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Old 10-17-2007, 02:25 PM   #1
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1968 26' Overlander
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Which squeaky wheel should get the oil first.

O.K....So I still have not brought my new baby home yet. From all of
the reading that I have been doing...I come to a question.

From what I am told...due to the age and condition of the trailer...I will have to install new axels, brakes, tires, bearings.

Out of these which will be the most critical to get it home axels...or
the breaks, tires and bearings?

I was also told that before I do any of this...I should take the belly
pan off to inspect the frame (something that I din't think of) to
inspect the frame. Being that it has been sitting for so long, and
missing windows...the frame could be rotted through making it untowable?

Does this sound right?

Thanks
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Old 10-17-2007, 02:49 PM   #2
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IIRC you do not have far to go home 200mi +/-?

Repack or replace the bearings, replace the tires and check and/or rebuild the brakes.

The axles can wait till you get home. If you are converting this to a café (stationary??) you would not even need to do the axles.

As far as the frame... you should be able to remove only a few rivets so that you can pull down the belly pan along the center of the trailer and get a peek at the frame in several places. If it is not like Swiss cheese or broken it should be good enough for the trip home.

Let us know what you find.
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Old 10-17-2007, 02:49 PM   #3
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IMO:

Definately do the Tires & Bearings just to get it home...

How far are you taking it? Maybe, then Brakes if it's a lot of freeway/highway miles - if just back roads "slow go" you may be fine.

Do the Axle(s) after you get home and assess all the issues you are dealing with - including the frame.

Shari
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:01 PM   #4
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Removing Belly pan

Quote:
Originally Posted by byamcaravanner
IIRC you do not have far to go home 200mi +/-?

Repack or replace the bearings, replace the tires and check and/or rebuild the brakes.

The axles can wait till you get home. If you are converting this to a café (stationary??) you would not even need to do the axles.

As far as the frame... you should be able to remove only a few rivets so that you can pull down the belly pan along the center of the trailer and get a peek at the frame in several places. If it is not like Swiss cheese or broken it should be good enough for the trip home.

Let us know what you find.
I am planning on purchasing a cordless drill just to work on the AS.
What size/kind of drill bit will I need to get the rivets out...also...if the rivets have been shaved...the tops of the rivet is smooth...how do you prevent having the drill bit slip off the rivet and damaging the skin...I know this is a dumb question but I have neve worked with rivets before.
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
IMO:

Definately do the Tires & Bearings just to get it home...

How far are you taking it? Maybe, then Brakes if it's a lot of freeway/highway miles - if just back roads "slow go" you may be fine.

Do the Axle(s) after you get home and assess all the issues you are dealing with - including the frame.

Shari
It is 129 miles door to door. It is all highway from one point to another. Also...If the frame does needd to be welded...can it be mig welded? Do you happen to know what gauge steel is used for the frame?

Thanx
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aluminati
It is 129 miles door to door. It is all highway from one point to another. Also...If the frame does need to be welded...can it be mig welded? Do you happen to know what gauge steel is used for the frame?

Thanx
I have not measured but the main rails look like 12ga (.1046") and the cross members are about 14ga (.0747") ...just an educated guess.

Yes they can be mig welded... that's what I am doing with mine.
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:53 PM   #7
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Try to get someone to follow you (not too closely ) and watch for parts coming loose. More than one person has made a scheduled stop only to discover a hatch missing or even worse, they have had a flat for miles. Handheld radios work great for comunications.
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aluminati
I am planning on purchasing a cordless drill just to work on the AS.
What size/kind of drill bit will I need to get the rivets out...also...if the rivets have been shaved...the tops of the rivet is smooth...how do you prevent having the drill bit slip off the rivet and damaging the skin...I know this is a dumb question but I have never worked with rivets before.
We use an 1/8" drill bit to remove rivets. There are basically three different kinds of rivets used on Airstreams. Below (in layman terms) are the three types:

Bucked Rivets - These are original exterior rivets used by the factory. They have solid stems. To install them, you need access to both sides of the panel. They are not "shaved", but they are domed. Each rivet has a small dimple on the head of the dome that allows you to start your drill centered on the head - it helps to hand turn the bit a couple of turns to help start the hole in the center dimple. Drill through the head, down to the top of the skin. The rivet head will usually pop off. The stem of the rivet can be pushed back through the hole. Our belly pan has mostly bucked rivets where the sheets were preassembled then attached to the frame.

