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Old 07-30-2011, 05:31 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Angry Damaged belly pan

The belly pan just in front of the door on my '74 Sovereign has gotten damaged. A lawn mower bumped into it, which knocked it off the tongue jack pedestal, and the trailer actually fell on top of the mower! Ugh.

Is it possible to somehow patch this area, especially seeing as how it's not as visible as the sides, or am I going to have to replace the entire panel? Money is very short at this time, so I'm hoping for an inexpensive fix. Thanks for any advice you can offer.
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Old 07-30-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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I found aluminum sheeting at Lowe's Home Improvement and replaced the same area but behind the rear fenderwell of a '77 Excella. Remove the blue insert, drill out rivets holding the rub rail, pull it back so that you can drill out all rivets holding the piece of damaged metal and slip the new metal plate in place. Drill new holes and rivet in place.
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Old 07-30-2011, 07:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dorfgog View Post
The belly pan just in front of the door on my '74 Sovereign has gotten damaged. A lawn mower bumped into it, which knocked it off the tongue jack pedestal, and the trailer actually fell on top of the mower! Ugh.

Is it possible to somehow patch this area, especially seeing as how it's not as visible as the sides, or am I going to have to replace the entire panel? Money is very short at this time, so I'm hoping for an inexpensive fix. Thanks for any advice you can offer.
You have "underbelly damage".

That material is reasonable.

It's goes from underneath the rub rail molding and the frame.

Ball park, it's 22 1/2 inches wide times the length.

Andy
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:31 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick responses!

What kind of rivets does it take for this? Is this a DIY job or do I need to find someone who knows what he's doing?
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:11 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick responses!

What kind of rivets does it take for this? Is this a DIY job or do I need to find someone who knows what he's doing?
Pop rivets are what you need.

Use 1/8 inch rivets under the rub rail molding, and 3/16 inch pop rivets for attaching to the frame.

That is a "holy cow, how easy" a job.

Measure the length of the metal, and have that dimension handy when your shopping for the correct material.

2 sizes of drill bits are used. A #30 for the 1/8 inch rivets and a #11 for the 3/16 inch rivets.

Airstream drill bit kits are available, all of which sooner or later you will need, which contain the above sizes as well as #21 drill bit, that's used for the "olympic" rivets.

Andy
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:43 PM   #6
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Thanks, Andy. Now for a dumb question: how do I determine where to drill the holes? Do I just drill new ones? How can I tell where the old holes are if the metal is sitting on top of the frame?
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:59 PM   #7
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Dorf gog just drill new holes for the rivets. One tip i can pass on is how to get the curve right in the replacement panel. I used a piece of 3" sewer pipe. By holding against the upper edge of the replacement panel you can slowly bend the panel to get the right curve. Once fully bent the upper edge will be vertical and the lower edge will be horizontal.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:16 AM   #8
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Thanks, Andy. Now for a dumb question: how do I determine where to drill the holes? Do I just drill new ones? How can I tell where the old holes are if the metal is sitting on top of the frame?
Make new holes as necessary.

Andy
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:33 PM   #9
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Thank you everybody! Now I have a new project.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:27 AM   #10
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dorfgog: I replaced all of my wrap for my 1974 Sovereign. Andy is right about the procedure (he is a fox). I used aluminum which I ordered from my local metal dealer. I attached the top border and slowly compressed the new sheet against the outriggers of the frame by using a 2 X 4 wrapped in cloth. I used small car jacks to hold the 2 X 4's against the outriggers as I advanced the bending. Do the process gradually to avoid denting the metal.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:01 PM   #11
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Did you use a sealant on the seams and rivets?
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:49 PM   #12
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Yes, I did use sealant on the rivets and the seams. I also separated the steel frame from the aluminum. I used a small roll of roofing tape (adhesive on one side) which I found at Lowe's. I wrapped it around the steel.
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:01 PM   #13
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What is the material thickness? Mine seems really shiny, for a 76 that is, is it polished on one side? I need to replace one of my panels so I tried to go by the chart. 76' should be 6061-t6 .032 aluminum but my local metal shop says they cannot get it. Someone else said the rolled belly pan was made of a thinner material so it would bend easier. Anyone know for shure? Thanks
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