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Old 02-26-2010, 05:25 PM   #57
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Great work Steve! There will be lots of days watching paint dry, but stay focused (a suggestion I must constantly tell myself). Interesting that they put those plywood cleats below your subfloor. Maybe they were thinking some kind of floating floor, but why would they do the lap joints? Were those glued like mine were? Your insulation is in better shape than mine was. Are you going to replace it? From the look of that rivet rust, did somebody use steel rivets? Questions questions. There are still things I find on my trailer and wonder what the heck were those guys thinking???

Looking forward to seeing the new floor in place!
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:14 PM   #58
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Keep it up Steve. You'll be passing me by in no tome flat!

Steve
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:30 PM   #59
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Dar,
The plan is to do a shell on since room indoors is not suitable and afraid to do it outside on the farm since there are not many level spots and I worry about the North Texas weather in tornado alley.
I plan to remove the floor,remove BP,do the frame work,add a grey tank.I am planning on following your lead on Prodex and I really want a green project so the fiberglass has to go.
I still have to strip the clearcoat when warmer(maybe while waiting for tanks.)
At what point did you seal the interior.It would probably be easier before I rip out the floor.
I found a big screw hole in roof ,but it is inboard of the screws for the AC .It will have to come off to rivet from outside I suppose.
Everyday is something new so I am always energized.
I plan to remove the inside BP rivets and let the wraps hang like a skirt to get it off.
I am very lucky everything was in pretty decent shape to have a good start..
Hoping to get a rolling tent with electrics before the resto rally in NM the beginning of June.May head out to CA after to visit daughter in Santa Monica.If I do will go through Phoenix. Steve
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:05 AM   #60
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Steve, if you're going to ABQ for the resto rally, you might have another aluminum tent camper parked next to you. Imagine two gutted Ambassadors...party central!

As for sealing the interior, I'm learning that it's an ongoing process. Since yours is in the barn, there isn't a way to water test the shell (or is there?). When they built these things, they ran a steady stream of water over the shell and marked areas that leaked. Then they came in and used the black Vulcem stuff to patch the leaky spots. From what I can deduce, they used the grey Trempro stuff on the outside as a secondary barrier. Of course all the shell sealing in the world won't stop the rain from coming in through the windows. We're fixing to do those gaskets pretty soon.<spoken with typical Texas dialect.

Our house is conveniently located between I-40 and I-10, you're welcome to spend as much time as you like in Phx. Heck, I could use your woodworking skills about then!
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:24 PM   #61
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Steve, If you aren't already under the Ambassador drilling rivets, you may want to reconsider the timing. If you drop the pan you will drop the contents on your driveway, and maybe on your head. If you remove the plywood from above first you can sweep, shovel, and vaccuum out the belly pan before you drop it. I found this a very good way to deal with the clean up.

Best to you,

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Old 02-28-2010, 01:49 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambie '64 View Post
Steve, if you're going to ABQ for the resto rally, you might have another aluminum tent camper parked next to you. Imagine two gutted Ambassadors...party central!

As for sealing the interior, I'm learning that it's an ongoing process. Since yours is in the barn, there isn't a way to water test the shell (or is there?). When they built these things, they ran a steady stream of water over the shell and marked areas that leaked. Then they came in and used the black Vulcem stuff to patch the leaky spots. From what I can deduce, they used the grey Trempro stuff on the outside as a secondary barrier. Of course all the shell sealing in the world won't stop the rain from coming in through the windows. We're fixing to do those gaskets pretty soon.<spoken with typical Texas dialect.

