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-   -   1957 Overlander Renovation (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/1957-overlander-renovation-87899.html)

Sparky57 02-22-2012 09:48 PM

1957 Overlander Renovation
 
4 Attachment(s)
After 6 months of shopping, reading and researching I finally took the plunge and bought a 1957 Overlander. It needs a complete re-work, new floors, windows redone and all new interior. The good part is the PO did new axles, tires, brakes, and springs and rewires all the running lights so that is all brand new.
So far I have taken out half the interior with and am trying to get a rough plan together for the order of things to be done.

So, I am thinking:
1-Remove all the interior bits
2-Take down the interior skins and remove all the bolts and screws holding the shell down--
--- Can I take down all the interior skins at once, or do these need to stay to provide strength???
3-Remove the floor in pieces
4-Remove the belly skin
--- Do I just cut this away or should drill the rivets out where the shell attaches to the C channel???
5 - repair frame, paint, etc
6 - put tanks into belly and plumbing layout
7 - waterproof the shell
8.-fix windows
7 -replace floor
8 - rewire, insulate,
9- put interior skins back on
10 finish interior

Thoughts? I would rather not do a shell-off floor replacement, but if that is the easiest way to go I would...but is it necessary if the frame is in good shape?

Thanks

junkyardawg 02-22-2012 10:15 PM

cool trailer!

I can't speak to all of those questions but I'll add what I have learned so far...

You can take out the interior skins. They are not the strength in the shell. You will probably be cutting many rusted bolts holding the shell down.

I'd drill the rivets holding the belly pan. These trailers come apart easily when you get all the rivets out... if something doesn't want to come apart easily, there is a hidden rivet or screw somewhere.

Get some good drill bits and have fun!

StPierre 02-22-2012 11:12 PM

Sparky 57 Iam starting to put mine back togather I wish I had taken more detailed pictures . Dont give up and have fun

InsideOut 02-23-2012 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1110499)
So far I have taken out half the interior with and am trying to get a rough plan together for the order of things to be done.

So, I am thinking:
1-Remove all the interior bits
2-Take down the interior skins and remove all the bolts and screws holding the shell down--
--- Can I take down all the interior skins at once, or do these need to stay to provide strength???
3-Remove the floor in pieces
4-Remove the belly skin
--- Do I just cut this away or should drill the rivets out where the shell attaches to the C channel???
5 - repair frame, paint, etc
6 - put tanks into belly and plumbing layout
7 - waterproof the shell
8.-fix windows
7 -replace floor
8 - rewire, insulate,
9- put interior skins back on
10 finish interior

Thoughts? I would rather not do a shell-off floor replacement, but if that is the easiest way to go I would...but is it necessary if the frame is in good shape?

Thanks

That sounds like pretty much we did, check out my "It's a Girl!!!" thread to see & read what's involved.

Good luck, looks like a nice trailer for a jumping in point ~

Shari :flowers:

Sparky57 02-23-2012 04:59 PM

Gutted
 
3 Attachment(s)
Got it all gutted today and I think that I am going to take some TSP or lysol (maybe both) and scrub the wall skins before I take them down. Part of me feels like pressure washing it...hmmm. I have one serious load of bits to take to the dump.

Also drilled my first rivets out today- all that anxiety and it was actually simple. Had a look to see how the frame is attached to the shell and belly pan...Looks like my belly pan is wrapped around the C Channel really tight, so how do I get the belly pan off the C Channel? Drill out the rivets then cut?

PINKBIKE 02-23-2012 06:51 PM

not sure I would take it to the dump just yet..others out there may need parts you have ..throw it on the list here and see who nibbles on what you have...

Sparky57 02-23-2012 07:52 PM

Spare parts
 
Well I think the only thing worth salvaging is the copper and the stove. I'd be happy to give it away to anyone from the forums. Where do I post it? It looks to be original, all white and I'd guess it works....

nmbosa 02-23-2012 08:34 PM

Not sure what you are planning for the interior, but it is a lot easier to replicate the curves with the old cabinets as templates to follow. I found a lot of the old parts were very useful in my restoration.

If you are replacing the floor, pressure washing is not a bad idea. I pressure washed my interior and did several washes with TSP before repainting.

Norm

Minno 02-23-2012 09:48 PM

I washed the skins on the lawn after we had removed them. Much easier to scrub with a long handled brush when they're laying flat. Then I stood them on end up against things to dry, rolled them up, used that plastic on a roll to hold them in a roll, and stored them until we had the wiring and insulation done. Make sure you label them when you remove them so you know where they go when you want to put them back up!

Kay

Someday'59 02-23-2012 10:11 PM

Parts!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rollerboy (Post 1110856)
not sure I would take it to the dump just yet..others out there may need parts you have ..throw it on the list here and see who nibbles on what you have...


I agree! That pile looks like candy to me! I'm desperately looking for some light fixtures, knobs, and some other hardware!

tinman54 02-24-2012 06:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nmbosa (Post 1110912)
Not sure what you are planning for the interior, but it is a lot easier to replicate the curves with the old cabinets as templates to follow. I found a lot of the old parts were very useful in my restoration.

If you are replacing the floor, pressure washing is not a bad idea. I pressure washed my interior and did several washes with TSP before repainting.

Norm

I agree, it saves a lot of time when the old cabinets can be used for templates, I tossed a few things I shouldn't have. Looks like you are off to a great start!

Sparky57 02-24-2012 10:08 AM

Bits and pieces
 
I will post pictures of the bits I saved- hinges, handles, a couple fixtures, the gas lamp (might keep this) and some lamp shades. I did save the curved room dividers so that I can re-make them.

Next step is to wash the interior down with TSP and soap and water- then take the panels down and store them. Then on to the floor and frame.

The wheel wells are rotted so I'll be making new ones of those too.

Just ordered clecos from VTS, rivets, etc, etc...and found the local Fastenal store has all the numbered drill bits - so I got $40 worth of those. Looks like a fun weekend ahead.

Still planning on a frame on floor replacement at this point.
Still confused about how to get the belly pan off- it is wrapped tight around the C-Channel.

Someday'59 02-24-2012 10:24 AM

Hidden rivets
 
I think hidden rivets might be your problem. Here's my post about it:
1959 Airstream Overlander, "Someday": Lessons Learned

Good luck with that belly pan!

utee94 02-24-2012 11:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1111104)
Still planning on a frame on floor replacement at this point.
Still confused about how to get the belly pan off- it is wrapped tight around the C-Channel.

So there are a couple of issues here, if you want to do a full floor replacement with the shell on.

First, the way to remove the bellypan, is to drill out all of the rivets all the way around the outside. I'm glad you already got your bits, you're going to use up a bunch of them, it goes much faster with fresh, sharp bits. If it's factory original and no previous owner has messed with it, then your trailer was assembled in this way. 1) Floor is bolted to frame. 2) C-channel is bolted to floor and outriggers. 3) Floor/frame assembly is flipped upside down on a rotisserie, where the bellypan is wrapped up and around the sides of the c-channel. 4) Floor/frame/bellypan assembly is flipped back right side up, and shell is riveted on to the outside of that.

This has a couple of implications for you. One is that there are the "hidden rivets" that Someday59 mentioned. These are there because the bellypan was riveted to the c-channel (and in your case and many others, wrapped around the c-channel) before the outer shell was attached. So the outer shell covers up some of those rivets. These can be removed by using a really sharp putty knife (the kind with the metal end on the handle, all-plastic handle ones won't hold up) and placing the blade between the outer shell and the bellypan, and then pounding it with a hammer to sheer the rivets. Obviously, you'll need to remove the inner skins before this step.

The other implication is that if you remove all of the hidden rivets holding the bellypan to the c-channel, and then remove all of the exterior rivets holding the shell to the c-channel, and if you do this all the way around your trailer, your shell will now be floating, unattached to the frame, floor, or anything else. Only friction will be holding it up, and I don't know that the Force of Friction will be enough to stabilize it.

I only did the back half of mine, so the front half remained stable. I removed the bellypan and detached the shell all the way around the back half. I then removed the elevator bolts and the subfloor on the back 2 sections (8') of plywood, inspected/cleaned/repaired/painted the frame, and put new plywood down. Then reattached all of the c-channel, re-riveted the shell and new bellypan sections, and reinstalled the inner skins.

