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Old 10-15-2013, 09:48 PM   #15
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Good grief: I meant to say It'll be a beauty, not I'll be. We're rooting for you.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:26 PM   #16
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Haha! No worries! We were picking up what you were laying down.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:03 AM   #17
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Great work!!
The pan looks great despite all the crud on it under the floor. I almost thought I was looking at pictures of our '52 until I saw how good your belly pan looks! I've used the rustoleum aluminum primer too and like it. But it does seem to flake/scrape off rather easily... Ours did not have the folded aluminum channel to hold the belly pan on....just riveted right to the bottom of the frame. It's funny how much different stuff you see even on units that are close in numbers.....our is 7321...so only a couple hundred units after yours. After a complete shell off floor replacement, I have the shell almost completely riveted back on. What an adventure! Keep up the great work!

Lee

BTW, the aluminized sound deadener/insulation as used in auto restoration typically is used directly under carpet/padding....so I don't think being in contact with the fiberglass insulation is any problem....should make it nice and quite, but your biggest R-value will be in the fiberglass. Radiant heat transfer is almost negligible until you get to higher delta temps.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:13 PM   #18
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Thanks, Lee! Appreciate the support and the advice. I've been going back and forth and back again on the insulation question, definitely the type to over think things. I'm thinking now it'll be 3/4" foam board and reflective barrier (will give about 3/4" of dead air space between the inner skin and the insulation). Keep in mind that's today-- who knows what I'll be thinking tomorrow! Have you any experience with foam board?

Right now I'm cutting/sealing the new subfloor for the front end cap, so literally watching varnish dry. Photos to come soon.
-Tigh
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:25 PM   #19
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I'm closing in on the insulation phase also... just curious what's the R value of 3/4" foam board?
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:36 PM   #20
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The stuff I'm looking at (R-Tech) is 5.70 @ 75*. I like that its moisture/mold resistant and I think it's less likely to be turned into a Rat Hilton. Only downside I can see is fitting it into the rounded roof sections.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:59 PM   #21
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Cutting and Prepping the New Sub-Floor

So the first steps towards getting a new, rot-free sub-floor have been taken. Got the pattern made, the new floor cut and now I'm in the stages of getting the wood prepped so it will stay rot-free for a long, long time.

Going back to my background hanging around old wooden boats, I'm a huge fan of Le Tonkinois products which I get from American Rope & Tar. Their line of wood penetrating products and varnishes are easy to apply, traditional and look fantastic. Of course the sub-floor won't be visible, but these products are linseed and tung oil based and use no artificial driers or solvents so they're very flexible once dry which means that when we're bumping down the road they'll flex and bend instead of cracking.

The first step was to fill the voids on the surface plywood with some homemade wood filler (Le Tonkinois Parquet mixed with sawdust). Once hard, I sanded it down and applied a coat Le Tonkinois Bio-Impression. Bio-Impression is great for soft woods (like the 5/8" pine plywood I'm using), penetrating deeply into the grain and setting a good foundation for the subsequent coats of Parquet. this just went on using a paintbrush.

Second, came the Parquet. This stuff is TOUGH, which is why I used it to mix the fill. It penetrates deeply as well, but leaves a strong, water-protective coat. I slopped on the first coat using a rag and the wood just drank it up. Second coat went on with a rag as well, but was finished using some 100 grit sandpaper while still wet. This technique helps fill the minor imperfections in the wood with the sandings and really drives the finish into the grain. I gave it a light sanding with 200 grit before applying the third and final coat, which itself was applied with said 200 grit. Now I just hope they fit!

1. Cutting the pattern
2. Voids filled using Parquet and sawdust
3. Initial coat (Bio-Impression)
4. Second coat of Parquet
5. Water beading after second coat of Parquet on plywood
6. Water beading after first coat of Parquet on my hand!
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:11 PM   #22
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Hey Calais. I saw that you had commented on my thread so I thought I'd come check yours out. Looks like we are working on some of the same problems. Floor replacement. I will definitely be watching yours to see how it goes and how you do things. I also think its great how you use boating terms (and products) with your AS! I'm a sailor myself. Best of luck!
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:51 PM   #23
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Thanks, man! With projects like this that support goes a long way. These shorter days are really putting a cramp on my progress, but should have the first section of new floor installed this weekend (I hope) over some leftover turkey sandos.
-Tigh
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:27 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by calais66 View Post
Thanks, man! With projects like this that support goes a long way. These shorter days are really putting a cramp on my progress, but should have the first section of new floor installed this weekend (I hope) over some leftover turkey sandos.
-Tigh
So, based on photos earlier in this thread, you have not removed the bellypan. How do you plan on installing the bolts that sandwich the "C" channel in the base of the wall, the plywood & the steel outriggers together? You must have access to both sides in order to tighten theses bolts, like the factory did it. We've done dozens of floor replacements & everyone required the perimeter of the bellypan to be opened up for access.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:15 PM   #25
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Hey Colin. Well, our belly pans don't rest flush to the frame--they're held about four inches from it by aluminum spacers. This (hopefully) will allow space to reach under and thread the nut to the new tie-down bolts (or just insert the bolt upside-down which I could see being easier). If not, I've no problem snipping off their corners to allow access--as they make no direct contact with the belly pan at that point anyway it won't inhibit their function at all.

