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Old 06-26-2009, 10:17 AM   #321
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Marcus, is this the style of shear you are talking about?

- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

We have a different style:
- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

but I never trust it won't wonder or jam up and bend. I just wonder what others have used and the results they have. Yes, there are some ugly edges tucked under that are visable from inside, but two cuts in particular are very visable. Also would you remove the front window and center front panel to do that front corner or is there an easier way? I don't want to overlay the panel.

On the street side I think I can leave the window in with no problem, just remove the shared rivets and clean that joint before reinstalling, but I guess we'll see.
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:27 AM   #322
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There are several ways to make straight long cuts without the use of a shear.

#1 Table saw with a angle clamped to the fence to keep edge of sheeting from sliding under fence. I made all of the long cuts for my GT side skins this way. Use an old carbide crosscut blade. Face mask a must. Dress the edge with a Vixen file
#2 A Good, let me say again a "GOOD or HIGH" quality straight hand shears, not aviation snips, followed by a Vixen file
#3 A 90 degree high speed die grinder with a .032 cutoff disc followed by a Vixen file.
#4 A skin knife, This is made using an old file and grinding a Sharpe hook on the end. Mount a straight edge at the cut line and start cutting the skin using long continuous strokes. This will peel out small curls of aluminum. Once the skin is cut more then halfway through the scrap can be broken off. Follow this up with a, here it comes again, a Vixen file.

With all of the skin I replaced on my GT, I never once used a stationary shear or a hand held power shear (I don't even own one). I cut every piece with one of the methods above. I also deburred the edge left by the Vixen file with a 90 degree die grinder mounted with a 3m Blue Surface Conditioning Disc

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Old 06-26-2009, 10:36 AM   #323
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Thanks Kip! Do you happen to have a photo laying around anywhere of method #4? Also do you have a suggestion on what is a "good or high quality" straight shear that I should invest in?
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:39 AM   #324
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Kip is indeed the master, I'd certainly follow his suggestions.

And if I had any long straight cuts to make, like the kind you might have for an exterior panel, I'd definitely try to rig my table saw up to do it.

But for my small jobs, I used a hand-held shear, like the second one you posted from HF. It does wander a bit, and it can roll up the edges too if you're not careful. With some practice you can MOSTLY get the hang of it, but it was never completely perfect that's for sure.
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:42 AM   #325
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As I'm getting ready to go to the Timeless Travel Trailer Garage sale I will post pictures later today.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:59 PM   #326
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Another method that's great for large pieces is to use a carbide tipped flush-cutting router bit and a straight edge as a guide. You would want to rough-cut it first, maybe 1/4" oversize and then finish it off with the router. It makes a very clean cut without having to manipulate a very large piece on the tablesaw.
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Old 06-28-2009, 01:13 AM   #327
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great hot weather project

Decided to take a few breaks while working on the pump house structure on the pool and start repairing the black tank that was "lovingly" removed from the trailer by the PO. The toilet sits directly on this tank, which is very thick fiberglass, but holes were drilled around the fittings top and bottom for reasons that make no sense to me, since nothing was physically keeping the tank from being removed except two sections of rubber hose below. ANYWAY, the plan is:

fiberglass the top hole (worked on that today) then once curred, drill the hole for the toilet flange, then reinforce the flange below with stainless plate on either side of the opening, braced down the sides of the tank to take the load off the fiberglass and transfer it through the tank to the floor, otherwise I think in time the patch would fail.

I set the tank upside down, waxed a piece of lexan, then taped it off to create somewhat of a mold, and proceeded throughout the day to layer on 7 layers fiberglass and filled in the missing material, the last piece being a nearly 2 foot square inside that will be then reinforced as described above. That stainless will be glassed into place also to help hold it, and the toilet flange bolts will also pass through it to further keep it in place (plus it will have gravity on its side).