Olympic Rivets - These are used as replacements after a bucked rivet has been removed. You do not need access to both sides of the panel to install them. They have a hollow stem and when they are pulled tight they have legs that compress and hold the rivet in place - similar to a molly bolt. They are considered a suitable structural replacement for bucked rivets. These are sometimes shaved to more closely resemble bucked rivets - but not always. If not shaved, it is easy to find the center and drill them out. If shaved, hand turn the drill bit on the head to "set it" then drill through just like a bucked rivet - except the stem & legs will break off without pushing them through.

Pop Rivets - These are primarily used on the interior panels. They are smaller and have a more flattened "donut" shape. These are the kind of rivets most readily available at your local hardware store. They too have a hollow shaft, but instead of "legs' like a molly bolt they just squash down on the back - the stem has a kind of "bulb" at the end that is drawn tight. These come in a variety of sizes so could be found on many repairs. They are easy to drill out because of the donut shaped center. If you do remove your belly pan before bringing your trailer home, these could be used to close things back up. They should not be used in structural repairs.

Both Olympic & Pop rivets can be inserted using a standard rivet gun. All rivets should be aluminum so you don't encourage dissimilar metal corrosion.

You may find these older threads helpful:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...lation-23.html
Post #14 in http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...html#post49015

Shari
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aluminati
I am planning on purchasing a cordless drill just to work on the AS.
What size/kind of drill bit will I need to get the rivets out...also...if the rivets have been shaved...the tops of the rivet is smooth...how do you prevent having the drill bit slip off the rivet and damaging the skin...I know this is a dumb question but I have never worked with rivets before.
Shari,

Great riveting info!

Aluminati,

The rivets for the bellypan are most likely pop-rivets. I also use an 1/8" drill to get them out (bring a few). Keep in mind that you only have to remove a few rivets along the center seam to be able to peek inside. Maybe bring a small dowel stick to push aside the insulation and skewer the mice (just kiding). Take a look at my blog (the byamcaravanner) I have a picture of the bellypan pieces after they have been removed, you can see the seam down the middle.

Keep asking questions... none of them are dumb... the only dumb ones are the ones you wished you'd asked but didn't.
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:18 PM   #10
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1968 26' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
We use an 1/8" drill bit to remove rivets. There are basically three different kinds of rivets used on Airstreams. Below (in layman terms) are the three types:

Bucked Rivets - These are original exterior rivets used by the factory. They have solid stems. To install them, you need access to both sides of the panel. They are not "shaved", but they are domed. Each rivet has a small dimple on the head of the dome that allows you to start your drill centered on the head - it helps to hand turn the bit a couple of turns to help start the hole in the center dimple. Drill through the head, down to the top of the skin. The rivet head will usually pop off. The stem of the rivet can be pushed back through the hole. Our belly pan has mostly bucked rivets where the sheets were preassembled then attached to the frame.

Olympic Rivets - These are used as replacements after a bucked rivet has been removed. You do not need access to both sides of the panel to install them. They have a hollow stem and when they are pulled tight they have legs that compress and hold the rivet in place - similar to a molly bolt. They are considered a suitable structural replacement for bucked rivets. These are sometimes shaved to more closely resemble bucked rivets - but not always. If not shaved, it is easy to find the center and drill them out. If shaved, hand turn the drill bit on the head to "set it" then drill through just like a bucked rivet - except the stem & legs will break off without pushing them through.

Pop Rivets - These are primarily used on the interior panels. They are smaller and have a more flattened "donut" shape. These are the kind of rivets most readily available at your local hardware store. They too have a hollow shaft, but instead of "legs' like a molly bolt they just squash down on the back - the stem has a kind of "bulb" at the end that is drawn tight. These come in a variety of sizes so could be found on many repairs. They are easy to drill out because of the donut shaped center. If you do remove your belly pan before bringing your trailer home, these could be used to close things back up. They should not be used in structural repairs.

Both Olympic & Pop rivets can be inserted using a standard rivet gun. All rivets should be aluminum so you don't encourage dissimilar metal corrosion.

You may find these older threads helpful:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...lation-23.html
Post #14 in http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...html#post49015

Shari
Shari... again...I a dumbfounded by your knowledge....You should change your name from Shari to wonder woman.
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:42 PM   #11
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:48 PM   #12
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I use a center punch to carefully make a dimple in the center of the rivet head so the drill bit doesn't wander.
Dave
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