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Old 07-31-2012, 11:13 PM   #15
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1958 22' Flying Cloud
Folsom , California
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Originally Posted by riv-nut
Thanks again for all the advice. I wanted to take some careful measurments prior to complete floor/bellpan removal. I made a couple little sketchs just in case anyone else can use it. This should help me put things back together. I'm hoping to get the floor off in the next couple of days, then wire wheel and get a good coat of rust encapulator paint on the frame. I'll post progress as I go.

Thanks,
Lee
These are sketches? I'd like to see what you call plans!
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:38 AM   #16
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1952 21' Flying Cloud
renton , seattle area
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Originally Posted by rumrunner View Post
Hi Lee and welcome. Congratulations on your find, it is actually in pretty good shape for a vintage trailer. Mine was much worse inside and none of the woodwork was salvageable. Keep taking lots of pictures, not just to share but as a reference for later when you cant remember where or how things go together. As far as the wheel wells go, most were of galvanized steel and are easily replaced. Just take them down to a local heating/AC sheetmetal shop and have a new set made. Note- the outside skin is slightly curved at this point so be sure to point this out! Mine were beautifully done for about $150 and for a bit more you could opt for stainless. Pretty painless as airstream parts go. Take a good look at the outriggers on the damaged side while you are there as they are commonly damaged in blow out accidents. As a matter of fact it will be a good time to evaluate your entire frame once you get the floor off especially since you are already shell off. Some of the things you find will amaze you, I know they did me! decide on tanks and placement now and it will come together much smoother later. If you are keeping the original leaf springs you can decide on axles, brakes, shocks and such much later on but if you are modernizing now may be easier than later.
Dont be afraid to ask questions, somebody here almost always has a good answer (along with a few comical ones) You will probably have only one shot at this so do your research and do it right the first time. Might seem longer initially but it will save your sanity in the long run.
have fun with this
Tim
Thanks Tim for the insight. I have all the floor off now and the belly pans. Need to repair only a few rusty spots on the frame, then do the cleaning and the re-painting. I'll probably use rust-bullet. I've used it before and am impressed with the product. I believe it's similar to POR-15, except it also has UV protectors in it....which wouldn't matter for 95% of the frame since it's burried. Anyway, thanks for the advice on getting new wheel wells made....mine are pretty whipped. I could easily spend several nights trying to repair holes and welding on a few sections of flanges. I'd gladly pay $150 for a brand new pair!! I got a quote from the local Dexter dealer for a complete axle....$550 but I might be able to find one for less on line. Does $550 sound reasonable? I'd still need to get new leaf springs too - otherwise complete...breaks and all! I've thought about bending up new channels around the edge of the floor for the skin to attach to, but I've decided to try and see if I can get aluminum extruded chanel in about the right gauge and overall cross-section. This would be easier and would provide a very consistent offset between the inner and outer skins. I might use a little thicker gauge too since the originals were pretty flimsy IMHO. I'll try to get some pictures on here soon.

Thanks,
Lee
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:39 PM   #17
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If you are sticking with the spring axle you do not need to get new springs in all probability. Actually they aren't even available in this length anymore. Just take them down to your local spring shop and have them refurbished. they will clean them, repaint, add any lubricating strips necessary, reclamp and generally make them look brand new, usually for a very reasonable cost. They can also test and adjust the load capacity if needed. Another thing to consider is the drop of the axle. The originals were about 2 1/2" drop but the replacements can be ordered with anything from original to straight giving an additional 2 1/2" of ground clearance if desired. Actually the biggest advantage in the new axle is weight. You will drop about 200# and that is a significant number in the big picture. remember to order all new bolts and shackles. This small expense will tighten up the ride considerably with no additional work since you will have it all apart anyway.
Personally, I am staying with the original style spring axle but will wait to decide on drop and ordering untill I am done with the rest of the rebuild. This way I can weigh and measure the finished trailer and be sure I am ordering exactly what I need. I will break all the nuts etc. loose now while they are easily accessible though. The actual axle switch should be a piece of cake if the prep is properly done.
tim
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:52 PM   #18
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Regarding the C channel, just take a sample ( you should have a few random pieces by now ) down to your local HVAC shop and order as much as you need. Should be 1.5" wide across the middle, thats the critical dimension, the edges can be made a little wider if you wish to add stiffness and make hitting it with the rivets a little easier. It wasn't expensive at all and you can order it in .040 if you want it a little stronger. I think I paid about $1.50 a foot locally and could probably have done better with a little haggling. Save any removed pieces to use as stiffeners in other areas later on.
I think Kip, Aerowood here, did his in .060 but I bet he had to radius his corners to avoid cracking.
Search Aerowoods threads for great metalworking advice, he has more practical experience than just about anybody you will meet.
tim
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:29 PM   #19
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Thanks Tim....all good advice. I certainly would like to keep the leaf spring axle set-up. The springs look REALLY crusty, but they might just clean up fine. I'd probably take a few leafs out....right now the stack of leafs is about 4 inches in the middle...I can't imagine ever needing this much stiffness :-) I tried to measure the drop on my original...it looks to be about 4 inches. And this is what Dexter has as a standard drop....so I was kind of planning on that. Actually, I'd kind of like to airbag it :-) (sorry, my hotrodder is coming out). It seemed plenty high before I started and we don't plan on getting too far off road. Yeah, I'll check out the formed channels prior to purchasing any extrusion. I do like the idea of a little more meat there....those originals just seem too thin. But then again, it's lasted quite a while! Thanks again for all the info!

