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Old 11-16-2020, 03:04 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
1988 34.5' Airstream 345
Upland , California
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 5
My Way

Hi Everyone,
First time posting on any forum and would like to introduce myself. I purchased 1988 345 in January of this year. Originally owned by TV/Movie star and was based out of Malibu, CA. The interior is in very good original shape. Came with a built in ice maker and I just finished installing a 9 bottle wine refrigerator along with a "side bar" automatic drink dispenser with 5 different "flavors". I custom made five 1 gallon containers for the booze, so it will last all weekend! I have removed the rear drive axle and tag axle, along with everything around them. I have bought and received the ride-well suspension system that SmartStream installed, but am having trouble figuring out how to order the correct 8,000 lb. axle from Dexter that will fit the 10 lug brake drums. I has also bought all the Super Steer items to rebuild the suspension, including the rear end four shock modification. later phases will include 12 valve diesel w/allison 6 speed trany and 4 zone mini split system that will reduce roof clutter and provide heating and cooling. I am waiting until later next year to purchase solar panel system since they are making huge advances in wattage (original 100 watts, now almost 1000 watts per panel). Victron electric system with latest battery tech (Lithium batteries or solid state) and diesel generator and water heater. Long list of many items, but I plan on doing it all. I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks in advance for your input and help. I will attempt to add several pictures to this post.
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Old 11-16-2020, 03:54 PM   #2
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2017 26' Flying Cloud
Tampa , Florida
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welcome, tell us more!
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Old 11-16-2020, 06:01 PM   #3
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1988 34.5' Airstream 345
Upland , California
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 5
My Way

I have background of over killing everything I do. Love this airstream and plan on traveling throughout country when completed. This 345 has East/West queen bed but I plan on redoing into a reverse image side bed with additional drawers along street side. This will allow me to keep flesh water tank in same area. Today, I removed carpet from hallway/bedroom area and am installing access panels to help with future airbag installation/removal, along with attaching the grey water tank to plumbing system. I will be using backing plates with captured nuts, on both panel insert and aluminum belly pan. The picture of the grill is the first pass CNC'd on friends Tormach CNC machine. Removed over 20 pounds of aluminum from grill while increasing airflow potential by 100%.
Waste tanks are being removed, along with gas tank and air tank to clean and coat along with chassis and floor framing. Will try to figure out way to add closed cell insulation and additional close out panels on 2 inch floor frame. I have purchased 5 gallons of POR 15 coating and top coat to seal bare metal after cleaning.
All axle parts, new springs, all new grade 8 bolts, axles, etc. coated with aircraft 2 part epoxy primer, then POR 15 and finally POR Topcoat.
All new brake rotors, bearings, rotors, brake drums. Yes, I will paint brake calipers with red caliper paint.
New fuel sender and all new fuel lines through out. Will try to replace rubber fuel lines on top of tank with metal lines, then attach rubber lines in an accessible area. May try to add Holley fuel pickup sock, which filters fuel and gets every last drop out of tank.
Am also in process of removing all lift jacks to clean, replace any bad parts and coat.
I am very lucky to have a sandblaster (using copper slag and baking soda) nearby to blast everything and then I prime immediately.
My work space is two aircraft hangars where I have my airplane project (1947 Republic Seabee flying boat).
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Old 11-17-2020, 03:26 AM   #4
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,929
Welcome to the forums and the world of Airstream motorhomes.

The axle you want for your tag is a 7000lb. to get the correct spindle for your hubs/drums. You can ask them to use a 4" tube or add shims to the standard 3-1/2" tube to fit the ride-well. You can also have them add 1-1/2" to the flange to flange length to give a little more clearance in the wheel wells. They can build it anyway you want as long as they are in the right mood. Feel free to call out if other questions come up.

Your coach sounds pretty interesting, more pictures are always welcome.

I always thought the old Seabee was a pretty interesting aircraft.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:45 AM   #5
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Welcome! Wow, very cool project, so many great things posted it's hard to tell where to begin

One note with POR-15, i did a fair lot of research with it, and it's picky about what it adheres to. It chemically bonds with rust or with the zinc-phosphate oxide formed by their metal prep solution, but it won't adhere to most other paints or primers, and will peel right off like latex paint. It can have trouble with shiny clean metal as well, if no oxide has formed for it to bond to.

I can personally attest that it's pretty worthless as a coating over top of other paints. Peels right off.

I like the way your grille turned out, that's an awesome idea!
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:02 AM   #6
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1964 22' Safari
modesto , California
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Wow! Nice job!!!

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Old 11-17-2020, 03:45 PM   #7
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1994 30' Excella
1992 35' Airstream 350
Austin , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Bhaven View Post
I have background of over killing everything I do. Love this airstream ....
Where have you been? Glad you finally speaking up and showing us some of your pictures. Awesome work and I sure can appreciate your compassion and workmanship!
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:01 PM   #8
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1988 34.5' Airstream 345
Upland , California
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 5
My Way

Dan, thanks for the ordering info on the new tag axle. Quoted $800.00 including delivery in 4 weeks. That will certainly not hold anything up, as I have tons of items to accomplish before tag axle will go in.