So if you truly want to do a shell-on, and do the entire floor at the same time, then you might consider how to stabilize the shell in the meantime.

Good luck!
-Marcus

InsideOut 02-24-2012 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by utee94 (Post 1111156)
So there are a couple of issues here, if you want to do a full floor replacement with the shell on.

First, the way to remove the bellypan, is to drill out all of the rivets all the way around the outside.

<snip>

So if you truly want to do a shell-on, and do the entire floor at the same time, then you might consider how to stabilize the shell in the meantime.

We were challenged with doing the floor replacement of our '56 Safari "shell-on". Yes, it may have been easier to remove the shell, but that wasn't a luxury we had, mostly due to lack of staging space and the 2 year duration of getting the floor and systems work done before everything was reattached. We had no place to store the shell if it had been removed and our work area was all outside, with the floor replacement spanning over the winter months.

FWIW, our belly skin wasn’t folded over the c-channel, but it really wouldn’t make a difference if it was. We left the belly, c-channel & skin all attached and didn’t remove any rivets initially at the perimeter (except around the wheel wells) or as needed for extra flexibility a portion at a time. The shell/belly was, as others have suggested, “free-floating” but it wasn’t a problem at all because as we removed the floor a portion at a time, we used 1x boards (actual size ¾”) c-clamped between the c-channel & frame as temporary supports. Each outrigger ended up with a board by the time all of the old floor was removed. The c-channel spanned between the outriggers, which are only about 2' apart. Then we would remove the temp boards and replace with the new floor a couple sections at a time to get the new floor (marine plywood) in place. The skins actually flexed enough to facilitate getting the boards into place. Some places we have to loosen the next set of clamps, but it still stayed supported 2/3's at a time.

Another option we considered, but did not do, was to leave the banana wrap portion of the belly pan in place and only cut away the flat bottom part of the belly skin, about a foot inside the curve (towards the centerline of your trailer). This way you don't have to mess with the hidden rivets at the c-channel. You can leave the shell attached to the c-channel and yet allow full access to the underside of the frame - the curve parts of the belly are flexible except at the corners, but there aren’t any outriggers there, so you can temporarily tweak them to get to the 1-foot at the outriggers, if need be. While the old floor is removed, use 3/4" boards laid on the frame and held in place with c-clamps as we did. When done with the floor, put new flat sheets of aluminum for the belly pan overlapping the cut edge by a couple of inches or so. We didn’t do this because our belly pan did not need to be replaced - but if it had, we would have gne this route.

The beauty of either of these approaches is that the c-channel/shell retained the original shape and a whole lot of drilling out & replacing of rivets was eliminated. It also make getting the shell/c-channel/frame all lined up and centered as a unit – no chance of rivets misaligning when it all goes back together. Worked great for us…if you have any questions, either post or PM and I'll answer best I can.

Shari :flowers:

nmbosa 02-24-2012 03:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by utee94 (Post 1111156)
The other implication is that if you remove all of the hidden rivets holding the bellypan to the c-channel, and then remove all of the exterior rivets holding the shell to the c-channel, and if you do this all the way around your trailer, your shell will now be floating, unattached to the frame, floor, or anything else. Only friction will be holding it up, and I don't know that the Force of Friction will be enough to stabilize it.

I only did the back half of mine, so the front half remained stable.

So if you truly want to do a shell-on, and do the entire floor at the same time, then you might consider how to stabilize the shell in the meantime.

Good luck!
-Marcus

What Marcus has basically pointed out is that any full-floor replacement is for all practical purposes a shell-off project. It's just a matter of where the shell is stored during the work. Take a look at Someday59's blog. They hit a point where their shell began to fall off the frame. It can be done, but you just have to be aware of the fact that once the bellypan and floor is removed, the shell is airborne and can come crashing to the ground around your frame.

Norm

pbearsailor 02-24-2012 04:12 PM

Mine was shell on as well. Mostly like Shari's option #2. I cut the belly pan off leaving about a one foot perimeter all the way around. I kept the shell supported by small pieces of 3/4" ply on the outriggers. My belly pan was replaced after the subfloor was in and holding tanks installed. It was bent over my c channel like many are and there were a bunch of hidden rivets.

I replaced the belly pan by drilling out the exterior rivets one section at a time to maintain the support for the shell. It was about the most frustrating part of the work that I did, especially trying to get a good smooth fit on the corners.

Mine had to be shell on as I just had no place to put the shell. If I ever did it again, I'd go shell off somehow and I'd flip the frame over to do the belly like it was done originally by the factory.

cheers,
steve :)

Sparky57 02-24-2012 04:13 PM

How about this...
 
I am spacially challenged too and at this point I don't yet see any reason to take the shell off. I see advantages to that approach for sure, would do it if I had the space...

My belly pan will have to go for sure- it is in peices and the PO tore into to fix plumbing in 3 or 4 spots, and the outriggers have worn holes along the sides so after a thoughtful assessment last nigh I realized there is nothing there to salvage.

I also though of cutting the belly pan off at a foot as you described but I think that won't work because there are holes worn from the outriggers rubbing through...

So, would this work:

1--cut away the belly pan but leave 6" hanging down all around (like a mini-skirt)
2--remove the floor, install tanks and replace the floor in sections as described by you below, then
3--remove the rivets attaching outer shell to c channel
4--stuff a new belly pan in over top of the old belly pan, re-rivet to c channel.
5--go camping

So excited to get going on this!

Oh- one more question: I plan to just take the windows out one at a time, rebuild and refit them as time permits....There is no sequencing concerns, no depenacies--- I can just de-rivet, fix and re-revit, right? Best to polish them up in peices then reassemble and reinstall too I suppose?

Mark

pbearsailor 02-24-2012 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1111247)
So, would this work:

1--cut away the belly pan but leave 6" hanging down all around (like a mini-skirt)
2--remove the floor, install tanks and replace the floor in sections as described by you below, then
3--remove the rivets attaching outer shell to c channel
4--stuff a new belly pan in over top of the old belly pan, re-rivet to c channel.
5--go camping


Mark

Maybe jumping the gun on going camping just a wee bit. :D

On the belly, that's close to what I did. No need to leave any of the old there as it'll just capture water and contribute to corrosion and it won't fit well inside the exterior skin as one more layer. You can get the old one off, just have to unbend the part over the C channel.

I just did a section at a time, like front curbside corner, and only drilled out the rivets for that part before sliding the new belly pan inside the exterior skin and the C channel. Really wanted to make sure my shell was totally supported. If you do it this way, the belly pan can be put off for quite awhile in your work, and really just has to be done before you put the inside lower skins back on.

One step at a time and one day at a time and it'll get done. :wally:

-steve :)

InsideOut 02-24-2012 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1111247)
So, would this work:

1--cut away the belly pan but leave 6" hanging down all around (like a mini-skirt)
2--remove the floor, install tanks and replace the floor in sections as described by you below, then
3--remove the rivets attaching outer shell to c channel
4--stuff a new belly pan in over top of the old belly pan, re-rivet to c channel.
5--go camping

So excited to get going on this!

Oh- one more question: I plan to just take the windows out one at a time, rebuild and refit them as time permits....There is no sequencing concerns, no depenacies--- I can just de-rivet, fix and re-revit, right? Best to polish them up in peices then reassemble and reinstall too I suppose?

Mark

Sounds like it would work to me...we did basically that on one small section of belly we did replace. BTW, you can kinda get to most of the blind rivets with a sharpened metal paint scraper and hammer once the interior skins are removed. You can see them from the inside of the c-channel and slip the scraper between the skins then give 'em a whack.

Window-wise, it's much easier to polish them off the trailer...the screens are easier to change out too.

Shari :flowers:

Sparky57 02-25-2012 02:51 PM

Ok- Thanks for all the advice. I am going to soap up the panels inside, pressure wash and tsp, maybe not in that order, then mark and label all the panels, take 1000 photos and then start taking them down for long term storage.
When I put them back up I think I will be just sanding and then priming painting over the zolatone paint job- it is in perfect condition, not a scratch or flake missing anywhere. Then the floor starts coming out.

BTW- I will be ordering tanks for the floor- at least one grey and one black...where's the best place to get such a thing? What are the best options- I was thinking a wash out valve and I plan on wiring in one of those electronic fill monitors. Anything else I should consider? I have 3 daughters, so I am thinking 2 grey water tanks....one big one for the shower, another for the sink area that is smaller. Thoughts?

