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Old 07-16-2009, 12:14 PM   #15
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I will be replacing my front interior endcap, and possibly the rear also, with birch plywood in the near future, so my original fiberglass ones will be going up for grabs. I'll post it when I'm ready.
The fiberglass ones don't seem to have the same propensity to cracking as the abs ones do. Mine are in good shape.

Rich
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:56 PM   #16
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Hmmm, I am thinking about this, and wondering if the fiberglass endcaps couldn't be cut down to fit the width of our Minuet? Like the Rock Guards have to be. That could be done, right? Our front one isn't too bad, it has one crack running upwards off the left rounded corner. But the bath area has several - making me hesitate to use shower or get it wet back there. Not to mention the PO paint the bath area and what he used is not pretty. It is now peeling, flaking and generally not looking good!
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:34 PM   #17
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The interior width and heigth of my safari is shown in the pdf below. I don't know how this will compare to your minuet.
I will probably use aluminum in the rear endcap for the shower area on mine, and transition to birch plywood at the line of the shower curtain track. I really like the look of that combination.
Abs was a mistake right from the start. It won't hold up to heat or vibration very well. You can encapsulate your existing abs endcaps with fiberglass cloth and resin to make them last forever. It's not hard at all, and not expensive either. That would be my first choice if I wanted to keep the look the same.

Rich
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VIKING View Post
The interior width and heigth of my safari is shown in the pdf below. I don't know how this will compare to your minuet.
I will probably use aluminum in the rear endcap for the shower area on mine, and transition to birch plywood at the line of the shower curtain track. I really like the look of that combination.
Abs was a mistake right from the start. It won't hold up to heat or vibration very well. You can encapsulate your existing abs endcaps with fiberglass cloth and resin to make them last forever. It's not hard at all, and not expensive either. That would be my first choice if I wanted to keep the look the same.

Rich
Thanks, Rich, for the info on fiberglass cloth. Just did some research and that process looks pretty simple. Do you think this could be done with the cap in place, or would I need to remove it?
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:17 PM   #19
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Hey Guys - since you know about and/or have done the fiberglass cloth, can you post or tell where you got the info, pretty please? I have so many different projects going I don't know about getting to this any time soon, but would sure like to find in sometime down the road to go back to! It will go into my restoration area. thanks..
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:59 AM   #20
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Another one of my interests is remote controlled model airplanes. A lot of them get covered with fiberglass or are made from fiberglass with a mold. I learned about strengthing ABS plastic with fiberglass when making a large biplane model. It came with an ABS cowl, which would not survive more than a few flights at best with a four-stroke 1.1 HP engine inside of it. They recommended glassing the cowl on the inside only, to strengthen it where it wouldn't show, and painting the outside.
For your endcaps you would need to take them out to do the back of them, and at that point it seems to make sense to glass both sides anyway.
I have an article in a model magazine that describes in detail, how to do a really good fiberglass job. Unfortunately, I'm headed to Las Vegas today (I know, I know) So I won't be able to find it until next week. What I remember is that you use light-weight fiberglass cloth, and sand the ABS with 120 grit sandpaper to get it to "bite" into the surface. Lay the cloth over the surface, and wrap it around the edges by an inch or so, pour the resin onto the cloth and spread it with a plastic scraper or small, stiff paintbrush so it gets worked into the cloth evenly everywhere. Then do a second coat after the first one cures, to build up the resin to conceal the weave of the cloth. then sand it smooth. You don't want to sand into the cloth, but if you do you just need to go over it again with a thin layer of resin.
Once it's smooth you can paint it with primer, and then whatever color you want. I stress that you don't need heavy fiberglass cloth because it has a deeper weave to fill and it takes much more resin, which adds unnecessary weight. Use the lightest stuff you can get.

I will try to post the article this came from next week for you.

Rich
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:44 PM   #21
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Thanks, Rich. Really appreciate the info you provided on using fiberglass cloth to repair our front end cap. Looking forward to the article. This will be a nice winter project here in Phoenix.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:53 PM   #22
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I will be watching for it too. Thanks a lot, Rich. The fiberglass end caps inside my 67 Trade Wind still look fine, but the ABS ones in the Excella, especially the rear one, are cracked. Obviously, the 'glass is superior.
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:03 PM   #23
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I too hope Inland Andy answers the interior end caps still available rumor.

What would (IMHO) be really helpful would be a chart showing which years used ABS and which used fiberglass and which end used which. I mean a real and verified chart for once and for all.
I wonder if Airstream molded them at the plant or acquired them from a vendor? In either case I'd love to see how that was done.
Also wonder if they changed the mold over the years, i.e. will every year interchange with another? It is obvious that Airstream tweaked the built in cabinet/locker/clock/thermometer area in various years.

I think there has always been confusion as to whether they are a structural component of the monococque integrity. I have no idea.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:34 PM   #24
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I too hope Inland Andy answers the interior end caps still available rumor.

What would (IMHO) be really helpful would be a chart showing which years used ABS and which used fiberglass and which end used which. I mean a real and verified chart for once and for all.
I wonder if Airstream molded them at the plant or acquired them from a vendor? In either case I'd love to see how that was done.
Also wonder if they changed the mold over the years, i.e. will every year interchange with another? It is obvious that Airstream tweaked the built in cabinet/locker/clock/thermometer area in various years.

I think there has always been confusion as to whether they are a structural component of the monococque integrity. I have no idea.
Airstream made the fiberglass headliners, themselves.

A few plastic headliners are available for the early 70 trailers.

The headliners offered little to no strength to the overall shell strength.

The headliners are not really that expensive, but the crating and motor freight charges, will get your attention, pronto.

Andy
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:27 PM   #25
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Andy - thanks for coming on board w/some of the answers.

Rich - I, too, thank you for your time/efforts to share the fiberglass info w/us. That may be the way we have to go w/the Minuet if shipping them would be awkward (which I can see)! Look forward to the article. Hey, you might consider putting it is as an article at ASCentral.
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:33 PM   #26
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I'm wearing my fingers down trying to upload a PDF for you guys. Who would have thought that a 3 page PDF would be three times the maximum upload size?
I'll keep trying....

Rich
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:17 PM   #27
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here are PDF's of two articles from the same author. These deal more with fiberglassing over wood, but the process is the same. sand and clean the surfaces well before you do any glassing or you will not be happy with the results, and whatever you do do not sand into the cloth. It will remove most of the strength if you do.
You may be able to do just the inside of the endcap, but it will be harder to finish out the edges to look nice. especially if done with the endcap in place.
You should build a form of some kind to hold the endcap in something close to the installed shape while you fiberglass it also.

I have more info on this subject if there are questions about it.

Good luck,
Rich
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File Type: pdf fiberglass 102.pdf (2.21 MB, 97 views)
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