Our house is conveniently located between I-40 and I-10, you're welcome to spend as much time as you like in Phx. Heck, I could use your woodworking skills about then!
Let me know when you sign up for the Resto Rally and we can see if the Ambie's can be near each other.
I can test the leaks(still outside the barn)
Are you doing the windows with Dgasket or original bulb type?
I available for woodworking at that time.Would be fun.
I am thinking at this point I will do a shower pan and a custom counter and not use the moulded bath unit.
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:01 PM   #63
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Belly Pan

Rich,
I have the floor ready to remove(ebolts hole sawed out).Did you then just saw around the perimeter?(with what?to not hit frame)Is it possible to pull the front sheet out intact by jacking up the roof?
I have remove most channel bolts from top by bending off.
Thought I would drill out all the BP rivets and leave pan in place,remove floor and leave loose to seal interior for something to stand on,clear out the BP then remove the BP.
My order is off a little as I am trying to do stuff that requires no additional expense at this point.
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:49 PM   #64
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I used a skilsaw-type of tool to cut around the perimeter of the floor, with a sacrificial blade on it. Set it about 9/16" but no deeper, until you see if you are cutting through the plywood or not. You want to ALMOST cut through, but not quite. I ran my saw with the blade closer to the wall(my blade is on the right side of the tool) and cut all the way around the floor. This left a saw cut about 1-1/2" from the wall, and ALMOST all the way through. I then made two cuts from the front to the back, just inside of the main frame rails. I then used a pry bar and a crow bar to pull up the flooring. I found a lot more bolts when I started lifting the floor. Some were hidden under the mastic from the original flooring. With the large field pieces out, you can easily cut or break off the strips that are left.
I was not trying to keep my old floor for a template, but if you are, you will need to take it out in pieces anyway. You could cut the floor so you have large pie-shaped pieces in each corner that you could remove (hopefully) intact, and re-assemble to use as a template. I used the inside of my walls to make a template from, but I'm a cabinetmaker by trade, and we just do that kind of thing sometimes. You will need to be certain you have removed all of the fastners in the frame and C-channel so these pieces will be able to slide out from under the wall.
Like I said, I removed the floor first so I could clean out the belly pan from above and see what I was up against as far as frame work. I actually had the new flooring installed, but not bolted down, before I even started to remove the belly pan.
On another note, the best way to get new flooring plywood locally, and at a reasonable price is to use exterior fir ply siding(ACX) in 19/32" thickness, with a lap joint, and a smooth face(not really smooth, actually bandsawn, but without grooves in the face). This is cut at 48-1/2" wide, with a 1/2" lap joint in each long edge, so you can maintain the 48" joint spacing and still have the floor seams land on the rows of bolts in the frame like they were originally. I glued these floor joints together with tite-bond III waterproof glue, for added security.

Keep it up Steve, We are watching you

Rich the Viking
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:24 PM   #65
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Back at it again.The tearout is done and now starting to rebuild.Spent the last 2 days stripping the skin before I seal the seams inside and out.I found just dark aluminum toward the top and no clearcoat up there.Guess the sun got it. Just as I finished I got an email fron VTS that Removeall220 in in stock!The Aircraft Stripper worked well.Try to find the one that is not low oder.I think it works a little better (I used both and the formula and color is different)I left on for about 20-40 mins. and ruffed up with a little nylon brush before hosing off.

Got the floor out BEFORE the BP.Thanks Viking!I used a multifunction tool(Harbor Freight $34.99) to score around the perimeter flush with the channel.I then put a short blade on the Sawsall and it cut like butta.I had already hole sawed the bolts and the floor sections poped out it one piece.I will use for templates and add the width of the channels when cutting the new floor sections.
Frame in great shape.The black tank was resting on a 2x4(no pan).
I want to install a gray tank right behind the rear axle.Can I take out the portion of the angle iron strap going lengthwise down the center to make the opening bigger for the tank? Does it need to be replaced after tank is in?
I did take the time to polish a little spot by hand with Nuvite.That shine makes me work a little harder and never lose site of the reward down the line.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:56 PM   #66
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Looking great Steve.
I will be using this tank from Inca Plastics Inc. - 40 gal
It will need the strap removed or you could cut it length-wise at the edge where it turns down to remove just the vertical portion of it. I saw an original tank in another Airstream that had a recessed slot down the middle for this strap. I don't know of an aftermarket tank like that, though.
Inca has lots of tanks, and there are a few other manufacturers that cater to the RV industry also. A quick google search should give you hours of reading pleasure.
While you're down there in the belly of the beast you might want to consider adding additional fresh water storage down there as well, perhaps in front of the axle, or just to prepare for the possibility of adding it in the future.
Polishing has several rewards, such as Popeye-like arms, and increased stamina, also you can just marvel at your own reflection for hours and hours while you polish. Not many chores allow this level of narcissism
It does give you a sense of what it can look like and that is a great motivator, for me, at least.

