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Old 07-13-2014, 07:09 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janeinthemtns View Post
I wanted to subscribe to your thread but I can't figure out how to do it! Maybe if I post a message I will have that option. I'm a rancher and I've been backing up large and impossible things for many years. An easy way to do it is to put your hand on the bottom of the wheel and move your hand in the direction you want your trailer to go. You have figured out something already, but might help someone. Thanks for all your detail. I appreciate it. Jane in northern New Mexico
Jane, when viewing a message, there is a "Thread tools" dropdown (above the messages) that will let you subscribe to a thread. Hank
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:38 AM   #72
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Where has the summer gone?

I cannot believe that it is September, and I have not posted for two months. It turns out that I am only partially retired, plus I became involved in a volunteer project that took many, many hours. In addition, July and August are visitor months for us in Montana. As a result of all that, I did not work on my Flying Cloud at all for two months. I now am back at it, so I finally have some progress to report.

I worked on tail lights and running/clearance lights. I rehabbed the Bargman tail light cans:
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I now need to get new bulb bases and wiring; I expect to put in LEDs for the tail lights, the running lights, and the door lights. See here.

I also started working on my window crank mechanisms. See here. I have not received any messages in response to my post, so I am unsure what I will do about the malfunctioning cranks.

I cleaned and polished the cranks that came from 8038. First I used steel wool or a pad to get off the worst of the crud. I also cleaned the inside of case, where lots of dirt and bugs can accumulate. I also used a file to knock off any rough edges on the case.
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Eventually I polished the old hardware, and made good progress:
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Next up: more window work.

Hank
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:17 AM   #73
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More window work

Boy, do windows ever consume a lot of time!

I spent several days polishing pieces of the interior side of the windows. I first went to the table saw to make a wood base jig to which I could attach the various angled pieces and give some support to both sides (the cut in the left side of the photos was at less than 90 degrees):
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I cut the horizontal base of the jig shallow enough that the bent back part of the window piece (the side with the holes that I screwed to the jig) would hang over the side and not get compressed as I was polishing (see the first photo above). Make the wood base long enough to hold all of the pieces you need to polish; some of them are quite long. Sorry, but I do not have a length measurement at hand.

I started with my hand-held power drill, but I switched to my large Makita polisher, which brought a much better shine to the pieces.
1. I would buff all the surfaces with all the wood base screws in place, and then I would clean all the surfaces with mineral spirits on a rag.
2. I would remove one screw at a time to polish the area around where the screw head had been. I then would clean with mineral spirits, replace that screw, and remove another screw to start the process again.
3. Pay attention to the side of the angle that does not have any holes (the part that stands up, more or less, from the side with the screw holes). I was not very successful at getting a good polish on that side of the pieces, which was unfortunate, as that side will face into the cabin.

After several days of tedious polishing, I had a large bunch of polished pieces:
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Some of the pieces look really good, almost new. Other pieces, particularly those that were pitted by corrosion, did not turn out so well.

I also painted the center support arm pieces. I used a shiny silver spray paint, and the jury is still out on that choice. So far, the paint seems to rub off on my fingers.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:33 AM   #74
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I ended up not being happy with the polish on the pieces that press against the window glass and attach to the window frame. See the next to last photo in the prior post.

I decided to redo all those pieces so that I could polish the side with no holes. To do that, I rotated the wood jig 90 degrees so that the side with no holes was facing up:
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I could apply more pressure with the Makita polisher, and I now definitely have a better shine on that side.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:47 AM   #75
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Welding

My friend and ranching neighbor brought his welding equipment, and we made great progress.
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I have two Vintage Trailer Supply gray tanks that fit in the belly area, and to fit and plumb them, we had to (1) remove some angle iron cross members, (2) add two full cross members, and (3) cut/torch several holes in the cross members to let gray water piping pass through. Cutting and grinding tools were used to finish up. That kind of work under the trailer on your back is not much fun, and you get really dirty.

I also cut off the rear bumper, as I intend to install a bumper trunk (for the sewer hose), and that requires a greater distance between the rear of the coach and the bumper.

