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Old 02-23-2008, 11:36 PM   #1
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Beltline Repair? Replace? Salvage?

Here's a good size dent in the banana wrap and damage to the rub-rail in my 1975, 29 ft. Ambassador. Is is possible to repair a rub-rail with this kind of damage. The aluminum doesn't seems too brittle to bend back into shape. Are these belt-lines replaceable? Supplier?

Also the banana wrap looks to be in pretty bad shape up close. I'll try my hand at a repairing/reshaping the bubble but wonder if banana wrap replacements are available? Or do I need to locate salvage for both the banana wrap and belt-line?
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:36 AM   #2
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Todd,

Pick up a cheap set of autobody tools (molded plastic case with 2-3 hammers, dollies, etc.) and you'll be amazed what a little patience will produce.

Your beltline will never look as good as new, but it can be made presentable, and considering it is behind your propane tanks, no one will know anyway. (I had to rework about 8' of mine, as when I picked it up, the RV place had actually bent it and stuck it inside the water heater opening so that it wouldn't fall out. Needless to say, I was sure to express my deep gratitude for their "thoughtful consideration".)

You need to drill out all the rivets holding it in place first.

The banana wrap corner pieces can be removed, most of the dents hammered out, smooothed out with bondo, and painted. All new Airstreams come painted below the beltline anyway. You will be extremely pleased with the results.

New corner pieces might be available, but they will not be cheap, or easy to acquire.

Given the state of your project, you really should have the beltline and banana wrap off the entire trailer at this point anyway, just to facilitate inspection.

Be sure to store the beltline somewhere safe where it won't be stepped on, driven over, etc.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:05 AM   #3
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Ditto the above.

You may be able to pull out most of the banana wrap dents without removal using a hot glue gun to attach some scrap wood and then pull, or by a Ding King or Pops a Dent which use the same idea.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:15 AM   #4
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Here are some before and after pics of mine. I removed them started with a dolly and hammers then went to body hammers and finished them off with a roller. I don't think new are available anymore in aluminum.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:58 AM   #5
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Aerowood,

Okay, fess up....where'd you get that roller? (I need one of those!)

Quote:
and considering it is behind your propane tanks, no one will know anyway.
Okay, not exactly behind the tanks, after closer observation....

...but my advice still stands!
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:03 AM   #6
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Nice work Areowood. I too would like to know where you got that cool roller.
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:23 AM   #7
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Keep the banana wrap! That's actually in pretty good shape. Jim & Susan has been looking for a piece of rubrail for a while. He didn't have any luck with Colaws Salvage in Missouri. Over time we do see members post about a hardluck case being parted out.

FWIW, Beltline is the trim strip about chest high between the top and bottom halves. Rubrail is the lower trim strip at the junction of the belly & banana wrap and the trailer sides.
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzaChop
Aerowood,

Okay, fess up....where'd you get that roller? (I need one of those!)
I made it, part of my compensation and benefits package at work is a fully equipped machine and sheet metal shop. You can see it in use on post #47 of my thread
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...nte-26902.html
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood
I made it, part of my compensation and benefits package at work is a fully equipped machine and sheet metal shop.
A good friend was a naval dental technician on tenders docked at Norfolk and then San Diego. He loved the machine shop and has a nice black powder brass cannon to show for it! For the ships to stay on the Navy rolls they had to start up and move every year or so -- said the belching black smoke was something to behold.
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood
I made it, part of my compensation and benefits package at work is a fully equipped machine and sheet metal shop. You can see it in use on post #47 of my thread
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...nte-26902.html
In the same thread photos, I see some little pins (?) holding the skin in place at the rivet holes. Can you tell me a bit about these and where they can be purchased?
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:52 PM   #11
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cleco or clecos

Cameron, you'll get many hits if you search on either of those. They certainly can be useful for taut panel installation. aircraft-tool.com is a good source. I didn't find clecos necessary for working with banana wrap, beltline or belly skin areas.
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:53 PM   #12
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Clecos anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cameront120
In the same thread photos, I see some little pins (?) holding the skin in place at the rivet holes. Can you tell me a bit about these and where they can be purchased?
I don't see the "pins" but I assume you may be talking about Clecos. Very handy spring loaded temporary fastners. They come in 1/8 and 5/32 sizes, the same as rivets. They are cheap. You will need a Cleco tool, also cheap. Got mine in a place called the Yard Store which specializes in aircraft tools.
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:09 PM   #13
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Thank you Bob and Lumatic, I had seen them in passing quite some time ago and am glad to now know what they are called!
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Old 02-24-2008, 06:50 PM   #14
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Thanks for the advise everyone about autobody tools. I'll look for a cheap set and see what happens.

BTW the banana wraps are off all the way around now for frame inspection. Not a pretty sight. See more, if interested, in the frame rot thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...rot-39673.html
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