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Old 07-04-2020, 08:38 PM   #501
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Can of Beans - the slide down shade plastic was so heat damaged and brittle it just fell apart in my hand. None worth saving. I’m going to skin over the outside and in when the vistas are removed.
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Old 07-04-2020, 08:40 PM   #502
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Kay - thanks for sharing your Oly rivet Experience.
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:39 AM   #503
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Circuit Breakers

I may have mentioned recently that I was concerned about my circuit breakers getting warm - hot to the touch for me.

I've checked everything. Connections, connecting with and without a 30 amp extension - everything. I discovered that the porch 120v outlet that I occasionally use, puts out 107 volts which causes heating. I discovered using a converter on a 50amp outlet with an extension cord gives me 117 volts. Without the extension, and the AC running, this AS draws 15 amps and with the extension connected (30ft) it draws nearly 20. Extra amperage creates more heat.

Conclusion, low voltage and use of extension cords draws more amps.

But even after collecting all this info, with an inferred gun I was measuring 136 degrees on the hottest part of the main breaker. I ASSUMED that the breaker shouldn't be an hotter than ambient temperature. Today it was 95.

So how hot can a breaker get before failing or creating a fire hazard. I found this website https://www.se.com/us/en/faqs/FA173839/ that said, a circuit breaker should not be any hotter than 90 degrees above ambient air temperature, 50c for my Canadian friends. So that would give me a max temperature of 185 degrees. My 136 degree reading is well within the operating range, according to this site.

Since I have not had any issues with breakers failing, I tend to put some credence into this information.

Does this sound reasonable to all of you? Anyone have any experience with warm breakers and you've taken a temperature reading?

"Scotty, go to Warp seven. I need more power."
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Old 07-12-2020, 07:32 PM   #504
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We had our insurance company "risk inspectors" check the electrical distribution system in the factories that I worked in. They were looking for "hot spots" with an infrared temp gun. They then noted any potential fire starters in circuit breakers, junction boxes and the like.

Hot spots in electrical gear is a sign of overload due to all kinds of reasons. Try to run your AC on a 20 amp circuit and see what I mean. That's why God invented electrical fuses and circuits breakers, most of which open the circuit when they sense heat.

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Old 07-12-2020, 09:03 PM   #505
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David- what I was asking is if you thought the info I posted on circuit breaker heat sounded reasonable? Have you ever checked the heat on your AS?
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Old 07-13-2020, 07:14 PM   #506
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No Bill I have not. We know not to run the AC and the microwave at the same time. I only have 30 amps of AC power. I've only tripped a breaker once. It was a GFIC circuit due to my external AC outlet getting wet in a heavy rain storm. A new gasket solved that problem.

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Old 07-20-2020, 12:15 PM   #507
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Tambour Door Parts

Can of Beans, I was hoping to snag some of your tambour door parts, but since I’m going use face frames on all the cabinets I won’t need them. I do need the end caps, both driver and passenger sides pictured below:

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As you can see mine are split and brittle and and making a fiberglass mold for two pieces is impractical. If yours survived I would be happy to purchase them.

Circuit Breakers

My circuit breaker issues (main breaker reached temp of 180 degrees) were caused by two bad breakers; one was brand new. The OEM loaf center is a GE. It’s buss is identical to the current day design, so Contemporary GE breakers are right at home. The original box came with four full sized breakers, one 30 amp as the main and three more for branch circuits.

The new GE slim or “half height” breakers fit in the OEM box perfectly doubling circuit capacity. With the slim breakers, you can have a main breaker and seven other circuits. I ran new circuits for the ac portion of the hot water heater and I wanted a separate circuit for the microwave.
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Old 07-21-2020, 06:49 AM   #508
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Unfortunately, I didn't get the end caps when I got those parts,
the parts in the picture are the only ones I have for that curved front style.

I reused the end caps from my original cabinets, they were just flat pieces with edge trim on them and a curved F channel for the wall side.
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Old 07-26-2020, 06:21 AM   #509
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcronin4 View Post
Tambour Door Parts

Can of Beans, I was hoping to snag some of your tambour door parts, but since I’m going use face frames on all the cabinets I won’t need them. I do need the end caps, both driver and passenger sides pictured below:

Attachment 373408
Attachment 373409

As you can see mine are split and brittle and and making a fiberglass mold for two pieces is impractical. If yours survived I would be happy to purchase them.