Lee
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:26 AM   #20
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Hello Lee,
Congratulations on your FC. I'm in the same boat on my '54 FC in that mine is a frame off resto as well. I was able to find some wheel tubs from Jegs High Performance on the internet. They come in aluminum or steel. Fairly straightforward in assembly but you will have to do some trimming on the round part where it meets the outrigger to fit it perfectly. You can see a few pics on a thread called "slow floor replacement". My thought on getting the floor to match the shell was to hover the shell over the oversized floor on the 2x6x12' boards that I used to set it on the sawhorses with, use a plumb bob on the edge all the way around and draw the line that way. I would center it and get it squared up first of course. Anyway, I'm gonna try it and see how it feels. If I'm not confidant that it will work, I'll remove the 12' boards and just set it on the floor, square it up, and draw the new line. I'm using marine grade plywood and sealing it with "West Marine" epoxy resin, both sides and the edges for water proofing. This is beginning to be a bit of a money pit but after I get the shell back on, I'll slow down on the cash flow and just polish for a while.

JT
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:10 AM   #21
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Hey JT,

Yeah, these are fun trailers to work on eh? Really it's neat to see how these bad boys are put together. I thought about the wheel tubs from the hot rod side of the house, but figured it would take a bit of re-work since the tubs need to be wider at the top than at the lower edges. Plus it might be hard to find on that all the original holes in the outer skin would land on the flange....wouldn't want to re-drill holes in the outer skin and have to plug some of them. We'll see though, I contacted a sheet metal fab place today and they said to bring in the originals and they'd take a look. $100 per hour....hopefully it would only be a couple hours of work out of galvanized steel. My wheel wells are 0.032 thick...I measured them tonight...should be easy for them to put something like this together as Tim mentioned.

Anyway, for the floor trim, I'm going "all in" so to speak on the 22 inch radius at the corners. I measured the overall floor dimensions carefully so if the 22" radius measurement is correct, it should drop right on there. Fingers crossed of course :-) This will put the skin in the correct position rather than tracing a skin that could be a bit out of shape after pulling it off the floor. We'll see what happens.

By the way, I've followed your "slow floor replacement" post carefully and have learned a lot for sure. Keep up the great work and thanks for the help! The link to the pictures of Star-mans '53 earlier in this post have also helped a ton...he's doing (did?) and amazing job as well. He has hundreds of pictures of all stages of his floor replacement. You might check that out if you haven't.

More later.....

Lee
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:41 AM   #22
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1954 22' Flying Cloud
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Originally Posted by Star-Man
Hi riv-nut,

Since we both have "Wonder Bread" models (mine is a '53 Flying Cloud) you may be interested in the thread I started a couple years ago here. Please have a look at the photo albums. I'm not very good at keeping up on the narrative so I kind of dropped the thread.

In my case the curves were exactly the same dimensions front and rear. The corner radii are 22". Later years when the Wonder Bread design went away, the front and rear were definitely different. Once you lift the shell, the shape is not constrained and I believe you will not get an accurate tracing of the true shape.

