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Old 03-20-2014, 11:18 PM   #121
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1963 26' Overlander
Dallas , Texas
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It's been a few months since I've done any work on the armadillo, and yesterday I started phase 2. Replacing some damaged exterior skin, start the electrical, and insulation. To start I removed the last of the interior skin. The PO had replaced the ceiling with galvanized steel panels. I had seen indications that there was a fire in the trailer at one point and I assumed that the steel ceiling was to cover up the damage. Here's what the ceiling looked like: Click image for larger version

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ID:	207944 After removing the steel panels (dang those are heavy!) here's what I found underneath: Click image for larger version

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ID:	207946 Looks like there was a fire in the vicinity of the old fridge.. I removed all the old fiberglass and the aluminum appears to be ok. On the street side I am deleting the rear most side window which is where the shower will go, keeping the middle window in its current location, making the upper front side window slightly shorter in length to accommodate where the kitchen counter inside will end, and deleting the lower front side window to allow the U shaped couch to fit there. All the windows were already broken out except for the upper front side window. It is a jalousie window and I can't stand it. It leaks like crazy and the wind blows right through it. Plus it's just not attractive in my opinion. I'll be fabricating windows to replace all the windows eventually. But that's not going to be part of phase 2. Here's some pics of the removal. Click image for larger version

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ID:	207950 New skin is on it's way and should be here tomorrow. I'll be replacing the banana wraps as well while I have it this far apart. I also am exploring building a split AC unit from a window unit. I know an AC guy and talked to him about it and he's fascinated by the idea of trying this. It's a 12,000 BTU unit. The evaporator core would be built into the ceiling and have a duct that runs the length of the trailer and hugs the ceiling. The condenser core and compressor would be under the kitchen counter and have an air intake from the belly and exhaust out the street side of the trailer. I'm curious if anyone knows if this has been attempted yet or not.
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:50 AM   #122
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I agree that sounds interesting but then again so does the project in general I can not wait to see the end result. Keep up the good work.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:07 PM   #123
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I got a good start on the belly pan replacement today. I got the front street side wrap on. I went with 5052 H-32 .025. Also fabricated some new U channels for this side. It seems like I'm building this thing backwards and backtracking over ground that I already covered earlier on. I see why everyone does a shell off restoration instead of doing it this way! **hindsight** Either way it's a good learning experience.



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I made a big sheet metal dispenser out of the box that my aluminum was shipped in. I kinda think I need to call Guinness World Records and see if this breaks the record for "world's largest foil box". : D


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Tomorrow I'll put on the side pieces. I'm kinda up against a deadline to get this done tomorrow. The next day we are expecting a BIG rain! This is going to be interesting. I don't have replacement windows for the Armadillo yet, so I'm thinking I'll just reskin the entire street side. I'll come back and cut holes for the windows later when I have them. I plan on making them from scratch so I can make them any size I want.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:30 AM   #124
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the aluminum foil dispenser box is pure genius
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Old 03-26-2014, 04:16 AM   #125
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What a great job !
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:02 AM   #126
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Looks like the Armadillo didn't get water right before the rain hit this morning. Just barely got it tarped this morning. Luckily being a roofing contractor I had a spare 60'x40' tarp laying around. I think I could have fit 3 Armadillos under there!! But regardless I did make some good progress yesterday.

Yesterday's progress:


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And now the Armadillo slumbers in its blue cocoon until the downpour ceases only to emerge as a beautiful.... Oh wait. It's going to look just like it did when I tarped it. Darn. I should have named it the butterfly and maybe it would be totally done when it emerges. Haha.



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Old 03-27-2014, 07:41 PM   #127
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Don't let a nasty wind move that tarp back and forth. The gouges will be painful when and if you polish.

Man, I'd love your spring weather.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:48 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65CV View Post
Don't let a nasty wind move that tarp back and forth. The gouges will be painful when and if you polish. Man, I'd love your spring weather.
g

I was worried about that. But luckily there was no wind. It's already 80 degrees here!
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:27 AM   #129
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This morning was an interesting experience. I needed the U channel where it bends from the side around to the front toward the hold down plate. The old one kinda "fell apart" when I got frustrated and quit working it out slowly in favor of yanking it out. Remembering Vernon's post about making a curved U channel I took a shot at it. The old one was .60-.65 aluminum, or somewhere in that neighborhood. The local shop didn't have any. The next size up was .80. :/ kinda heavy but I'd rather go heavier than lighter and suffer a failure here while driving down the highway. After an hour or so of snipping, cussing, measuring, trimming, cussing, drilling, riveting, cussing, measuring, drilling, riveting, cussing. I have a what I call my curved U channel "A la Vernon". Thanks for the post!
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:41 PM   #130
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It's been a while since I've posted but I've been working on the armadillo a little here and there. I've got the skin replaced on the street side. I'll cut the holes for the windows when I fabric at them.

