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Old 07-29-2015, 05:13 PM   #61
3 Rivet Member
 
1971 31' Sovereign
Christine , North Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 140
I've taken some time off from physical work, but the research continues, and I stand in the mostly empty shell every other day or so trying to determine the future of the AS.

I found some articles I need to bookmark before I loose them.
Polishing INTERIOR window frames -- airforums.com

Now that the interior if almost completely out, I'll need to start planning on the final cleaning and painting.
Roller painting or spray painting
I'm restoring my 1970s end caps finally :-) --airforums.com
I also read this build from beginning to end, they used nothing but Krylon Fuzion rattle cans.
Our 1986 32' Excella Rehab -- from rear bedroom to bunkhouse with two bedrooms -- airforums.com

Which made me also wonder if 1 AC unit was enough for a 31 footer.

I've finished reading the "Little Girl Rebuild" thread.
Love the attention to detail. Finally found the part with the Recor roof paint, looks great, I'm wondering if I should do that first.

With mine, I think I'll be going a tad more spartan similar to the current Eddie Bauer editions (but better cushions). Something with a nice bedroom for the adults and fold away sleeping for the two little ones. I have access to a CNC plasma and a CNC brake, I could make most of the interior out of aluminum frame work.. its a thought I've had. More aluminum and rivets.. just what an AS needs (but maybe not)

A lot more brainstorming needs to be done.

Now that I'm done moving hay in the sweltering heat, perhaps I'll start feeling like getting up early and working again.
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Old 09-04-2015, 11:29 AM   #62
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1971 31' Sovereign
Christine , North Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 140
Sorry I've been away for a while, work, life, and a 'new' acquisition.
Something I've been looking for

1975 F250 Crew Cab Short Bed
4x4
non-stock 400/C6


It doesn't have everything I want, but it has everything I need.
Hadn't been run in over 2 years, basic tune up stuff.
Plugs, wires, exhaust leaks, fuel leaks, junk in the fuel tank, old gas.

Lots of room for improvement
A little rust repair
Researching 1999-2007 F250 interior swap (for long haul driving)
Looking for upgraded 'racetrack' trim
Researching suspension upgrades, so far I'm planning.
1999-2004 F250 front leaf springs (front)
1988-2005 GM 64" Rear leaf springs (rear)
I'll make new bumpers front/rear, I'd like a class III receiver hitch at both ends.
Needs nerf bars or running boards.

I was looking for one of these for the last 7-8 years, so I know far more about them than I do Airstreams.

I won't be replacing the 2005 F250, but now I will have options.

I didn't finish getting hay home until last Monday.

And I finally got the right flywheel I need for the Case skidsteer motor repower, the truck needs to be road worthy and the skidsteer needs to be usable before snow flies.

Unfortunately the Airstream is a want, so it takes the backburner for a while longer.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:35 PM   #63
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1971 31' Sovereign
Christine , North Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 140
After a lot of distraction, and North Dakota Winter...

I'm back at it!

I've got flooring on order, yesterday I got my wife and kids to help scrub the walls as I was tearing out the last of the interior structure.

After her initial scrubbing, my wife went back over the wall with some sort of bleach based cleaner, I don't know what it was, but it worked magic.

I finally got the stove and sink along with the counter removed. Also removed is the furnace and water pump. This side hasn't been scrubbed yet.


I have removed a massive quantity of 'stuff' from this trailer, even though each piece seems small and lightweight, it all adds up.

If you need anything 1971 Airstream related, elt me know, I might have it, and it all must go. I am keeping the aluminum wall attachment brackets for connecting the walls to the inner shell, and at least a few of the wall segments for templates to make the new walls.



And it is mostly cleared out.


I thought I'd be removing the black tank real soon, but my wife threw me a curve yesterday, she said we should keep the original bathroom for this year to make it the 'most usable'. But then she also asked me to run our new flooring (not installed yet) UNDER everything in the bathroom for continuity.

