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Old 05-13-2019, 05:00 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by fiftysafari View Post
Plywood floor bolt removal in U-channel help needed.

<snip>

What are your recommendations for removing these floor bolts?

I am not doing a shell off, this is shell on all the way.
David ~

We did a very similar "Shell On" restoration on our '56 Safari which is documented here. See Posts #105 & #111, the bolts were bent over at the nut so they wouldn't back out over time - but, they also wouldn't unscrew either!

We were able to remove the floor bolts by fatiguing them by wiggling them back and forth with a pair of pliers. We cut the plywood out a couple of inches inside the perimeter channel so we could reach below the frame under the floor and access the back-side of the bolts under the floor. At the center of the trailer, we cut "plugs" around each bolt and removed the plywood so we could access under the frame to do the same. It was pretty easy to do - we just set the blade of our circular saw just deep enough so as not to hit the frame. Make sense?

We then used a piece of loose plywood laid over the frame to work on the trailer while the sub-floor was being replaced.

Hope this helps...

Shari
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:34 PM   #82
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[QUOTE
Hope this helps...

Shari [/QUOTE]

And how. A practical method. It seems so obvious now...
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:21 PM   #83
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55 Safari...floor removal

Whoo Hooo!
Instant progress, thanks to Shari at InsideOut.

The flooring is coming out in many more pieces than I anticipated.
Doesn't matter since this is the mid-section flooring and I do not need a pattern piece so much.

The front end cap flooring was removed in two pieces to provide a pattern, of sorts, for the front curve. The edge was rotted so I got a useable, but not great, pattern for the front.

Here is a picture of the front frame members. Not my best picture.
Some chunks of plywood still remain where the lag bolts attach the plywood to the frame.

My frame has two side, axial frame members along side of the angled tongue frame members. Is this typical?
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:16 PM   #84
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55 Safari front frame members...

Here is a much better photo of the front frame of my Safari.
Those darn lag bolts still have to come out but now it will be quite do-able.

Thanks again, Shari, for sharing your '56 Safari work !!!

I am really happy with the frame condition.
I will be cleaning and preserving the frame with Por-15.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:35 PM   #85
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Awesome! Looks to be in pretty good shape...just dirty, as can be expected from lots of road miles over the years! The good thing is, you can hose 'er down now and get everything cleaned up & ready for the POR15.

Glad I could help ~

Shari
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:47 PM   #86
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55 Safari - preliminary plywood pattern layout..

I put the two old front section plywood pieces as a pattern on a new plywood sheet to get a feel for the size of the replacement.
As one piece, the replacement will be too wide to easily fit under the channel.
Is it possible to rotate a new single piece floor panel into position under the u-channel in the curved front area?
I think something has to give way to execute such a topological feat, regardless, I plan to try.

I have a question of how to layout the cut of the replacement piece to have the best edge integrity. Should I use the exposed edge of the new plywood if it looks ok - free of voids and splits - or should I cut off the outer edge of the plywood sheet.
Can I expect the inward layers of a plywood sheet to have the best integrity? Does it make any difference?

I plan to seal the plywood anyway with Smith's penetrating epoxy.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:08 AM   #87
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55 Safari - plywood floor lag bolt...

Here is a picture of one of the flat head lag bolts that secure the plywood flooring to the frame of the Airstream.
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:42 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiftysafari View Post
As one piece, the replacement will be too wide to easily fit under the channel.
Is it possible to rotate a new single piece floor panel into position under the u-channel in the curved front area?
For the front & back sections, (with the rounded corners) we were able to rotate the sheet into place. It was as tight, but with a mallet and enough patience we got them into place.

We never hit the plywood edge with the mallet directly, always used a 2x4 to protect the edge. I think there are so me pics in our thread...see post #171

For the middle sections, we removed enough of the rivets on the sides (one section at a time) to enable the side panels to flex enough for the plywood to snap into place. The last one was really tight, as I recall my husband literally jumped on the plywood to get it in. Scary.

Shari
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:52 PM   #89
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55 Safari floor fasteners...

I removed the old bolts and screws that held the front section's plywood floor to the frame and the U-channel today.

I use various boards as a work surface...must avoid stepping through the Belly Pan!

The original flat head floor bolts measure 1 1/4 " long, with a nut that takes a 7/16" box wrench.

After cutting / chipping out the old plywood I used a pair of vise grips to remove the bolts that held the floor in place.

Next will be a thorough cleaning with POR cleaner/degreaser.
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Old 05-18-2019, 01:46 PM   #90
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55 Safari...frame attachments to shell:

Here are a few photos showing how the shell of the Safari attaches to the frame.

The shell is mostly attached to the frame using the plywood flooring.

There are several steel brackets that directly attached the frame to the shell, and to the plywood, with bolts at the front section of my 55 Safari.

The U-channel provides most of the attachment of the shell to the plywood floor, which is attached to the frame, using numerous screws and some bolts.

The shell is pretty much free floating and unattached once the flooring is removed, and so is subject to settling or dropping closer to the frame.
I inserted shims between the steel brackets and the frame to prevent the shell from dropping in the front of the trailer, which would make installing the new plywood rather difficult. I am not sure how much drop would occur without shims, since I have only removed a 6 foot section of flooring, but I have no desire to see how much shell drop would occur.

I cleaned the inside of the Belly Pan with POR degreaser/cleaner.
A POR representative advised me
"It (POR cleaner) may turn the aluminum white. It needs to be tested on a spot that doesn't show. If it stains it dilute it with water until no staining occurs."
I used about 1 to 8 of water dilution and saw some whitening of the belly pan aluminum, so I will forgo any thought of using POR to clean the exterior of my Safari.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:37 PM   #91
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You might give thought to dropping that belly pan aluminum for clear access to the frame and body attach points. You can also inspect, clean and paint the frame easier too. 5052 belly aluminum won't be the most expensive line item of your project. Maybe around $400.

David
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Old 05-20-2019, 07:48 PM   #92
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55 Safari Belly Pan...

I have given thought to the shell off and Belly Pan replacement way to go.
It certainly is the best way to access everything.

(I am a bit envious of those with garages and especially of those that have a frame spinner, .....alas I have neither. )

Budget, skills, and reluctance to take on that level of restoration have set my course.

Unless I run into something unexpected...and at this stage the frame and pan look to be in satisfactory shape, I will take the frame on approach.

My idea is to maintain as much of the original structure and materials as reasonable in the restoration while replacing deteriorated components as needed.

I will continue to document my progress and setbacks as I go.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:21 PM   #93
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Hi: I didn't mean to imply taking the body off. I guess I have always dropped the belly pan as I have never replaced an entire subfloor, only the bad spots. Belly pans are easy to remove, and provide no structural strength to the trailer. They just keep road spray out, and the insulation in.

Here is a photo of the Overlander with the belly pan down. Now I can see the frame, clean and paint the frame, and install my new waste water tanks.

You're working from the top, and that will work too.

David
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