Here is the end result, well not the end, but the end of one day. Some sanding, filling and I think it won't be noticable at all. Next goes in the stainless, then more fiberglass, then will fiberglass in the new thetford valve flange into the bottom, which for now has served as my access to this repair, then have to make a form to repair the front skirt of the tank that was torn off as well.

I'll have a decent amount of materials into it, but nobody makes an exact replacement, and being fiberglass I might as well repair it.

Photo 1 before:
Photo 2 during (from below looking up in):
photo 3 after stage 1.
photo 4 after stage 1 closer up
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Old 06-28-2009, 04:52 PM   #328
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Won the omni chest on ebay, am happy to have a complete bathroom now, well all the pieces that is!!
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:41 PM   #329
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Scott, one of my other hobbies is to restore old corvettes. I have done a fair amount of fiberglass work. You may think about using fiberglass cloth as opposed to the mat. I think it may give you more strength.

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Old 06-28-2009, 07:18 PM   #330
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Thanks, actually the first layer (filling the hole only) was mat but the other 6 layers was cloth, only because right before I went to get more material I read on another thread someone saying the same thing. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:41 PM   #331
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Excited today, received a few packages

my rivets from aircraft spruce
a new henschen axle with centramatic balancers
thetford glass in valve flange so I can finish the black tank repairs.

So back to work on the black tank tomorrow, and hope to have the toilet flange area finished so I can start the repairs of the bottom half.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:06 AM   #332
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Just a question, I know you're trying to keep it as close to original as possible, but have you considered using Valterra hardware for the black tank dump assembly? It's a more modern alternative which won't affect the look of your rig at all. Like your A/C, it's a convenient update.

Several of us have spent quite a few hours converting our Thetfords to Valterras using adapter plates and such, but right now you have the ability to go any direction you choose and avoid the need for an adapter at all (I'm assuming there must be some way to glass in a Valterra fitting rather than a Thetford fitting of course).

Just an idea, keep up the good work!

-Marcus
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:04 PM   #333
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tank repairs continue

Repairs continue on the black tank. Not much excitement here but appreciate the advice so I'm posting progress.

Top of tank has been rough sanded, and hole cut for the toilet flange. After sanding I filled with resin a couple rough edges and low areas to be sanded next. Top of the tank is starting to look better






Bottom of the tank, using fiberglass cloth rather than mat as suggested first coat of filling the holes from them prying up the tank have started. Area sanded with a grinder and cleaned before going on. Will get 3 layers outside, and 3 layers inside.



In an effort to overengineer the toilet base, which again is only held up by the tank itself (no plywood etc) two aluminum braces are starting to go in, which also have verticle members transfering the weight to the bottom of the tank, which sits flat on the plywood subfloor. This should help make up any structure lost by the hack job done in the first place. Will be glassed in so its smooth. Toilet flange will have a couple stainless screws that tap into this to further remove stress from the fiberglass itself.



Still considering valve brand now, but have a few days to make a decision. I do have the old section cut out of the bottom, so I will glass that back in and grind down the stock valve base and glass in which ever brand I decide to go with.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:38 PM   #334
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Work begins

We just returned from a week at Wallowa State Park in Oregon with our Tradewind. Was great weather most of the time, and as usual the wildlife was happy to be around the park. Our son Jason loved watching the deer come through.







This morning we finished cleaning the Tradewind and took it to storage, and brought 8671 back home. First project was unloading the majority of the interior contents into my now much more empty garage. I also removed the pressure tank and pump, which I now question whether or not to reuse refurbished, refurbish and convert to a standard pump type tank, or replace with a modern plastic tank.

Floor is totally gone under the tank, as are many of the front mounting plate rivets. Does anyone have specs on which ones I should use for this?



