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Old 06-25-2017, 04:20 PM   #141
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FOUND!! Wally Byam's 55 Cruiser - 1956 European Caravan trailer

I'm considering that. My only concern is that I've seen painted airstreams and argosy trailers that paint has cracked at overlapping seams due presumably expansion and contraction. I'd love for the hole to completely disappear but I worry fillers would crack over time. I'm going to see what options are out there. I really appreciate the suggestions though! It's a big help!
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Old 06-25-2017, 04:25 PM   #142
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Some other oddities to share. Every mid 50's airstream I've seen apart has tabs in the corners instead of continuous c channel like this one has (and most 60's trailers have).

Also with this being presumably the very first 7 panel trailer ever built, there are several sets of holes. Looks like they built the end cap then took it apart for another shot at it. I feel better about my own skills now, since I can't even count how many times I've learned on the job how not to do it so I got to do it again! Click image for larger version

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Old 06-25-2017, 04:35 PM   #143
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If you get the fit right on a flush patch, you might get away without any filler. All it takes is a file and lots of patience.
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Old 06-26-2017, 12:04 PM   #144
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Well all I can say is so far I'm very encouraged by the panel repair.

I spent several hours again cleaning the panel until it no longer was sending off dust and had somewhat of a shine. I cleaned it again with degreaser just in case

Then I added the mesh tape they sell for it. Basically it was a $12 overpriced roll of drywall tape but I wasn't going to bypass any steps in their system.

On the outside I covered the holes with masking tape to keep it from oozing through

The product is a SEM panel adhesive for aluminum used to install body panels on the new aluminum ford trucks etc. at about $65 a tube they are proud of it but so far I'm pleased with what I'm seeing.

It is a two part system with a self mixing tip. I cut it to the largest opening then did zig zags in passes about the width of a bondo spreader then smoothed it out.

Once I coated the panel I let it sit while I returned the gun to the store, then removed the tape. The last picture shows the partially cured adhesive where it filled the holes in flush with the skin. Those are the black spots

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Oh and I removed the scrap of plywood they had their wood stove on and the cork floor is in surprisingly good shape. I'm going to try to salvage a few tiles.
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:24 PM   #145
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How would you fix this?

I guess I've been fortunate in all my Airstream work to only have a little outrigger issue here and there but I've got a mess to address and need some input.

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Here's what I do know.

The angle iron outrigger up front curb side needs to be replaced. No big deal

Cross member where the a-frame angle goes to parallel rails needs to be replaced.

The outrigger to the curb side of that cross member also needs to be replaced


But how do I address the main tube.

It appears most of the damage is from the insulation sandwiched under the plywood.

I was thinking of cutting out the cross member and outrigger and cutting loose the step outrigger. Then I could cut out the cancer on the top of the tube, weld in a patch, then run plate on both sides from the front wall clear to where it joins the main frame then reinstall outriggers.

Thoughts anyone?
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Old 06-27-2017, 03:30 PM   #146
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Your idea should work. Another option would be to weld in a section of new 4"x2" tube that you should be able to easily buy. At least that is what your main rails look to be made from. The main rails on a 1955 Ohio built Airstream I used to own were 4"x2" tubes of a fairly thin gauge metal, much thinner than the c-shaped main frame rails on my 1962 Safari.

No matter which way you go, the key is to determine how thin the original tube walls have gotten and if there is enough good metal left to weld to.

I ended up replacing a section of one main rail on my '62 after banging on the frame with a hammer caused a lot of rusted steel layers to flake off. I was not comfortable with the thickness of what was left when I got to good metal.
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:24 PM   #147
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Joe that's a good idea. I had wondered if cutting the piece totally off was more of a problem than just replacing the top, but I could just splice in there new metal then run a plate on both sides too. Do you know the what the wall thickness is supposed to be? Same on the outriggers, I need to get some material bent up to cut new ones, but wasn't sure what material to use.
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Old 06-27-2017, 05:05 PM   #148
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Like Joe said, I have used 4 x 2 tube, if I recall 1/8 thk to add on to a '55 frame for a bumper trunk. I also used it for new cross members. I believe the '55 had .090 think rails but the .125 welded to it nicely.
I would consider inserting some plate inside the old frame and plug welding for a foot or so on each side of the joint. There are some fancy ways to cut the joint so it welds better but it would be a pain in an existing frame.
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:21 AM   #149
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Agree with HiHoAgRV, replace with new rail and reinforce joint with plates. What thickness is the center tube? I'm curious if its really structural or just a 'conduit' for the 7 wire cable. Bring some more photos friday.

I would go to a thicker gauge on the outriggers if you have them made. If you buy the outriggers that airstream supply sells, the outer radius will not match the originals. At least, they didn't on my 57. I'll show you how I made a cover to get matching radius throughout.
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:55 AM   #150
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I'm going to make outriggers. What gauge should I go with? The tubing is solid front to back so the wire back do the brakes runs through some grommets in the center cross members.

I met with our professional welder and he concurs with all 3 of you. I'm going to get the frame all shored up, true, and level then cut out the bad stuff and prep for 1/8th inch wall 2x4 tube with 1/4" plate on both sides then reinstall the step and outriggers. Was .090 the tube thickness or outrigger?
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:26 PM   #151
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More paint removal. I'm trying to get done the front half so I'm not washing paint crud down onto a frame I'm working on. Latch side of the door and bottom panel will be new later this week.

Found a couple cracks above the door. Not surprised considering there was no floor left anywhere in the front corner of the trailer.

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Also bought a neat piece of history this week. A banner from the 55 wally Byam Caravan, the event where WBCCI was born.

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Old 06-30-2017, 08:48 PM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 57Vintage View Post
When you come down for the parts we've discussed, bring the dimensions, specs for that heater, I may have some of the mechanical parts for it. I'm updating to a suburban furnace that is hidden under the frig, but keeping the heater grill to hide all the updated electrical controls/monitors.

Harold
Thanks Harold! It was awesome to meet you today! Thanks so much for the parts! Also what an amazing project you have going. The best quality Airstream renovation work I've ever seen. I'm very impressed! Also heard back on the Kreft, sounds like she's ready to sell!
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:03 PM   #153
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Another productive day. I'm still using way more material than I want and it's taking much longer but the front is done and I'm rounding the drivers corner this afternoon and then in front of bow #1 will be done. I'm hoping to to make quick word down the drivers side. Most of that side seems to be breaking apart easier. I'll get back into the frame work late next week I hope if the new outrigger material is ready by then. Also we found new owners for the 62 Tradewind so that should help with ordering new skin material and belly pan. Also have located a Kreft refrigerator but need to buy it and freight to me which will cost more than our first Airstream. Lol

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Old 07-02-2017, 10:43 PM   #154
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FOUND!! Wally Byam's 55 Cruiser - 1956 European Caravan trailer

I know it's not exciting but just logging my progress to keep track. Today I finished then front street corner and got a healthy start down the side, but ran out of materials. Back to the store tomorrow for 2 more gallons. I also removed the tin they had installed over the middle vent


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