Mark

Someday'59 02-25-2012 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nmbosa (Post 1111237)
Take a look at Someday59's blog. They hit a point where their shell began to fall off the frame. It can be done, but you just have to be aware of the fact that once the bellypan and floor is removed, the shell is airborne and can come crashing to the ground around your frame.

A scary few moments, indeed!!!

1959 Airstream Overlander, "Someday": Lessons Learned

I agree with Steve, too. If we did ours again we would try to find a way to do shell-off and flip the frame over to redo the belly. That way just seems so much easier.

Minno 02-25-2012 04:57 PM

We did a shell on floor replacement on Little Girl. We did the rear two plywood sheets first to build confidence, and then the rest of the trailer at once. To support the shell, we clamped pieces of 1x4 (about 9 to 12 inches long) to each outrigger as we removed plywood. The edge of the 1x4 was slipped into the c-channel and it supported the shell. This kept the shell from becoming air born and falling off the frame. As we installed pieces of plywood, we would remove the 1x3 supports and slip the plywood under the c-channel. I also made a tool to help pull the sides back in together and seat the c-channel on the new plywood fully. If interested, you can see pictures of this process here, starting at post #30, and again at post #47: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f185...b-50967-3.html

Chris




Sparky57 02-25-2012 05:39 PM

Minno your scaring me! I am beginning to see that the shells are very light, can shift easily when detached from the floor, etc. I will be super cautious now.

So the C channel is held in place by elevator bolts, and the floor is also screwed to the frame in other spots too, so if I take all those bolts out then the floor should slide out.

So, I have to go slow, brace as I go, do a section at a time, go it!

Minno 02-25-2012 06:16 PM

Well, I meant to help you, not scare you! :)

One problem with doing it a section at a time - if you leave the shell and c-channel bolted to the frame right next to the plywood section you're replacing, you won't have any flex in the shell for sliding the new plywood into place. So, you'll at least want to remove the elevator bolts holding the c-channel to the next section of plywood. I did have one spot where the c-channel and shell dropped off the outrigger, and I used a bottle jack to raise it back up into place. My experience from that was that the shell will pretty much hold itself up, even if a 2 to 4 foot section slips out of place.

There are a few threads where the owners replaced the plywood floor by splitting it front to back over one of the main framing members. According to some folks, there are drawbacks to doing that type of floor replacement, as the theory is the floor isn't as strong as if you left the plywood in one piece. I mention it because it is another option for you to consider.

Chris

Sparky57 02-26-2012 10:17 AM

Bit and pieces
 
4 Attachment(s)
Here are some photos of the bits and pieces some of you were curious about. I will post more pics. I have more of all of those handles, and hinges too. Thinking it is all original, most of the trailer was untouched

Sparky57 02-26-2012 10:29 AM

more...
 
4 Attachment(s)
Here are a couple of the reading lamps- might keep these ones, they have a cool Canadiana feel to them.The medicine cabinet is in good shape, and there is a magazine rack just like the black metal patterned lamp. The material is the original curtains- plan on turning them into pillows or something. In strangely good shape and almost stylish.

I got all the plywood exposed yesterday in the trailer....nothing rotten really so now I am wondering why replace it.....but I think I will anyway. You only get one chance at this don't you?

As for the stuff - let me know if there is something you are interested in.

Mark

Someday'59 02-26-2012 10:37 AM

I would really love the round center light fixture!

Disneysue925 02-26-2012 11:00 AM

Fun stuff
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1111967)
Here are a couple of the reading lamps- might keep these ones, they have a cool Canadiana feel to them.The medicine cabinet is in good shape, and there is a magazine rack just like the black metal patterned lamp. The material is the original curtains- plan on turning them into pillows or something. In strangely good shape and almost stylish.

I got all the plywood exposed yesterday in the trailer....nothing rotten really so now I am wondering why replace it.....but I think I will anyway. You only get one chance at this don't you?

As for the stuff - let me know if there is something you are interested in.

Mark


I would love the magazine rack and the black metal lamps. The ones from the first pictures and the one from these pictures. Please let me know if they're available. They would be going to a good home.

Thanks!
Sue

Disneysue925 02-26-2012 11:03 AM

Ps
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Disneysue925 (Post 1111982)
I would love the magazine rack and the black metal lamps. The ones from the first pictures and the one from these pictures. Please let me know if they're available. They would be going to a good home.

Thanks!
Sue

I forgot to say Welcome, Congratulations on a great find and Thank You!!

Sue

nmbosa 02-26-2012 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1111967)
Here are a couple of the reading lamps- might keep these ones, they have a cool Canadiana feel to them.The medicine cabinet is in good shape, and there is a magazine rack just like the black metal patterned lamp. The material is the original curtains- plan on turning them into pillows or something. In strangely good shape and almost stylish.

I got all the plywood exposed yesterday in the trailer....nothing rotten really so now I am wondering why replace it.....but I think I will anyway. You only get one chance at this don't you?

As for the stuff - let me know if there is something you are interested in.

Mark

I'd be interested in that last light that has the onion skin shade with metal grate. I need something for under our kitchen cabinet.

Norm

Sparky57 02-26-2012 01:36 PM

Sold!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Someday'59 (Post 1111972)
I would really love the round center light fixture!

PM me your address and we will sort out the shipping. BTW-Love your blog

Sparky57 02-26-2012 01:38 PM

Lamps
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Disneysue925 (Post 1111982)
I would love the magazine rack and the black metal lamps. The ones from the first pictures and the one from these pictures. Please let me know if they're available. They would be going to a good home.

Thanks!
Sue

OK- PM me your address and we can sort out shipping. I will have to double check on the magazine rack- my wife may want to keep that one, but if not it is yours.

Sparky57 02-26-2012 01:44 PM

Onion Skin
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nmbosa (Post 1111985)
I'd be interested in that last light that has the onion skin shade with metal grate. I need something for under our kitchen cabinet.

Norm

Hi Norm,

Just PM me your address and we will sort out the shipping.

Mark

Disneysue925 02-26-2012 03:11 PM

PM sent
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1112045)
OK- PM me your address and we can sort out shipping. I will have to double check on the magazine rack- my wife may want to keep that one, but if not it is yours.

Thank you!

Sue

utee94 02-28-2012 07:25 AM

Mark, it's very kind of you to share out your extra parts like this. Our good friend here on the Forums, Frank aka 62Overlander and who is also a trailer restoration specialists and VAP special contributor, talks often of The Airstream Spirit. It appears to be strong in you. :)

Sounds like you have a lot of great advice on this thread, and a good plan in place. All it takes from now on is a ton of hard work, probably some bloody knuckles, and numerous showers. ;)

Good luck and keep us posted!
-Marcus

Edit: If you're asking what The VAP is, you really need to do yourself a favor and check it out here:

http://thevap.com/

webspinner 02-28-2012 09:20 AM

If the floor is mostly in good condition, consider leaving it in place and protecting it with penetrating epoxy. We replaced just the rotten parts and that was enough work. You'll camp in it a heck of a lot sooner if you're not wrestling with perimeter rivets.

My husband wrote up a bit about our floor work in our blog, below my sig.

Good luck with your project!

Sparky57 02-28-2012 03:03 PM

more tear out...
 
1 Attachment(s)
Took out the interior panels last night, will take out the rest tonite and start carefully labelling and documenting how they all came out so I can put them back in 6 months from now. Considering polishing the end cap in the bathroom area...so I might leave it in place and strip and polish it....decisions decisions!

utee94 03-01-2012 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1112988)
Took out the interior panels last night, will take out the rest tonite and start carefully labelling and documenting how they all came out so I can put them back in 6 months from now. Considering polishing the end cap in the bathroom area...so I might leave it in place and strip and polish it....decisions decisions!

For the lower interior panels, I found it easier to polish them mounted, rather than flat on a work bunch. Some of them are quite large and unwieldy, so polishing them on a bench isn't necessarily possible, and polishing them on the ground really sucks.

Not sure how it would work out up overhead on the endcap, though. You'll have to let us know.

Good luck!
-Marcus

mjoregan 03-02-2012 03:47 PM

All interior panels are out and now starting on 3 things at once. Windows will all come out and get resealed, polished, new gaskets and new glass....the floor will come out and the frame repaired in sections, and start the electrical planning...

