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Old 09-15-2008, 06:06 AM   #57
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Thumbs up Great vintage find!

Wow! Steve! Congratulations on such a great vintage coach. It's been touch and go on the forums for me for the last month or two, and look what I missed. What a cool trailer.

I've caught up on the thread now. You have so many interesting things going on with it. This will be a learning experience for lots of us, not just you. Don't you wish these old rigs could talk. Don't bet on this being an aluminitis cure, but at least a long term distraction.
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:05 PM   #58
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Just what the heck have I gotten myself into?

Check the blog in my sig.
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:47 PM   #59
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I have been waiting for this post. The post in which I question just what the hell I am doing with this Airstream. Today was my neighbors day off, and last night he asked me what I was doing on Thursday. I told him I had no plans and that I planned to watch Collin and if time permitted, do some Airstream work. The thing is, my neighbor is the manager of a local full service Meineke shop, and he knew I needed to learn to weld for when I work on the trailer frame. We found a sitter for Collin last night, and I was set to go this morning. My neighbor took me up to his work and had his best welder show me the ropes of welding. He explained the process, and showed me a few tricks of the trade before sending me off to practice. While I only welded three things, he told me all were acceptable welds, and with a little grinding would all be sent out to customers. My neighbor's shop is closed on Sunday's and he offered to take the welder home on the Saturday night before I begin welding on the frame. Below are some shots of the work. Be nice...I'm a newbie.

My First Attempt.



My second pipe was MUCH better.


Needs a little grinding but it wil do.
I took my friend to lunch for his kindness and we went home. After I dropped him off, I visited Harbor Freight to buy as many 1/8 drill bits I could find. They had packages of 10 Carbide tipped bits for $1.89 on sale. I bought six packages of them knowing I was going to be drilling out a bunch of rivets on the exterior.

With Collin at the sitters, I decided to spend all the time I could on the trailer that I could stand. This is the part where I try to figure out what I have done. I finished removing the lower interior panels within about 30 minutes. I am glad I decided to rewire this thing. No junction boxes, splices everywhere, it's amazing these things didn't catch on fire. The area where the floor was replaced on the curbside has a huge snake of silicone along the edge of the skin and the wood. The person who replaced it cur the new floor too short, and the channel wasn't fully supported.

Really safe wiring.


Curbside silicone snake



More silicone.

Pink insulation added when flooring was replaced.



The last interior lower panels are out.

Unsatisfied, I decided to move on to try to get the rear end cap out. After careful review, I realized the ceiling had to come out. I know the ceiling is comprised of three separate pieces of aluminum that are buck riveted together. When taken down, it is supposed to roll into a really long tube. To start with, I had to take down the interior control panel for the 50 year old AC unit. After getting that down, I started removing my clecos to lower the ceiling. I was able to get the sheet down by myself (Pretty scary when it dropped), but that is all I can do with it for now. The rear end cap had some rivets holding it in, and I drilled those out. Pretty difficult to get it out of there with the ceiling skin still in it, but it's one less thing to deal with now.

Ceiling on the floor.


Now you see it.


Now you don't.



Rear end cap resting on the lawn awaiting stripping.


I tried my damnedest, but I just couldn't get the ceiling rolled into a tube. Rob Baker tells me I need several people to do it, but please feel free to chime in on the subject. I also need to take the front window out of the trailer so I can remove the ceiling once rolled. Since the floor is getting replaced, I will just take the window out and rebuild it and not put in back in till I am ready. No need to worry about that wonderful solid floor in the trailer.

The last thing I will post about is what I found under the old pieces of rubber the PO had installed like rock guards on the front. It seems that there was a dent and it was filled with Bondo, and painted. When that looked like crap, they applied the rubber mats over the parts. Since I won a new pair of Milwaukee metal shears, and recently purchased some tools for riveting, I will look to replace this front panel with new aluminum. A shame since that was not something I planned to do for a cost saving measure. Here are some pictures of the damage.




I guess a shipment from VTS is a good thing on a day like today.

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Old 09-18-2008, 08:59 PM   #60
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Looks familiar to me. I removed one row of rivets on the three ceiling panels. It made removal by only me much easier, but then I have two doors to get stuff out.

Bill
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:07 PM   #61
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Bill,

Were you able to get both pieces out the standard entry door?

Steve
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:29 PM   #62
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Steve,

Yes, one was four feet wide and one four and one half. Since I have a 29 foot liner. The length was about ten feet and twelve feet. I did not have to roll them since they were narrower than the height of the door. Not easy to move a four and one half by twelve foot piece but possible without rolling.

Bill

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Bill,

Were you able to get both pieces out the standard entry door?

Steve
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:34 PM   #63
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Bill,

Were you able to get both pieces out the standard entry door?

Steve
I removed the big ceiling piece from a 58 26' by holding it up as a big U shape. One person on each end. It came out easily that way.
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:38 PM   #64
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I removed the big ceiling piece from a 58 26' by holding it up as a big U shape. One person on each end. It came out easily that way.
Two people can do that, I was working alone and I think Steve is also.

Bill
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:46 PM   #65
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As you see in this picture it is bent in half. You think it will fit out of the door? It won't flex left or right in that position.



Steve
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:52 PM   #66
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As you see in this picture it is bent in half. You think it will fit out of the door? It won't flex left or right in that position.



Steve
It seems unlikly that they would buck those together in the trailer so look for a way to get the end started out the door.
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:16 PM   #67
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Steve, one idea. How about two or three of those cinch along straps (like you use to hold down tarps in a p/u truck). Put them around one end, and get it as close to a circle as you can... cinch that end as tight as you can, then go to the middle, and then tighten that part, and then the other end. The straps will hold the section you just worked on.. then they'll hold the whole thing like a big burrito.

Wow, you're working fast on that trailer!
Marc
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:28 PM   #68
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I have been told that they were originally brought into the trailer through the front or back window opening before the windows were installed. I think I will try the "U" shaped removal before removing the windows.

Mark, if the "U" doesn't work, I will be using the cinch straps while carrying it out the window.

Steve
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:46 AM   #69
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Steve, First... I am impressed that you got over the hesitation and you are at it. Keep going brother, I totally believe in you.
I think you should drill out that front window and when your neighbor comes home offer him a beer, then once he has on sip, say hey give me a hand a second. It will roll up and go right out the window just as it went in back in 1953. The damaged exterior panel is no big deal either. Just call up Diane at AirParts inc and she will ship you out a new piece of 2024 T3 .032. You will have a pattern to work from and it will be easy as pie. Nothing but a little time and a small wad of cash. You do have a money tree growing in your back yard right? Money well spent if you ask me.
Once again, I am impressed how you jumped in and went to it. It is looking really ugly now but soon it will start looking pretty. Keep going Brother.
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:30 AM   #70
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Ceiling

Hey Steve,

When I took mine out, I rolled it up like a cigar and strapped it with rope. With a little fiddling, I was able to get it out the door without to much of a headache. . It was pretty easy to roll up in a long tube.

HTH,

Doug
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