RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-13-2019, 05:40 AM   #101
4 Rivet Member
 
wcronin4's Avatar

 
1978 31' Sovereign
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 376
Banana and Side Panels Removed

Just finished removing the banana panels and side panels. I don't know what made me think that all of these panels had a pre-bent bow in them, but as you can see, only the banana panels at the four corners have been pre-formed.

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1877.jpg
Views:	57
Size:	357.6 KB
ID:	333520

Aluminum does not like steel, and many places where the two metals come in contact the aluminum corrodes.

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1880.jpg
Views:	57
Size:	305.3 KB
ID:	333521

The banana panels are in good condition and can be reused. And the other panels are good for patterns.

Anyone know, what gauge and grade aluminum these panels and the belly panels are made from?

Won't be able to physically work on Faith for the next ten days, but I will be using the time and the Forum for planning the next steps.
wcronin4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2019, 08:09 AM   #102
4 Rivet Member
 
Joyflea's Avatar
 
1967 26' Overlander
Alpine , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 298
My belly pans are .024 and the other is .032 . The dissimilar metal bonding just needs to be isolated and their is where the problem lies . Have fun , we will be watching. Blue
Joyflea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2019, 09:38 AM   #103
4 Rivet Member
 
wcronin4's Avatar

 
1978 31' Sovereign
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 376
Thanks Blue

Thanks for the info.

The side pans and long belly pan do seem like different gauges.

Thanks again
wcronin4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2019, 09:10 PM   #104
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,447
Images: 1
According to Airstream, our "late seventies" trailers were skinned with Alcoa H004 H18 aluminum brite panels .032 thick. I used standard 5052 not heat treated aluminum .025 for the belly aluminum. I purchased my belly pan aluminum from Airparts in Kansas City.

It is fortunate your banana wraps are in reusable condition. They are hard to make. The side wraps are the same material as the side skins.

Now I suppose you can see all the rivets holding the body to the "c-channel" as well as the bolts holding the c-channel to the subfloor. This c channel on the sides of our trailers is more like an upside down F. The aluminum actually surrounds the plywood subfloor cutline. It may be an extrusion. This is not the case in the front or rear curves of the trailer. Here is a photo of my trailer, both front of the water heater channel along the sides of the trailer, and then the rear of the water heater showing the c channel for a decent view of the floor channels.

David
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1803 Floor Channel (Small).JPG
Views:	62
Size:	109.8 KB
ID:	333641   Click image for larger version

Name:	1803 Floor Formed C Channel (Small).JPG
Views:	55
Size:	129.3 KB
ID:	333642  

Click image for larger version

Name:	1803 Floor Channel Picture (Small).JPG
Views:	55
Size:	114.1 KB
ID:	333643  
__________________
WBCCI #8607
VAC Region 11

See my 1966 Trade Wind Renovation Documentation:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers

See my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers

See our 1976 Sovereign Renovation Project:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 03:51 PM   #105
4 Rivet Member
 
wcronin4's Avatar

 
1978 31' Sovereign
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 376
Thanks David

Thanks David for info on gauge.

Do you know, or does anyone else know the bolt pattern on the wheels. Is it 6 lugs by 5.5? Know they’re 15”.
wcronin4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 08:09 PM   #106
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,447
Images: 1
6 studs on 5 1/2 bolt circle is correct for wheels and brake drums.

I'll feel better when someone else confirms my "correctness".

David
__________________
WBCCI #8607
VAC Region 11

See my 1966 Trade Wind Renovation Documentation:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers

See my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers

See our 1976 Sovereign Renovation Project:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 08:50 AM   #107
4 Rivet Member
 
Joyflea's Avatar
 
1967 26' Overlander
Alpine , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 298
Click image for larger version

Name:	E7336E06-C5AD-4CE9-B621-C93711F2D56D.jpg
Views:	46
Size:	290.4 KB
ID:	3336956on51/2 is right . Just bought four new ones from Vintage they are powdered coated .
Joyflea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 05:13 PM   #108
4 Rivet Member
 
wcronin4's Avatar

 
1978 31' Sovereign
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 376
Wheel Selection

Greeting!

