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Old 04-08-2005, 08:03 AM   #21
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1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
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Axles, Tires, and Brakes

Starting to think about axels and brakes - posted are some pre-demolition pics.



Pic 1 - Front Forward Axle Flange and Gusset

Pic 2 - Front Forward Axle Gusset Bolt

Pic 3 - Rear Gusset Drivers Side

Pic 4 - Rear Gusset Plate Curb Side

Pic 1 - Rear Plate and Mount on Curb Side
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Old 04-08-2005, 10:25 AM   #22
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Dennis, I'm new to all of this, but those pictures don't look too bad. Am I missing something here?
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Old 04-09-2005, 01:02 PM   #23
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Questionable Axle's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
.... those (Axle) pictures don't look too bad. Am I missing something here?
...

The angle of all of the torque tube/spindle arms is just about "flat".

I have not yet had a chance to "ride" in the trailer and evaluate just how harsh the suspension is, but some thought has been given to an update to the the overall ride system, including tires, wheels, and the axles themselves.

I guess I need to ask a couple of questions -

First - is anyone experiencing a satisfactory "ride" with a flat or negative angle on the spindle arms?

Second - How much of a "Positive" angle does a fully loaded "new" trailer exhibit?
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Old 04-17-2005, 08:06 PM   #24
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Gray Tank location

Dennis,

Very interested in your progress as I begin on 2nd (and hopefully final) project which is '73 Sovereign center bath.

Just removed the belly pan tonight in the rear and have some rear floor rot (not like my Overlander thankfully) but also have quite a bit of rust on frame cross members. (In fact, will probably require some fabrication and welding.)

Would like to add gray tank while I'm at it but before I "freelance", it'd be nice to know where Airstream would've put it. I've been told they started in '73 but mine sure doesn't have it (though it looks like it could have).

The dump valve is on the street side below the black tank and has two gray drains (1-1/2") feeding from the front and rear. Seems that while it is all exposed, now would be the time to do it.

So....

Where should I put it?
How big should it be?
Where should I get it (if you know)?

Thanks,
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Old 04-17-2005, 09:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzaChop
...Would like to add gray tank while I'm at it but before I "freelance", it'd be nice to know where Airstream would've put it. I've been told they started in '73 but mine sure doesn't have it (though it looks like it could have). The dump valve is on the street side below the black tank and has two gray drains (1-1/2") feeding from the front and rear. Seems that while it is all exposed, now would be the time to do it....
Here is a small .jpg from a service manual....the gray tank, in the bay behind the Potable Water tank, is listed as being 13 gallons, the black tank, just behind the grey tank, is listed at being 23 gallons.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-17-2005, 09:32 PM   #26
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Gray Tank

Dennis,

Thanks for the quick reply.

My black tank is above the floor under the toilet, so I guess I could use the center space for the gray tank.

I'm having second thoughts though.

I mean, if the gray tank fills up, I've got to move the trailer to dump it vice dragging the blue portable. With a large family, I can't see making it much past a day with the gray tank.

I suppose I could always go back later, right? (yeah, right)
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Old 05-05-2005, 09:00 PM   #27
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A Few More Hours

Finally was able to put some more time in the 78 Sovereign.

I installed 1/2" plywood "underlayment" (3 pieces 18" X 42") between the rearmost floor supports, securely screwed the panels into the existing 1/2" floor, and then welded angle under the new plywood for strength and rigidity.

I intend to install a "room size" bed in the rear of the Sovereign, and I might have to place a support someplace other than an existing reinforced area.

I have added about 50 lbs to the rear, but I think that the reinforcement has worked out best in my case. Total time for this job was about 3 hours.

Picture #1 - Angle (1 1/2" X 1 1/2" X 1/8" X 36") and Plywood.

Picture #2 - Plywood installed from underside and screwed to existing floor.

Picture #3 - Angle under new Plywood and welded to existing Floor Support.
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Old 05-05-2005, 09:47 PM   #28
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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Wait a minute....you bought a trailer?