Circuit Breakers

My circuit breaker issues (main breaker reached temp of 180 degrees) were caused by two bad breakers; one was brand new. The OEM loaf center is a GE. It’s buss is identical to the current day design, so Contemporary GE breakers are right at home. The original box came with four full sized breakers, one 30 amp as the main and three more for branch circuits.

The new GE slim or “half height” breakers fit in the OEM box perfectly doubling circuit capacity. With the slim breakers, you can have a main breaker and seven other circuits. I ran new circuits for the ac portion of the hot water heater and I wanted a separate circuit for the microwave.
Bill - I have enjoyed your thread! We just bought a 1978 Sovereign last month and are in the process of tearing her down. I have no intention of keeping those overhead pieces as, like you, I really wanted to open up and brighten up the interior. I have already tossed some that were beyond repair, but I will look this morning to see what I still have. I have sent you a PM to confirm what you still need.

This thread is an amazing source of information, especially as this our first Airstream renovation. We have gutted the interior, pulled the inner skins, insulation, wiring, and gas lines, and are now in the process of removing her wraps and belly pans. From the looks of the subfloor and the outriggers we can see, we have decided that this is going to be a skin off situation.
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Old 07-26-2020, 07:24 PM   #510
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Welcome to these AirForums and the vintage Airstream hobby. My friend and I renovated a 76 Sovereign last winter. He took it out traveling a few weeks ago. It is solid and they made it very nice inside. My son is taking my 75 Overlander out traveling in two weeks.

Sounds like you are blasting off to a big project. We like to say it takes ten times longer to put it back together again after the teardown. Just ask Bill. The 70s trailers were victims of the oil embargo, smaller less powerful vehicles, and a significant economy downturn. Airstream was building lightweight for easier towing and low cost for more sales. The trailers suffered some, especially with the interior cabinetry and that infamous 1/2" plywood subfloor. The bodies are standard Airstream and these old trailers can be renovated into quite nice travel trailers. Bill's "faith" will be such a trailer. He has done a great job with it.

David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:16 AM   #511
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Lab Lover

Let me join David in welcoming to to the Forum. Thanks for your kind words regarding this thread.

If you go the shell-off route, you’ll find, in the early entries of this thread, the saga of my own experience. IANSK, who did a shell-off with his Sovereign was a source of help during that phase. David has also been a tremendous source of help.

I am 19 months into my project and I would guess I have another six months of work left.

Again, welcome. If you need help, just let us know. And have fun!
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:33 PM   #512
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How Faith got her name.

