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Old 04-12-2014, 10:28 AM   #113
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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William, I will definitely look into it. To be forthright, I haven't done anything to it but a little sanding to clean in up, no crack relief drill hole or anything. I have some extra sheeting that I might be able to put in there, and we'll see if it works.

More pictures of the new and improved, and much upgraded frame to follow.

Thanks.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:47 PM   #114
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The rear door will be tough to make from 2024T3. To fold overs will probably crack. I've used .032 3003 with success.


What is the size of your busted up window frame? If got a couple of reproduction ones in different levels of 'done' left over.

I also need to tell you I had a laugh this week. I heard a rattle in my truck and realized it was a stash of window glass clamp trim that I built and forgot about. I recall that you were having issues with yours.

On edit, I see that you only need the inside panel, the 90's will work with 2024T3
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:25 PM   #115
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Welding Complete!

The welding is complete and the chassis is home! There will be a few follow up items down the road, but I am very excited to be able to start painting and putting this thing back together. Follow up items include a mount for the A/C condenser, which I need to order this morning or early next week, and possibly one front piece of L bracket between the main frame rails in front of the spare tire holder in order to add a small piece of belly pan right in front of the spare tire holder.

I am really liking the spare tire holder design itself, which was fabricated by the welder, and I think it looks very slick with the hinge and the attachment design. We used just flat pieces on the outriggers for support in order to save weight and provide a surface for the belly skin to attach to. I have plenty of aluminum pieces to add in as sacrificial between the outriggers and the belly skin. I also really like the frame rail extensions in order to facilitate a deeper black tank, as well as insulation in the belly pan, and strength for the frame itself with the torsion axle and the tanks. I think I hit the balance of additional strength without too much weight as much as possible. I was still able to simply pick up the front of the trailer and move it around my hand, hitch it up, etc., without lifting too much. The big question is whether I will be able to get it flipped for the belly pan installation. Should be.

Speaking of belly pan, my options were trying to put four-foot wide sections of 5052 from Airparts, Inc. laterally across the bottom from frame rail to frame rail in succession from front to back, or my welder can provide 5’ x 10’ sections of 5052 that I can install longitudinally from front to back. I think I am going with the latter, because it reduces the number of pieces. It is .055” thickness, but I think it will work, and it should definitely resist dents.

The tanks are partially mock fitted, and will be fully mocked and installed after the frame is painted. The welder and I came up with a system of removable brackets that support the existing cross members that allow removal and service of all the tanks. One never knows, I may be the next guy that has to get in there and fix things.

I also had the welder put on the wheel guards below the axle. Basically, as much safety as I could into this frame. We left just a sliver of space available in the axle mount in order to fit the belly skin in, but it can be tightened as much as needed. BTW, the shocks fit into the original shock mount hole and bolt well.

As I look at the belly pan, I would like to put in one large piece of 5052 that spans across from main frame rail to main frame rail, and then smaller piece that work in the banana wrap areas around the outriggers. Of course, that is problematic, because most of the major aluminum sellers that folks are familiar with on this forum, Airparts, Inc., Aircraft Spruce, etc, only make sheets four feet wide. However, I have found a local source that can get a piece of 5052 that is 60” x 120” in .055” thickness. That seems awfully thick, but it should definitely resist denting better, and since it will only be a simple flat piece with square corners, it should be easy to manipulate. Does anyone see an issue with this before I commit to buying? Weight maybe?
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:30 PM   #116
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Welding Complete! Rest of the pics

Here's the rest. I like to take a ton of pictures. You guys get about one in six or seven.

Still, I love the spare tire holder.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:34 PM   #117
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Vernon, I will need to take some measurements to know for sure. It's the front window on the trailer. I am debating about just leaving well enough alone on this one, and keeping the repair as minor as possible in order to avoid the risk of making it worse.

I think I got the retention brackets to work. I will know in the next week or two once I am able to get back to the windows and wrap them up.

Thanks,
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:45 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattB View Post
...I think I got the retention brackets to work. I will know in the next week or two once I am able to get back to the windows and wrap them up.

Thanks,
You are gonna love this...

I was driving my truck last week and something in the back seat was rattling, I discovered 4 brand new brackets that I had bent up and never used!
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:48 PM   #119
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Well, I still may hit you up if the ones I have don't cut it. I probably won't be able to wrap them up for a few weeks. I need to get on the frame and get the holding tanks in place and then the sub-floor and belly skin so that I can get the shell back on by this summer. Hopefully painting complete by next weekend, and holding tanks fitted by the weekend after.

Still not 100% on whether to buy the thicker belly skin material, but I think I will because it's cheaper, and should save a lot of cutting and fitting.

