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Repairs and Maintenance 14 April 2012

Posted 04-15-2012 at 11:45 AM by DKB_SATX
Updated 04-15-2012 at 11:59 AM by DKB_SATX (Recategorize)

So, I should use this blog more regularly, to track the care and feeding of Il Carriaggio. I'll try to catch up on some work I've done or had done in the recent past, but first I'll document what's fresh in my mind.

Yesterday (14 April 2012) I started the process of securing the belly pan which I discovered in Mineola to be loose at a bunch of rivet points. I was putting the stabilizers under the trailer and saw that the belly skin had pulled loose in several places. It's the common problem with the belly pan... the old rivets are still present, but the aluminum sheet has worn to the point where the rivet pulls through the sheet and leaves a hole slightly larger than the rivet head.



As you can see, this has clearly happened before and the repair was no more effective than the original assembly. Someone used regular 3/16 rivets an inch or so from the original set, and eventually the panel worked loose around those newer rivets. Isn't a rule-of-thumb definition of insanity doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results?

This time around, I used this nice large-flange rivets from VTS to replace one of the older rivets in each pair, like so:



By the time I got set up to work it was a late afternoon, and I only had a few hours to work. So, I'll have to enjoy more drilling and riveting on my back under the trailer, but I'm pleased with the results so far. There are a couple of places where the belly skin was riveted to the cross members (instead of the longitudinal frame rails) where the skin isn't in this tidy hole-punched state, and I'm going to need some aluminum fender washers to address that. I'd appreciate any suggestions on FINDING those besides from internet vendors like NonFerrousFastener.com since as a general rule I like to shop locally (after having said I bought the large-flange rivets from VTS, right? Such a hypocrite!)

I also started on the process of replacing the window lift guides. My old guides are apparently the original ones, and several were cracked or broken in one or more of the 3 open positions so I ponied up my $16.78 per window for the repair kit from ODMRV and got in some more rivet drill-and-replace practice.

Here's before:


And here's after:


(and yes, to the sharp-eyed among you, these are opposite sides of the same window, I paused to photograph it halfway through.)
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