Keep up the good work,
Rich the Viking
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:58 PM   #67
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moving on to bigger things

Bellypan out yesterday and moving on to cleaning the frame.Dog helped me.I used a grinder with a coarse wire brush and an airdrill with a brush for the tight spots.
I will have to replace metal by the door and the strap that the bellypan and banana wrap skirt is riveted to.Pretty rusted might as well do it right the first time.
I feel like I have moved into a building phase since all the gutting is done.
I am measuring for the G&B tanks.Welded an angle at the rear and will add L brackets and steel strips in the channel to beef up the rear.
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:34 AM   #68
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Velociraptors.........ha!
i havnt even dig that deep in mine yet~
um,its in really really great condition VERY sound~im lucky apparently after reading alot of posts/blogs

im not changing a thing interior wise other than wall colors...ran into sum issues with yrs of people frying chicken down south here.

my main concern right now is water...in and out
now i know where the fresh tanks are ...i will look in daylight
um ya know mine is a 66...and i read that there is no grey tank?.....i climbed under yesterday...and there can only be one place that tank could be located under toilet,
connected hose today also...but a leak was under bathroom sink~must reattach,,,opened cap were drainage hose goes and nothing "fell out"in my 5 galoon bucket
but
i was scared~will try again tomorrow
so...how do i drain fresh holding tank again?

you fellas are gonna be so sick of my "woman questions" when all is said and done
note to self:gloves protect the hands


yall rol~thnks for helping me

and I LOVE that wood too!
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:38 AM   #69
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tank drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jezzbell76 View Post
Velociraptors.........ha!
i havnt even dig that deep in mine yet~
um,its in really really great condition VERY sound~im lucky apparently after reading alot of posts/blogs

im not changing a thing interior wise other than wall colors...ran into sum issues with yrs of people frying chicken down south here.

my main concern right now is water...in and out
now i know where the fresh tanks are ...i will look in daylight
um ya know mine is a 66...and i read that there is no grey tank?.....i climbed under yesterday...and there can only be one place that tank could be located under toilet,
connected hose today also...but a leak was under bathroom sink~must reattach,,,opened cap were drainage hose goes and nothing "fell out"in my 5 galoon bucket
but
i was scared~will try again tomorrow
so...how do i drain fresh holding tank again?

you fellas are gonna be so sick of my "woman questions" when all is said and done
note to self:gloves protect the hands


yall rol~thnks for helping me

and I LOVE that wood too!
Here is a better pic.Notice the valve on the copper pipe.This goes down through the floor.Open the valve and look underneath.There may not be water is the tank so first put 3 or 4 gallons in,then open the valve to see if it is draining.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:28 AM   #70
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Progress

Update!
Got the frame and hitch cleaned up andPORed the frame ( it took about 2 quarts.)Used a wire brush on a grinder.
Got measurements for my gray and black tanks to order.While waiting I stripped all the emblems to go to the plater(that plating is not cheap!).
Started a little polishing while waiting for the tanks.Using Formax abrasive(I got from the great guys at Sandpaper of Texas in Dallas) bars and doing the first cut with and 8in. sisal buff.
Moving along a little at a time, but it will be nice.Tried some Nuvite,but like the bars better.
The really difficult part was removing the ghosted Wally numbers and the filiform corrosion.With the bars I moved the buff along while applying abrasive to the bottom of the spinning buff and making a couple of circular passes.900 to1200 rpm on my trusty HF polisher was the best speed.The stuff came right off.
Most of the pics are a first pass with the Black Magic bar.I did go through all 3 bars Black,Red Tripoli,and white stainless with different buffs in a couple of spots and it's going to look great.
Now as you can see from me holding the polisher this is the level of dirt involved.I was wearing a hat ,safety glasses and a respirator and still got this dirty every time.Best to use the same clothes each time you polish.
I have had several comments on how toned my forearms are looking however!
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