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Old 06-23-2015, 09:18 AM   #15
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1972 27' Overlander
Woodburn , Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by justgoclimb View Post
Awesome, sounds like you've pretty much finished up all the structural work and are ready to start designing. What sections of the subfloor did you patch and how did you go about doing it? All the subfloor in ours looks keepable except the rear end - I'm leaning towards removing the bumper and opening up the exterior skins so we can just pull the whole piece out and fix a potential rear end separation issue while we're at it.

I really think the hardest part about a reno like this are all the questions of which materials to buy and which way you want to do the procedures. The work itself isn't bad, it's just all the uncertainty! Yes, soooo many different tools, sealant options, etc. Speaking of which, which sealant would you recommend we buy to seal leaks with? Since we have all the skins off we want to just seal basically everything that could be a potential leak from the inside of the shell.

Help from others on this site really goes a long ways and is greatly appreciated. Looking forward to the day when I've gone through all the steps and can share my own knowledge with noobs like me.
Actually I had the floor repair done at a shop in portland ,Oregon .They replaced the sub floor from the front back to the back side of the entry door , he even rolled the front banana wraps on his English wheel and removed all the dents to make them look brand new again .
Now we can actually start putting all the new fixtures and appliances back in ,we are gonna put in a exotic bamboo tiger wood floor to set it all off , their will be no other airstream like mine which is the coolest thing about a rebuild
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:54 AM   #16
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1972 27' Overlander
Scituate , Massachusetts
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Alright, the interior skins are off! It was actually an easy process once we got going. Blew through about six 1/8 bits drilling all the rivets.


Skins removed, with old insulation. Found a couple sections with evidence of rodents, but for the most part the old insulation looked pretty good.


But we're still replacing it.

Down to the outer skins. Love seeing the bones of this thing.

Question about sealing - I figure it will be easy since we have all the interior skins off to seal any leaking seams/rivets from the inside. This way we won't have to be so precise about taping and all that. I just ordered a couple tubes of Trempro 635, will that do the job for everything? I also plan on using it when I install new vent fans and such on the roof. I'd love to hear any "best practices" for sealing. I also got six syringes for applications in small seams.


Now on to the floor. I think this is our next job. I'm pretty sure we want to remove the bumper and drop the belly pan/banana skins around the rear so we can slide out the floor piece. Is doing this as simple as just drilling out all the right rivets? Here are some pics of the rear section of floor where the bathroom was.






Is that bolt sticking up one of the 1/4" bolts that everyone refers to that bolt the subfloor to the frame? I've read you need to get beneath them to cut them off and free the floor. Or should I just break them off from the top since they are all rusted?


Okay, at risk of sounding like a complete idiot, what is this bolt piece between the sections of subfloor and how does it factor into the removal of the rear section of wood? Do I need to worry about it before I try to slide the wood out the rear?


I'm also planning on removing the waste tank entirely since we're designing this to be primarily for boondocking and will be putting in either a composting or incinerating toilet. So let me know if you're looking for a waste tank.
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:19 PM   #17
Rico2surf
 
1973 27' Overlander
Medford , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 11
Yes, remove the banana skins as that is the access to the bolts as they come through the plywood from the aluminum bottom wall plate. Now having said that, ours ('73) were all rusted and bent, so sawing or nocking them off was the only option. And our plywood was sooooo badly rotted that I took it out piece by ugly piece (oh, and smelly ;-) so no option for using as a pattern. I used large pieces of cardboard and slowly created a template. With the banana skins off I could also check this pattern from the outside to make sure it was going all the way to the skin.

In the end, I had 3-pieces of plywood that I splined together, once in place.
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Old 06-23-2015, 01:17 PM   #18
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1972 27' Overlander
Scituate , Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by rico2surf View Post

In the end, I had 3-pieces of plywood that I splined together, once in place.

