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Old 07-22-2011, 07:16 PM   #1
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Rusted out tank on 29' '85 Sovereign

I looked at a 29' 85 Sovereign today that had an exterior pan just to the rear of the axles. The pan appeared to stretch the width of the frame. On the street side, the pan had totally rusted through (nearly a 1/3 of the pan) and wires were visible hanging down from what ever the pan was covering.

Since this was the first 80's AS that I've looked out, I could use some help with the general construction of what is above these pans (not the belly pan that I'm aware of from looking at several Vintage 7x's Safaris/Tradewinds). The current owner indicated the AS had spent time in Florida.

Is this a general area of problems for the 80's Airstreams or something unique?

References to other threads would be welcomed...I just didn't know what to search on, so my apology if this is a widely discussed issue.

Thanks!
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:22 AM   #2
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Ok, a late night reading threads on sovereign/excella frame rust and belly pan jobs has given me a better appreciation of how much is lurking on the underside of this '85 Sovereign. If anyone has any good photos of the underside with the water tank belly pan removed from a mid/late 80's Sovereign/Excella, that would be helpful too. Also it sounds like an 85 is just old enough that these water tank belly pans need to be fabricated vs purchased, correct?
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:37 AM   #3
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In my '86 the fresh water tank, grey tank, & black tank are all encased in a galvanized box that spans the axle and is lower than the belly pan. The street side is where your dump valves are located. There may have been a leak for a long time from a dump valve & it rusted out the galvanized box. The wires are most likely the sensors for the tanks. I really doubt if the tanks are bad. You would have to make a hole in the galvanized box to get at the dump valves & see what's going on.
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckybillrae
In my '86 the fresh water tank, grey tank, & black tank are all encased in a galvanized box that spans the axle and is lower than the belly pan. The street side is where your dump valves are located. There may have been a leak for a long time from a dump valve & it rusted out the galvanized box. The wires are most likely the sensors for the tanks. I really doubt if the tanks are bad. You would have to make a hole in the galvanized box to get at the dump valves & see what's going on.
Thanks Becky!
It was your thread that I was up til 1am reading last night. It was GREAT!!!

The section on the sovereign that had rusted out was just below the valves and it was at least 18-24 inches square. I was in my office clothes in 110F heat so chose not to crawl underneath for a closer look...but now feel shamed having read your thread.

When the CO told me it had been in Florida, I began to get concerned about other parts the would corrode in that environment left exposed as much as they are. However it's possible the exposure allowed the rest of the pan to drain and dry out. It's currently parked near an open field, so I'm positive there is an entire alternate universe under there.


Thanks again! Your thread brought all kinds of images of fearless and industrious women riveting airplanes and tanks during WWII, so I got more than just good AS info from it!

Jim
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