Chris
Hi Chris,

I saw your dialog with Riv-Nut and makes me want to go out and measure the radius on the corners of my old floor panels. They were replacements from the PO but were close to fitting properly. Mine is a 54 so I'm not sure they would be the same or not but I'm just curious and I didn't take measurements prior to liftoff. After building wheel tubs from a kit, painting, etc. , I'm worried that they won't fit. They do stick out to the side a bit so maybe I'll get lucky. I'm sure I'll have to make adjustments but I'll find out when it all comes together I guess. My shell is 30 miles away from the chassis so it's difficult.
I noticed you live close to me. I would like to come see your progress sometime. Drop me a PM so we can make arrangements for a meet.

JT
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:27 AM   #23
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Make sure the new wheel wells account for the tapered sides of the trailer. The top of the wheel well should be wider than the bottoms. They had to make mine twice. My recommendation, of the old ones don't have holes in them, keep them.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:56 AM   #24
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Ddstech,

Thanks, it looks like they may work but I've got the old ones just in case. I'd hate to have to use them but I will if I have to.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:09 PM   #25
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Very good discussion here. I measured what I could from my delapidated floorboards and the 22" radii measurement seemd accurate. This should be easy to recreate on the new deck when I put it down.

JT - that would be great if you could measure your old floorboards and confirm this number. I've looked at your post and didn't see the "skin flange" on your new wheel wells....are you planning on adding this later, or am I missing it in your picture?? The lower width of my wheel wells is exactly 14 inches....the top was a 1/4 or 1/2 inch wider....can't remember now. I'm planning on taking them to a sheet metal fabricator tomorrow to see if they can build me a new set. Just as you, I can rebuild the old ones if necessary, but that's plan B and would require a lot of my time....which I am in short supply of lately with 4 kids, 3 of which just started soccer.

I'm also picking up some 3" by 2" steel tubing to refab some of the "outriggers" on the frame. There's a couple of mine that are pretty bad, but suprisingly most of the others are perfect....seems odd to me but maybe the rusted ones were just under a leaky window or something.

Thanks for thinking this through with me

BTW...if you haven't checked out Chris's photo gallery, you need to. With all his pictures, it's just like being there! Here's the direct link: https://picasaweb.google.com/104324882402704815697

Lee
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:32 PM   #26
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1954 22' Flying Cloud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riv-nut
Very good discussion here. I measured what I could from my delapidated floorboards and the 22" radii measurement seemd accurate. This should be easy to recreate on the new deck when I put it down.

JT - that would be great if you could measure your old floorboards and confirm this number. I've looked at your post and didn't see the "skin flange" on your new wheel wells....are you planning on adding this later, or am I missing it in your picture?? The lower width of my wheel wells is exactly 14 inches....the top was a 1/4 or 1/2 inch wider....can't remember now. I'm planning on taking them to a sheet metal fabricator tomorrow to see if they can build me a new set. Just as you, I can rebuild the old ones if necessary, but that's plan B and would require a lot of my time....which I am in short supply of lately with 4 kids, 3 of which just started soccer.

I'm also picking up some 3" by 2" steel tubing to refab some of the "outriggers" on the frame. There's a couple of mine that are pretty bad, but suprisingly most of the others are perfect....seems odd to me but maybe the rusted ones were just under a leaky window or something.

Thanks for thinking this through with me

BTW...if you haven't checked out Chris's photo gallery, you need to. With all his pictures, it's just like being there! Here's the direct link: https://picasaweb.google.com/104324882402704815697

Lee
Hey Lee,

I think the photo of the wheel tubs you are referring to shows the near one without the flange bent into it. The far one is bent with cuts every 3-4" or so. This may work for me but if not, I'll use them anyway by straightening out the flange and riveting on a moon shaped extension with a flange on it that will then get riveted to the aluminum wall. I have too much time invested in them to just throw them out. I plan on using some left over truck bed liner inside the wheel well and that will disguise the seam. Inside the trailer, the wells will be covered with insulation and cabinetry anyway. They should work just fine.

JT
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:36 PM   #27
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Oh, by the way, I did measure the radius on the corners of the old plywood. It's close but mine begins to taper right at the beam for the hitch tongue. I'll stick with my plumb bob method and let you know how it works. Wish me luck.

JT
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:22 PM   #28
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Installed my tanks with sensors today and started with the subfloor...

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