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Old 07-11-2004, 05:20 PM   #1
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removing interior walls: bad idea?

Whoever cut the wires to the previous appliances cut them so close to the interior walls that we can't splice to them to put in new appliances, not to mention that we can't tell which is which...hubby wants to remove all interior walls down to the wiring, and replace walls with aluminum or copper sheeting, or some other stuff...

is this a bad idea? positives? negatives? he's doing it right now and I'm getting nervous...what can we replace it with? Once he gets started there's no stopping him.

Set my mind at ease, please...he can do it, but...what kind of trouble are we headed for?

ingrid/aka/worry wart wife
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Old 07-11-2004, 05:38 PM   #2
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I'm doing the same project on my '61. I'll be pulling out the old interior panels and replacing wiring and insulation.I will be trying to salvage as many interior panels as possible as aluminum is quite expensive.Some of the interior panels are badly dented and will have to be replaced.It's not a good idea to replace the interior panels with anything but the same aluminum as the interior panels are part of the strength of the trailer.
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Old 07-11-2004, 05:46 PM   #3
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Tell him to look at all the openings in a panel. Each must be duplicated in exactly the same location; lots of lay out time involved, lots of chances for mistakes. I would try very hard to splice wiring, even if it meant patching some areas especially if they are out of sight.
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Old 07-11-2004, 07:27 PM   #4
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The interior panels are structural, they should not be left out nor replaced with something that cannot be stressed in like manner. The coach must be supported solidly end to end if the interior panels are removed or the shell itself will droop.

You can, of course, replace with new aluminum - or copper if your gold mine is producing well. Some of the shapes will be a pain to recreate. There are threads on these forums by people who have installed aluminum overlays, as well as copper.

Good luck,

Mark
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Old 07-11-2004, 08:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg176
I'm doing the same project on my '61. I'll be pulling out the old interior panels and replacing wiring and insulation.I will be trying to salvage as many interior panels as possible as aluminum is quite expensive.Some of the interior panels are badly dented and will have to be replaced.It's not a good idea to replace the interior panels with anything but the same aluminum as the interior panels are part of the strength of the trailer.
The problem is we've now opened some of it; not so much that it's a problem, but enough to see the wiring and that it's awful; some of the wire coating or even the wire itself is so old and corroded that it's falling apart and is a fire hazard. So we really need to replace the wires and while we're there, the insulation, just like you are.

How are you pulling off the interior walls so that they don't get damaged?

Are you doing it one panel at a time, and then putting it back on or replacing it?

What aluminum are you replacing it with, thickness etc.?

Do you have any pictures to share?
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Old 07-11-2004, 08:35 PM   #6
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Your interior panels are removable.

Just gently drill out the rivets, remove the panels, label them, make the necessary wiring repairs/splices and rivet it back up. Replace insulation as needed.

I have had most of mine off when I replaced the floor. Some look better than before as the rivets had pulled through due to lack of floor support.
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Old 07-11-2004, 09:19 PM   #7
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so...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyW
Your interior panels are removable.

Just gently drill out the rivets, remove the panels, label them, make the necessary wiring repairs/splices and rivet it back up. Replace insulation as needed.

I have had most of mine off when I replaced the floor. Some look better than before as the rivets had pulled through due to lack of floor support.
How much do we worry about the interior being structural support? Just remove a few at a time and don't worry about it too much? We're having a semi-heated argument about this...! I'd hate to tweak the trailer and he's getting a little "enthusiastic".

i.
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Old 07-11-2004, 09:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkflamingoes
How much do we worry about the interior being structural support?
i.
I don't really know, but I DO know that when I have removed just a single panel without supporting the frame that the rivet holes would not line up when re-installing. This certainly suggests that there was some movement involved somewhere.

Mark
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Old 07-11-2004, 10:17 PM   #9
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so...II

Quote:
Originally Posted by j54mark
I don't really know, but I DO know that when I have removed just a single panel without supporting the frame that the rivet holes would not line up when re-installing. This certainly suggests that there was some movement involved somewhere.

Mark
Since we've done nothing else (belly pan, floor, everything still intact) we will probably be OK. I'm so glad I posted; he would have had the entire interior gutted and something would have gone wrong...it might still even now, but I got him to listen to reason and slow down, do it in a semi-orderly fashion. This could save us a lot of money too; we want to do the interior in the aluminum veneer style, at least part of it.

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Old 07-11-2004, 10:54 PM   #10
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My recommendation would be to only remove up to the windows. Most of the wiring for the outlets can be accessed this way. You can probobly 'fish' any new wires that you're planning on putting in by connecting it to the old and pulling it through. Before too long, I would provide numerous supports for the frame to the ground to keep the trailer from flexing while any of the interior skins are out.

Just my $.02 worth.

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Old 07-11-2004, 10:58 PM   #11
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Well we removed a panel right next to the door as you are looking out of the trailer, on the right side, and it went up to the ceiling. The wires are SO bad; the coating just flaked right off and some wires just broke from being so brittle. We're going to do it one at a time and replace wires. Better to risk it than a fire.

ingrid
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Old 07-11-2004, 11:21 PM   #12
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As the first thing in my trailer was to replace the floor I removed all the lower interior panels.That is necessary to get at the "U" chanels that hold the body to the floor.As you are also doing the floor that would be a good place to start. Leave all the upper panels in for now to help keep the shape of the trailer.
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Old 07-11-2004, 11:38 PM   #13
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Ingrid,
Glad to hear you found the electrical issues before they found you! Since you are going for the "aluminum veneer" look you might consider stripping the panels when they are removed. Getting the panels out of the shell and onto a work table in the well ventilated area would allow you to use Aircraft Stripper to your hearts content. Then when they go back in they are already clean and shiney.
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Old 07-12-2004, 08:39 AM   #14
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Interior walls

After reading these posts, I had never thought about old wiring. This is a scary thought. We have a 69 Overlander and had never thought about checking the condition of the wiring. Is there a way to check this without totally disassembling the walls?

Don Pace
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