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Old 03-07-2014, 04:44 PM   #85
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2012 30' Flying Cloud
1955 22' Flying Cloud
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More Shell, bellypan and subfloor

More dis assembly of the belly and frame.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:14 AM   #86
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1964 17' Bambi II
1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Matt,
I added extra outriggers to each side at the rear. I don't know why Airstream did not include these. I thought this area needed the additional support. You may want to consider this also. I added an additional outrigger on the left side of the step. The original refrigerator was placed here. This is where two sheets of flooring meet without support (another weak area). I hope this helps.
Gary
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Old 03-08-2014, 03:40 PM   #87
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2012 30' Flying Cloud
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Lansing , Kansas
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More winter frame photos

Some more pictures of the frame and my 2012 in the RV storage lot. When I called Colin Hyde to order axles, I learned that inside to inside measurements between the main frame rails was a little wider than the average. Not to say that it is unique, because from what he told me and what I have seen on the forums for the mid-50s here is that there is no standard width. Reasonably well made, but definitely each hand built.

So I went out in the snow storm to the RV storage lot here for the installation and checked my measurements just to be sure. This required a little four wheeling in the 7” deep fresh snow, but that was just a side benefit. The storage lot here is on top of an old Nike missile site, and I think if you could see under the pavement, there might be some cool Cold War relics. If you are not familiar with the old Nike missile and North American air defense system, you may want to check it out: Fort part of K.C. missile defense in Cold War - News - Fort Leavenworth - Fort Leavenworth, KS - Fort Leavenworth, KS. No issues with the measurements.

The frame is as original and still has a lot of the original black chassis paint, although the PO appears to have painted part of the front 1/3 silver. It hasn’t been modified, and the front is already set up well for the spare tire. Thanks to Gary for the suggestions, I think I will use both of those to help with the power outlets and drain valves toward the rear of the trailer. One side of the front step is already reinforced, but I think it might be prudent for the other. Part of this process is to balance my desire to make my restoration absolutely bulletproof in terms of strength and durability without causing other structure problems with the hitch or losing all of the weight advantage of the 50s trailers.

Nevertheless, I do think these trailers look great in snow, especially compared to the white box style trailers in the lot. Although I would not mind having the very nice condition 60 series late 1930s Cadillac just out of frame in the lot there. But maybe hold out for a mid-50s tow vehicles. More chrome and fins=BETTER.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:09 PM   #88
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Great record of your plans, ideas, and progress. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:07 PM   #89
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
Lansing , Kansas
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The goodies come rolling in...

The goodies and supplies come in steadily as ordered. Still waiting on tanks and axle in this picture, and still need to get some ABS pipe. But the initial cleaning, fixing, sanding and cutting is done on most of the windows, and they are stacking up.

Lots of stuff for windows and for the frame and holding tanks: valves, connecters, fittings, heaters, and Prodex at half off. If you are in the market for this, like the on Facebook for sale notification. I got it effectivly half off, and they have another similar sale this month. I am planning on using this under the floor with the same technique CHTR uses, as seen on their work on Byam’s ’55 Flying Cloud. But instead of the pink stuff in the belly pan after the prodex, I am thinking the flexible foam board from the hardware store, and the foil wrapped board to fill the volume. Lightweight, easy to work with and hopefully less condusive to soaking up rodents and water.

Most of the fittings were from VTS, with special thanks to Steve for reviewing my shopping list based on my plan and making a few recommendations. Of course, hopefully he had an interest in selling me all I need.

I got the tank heaters from Ultra Heat, Annod Industries: UltraHeat, Inc. - Tank Heaters They too were extremely helpful in the configuration of my system, cheaper than the frequently seen plug in style other heaters, and frankly they look like better quality. They also saved me some money in ordering the proper equipment and answered every question.

I just order SeeLevel gauges, model #709 from https://www.adventurerv.net/, who seemed to have the best prices and free shipping. Lots of other good interior stuff on this website, so I will be checking back there later for lighting especially.

I am rather looking forward to being able to put all this stuff together and get it out of the workshop in the basement.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:48 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattB View Post
...

I got the tank heaters from Ultra Heat, Annod Industries: UltraHeat, Inc. - Tank Heaters They too were extremely helpful in the configuration of my system, cheaper than the frequently seen plug in style other heaters, and frankly they look like better quality. They also saved me some money in ordering the proper equipment and answered every question.

Looks really interesting!
Do you plan to spend time camping in cold weather?
Now we winterize for the cold months and future plans are to avoid cold weather, but that is not always possible. I look forward to your review of the heater!
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:34 PM   #91
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2012 30' Flying Cloud
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Lansing , Kansas
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More window work

More window work. You can see the difference between the raw, semi-clean window brackets after one cut with the sisal wheel and the black compound.

Then the best part about the front windows on the curb and street side is that they have two panes of glass in each frame, with separate brackets for each. Unfortunately, there is no clearance to get a screwdriver into the 1/2” gap between them to remove the brackets. Here is where the paint cap opener comes in…mostly. It got a few out, but the rest required careful use of the brute force and ignorance option, the power tool. With a cutting disk on the grinder, they are carefully removed without damage to the much softer aluminum brackets, which I am fairly sure are 3003 alloy about .020” thick. Everything is carefully bagged and labeled as it comes off even if it appears unserviceable.

Then there was the learning curve associated with learning how to most easily remove the window lifters and their arm from the track. After a little bit of manipulation, it came out clear and easy. You can see how much bigger the old lifters are compared with the old, and how much bigger the small window lifters are than the large ones. I am thinking that I will need the brackets for sale at VTS in order to make them fit properly and look as clean as possible: Window Back frame Grommet. Anybody have any experience with these?

