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Old 09-29-2009, 08:18 PM   #1
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1978 29' Ambassador
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Countertop Replacement

We want to put new laminate on our countertop. How hard is it to remove the existing countertop. Our "78" Ambassador has the cooktop/oven combo. If I disconnect water and remove sink, and remove screws holding cooktop in place, will the countertop lift off? Thanks for the help!

Bob
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:54 PM   #2
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Youíre on the right track.
Kill any gas and electric. Remove the cooktop, sink and any screws you find.
Now the fun part. There are always hidden screws in the adjacent closet, behind dark corners and in places that are inaccessible without dismantling the whole galley.
Go slow with prying up the counter and theyíll show themselves.
A ľ inch air ratchet and bit holder made the second day of getting the counter out of my old Globetrotter much easier. A hand ratchet may require a bit more contortion but will also do the job.
If youíre replacing the plywood as well, then a hacksaw blade held flush to the substrate to cut the screws is a big help.
Iíll probably be doing the same thing in the Tradewind this winter.

Good Luck,
Tom.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:58 PM   #3
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Tom...do you also have an oven below the cooktop? I'm trying to figure out if the cooktop and oven are one piece; if so, how does it come out? Just by loosening the screws on the top of the cooktop?
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:07 PM   #4
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The instructions we have are from 72. Says to remove the combination cook top/oven by removing 4 screws into the galley frame and disconnecting the SHUT OFF gas line. The screws are found by opening the oven door.

Shut off the water and disconnect the supply lines to the faucet and the sink drain lines. It may be necessary to use a tubing cutter in a place it will be convenient to sweat the lines back together to reconnect the faucet. (my note - compression fittings on the old lines and use flex stainless connectors to put it back in).

The counter is then held in place by screws into the galley frame located under the galley. Be sure to look for screws located in panels adjacent to the galley top.

Galley top is free for removal (my note - sure it is....)

So your lifting it out with the sink in place according to this - which is what I've always done in regular kitchen remodels for what it's worth....
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:27 PM   #5
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Both my old GT and now the Tradewind have the combination Magic Chef oven with a 4-burner top. Most of the large rigs Iíve seen have a separate cooktop. I checked my í72 manual and found Ambassadors of that year had a separate 4-burner top. I don't have first hand info on the '78.
If you have the combo unit I can only say that both of mine have 4 screws holding the burner top to the counter, and 4 screws behind the oven door to secure the oven to the cabinet face frame.

Tom.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:51 PM   #6
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Does the oven rest on anything? Seems to me that only 4 screws into the face frame might not be that secure; however, I don't know how heavy the oven is. It might be pretty light. Thanks Tom!
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:54 PM   #7
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Not hard just a lot of screws and some plumbing.

It has been a while but I do remember there were hidden screws I had to find by getting under the counter with a good flashlight.

I had to replace wood and all but I was able to use the old counter top as a template.

My first time trying to put on laminate and was surprised it was not that hard but I did build a jig that forced the laminate to lay down with no movement and line up just right.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Nugler View Post
Both my old GT and now the Tradewind have the combination Magic Chef oven with a 4-burner top. Most of the large rigs Iíve seen have a separate cooktop. I checked my í72 manual and found Ambassadors of that year had a separate 4-burner top. I don't have first hand info on the '78.
If you have the combo unit I can only say that both of mine have 4 screws holding the burner top to the counter, and 4 screws behind the oven door to secure the oven to the cabinet face frame.

Tom.
Tom - I thought the same when reading the directions for the 72 combination unit removal - there has to be more than 4 screws in the front holding that puppy in place.

In any event - 4 or 8 - it didn't sound that bad to remove. The trick will be finding all the counter top hidden screws....
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:23 PM   #9
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Just headed over to the Vintage Airstream Photo Archive. http://www.vintageairstream.com/archives2/78Ambassador/index.html
The stove is similar to the ones Iím familiar with. They are fairly heavy.
I think most of the weight is carried on the counter top by the extended lip around the top of the stove. There was nothing underneath on the Globetrotter.
Just a note. On the GT I had to remove that end panel by the door for access.

Tom.
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:53 PM   #10
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Our is very similar to the pictures from vintageairstream.com linked above (ours is a 1979 31'):


Ours had 4 screws under the metal cover of the stove (2 on each side) that just held the stove to the countertop. The metal frame and lid go with the stove in one piece. We took the 4 screws out, unhooked the gas line and 2 elctrical wires from the back of the stove through the little storage area next to the door and (I think) it lifted out. Looking at the stove out now, there are 2 mounting panels on each side about 1/3 the way from the top. I don't remember any more screws but it may be possible yours has something holding it there as well. Looking at the photo above, the bracket was the same height as what looks like holes inside the undersink wall just to the right of the stove. The weight of our stove was really on the shelf it sits on above the heater.
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