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Old 05-01-2006, 03:21 PM   #1
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Type of aluminum on the bottom front?

I have the typical dents in the bottom front (skinny strips that fold under to the belly) that I am planning to replace . I had thought the type of alum. was the same as belly and banana wrap. But today, under closer scrutiny, it looks thicker. Before I replace it, is this area the same as the ext. skin, ie: polishable?

And does anyone know if the removal of these is as simple as it looks: drill out pop rivets and olympics and it will just come out? I looked at the area when my interior skin was off and it was not folded over like the banana. I can't tell where the piece ends, so I'm assuming it ends just short of being visible from the inside.

Any help would be great - I went to Metal Supermarkets in Santa Clara and now have a great stash of belly material. I'm going to order the other stuff (to repair my water heater opening) and don't want to order too much or too little... ya' know?$$! Thanks!!
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoiacoast
I have the typical dents in the bottom front (skinny strips that fold under to the belly) that I am planning to replace . I had thought the type of alum. was the same as belly and banana wrap. But today, under closer scrutiny, it looks thicker. Before I replace it, is this area the same as the ext. skin, ie: polishable?

And does anyone know if the removal of these is as simple as it looks: drill out pop rivets and olympics and it will just come out? I looked at the area when my interior skin was off and it was not folded over like the banana. I can't tell where the piece ends, so I'm assuming it ends just short of being visible from the inside.

Any help would be great - I went to Metal Supermarkets in Santa Clara and now have a great stash of belly material. I'm going to order the other stuff (to repair my water heater opening) and don't want to order too much or too little... ya' know?$$! Thanks!!
Not quite sure which area you're referring to. A picture would help identify what it is you're looking for.
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:25 PM   #3
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I think they are refering to the banana wraps. If so those are actually a preformed piece. To duplicate one you will need an English wheel to roll the shape. Not sure what thickness and grade of aluminum was used in 1968 but in 1975 it was .024 3004 aluminum. Not the Alclad that was used for the main sheets.

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Old 05-01-2006, 08:14 PM   #4
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Anything you can do to salvage the corner 'bananas' will be time well spent. Otherwise look at the Belly Skin thread for sourcing. The following are good for utility use and I would recommend for the straight section one-dimensional bent belly transition. Either would be good for the bottom bellow, though the thinner is more like the original. 0.025" will be easier to work but is harder to find in stock. 0.032" is okay but stiff -- I took the templated pieces out into the lawn and bent the curve into them before attempting to tack it into place with pop rivets.
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:39 PM   #5
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It's too dark to take a pic, but the skin I'm referring to is....
if you're looking at the front of the trailer on either side of the tongue are 2 small "banana-ish" pieces that butt into the tongue and wrap underneath to the belly. One was badly dented by the po and I attempted to bang it out... it's just UGLY.

It seems these are seen as opposed to the rear banana so I'm wondering if they're made of the polishing type (I forget the number at the moment) and NOT the belly type?
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:29 AM   #6
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Anyone? Do you need a pic?
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Old 05-19-2006, 09:03 AM   #7
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sequoiacoast,

I am working on a similar issue with my 1965 17' Caravel. I can't get you a pic as I can't see in there yet. On mine it would seem that the belly skin is split up the center of the trailer and terminates at the font below the front skin where it's between the towing A-Frame, but just to either side it appears to wrap up and into the C-Chanel much like the banana skins to either side. Bummer too as that seems to be the only thing preventing the belly skin from coming off now.

I think that it's wrapped in the C-Channel because I have pulled off the trim, drilled all the rivets under the trim and with nothing moving I started probing with a plastic putty knife and I can just see the belly skin returning over the channel. The only way I could see to remove it would be to pull off the inner or outer pannel then release the folded belly skin.

Good luck and please share any solutions - I'm about ready to chop and splice to avoid further removal of skins...
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Old 05-19-2006, 10:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoiacoast
It's too dark to take a pic, but the skin I'm referring to is....
if you're looking at the front of the trailer on either side of the tongue are 2 small "banana-ish" pieces that butt into the tongue and wrap underneath to the belly. One was badly dented by the po and I attempted to bang it out... it's just UGLY.

It seems these are seen as opposed to the rear banana so I'm wondering if they're made of the polishing type (I forget the number at the moment) and NOT the belly type?
The banana wraps are available as a replacement part, made from fiberglass.
You might want to call an Airstream Parts supplier for availability and price.
The pieces sit on top of the skin, and are secured with pop rivets under the lower rub molding.
Transistion years had them on the front only, later models had them both front and rear.
All aluminum can be polished. It is a matter of how much effort you want to put into it. It might not give the same shine as AlClad, though.
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