FWIW, I know it isn't recommended to put down flooring on the entire trailer floor, I've read that furniture should be attached to the actual trailer floor and then flooring should fill the voids between cabinets.

However we don't know what we are going to do for floor plan or cabinetry so I will be covering the entire floor with snap-lock laminate. The flooring should arrive today.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:07 PM   #64
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1971 31' Sovereign
1973 29' Ambassador
Palm Desert , California
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 356
Do you have the gaucho bed? I want to replace one of the twins with a gaucho.

I wish I could get my crew to pitch-in like that. It's coming along!
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:27 PM   #65
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1971 31' Sovereign
Christine , North Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 140
Sadly, mine did not have a gaucho when I bought it.
The large area in the front that is carpeted was completely void of furniture, the previous owner had put a dorm sized hide-a-bed in there.

After my long absence, I was just reading your posts and saw that you are having problems locating one, sorry no help here.

I'm curious to see what you come up with regarding the black and grey tank dilemmas.

I am off to find a cover for the sky light, a tree branch fell on mine in sub zero temps... and the plastic didn't stand a chance.

And I need to replace both roof mounted fan assemblies.
For the fans, I am thinking about fantastic fans for now, and then possibly upgrade them to rain detection later.

I also need a recommendation what gauge aluminum to use for patches, I am going to be ditching the original Radio and TV antennas and I need to plug those holes.
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:09 PM   #66
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1971 31' Sovereign
1973 29' Ambassador
Palm Desert , California
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 356
I looked at your pictures again and didn't think you had a gaucho. No big deal. I th No the twin and gaucho are the same size so I should be able to swap them.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:52 PM   #67
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
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Images: 11
My 1971 31ft Sovereign

I didn't put EVERYTHING over my new flooring, but if I had it to do over again I would.

I scrapped all of the old bath fixtures and I am glad I did, but this is for sure a matter of preference. Click image for larger version

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Sorry, it is very hard to get pictures in the bath area....

Click image for larger version

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Ours is a 72 that we have been living in over the past few weeks... )

Superat stultitia.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:59 PM   #68
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
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Images: 11
My radio antenna patch... Click image for larger version

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I think I used .035 or so.


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Old 05-16-2016, 09:38 PM   #69
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1971 31' Sovereign
Christine , North Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 140
Thanks for the aluminum thickness.
JP. I've read your rebuild, you did a lot of nice work in there.

My real concern with flooring everything is the biffy.

Do I cut the laminate so the toilet sits on the original subflooring?

Can the connection from the black tank be extended the 7/16" thickness of the new floor? (10mm flooring with 1/8" underpad-- I am certain it is not a full 7/16")
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:46 PM   #70
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
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Images: 11
I cant say what the black tank flange can or can not do, I used a residential toilet flange that sat on top of my laminate flooring.


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Old 05-19-2016, 12:38 PM   #71
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1971 31' Sovereign
Christine , North Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 140
I cleaned and removed items Monday night, took Tuesday night off for family stuff, and then back at it Wednesday evening.

Looking forward, I had my phone/camera basically up against the bathroom light fixture.


Somewhat unrelated, I had to go buy some DVI video cables the other day and the computer shop I stopped at had this microPC, for $200, it might be an addition I want to make for the AS.. it runs a full version of Windows10, so I could stream DishNetwork from my home DVR, watch Vudu, Amazon Prime, or Netflix by connecting it to a TV with a HDMI cable.


I pulled out the front side window curtain valances. Which highlights the color differences between the original color of the front end cap and its current (yellowed) color.


Eventually I will need to get new surrounds for the front windows.

Those windows also need to be replaced with glass some day as well, currently the PO replaced them with plexi, and then another PO put tint on them.

Making progress on the bathroom removal, the tub and shelf above it are out, the sink and upper toilet surround are out. Lots of cursing happened, and some really stank black fluid leaked from those sink and tub drains onto my hand/arm. I managed to break one drill bit and dull another.


And then presto (for you) the toilet, toilet surround, and water heater are gone!