The tires on Faith are so dry rotted I’m concerned that these “maypops” won’t last the distance when hauling the frame to the welder 60 plus miles away.

So I need new tires, but Faith’s rims are as toasty as the rest of her steel. So I was going to replace the wheels. Might as well get them now.

I’m considering aluminum wheels with a 2830 lbs max load per wheel rating. They’re probably made on Mars, assembled on Jupiter and shipped from the moon, so it is hard to judge quality from a GW rating.

Anyone have any words of wisdom. Work to resume on Faith this weekend after a great camping trip with family this week.
wcronin4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 06:16 PM   #109
Rivet Master

 
1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,777
Quote:
Originally Posted by wcronin4 View Post
Greeting!

The tires on Faith are so dry rotted I’m concerned that these “maypops” won’t last the distance when hauling the frame to the welder 60 plus miles away.

So I need new tires, but Faith’s rims are as toasty as the rest of her steel. So I was going to replace the wheels. Might as well get them now.

I’m considering aluminum wheels with a 2830 lbs max load per wheel rating. They’re probably made on Mars, assembled on Jupiter and shipped from the moon, so it is hard to judge quality from a GW rating.

Anyone have any words of wisdom. Work to resume on Faith this weekend after a great camping trip with family this week.
I agree with Blue and went with the rims from VTS on both our trailers. The powder coating holds up well. they look good with baby moon caps. I originally considered aluminum but read somewhere that they tend to expand when heated up. Don’t know if that’s true, but powder coating was fine with me. Good luck with your decision.
Bubba L is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 07:48 PM   #110
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,447
Images: 1
I like the Sendel aluminum wheel. Wheel selection is strictly a personal decision. Here are photos of the aluminum wheel that originally came on the 86 Limited. It is a slotted aluminum 15" wheel. Airstream used them for years. Here is the Sendel wheel we replaced them with. It is a "spoked" wheel. I also see them on a few Airstreams and on various other trailers in the campground.

David
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1407 Airstream Wheel-800x600.jpg
Views:	49
Size:	72.6 KB
ID:	334060   Click image for larger version

Name:	1406 Wheels Tires New 2-800x600.jpg
Views:	48
Size:	68.3 KB
ID:	334061  

__________________
WBCCI #8607
VAC Region 11

See my 1966 Trade Wind Renovation Documentation:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers

See my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers

See our 1976 Sovereign Renovation Project:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2019, 04:30 PM   #111
4 Rivet Member
 
wcronin4's Avatar

 
1978 31' Sovereign
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 376
Good to be back at work on Faith

