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Old 07-29-2012, 01:31 PM   #29
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
mapleton , Utah
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Hey Robin, good to hear from you. Finally broke down yesterday and did what I swore I didnt want to do... pulled the frame out from under the shell. For those of you who havent done a unit of this vintage, when you remove the floor you are essentially shell off already but the idea really scared me to complete solo. Wasnt that hard after all the anxiety. Much easier to work on the frame grinding and paint prep. I already have a 20'x20' concrete pad in my yard so the space is really convenient.
Wow the things you find when you take the next step-apparently my streetside front outrigger was a little too long so someone at the factory simply took a sledge and peened it a little shorter! The only mishap in the project was while grinding welds smooth. I sat on the aft portion of the frame to rest my lower back and forgot that the frame was an unsupported teeter-totter. bruised several portions of my anatomy and I'm sure my language scandalized my mormon neighbors if any were outside to hear it Oh well, live and learn. So it looks like time to order the POR15 and plywood. Also need to figure out how I want to hang the grey tanks inside the frame spaces I made. Anybody have suggestions? I'm thinking of going with the VTS tanks but I wish the fitting was on the end instead of the side. I would like to have any necessary hardware welded in place before painting.
I did notice that while grinding and removing rust that the patches of original paint dont seem to come off cleanly with the flap wheel I am using on my 4" DeWalt grinder. Seems to smear around like it is asphaltic. Anybody with a brilliant idea on removal before painting or will the POR15 stick? I am thinking it probably wont.
Time for more pics!
got my caswell order a couple of weeks ago so you know I had to try a section of polishing...
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:15 PM   #30
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patches of original paint dont seem to come off cleanly with the flap wheel
Been there twice, written about it twice... Judging from the odor & staining of hands and clothes while stripping it maybe a hybrid creosote with an asphalt kicker... Maybe better called an undercoating versus a paint.

The 3M biscuits load up rapidly, flap wheels load up rapidly. And whatever mechanical abrasion is used there is still an oily film left on the surface that fills all the pits and crevices. Think you've got it clean? Take a rag and some toluene and watch the rag get stained brown.

The power tool solution that doesn't involve a ton of sand and a large air compressor that I used was a twisted-brush wire wheel chucked into an angle grinder. The magic comes from the overall diameter and speed of the bristles melting and slinging off the undercoating. Attached photo shows the brushes I used, the smaller one had lost its magic. It is hard work, and dangerous too - the brushes will eat clothing and things hidden underneath it, the running brush will kick-back and flop around like a rabid bobcat if it gets out of hand, and the metal strands get sharpened to a sharp molecular-scale edge before the snap off to become shrapnel or barbs lurking for you to kneel or lay on.

After the brushing I caught a sale on automotive carb cleaner and I used seven aerosol cans of 'Chem-Tool B12" and many wipes to chase off as much of the residue as I could, then did the POR-15 'System' of degreaser and metal-prep. But I'm not saying thats the best way, I was trying to avoid spending money and fatigue & stubbornness played a role there.

That said... Call around and find a shop that will 'sand' blast the frame - you don't want too aggressive of an aggregate, don't want them removing good metal, just preparing the steel for the metal-prep step. I used a crushed coal-slag media on my steel wheels and hitch A-frame and had metal filings everywhere when I screened the aggregate to reuse it.

And about the POR-15 PREP & READY - it turned bright smooth steel into a surface resembling the surface of new 400-grit aluminum oxide sand paper - ideal for the POR to lock on to...
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:34 PM   #31
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1953 32' Liner
1955 22' Safari
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Tim....Look at Chassis Saver before you go the expensive POR route. I love POR but I really think Chassis Saver is the same at a big savings. Also....I have come up with a polishing technique that is WAY better than the traditional Airstream route. Its faster, cheaper and provides the same great polish...not a shine type. I also have a couple tank sellers you might like...especially if your at a point where you can adapt to the sizes available.
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:31 PM   #32
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Thanks for the info Wabbiteer. Kinda what I was afraid of. I will try a pressure washing this week and see how much of the original coating is still in place. Needs a good wash anyway. I guess the quantity left to remove will decide which way I go.
Robin, when I get closer to polish time I will definitely get back to you on techniques. I am very interested in alternatives for the tanks as I have nothing set yet. Please post or PM me with the info.
thanks again
tim
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:05 PM   #33
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Well I gave in and went for the option that involved a large compressor and a ton of sand! Dropped the frame off to be sandblasted today, will pick up friday. Decide on minor work for tank installs and I might be por15ing next weekend. Turns out there is a local paint shop that carries it in stock so easy availability and no shipping made up my mind. I might get the shell on before the snow flies yet!
Now I gotta order plywood, order tanks, get a new atwood coupler, bend up some more C channel, order rivets, I know I'm forgetting at least 12 things but Oh my aint we having fun!
tim
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:09 AM   #34
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Time to think top coat for the hitch A-frame, wheel well area, and back bumper mount points. If you don't coach yourself now into going overtime after hassling with POR-15 you'll miss the magic-minute when POR can be topcoated when it will do the most good with the least effort.