After another welding session, I can get started on installing the plumbing system.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:10 AM   #76
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Polishing around windows and doors

I removed from the coach and have been polishing all the window and door parts. Before I re-install any of those parts, I need to polish the surrounding aluminum.

I had some time one day, so I took out the Makita polisher, loaded a wide (120 ply) buff, and used the gray (coarse) compound to make a first pass at removing almost 60 years of grime and oxidation. I am using the Jestco Products system for polishing.

This was my first real attempt to polish the sheet aluminum, and my technique improved with time.

Unfortunately, prior owners had dragged 8038 through the brush, and there are some serious scratches on the side walls of the coach. I spent a good bit of time on one section, experimenting on how much time and effort were required to remove deep scratches. I understand that, with enough polishing, you can remove most scratches. I started out to polish only around the windows and doors, but the streetside rear quarter panel had lots of scratches, and I ended up polishing the whole section.

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I was taught that you need to keep the polisher moving because, if you leave it in one place, you may burn the aluminum, and that is something that you cannot repair (unless you remove the damaged metal).

Off to the garage for more window frame polishing (the last pass, I hope!).

Hank
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:08 AM   #77
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More welding

My ranching neighbor was able to get away from his other many chores to spend an afternoon welding on the frame of 8038. He finished up work on:

1. The two new full cross members with reinforced holes (for gray water piping).
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To reduce wear on the gray water piping, I intend to put a rubber gasket around the perimeter of the holes.

2. The reinforced hole passing through the the streetside main rail (for the gray water piping to join the dump valve assembly behind the streetside wheel well).
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He had a miserable time making that weld, as his wire welder was not working, and he had very little room to make the weld using his stick welder.

3. Convert the rearmost cross member from an angle to a full "C" cross member. Well, it is not a full "C", as I asked him to do an overlap, rather than a butt weld (so it is less than 4" in height). He made sure that he had a solid weld on each side where the cross member joined the main frame rail. That should strengthen the rear end of the frame a good bit, and the overlap will reduce the sharpness of the bend the belly pan metal will have to make as it comes up to fit between the outside of the C channel on the floor of the coach and the inside of the exterior wall of the coach.
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Hank
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:33 AM   #78
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Entry step repairs

One other bit of welding: the entry steps. Two things need welding: (1) the detent that holds the step in place when it is in the lowered position and (2) a piece of flat bar from which to build a rodent enclosure behind the sliding step mechanism.
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1. The detent. The photo shows the recessed detent into which the round shaft is supposed to fit when the step is in the lowered position (the step is not fully lowered in the photo). I had noticed that the step sometimes would move when I stepped on it, and that was not safe. I examined the step mechanism and noticed that the recessed detent on the right side had been worn and rounded so that the round shaft sometimes would not stay in place. My neighbor did a spot weld to add some metal to the rear edge of the recessed detent. I used a grinder (not successfully because the grinding wheel would not fit in that space) and some files (round and flat) to smooth out the top of the weld and to make a good space for the round shaft to sit when the step was in the lowered position.

2. Flat bar. I had read on the Airforums about containing rodents who might enter the belly pan via the steps, which have a large opening on either side for the step mechanism to slide between the raised and lowered positions. I decided that I would build an aluminum box on the outside of each existing sidewall of the steps, so my neighbor welded a short piece of flat metal to the front of the outside of the sidewall of the steps. You can see the flat piece on the left of the photo (just right of the bolt and nut coming down through the floor). With that in place, I can fabricate an aluminum box that I will rivet to the stair frame and the main frame rail.

Hank
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:46 AM   #79
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Outrigger welding

My neighbor previously had repaired the outrigger damage (discussed here) by welding an angle to the bottom of the outrigger.
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The angle will add about 1/8" to the depth of the outrigger, but I do not think anyone will see the effect of that on the belly pan metal and the angle will add considerable strength to the compromised outrigger.

I decided to leave the opening in the outrigger just in case I decide to bring some gray water piping (from the wetbath) through those outriggers.