Just for the rear section? You didn't put in one complete piece?
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:01 PM   #19
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1972 27' Overlander
Scituate , Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by shineybullet View Post
We are gonna put in a exotic bamboo tiger wood floor to set it all off , their will be no other airstream like mine which is the coolest thing about a rebuild
Exactly. Restoring to original is the farthest thing from my mind. The exterior is amazing though, aside from the massive roof antenna.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:16 PM   #20
Rico2surf
 
1973 27' Overlander
Medford , Oregon
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No. If you think about it in terms of putting in one piece, with the shell on, it would be impossible. The plywood goes all the way to the outside skin, so is approximately 5" ± wider than the inside, plus if you are set up like me, you'd have vent pipe, access cut out and battery port enclosure to work around. Sorry if it sounded like a rant, but there is a lot to think about ;-)
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:35 AM   #21
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
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You do need to pull all the banana wraps and the lower wraps off and look at the condition of the outriggers and the frame. All the way in the back you will probably find a large piece of angle iron that was in direct contact with the aluminum shell and should be pretty well corroded along with the aluminum it was in contact with. Can you say "battery", I'll bet you can. I ended up replacing it with a similar sized piece of aluminum angle and did my best to isolate it from the steel frame with some gasket material. Not Airstream's best idea there...

The bolt you refer to is usually called an elevator bolt and you can get replacements at the local big box stores. They are designed to be self tapping into metal and should drill themselves right into the top of the frame through the floor. I always gave them a nice pilot hole which worked very well. To remove the old one, most folks just use a hole saw around the bolt and pick away at the remaining plywood till its gone.


As for sealing up the joints from the inside, they sell a rubberized paint now that works great. I think rustoleum is one available brand. Just overcoat the panel joints from the inside and you should be good to go. Do be careful with the fiberglass end caps, if you plan on reusing them, they are fairly brittle at this stage and wont take much abuse. It looks line one of them already has a split at the bottom.

And looking at the condition of the rear floor with all that old spray in foam, I would consider that you may be close to a shell off restoration. Drop the belly pan and see what the frame looks like under all that old pink fiberglass. I would say there have been some leaks going on for a while, otherwise the wood would not have rotted away and been patched. If the frame isn't solid, all the cosmetic work in the world wont last very long. With all the interior stuff gone, its not that much more to remove the shell and it will make replacing the floor much easier than patching it in. And the frame and floor will be much better for it. And while your at it, what about the axles?
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Old 06-24-2015, 01:00 PM   #22
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1971 27' Overlander
Jackson , Tennessee
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Originally Posted by justgoclimb View Post
Just for the rear section? You didn't put in one complete piece?
Actually, one-piece replacement is not hard and leaves (in my opinion, given the whole monocoque idea) a stronger result. AKA Sneak-a-Sheet method (nod to Chilipepper).
This assumes removal of vent/waste plumbing. See this thread http://www.airforums.com/forums/f4/s...-119687-2.html for a discussion, as well as a few ideas on closing off the water intrusion in the rear that caused so much of the trouble.

Have fun,

Alan
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:30 PM   #23
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1972 27' Overlander
Scituate , Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by rico2surf View Post
Yes, remove the banana skins as that is the access to the bolts as they come through the plywood from the aluminum bottom wall plate. Now having said that, ours ('73) were all rusted and bent, so sawing or nocking them off was the only option. And our plywood was sooooo badly rotted that I took it out piece by ugly piece (oh, and smelly ;-) so no option for using as a pattern. I used large pieces of cardboard and slowly created a template. With the banana skins off I could also check this pattern from the outside to make sure it was going all the way to the skin.