A couple questions ... Cheapest place for Herh window gaskets,seals? Sooo expensive, and i need 100 feet of each type...Know of any good threads on how to do this?

And how the heck do you get the elevator bolts out? From below? They are solid, grinding off the head just leaves them in the flooring...so Should I cut the belly pan off now, save myself time? The pan is coming off anyway so is now the best time?

submariner 03-02-2012 06:49 PM

have a look at my threat :
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f109...ion-78252.html

I found it to be the best way, if you just pull the frame out. My 59 has the belly pan riveted onto the c-channel and then the shell is riveted over the top of it. That way, you do not have a seam facing up, where water can get in.

So without pulling the shell off, I was not able to remove the belly pan. And i wanted to put it back together, the way it was designed and you can not re secure all bolts with the pan in place.
Furthermore, i had to “repair" my entire Frame.
Regarding the elevator bolts.. well it took about 10 cut-off wheels. i was able to just cut them off the frame, since most of my floor was gone. on places, where there was still wood, i just cut through the wood. :rolleyes:

One thing i have to point out, is very important: Take extremely good measurements of your entire floor.

hope that helps

Sparky57 03-02-2012 11:24 PM

Belly pan and floor
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by submariner (Post 1114441)
have a look at my threat :
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f109...ion-78252.html

I found it to be the best way, if you just pull the frame out. My 59 has the belly pan riveted onto the c-channel and then the shell is riveted over the top of it. That way, you do not have a seam facing up, where water can get in.

So without pulling the shell off, I was not able to remove the belly pan. And i wanted to put it back together, the way it was designed and you can not re secure all bolts with the pan in place.


hope that helps

That is how mine is done too- belly pan over the c-channel- So frustrating!....I may pull the shell off, but I'd really like to avoid it- just no space, etc...

After I posted my last post I went back out there and used a Dremel Multi-max tool and a bitmetal blade to saw the bolts off below the c-channel, then a nail set to push them thru the floor. All the bolts seem to be out but the floor won't budge.

If I can get the floor out then my plan is to cut the belly pan off at about 10 inches from the c-channel all around, then remove the shell rivets and slip a new belly pan in over top of the old one.
Think that'd work? I already have a double skin belly in some parts, so that's what gave me the idea....I'd pull the second skin off of those spots and just put a whole new one on....

What are you using for insulation? Trying to think ahead to next steps...wiring, insulation....:)
Mark

submariner 03-03-2012 06:07 AM

My floor is insulated with 3/4 inch styrofoam. pictures are in my post.

I plan for 3/4inch styrofoam strips on the interior walls with reflectix foil insulation on top.

Wiring is all marine grade IEEE - Wiring. I personally do not like solid copper wiring in a moving vehicle. Distribution Panel will be either custom made or a marine grade panel. All connection are Heat shrinked .
Plumbing Is Pex.

BTW , i left the center section above the axles as a removable panel, since this is , where my holding tank will be.

Becky B. 03-03-2012 07:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1112988)
Took out the interior panels last night, will take out the rest tonite and start carefully labelling and documenting how they all came out so I can put them back in 6 months from now. Considering polishing the end cap in the bathroom area...so I might leave it in place and strip and polish it....decisions decisions!

I just finished polishing my end cap on my Bambi II. I stripped it when it was in place, but removed it after that to get after the old insulation. The mice LOVED the end caps. If you have evidence of mice, I would strongly suggest taking the end caps down after you strip them and then polish them once you have them back up. You can run your wiring under them while they're down too. And put new insulation directly on the end cap and it will go back up easily. I used Prodex insulation. Very easy to work with.

nmbosa 03-03-2012 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1114532)
That is how mine is done too- belly pan over the c-channel- So frustrating!....I may pull the shell off, but I'd really like to avoid it- just no space, etc...

After I posted my last post I went back out there and used a Dremel Multi-max tool and a bitmetal blade to saw the bolts off below the c-channel, then a nail set to push them thru the floor. All the bolts seem to be out but the floor won't budge.

If I can get the floor out then my plan is to cut the belly pan off at about 10 inches from the c-channel all around, then remove the shell rivets and slip a new belly pan in over top of the old one.
Think that'd work? I already have a double skin belly in some parts, so that's what gave me the idea....I'd pull the second skin off of those spots and just put a whole new one on....

What are you using for insulation? Trying to think ahead to next steps...wiring, insulation....:)
Mark

Mark, you may want to consider just lifting the shell up over the frame and leaving it suspended on saw horses above the frame if space is a concern. It would not be as easy to work on as if you had the space to store the shell separately, but would allow you to get at everything and completely replace the bellypan. If you are planning to drill all the shell rivets anyways (beware of the hidden rivets), lifting the shell up a few feet and bracing it on saw horses with 2x4s is not really much more work. The benefits of that extra work could be significant in that it would allow you to fully asses and repair any frame damage, properly replace the floor and have access to all the areas where you need to bolt the floor and c-channel, and properly replace the belly pan.

That being said, you are right to carefully consider how far you want to go on a project like this. Mine took over a year to complete and ate up every spare moment I had during that time period. If you loose momentum, it can quickly become an unending eyesore sitting in your driveway.

On another note, before you remove any floor or start drilling rivets, make sure you take a ton of measurements. You might also want to create some templates for the ends.

I posted a write-up and photos of what we did before lifting my shell on my blog here: Preparing to Lift the Shell

As far as insulation is concerned, I kind of regret not doing a more thorough job on the belly. Our floor is freezing cold when camping even in the summer. Submariner did a really nice job on his belly pan insulation. On the walls, I just used fiberglass because I didn't have the time or money for the reflectex bubble foil work that many people on the forums have done. If you have the time to do it right, I think the reflectex is a good way to go.

Norm

mjoregan 03-04-2012 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by submariner
My floor is insulated with 3/4 inch styrofoam. pictures are in my post.

I plan for 3/4inch styrofoam strips on the interior walls with reflectix foil insulation on top.

Wiring is all marine grade IEEE - Wiring. I personally do not like solid copper wiring in a moving vehicle. Distribution Panel will be either custom made or a marine grade panel. All connection are Heat shrinked .
Plumbing Is Pex.

BTW , i left the center section above the axles as a removable panel, since this is , where my holding tank will be.

Good pictures! I was thinking of the same approach, foam boards node the trailer and reflectix in the walls. Ideally though, wouldn't the reflectix get suspended between 2 thin strips of foam, so it keeps heat out, and keeps heat in too? Not trying to street a debate, and and a certain point good enough really is good enough!

I will look into that wiring...seems like the marine industry is light years ahead of the Rv world with some stuff.

Sparky57 03-04-2012 09:52 AM

Floored
 
3 Attachment(s)
So from what I read you 'take out the screws and elevator bolts and cut the floor down the middle and then it just slips out'. Well for me there is tar covering over all the bolts and screws, then when you find them they just spin in the wood and don't come out. There is seized up cast piping in the floor and after 4 hours I am close, but still nothing is out.

A couple pics: all the power tools I own being brought to bear on the floor. The empty shell, and the 'Hillbilly smokestack'. I love that thing- but my wife said the other day--when is that thing getting taken down? Gasp....ummm... never, well, only to get polished....

Questions: What can I reuse that thing for?
What is the best way to seal the interior seams...they don't seem to leak right now, but I'll redo them anyway.

pbearsailor 03-04-2012 10:27 AM

The smokestack is the vent for the Panel Ray heater. If you don't use it, make sure you keep it as someone will need it for sure.

What I did on the subfloor was to make a perimeter cut through the plywood all the way around, leaving four inches or so against the walls. I used a one inch hole saw without the pilot bit to drill over the top of the old elevator bolts. If you do that, the floor will mostly lift out and it's easy to clean up the elevator bolts left behind. The shell needs support, so that small perimeter piece of subfloor will do that.

cheers,
steve :)

nmbosa 03-04-2012 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1115065)
The empty shell, and the 'Hillbilly smokestack'. I love that thing- but my wife said the other day--when is that thing getting taken down? Gasp....ummm... never, well, only to get polished....

Questions: What can I reuse that thing for?
What is the best way to seal the interior seams...they don't seem to leak right now, but I'll redo them anyway.

