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Old 09-21-2008, 06:15 PM   #85
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I like the hitch toilet seat,but see no reason for the bag.
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Old 09-22-2008, 04:49 PM   #86
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Hi Steve,

A joy looking over your thread - again congratulations - such a beautiful flying cloud. I never did figure out my door handle for my trailer - I use the dead bolt/key in place - which is a pain. Although my plan is to install a door handle.

Theresa
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Old 09-22-2008, 04:52 PM   #87
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Glad to see you found it Theresa. Check out the blog as well.

Steve
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:50 AM   #88
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Hi Steve I've been trying to get caught up on your project,it looks real similar to mine.I just finished cleaning my cruiser out also and am almost ready to lift the shell off the frame.I read you're trying to find a cross bar for a window ,I will take a look at mine(54 cruiser)and see if I can make you one,I work in a sheat metal shop or if I have an extra.These trailers are a lot of work but very addicting and hopefully if all works out rewarding.Your thread here and blog look real good,nice trailer.I've just started making a list vts,I think I'm going to have a good bill.
Thanks Doug
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:53 AM   #89
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Hey Doug,

I think our windows are different, and they went to cranks after 53. You can check my blog for better pics of the cross bar. I could always send you one to refabricate along with some $$$

Steve
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:51 PM   #90
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Hey Air Commander, I am SO amazed with the awesome progress you have made on your FC! It will be a great trailer when you are done. I wish we would still be nearby to see it. We will do our best to head back for a Branson rally or meet you at Moraine View or something. Life is moving too fast this year...

Susan
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:19 PM   #91
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Suz,

I won't be at morraine view unless they make it an earlier weeked. Since the National guard stop lossed me, I cannot leave the military, and will be at annual training over that weekend.

I just came in for a second from working outside...it's a hot one today.

Steve
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:10 PM   #92
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Progress...

I hate rivets...

Yesterday I had a job interview, and wasn't able to get much work done on the FC. Today I decided to change that. I began the day with a trip to Frank's favorite store to get a few things. I have been reading that alot of people are using spring punches during rivet removal. I bought one. I also picked up a quick connector set for the air compressor, 25 feet of air hose, a pneumatic cut-off tool, a 10 pack of Milwaukee sawz-all blades, can of WD-40, quarter angle drill, and an air sprayer nozzle for the compressor. When I got home, this was what I had awaiting in a lonely front porch box.
All I need now is some galvanized screen, and my windows will be finished for installation. Since I need to replace the floor, I will have to drop the belly pan. I began by removing the rivets around the wheel well that actually rivet to the galvanized well. Upon removal, I found this.


Full Wheel Well


Corrosion on the right


Corrosion on the left

Since the aluminum and galvanized steel were together, I have a fail amount of corrosion on the steel. I also think the wheel well aluminum cover was replaced before since there are extra holes in the underlying skin and wheel wells. My biggest worry is how to put humpty dumpty back together again when I am all done. Should I use olympics since the three legs will splay out? Aerowood on the Airforums suggested using a washer behind the skin so a buck rivet can fit and have something to grab on to. What material would work best since I don't want more corrosion? Will the washer be large enough to not pull through the corroded area?

I keep moving on after this, and start taking the rivets out of the belly pan. These rivets hold the skin, belly pan, and C-channel all together. Then I got to a point with HUGE popped rivets. They looked like shirt buttons they were do damned big. After removing them, this is what I was left with.

Here are holes that no 5/32 cleco or rivet will fit through. In fact, I have been rilling out these rivets with a 1/8 inch bit damn near center every time, and I have many that a 5/32 cleco will not secure into. What do I do now other than replace the panel (Which I am NOT doing).

I also began to take the rear rub railing off, but most the the screws are rusted to tightly, that even spraying them for 8 times so far with WD-40, they are not budging. Speaking of rusty screws that aren't budging...here are the ones in the front that are giving me hell.

Once I broke as many drill bits as I was going to for the day, and gave myself one hell of a gash in my pointer finger, I called it quits. My 18v drill's motor was really hot from running through rivets like it was. I will look for an air drill to keep from burning out the motor on my nice cordless drill from here on out. After all the drilling, I decided to go and cleco every spot I could find that would hold with 1/8 or 5/32 fasteners.


Vertical on the panel, and across the belly pan



Front Window Clecos


Behind the wheel well curbside.

In closing, I must say I am learning a lot of good information. I can safely say that the factory DID screw up from time to time. Take a look below at one of numerous double holes that had one rivet installed over both. No wonder this thing had a ton of leaks.

On the ponder list for next week is to use vulkem/sikaflex on the panels or rivets when reinstalling them (while bucking, or afterwards). I hope all three of you enjoyed this latest entry.



The bondo blues

Sometimes I really hate the previous owners of these trailers. Take mine for instance. Wall paper inside on the walls over 4-5 layers of paint, unnecessary extra screws to hold in curtain valances, and this first....bondo on the exterior that was painted silver. It started small, but eventually came off in a few big chunks. The problem I have, is that the dents that the bondo was covering, were not that bad. They were not nearly as bad as the dent I pushed out in my rear panels by hand. Regardless, this panel is set for replacement now that I have my rivet gun, but I won't replace it until I have the new floor installed.



