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Old 08-09-2016, 07:46 AM   #43
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How should I flip the frame?

I'm close to the point where I need to flip the frame over and start working on the belly pan. I've got one chain hoist on the tongue and two chain hoists on the rear frame/bumper connected to the gantries, but that won't do it. How do people using gantries safely flip the frame over?
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Old 08-14-2016, 03:15 PM   #44
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Got 'er flipped, time to work on the belly pan

I've got the bones, the guts and the subfloor done on the bottom. The axle is still on order from Southwestwheel.com in Dallas. Every time I call they don't know how long it's going to be :\ It's time to insulate and begin working on the belly pan. WoooHoooo!
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Old 08-14-2016, 04:38 PM   #45
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Holy rotisserie. Looks awesome.

Today I was trying to pattern to an imaginary space where my floor used to be. Good times guessing.


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Old 08-14-2016, 04:50 PM   #46
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Practice makes perfect as they say but each step is practice! That's problem with these projects, they are all "practice", at least for me. If you could or would do it again you having a little better idea of how to go about things.

But it appears as though you are making progress for sure!
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Old 08-14-2016, 05:41 PM   #47
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Subfloor

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmtb View Post
Holy rotisserie. Looks awesome.

Today I was trying to pattern to an imaginary space where my floor used to be. Good times guessing.


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Thanks jjmtb!

Guessing on the subfloor would give me a little bit of heartburn. It seems to me that it needs to be pretty close, but since this is my first one I'm not sure how close. I was lucky that my subfloor was in good enough condition to trace.

I'm off tomorrow to pick up five sheets of .032 and start working on the belly pan
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Old 08-14-2016, 05:46 PM   #48
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Practice

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Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
Practice makes perfect as they say but each step is practice! That's problem with these projects, they are all "practice", at least for me. If you could or would do it again you having a little better idea of how to go about things.

But it appears as though you are making progress for sure!
This is my first Airstream, but I'm completely and utterly hooked on the process. So much so that I'm considering a business venture - something like El Cosmico out in Marfa. I stayed the night there a few years ago and that's when I decided I wanted to buy an old Airstream. This won't be my last Airstream renovation
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:10 PM   #49
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I Love Lucy

At this point it seems it would be just as easy to do two or three. Once you have the tools an the knowledge it seems it would be a waste to not use it.

Oh wait... The time. That is what's missing.


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Old 08-16-2016, 05:06 PM   #50
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Belly pan in a truck

A local supplier had just what I need
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:08 AM   #51
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Ooh ahhh.

Can't wait see how this turns out.


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Old 08-22-2016, 11:43 AM   #52
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What I've learned so far

1. Large aluminum panels crease very easy
2. When tracing and cutting, the floor beneath the new sheet needs to be super clean. A rivet carcass was on the floor under the new sheet and of course I stepped on it, causing a dent. I kept chanting, 'it's only the belly pan' to myself.
3. When aluminum sheets are sitting on top of one another and water gets between them and they sit out in the sun, they rust very quickly. Dammit.
4. Using my old skins as patterns isn't perfect, I've ruined one sheet this way. I wonder if using very thick butcher paper would be a good way to make patterns?
5. I can't imagine doing this upside down, I'd give up. Kudos to you who have done this upside down.
6. I'm using .032 but I think it might be easier to use .025, at least if the frame is flipped. If you were doing this upside down .032 would probably be better.
7. The corners aren't as hard as I thought they would be.
8. I'm going super slow. I have two panels on, and three to go.
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:06 PM   #53
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Oh boy. This seems like a heck of a job. I think the belly pan replacement is the most intimidating part of this project.


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Old 09-02-2016, 08:03 AM   #54
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Belly Pan Success

The belly pan is 95%, I just have some details to finish. WooHoo! I used olympics on the bottom because I hate the look of pop rivets, even underneath. I used a ton of rivets on the c-channels, so if I ever need to drop the pan in the future I'll have to remove the inner skins. Not sure if I'll regret that, but that's the way it is. The bends at the rear and at the front were made by hand, and they're OK, but they would look better if they were made by a pan brake. No one will ever notice, but I know it's there. All in all, the job is not that difficult, but I did learn a couple things:

1. Don't trust your old skins as patterns, I lost two sheets of aluminum doing this. Next time I'll use cardboard or butcher paper to make patterns until I get it right.
2. I used 5052H32, but if the frame is flipped I think I'd prefer .025, the .032 was a little stiff to work with. If I was doing it upside down I'd definitely use .032 because the extra stiffness would help handling. I can't believe people do this upside down.

All the parts for my new axle have arrived, and the metal polisher just called and said my window frames were ready, so those two projects are next. My goal is to get the shell back on by the end of the year and I'm pretty sure I'm going to make it!
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:40 PM   #55
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Bushings

With the belly pan complete all I have left on the bottom is the running gear, but unfortunately I can't find bushings. I've got a new axle, loaded backing plates, hubs, axle perches, U-Bolts, spring plates, shackles and shackle bolts all ready to go, but no luck on the bushings. Hmmmmmmm....what to do...what to do? I've ordered some bushings that are close, in hopes that I can modify them and make them work. If not, I may try to make my own polyurethane bushings. I've found bronze inserts of the correct size, and tuners make their own poly bushings all the time. It's not my first choice, but i don't know what else to do if I can't find the correct bushings.

In the meantime, in my frustration, I completed a window and installed two vents. I'm anxious to flip this thing over and put the shell back on before it gets cold.
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:10 PM   #56
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Amazing

How fast you're moving on this renovation! Impressive. It's fascinating to follow your progress.
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