In December 2018, I cut short my three-day-a-week golf habit due to some health issues. Not one to sit around, I knew I needed a project. I used to build street rods, and I was an avid woodworker. When we downsized to our cottage in New Smyrna Beach, I gave up a 1,000 sf workshop in North Georgia, but I retained some of my shop tools. I had always thought about redoing an AS. I had rebuilt two other stick-and-tin travel trailers, so I wasn’t without some experience. I thought I had the right combination of skills to make that redo possible. Had I known what I know now, I doubt I would have taken the project on. Then, when I made the purchase, I was 71. As it turned out, the shell was the only thing in relative good shape. The rest of it was a roach infested, greasy, filthy mess.
After having the Sovereign in my drive for a few days, I had the chance to dig into my purchase. It was obvious that the frame was beyond repair. The rear end was completely separated from the frame due to water damage and corrosion. The axles had no downward angle, which indicated they were worn beyond reuse. From limited research I had done on Air Forum, it became clear that the AS would have to be totally taken apart, the shell would have to be lifted off the frame, and a new one made from scratch. In addition, most of the interior plastic parts, including the front interior cap, were brittle, broken and unusable. The interior was a greasy, moldy, roached infested mess. What might be reused would need extensive cleaning and repainting.
In that moment, when the enormity of the repairs needed to make this AS useable came into full view, I was disappointed that I had made the purchase. I thought, “What have I gotten myself into?”
In 2005, I was teaching a management and supervision class to a management team at a telephone company in Tennessee. At the end of the course, a young woman and bright student, came up to me at the end of the class and handed me a key chain as a token of appreciation for the class. On the fob were these simple words, “With God All Things Are Possible.” Those words were so encouraging and so uplifting, I have kept that key chain these past 15 years.
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I looked at that old broken down AS sitting in a heap in my drive and those words resonated. I remember thinking, “It will take a lot of faith to get through this project.” So I gave my AS the name Faith, because that’s what it would take to finish it.
I wanted a reminder to myself every time I went into the AS that all things are possible with faith. So I had a decal made and placed it next to the entry door.
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When I get tired of working on it, or I get discouraged because things are not working out the way I had hoped or planned, the sign reminds me, “You can do this. With God all things are possible.” It is enough to keep me going.
That’s how Faith got her name.
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Old 07-27-2020, 02:10 PM   #513
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Hot Circuit Breakers Continued
The story is not over on the hot circuit breakers. The day after I replaced all the breakers in the load center, I came outside and didn’t hear the AC running. I went inside and the power was off to everything. I used a circuit testers and it showed that I had the hot side on all the outlets, but I still had no power. It was like one side of the circuit wasn’t working. So, I started digging. I remembered from other travel trailers I had, the neutral side of the circuit was prone to failure. I usually saw it with the extension cords where the rubber around the neutral side of the cord was melted or damaged. So I pulled out the plug from the entry receptacle and found this.
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Then I checked out the receptacle and found this.
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$150 later, I have a new cord and plug in. So what caused it? Perhaps I failed to sufficiently tighten the neutral wire in the receptacle. Perhaps the failing circuit breakers and the heat they produced was enough to cause the receptacle to fail. Regardless, the circuit breakers are cool, only a few degrees above ambient air temperature. And the receptacle is cool. Problem solved. Fingers crossed I don’t have a command performance.
Overhead Galley Cabinets
You will recall I put out an APB for anyone who might have had an end cap for the overhead cabinet over the galley. When I really looked at it, since I was replacing the tambour doors with face frames and regular cabinet door, the old end cap wouldn’t fit right. After I had the new face frame installed, it became apparent how I could make an end cap out of wood and tie it into the face frame. The pic below shows the end product. I am pleased with how this turned out.
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In fact, I am very pleased how these upper cabinets worked out using the face frame conversion. The original aluminum carcasses are light and the face frame gives the whole package more strength. And I think it will be a lot more appealing than the tambour doors.
Control Center
In the cabinet about the stove, I wanted to retain the cable operated vent door and the “Airstream Solid State Control System” contained therein. I love the stainless steel back and the red LED indicator lights. Pretty cool. Unfortunately I was unable to test the device until now and learned that a couple of components were bad, making the panel unusable.
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For all you tech types who wanted to upgrade their electronics, if you have one of these in good working order, I would love to purchase one. One of my thread followers said she was going to keep hers and use it as a decoration. As I said, they are cool. If someone would like mine for that purpose, PM me.
Vista View Windows
Well, I closed the final chapter on my vista view windows today.
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You can see from the pic, the vista view windows are history. Good riddance. I should have taken them out early on. I have many hours invested trying to save them if only for the look, which I really liked. May they rest in peace!
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Old 07-27-2020, 03:02 PM   #514
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Thank you, and I have been following your thread - so much information. Tomorrow we are going to finish taking off the belly pans. So far the frame does not look like a nightmare, but it is really hard to tell until the pan is completely off. The outriggers though - holy moly. We need to make friends with a welder!
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Old 07-27-2020, 04:00 PM   #515
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Lab lover

There are vendors who sell prefab outriggers. If you decide to go that direction, I’ll see if I can find them.
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:15 PM   #516
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Very nice story on how Faith got her name. Touching and inspirational. You could be a writer. Wait, you are one. And the Airstream "nose art" by the entry door is well done.

Once you spend 400 hours polishing Faith, the vista window covers will blend right in.

The overhead lockers look very good. And like you said, stronger to boot.

I think you dodged a bullet with that electrical cord failure. That's how fires start. I know the Furon plugs and receptacles are very emphatic on screw torque for the wire connections. The trouble is, with stranded wire, it crushes with torque and time. It was tight, but a week later, I find them below torque spec. Very glad you hunted it down and corrected it.

Keep the Faith.
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Old 07-31-2020, 03:20 PM   #517
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As I write this, Hurricane Isaias is bearing down on the State of Florida. Faith has her new fridge sitting on the floor but it is not buttoned down so Faith can’t be moved to the mainland and out of harms way until the fridge is addressed.

When you live in Florida, little things like hurricanes can change your priorities.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:08 AM   #518
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I hope for the best for you and Faith in the coming storm!

Kay
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:59 PM   #519
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Thanks, Kay.

It looks like the hurricane may fall apart before it gets here.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:20 PM   #520
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Hey Bill,

Glad to hear you’re safe from the storm.
Nice to see your upgrades in the galley, looks great!
You may consider getting some welting for the edge to wall areas, I just built out some bunks for my kids in the Avion and the welting hid any connection gaps.
I’ll send you the link if you’d like.
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