Back to work on Faith
It was good to get back to work on Faith today after a 10-day layoff. Today, I began the work of disconnecting the body from the frame in preparation to separate the two. Today’s goal was to drill out all the buck rivets holding the body to the C channel.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1452.JPG
Views:	51
Size:	114.0 KB
ID:	334395
I had debated whether to purchase a drilling guide tool, but I noticed that 95% of the buck rivets have this tiny dimple in the center of the head. It was probably a mark left by the factory, riveting tool.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1455.JPG
Views:	52
Size:	88.4 KB
ID:	334396
Where this dimple was available, I took at auto center punch, placed the tip in the small dimple and gave it a few snaps, and the tool created a centered larger dimple to start the drill bit. This made the process go much faster than I had anticipated.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1450.JPG
Views:	54
Size:	106.5 KB
ID:	334397
I used a 1/8th inch bit to drill out the buck rivet.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1451.JPG
Views:	51
Size:	105.2 KB
ID:	334398
Then I took a sharp chisel and chipped off the head.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1453.JPG
Views:	47
Size:	104.9 KB
ID:	334399
Then I used a punch to push the remainder of the rivet out of the hole.
The buck rivets are soft and easily drilled out using a steel bit. Unlike pop-rivets, you CANNOT chip the heads off the buck rivets without first drilling out the center of the rivet. It took about two hours to drill out all the buck rivets in the C channel and the hold-down plate in front.
The wheel well trim.
My friend, Ian, warned me about the challenge of getting the inner wheel well trim off due to the fact that there are hidden pop-rivet parts lodged in the channel that cannot be seen. The next picture shows what one of the rivets in the channel looks like.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1446.JPG
Views:	56
Size:	199.1 KB
ID:	334400
There are several remnants of pop-rivets used to attach the outer trim piece to the inner piece that look like the picture above. And there really isn’t any way to get at these rivets since they are inside the channel. Ian said that he had to use persuasion on his trim, so I removed all the pop rivets I could find, then I inserted a stout putty knife between the body and the trim in the position shown in the pic below, gave it a few aggressive hits with a hammer and it popped loose.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1449.JPG
Views:	52
Size:	127.4 KB
ID:	334401
I then repeated the process on the other corner, and it came off as easily. Then I went along the trim and tapped it loose. Total time spent on both inner wheel well trim was 15 minutes. BTW, using this method did not damage the inner trim.
Tomorrow, if the weather cooperates, I’m going to finish removing all the bolts that hold the body to the frame in the U channel in the front and rear ‘caps.’ In Faith’s Front U channel, there are two types of bolts. I easily removed two standard bolts and nuts. There are four other “elevator” bolts that are supposed to work like carriage bolts. An elevator bolt has a flat head on one end, and threads for a nut on the other. The nuts are square and fit a half-inch deep socket. All four of the elevator bolts spin and since the heads are flat and very thin, it is difficult – scratch that- impossible to get vice grips on the flat end.
So tomorrow, I’m going to try using a cutting wheel in an angle grinder, if I can get the right angle from underneath. If that fails, I’ll try to use vice-grips, from the inside, and see if I can bend them back and forth and break them. If that fails . . .?
When all the bolts are free, and all the rivets are out of the C channel, I’ll start building the gantries.
I thought this part of the job would have been harder than it was. I was surprised that it went so smoothly. But I know from my experiences with Faith so far, there are always rivets you overlook and can’t see. There the ones that can be frustrating.
Bill
wcronin4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2019, 04:33 PM   #112
4 Rivet Member
 
wcronin4's Avatar

 
1978 31' Sovereign
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 376
AS wheels

Blue and Bubba

How much were the powder coated wheels from VTS?
wcronin4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2019, 05:04 PM   #113
4 Rivet Member
 
Joyflea's Avatar
 
1967 26' Overlander
Alpine , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 298
I think I payed around $55 ,look up their site and type in wheels . They also have wheels with WW tires .
Joyflea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2019, 06:19 PM   #114
Rivet Master

 
1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,777
Bill, ditto on the cost of the rims from VTS. By the way, if you plan on buying hubcaps from VTS along with your rims, make sure you ask them to try them for fit on your rims before shipping. The first set we purchased we had to send them back due to absolutely not fitting. For the 55, we happened to be in Santa Fe at their facility and tried several for fit. They were very accommodating.
Bubba L is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2019, 08:34 PM   #115
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,447
Images: 1
Hi Bill: One thing I learned here on the Forums was an easy way to remove old rusty elevator bolts.

Grab the bolt from the bottom under the trailer with a vice grip. Now bend the bolt back and forth until it fatigues and breaks. It's called the "wiggle, wiggle" method and it works well for me.

Take a look and see if you can fracture them by wiggling back and forth.

David
__________________
WBCCI #8607
VAC Region 11

See my 1966 Trade Wind Renovation Documentation:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers

See my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers

See our 1976 Sovereign Renovation Project:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2019, 10:03 PM   #116
1 Rivet Member
 
1976 31' Sovereign
Lake Clarke Shores , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 11
First, here is a picture of a normal AS window latch.
Attachment 333102
Here is one of Faith’s
Attachment 333103
Not good. Anyone know where to begin the search for replacing a couple of these that are badly corroded.


