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Old 10-02-2015, 11:47 AM   #1
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Is this dent fixable? (w/ pic)

Hello,

I'm looking to purchase a 69 Airstream Sovereign 31' for a complete, shell-off restoration. I have found one that is in very good condition (very little rust, all original) for about $5500 USD. The catch is that it has a very large dent at the rear.



So for all the experts and aficionados with relevant experience, does this dent look fixable to you? If so, is the over all price reasonable?

Thanks in advance, and happy airstreaming!
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Old 10-02-2015, 11:55 AM   #2
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Generally, done properly, a panel repair/replacement is in the range of $3,000 to $5,000 per panel. You appear to have at least two panels involved in this situation (I can't see the rear of the trailer so there may be more) but the two I see are adjacent so you'll get some "economies" but plan on between $5,000 and $7,000 (U.S.) Check with CanAm in London, ON. They can give you a better estimate. Is there no damage on the inside? It seems likely that with this much damage on the outside that there may be issues on the inside as well which would be more work and more $.

Unfortunately, getting this fixed is not trivial.
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Old 10-02-2015, 11:55 AM   #3
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Red face Panel replacement.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattler View Post
Hello,

I'm looking to purchase a 69 Airstream Sovereign 31' for a complete, shell-off restoration. I have found one that is in very good condition (very little rust, all original) for about $5500 USD. The catch is that it has a very large dent at the rear.



So for all the experts and aficionados with relevant experience, does this dent look fixable to you? If so, is the over all price reasonable?

Thanks in advance, and happy airstreaming!

Welcome Aboard.....

Not a real expert and I'm certainly not relevant .....but I think the asking price is pretty close to what it will cost to replace the damaged panels & ribs along with two new axles.
But shell-off DIY...it may be worth it.
Bob
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Old 10-02-2015, 11:56 AM   #4
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The good news is.... That's not really a big dent, it's more like a medium sized oops!
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Old 10-02-2015, 11:59 AM   #5
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I just re-read your post and see that you are planning on doing a shell-off restoration so that changes my answer a bit since you will have removed the interior as part of that process anyway. Yes, this is reparable, and the incremental cost given the shell off situation is probably no more than half the figure I suggested previously.

Good luck!
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Old 10-02-2015, 12:21 PM   #6
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Hello,

....
So for all the experts and aficionados with relevant experience, does this dent look fixable to you? If so, is the over all price reasonable?

Thanks in advance, and happy airstreaming!
2 new panels, 200 rivets and 3 tubes of Vulkem 116, a curved frame piece
~$1,000.- US for parts
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Old 10-02-2015, 01:53 PM   #7
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2 new panels, 200 rivets and 3 tubes of Vulkem 116, a curved frame piece
~$1,000.- US for parts
Peter.

You would make a good Airstream damage estimator. But, there is no curved frame piece within the wall.

The labor would be a total of about 14 hours, which includes painting the wide blue stripe.

So, the total job, including freight, and sales tax, would be just under $ 3,000.00.

Anything more than that would be out of line.

Andy
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Old 10-02-2015, 03:40 PM   #8
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Peter.

You would make a good Airstream damage estimator. But, there is no curved frame piece within the wall.
...
Andy
Well, there is in the 79 Motorhome, not much of a frame piece, but yes there is this curved piece.
Peter: 1 - Andy: 0
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Old 10-02-2015, 05:01 PM   #9
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Well, there is in the 79 Motorhome, not much of a frame piece, but yes there is this curved piece.
Peter: 1 - Andy: 0
Peter.

Motor home yes, you are absolutely correct.

Trailer, no.

Andy 1

Peter 1 1/2

Andy
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Old 10-02-2015, 05:27 PM   #10
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Well, there is in the 79 Motorhome, not much of a frame piece, but yes there is this curved piece.
Peter: 1 - Andy: 0
Peter.

Oops;

On later trailers that bow is exactly in the same p[lace as the classic motorhomes.

Andy 1

Peter 2 1/2

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Old 10-02-2015, 06:20 PM   #11
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Am I the only one trying to Google map Lbdfc , Ontario.

If I were you (PO) I would start asking around the various Airstream clubs in your area for anyone that has had experience doing this sort of work. They could come over and walk you through the steps....

Show you the proper way to drill out rivets and remove the panels. Using Clecos to hold panels together for fitment, sealing and riveting (Buck or Olympic). They may have or will know how to get some of the specialized tools needed.

I have found this approach works for me as I renovated my 310 with the help of another Airstream motorhome owner. Make sure you are willing to do the dirty prep work and only have them around for the nitty gritty stuff. Offer to compensate them for their time and effort; in my case I bought the door hinges for their coach as well as my own along with other parts.

If you are attempting a shell off, then you are either blissfully ignorant of what that entails, or you already have some skills and are handy.

Good luck
Tony
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Old 10-02-2015, 10:01 PM   #12
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First time I read this I thought ouch, then I got it, "If you are attempting a shell off, then you are either blissfully ignorant of what that entails, or you already have some skills and are handy."
So assuming you're really handy and good at figuring things out and can dobtheceork yourself then you can keep it relatively cheap as mentioned, $1500-2000. 2 panels, shipping(not cheap for these), rivet tools, time and practice. Since you're going shell off you'll be getting half way there anyways.
Even if interior panels are damaged they are flat aluminum just cut funny, and the old ones make good templates.
Bigger worry would be broken or damaged bathroom components as they can be tough to find if you need to replace them.
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Old 10-02-2015, 10:55 PM   #13
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Wow... this is one of the best forums I've ever been on. Thanks for all of the great feedback and words of caution. And to clarify, I'm both blissfully ignorant and handy.

More than anything I'm not too proud to admit when I don't know how to do something, and for the love of airstreams, I'm willing to take the time to learn how to get it right. This will be a long project for me, but it's meant to be.

As an aside, I've found a 1982 34" Limited for $7,500 - does anyone have any suggestions of words of caution there?

Thanks!
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Old 10-03-2015, 05:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattler View Post
Wow... this is one of the best forums I've ever been on. Thanks for all of the great feedback and words of caution. And to clarify, I'm both blissfully ignorant and handy.

More than anything I'm not too proud to admit when I don't know how to do something, and for the love of airstreams, I'm willing to take the time to learn how to get it right. This will be a long project for me, but it's meant to be.

As an aside, I've found a 1982 34" Limited for $7,500 - does anyone have any suggestions of words of caution there?

Thanks!
I would personally rather go with the 82 limited, despite the issues with that year and length . (Silica particles inside double windows, front shell frame separation, triple axles to deal with etc.) The 34' are roomy trailers and the limited edition have nice perks.
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