I had also found use for my sawzall, and I cut off a lot of the black pipe, I left it long until I figure out what I'm going to do with it.

You will also see that I pulled out 95% of all copper pipe. The copper was yet another cause for swearing. Everything was solid/sweated on the fixtures, unlike a house which uses copper, then rubber line to the faucet, my Airstream was fully soldered. I cut the pipes... with a pair of vice grips; it helped with the frustration.


By this time, it was 9pm (sunset), time to put the kids to bed.


This morning, I had to clean up my mess..

I am wondering what the hole in the bottom of this picture is for. One of the previous owners had shoved it full of plastic, then duct taped it closed. Very peculiar.

The toilet ring is failed, the farthest away bolt spins in the hole and it is lifted/tilted.


The light was terrible for pictures this morning, strong sun beaming in hole that once housed the water heater.


In addition to the failed toilet ring, I also found this vent tube connection has failed on the black tank.


I also noticed, but didn't take a picture of, I have the dreaded "trailer sag" the curb side rear corner (under the tub) has a gap. I didn't have a helper, but if I did, I bet I (or they) could have slipped their hand into the gap when I stood on the rear bumper.

I think this is (sadly) the best picture for showing the affected area.


The area that was under the water heater is dry rotted


So is the area immediately inside the rear hatch door.


Under the tub is solid wood, but the floor feels like it is missing support.



This is all the plumbing; water supply, drains, and vents from inside the trailer. And the other associated bathroom parts.



For giggles, I pulled the '75 F250 crew cab up in front of the trailer so I could get a feel for how the entire package will eventually look.


On the truck so far, I have swapped the original '78 F250 rear leaf springs out in favor of some 2009 F250 leaves, and inverted the shackle at the rear, this gave me 9.5" more leaf spring length and increased my carrying capacity by almost 1000lbs, the inverted shackles should help with spring movement compared to the stock configuration. I have also swapped in a 38 gallon fuel tank to replace the original 19gallon unit. Last week I picked up a Class 5 receiver hitch, that I hope to install soon. I am a little concerned about the frame right height disparity, the truck is so high compared to the trailer tongue.


When I order new axles, I am going to specify the 32° down angle, I am also going to be ordering a set of the Torflex Lift Kit - Dexter Axle which the claim is good for 2.875" of lift.

And I will be ordering larger tires/rims. I need to do more reading on the tires and rims, it seems that people have been liking the Michelan 225/75R16 (29.5" tall) and others like the 235/85R16 (31.5" tall)

It happens that the truck is currently running the 235/85LT16 Load range E tires on it already. It is also possible to order the new axles with the same bolt pattern as the truck (8 on 6.5"). I need to do some reading about using standard rims on a trailer (recommended rim dimensions) because it would be very cool if I could run the same tire/wheel on both AS and TV.

I am going to venture a guess right here.
With new stock axles I should gain about 1.5"
With upgraded tires, I should gain 1"
With the Dexter lift, they are claiming almost 3"
I'll measure clearance now, and I'm going to estimate 5.5" of lift by the time those three upgrades are complete.

That should get the frames closer to being parallel, and should reduce my chances of dragging the rear bumper.

I'm hoping to get the trailer weighed, the whole thing and also figure out the empty/dry tongue weight today or tomorrow. I called a local feed elevator and they leave their scale (for grain trucks) on 24/7 and it has digital readout.

This is the second trailer load of AS furniture and walls that I've hauled out of the trailer.
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:57 PM   #72
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1971 31' Sovereign
1973 29' Ambassador
Palm Desert , California
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 356
That mystery hole in the floor is where the fart fan exhaust goes.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:08 PM   #73
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1971 31' Sovereign
Christine , North Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaCraig View Post
That mystery hole in the floor is where the fart fan exhaust goes.
The duct hose that came off my fart fan was just shoved under the surround that is behind the toilet.

another mystery hole that I didn't expect was near the furnace, under the oven, the furnace duct had a 3.5" round duct that fed heated air into the belly of the AS, I thought that was interesting..

for some reason trying to find a decent thread on here on fixing rearend sag has proven more difficult than I thought it would be.
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:52 PM   #74
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1971 31' Sovereign
1973 29' Ambassador
Palm Desert , California
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 356
That was probably to route warm air to the black tank to keep it from freezing.

