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Old 02-18-2008, 08:07 PM   #1
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1966 20' Globetrotter
Orient , New York
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2024,5052,or what

I'm bleary eyed from looking .What is the corect aluminium for a new bellypan? how about gauge or thickness?

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Old 02-18-2008, 09:03 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by crowldawg
I'm bleary eyed from looking .What is the corect aluminium for a new bellypan? how about gauge or thickness?
For '66 it was most likely 2024 T3, but the 5000 series is easier to work with today and much easier to find. As for gauge the old stuff was considerably thicker than what is on them today. My '74 was pretty thin stuff I am guess but probably around .020". My '56 is darn near twice that thickness and much tougher to deal with. I can get you an exact measurement on Saturday.

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Old 02-18-2008, 09:14 PM   #3
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I don't know how much change occurred across the vintage years but .025" 2024 is spoken as being the OEM. That thickness is in catalogs (eg, Metal Supermarkets) but harder to obtain without special order. A number of us have used .032". It takes some gentle precurving to get it to follow the quarter-round shape of outrigger ends but is fairly easy to work with and doesn't add to the weight significantly.

Original belly skin on my '74 Argosy was significantly thinned by corrosion when I replaced it. By all means salvage the corner banana wraps.

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:42 AM   #4
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The original aluminium is indeed 2024 .032 for your year. I am replacing mine now and have gone over to 5052 .025. The 2024 does not flex and bend as easy so I used the 5052 instead. If you do use 2024 bend it slowly and gently for it will snap on the bend if it is too sharp. If you are doing a shell on replacement, getting the new up in between the skin and then making it bend in literally three directions can be a challenge. My first attempt ended in a wasted sheet that looked like someone had trampled it. I am not claiming to be an expert now, just passing on what I have learned the hard way. When you put it on, finesse it, do not use force. I found it almost needs to be massaged into place. I wish I had better photos on my blog to show how it was done, but it is hard to do something that requires seven hands and be able to operate the camera at the same time. A competent willing helper is definitely needed in my opinion to do this job.
Also, an excellent source for aluminium is Airparts Inc. Homepage They have everything you need from sheet and coil aluminium to clecos to rivets. The service is excellent, being a family owned and operated business. I cannot recommend them more. I personally hope you purchase from them. They can also answer any questions you might have, for not only do the supply many plane builders, but they supply a lot of Airstream restorers.

One thing they do not have is #5 or 5/32 sized solid rivets, Chris said they will be stocking the right ones soon due to the high demand coming from us Airstreamers.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:42 AM   #5
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You can get .025 from aircraft sprce in 4X8 or 4X12 sheets.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:24 PM   #6
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1966 20' Globetrotter
Orient , New York
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Thanks all I ordered 5052 from a frabricator today .Its .025 or 22ga. only could get it in 10 ft lengths

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