Hah, I love the Hillbilly smokestack! Mine didn't have one. I think they are part of the alure of the older trailers. If you don't re-use the Panel Ray heater, there probably isn't much use for it, but you could still leave it in place. Otherwise, Steve is right, someone will want it.

For the interior seams, I sprayed 3M rubber coating that looks a lot like what Airstream used. Some people lay a bead of Vulkem along all the interior seams. Either way, you really need to seal the exterior seams and make sure all the rivets are properly set to make sure it is sealed up. While you have the interior skins off, do a good leak test, drill any lose rivets and replace them. I found several leaking rivets that were leaking and needed to be replaced.

Acryl-R seam sealanlt (available on Airstream's website) is what I used on the exterior seams. I took dental picks to all the seams and then ran a bead of Acryl-R along every seam. All told, it took about one full day.

The awming rail is a frequent source of leaks. It is riveted down with a strip of butyl tape underneath. Over the years, the butyl tape deteriorates and the rivets losenen up, leading to leaks. Give that a very close look and if it is lose and/or the rivets are leaking, you might want to pull the awning rail and put it back on with a new strip of butyl. It's one of those things you can only do correctly while the interior is out because it needs to be buck riveted back on to provide a good seal.

Norm

Sparky57 03-04-2012 04:49 PM

Soggy wood and a saggy end
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pbearsailor (Post 1115085)
The smokestack is the vent for the Panel Ray heater. If you don't use it, make sure you keep it as someone will need it for sure.

What I did on the subfloor was to make a perimeter cut through the plywood all the way around, leaving four inches or so against the walls. I used a one inch hole saw without the pilot bit to drill over the top of the old elevator bolts. If you do that, the floor will mostly lift out and it's easy to clean up the elevator bolts left behind. The shell needs support, so that small perimeter piece of subfloor will do that.

cheers,
steve :)

I used your hole saw technique- worked awesome. One half of the end piece of the floor is out. Frame looks solid so I am happy so far!


Couple questions-- if you only leave a 4" lip around the nose and arse end of the plywood flooring then is that enough to make a template? I was thinking it was important to get those end pieces out in a big enough piece to template.

My shell is slightly separated from my frame along the rear...is that ok? Why is that? Is the frame just weak there?

pbearsailor 03-06-2012 05:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57
I used your hole saw technique- worked awesome. One half of the end piece of the floor is out. Frame looks solid so I am happy so far!

Couple questions-- if you only leave a 4" lip around the nose and arse end of the plywood flooring then is that enough to make a template? I was thinking it was important to get those end pieces out in a big enough piece to template.

My shell is slightly separated from my frame along the rear...is that ok? Why is that? Is the frame just weak there?

I made cardboard templates for my patterns. Check my thread.

If you're doing a shell on, it is unlikely you can get the old subfloor out in full width sections anyway. Most of the subfloor will come up in big pieces, but getting the perimeter out is usually a messy job. Hard to get access the bolts in the C channel and I used a cutoff wheel in the grinder to cut them out.

Hopefully your shell separation is from rotten plywood separating from the C channel.

Glad the hole saw helped!

Cheers,
Steve

Sparky57 03-06-2012 11:45 PM

Next step
 
OK- So the rear floor is out almost all the way back to the wheel wells. Frame is solid as a rock, still showing most of the paint.. the plywood was rotty around the edges but there's enough to make a template. Cut out the old cast pipes too- must weight 30 lbs. Weirdest P-trap on a shower I have ever seen- more like an S trap.

My current thinking is to do the trailer in 3rds.: remove the floor, clean the frame, paint with POR15, then remove belly pan for that section, replace floor the floor and re-bolt the plywood in place...move to next section. I am going to cut the belly pan to 6" all around then shove a new one over top later on. I like that approach, adds some strength to the curves, simplifies, adds some stiffness to that radius edge. i see no downsides with that approach.

Funny thing about my frame-- it has so much steel! I will post pictures later, when the light is shining again, but the cross members are only 16" on centre apart. I was expecting 20 or more. I'll have to cut one cross member out to get tanks in there. Was shocked. Is this normal? From looking at other posts the cross members are further apart and supported down the middle with an extra brace.

So the back-end separation: Is there a way to prevent it happening again? I am thinking a big L shaped flange and bolts thru that and thru the floor to give it some extra grab.

Father-in law is super-welder, sheet metal guru and all-round metal bending ninja, so I am sure he will come up with something fancy. He is already planning on making new wheel wells, wants to make Stainless-steel shower pan and surround, a custom sink, etc....

Mark

Eric H 03-07-2012 12:12 AM

I don't know where you're pointing those lights, but I like it.

nmbosa 03-08-2012 06:59 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1116400)
So the back-end separation: Is there a way to prevent it happening again? I am thinking a big L shaped flange and bolts thru that and thru the floor to give it some extra grab.

Father-in law is super-welder, sheet metal guru and all-round metal bending ninja, so I am sure he will come up with something fancy. He is already planning on making new wheel wells, wants to make Stainless-steel shower pan and surround, a custom sink, etc....

Mark

Mark, here is a recommended fix that Inland Andy posted a while back. I went with this on my rebuild. It involves a couple of pieces of angle iron welded to the side of the frame towards the rear, and two steel plates in the c-channel at the rear with bolts through the plate in the c-channel and through the angle iron. This creates a better shell to floor and floor to frame connection.

Norm

Sparky57 03-08-2012 10:19 PM

Floor and frame
 
3 Attachment(s)
Here are some pics of the back section with the floor totally out. Will pressure wash tomorrow and start cleaning the metal for por15!

Anyone else's cross braces this close together?
What can i do about the corrosion?

On a good note, the frame is is super shape and the wheel wells are looking in great condition too- so that simplifies things.

When I put the floor back in....will I be able to do a single sheet, or will I have to seam it up the middle to get it back in? A friend a work was suggesting 1/2" ply with a 1/4" overlay so that I can bend it and slip it in...Would make 3/4" floor and might be easier to get in place.

The corrosion in the picture 3 is around the old shore power inlet....what's the best approach there?

mjoregan 03-08-2012 11:10 PM

Oh, the cross members are 16 inches part! Crazy to me....

Sparky57 04-09-2012 05:06 PM

Busy Busy!
 
Ok, It has been a month since my last update, but much has happened since then, as well as a trip to Disneyland with my 3 kids for 2 weeks in March....so since my last update I have :

removed the entire inner skin and insulation
removed the entire floor, except for a thin strip of wood/bolts around the front 1/3rd of the trailer, rats nest and all
pressure washed the hole thing
dropped the belly pan (just cut it away for now)
degreased and then pressure washed the frame and wire wheeled it all
prepped the metal with POR-15 metal prep and re-pressure washed
painted the frame black with POR-15
removed all the bits from the outside that need chroming and dismantled the door and lock
removed all the broken glass
ordered and received alumiprep and alodine
ordered and received 2 tanks- black (21g)and grey (38g)
prepped the trailer and hitch area for painting
finalized the layout and ordered all my appliances
ordered another $325 of bits and pieces from VTS
Bought plywood for the floor as well as a gallon of West System Epoxy
Bought insulation from insulation4less and took delivery
Got the father-in law over to start planning the tank hangers and welding repairs and got him started on new wheel well covers.

Whew!

Goal for April is to get the tanks in, epoxy and install the floor. Going with 2 layers of wood, glued and screwed together with PL500, one layer of 3/8", one layer of 1/4"...idea is it will be easier to slide under the c channel, and will be as strong as full sheets.

Also ordered wireless rear view camera from eBay.

Mark

Sparky57 04-09-2012 06:26 PM

My Airstream has a birthday!
 
3 Attachment(s)
Some pics of the progress, as well as a picture of a signature by guy who made the airstream and the date. Cool- Can't really read it but it says made by Johnny Alonza June 13, 1957

Someday'59 04-09-2012 08:02 PM

Wow. I think I'm tired just from reading your list. You've been busy!

tinman54 04-09-2012 08:53 PM

If you keep up that pace you are going to run out of things to do!!

Airgirl1 04-10-2012 11:55 AM

Hi mark ! Love your updates I am doing same process and learning so much from yours . Please keepup the greatly detailed steps , products and before and afters . I am so excited to follow your post .
THANK YOU

Sparky57 04-10-2012 09:48 PM

Starting to look past the floor and have my eye on the looming electrical challenges. Any good resources out there? I will be starting from zero and want to end up with 30a service, solar charging, and all the gizmos....just need to find a book on what parts on I need, how to integrate them all. I understand electrical, just have no experience with 12v and the idea of converters, inverters.....Any one have any help on this one?