Finally, interesting comparison on the plastic guides between what is available now and the old ones. It no makes me curious as to how easily a hole will be drilled in the arm of the newer lifters. I think they will be marked and taken to a machine shop for drilling with a press.

Kathy, I definitely want to be able to camp in cold weather. I want the flexibility to travel in the winter, take this hunting, and to take it for skiing trips. After I had to do some rather painful workarounds to thaw out my drain system on my 2012 last winter in western Wyoming at -15F while moving. Valve heaters will be going onto that in the future as well. Now to the pictures:
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:32 AM   #92
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More dis assembly of the belly and frame.

Great documentation!
Thank you for sharing!
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:46 AM   #93
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2012 30' Flying Cloud
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Lansing , Kansas
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Kathy, thanks for commenting. Don't be surprised that now that we received our axle from Colin if some of the design features look remarkably similar to yours, I have bee liberally taking from your blog and Colin.

Matt
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:43 AM   #94
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
Lansing , Kansas
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Axle is in!

More window work to come. Just a couple of frames left, and then we can start putting everything back together. Speaking of putting things together, the axle is in and the welder started yesterday. I am very excited that things are finally starting to go together. The cost for the welder will be at the high end of what I was expecting but it looks like top notch work based on the other projects that I see in his shop, and he can do a lot of other fabrication and sheetmetal tasks for me, and offered the use of his very large brakes to any time. Good news.

The axle looks beefy and robust, and the 12” brakes are MASSIVE looking. I ordered a 6K axle derated for 4500lbs and the standard 22.5 degree drop angle. I have also attached the updated list of frame mods in this post.

Oh, and I have also been taking time for a new set of small projects. I picked up a few vintage double edge safety razors, Gillette 1958-1961 adjustable fat boys mostly, for myself and as gifts for my boys, but got a few extra to be sure that I had a good condition one. As with some of you, one should never drink and eBay, and I ended up with a few…extra. But I cleaned them up, polished them, re-enameled the numbers, and will re-sell them. If you are interested in that sort of thing and in buying some of the extras, PM me. I think they make a great compliment to the trailer though: silver, vintage, shiny, built to last, and restored to their former glory.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:33 AM   #95
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2012 30' Flying Cloud
1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Window Work 3

More window work. The rear window with the escape hatch was a real bear. The window is bigger, the escape hatch frame is tough to work on, and I have limited space. The trick is really learning to manipulate the frame itself in and around the buffing wheels without scratching it on the mounting bolts.

First the disassembly, three major components with extra locking hasps, some to hold in the escape hatch, some to hold in the window. They are bagged and tagged. Surprisingly, they are only held in by the screw threads in the windows, with no holding nuts.

And yes, that is just one large hunk of sealant that was in between the window sill and the escape hatch frame. And yes, it was ¼” thick, 1-1/2 inch wide, and it ran the length of the window. My plastic scraper did not survive the endeavor.

The main reason why this window took so long was the clear silicon sealant used to hold the window in. It did not want to let go of the glass pieces at all. It only took about 10 hours to get all of that out. The best product to remove the foul substance: Citristrip. Each application took off another layer of stuff. Goof off, WD-40, mineral spirits, laquer thinner, and the spray stripper did not dent the stuff. Weird.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:41 AM   #96
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Window Work 4

Using 3M sanding pads and spiral sown wheels with greaseless 600 grit compound is the way to sand and smooth out the window frame, take off the corrosion and residual glue and other strong residue. The greaseless compound makes the bulk and heavy sanding portions go way faster to take out big gouges and scratches. But preparing it makes the glue and compound fly, since one is essentially melting the glue and compound onto the wheel. There is a nice sweet spot for sanding when the initial crust of compound starts to break down, but most of it is still on the wheel.

Polishing takes a toll on the tools. Sisal wheels seem to need a layer of polishing compound embedded in the surface in order to really cut and smooth over minor scratches. In a short time over about two windows, I reduced the one 6” and one 8” sisal wheels to one 4.5” residual that I have left for the last window and the sills. Fortunately they are cheap. I have found that the treated spiral sown wheels work best, but even they wear down fairly quickly.

You can see some of the comparisons. One is on there just to show a new 6” spiral sown wheel next to what’s left of my 6” wheel just before changing. But they do seem to really make the initial cutting go faster, especially when preceded with a light hand sanding to cut through corrosion and big chunks of glue, dirt, corrosion, whatever. I don’t think I will use this exact method on the Alclad sheeting, but it seems to work well on the windows. You can see the various stages on the street side forward window frame.

Last question for today: does anyone know the exact blue shade for the original 50’s art deco style sign? Mine is completely faded, and I took it off last night, hoping to restore it to its former glory.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:26 AM   #97
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Awesome job I like your attention to detail.
Cliff
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:28 AM   #98
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2012 30' Flying Cloud
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Lansing , Kansas
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Window Work 5

More window work. I will be glad to see this done. The first picture shows the rear window frame after sanding out the scratches and corrosion. One of the handiest tools for this is the little sanding wheel on the high speed heavy drill.
The next picture shows the difference after the first cut with black compounding bar. Following this with the brown Tripoli greasy compound leaves a residue, but makes the cutting go way faster. The last two pictures show one of the two hard to find lifters for the smallest windows. Hopefully, I can find a source for them, or else I will need to rebuild them. Then is the old Airstream sign from the rear. This is what I will need to find the original blue shade for, or have color match.
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