I found out that the instructions to disconnect the waste and gray tanks before dropping down, were no good. I removed carpet/pad in bedroom/hallway and found hole cut next to shower/closet wall that will allow me to see, but not access the clamp. I will enlarge hole and fit a better "plug". Airstream just covered the hole with some wall papered sheet metal left over from the shower stall. I am also installing access panel for airbag upper attachment area.

Thanks for the info on the POR 15. I have purchased and used the complete process (cleaner, etch, main coat and top coat) on white blasted metal. I used this process, along with they bedliner product, when I welded new bottom in battery box and I have to say it is tougher than woodpecker lips. I will attempt to post some more pictures in the next few days.
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:27 PM   #9
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1988 34.5' Airstream 345
Upland , California
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 5
My Way

Thanks, Peter.

I have always loved working on mechanical things and when someone says that can't be done, I always try to do it. I enjoy having things that are not normal, practical or main stream. I have flown as a Part 121 commercial pilot and as a C5-A flight engineer in the USAF Reserves (along with being a Nuclear Weapons Mechanic in Regular USAF).

I have had many personal aircraft (including an Aero Commander 560, which was the only small civilian aircraft ever allowed to be Air Force One and used by President Eisenhower).

My Republic Seabee is named "Miss BeeHaven" and the motorhome is "Miss Bhaven". I am an A&P mechanic and have completely removed every rivet from every skin. This is a 4 place amphibious flying boat, that will serve my needs perfectly. I am making this aircraft experimental, as I am installing an LS Chevy engine, complete with super charger and air conditioning. Original engine is 215 horsepower, while new engine with be derated to 500 horsepower. Even with twice the horsepower, it will still only cruise about 110 miles per hour, but what's the rush. Aircraft has a bow door, so I can land at a secluded lake and fish right from the plane. Here's a couple pictures of the work in progress.
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Old 11-17-2020, 05:51 PM   #10
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1995 36' Classic 36
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Cool projects!
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Old 11-19-2020, 05:48 AM   #11
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1995 36' Classic 36
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2X on the Paint Over Rust (POR 15) product. It works best on a clean rusted surface with any loose rust removed with a wire wheel. The surface prep assures bite on any areas that were cleaned to bare metal. Its an aromatic polyurethane like Rust-Oleum but better. Sticks best to skin! Like great stuff foam.

If you are going through the effort of media blasting the parts I would go with a epoxy based paint system. Ive never been happy with the top coating over POR. But were talking underbody parts here.

On clean metal, I use a phosphate surface conversion with an industrial epoxy primer and Acrylic Enamel. Ive been using Martin Senior products like their PIP102 primer and 86 Series Acrylic Enamel. Probably illegal in California.

I use it on agricultural and construction equipment that I fabricate or repair. Ive also used it on new metal cable railing systems on decks in black with a satin finish. Looks great and holds up well in weather. POR 15 needs to be top coated for UV protection.

Ive been pondering the mini split idea for some time. I installed one in our house and really like the inverter drive system. Ive seen them installed on travel trailers.

Im a pilot too and all that stuff cluttering up an otherwise aerodynamic fuselage drives me nuts!
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Old 11-19-2020, 04:36 PM   #12
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1988 34.5' Airstream 345
Upland , California
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 5
My Way

Hi Kota,

Just made a huge reply, but it didn't go through. So having to redo.

Yes, I used 2 part epoxy on battery drawer. Then coated with POR 15 coating and pickup bed coating due to battery acid. Thinking of using it to coat my Seabee landing gear and hull bottom.

As for Mini-split system, the current A/C units are about 12 tall on the roof and protrude 2 inches into the coach, with 6 inches of roof structure thickness. The Mini- split A/C units are 2 feet square and about 8 to 10 inches thick. When installed, that would have the units protrude 2 to 4 inches about the roof line. A/C lines and electrical could be attached on roof and covered by a sheet metal fairing, beginning at the front unit and blending into roof at rear of coach.

Solar panels could the be placed over entire roof, secured on outboard side with hinges and inboard sides with quick release pins. This would allow access to the middle fairing. Solar panel wiring could also run inside fairing. Standoffs would be made to just clear roof/fairing.

Speaking of fairings, how about a fairing along the entire bottom of the coach, with accommodations for exhaust, suspension, etc. Stand offs from the frame and chassis could facilitate attaching flat panel bottom (maybe with some reverse facing louvers) and attached with Dzus fasteners. Properly executed, this would allow an area for lots of insulation and sound deadening and allowing waste tanks, drain pipes and valves to be easily insulated. Just a thought.
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