Wabbiteer 04-10-2012 11:05 PM

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

The big picture is fat wires, fat batteries and conserving watt you can...

TG Twinkie 04-11-2012 08:38 AM

Look for a thread by lucymcdog. Lots of good info. It's a long read.

Sparky57 04-22-2012 10:15 AM

New wheel wells and frame leveling
 
3 Attachment(s)
Progress slowed as I am waiting on welding of the tank hangers to be complete by my father in law..he is also building me a new fresh water aluminum tank for under the floor. He did complete the new wheel well covers and they look great. Made of galvanized- old ones were cold rolled steel and were rusted to bits.

Grinding out the last or the floor bolts and my angle grinder quit, started smoking and tripped the breaker-- only 3 bolts left! Dang! That is 2 Rigid power tool funerals in one month- 18v drill quit too.

Started cutting the floor out too - got the rear nose piece cut. Plan is to use 3/8 and 1/4 laminated together. I'll epoxy it with the West System on the bottom and tops, then glue and screw them together. Will be easier to fit into place and will give me a slightly thicker platform than 5/8, 6 plys of wood instead of 5....Will see how it goes and post pics as I work through it.
Also spent 2 hours trying to get the frame perfectly level for the floor install- jacks and blocks everywhere....The frame has a slight bow in it, the tail end is about 1 1/2" lower than the frame at the mid point and the nose is about a 1/2 lower than the middle too. Odd.

Realized I have to start on wiring the brakes pretty quick here too-- Will be easier with the floor out.
Mark

Someday'59 04-22-2012 10:32 AM

Your new wheel wells look great. I love the pictures of the empty frame with the shell on top... such a nice aluminum skeleton! Keep up the good work!

pbearsailor 04-22-2012 11:34 AM

Looks to me like you chose wisely in fathers in law. :D

Good progress.

cheers,
steve :)

Sparky57 04-22-2012 10:44 PM

Sealing up the cracks.
 
After a week of rain I was able to identify leaky rivets and start sealing up all the drippers. I plan on sealing up all the seams from inside anyway but got a start on it today seeing as it was 19 Celsius here today (that's 70f for you Americans) and the caulk I am using needs at least 10 c to set up. The stuff is DAP Dynaflex 230 exterior elastomeric caulk. Awesome stuff- have used it lots on my aged stucco house to seal cracks and what-not. Tested it on a leaky window a couple weeks ago, after the week of torrential rain there wasn't even the slightest leak (in that window :) ).

Sparky57 05-02-2012 10:31 PM

Window Frames and Polishing Question
 
Father in Law came over and welded in the first of the tank supports today, so finally the tank installation is moving along. Already thinking to the next step and started to replace the cracked and broken windows so I can put the floor in and and keep it dry.

Also got the floor pieces all cut and ready and waiting for a warm night so I can epoxy them -- went with the West Epoxy system, planning 3 coats for the edges and first foot of perimeter, then 2 coats over the middle bits.

All my bits and pieces arrived from VTS, including the glass seals and window nuts for the Hehr windows, floor bolts, screws, etc etc. More stuff coming tomorrow too- and Friday, including a fridge, stove, furnace, Low profile AC unit, power converter, warer pump, jacks, thermostat, and more. Also got a backup camera from ebay, a Furrion electrical plug-in and Furrion matching cord set, a Furrion cable tv inlet and a Perko marine water filler with a vent. Also had to buy a fresh water tank for under the floor too...Man, it was an expensive month!

Question: I guess I have to take the glass out to get the little grey window glass seal in? Can't see how you could possibly slide the seal in without the glass out first. So I took an opening window out, took the back frame off and will get glass cut tomorrow....now am wondering how on earth to I polish the frame without scratching it all to hell? I don't have any Nuvite....do I need it?

Any comments on epoxy on the floor? Any reason to use a water-based stain on the wood first, then top coat epoxy? Would that enhance water repellancy, or just cost $50? Alternately could varathane over the epoxy-- would that help?

Someday'59 05-02-2012 10:55 PM

About scratching the hell out of the window frame: Our window frames were so pitted and scratched! So, we used the drill with an abrasive wheel attachment to clean them up. Yes, if you look closely at them you can still see where we used the drill attachment on them. They look infinitely better, though. (I'd do it again.)

pbearsailor 05-03-2012 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1142073)
Also got the floor pieces all cut and ready and waiting for a warm night so I can epoxy them -- went with the West Epoxy system, planning 3 coats for the edges and first foot of perimeter, then 2 coats over the middle bits.


Any comments on epoxy on the floor? Any reason to use a water-based stain on the wood first, then top coat epoxy? Would that enhance water repellancy, or just cost $50? Alternately could varathane over the epoxy-- would that help?

I'd just go with the West System. Only issue that would make you want to put something else over the epoxy is for UV protection, but that's not an issue on the subfloor.

Try not to wait too long between epoxy coats, overnight is fine. If epoxy gets to a full cure over a few days, you'd have to sand between coats and epoxy is very hard.

cheers,
steve :)

Over59 05-03-2012 07:48 PM

When you put it back together put the end caps in first. This. Is the hard part for getting things lined up. Of course you have lots of those temporary rivet do das. If no buy them.

Sparky57 05-04-2012 09:23 AM

Ok-Thanks Steve, I was hoping for that answer. I am sooo looking forward to getting the floor in and being done with the deconstruction, welding, grinding etc!

M

pbearsailor 05-04-2012 11:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1142633)
Ok-Thanks Steve, I was hoping for that answer. I am sooo looking forward to getting the floor in and being done with the deconstruction, welding, grinding etc!

M

Yep, it's such a big day when you get the subfloor in and most of the ripping apart done. The fun part is ahead.

cheers,
steve :)

65CV 05-04-2012 12:26 PM

This may be obvious, but maybe it will save someone from making standard newbie mistakes.

(1) Between coats, you do have to remove the "amine blush".

(2) Don't mix too much at once in a standard container, especially on a hot day. It will kick, possibly getting dangerously hot and wasting expensive material.

Here's the user guide if you don't have the link handy. WEST SYSTEM | Use Guides

Wish I was that far along! Good luck.

John

webspinner 05-05-2012 12:16 AM

Keeping the epoxy in a flat container, like a paint roller tray or pie pan, gives it more surface area for cooling and can delay kicking.

I was happily (well, sort of) epoxying the shower pan we built for our TradeWind, using a large plastic drink cup as an epoxy mixing container. Dip...brush...dip...brush...dip...brush...dip...br ush...THUNK! In between brush strokes it had kicked completely solid.

Sparky57 05-05-2012 10:38 AM

Must admit, I am delaying a little too because I am not exactly sure how to do it yet....and thanks for the tips. So, flat tray, small batches, remove the blush or else recoat when still tacky.

Have my mechanic buddy coming over to rewire all the lights and brake lines on Monday, welding the tanks in on Monday too so maybe the floor can start going into place in a week or 2.

Sparky57 05-08-2012 09:49 PM

Still prepping for the floor....
 
3 Attachment(s)
Well, a sick kid has kept me at home with me for the last 2 days and has given me a couple chances to work on the beast:

Got the floor epoxied with West System- 2 coats on the top and bottom, 3rd coat on the outside 12" perimeter. 12 Sheets of wood total- the top is A/C fir ply 1/4", the bottom is 3/8 AC fir ply. Thinking that the thinner wood will allow me to easily bend them into place and slide them under the C channel, then PL400/ screw the 2 layers together- just like they build boats...Used every last drop of epoxy too....

Also got the new jack in place. 1000lb side wind -- had to grind out the old hole just a 1/16th, then it slide right in. Fastened it with 3 new Grade 8 5/8 goldie colored bolts, lock washers and nuts secured with loc-tite

Removed 3 broken windows and took them down to the glass smith- getting obscure glass in the bathroom window....was a snap decision, we'll see how it looks. Just got the 3ml std glass- no tempered, was tempted but 2x the cost...Started polishing the window frames...lots of corrosion...

