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Old 03-03-2011, 08:37 PM   #1
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Wheel wells

After over 30 years of trailering I never had a blow-out. But the other day I had a "double-blow out" on the curb side and the explosion also took out both layers of the wheel wheels. How do I find replacement wells and reconstruct........

1987 25 footer
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:42 PM   #2
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Bum luck on the double blow out! The exterior wheel wells are available from Out of Doors Mart and other Airstream parts dealers. I haven't seen any of the interior wheel wells available anywhere.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:48 PM   #3
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Both parts can be ordered through an Airstream Dealer
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:46 AM   #4
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wheel wells

Has anyone replaced the wheel wells? I can get the inner and outer (black and cream color) skins from my local airstream dealer for around $400 including shipping. Can they be installed from the outside, then secured from the inside??
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:49 AM   #5
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wheel wells - total replacement
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:58 AM   #6
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How the wheel wells are attached my vary slightly from year to year. In our '72, the cream colored well covers are attached to the top of the plywood floor and on the inside of the inner wall skins. The black inner wells (some call them outer) are attached under the plywood floor, to a piece of sheet metal. They are sandwiched between the plywood and the frame. They are also riveted to the outer skins, on the inside of the wheel wells. The skin is sandwiched between the black plastic liner and the molding that goes around the wheel opening. Some models of airstream use a J molding that catches both the black plastic and aluminum skin.

Why do you want to replace them? Depending on the damage, and how much you want to tear into your trailer, you might be able to patch them in place using fiberglass and epoxy.

If you can post some pics of the damage, and the year of your airstream, you will probably get some more ideas on how to repair.

For some pics on how i repaired ours, check here post 70:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f185...b-50967-5.html

Then, if you go to post 117, you can see how the black liners are installed under the plywood floor. Finally, at the end of post 143, you can see how they are attached to the skin.

Chris
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:34 PM   #7
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wheel wells

Thanx for your reply!

I had a double blow-out on the curb side and the rear tire completely came off the rim, ripping out more than half of the entire wheel well, inner and outer skin.

How do I go to post "117" and "143"?? I do not see them under "wheel wells"
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:03 PM   #8
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moveinon, click on Chris's link that he provided, then scroll or page down to post #117 and #143 on that thread. The post number is in the upper right corner of each reply. This is post #5 on your thread.

Oh, and welcome to the forums. We'll try to help you fix her up!!
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:46 PM   #9
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Thanx , I'll get the procedure down soon, I hope -

The problem I have is my stream is not gutted. I hope I can install from the outside and then screw-down / revit from the inside......
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:06 PM   #10
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Ouch! Again, depending on the amount of damage, you might be able to scab the new wheel well liners onto the remaining pieces of the old ones without needing to take everything apart. If you can, cut the old ones out, leaving a couple of inches of material around the outside, and then I think you should be able to attach the new ones to old remnants. I know epoxy will stick very well to the black liners. I haven't done any repairs on the cream colored ones, but if you can seal the black ones well, then you would not need to seal the cream colored ones totally.

There's fiberglass insulation between the two liners as well. Although based on your description of your blowout, that might all have gone awol.

Good luck!

Chris
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:58 PM   #11
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I'm installing new wheel wells on my '72. I would go with trying to repair the old ones as Chris has described above because the ones you get new are not the same size as the originals from '72. They are wider, shorter and the outer lip does not extend low enough to meet the original rivet line with the exterior skin. I've made some modifications that I'll post to my refurb thread here. Good luck!
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:12 AM   #12
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wheel well - replacement

I hope I have better luck with the size..
My unit is a 1987 25' - Here are some pictures of the dammage:
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:45 AM   #13
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Looks a lot worse than I thought. Not much left to salvage.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:48 AM   #14
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Sounds like that should be covered by your insurance co. If you have insurance, get a bid from the factory and have it fixed professionally. I would think they would do it from the inside with the interior removed to get at the problem. Which if done correctly by a professional will be expensive.
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