Just kidding...the progress is amazing. Somehow I've been missing this thread. Glad to see you're keeping yourself busy.

Dude you should really get yourself hobby. Between you and Ron, I'm feeling inadequate...I only own one Airstream.

But my buddy finally made it home with his Itasca....something to tear into - and he pays for parts at the counter....I like it.

If I could only find the time to work on my own MoHo.
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Old 05-06-2005, 07:34 AM   #29
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70s Sovereign Repairs

Steven,

Don't feel inadequate. You're probably going camping this summer. I'm not so sure about us. (I've either underestimated the project or overestimated my time availability or ability)

I'm going to try to reassemble the bath today so I can start installing appliances. (new refrig, new toilet, new stove/oven, new waterheater (in place but not "installed")

The thing still looks like a demolition project with walls stacked against the front windows, tools everywhere, and the belly wrap laying on the ground. Ugggh!!

Dennis,

Your rear floor supports look great. I'm hoping mine will be sufficient. (Don't really want to add any more to the project at this point. Probably regret it later)

Well, back to work!
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Old 05-07-2005, 07:24 PM   #30
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Water Systems Operational

Woo Woo - Bud Time!!!

On the 78 Sovereign, the water pump, water manifold, drain valves, and inlet piping is located under the street side closet, just inboard of the wheel well.

Installed the water pump and function tested ALL water systems - no leaks - all valves holding - as I write a Clorox solution is sanitizing the 50 gallon fresh water tank, and ALL of the piping......

This was a big step -

Also found out that NAPA still stocks an exact replacement for the original license plate holder assembly - NAPA part # 435W - 32 bucks.


Picture #1 - Original (as purchased) Water Inlet to Pump Area - the red hose was connected back to the suction standpipe for the pump - don't know what that was about.

Picture #2 - Original (as purchased) Water Manifold - I have no idea what was being accomplished in this area - the way it was hooked up (pump removed) the city water could not supply flow to the use areas.

Picture #3 - Flo-Sure pump installed - I picked this up about three years ago for use as a spare in the 345 - I recently found an ITT PAR 36800-1000 belt drive pump to install in the 345 - will keep the existing Flo-Sure now in the 345 as a spare.
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Old 05-08-2005, 03:07 PM   #31
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Water System Capacities

This morning I pumped the main tank dry - I had left the sanitizing/Clorox solution in the tank overnight -

From the odor of the water, I felt there was still some active chlorine in the water, so instead of dumping it on the ground I transferred the water to the black and gray water tank to hopefully kill whatever bugs may have taken up residence.

The specs state that, for a '78 Sovereign (31') center bath, capacities are 23 gallons main (Black), and 13 gallons aux (Gray).

For what it is worth, I measured (in a one gallon container and a five gallon bucket) how much fluid each tank took.

The main (black) tank took 30 gallons and the water level was lacking about 1/4" from being at the bottom of the toilet extension pipe, the shower pan quit taking fluid (gray tank) at 23 gallons.

I drained each of the tanks prior to commencing the "fill" test, so I think the above measurements are accurate.

At the same time, I gave the Shure-Flo (corrected name from previous post) water pump a serious workout - I would much rather it crater now rather than on a camping trip. It pumped the 53 gallons with no sign of giving up.
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Old 06-08-2005, 03:11 PM   #32
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1990 34' Excella
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ITT Par Pump

Hey everyone,

Check out this website. My ITT pump was fried during an electrical storm, so I called this firm and they are shipping me a new motor for the ITT PAR 36800-1000 belt drive pump. The firm has the entire rebuild kit for this type of pump.

Here's the website for the company with the phone number at the top. The best news is the new electric motor was $85 , so I am able to keep my AS as original as possible for the lowest cost. Good luck.

http://www.depcopump.com/itemlist2.htm

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Old 06-30-2005, 09:00 PM   #33
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1978 31' Sovereign
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The Gaucho Puzzle

Some questions were asked recently about how the front mount Gaucho attaches to the wall.