If you don't sell your interior can you take apart one of the pantry doors? I've always wondered if I could take them apart and change the formica.
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Old 10-03-2016, 12:01 PM   #75
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1971 31' Sovereign
Christine , North Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 140
I haven't had a whole lot of time to work on the Airstream, but I determined that I am going to get the roof sealed up before everything freezes. That way *theoretically* I could get a furnace installed and continue working through the frozen months, late October-March. And ideally, I'll keep it in the barn so I have wind protection as well as marginal temperature shelter.

And it does get cold, like arctic tundra cold.


Last weekend, I cleaned out a corner of the barn and used my little tractor to pull it inside so I don't have to worry about moisture issues or the last remaining bugs.



Parking spot for at least the near future.


For at least October, this Falcon will be its companion.



Here is where I'm starting. I figured the front/pass window was the easiest to figure out which tools work and what doesn't.


More cleaning and polishing.


Top ledge.




After some cleaning with acetylene, 0000 steel wool, and a high speed polishing wheel.


I think after a little more polishing with different compounds and I think it will shine better than new.


I spent a few minutes polishing up the front/pass segment. I think for now at least, I will stick to the areas immediately around the windows/doors and then I'll focus on the larger areas later. I like this corner, it is slenderizing.



Then I moved on to the Driver Side front vista view window.
Slathered with silicone.


It is pretty disgusting.


Some of it peeled right off with almost no mechanical scraping.


And I assume this is the stock window sealant under the silicone.


After quite a few times over it scrubbing with the steel wool and acetone, I started digging into the gap between the vista window and airstream skin with a set of metal dental picks. Normally I'd recommend against scraping aluminum with steel, but this is an area that *should* be completely hidden/sealed once done.

When I got digging in so far, eventually I started digging out this white material, does anybody know what this is and if I should get it out or leave it alone?


This window isn't done yet, but its coming along nicely.
I am also going to remove the window awning rail that is between the vista windows and the side windows. I don't have any window shade for it, and whomever installed it used steel screws that are now rusting.



Luckily some windows escaped the previous owner and his/her tube of silicone..


This is going to be a 'fun' spot to clean.
Once cleaned, should I fill this level with sealant?



There is a lot more work that needs to be done up top.
The antenna needs to be removed.
I need to replace the Astrodome cover and the sealant around it.
I also need to replace the roof vent fans.
When I had it parked outside, the birds must have thought it looked like a good parking spot for them too.


And once I get the cracks and crevices all clear of debris and old sealant, I am still unclear on a few points. I read this thread about sealants.

Sealants Summary -- airforums.com -- TinTin
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinTin View Post
(added 3M 5200 to roof sealants)

For wheel wells/underbody:

Vulkem 116
Trempro 635 Grey
Sikaflex 221 Black (use Eternabond spray cleaner to prepare surface)
Adseal Premium Quality Sealant Grey

Roof:

Sikaflex 221 White (for roof seams, seals and bonds. Use Eternabond spray cleaner to prepare surface)
Sikaflex 715 (around fans, vents, skylights ... self-levelling)
Adseal Premium Quality Sealant White
Dicor self-levelling sealant
EternaBond® AlumiBond (alum. backed sealing tape, 2", 3", 4", and 6" wide)
Lexel™ Clear
3M 5200 (seals and bonds, comes in quick and slow cure varieties)

Windows/Trim/Rubrail/Exterior Lights:

Sikaflex 221 Grey (seals and bonds. Use Eternabond spray cleaner to prepare surface)
Parbond Grey or Clear (small hand tubes, prep and clean-up use cosmoline remover)
Trempro 635 Grey
Loctite® PL® S40 Polyurethane Window Door and Siding Sealant
Lexel™ Clear

Small seams (between aluminum panels):

Acryl-R (available in cans from Airstream store. Use applicator or disposable syringes to apply)
Aluminum Pigmented Gutterseal

Rivet sealer:

Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure
I need to find some articles on application processes masking/spreading/cleanup while I continue to clean. And I need to decide if I want to paint the roof white or leave it natural to decide on what color to use for the roof mounted items, vents/fans/astrodome.
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Old 10-03-2016, 06:04 PM   #76
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1976 31' Excella 500
fort collins , Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 5
Twin to your Sovereign.