Hi Bill, so I've lurked on this forum for at least two years now, as that is how long we have owned our 1976 31' Sovereign which we unfortunately have not been able to work on as much as we would like but then again it was purchased as a very long term project.



So as to your question, the one thing I have done to our stream is rebuild all of the double pane curved side windows, vista stacks and vista views with only the front wing windows and flat awning window left to do. I to had window latches that had failed and in looking for an alternative to the pricey IMO replacement pieces from VTS found these:





They are Southco latches, part number 62-10-31 which is the part number for the chrome unit but, natural, brushed aluminum or black are options as well. You can use them as is but I believe you can drive the pin out of the handle and replace it with the oem airstream handle. I will know for sure tomorrow as that is my plan. They feel and operate just as the oem as far as quality goes but the best thing about them is that they are about 1/5 of the costs of the oem replacement units. I found the best price at the moment to be on ebay.



So there you have it my third post on the forum, hope it proves helpful.



Oh and just so you know you and David's frame pics have got me so freaked out that nothing more is getting done on our stream until I drop the pans and get a good close look at my frame, I know I have some rot in the back but no separation but now I've got to know if this is going to be a frame off restoration or not.
zero26tb4u is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 12:21 AM   #117
4 Rivet Member
 
my3sonsdad's Avatar
 
Vienna , VIRGINIA
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 460
Catching up on the beginnings of another epic build thread! Nice progress.

David, I have Sendel wheel envy.

I’m not sure I’ve seen another thread that used the pallet racks as gantries...very creative. I think I could actually convince the Mrs that they would serve multiple purposes (eg garage storage shelves).

Keep the Faith!
__________________
2001 Ford Excursion 7.3L
my3sonsdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 04:46 PM   #118
4 Rivet Member
 
wcronin4's Avatar

 
1978 31' Sovereign
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 376
Ready for some gantries