Also, still hoping I could sort of figure a way to have a little aluminum weld put in and sand it down, but I will leave well enough alone it I can't find something I am very confident in.
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:16 PM   #120
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The frame is...mostly painted.

Quite a weekend. Boys to their first holy communion, which partly seems to be a racket for the photographer, and is partly very special. Spent some quality time trying to keep their shirts tucked in and solemn looks on their faces, until one skipped to the priest for his communion.

Then after church, prepping the chassis. Take off the shocks, tongue jack, safety skids. Go over it with the paint remover and wire wheel to get the last of the paint I missed. Then POR-15 degreaser/cleaner, which seems to work rather well. Then the metal prep solution. Seemed to work really well, but...if you need to do this, rinse the crap out of it to get rid of all the zinc phosphate powder residue. I missed some and you will see in the photos how it affected the application of the paint. Not as smooth as I would like. Took care of of most of it, and the rest will get a bit of sanding, POR-15 primer and another top coat. And I still have top coat to go.

I ended up spaying it on. With the welding work, there was just too many nooks and crannies to deal with. And after spraying on the silver, I am very glad that I did. One quart equaled one coat for the black, with a bit left over. I quart equaled exactly one coat for the silver, even after thinning as recommended by the manufacturer. I did not see the yellow that some people claim. Lots of solids in the silver, and it goes on well. But no extra, and just short for the mounting brackets for the holding tanks. No worries though with the primer and rattle cans.

So just a bit of sanding and prepping for the tongue and rear bumper, add on the hammered silver to those and the step and wheel well areas and we are in business for mounting holding tanks.

Although spraying makes it easier, it is a full and very tiring day to metal prep, mount and dismount axles, and put on three coats of paint. Thankfully it was raining outside, and with the door of the shop open, lots of humidity got in and cured the paint fairly quickly. It now looks fantastic!
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:46 PM   #121
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Looks awesome and sounds like you are enjoying yourself!
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:05 AM   #122
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Painting Complete!

Finished the painting and catching up on posting. After four days away from the trailer to let the paint cure, I roughed it up again with sandpaper in accordance with the POR-15 instructions, and then brushed on a coat of the self-etching primer onto the areas that would not be enclosed by the shell. This stuff went on thick (which I liked), but it did not self-level and it did start to set up instantly, and I mean--instantly (which I don’t like). In the end, after touching up with the black POR-15 on a couple other areas, I have completely finished off two quarts of black, one quart of silver top coat, and one quart of the self-etching primer, all of the POR 15 products. It worked out almost exactly right—lucky.

Then I started in with the remaining top coat. Ordinary gloss black for the axle, wheel well areas, tank holding bracket and the safety skids. The wheel well areas will get roughed up a bit and automotive undercoating applied to match the wells themselves. But I had to put some black on the axle to cover back up the little bit of silver overspray from painting the frame. The bumper, step area, A-frame, spare tire carrier, and propane tank rack all got three coats of hammered silver. Lesson learned, you need to put that stuff on thick to get the hammered effect to come out. So a couple of places got it thick and a couple of extra coats. Bottom line, each area that will be exposed to the elements and the road has at least six coats of paint. Not sure what else I can do at this point to protect the chassis and frame.

Although I can tell you from experience that if you keep working with your hands, that POR-15 comes off in only a couple days. But the bit that got in my hair fuse and sort of melted it together. Nasty. BTW, the good proper filter mask is worth every penny.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:41 PM   #123
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Plumbing Questions

My plumbing scheme is not quite working out just as I imagined. I need to do a little trimming and shifting on my brackets, and most everything goes in like I want it to. Except the holes I had put in for the sinks and shower. I think that I have a workaround but we’ll see. Here is my latest gray tank plumbing plan developed when ordering the tanks:

[IMG]C:\Users\Matthew\Documents\Restoration\Plumbing\Gr ay tank question 1[/IMG]

It’s not a precise representation obviously, and the intent was that the lavatory sink and kitchen sink drain into opposite ends of the gray tanks, with as little run as possible.

The shower was to T or Y into the drain pipe for the gray tanks before it Y’d into the 3” black tank.

However, the length of the tank between the main frame rails means that I cannot make the 90’ with the pipe fitting on both ends with enough clearance against the frame rail to allow the pipe to clear the rail. There is a picture below with the elbow partially in place.
Now I think I may be able to put in a Y or T attached to the end of the tank hole and then angle the drain pipes from the sinks into the gap between the tank and the main frame rail, and make 90 degree turn and join it to the pipe. Something like one of these options:

[IMG]C:\Users\Matthew\Documents\Restoration\Plumbing\Gr ay tank question 2[/IMG]

[IMG]C:\Users\Matthew\Documents\Restoration\Plumbing\Gr ay tank question 3[/IMG]

There is a little more room in the open side of the frame rail than at the top of it due to the nature of the C Channel shape. I am wondering about finding some more odd angle corners or maybe through the use of some Ferco flexible fittings if I can make the adjustment work. The points on the tanks where the drain pipes are shown is where the holes are already configured with FPT. And the black tank is immediately adjacent to the tank on the left in the picture, or just to the rear of the gray tanks.