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I've started working on the skin on the curb side. And I'm re-skinning the door. I'm getting rid of the door in door in favor of a solid single piece of aluminum for a more sleek look. Also planning on getting rid of the suicide door in favor of a normal door.

I've started the wiring. With my marine background I had to go with tinned copper wire for all the 12 volt systems. I've also started some of the insulation. I can't wait to get the AC up and running. It's starting to get hot in there!

The tear drop side marker lights have been replaced and so have the taillights. Originally the Armadillo had the wedding cake lights but I was told by the gals at vintage trailer supply that those were unavailable, so I went with a more generic lens they had in stock.

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Can't wait to start buffing her out!
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:33 AM   #131
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It's been approx a year since I've touched the Armadillo. I've been away in PA for work. She wintered at my son's step dad's place. Very kind of him to offer to let me keep it there. I had recently finished real inning the outside of the door when I parked it and hadn't gotten around to putting a door handle in yet. It was wired shut from the inside which meant that someone, usually my son, had to crawl through the luggage compartment hatch to open the door from inside. I had an L-100 knob but hate the look. I wanted an L-66 or something that looks like the old refrigerator door levers. No luck. So I settled on something that would blend in instead of sticking out. Picked this up at Out of Doors Mart for what I considered to be fairly cheap. Seems very well made and sturdy too. Click image for larger version

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It looks crooked in the pic because I hadn't secured it yet. It's just sitting in the hole. Guess I was a little too eager then forgot to snap a new pic after it was done.
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Old 06-12-2015, 02:07 PM   #132
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Removed the front window which was just a house window and pieces of wood on the edges to fill in the gaps. Fabricating a new window frame. Then to get glass cut to fit.

While I have the old frame out I need to clean the crud that the PO used to "seal" the old window frame. It's some brittle stuff that almost has a sandy texture to it. Short of getting a non abrasive grinding disc after it I'm not really sure how to remove it. Of course that route would put scratches in the skin and I'd like to avoid that. Any suggestions? Click image for larger version

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Old 06-16-2015, 07:21 PM   #133
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"While I have the old frame out I need to clean the crud that the PO used to "seal" the old window frame. It's some brittle stuff that almost has a sandy texture to it. Short of getting a non abrasive grinding disc after it I'm not really sure how to remove it. Of course that route would put scratches in the skin and I'd like to avoid that. Any suggestions? "

I assume you've used the usual stuff like the orange stripper from the big box stores, acetone and mineral spirits. Sometimes the orange stuff will work well after a day covered in butcher paper or saran wrap for 24 hours.

Other suggestions:
De-Solve-It - if it's silicone based
3M Adhesive Remover - if it is oil based
Heat gun (real one, not a hair dryer)

Good luck.
Let us know what works.

Stay dry down there! Look like Texas is getting all the rain these days.
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:15 PM   #134
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1963 24' Tradewind
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I've seen liquid nails look like that after a few years of baking in the sun. I think they recommend Vaseline to soften the sealant and then a wooden stick to scrape off the nastiness.
Good luck!
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:21 PM   #135
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Actually I posted the question as a separate post and got some great advice. Mimiandrews said to use a heat gun and a cow hoof. I forgot my heat gun when I went out the AS but I did bring a cow hoof with me and it worked like a champ! It took the dry sandy looking stuff right off with minimal scraping and it didn't even scratch the aluminum. Basically it's like a giant fingernail. It didn't do so well with the silicone. It took the bulk of it off and took it down to a super thin layer that was stuck to the aluminum. A little silicone remover will get that off though. I was beyond impressed with the hoof!

I went ahead and replaced the front panel since it had holes where the rivets holding it to the tie down plate had pulled through. It was held in place previously with some pop rivets through the hold down plate. It worked to move the trailer around a little but not ideal. Should be good now. Click image for larger version

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Still working on the window. Should be done in the next week or so.
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:29 PM   #136
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And yes! It's been horribly wet here! Lakes are overfilled. Rivers are over flowing their banks. Some places are flooded. Luckily not in my immediate area. But we know how to handle that problem here in Texas. Click image for larger version

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Old 07-22-2015, 06:12 AM   #137
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This has been quite the undertaking and big learning curve but I'm close to having a brand new window in the front of the Armadillo. It took a couple tries to build a suitable widow frame that looks good. There's a couple issues that I don't like about it still but I've got to go back on the road and those will have to be addressed when I get back. In the meantime here's what it looks like so far. Click image for larger version

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Old 10-04-2015, 08:21 AM   #138
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Finally got the new front window put in. So much better looking than the old one. It was just a house window that wasn't the right size, two pieces of wood to take up the extra space, and a ton of sealant in an unsuccessful attempt to seal it. Now on to replacing the leaky rear window!Click image for larger version

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Old 10-05-2015, 05:01 AM   #139
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Looks like it was well worth the effort. Hopefully the rear one is a LOT easier!
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:00 PM   #140
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It'll be much easier. And less expensive! I made all the mistakes on the front window. Haha.
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