This week I hope to install the new axle, replace the glass and gaskets in the jelousie windows and have the front window frame welded so that I can fix the weatherstrips on this (it has been a major leak for some time, contributing to the lack of floor under the tank)





Then 2 more sheets of plywood to replace next, then 2 new pieces of skin to put on. I stopped for today due to the fact it was 94 degrees outside the trailer, and most of the ceiling in the trailer has no insulation, so it was over 100 degrees inside.
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:58 PM   #335
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Went to several glass companies before I found one that would cut the glass for the jelousie window that wasn't more interested in talking me into doing it with lexan etc instead to be safer. Glass will be ready in the morning.

Axle was loaded in my pickup and taken to a friend around the corner that is a good stick welder and he got the shock mounts on for me. Tomorrow weather permitting off will come the old axle, a few holes to drill and some cleaning and hope to be on a new axle ready to go.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:15 PM   #336
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Hi Scott! Sorry we missed you in OR.. I was pedaling my 200 miles from Seattle to Portland (with about 9,999 other folks!)... saw a couple of AS's on the road on HWY 30 south of the Longview bridge.

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:28 PM   #337
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Axle almost done

What a pain in the butt!!!

On the 69 I was able to change both axles, paint the frame and have the tires back on in just under 2 hours (for the pair).

I had high hopes this axle swap would go just as smoothly.... wow was I wrong. Beginning measurement ground to wheel well, 19.5"



9:30 AM I started, got the trailer up on jack stands and curbing blocked up on either side of that as a backup.

Confirmed even with air deflated tires couldn't be removed due to the axle being all the way to the stops.

Started working on removing axle bolts so I could drop the axle enough to take tires off. Was smart enough to hit all the bolts with PB blaster the other day, again yesterday and more this morning .

First bolt, zipped on out second, wouldn't budge, third, wouldn't budge, fourth, you guessed it, wouldn't budge. SOOOOOO sawzall and cutoff wheel here we come, cut the heads off the bolts, finally broke the rust loose enough to get the axle down and out.

Do you think the angle was bad?



Finally worked the new axle up into place, started drilling the holes since its the year range the holes don't line up, got it bolted together. Attached the lower half the shock (more explained later), backing plates, balancers, and tires back on. She's mostly empty so very light, but measures in now at 24.5 inches, a full 5 inches higher than before. Tires will get replaced, wheels powder coated etc at a later date.





Upper shock mounts will get shortened in the next day or too, too long, and still need to hook up the brake wires. Just finished, no lunch break, and so, 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM.... Thank god I'm not in a shop I'd have made the owner go broke on that one.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:33 PM   #338
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Wow! Are these axles a 22 degree down, or 35? Those old ones are shot, no joking! Mine look similar, just frozen a bit more down (I can get the wheels off, fortuneately... but not my new rims).

About your water tank. I'm pretty sure Don of Don and Claudia have the orginal pressurized system.. you might want to p.m. him... I do remember him having a pump issue. Do you need a pressure cap? I think I have my orginal one with the Schrader valve on it (I think it didn't have a pump, but was pressurized from outside with a bike pump or something like it?).

You didn't happen to use a tape measure today for me, did you? If not, don't go back under it.... you've had enough fun!
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:43 PM   #339
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Oh forgot to measure Marc! I will do that tomorrow, I totally forgot!!!!!! I will be back up under there tomorrow hooking up the brakes and finishing the shocks anyway so will do. I'll post a picture of the cap I have, not sure about if it is right, has some type of small valve AND a hose valve threaded in it. Appears the only place to use city pressure is through another valve, basically the tank drain valve below the trailer, no signs of other hook up locations. I'll get it contact with Don too and see how it works for them. For now, hot tub is calling my name, I feel old....

Axles are from Inland, did opt up 500 lbs from stock because of the A/C unit going on, but nothing crazy, so I believe they are still 22 degree.
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:43 PM   #340
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Scott. I haven't forgotten about showing you how to cut a long sheet with hand tools only, but I got shipped back to Canada AGAIN and didn't get the photos taken. I should be home sometime the first week of August and will get pictures of the procedure. The rivets for the front plate are going to be MS20470AD5-?, the ? will be in the range of a -6 or -7.

Kip
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