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Old 10-30-2005, 11:30 AM   #1
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1953 21' Flying Cloud
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1953 21' flying cloud

Hey,
Falling in and out of love with my recent purchase of my first airstream. In my yard sits a 1953 Flying Cloud in pretty decent shape with a few dents and many original features. I've removed the interior paint and heading towards the brushed aluminum effect. My plan was to leave the interior intact but of course most has been removed and only the fixtures and one cabinet and sink remain. Now I plan to forge ahead and tackle the dents by removing the interior panel and massaging the dents - while keeping my fingers crossed. Definately learning quite a bit but needing some words of encouragement and words of wisdom. My plan is to turn this airstream into a working art studio I can move about with. Wish me luck and thanks for looking.
Theresa
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Old 10-30-2005, 02:33 PM   #2
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Theresa
Having just finished my FC this May I can tell you that it's sure nice to have it done. It was 5 months of many evenings and most weekends but it was fun to do. I left the little dents in the body on mine - I just figured they were each hard earned and I'm sure when they "appeared" the PO was not impressed, but to me they are all part of the character of our trailer. On my Silver Streak I've removed the inner panels and done as you are and although time consuming the results are well worth it. Good luck and look forward to update pictures.
Barry
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Old 10-30-2005, 03:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t.gray
Hey,
My plan is to turn this airstream into a working art studio I can move about with. Wish me luck and thanks for looking.
Theresa
Hey, moving studio, me too!

Welcome to the forum, that interior is looking great.

Perhaps someone else will chime in about how to remove the dents on your panels - It seems to me the two options are remove the interior panels and work from both sides - or remove just the dented panels from the outside leaving the interior skins in place and fix from the outside.

I would be interested to hear a comparison of these two plans - I had my trailer gutted and worked from both sides, but is there anyone out there that has replaced panels just from the outside, interior skins still in place?



My feeling is that if you remove the interior panels to get at the dents you might be better off just replacing the damaged panels - it will be a fair amount of work to get the interior panels on and off and not a huge amount more work to just replace the panels once you are there.

Keep posting, it helps make the work seem less solitary.

Carlos
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Old 10-30-2005, 05:28 PM   #4
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Woodstock , Georgia
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hey theresa! welcome to the forums. there's lots of advice on these pages! my trailer has plenty of dents on the outer skin, and since mine's basically a gutted shell with no interior, i plan on working the metal from both sides, with a dolly and a GENTLE tap of teh hammer. aluminum is quite a bit softer than steel, and will stretch if you hit it too hard. there's no such thing as bondo on a trailer! ha! (mine had it up until a few weeks ago... gone for GOOD, thank GOD!) you could consider using patches on really bad ones, perhaps?

post some pics of the dented panels. if they are small enough, or subtle enough, i would probably leave them as well. i call those "character curves" on my land rover!

jp
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Old 10-30-2005, 06:14 PM   #5
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Hey Theresa! Welcome to the Forums! It's so cool to see the Flying Cloud! You have, in fact, jumped in with both feet! I'd wondered how far you'd gotten. Keep us posted... and post photos... LOTS of photos! Frankly, I think you'd be better off replacing the panels from the outside than trying to push the dents out, at least on the cap. On the cap, it'll be a lot of work to pull the inside panels off, and the final product on the exterior will look iffy anyway. In other words, it may not be worth the effort for the likely not so good results. If you're trying to do the front side segments, pushing them out from the inside may work as they're not too bad and they're fairly large but shallow. Pushing them out from the inside may, in fact, be the only way to do those.

Roger
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Old 10-30-2005, 08:43 PM   #6
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Welcome Theresa,
I am a new owner of a 51 Flying Cloud and also in the process of removing lots and lots of old interior paint. Big job. All of my original interior was already gone so I will be rebuilding mostly from scratch. Don't throw anything away. If you don't reuse it someone will want it. Finding 50 year old parts is not easy. Good luck.
Greg
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Old 10-31-2005, 03:47 PM   #7
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Gosh, thanks for the advice and support - I really needed it. A couple more pictures to check out (having a little trouble loading them). Today I shaved away old paint around the edges - love detail work. It's already looking better. Good to hear from you all.
Theresa
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Old 10-31-2005, 05:32 PM   #8
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Although there is a crease in that dent I wonder if you couldn't use something like a toilet plunger to suck most of it out. I've never tried it with aluminum but have used it on an occasional "oops" on a car when I was younger and it worked okay.

Gosh you have really gone at that front painted area. It's tiresome work. My friend has done his the same way and the intent is to polish it to a mirror finish. I have my Silver Streak stripped but not sure yet if I'm going to polish it or leave it the natural aluminum. It will be interesting to see how your turns out.

Barry
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Old 10-31-2005, 05:59 PM   #9
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A lot of dents can be hidden in creative ways..... that one I would try to pull out, then cover with a rock guard....

Ken
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:55 PM   #10
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As for the corner dent/crease, I'd take off the inner skin now with the interior out and have a go at it from the the inside. There shouldn't be any structural support behind there and now is the time to do it right. Once the interior is in it will be too late.

Brad
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Old 11-01-2005, 01:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfshr
As for the corner dent/crease, I'd take off the inner skin now with the interior out and have a go at it from the the inside. There shouldn't be any structural support behind there and now is the time to do it right. Once the interior is in it will be too late.

Brad
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Old 01-31-2006, 04:50 PM   #12
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1953 21' Flying Cloud
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Back at it after staring out the kitchen window and thinking, oh my... what have I gotten myself into while seeing my snow covered airstream.
Today I spent my day sanding the front cap by hand with 320 grit and loving the look. Never got around to repairing the dents. The plunger idea almost worked but not quite. The next couple of weeks I expect to finish the interior walls and maybe even start on the floor. Feels great to be back at it.
Theresa
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Old 01-31-2006, 05:35 PM   #13
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Glad to see the pics again. Life has gotten in the way and slowed my progress as well. I wish my interior looked as good as yours. I have found way to many holes that will not polish up. Guess I will be painting again. Keep up the good work,
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Old 01-31-2006, 06:16 PM   #14
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dent repair

Hi that dose look really nice when you are complete with that project it will be one sweet trailer. I was reading a article the other day about dent removal and it stated that if you have a dent that is fairly large and you remove the inner skin to repair and once repaired if you are concerned that the dent might pop back inword, for this reason they said that aluminum will streach from the dent and will weaken that area where the dent was after removed, the method that they use is before you reinstall inner skin is to put styrofoam between dent and inner skin that way you can be rest assured that your hard efforts to remove the dent payed off. Just a little more of something to think about. looks good..
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