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Old 07-05-2002, 09:11 PM   #1
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Plastic Wheel Wells

After removing most of the interior and the appliances, I discovered that the plastic wheel wells were shot and do not keep the road dust and dirt out of our '73 GT. I would appreciate any information anyone could pass along regarding replacements that might be available.

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Dennis.
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Old 07-07-2002, 11:38 AM   #2
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Mine were the same. Used them as a mold to make new fiberglass ones. Much stronger and pretty easy.
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Old 07-09-2002, 01:18 PM   #3
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Thank you

To 74Argosy24MH

Thanks for the info. As much as I hate fiberglass, I guess that is about my only answer.

Thanks again

Dennis
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Old 07-09-2002, 01:29 PM   #4
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If you wanted to you could look into using sheet abs and making your own, but you would need to lean a new skill or buy a bunch of tools to heat and form the abs. The sheets can be bought in 4X8 sizes and in various thicknesses. I want to say a 4X8 sheet at 1/4 inch thick is less than $50.00. It can be cut on a table saw but I have not yet learned all I want to know about how to heat and bend or form it. I know it can be vacum formed and there are machines you can buy for small projects but I think wheelwells would qualify as a big project.
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Old 07-10-2002, 06:59 AM   #5
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You can also use sheet aluminum and rivets to make new ones. They don't have to be perfect as they are hidden and all they really do is keep the dust and spray out. Aluminum will never rust and be come brittle.

You only need to cut 2 pieces for each one. Cut one long one for the top and short sides and one for the inside side. Leave enough material on them to form riveting flanges. Use the plastic wells for a pattern. Seal it up with Vulkem or Par-Bond

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Old 07-10-2002, 10:42 AM   #6
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Bobby.
Airstream quit using the "metal" wheel wells many years ago. The problem was owners would not keep the running gear properly balanced and as a result of that the metal quickly fatigue cracked. Then they went to a inexpensive plastic, and the same thing happened. As a result of those failures, a much heavier formed plastic was used sometime back, and the results have been excellent.
I have no info on fiberglass replacements.


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Old 07-10-2002, 01:29 PM   #7
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Wheel wells

But it does not stop a blown tire and/or thrown treads from destroying it and the area around it. Dennis have you contacted your local dealer on price and availability of them?

John
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Old 07-10-2002, 04:55 PM   #8
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Andy;

So can the new ones be used on the 60's and 70's trailers. This would be a boon for the restorer.

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Old 01-14-2003, 01:55 PM   #9
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Question Another hanging thread...

Well...?

Quote:
So can the new ones be used on the 60's and 70's trailers..?

And has anyone ever identified the year that metal wells were discontinued?
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Old 01-14-2003, 06:31 PM   #10
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Thanks to all for the suggestions. Since I am kind of a simple guy, I went ahead and made them out of 3/8 plywood and they were pretty easy to make. I have been away for a while but am about to bring the unit inside my garage to finish the interior.

Thanks again for all the help.

Dennis
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Old 01-14-2003, 10:34 PM   #11
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Dennis,
Are the wheelwells cracked or crumbling? I have heard of people have the underside of their riding lawnmower decks sprayed with Line-X to prevent rust. These are the same people that spray truckbeds and floors of Jeeps, horsetrailers, etc. I wonder if your wheelwells could be sprayed both sides to give them some strength but don't know if it would work.
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Old 01-15-2003, 09:29 AM   #12
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Wheel wells consist of an "inner" and an "outer" cover. Spraying the outside could offer some strength, but not enough to prevent damage from a tire blow out or from an oversize tire or from a tire that is on a worn out axle.

The plastic covers, to a large degree are not damaged from tire vibration, such as happened with the metal covers.

Restorers that switched to "wood" covers will usually find that in time, they become loose because of vibration, and the normal twisting from the floor and shell.

Not impossible, but very rarely can we "out engineer" the Airstream factory.

Had todays technology been available to us or Airstream 30 and 40 years ago, it would have been used.

Retro fitting when a major restoration project is undertaken, is always the smart way to go. From it, we all learn.


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Old 01-15-2003, 09:52 AM   #13
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Craig

I don't know if the spray on stuff will work or not. I would imagine that since the material seems to be somewhat flexible, it might help to keep the wheel well together.

Dennis
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Old 01-16-2003, 11:42 PM   #14
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Dennis,
The Rhino Linings seems to have a more rubbery feel and looks more like cottage cheese than the Line-X which is harder. My son had his tailgate sprayed with Line-X and threw a big rock onto it. It put a slight dent in one area but the surface was not cracked. It will slice just like the other spray-in liners but Line-X claims it closes up (doesn't sound right). I will have the bed of my '01 sprayed this summer with Line-X because I have seen a shovel used on it and it is tough. Visit the Line-X website and maybe they will mention if it can be sprayed on plastic. Hmmmm, that might be interesting for the plywood flooring in the storage compartments but don't know if there is enough room for the spraygun to work.
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