While I drilled out all the buck rivets holding Faith’s body to the C channel and the hold down plate in front yesterday, I had not chipped off all the heads and punched through the rivets. A week or two ago, I had a long discussion with my friend Ian (IANSK) about all the things that had to be done to disconnect the body from the frame and that discussion, and his recounting of the techniques he used, were most helpful. What I share below comes from his advice.
I am going to use gantries to lift the body off. I chose this method over other options because of its simplicity. And because I can use the gantries to manipulate the frame to paint it and to raise it up to complete the removal of all the belly components. Another reason is I have seen three 31 footers lifted with gantries with little or no super structure built inside the camper. Yes, it probably takes as much time to build the gantries as it does to build a lifting structure inside the body, but the added uses of the gantries tipped the scales.
Once the camper is stripped of all the interior skin panels, the goal is to go around the bottom where the floor and body meet and disconnect every rivet, E-bolt, regular bolt and screws that may hold it together.
You are working with two types of channels that attach the floor to the walls. C channels and U channels.
C channels run along both sides of the camper where the floor and the walls meet. They run along the straight sides of the camper. U channels are curved and run in an arc around the base of the end caps. In the C channel, the body is held to the channel with buck rivets. In the U channel, the body is held to the frame with Elevator (E) bolts and regular bolts. In addition there are hold down plates in the front and rear. On Faith, the hold down is a black plate, under the front center window with a bagillion rivets in it. Faith is so rusted out in the back I couldn’t tell you what the rear hold down looks like, but it “ain’t holdin’ dun not’ing.” When lifting the body off, the C channel and all the subfloor remain with the frame and the U channel stays with the body. This was totally confusing to me until I got all the banana and side panels off, then I could see where the different channels were used.
To disconnect the body from the frame all the buck rivets and all the remnants of other rivets need to be removed from the C channel. All the E-bolts and regular bolts have to be removed from the U channel. All the rivets need to be removed from the hold down plates front and back. And these little guys, Phillips head screws (all of mine were so corroded they had to be chipped out with a chisel), have to be removed from the U Channel.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1888.jpg
Views:	46
Size:	140.1 KB
ID:	334516
To make sure that all the rivets have been removed in the C channel, Ian suggested using a stout putty knife and running it between the body outer skin and the C channel to, 1) make certain that nothing was holding the body to the C channel, and 2) to free up the Vulkem (white goo) that was used to seal the body to the channel.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1886.jpg
Views:	43
Size:	166.9 KB
ID:	334517
Ian and others have reported that the elevator bolts can be broken by using vice grips to bend them back and forth until they break. It works like a champ.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1883.jpg
Views:	44
Size:	136.8 KB
ID:	334513
When I did this, all the bolts broke below the nut.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1884.jpg
Views:	46
Size:	274.2 KB
ID:	334514
While this technique worked well on most E-bolts, there were four that were so close to a spar that I had to use a cutting wheel on an a small grinder to cut them off from underneath.
Here are a couple of pics, which continue to document how roached out Faith’s frame is.
I was wondering why the step wasn’t working. One side was rusted through.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1885.jpg
Views:	49
Size:	210.1 KB
ID:	334515
Here is a shot of the axle plate on the passenger side. Note the shock is hanging out in space. It adds to my concern about hauling the frame to the welder and getting there without the frame falling apart.
So now the project moves to the next phase: building gantries. I found plans for the gantries by searching Air Forums, but Ian suggested beefing up the structure in certain places, which I plan to do. I will share the details as I post about its construction.
Bill
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1887.jpg
Views:	45
Size:	186.1 KB
ID:	334518  
wcronin4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 09:42 PM   #119
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,447
Images: 1
Very good description of preparing the body for liftoff. I can't remember the year, but that steel front hold down plate went away about 1980 or so. Many Airstreamers lamented it's disappearance. My 86 doesn't have one and I have exterior skin stress cracks radiating from the battery storage compartments. Maybe the cracks are related to a flimsy body over the A-frame.

I think when Faith's better half (the body) is swinging from a gallows, no gantry, that the frame will be greatly unloaded. If your axles are well bolted to the axle plates and you don't see any major cracks around the axle "U" slots, I would tow it to the fabricator, although slowly. The frame will bounce and flex since the body is off if it. If you are really concerned, bolt 2x12x16' long down the length of the frame rails to kinda hold it all together until it is delivered.

Our trailers are built on a semi-monocoque structure. The frame holds the body up, and the body holds the frame up, like an egg shell. The subfloor adds stiffness to the structure and makes for a good place to walk inside. If one of these critical members becomes weak or missing, the whole trailer is weakened too. I've seen buckled axle plates likely caused by rear end separation where the frame rails are no longer held up by the body.

Welcome to Bill's thread zero26. You both have 76 Sovereigns. I may be working on one next winter, we'll see. We both will learn a lot watching Bill's adventures.

David
__________________
WBCCI #8607
VAC Region 11

See my 1966 Trade Wind Renovation Documentation:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers

See my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers

See our 1976 Sovereign Renovation Project:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2019, 07:55 PM   #120
1 Rivet Member
 
1976 31' Sovereign
Lake Clarke Shores , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 11
Thanks dbj, I believe Bill's is a 78 but I'm still learning by following his build as well as others on the forum.
zero26tb4u is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
shell off, sovereign


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Frame Rust 1978 Sovereign 31" TGRIMM Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 4 12-04-2018 08:17 PM
Frame off vrs. Frame on RedRdgRnr Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 19 05-15-2018 08:31 PM
1978 31' 1978 Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht - South Florida JoshuaSteven Airstream Classifieds 0 08-12-2015 08:58 PM
can a frame be repaired without frame off restoration? RhinoWW Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 12 10-29-2014 11:46 PM
Frame off or not off... till Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 16 11-19-2003 06:20 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.