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Safari Tim 07-15-2006 11:23 PM

One or Two pieces?
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I am preparing to replace the last couple of feed in the Ambassador.

I have it out here to make a template. This is actually several pieces put back together.

I still have the belly wrap on the edges because its buck riveted under the side walls. I cut out the belly pan off in the center so I can get to the bottom of the frame and put bolts back in for the floor.

I doubt I can put a single piece back in. It came out in several peices. I have cut it out from the end of the trailer to the center of the first cross member so I can bolt it there as well.

I am considering cutting the piece down the middle and splice it in like RJ shows on his site.

Anyone see a problem with this?

CanoeStream 07-16-2006 09:03 AM

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Tim -- I did this in my Argosy. I didn't feel I needed to do a clamshell and feel the result is as strong as un-cut ply. Mine was at the front of the trailer. The parallel frame members were the principal support; the A-frame is about an inch lower and allowed nice insulation with a piece of tough foam.

I templated out my old floor that also came out in pieces. Then I got out the Skil saw and cut up the middle. I figured correctly that there would be trouble getting two halves into position, so cut out an middle 3" strip that I later bedded in place. It also was quite easy to correct the outer edges with the halves removable -- I had plenty of dress rehearsals before final assembly. The second pic shows the broad backing piece of ply that would bridge the middle 3" strip. The third pic shows the 2 big pieces with the 3" strip still missing. All joints were glued with gorilla glue (very unusual stuff!) and pulled together with #10 screws on about a 5" schedule. I sealed the saw kerfs with thickened epoxy after I put the middle strip in place. My above-floor water tank was going back on this area -- I sealed both sides of the perimeter 10" or so with RotDoctor, then painted System Three epoxy under the tank area. (Avoid getting epoxy on skin -- sensitizing can occur. Never power sand or grind without an organic respiratory filter.)

Safari Tim 07-16-2006 05:29 PM

Nice work Bob.

That extra 3" idea might be the ticket. Thanks for the idea.

It looks like you also wrapped some plastic round the ends of the plywood. I suppose to help devert the water that gets in.

Very nice job!

bjond 07-16-2006 08:37 PM

Floor repair ... The RJ way
We used the two piece method to fix the Pensacola Pacer's floor a couple of months ago. We replaced the whole floor from the top side. See:

And it survived the 6000 mile trip to Slame and back

1959newbie 07-16-2006 09:10 PM

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Dear Ambassador Safari Tim,

Firstly, thank you so much for the VAP -- it's made my project much less difficult! And I'm glad you're still vintage.

Not positive it'll work in your situation, but I did just finish a complete sub-floor replacement with the shell "on" (of course, that's kind of technical as to whether or not it's really "on" when you take the whole subfloor out -- but it LOOKS like it's on). I have my belly pan trimmed back all the way around, not just open.

Anyway, although we (my disbelieving carpenter and I) started with exactly the piece you are trying to replace, we wound up having to take it out again after all the back pieces were in (to trim it some more), so it wound up being the next-to-last piece in, with a 2' strip just behind it being last. All my subfloor went in full-width (88")! It's amazing how flexible that body is when it's unattached from the floor!

I had had a welder double the center stringers in case we needed to cut the plywood in half, but it wasn't necessary. I'd give it a try full-width first. We had to angle every piece in under the street-side channel, then push the curbside wall outwards to drop the other side down, but it worked. For the front and rear curved sections, we also had to screw pieces of 2"x4" to the top temporarily, so we could GENTLY sledgehammer them slightly forward or sideways.

Oh, and we didn't have a usable old floor for a template either, had to make one using a cardboard HW heater box all taped together -- an 8-foot wide piece of cardboard would have made things a lot easier!

Good luck!

CanoeStream 07-16-2006 10:32 PM


Originally Posted by Safari Tim
It looks like you also wrapped some plastic round the ends of the plywood. I suppose to help divert the water that gets in.

It is actually wax paper used to lube my repeated ins & outs. The shell was rigid and the fit was tight up front. That gave me some respect for the monocoque construction!

Safari Tim 07-16-2006 11:43 PM

Thanks Herb, Bob, and Lynne. And thanks for the comments about the show, I'm glad you like it!

I'll just have to experiment with all the ideas shown here and find what works for me.

Thanks for all the ideas!

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