I also suggest taking extra time with all the sharp corners on the outriggers and other frame points. POR seems to pull back from knife edges to leave a soap-bubble thin coating that is first to fail among the various surfaces. Keeping down dissimilar metal activity happening on the outrigger curves and belly pan spans is a worthy investment of time, hand brushing a third or thicker coat on corners and pan area iron flats; and chamfer cut off the sharp steel edges into a beveled or rounded edge before painting makes the longest lived coating.

Don't forget the numerical index drill bits - fighting a bucked or pulled 5/32th rivet into a 5/32th drilled hole isn't right... 0.15625"=5/32; 0.157"=#22; 4mm=.1575"; 0.159"=#21.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:37 PM   #35
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Thanks again for the info Wabbiteer. I actually got the frame back today. The sandblaster co used a fairly agressive grit so adhesion should not be a problem except possibly at the edges as you stated. Looks really nice, actually looks almost galvanized but I expect the flash rusting will start immediately. I'm gonna hafta keep on top of this.
Took my wifes chevy duramax, AKA the TV, to the shop with a hard starting issue yesterday, got the bad news today needs new injectors. OUCH $3200 oh well guess we wont be trading it in this year.
And YES before anybody asks-the big diesel truck is my wifes, the itty bitty little ford ranger is mine
tim
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:16 PM   #36
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I'm in the early stages of a full, ground up resto on my 54 Flying Cloud. It would be nice to share our ideas as we progress. I just received a tank monitoring unit from Camping world that I will install on my new holding tanks before I replace the subfloor. Check my thread for the shell removal.Good luck with your project!
JT
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:32 PM   #37
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Sounds like we are in similar circumstances JT. Virtually none of my furniture was salvageable and the appliances remain to be seen. My 55 has a different window layout than your unit so I suspect our floorplans will end up different also. I would be happy to keep in touch and compare notes anytime.I have lots of notes on great ideas stolen remorselessly from others here on the forums
tim
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:58 PM   #38
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Tim,

Have you figured out how to mount the tanks yet? I just got my black water tank delivered minutes ago. I'll take it to the welder in a few days with some ideas of my own but I always like to use others ideas if they work.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:35 PM   #39
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I'm actually staying with the black tank above floor so that structure doesn't worry me but I will be ordering gray tanks this week, Probably from VTS unless someone has a better/alternative source? I admit I'm not too sure why the fitting on the VTS tank is on the side and not on the end. Still trying to figure this out. If anybody could enlighten me on this I would be truly appreciative.
As for mounting I will be using inch and a half angle iron framing welded in the corners and hung with threaded rod or bolts with 3/4 inch ply bottom for support. Should be able to keep it all within the existing belly pan contours but might have to adjust a little. Since I did some reworking of the frame I took the opportunity to open up 2 spaces in the frame to 24" wide from the original 18" in preparation for the gray tanks. These are immediately aft of the axle so the rear end stress should be minimal. Also the new crossmembers are much sturdier than the originals so the weight within the frame will not be a problem at all.
If I install the belly pan with an "access hatch" section in this area it should make any necessary future repairs much easier.
The repairs to my wifes truck have definitely put a crimp in this paychecks Airstream budget but I should still have enough for the frame paint and ordering tanks. I promised the wife that I would pay for this as I went along and not kill the visa so I'm being a good boy this week. Maybe I will start on the windows in the meantime. The inner and outer seals are already here with the vulkem so all I really need are some rivets. Learning new skills all the time.
tim
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:11 PM   #40
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There is always something that needs to be done while waiting for parts, money or ideas. There is always something to polish. Ha!
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:39 PM   #41
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Yeah, got the caswell order a while back so I can polish as time permits. Still trying to figure out how to keep the rouge bars from melting when its above 90 degrees though
tim
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:09 PM   #42
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
mapleton , Utah
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OK somebody needs to come up with a corolary sp? for murphys law that just deals with airstreams! I went out today, happily grinding off the remaining silicone that even sand blasting didnt remove, moved on to grinding off the hitch coupler to be replaced with the shiny new atwood 5000# that I finally located locally and I think I found something new!
At least I haven't seen it discussed in the forums before. Apparently somewhere deep in my tt's past life something happened to its original coupler. the first clue was when I lifted the tongue onto a saw horse to access the welds on the underside of the coupler and I noticed that the ends of the A frame appeared to have been torched off rather than sawn square as I would have expected. Upon further examination it is pretty clear that the original coupler was simply torched off, then the A frame was notched on the inside edge and rebent to something approximating the correct angles then reinforced and a new coupler was welded over all the modifications. WHAT A MESS! the worst part is that the tongue is at least 6" shorter than it should be. I could really use that extra length!!!
My wife has decided that the spare should be tongue mounted ala Inside Outs beautiful design but there wasnt enough length to be able to mount tanks and still be able to crank the jack. Now I know why.
So after this whole long story- here is my question. At what point do I cut off the tongue and replace with new metal?
Do any of you engineering types have an opinion?
I actually have some minor tongue damage due to a long gone WD hitch crushing the tubes slightly that I was planning to reinforce and live with, but now this seems like an opportunity to go ahead and replace it all with new metal and make it 100% again. But where do I splice?
Because of the condition issues it would be ideal cosmetically to splice somewhere aft of where the front of the shell joins the frame. Should I go all the way back to where the tongue originates or would a reinforced angle joint hidden in the belly pan be strong enough?
Enquiring minds want to know
tim
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