So I was given an AS a 1975 Excella 500. Looks like everything in it works and is in good shape. I'm only the 4th owner. Unfortunately that's where it stops. It has badddddd Holes!!! floor rot in both the front and rear. I'm not sure if this is sag or not but the bracket that holds the axles and such is kind of crumpled. I have lots of experience with welding and straightening things. I've been in the skilled trades all my life and can fix almost anything. But is this worth fixing? It still has the 6 glasses and blender. Plus a dealer installed generator with 76 hours. Need some advice from someone who's been there. Thanks for all the great advice i've read that people have posted. Airstreamers are defiantly a family. I look forward to joining. If it's salvageable. Shame on the last owner just let it rot looks like. ARGH!! Pat
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Old 10-03-2016, 06:48 PM   #77
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1971 31' Sovereign
Christine , North Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 140
Patrick.
This really isn't the place for your question. You would get better response in a different area, I'd suggest the Excella sub catagory

Your question can't really be answere by anybody but yourself. Pictures of the problem areas would help with opinions. But even after you get opinions the question would remain.

Is it worth it?

Probably.
More so if you do your own work.
Less so if you have to farm out the repairs.

Aside from catastrophic damage to the outer shell, I haven't seen anything that can't be repaired.

Take lots of pictures.
Ask lots of questions.

From your brief description I would expect that you need to:

Fix all roof and window leaks
Replace the floor
Inspect the trailer while the floor is off. Repair or replace the trailer as necessary.

Lots of luck.
-ron
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:26 PM   #78
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1976 31' Excella 500
fort collins , Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 5
Twin to your Sovereign.

Thanks so much. I will post some pic's so you can see what I'm up against. I would value your input since you've ""Been there done that." Like I said Airstreamers are great people. Thanks for setting me straight on the best place to post my situation.
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Old 10-07-2016, 12:10 PM   #79
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1971 31' Sovereign
Christine , North Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick67 View Post
Thanks so much. I will post some pic's so you can see what I'm up against. I would value your input since you've ""Been there done that." Like I said Airstreamers are great people. Thanks for setting me straight on the best place to post my situation.
I am there.. doing that. Neck deep in pretty much all of it. But I'm comfortable there, and I believe that when I get done it will all be worth it.

As a home owner I've done all the normal stuff, replacing sinks, toilets, counter tops, flooring. And I have been rebuilding cars and trucks since the late 80's.

No matter what problem I find, I'll take care of it. I just need to find pertinent repair articles and try my best to do it right the first time.

we look forward to seeing your project.
-ron
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:53 AM   #80
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1971 31' Sovereign
1972 31' Sovereign
1983 31' Airstream310
Soddy Daisy , Tennessee
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 603
71 Sovereign

Phlegm;
Good luck with your adventure. I bought a 72 31' Sovereign three years ago that was not on its frame and in pieces. We strapped it down and pulled it over 200 miles and it held together. After retiring in Dec. 2014 I have been able to complete mine except the belly pan which I am working on now. It is not perfect but after 42 years it looks great to me. Your shell brought back memories of the work I had to do. You will find a tremendous amount of info on this site and some incredible help from Airstreamers like Minno, Aerowood, Desert Air, J Morgan and many others. It is worth it if you have the patience and time. I spent more than I should have but my wife has fell in love with it and my children and Grandchildren can't wait. Once again good luck and don't give up. I am fixing to start on a 71 31' for them also. Jim
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