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Old 09-26-2006, 11:05 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy
What is the body made out of? I kind of like it (although not concours quality I'm sure ) in the raw like that!
It's a steel unibody.

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Old 09-26-2006, 05:59 PM   #86
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A 48" x 144" sheet of Alclad showed up today. It was rolled into an 18" diameter cylinder. I took it to my local fab shop where they dropped everything and chopped it into the three pieces I need to repair the walls and reskin the rear door.

I ordered the aluminum with a protective film to protect it in handling and installation. I used the damaged panel as a template, I had the fab shop run it through a roller to flatten it.

I secured the new studs to the baseplate with some angle iron brackets. The entire rear area is now prepped to accept the new sheet metal. I've drilled out all the rivets so that I can slip the new metal underneath the cut edge creating a new overlapping seam. Two new rivets will be installed in-between each existing rivet location duplicating the pattern in the seam above.


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Old 09-26-2006, 06:28 PM   #87
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it's going to look better than new! I envy your workspace! What are you using to cut the aluminum with? Who did you buy your aluminum from? Was shipping expensive?
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:28 PM   #88
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The aluminum came from and UPS brought it. They rolled it and packed it in a box that probably weighed more than the alumium. I don't know what the shipping cost was. I paid $2. a linear foot to have a protective layer installed to protect it in shipping and during installation.

I had the metal sheared locally. The curves I'll cut with avatiation snips (Tin-snips). I've leared the trick is to cut close to the finished edge An then do a final cut. Double the work, but the metal is stressed far less in tight turns.
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:41 AM   #89
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9-27-2006 Sheet metal installation

I cut out the shape leaving the protective layer in place.

I used duct tape to hang the sheet in position. It is tucked up under the sheet above and sandwiched in-between a horizontal aluminum support. The rivets that attached the metal to the strut were installed on 3" centers while the seam above was set to 1 1/2" centers so I drilled new holes to match.

The new skin will take on the identical appearance as soon as all the vertical rivets are installed.

Once I do a final buff of this area the repair will be indistinguishable from the original surface.
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:15 PM   #90
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9-28-2006 Riveting

I enlisted the aid of my office manager Christine in acting as Rosie the Riveter. She followed my instructions well and the work went rather quickly.

The new J channel will be installed after I repair the other section.

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Old 09-28-2006, 08:19 PM   #91
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hello Barry ,trailer is looking really good.I was over at a customer of mine
place (working on a 55 chevy first series truck ) and he had a Reese hitch
head there ,and I thought of your dilemma you had .this thing is huge and
really beefy ,it appears to be an extrusion or casting ? kinda hard to tell ,
but built for what you are towing ,really puts the round bar hitch setup
to shame ,it is obviousely for large trailer towing and its made for larger
heavier setups ,thought i would mention it to you ,you may have it already.

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 10-01-2006, 05:58 AM   #92
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I'm looking at the Reese hitch.

9-30-2006 Installed last panel and J channel

I used the remnants of the last panel as a pattern for the new panel

The last panel need to be altered so that it would fit above the wheel well

I polished the new J moulding befor drilling and cutting to fit.

Near completion of the exterior repairs. Two new light fixtures and some rear door trim are on order.

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Old 10-04-2006, 06:38 PM   #93
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10-4-2006 THE DOOR

The door was badly kinked when the base of the door was trapped in-between the crashing Porsche and the guardrail.

The door skin is the same 2024 T-3 Alclad as the rest of the siding. The inner door shell is pure untempered aluminum. It is very soft and was tough to flatten out.

I spend hours and hours straightening the metal. The more I did the worse it looked. I tried polishing and it looked even worse.

I decided to install a patch panel over the distressed metal. I mimicked the radius of the door and riveted it in place. The patch is Alclad and is covered with a layer of pure aluminum. It will polish out the same as the door stamping.

I replaced the door skin because the guard rail had burned through the layer of pure aluminum and stretched the metal. Taking the door apart allowed me to straighten the inner door instead of trying to find a 55 year old replacement.

The replacement door skin was simple to duplicate, as were the side panels. I used the old door skin as a template.

There are some inner stiffeners that needed to be riveted to the door skin before installation on the door back.

The lock bezel opening needed to be closely cut for strength and appearance. Lots of 1/8" holes and smoothing with a carbide burr.

Test fit the door skin and drilled all rivet holes. Then I deburred holes for a tight fit of panels.

Installed new insulation.

Completed riveting door perimeter and cut out window opening. This was done last so that the panel went on without buckling along side the window opening.

Finished product.

Installed. Perfect fit.

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Old 10-04-2006, 07:17 PM   #94
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At the risk of sounding repetitive, nice work once again.

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Old 10-06-2006, 06:57 PM   #95
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And many thanks to you.


Finished with all external repairs.

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Old 10-08-2006, 06:59 PM   #96
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Started on interior repairs. The badly bent door jamb was cut away 6" above the bend. This allowed several of the hinge screws to mount into the replacement section. I backed up the splice with a section of the original door frame. The splice will be encapsulated in structural foam so there was no need for further support.

All of the broken studs were replaced with double layers of 3/4" plywood. I anchored them to the floor with pieces of 1 1/2" angle iron. I had to drill new holes for the wires to pass through the new studs.

I decided to put the control box back in the same location. I'm going to make a new aluminum cover and abandon the plastic one. I made a template 3" smaller then the proper hole size. My circular saw cuts 1 1/2" from the saw's guide edge so the block forms the cut lines. The saw came too close to the wheel well so I scored the aluminum along the fourth side and it simply snapped off under pressure.

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Old 10-11-2006, 03:53 PM   #97
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This is the only detail that I regret. It really stuck out like a sore thumb. Since I had to replace the sheet metal it was mounted on I decided to rethink the whole idea.

I mounted the control box directly to the .032 Alclad siding with numerous rivets.

I stood back trying to envision a proper hatch cover that would look original. Just to the left of the control panel is the rear door. The proportions were similar so I decided to mimick the shape and hinges on the trailer door. I scaled the radius of the big door down to the same proportions on the new hatch. I duplicated the hinge detail as it is exposed on the front of the door. The hinge is also cut back into the cover of the door. I duplicated that detail, too. I created a stiffener that was laminated to the cover to keep the thin metal from flexing. The corner tabs were bent up for further rigidity.

The three pieces were drilled and deburred.

Final riveting.

The finished product.

After beating on the 3/16" thick fender well for awhile with a 20 lb. sledge I was able to push it back into decent shape. I sanded off all of the gouges and scratches and buffed the area to a mirror finish.

Once I buff the rest of the wheel well I'll install a new conspicuity stripe.

Almost ready to refoam the walls.
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Old 10-11-2006, 04:42 PM   #98
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Excellent craftsmanship.


You're door man!!

Fred Coldwell, WBCCI #1510, AIR #2675
Denver, Colorado - WBCCI Unit 24
Airstream Life "Old Aluminum"
Airstream Life
"From the Archives"
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