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Old 02-22-2005, 08:39 PM   #1
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End cap repair

After spending a small fortune and many hours repairing my end cap (removed) I have one thought that has been nagging me. The majority of cracks on the ABS started from the front roof locker. The locker had plywood between the locker and lower lip of the cap. I assume this was Airstreams attempt keeping the locker from bouncing. WOOD SHRINKS. Has anyone addressed this issue with good results? See attached picture. I have a lot of ideas, BUT experience is king.
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Old 02-22-2005, 09:20 PM   #2
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I had the same problem with cracks in the front end cap of my '74 Tradewind. I originally thought I'd use fiberglass mesh and plastic epoxy to repair from the back side of the end cap, but after some repairs in the bathroom I changed my mind. I used the Por 15 Epoxy Putty on a crack in the shower seat and it sealed beautifully. The putty made a great bond, dried rock solid, sanded to a smooth finish, and accepted paint well. So, I'm now using the putty to repair my end cap cracks as well. Don't have longterm experience on how it will hold up, but so far I've been pleased with the strength of the bathroom repair.
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Old 02-22-2005, 11:59 PM   #3
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Wink

GSymes would you give us more info (and more pictures if possible).

What year and model is your Airstream?
Would like to hear you account of removal of the end cap and do's & dont's plus any unexpected problems etc.

Any and all tips would be appreciated as this seems to be one of the most annoying of the problems in Airstreams.

I have read that some endcaps were fiberglass but that most are ABS.

Was the plywood bonded to the ABS and if not how did the shrinkage pull or did (it push) the ABS on expansion?

Also thanks to you mwmoss on your tips. Please keep this thread posted on further developments and or failures of repair over time. And is your cap fiberglass?

Thanks
Flicka
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Old 02-25-2005, 07:53 PM   #4
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mwmoss,

I would like to try some of the Por Putty on the plastic frames around my vista view windows. I am having trouble finding some locally. Where did you get yours? What kind of store is likely to carry it?

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 02-25-2005, 08:48 PM   #5
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Is there any kind of preventive maintance I can do to prevent my back end cap from cracking, my front cap has a 6 inch crack in it now,I dont want to tear into it now,just prevent more, Thanks Scott
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium
mwmoss,

I would like to try some of the Por Putty on the plastic frames around my vista view windows. I am having trouble finding some locally. Where did you get yours? What kind of store is likely to carry it?

Thanks,

Malcolm
They don't post where their retailers are, but if you call their 800 number, the guy who answers will look it up for you. They're great with phone support.
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Old 04-30-2005, 09:49 AM   #7
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I used the POR-15 A/B putty for my bathroom sink. It worked great on that.
Did any of you use the POR-15 putty or did you use the POR-15 two-part A/B water-based putty?
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:10 PM   #8
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nothing like reviving an old thread... the rear fiberglass endcap inside is really brittle on one side, with lots of spiderwebbed cracks. i know it will shake to pieces the first rough trip i take... so, how have the rest of you guys fixed them? and (if you used this POR stuff), were the results pretty stable over theh miles? i really don't want to get back into this endcap after the zolatone goes on it...

grazzie!

jp
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:32 PM   #9
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I wouldn't use the POR-15 for fiberglass repair. The two part is epoxy putty, and the filler is just thicker paint, isocyanate based.

If your endcap is fiberglass I would put a layer of roving or mat on the inside. Use epoxy resin if you want, or just polyester. It's originally laid up with a chopper gun, so you should use a flapper wheel to remove the outer layer and get a clean solid surface to bond to.

If the spiderweb cracking is just around the rivet holes, you can just use cloth tape to reinforce the edges where the rivet holes are.

If your endcap is ABS the repair would be completely different.
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:42 PM   #10
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I have repaired my fiberglass endcap with 4 oz unidirectional fiberglass cloth (6 layers with each layer 1/2" larger in size with the fiberglass cap scarfed at 6:1 around the crack) I also used polyester resin due it being more flexible then epoxy. I also vacumn baged the repair down to remove all excess resin and air bubbles. I have not reinstalled it yet but I forsee no issues.

Kip
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Old 02-12-2007, 06:07 PM   #11
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Yeh, what he said!
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:29 AM   #12
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mine is pretty brittle. i'm worried about totally destroying it when i remove it. worst care, all teh cracking is in the closet... but i kinda want to do it right, since i'm here and all...

are there any repair options that i could do without removing the cap? that would aleviate the chance of me making things worse by destroying it on teh way out.

jp
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Old 02-13-2007, 10:32 AM   #13
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You can still do the repair I stated above but it will be on the outside except the inside. You will still have to repaint and it won't be as noticable in a closet. I will still have to repaint mine after it is reinstalled because I repaired several cracks and filled alot of rivet holes that will no longer be used.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:01 PM   #14
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thanks! i'll try to repair it in place when i get to that point. just getting my plan together. it's funny how it only got brittle in the closet area. the rest is really sound.

jp
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