Of course, the one exception would be the front plate in the fore end cap as it sits so far away from the cut line of the new floor, but fortunately one of the POs decided to make parallel belly pan cuts along the inside of the frame to run a shore power line. You can kind of see it in the pictures, but it just flaps down and allows easy access.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:13 PM   #26
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Hey Colin. Well, our belly pans don't rest flush to the frame--they're held about four inches from it by aluminum spacers. This (hopefully) will allow space to reach under and thread the nut to the new tie-down bolts (or just insert the bolt upside-down which I could see being easier). If not, I've no problem snipping off their corners to allow access--as they make no direct contact with the belly pan at that point anyway it won't inhibit their function at all.

Of course, the one exception would be the front plate in the fore end cap as it sits so far away from the cut line of the new floor, but fortunately one of the POs decided to make parallel belly pan cuts along the inside of the frame to run a shore power line. You can kind of see it in the pictures, but it just flaps down and allows easy access.
This is an interesting frame design, kind of a bridge between the hopeless "Pipe" frame & the "Ladder" frame that we have today. The current design started not long after your frame was built, so I would imagine yours was not considered a success. You're going to go through a lot of work & pain in order to bring it back to "almost as good", as a poor design. Why bother going through the trouble. Keep in mind that todays towing speeds are significantly higher than when your trailer was built, plus you're likely to add more weight than original, so the loads your chassis will have to support will be somewhat higher than original. You'll also end up with a 63 year old bellypan & a substandard chassis. You've gone this far, why don't you cut the bellypan off, lift the body off & upgrade the chassis as necessary, install the floor, insulation, wiring, grey tank if you're going that route & then of course, the new bellypan. The next step would be to reinstall the body, then go from there. You'll never regret taking this route, I guarantee it
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:19 PM   #27
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Well, the quick answer is because I just bought a house

Seriously though, I sincerely appreciate your advise and the experience that comes with it! And naturally if it was a pipe frame I'd be going that route, no doubt. But to this point I've been very pleased with the condition of the frame--completely rust free save some surface rust and the welds are all intact with no visible signs of stress. I've weighed out the new components and she'll be at most 250lbs heavier than she was initially, which still keeps her well under 3k dry. As for the over-all design, the way I see it, if it was good enough for the first Central American caravan then it's good enough for I-5. As far as her belly goes, I know there's a general consensus that the only good old belly pan is a dead old belly pan, but while ours may be dinged here and there it's completely corrosion free. Just don't see the sense in changing it when I'm sure I'll just immediately bang up the new one. No rust, no corrosion--wish they all could be California girls

She's a funky, fifteen panel '51!
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:58 AM   #28
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Well, the quick answer is because I just bought a house

Seriously though, I sincerely appreciate your advise and the experience that comes with it! And naturally if it was a pipe frame I'd be going that route, no doubt. But to this point I've been very pleased with the condition of the frame--completely rust free save some surface rust and the welds are all intact with no visible signs of stress. I've weighed out the new components and she'll be at most 250lbs heavier than she was initially, which still keeps her well under 3k dry. As for the over-all design, the way I see it, if it was good enough for the first Central American caravan then it's good enough for I-5. As far as her belly goes, I know there's a general consensus that the only good old belly pan is a dead old belly pan, but while ours may be dinged here and there it's completely corrosion free. Just don't see the sense in changing it when I'm sure I'll just immediately bang up the new one. No rust, no corrosion--wish they all could be California girls

She's a funky, fifteen panel '51!
Keep in mind that I'm not suggesting building a new chassis, just upgrading what you have, ie closing the front of the tongue, so mice can't get in, welding the front plate onto the front crossmember, instead of bolting, extending the outriggers downward so they meet the bellypan, adding additional torsional rigidity along the way, plus plus plus.... Then you have a chassis for another 50+ years, regardless of what you put the trailer through. Granted, it did the Central American Caravan, but that was 50+ years ago. This approach will make the floor replacement much easier in the end, albeit more time consuming because you're adding upgrades, however somewhere down the road, if you decide to sell it, you'll get top dollar because of your approach, plus of course your detailed photos to prove the work was done right. The new bellypan will look incredible, plus you won't be doing it on your back. Keep in mind, you only have one shot at it, so make it a good one.
Colin
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