I have been rather unmotivated as of late, and managed to take the LP tank rack off the A-frame, and took the front rub rail off. The issue I have now are the 20 plus huge screws that were holding the skin to the c channel. Many of these go into the front vertical steel plate welded to the frame. I currently cannot see the plate, because the PO placed a piece of alclad over it, and SILICONED it in place. I have resulted to grinding on the heads, but I am getting nowhere fast.




Ready for a Bucking good time?

Today I received my new 3x Rivet gun with 5/32 rivet set and bucking bar. I got all this for $70 shipped from toolsez. They have an ebay store, but were offering huge aircraft sets. This is all I need for my Airstream, and they made me a deal.
It's nice that it arrived today, because last night I purchased this monster 6 HP 33 Gallon upright air compressor off craigslist for $200. So for $270, I have everything I need to buck rivets on the Airstream. The rivets are going to arriver tomorrow from Aircraft Spruce. Then another Vintage Trailer Supply shipment is due by Monday.


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Old 09-25-2008, 07:28 PM   #93
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Steve,
After 27 years I lost my job! Actually I retired. I worked in Hydroelectric power as a mechanical supervisor. You might say that we made water into electricity!
My staff had to deal with rust and corrosion on a daily basis. The product we used for screw removal was called KROIL. I believe it is available from Eastwood Restoration Products. Try googling it. We bought it by the gallon and then put it into plastic spray bottles. It is also available in spray cans. Spray it on the screw, tap the screw head a few times with a center punch and a hammer or use your spring loaded center punch. You may have to repeat a few times but they will come out. This stuff is fantastic. I swear you will never go back to WD-40 (and hopefully Franks favorite store either!)

NUTZ
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:52 PM   #94
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New patch for the power inlet.

As I discussed on the blog earlier, the PO had cut a nice big hole in the rear panel to install a shore power cord box. The box looked horrible, wasn't water proofed, and had no keys. From the start I had planned to install a Marinco power inlet, and wanted to at least get my patch completed over the weekend.

Box and Hole

My next question was simple. Where am I going to get my aluminum from? I haven't ordered any alclad yet, and didn't want to use something from the hardware store since it wasn't alclad. When I gutted the trailer, I had to tear out the bathroom stall since it wouldn't fit out the door, and because I planned to redo the bathroom anyhow. I grabbed the electric Milwaukee shears, and went to town getting a nice chunk of aluminum.

Mangled Bath Stall


I applied a liberal amount of paint stripper on the piece, cleaned the paint residue off with MEK, and cut it to fit the hole. I wasn't going for anything fancy (No Missouri shapes, no stars, no pointing fingers).


Holes laid out for drilling



Holes Drilled


After laying out and drilling the holes, I used clecos to hold it in place temporarily while I drilled holes in the exterior panel. I then took the clecos out, laid a liberal bead of Sikaflex around the exterior of the new patch, and riveted the patch in place with Olympic rivets. It was only holding a patch in place, and I figured no need to use buck rivets. I let the sikaflex cure overnight and went outside this morning to wipe off the excess with MEK. All I need now is a rivet shaver and to install the plug.

Lots of sealant


Ready for the plug and rivet shaver.

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Old 09-28-2008, 03:59 PM   #95
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looking good! Thanks for all the pictures of your progress
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:03 PM   #96
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Thanks Goransons,

Feel free to check the blog since I update that more often.

Steve
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:06 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumanutz View Post
The product we used for screw removal was called KROIL. <snip> This stuff is fantastic. I swear you will never go back to WD-40
Ditto. We use it all the time! Amazing ~

Shari
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:48 PM   #98
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Moving on to the floor

For the last week I have had an ad on the internet looking for help with the flying cloud. I am not lucky enough to have alot of technically savvy friends, or family with the skills and time to help me with this project, but have found someone that is capable to assist in the work. This project has been at a stand still, and will continue to be at a stand still until I fix the frame and replace the current floor with a marine grade plywood 3/4 inch floor.

After my newly hired hand left, I began tearing out the sub floor starting from the rear. I removed the flooring all the way up to the cross member in front of the wheel well. To much joy, I found the frame to be in much better shape than anticipated. It is solid everywhere other than the outrigger to the rear of the curbside wheel well and the final cross member on the chassis.

Bad Outrigger

Rear crossmember corroded away

Something else I found odd about the frame was that one of the previous owners screwed a piece of angle iron into the frame who's sole purpose is to be used to attach the belly pan to. The belly pan is held to it with some HUGE screws.



As it stands right now, I will only be dropping the center section of the belly pan in order to replace the last cross member and the belly skin that has corroded away at the rear. After getting the floor up and a good vacuuming...okay, semi good vacuuming I was done for the day.

Oddly are the spacings between cross members. My rear curved piece has about three feet to the first cross member. From that cross member, I can fit a 48" piece of plywood that will cross over the 3rd cross member and fit perfectly on the 4th cross member that lies just rear of the wheel wells. I am only replacing the rear right now, and once it is finished I will replace the front. This is the way Marcus and Frank did it, and it is the way I will do it.

As for the belly pan, I will need to do a partial replacement and wonder what the best aluminum to use is. I will also need to have some C channel fabricated to reattach some of the shell to the floor since alot of mine is corroded. Anyone know what the best aluminum for this is?

Unfortunately for me, I will have to wait until the weather gets much better before using the POR-15. The temperature fluctuates too much here, and I don't want to have the finish ruined because of it.

Thanks for reading.

Steve
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