In the end, I had 3-pieces of plywood that I splined together, once in place.
Nice. I think we are going to just start drilling out rivets and exposing the back area so we can pull out the wood. I'm sure it'll be falling apart on us too. Were you able to reuse the original banana skins and belly panels you dropped? Having gone through the process on a 73, which I assume is very similar to our 72, are there any tricks or tips you'd advise us of before diving into things? Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:17 PM   #24
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1972 27' Overlander
Scituate , Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by aquinob View Post
The bolt you refer to is usually called an elevator bolt and you can get replacements at the local big box stores. They are designed to be self tapping into metal and should drill themselves right into the top of the frame through the floor. I always gave them a nice pilot hole which worked very well. To remove the old one, most folks just use a hole saw around the bolt and pick away at the remaining plywood till its gone.
Ah okay thanks. What size of hole saw is usually used? Does it matter that I will be cutting out part of the other section of subfloor that I am not replacing? It looks like the elevator bolt is along the seam of the two sections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquinob View Post
As for sealing up the joints from the inside, they sell a rubberized paint now that works great. I think rustoleum is one available brand. Just overcoat the panel joints from the inside and you should be good to go. Do be careful with the fiberglass end caps, if you plan on reusing them, they are fairly brittle at this stage and wont take much abuse. It looks line one of them already has a split at the bottom.
Thanks for the reco on the rubber paint. Sounds like the simplest solution, for interior sealing at least. The big rear fiberglass end cap looks like that split on the bottom section was original because it's a clean cut, but I'll have to go back and check. Either way, we're being careful to handle it delicately.
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:18 PM   #25
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Thanks TennTex, good info there. I'm ready to start drilling rivets and opening this thing up!
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:22 AM   #26
Rico2surf
 
1973 27' Overlander
Medford , Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justgoclimb View Post
Nice. I think we are going to just start drilling out rivets and exposing the back area so we can pull out the wood. I'm sure it'll be falling apart on us too. Were you able to reuse the original banana skins and belly panels you dropped? Having gone through the process on a 73, which I assume is very similar to our 72, are there any tricks or tips you'd advise us of before diving into things? Thanks!
Yes, we did reuse all those skins, and all went well other than I'm slow at everything so labeling is a great idea ! We just drilled the rivets out and replaced when we were done with the floor. As I said before, be sure to use some high quality penetrating sealer over and over again and again just prior to the final install of the plywood after all the cuts and holes, edges, etc. We also ran into "other" issues along the way, which is pretty standard, like a former home of some sort of rodent and the moderate destruction of the black tank foam support. It's all fascinating, if you keep the right attitude. hang in there !
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Old 07-28-2015, 04:22 PM   #27
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1972 27' Overlander
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Alright, it's been a while since the last post, and though we've been slower working on it than planned, we have made some progress!

One of the first things we did was fix the vista views via the remove interior pane method. At first I tried cracking it with a spring punch, but that wasn't working. Our 72's interior panels are definitely not regular glass - it really didn't want to shatter. So I just ended up taking a router around it, careful to set the depth just enough to cut through the interior pane but not touch the outer. Then I could take pliers and grab the remaining glass around the permiter and break it and yank it out.

TIP: When you're prying out the glass from the frame/window groove, pull up instead of towards yourself. That way the glass won't break as much - it'll come right out of the slot without leaving a bunch of shards to pick out in the groove.

Once the inner pane was all out, I just scraped off all the gunk on the outer pane with a razor blade. Now we can see clearly through the vistas!


After the fix on the driver side.


Before on passenger side


After on passenger side


View from outside


And we finally got the rear subfloor section out! After much deliberating about how I would go about it, I decided to just get in there and start cutting and prying stuff up. You can spend so much time researching and reading threads on this forum, but at some point you just have to get out there and start going at it.


yay

Now to get those annoying rusted bolts out of the C channel. I've tried a few things, but I think I just need to such it up and get a reciprocating saw. The frame looks pretty good for the most part, just some surface rust. Might clean it up a bit before installing the new floor.

Any recommendations on insulation to use for the floor? I'm thinking about bolting some hard closed cell insulation to the bottom of the floor before installing, but I'm open to suggestions.

Last but not least, along with the rear floor came the waste tank. We aren't going to use it because we're putting in a composting toilet, but it and the holding pan are in decent shape. Definitely reusable. I'm in the New England area, so let me know if you're interested in it.
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