Hank
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:18 AM   #80
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Rebuilding the windows

After finishing the polishing of all the window parts, I was ready to rebuild the windows. I previously had ordered from Vintage Trailer supply (1) the Hehr standard glass seal and (2) the butyl glazing tape.

1. Butyl tape and glass seal. I learned that I had to use the butyl tape sparingly and I had to make sure it did not interfere with the glass seal gasket. If they overlapped, the glass would not fit tight against the frame (and that would make for a leaky window). I ended up putting short pieces of the butyl tape around the perimeter of the window frame and made sure that the butyl tape would not interfere with the glass seal gasket.

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For the corners, I used a plastic razor blade and needle-nose pliers to remove the paper backing from the butyl tape.
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2. Attaching the rear tension brackets and front channel. After installing the glass, I then reassembled the angled aluminum brackets that hold the glass to the front frame. I learned this: before you tighten the window fasteners make sure that the holes for the Hehr front channel are aligned with (1) the holes in the angled aluminum brackets and (2) the holes in the window frame because the angled brackets can move side-to-side somewhat, but the front channel must be aligned with the correct attachment holes.
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3. News from VTS. After rebuilding the windows that way, Steve at VTS emailed me that I should not use the the butyl tape with the standard glass seal; I should use only the glass seal. I have not decided whether to tear apart the windows to remove the butyl tape, as all of the window frames are bundled up for a winter nap (I soon am leaving Montana, and the windows will be sitting until next spring).

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Old 10-26-2014, 10:32 AM   #81
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Another comment on glass seal

I discovered that the glass seal would tend to creep away from the corners of the window frame as I was installing it, and that would make for a bad fit. It seemed to me that I could avoid that by going around the window opening in one direction (either clockwise or counter-clockwise) and after making a turn at a corner I would install a distance of the seal and then use my fingers to push the glass seal back into the corner. I would do that after every corner, and I always seemed to be able to push additional gasket so that the seal would fill the corner.

Before I cut the seal (I would not try to cut the seal to length before I fully installed the seal) after I had placed the seal all the way around the window frame, I would (1) make sure that all the corners were full of the seal; go one direction as you do this and (2) cut the seal a little long so that there would be no gap in the seal and also some pressure holding it in place.

I was told that it is better to have the joint at the top of the window, not the bottom, and to use a small dab of silicone to close the joint.
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:36 PM   #82
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No, I did not die, but I have been busy with other things!

Where has the time gone? I have not posted since October 2014, and that is because I have not done much to 8038. The trailer stays in Montana, but I am there only part of the year. I left Montana in early November, and returned in late April. Since April, life has been busy, and 8038 has not seen much of me. Part-time work, part-time volunteering, family visits, maintenance around the Montana home, etc., all make the time fly by. The good news is that I am busy, but the bad news is I have spent little time on 8038.
I actually have accomplished some tasks since April, and I will show my progress in postings below.
In addition, I have ordered the galley sink (the Thetford SpinFlo Kitchen Centre), the cooktop (the Thetford Topline two-burner), and the furnace (the Atwood Everest).
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:46 PM   #83
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Removal of rear exterior wall

The rear exterior wall of the coach was badly corroded around the tail lights and the license plate holder:
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In addition, I am going to install a new baggage compartment door under the rear window. I eventually decided to remove the whole panel.

Tools. I used the tools described here.

Here is a rear end photo with the rear wall removed:
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:51 PM   #84
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Removal of seam sealant

The factory used a seam sealant (not Vulkem, as best I can tell), and in some locations it leaked out from the seam. This sealant dried to a hard texture, and it would not come off with mineral spirits, like Vulkem.

I was torn between (1) leaving the sealant and not scratching the skin and (2) removing the sealant but scratching some of the skin. I decided to scrape off the sealant, but it took metal tools to remove the sealant, and I used tools that left some scratches.

Tools: I used a scraper and a dental pick:
Attachment 244849
Attachment 244850

Photo of a seam after sealant removed:
Attachment 244851

I will describe in another post whether I am successful at polishing away the scratches.

[Sorry for the attached, rather than displayed, images. I do not know what I did wrong.]
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