I don’t know much about plumbing except that water runs downhill and simpler is better. I have tried to imitate the schemes that I found in the shop manuals for the modern trailer systems in terms of the concept. But does anyone see some issues?

I also added a few photos of what I am facing. Apologies in advance for the poor lighting.

BTW, can anyone point me to the method for how to post the pictures within the text rather than at the end? I took a shot, but not sure if it will work.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:02 AM   #124
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Floor work and Mother's Day

Some work on the sub-floor this weekend. Slow to get started, but finally got some things done on Sunday afternoon. Very deliberate for me as I am very leery of making a mistake.

Three of five panels for the subfloor cut and laid in place to check the fit. The measurements are a bit strange. Using the template I made of the rear floor, the remaining extruded rear corner C-channel pieces and the existing piece from the front of the sub-floor, I cut the front and rear pieces very exactly. Here is where a bit of the strangeness of the Airstream construction came out. I went to confirm the width of the next panel as it went in. I measured the width of the rear panel at its forward cross section: 90”. I measured across the rear of the front section 90-1/2” …Obviously.

I check my measurements on the template and the original front section. They indicated the I had copied the templates exactly and correctly. So, we will gradually reduce the width. I re-aligned the wheel wells with their bolt holes and it supported this. Second piece cut with a not quite vertical surface on the end of the wheel well, but beveled to follow the contour of the wheel well. Fit like champ, but I measured incorrectly for the wheel well left almost ¼” on the inside for a gap. That is the same as it was when I took it apart, but not up to what I am looking for. Thunderstorms and Mother’s Day commitments kept me from finishing, but I will finish cutting and prepping the subfloor this weekend and then will start fastening it down.

On a side note for Mother’s Day. I recently discovered two new mothers at our house. There is a robin’s nest on a wreath on the front porch, and another in my son’s bicycle helmet hanging on the wall on the back porch. (He has two, so not the one he uses regularly.) There are four chicks in the one up front and two in the trailer in the back. The ones up front were really hungry, and the ones in the back were more bashful and ducked down in the next when I got close. They might have been attracted by our new bird feeder.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:56 PM   #125
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The floor is coming together

Working from the original front sub-floor panel, and the template I made for the rear of the trailer, I had cut the front and rear sections. I finished cutting the last two sections in the middle around the wheel wells. I then clamped down the rear section after getting it into place as perfectly as possible and bolted down the wheel wells to keep the steady for alignment.

The subfloor came out within 1/8 of the original measurements, but I had to work trim and fine tune to get it even side to side. I have concluded that it was never quite right in the first place, and that the subfloor was always about ¼” off center to the curbside. It looks OK, so we’ll go with it.

After clamping down all over, I drilled the initial bolt holes for all but the periphery, since I will need to go through the C channel anyway. The good news was that when I modified the cross members, I made the horizontal surface for many of the cross members 3-4.5” across, which really helps with seams. The bad news is that it is never quite easy to drill. I broke three 7/32 drill bits, and one 1/4 “ inch bit. Then sanded the wood to smooth it out and clean it up.

Then added Varathane outdoor urethane to the wood. The can was supposed to cover 35-400 feet, but got about 4/5 the way through. Then started adding Trempro and Vulkem to seal the edges of the plywood to really seal it.

Ran out of time, but hopefully with the long weekend I can finish the floor coating and the belly plumbing.

Also, it's never too early to continue to think about vintage accessories. I picked the lovely Can-O-Mat up on eBay this last weekend in great condition and I think it will go well. I loved the one in the David Winick book in the 1950 Flying Cloud he did for the president of Airstream.

Lastly, does anyone have any input on my last few questions?
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Old 05-22-2014, 01:43 PM   #126
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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Matt it looks awesome I held on to the old flooring until the shell was back on so that if it did not go as planned then I could double check everything for the ninth and final time! Although the increase of 1/8 inch (thickness) was the big difference I have had no major issues except of course the fact that it is harder to line back up putting it back on then taking it off. I did do the dry fit before drilling any new holes and that was a learning thing! So far yours looks great keep up the good work.
Cliff
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1955, air conditioning, axle, door, flying cloud, frame, holding tanks, polish, restoration, shell off, tank heater, window


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