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Old 12-28-2011, 05:46 PM   #1
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1975 31' Sovereign
Knoxville , Tennessee
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Question Brand New to the Forums- 1975 31' Sovereign-Outside Aluminum

Hello, I am working on my first airstream restoration project. I have purchased a 75 31' Sovereign which turned out to have a pretty bad floor. So far I have gutted the whole thing out, down to the inner shell wall and frame.

The owner before me did some really bad work with attaching the awning and now I need to patch some of the exterior aluminum. My question is this- what kind of aluminum do I need to buy and where can I buy it from, more specifically, what website?


There was also a very bad leak in the very back, under the large window, could have easily been prevented, which has now led to entire floor rot. I just hope the entire frame isn't rusted to no repair. Anyway, will let you all know how the progress is going. Thanks very much for your time.
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:28 PM   #2
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1980 31' Excella II
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Welcome

Welcome to the forums. Good luck with the big job you have ahead. I am sure folks will chime in with helpful advice.

Sue
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:06 PM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Got Aluminum?

Kyle-King, Here is where I bought mine. 2024T3...airpartsinc.com
Aircraft supplies aluminum sheet 2024T3 4130 steel tubing Airparts inc - Aircraft construction supplies

Mike
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:12 PM   #4
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Bauxter- what thickness do you think I would need?
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:43 PM   #5
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Howdee and welcome to the forums, Kyle-King! Lots of answers for about any question you can ask.

Have a look at this thread, there are some dynamite ideas on how to fill/cover holes.

If this doesn't apply, please post some photos of the areas you are trying to fix,so we can have a better idea of what'sup, OK?
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:29 PM   #6
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
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Welcome!

I have a 1975 31' Sovereign that is torn apart at the moment too.

The skins are Alclad .040 thick. There are a couple of ways you can go about the repair. I used an extra thick aluminum plate (3/16") on the inside of the shell where the awning is going to be attached. That will give the fasteners something to bite into. In this case I patched from the inside to minimize the outside patch size.

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Old 12-29-2011, 05:38 AM   #7
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Welcome to the Airforums. As you can already see there is an answer to just about any question here. Also, just South of you in GA is a very active group of WBCCI folks. The GA Unit has a campground just north of Helen, GA and we would love to have you join us when you are ready to start camping. Also, the big Springstream rally is right on the state line in Hiwassee, GA. At both you can get some great ideas for your restoration as well as talk to people who have all ready been through it or are serial restorers.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:37 AM   #8
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skin thickness

Kyle, My AS is a '73. I could have sworn I used .032, but Wahoonc mentions .040, which would give the wall a little extra resistance to dents. The weight difference would be minimal, not sure about the price.

As Aage said, pictures are really helpful.
mike
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:35 AM   #9
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1975 31' Sovereign
Knoxville , Tennessee
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Thanks everyone! I really do appreciate all your help. Aluminum is now ordered and on its way, when the patches are down and attached I will post up some pictures. I've been working on all the vista view windows the past two days. Does it sound normal to have actual glass as the outside windows and then plexiglass in the interior? The interior plexiglass was in terrible condition, has terrible hazing and the adhesive for the tint is all scratched up. I read some posts where people have not put back in the interior plexiglass pane, which I will probably just do too, due to the cost of replacing them. After that I plan on filling in an open holes, there is a slight tear on the side opposite the door, in the bend of the belly pan about 12 inches long. Then I have purchased Aircraft Remover to strip of the old clear coat. Any advice on the stripping process would be much appreciated. Thanks for all the help.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:57 PM   #10
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1977 31' Sovereign
Riverhead , New York
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Your questions can get answered better with pics.

As far as the clearcoat Removal 220 IMO is the easiest safeest way, get a gallon, brush it on with 4" brush let sit about 2 hours hose it off safe on the ground etc.
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