Below are some pics of the gaucho mounts and extention assembly:

Pics 1 thru 3 are of the Gaucho Back to Wall Mount assembly. Note the 4" X 6" plate contour for mounting on the inside sall corner.

Pic 4 is the stop on the underside of the seat - lift the seat to extend the bottom of the gaucho forward, and the seat back drops to the horizontal position.

Pic 5 is the Wall mount assembly to Gaucho back connecting point.

Pic 6 shows same mounting area on the seat back - road side.
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Old 01-13-2006, 07:28 PM   #34
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Grace, "The Beast", and the '78 Sovereign of the Road Drivers Side

As Purchased -
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Old 01-29-2006, 05:03 PM   #35
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Progress - No matter how small!!

Rear belly pan in place (but not fully attached), front belly pan rolled back out and ready to go up, all propane lines and regulator installed. Water heater working but, in my opinion, not reliable, cooktop works great even with all 4 burners on.

What a great day to work on an RV in Houston today! Temps in mid 70's with a light breeze.

It was good this weekend to be working on the Sovereign once again instead of making the 7 hour drive each way to and from New Orleans.
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Old 06-30-2006, 12:50 AM   #36
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Dennis,
I am amazed at the progress you have made. I am currently trying to purchase a 1978 sovereign myself and your restoration progress has me just that much more excited. Thanks for this great Pictoral progress and demonstration on how to do it right!
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Old 06-30-2006, 07:55 AM   #37
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I too now have a 78. The posts on the forum have made a big difference in my apporach to the redo of our new bullet. So far I have been lucky, all systems work well, the floor rot was very minimal, and only very major cleaning has been needed to this point.
Next after the floor spots are solidified, I plan to paint the wall trim and cabinet trim, which was already painted white. Looking at a speckle type to cover these areas and add a bit of color.
My wife is working on fabrics for the curtains in the bedroom and wall padded boards.
After the paint we will move to flooring. I ripped out enough carpet and pad to be sure the plywood is solid.
Along the way this first week of ownership, I have tried to polish a bit, enough to know I will be stripping some panels of the old clearcoat..
Painting the tongue, applying new stripes, and all that in due time.
Its fun for me to have a list that doesn't include changing oil, spark plugs or
manifolds. Not that I didn't enjoy my motorhome but this is a different experience so far.
A new project just seems to get ya goin', know what I mean?
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Old 07-02-2006, 03:16 AM   #38
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1967 26' Overlander
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Dennis,
What did you use to pull your Airstream up onto the 2x12's? Great job of detailing the project, I have learned alot from reading it. Thank you so much.
Lynn
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Old 07-07-2006, 09:20 AM   #39
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Did you rivet a panel over where the battery door was?
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Old 02-21-2007, 11:08 AM   #40
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1978 31' Sovereign
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How It's Done

Quote:
Originally Posted by 32spar
Dennis,
What did you use to pull your Airstream up onto the 2x12's? Great job of detailing the project, I have learned alot from reading it. Thank you so much.
Lynn
Elevating was done slowly....The two pics below show my trailer/tow truck set up and the detail of the "ramps" I constructed of 2 X 12 cut-offs. The leading edge of the 2 X 12's are cut at a 45 degree angle (max angle I could cut at the time with full penetration of the blade). Note that the angled ramp sections are short permitting me to remove them for better access to the underside during the renovation process. The Ford one ton diesel Cabriolet van had no problem whatsover in placing the trailer on the ramp. Any additional height would have had to been done in stages, as the ramp as you see it is the maximum height I could manage due to the belly pan interference.

Not shown in the picture is a tire stop set in the concrete to the rear of the trailer - I set a temporary brace in place against this to prevent the entire ramp section from being pushed backward during the "ramping up" process.
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