to polish the exterior? Do I have to worry about future leaks? Should I just keep looking for a better one before I get in too deep?
Steve
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:49 PM   #2
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Not sure but..

I think the issue is whether or not the dent is severe enough to have a crease, if it does you are looking at pannel replacement
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:54 PM   #3
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A lot depends on how deep the dent is. Unless it's really bad, it should not affect water tightness. If the Globetrotter is a decent deal, grab it and enjoy it. Some dent can give an Airstream character.
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Old 08-30-2006, 02:04 PM   #4
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many have had success pulling out dents with a plunger type thingie that is used for automobiles. Cheap and it sometimes saves the rounder dents.
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Old 08-30-2006, 02:50 PM   #5
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dent repair

Can these be removed successfully or would I be looking at panel replacement? I am looking at this one, like it but I would like a good polished shell when I am done.
Thanks for the advice.
Steve
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:23 PM   #6
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Hi piratesteve--To me, they add character to your A/S. I'd leave them alone, and letter OUCH on them. That will be a real conversation starter wherever you go. You can tell people who ask, about your encounter with flying saucers, who bumped into you, believing your A/S was the mother ship. The position of the bumps is just where you would expect contact from outer space. Have some fun and enjoy your A/S rather than be concerned about a little character enhancement.--Frank S
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:28 PM   #7
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Hi piratesteve--Use the dents to leverage down the purchase price. Then enjoy this A/S as I advised in your other thread.--Frank S
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Old 08-30-2006, 04:15 PM   #8
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Steve, you're way ahead of the curve! You've learned to post photos by your third post!!!
I'm thinking you're going to be able to smooth out the major indentations of those beauty marks but likely not going to be able to cure the creases.
Remember that your unit is not new and some age and character (beauty marks) make it look .....well, better.
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Old 08-30-2006, 04:36 PM   #9
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Do not feel alone, I have a few......wish I knew how to post pics It looks to me like the smaller one--the one on the seam basically could be pulled out.

Dillons in Apache Junction, AZ, did some of the "pulling" for me and I'm sort of good at the moment.....

Mine was hit in the right rear tail light....it dented the tail light in....they pulled it out. It is not perfect, but just wait, I'll get worse.
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:34 PM   #10
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Our little Boo-Boo!

We also have a 64 Globetrotter with a large dent in the upperleft corner. See photo below. It goes on either side of the seam. For reimbursement from the party that dropped the tree limb on it, we had several est. done. The one from the local dealer was $ 2,705.00 (two segments plus labor).
We think the frame maybe bent underneath, as we tryed the suction cup. You can't see the dent from insde and it doesn't leak....so we have continued to enjoy using it , even with the boo-boo
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:59 PM   #11
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I would think you could get behind that one and push it out quite a bit. Harbor Freight sells the dent removal tools pretty inexpensively.
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:11 PM   #12
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Hi, LawnCondo,

There's not exactly a frame under there. It has stringers and formers. There is a network of small aluminum channels that run horizontally and vertically around the body. Their function is to separate the inner and outer skins and help give form to the exterior. The strength of the Airstream body comes from all of these parts working together, and it yields a remarkably light-weight, strong body. This is what's known as a semi-monocoque construction. It's "semi" because below it is a flexible ladder (or pipe, on the older ones) conventional frame. This is just below the floor.

Anyway, if any of the formers did get damaged, they are neither expensive or difficult to replace.

I think you could probably remove the inner skin in that corner and gently push that dent out to improve it a LOT. However, if the other party's insurance is going to pay for it, you might as well get two nice new panels out of the deal.

You know that means that you'll have to polish it to make it look right after putting two new panels on it.

Lamar
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:11 PM   #13
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64 Lawncondo,
you will have to remove the inside panel ,the upper section I think is one big piece as it is in our 60 trdwnd.you then can see the outer panel segments.
no way to suction out that dent.The seam is strong as the panels overlap
at those rivited areas.any time you have a dent like that ,some inside work
needs to be done ,it will take work ,and you cannot just pound it out .Must be carefully worked outward .I would recommend some wood tools ,like a rounded mallet head to help work the dent out ,also a short 2x4 rounded
on the end to match the curvature of the panel so as not to stretch the aluminum in the wrong way.It can be done ,patience is the key here ,as
it will take time .The idea is to move the dent back out the way it pushed in
so to speak.Any way can it look better? absolutly will look better .Panel replacement will give you a perfect repair if done correctly ,depends on what
you will be happy with ,the repair can also be near perfect if done correctly
by an experienced metal person ,its an art really to form metal .

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Old 09-01-2006, 02:19 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for the good advice.

We probably wont go for the full segment replacement. We don't mind if things aren't perfect....it matches the owners!

I think we will try the, working it out from the inside route.

We want it pushed out enough, to do a light polish ...not a rug melting shine.
I like a little "patina"

A friend suggested attaching something to the dent that looks like the back end of an unexploded torpedo hummmmmmmmmmm
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Old 09-01-2006, 07:42 PM   #15
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Two dents in the rear quarter panels of my unit only cost $4500 to replace. Enjoy it with the dents.
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Old 09-02-2006, 10:01 AM   #16
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thank you for the replies

I just got back from working out of town and read all of the replies to my question. What a wonderful forum we have here!
I have decided to pass on this 1964 GT. After learning what you all had to say about repairing this kind of damage, it is not all that great a deal. I will have to keep on looking for my Airstream. One of you asked me to post a picture so here we go.
Please let me know if one of you has a Globe Trotter that you need to sell. I would like a decent shell.
Thank all of you again! Steve
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Old 09-02-2006, 11:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piratesteve
I just got back from working out of town and read all of the replies to my question. What a wonderful forum we have here!
I have decided to pass on this 1964 GT. After learning what you all had to say about repairing this kind of damage, it is not all that great a deal. I will have to keep on looking for my Airstream. One of you asked me to post a picture so here we go.
Please let me know if one of you has a Globe Trotter that you need to sell. I would like a decent shell.
Thank all of you again! Steve
The segments for 1968 and older trailers, are for most part, in extremely short supply.

Airstream sold all that they had to us a number of years ago. At this point, some of the segments for the 1968 and older trailers, are no longer available.

You must then use segments from a 1969 or newer trailer.

The bubble or blister or contour if you wish will not be an exact match.

Andy
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:18 AM   #18
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goodluck there Steve ,

that is one nasty dent to repair ,if the deal could not be made considering the dent ,then ,yes you move on ahead for a nicer shell .Our 60 trwnd has
some skin issues ,the suicide door dent on the road (before I owned it ) but
Its mostely repaired working it carefully back as much as is possible anyway.
We can live with some not so perfect problems ,as it has some ,this trailer
saw some caravan duty so I say it has some tales to tell (the damages inflicted) and character.

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 09-05-2006, 04:50 PM   #19
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I am facing some similar dents in my "62 Bambi. I think from the inside removing the pannels and pushing the dents out would be the best solution...but I am also wondering if some of those paintless dent removing systems would work. Maybe someone else has used that before? All in all, I would not allow something like that to prohibit you from getting it. the best part of having an Airstream is all the work that goes with them.
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Old 09-05-2006, 04:57 PM   #20
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The dents can be minimized but I doubt you will completely remove them short of replacing the segments.
Aluminum has a bad habit of stretching when dented, so when you go to put it back where it belongs you have too much metal.

Aaron
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