Decided to rewire all the running lights and brakes too- ripped all the old out and ran new 7 wire right from the Bargman plug at the jack plug all the way back to the brake area...into a weatherproof junction box and then marine wire to the brakes from there. 6 wire cable runs to the back to power the rear lights, signals, running lights and to power the reverse camera. Soldered and shrink wrapped all the new lines, old brake connections...

Also got all the steel and then cut and drilled the angle iron in to hold the tanks, and the hangers all assembled and screwed together with stainless bolts and loc-tite...now they are with my father-in- law for welding...that should all happen this week.

All my stuff came from AdventureRv.net....all looks awesome except they sent me the totally wrong fridge. Wanted the Norcold 510, they sent me some Dometic thing. I'll let you know how that turns out...

Gotta get that floor in this month!

Mark

65CV 05-08-2012 10:07 PM

Didn't get much done, did you? :)

You may have had someone do you a favor with the Dometic instead of the Norcold. We bought a Norcold in 2008, thinking that it would be better, especially because it doesn't have the parasitic 12v draw.

This winter, we were on the road without enough tools when it failed. The guy that replaced our 3 year old Norcold said the the trade calls them "No-cold". We replaced it with a Dometic and were happier with the operation.

When we buy our next fridge for our '59 Overlander, it will be a Dometic.

Sparky57 05-10-2012 01:59 PM

I would keep it if it was the right size, or an upgrade, but it's neither so I will send it back.

Will be welding hangers in tonite, and maybe finishing the wiring on brakes this weekend ( if my backup camera ever arrives from China! )

New glass back from the glass cutters but he cut them all too short so I have to get them recut....took that opportunity to upgrade the front window pane to tempered...only 30 bucks more, and it is a big one so probably worth the extra $.

Have to finalize the plumbing layout and cut the vent and drain lines in too...

Sparky57 05-11-2012 03:59 PM

Tanks are in!
 
2 Attachment(s)
Ahhh....after a marathon welding session the tanks are all hung...Ended up with lots of new steel and bolts but the tanks hangers were all custom fab'd here in my driveway and welded in using a 110 v arc welder and filler rods.

Pics below are taken from above-- was too busy to take in progress pics.....Basically we welded cross members in place to fit the width of the tank--these are 1 1/2" angle. Then we offset a 1" angle iron piece the same length about 1/8" underneath that to act as a lip to support the tank flange. This 1" angle is screwed into this flange with 8 or so 3/8 " stainless screws, lock washers, nuts and loctite. This way I can get the tank out if I need to one day from below by cutting the bolts out. Also installed 2" flat steel belly straps that were custom bent to match the shape and taper of the tank. These go under the tank, up the side and are screwed in the same way to the angle iron cross members. Solid, maybe overkill, but solid for sure.

Just need to cut the metal straps off level with the tank--already cut one tank down- the other one is showing in the picture.

3Ms75Argosy 05-11-2012 09:10 PM

Where did you find your jack? Nice work on the floor btw!

A suggestion... you might want to replace the hitch head on the A frame... I really don't like the way these early hitches don't cover the ball very well.
Marc

Sparky57 05-12-2012 09:34 AM

I got the hitch from adventurerv.net. It is the atwood 8000- tried linking below.... It is one of the few jacks I could find that would fit the hole on the tongue- just had to grind out a 1/16th to make is slide in.

The hitch head thing is a strange little contraption for sure, but it works well on mine, and they still sell them so I figure they must be half decent. I must admit it that I triple check it whenever I hook it on, but I like the vintage feel to it so I think I'll leave in place.

Think I love about the AS is the fact that is looks and feels so hand-made.

Atwood A-Frame Sidewind Tongue Jack 1000lb. - $28.49

Sparky57 05-24-2012 10:53 PM

Update....
 
4 Attachment(s)
Brake re-wiring is all complete now and tested out just perfect.

My glass came in from the Glass Smith too, so I took apart the 3 broken windows and polished them all up. Wasn't as bad as I thought it would be- time consuming for sure but I listed to TED conferences on the iPad and just pick away at it. Found a nylon flapper wheel that is the best approach I have found- takes off everthing nasty, then I can sand out the scratches with 300, 400 then 600 grit wet/dry and some WD40. I caulked the glass in place with DAP Dynaflex 230, then new seals and new little screws, lubed up then painted the Herh hardware, and put it all back nice. Looks good. Tempered glass for the front window, std for the rest. Having trouble with the little rivets that hold the cross bars in place- the rivets I have are too big so I'll have to find littler ones or swap them for screws.

Also took apart the Bargman door handle and rear license plate light, porch light etc...will take them to be chromed tomorrow. $250! And that is Canadian money! Jeez.

Also ordered a new tailight- "GROTE SUPERNOVA 4" LED TAIL LIGHT #53252" It was melted by the PO.

Stupid fridge should arrive tomorrow - ordered a toilet to go with it which I got free shipping on, as well as some of those tornado clean out connectors for the blk and grey tanks.

Also ordered an received the See Level 709 PH- order on Tuesday, got it today- all the way from Alberta. Fast!

Fresh tank is back from the welders with new fittings and a drain in the bottom...not sure if that was a good idea, but we will see.

As soon as the toilet is on site then i will start on reinstalling the floor- want to make sure I put the hole in exactly the right spot.

More stuff too- mostly little things, but all moving in the right direction.

Oh, and one more tool death this week- my 1/2 drill quit...2 drills and a grinder so far.

Sparky57 05-29-2012 10:38 PM

See Level Tank sensor installed tonite, wired in and strapped the wire to the frame with little frame wire fasteners. Also installed the Camco Tornados-- strapped the hose for them to the frame too. One Tornado in the black and one in the grey tank.
Next, install the break away switch (how did I forget that when I was wiring the brakes!) and then finally cut the holes in the black and grey tanks for vents and toilet.....and then I think I am really ready to install the floor!
PS- I think I really like this 12v electrical stuff, cut, crimp, solder, shrink wrap, strap, label..there is a nice rythme to it and it looks nice when done

marzboy 05-31-2012 10:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57
See Level Tank sensor installed tonite, wired in and strapped the wire to the frame with little frame wire fasteners. Also installed the Camco Tornados-- strapped the hose for them to the frame too. One Tornado in the black and one in the grey tank.
Next, install the break away switch (how did I forget that when I was wiring the brakes!) and then finally cut the holes in the black and grey tanks for vents and toilet.....and then I think I am really ready to install the floor!
PS- I think I really like this 12v electrical stuff, cut, crimp, solder, shrink wrap, strap, label..there is a nice rythme to it and it looks nice when done

Can you post some pictures? I am planning the electrical and I am thinking of going with the seelevel gauge. I would love some pics of the sensor wireing, and your 12v wireing technique pleae!

Sparky57 05-31-2012 11:20 PM

Electrics
 
Well, I am no wiring expert but I'll post some pics tomorrow. I like doing the electrical stuff, find it fun, easy and something you can pick away at.

All the 12v wire connections will be crimped to butt connectors, then soldered and then shrink wrapped. I use my wife's butane creme brule browning / cooking torch for a soldering iron- works awesome, heats up fast, easy to control...l love it!
I hate it when wiring fails so I tend to overdo it so I don't have to re-do it, and it is only an extra step or 2 really ....:huh:

Sparky57 06-05-2012 08:23 PM

Half Floored
 
3 Attachment(s)
Well half the floor is in and so far so good. Also attached some pics of what $225 worth of chroming buys and a pic of the new wheel wells being insulated with reflictix- 2 layers, glued on then taped with aluminum foil tape.
My approach to the floor has been working so far-- 2 sheets, glued and screwed together with a 1/2" offset at the joint between top and bottom sheets- kinda like a tongue and groove fit. Have been able to bend the sheets over a 2x6 enough to slip the edges under the channel, then slip the 2x6 out and is snaps into place. Then glue the top side and repeat and then screw it together with 5/8 wood screws. Super solid under foot.
Floor still needs to be bolted to the frame, so that is next. Bought elevator bolts and the VTS self taping screws, as well as some nice big #10 stainless screws for the C channel.
Only complaint is that the floor is just 1/4" shy of the flush with the outside edge, so it feels like the bolts through the c channel will just catch the edge of the floor...if I was to do it again I'd make the floor pieces longer (next Airstream project I guess!)
Toilet in the background is just placed there for effect :angel:

pbearsailor 06-05-2012 09:42 PM

Looking great! I don't think that 1/4" gap will be a problem. As solid as your floor is now, I think you'll be amazed how solid it'll be with the bolts into the frame.

cheers,
steve :)

Sparky57 06-06-2012 12:53 AM

Thanks Steve- I am hoping you are right...there's no going back now anyways :)

mrgreen 06-06-2012 11:25 AM

wow that'S looking great love the rounded wheel tubs as opossed to the squarish ones, have you got anymore info on the tank levels and do you know if there are any you can run off mains supply as mine is for a concession stand and the only 12v i will have will be for the lighting, do you think you could run a sensor off the lighting circuit or just a transformer from a lighting circuit?, I am rubbish with electric but forewarned and all that!!

Sparky57 06-06-2012 04:20 PM

These are SeeLevel sensors and run off 12v. Not sure if there are any that run off 110v, but if you have 12v available then why not use it?

Someday'59 06-11-2012 03:34 PM

Just wanted to tell you again how much I love my new center light from your trailer! Thanks so much!

Your light made my latest blog post: 1959 Airstream Overlander, "Someday": Haphazard Progress

Sparky57 06-11-2012 09:13 PM

That light fixture looks great! Glad it fit and found a new home. I just rediscovered your blog too- Trailer is looking enviable.

Sparky57 06-11-2012 09:26 PM

Fully floored, finally!
 
2 Attachment(s)
Framed in the door step with some metal and put a new lid on the step in prep for the rest of the floor...which is now installed as of Sunday night. Poured myself a large whiskey sour and went to bed. Pics later.
I read someones comment a long time ago that said simply 'the floor is epic'. So so true.
My floor approach worked well overall- I used bolts, washers and nylok nuts around the perimeter in the c-channel, then used those massive self-taping trailer deck bolts from VTS for the middle. Underlayed the floor with a nice thick bead of DAP Dynaflex 230, screwed and glued the 2 sheets of flooring together with PL400 and lots of screws. It isn't as stiff as I would want, it has screw holes through the top side which is a draw back, but overall it is in, it was relatively easy to slide under the c-channel, it fits and I can move on to the next item.

Next I will paint the floor with a top coat of something- probably latex porch and floor paint. It is expoxy now, but want something that looks nice when someone opens a door or hatch area and sees the floor...Any comments?

Sparky57 07-09-2012 11:35 PM

Moving right along...
 
Ok- Long time since the last update-- Lots done but it really doesn't look that much different! Man this is a big project.

The floor is in and all screwed down around the perimeter. I have a new love for stainless screws, bolts, whatever....So #10 5/8" SS wood screws every 8" and then I used grade 8 bolts with 4 galvanized washers, 2 top, 2 underneath with lots of Trempro in the hole.

Filled the floor with automotive epoxy, sanded it and filled all the cracks.

Also got all the plumbing tested out- filled all the tanks and waited and listened for bad sounds....like crashing sounds....but only a couple small drips out of the Tornado flushers - so that was good... a couple of new washer required to fix it is all.

Put the lock back from the chrome shop and reassembled and installed. Managed to get the original lock re-keyed. Soaked the old wooden backplate in Sikkens Cetol 1 wood preservative after scraping the mould and gunk off it...and it all went back together smoothly.

Windows are also all done except for the rear one which is cleco'd in place...Reused the old glass and put in new seals for most windows. Had to repair a couple Hehr window cranks that were stripped...but apart from that they were all there, all complete, even the tiny little roller wheels and axles that slide the window up. Replace all the little hex nuts with VTS replica's and new screens too (what a bugger those are to install). Replaced all the screws and nuts with stainless. New seals, caulked the seal and window in place too with Dynaflex 230 aluminum caulk. Looks awesome.

Ordered belly pan metal....6061-T6 , 4 sheets of 4x12 .032. Comments? $550 delivered. ouch.

Got my new 3x rivet gun and bucked my first rivets with my 11 year old daughter holding the bucking bar. Not sure what went wrong, but I got a little crescent shaped scar around the rivet- what does that mean- too much power, did I hit the rivet too much, is an 11 year old girl not strong enough to hold the bar?

Also got the rear licence plate holder reassembled and installed and the backup camera tucked in neatly underneath it.

Next I am thinking or getting the door back together. Stip the zolatone and shine it up, insulate and get it re-screened and swinging properly. Did a test strip with Circa 1850 Heavy Body Stripper. That went ok...what do you do with the haze left over though? Oh and the old screen was brass. Ya, really, brass!

Then, start insulating....I have waffled on the insulation 5 times, right now I am planning Prodex taped to the exterior skin, then wire, then Roxsul safe and sound between the Prodex and interior skin. Idea is to provide a vapour barrier, some reflective insulation properties, and the sound proofing of the Roxsul --my wife worries about of the pink insulation's perceived health concerns. Anyway- that is the direction I am going (today :) ).

Also want to start polishing while the weather is nice....So I need a polisher and some polishing pads...anyone have a recipe for what pads, and all the required stuff-- I have the polish and the polisher, but how many pads, what type, etc? I have read about 25 ways to do this...Oh, and how the heck do you polish under the drip caps? Should I just take them off and put them back on later? And any advice about the mistakes I am going to make would be highly appreciated too....

This big hunk of aluminum is growing on me though so I think it is time to name her....Narrowed it down to one of 2-- either 'Starlight' or 'Maybe'. Starlight for the color, Maybe because that was my answer when they asked if I was going to buy an airstream.

Pics tomorrow- too late tonite!

worldinchaos 07-10-2012 02:24 PM

As for the crescent while riveting, I have heard them referred to as smiley faces. I turn my air down a lot, and do the riveting in half second to one second bursts, keeping it as straight as humanly possible. I still get smiley faces every once in awhile but it is much rarer.

For the polishing, what type are you using? I have had pretty good luck with the Jestco kit for Airstreams, a cheap 7" electronic wheel polisher (oversized angle grinder), and then I have the cyclo for final cuts. Most of my detail pieces were done with a smaller 4" wheel on the same device or on a cheap drill with high rpm, on pieces while removed from the trailer. For hard to reach spots on the trailer, I have a 2" diameter by 3" long hard sewn cotton buffing wheel and an air powered die grinder.

Just make sure to buy lots of rakes for the buffing wheels. I have worn down one from spikes to bumps on only an 18' trailer doin the first cut.

Anyway, looks like you are making some awesome progress. I like "Maybe", but mostly because it reminds me of Arrested Development.

More updates. And pictures or it didn't happen... :-D

Sparky57 07-10-2012 06:38 PM

Pics....
 
7 Attachment(s)
Here are some pics. Got the original pressure water filler chromed up- just placed it in the hole for a glamour shot... Looks ridiculously shiny against the dull aluminum. Also, a picture of the licence plate tail light and camera, the Hehr window cranks with a repair to the knob using SS bolt and the new screens, and new LED tail lights....anyone know what kind of rivets those are? rear window prepped for install, a one of my 'smiley faced' rivets, and the original dealer decal...brass...maybe I should chrome that too :) ?

@Peter- thanks for the tips, I will try some more buck riveting tonite using your advice.
So, best to take the drip rails off, in your experience?

Mark

Aerowood 07-11-2012 08:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1172651)
Here are some pics. Got the original pressure water filler chromed up- just placed it in the hole for a glamour shot... Looks ridiculously shiny against the dull aluminum. Also, a picture of the licence plate tail light and camera, the Hehr window cranks with a repair to the knob using SS bolt and the new screens, and new LED tail lights....anyone know what kind of rivets those are? rear window prepped for install, a one of my 'smiley faced' rivets, and the original dealer decal...brass...maybe I should chrome that too :) ?

@Peter- thanks for the tips, I will try some more buck riveting tonite using your advice.
So, best to take the drip rails off, in your experience?

Mark

Smiley face rivets. Does your rivet set and rivet type match? You need a 470 set if you are using a 470 rivet. If you are using the VTS (which have 455 heads) rivets you will need a 455 set. It also looks like you are shooting them to long and to hard which will cause the rivet to start to smear to one side and leave a smiley on one side. Smileys are also caused by the gun not square with the rivet.

Sparky57 07-11-2012 09:00 PM

Ok- I'll have another go tonite on the back window. I am using the VTS rivets and the VTS rivet set, so sounds like I am justing needing some practice on technique. Heading out there now!


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