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Old 08-27-2015, 06:43 PM   #121
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Airstream Root canal

so the fun started. Center panel is out without pulling the window.
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Old 08-27-2015, 08:17 PM   #122
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hidden rivets

We all have heard that the interior of Airstreams were built from the rear forward. So were the panels. I suppose one guy just went around with a pop rivet gun and attached the panels and then buck rivet guys came.
It takes a little bit of prying to get the panels loose from those hidden rivets. I marked the location, so I can clean the remnants later or else they will really mess with me trying to slip the new panels in.
No window and only the main awning hold down bracket have been removed to get the rear three panels out
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Old 08-27-2015, 08:32 PM   #123
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Here is the astonishing part:
I have not found any sealant. They must have run out of Vulkem the day they put this 310 together. Its actually a lot easier for me to not have to deal with the vulkem, but these windows were leaking badly, so were some of the seams.
If you can't stand Olympic rivets and only believe that buck rivets should be used, please don't read any further, because I don't want to tick you off.
I know that my installation using Olympic Rivets and Vulkem 116 will outlast any of these buck rivet factory jobs I am finding. If you do all your drilling and clean the grease of the panels prior to installing new panels with vulkem 116 and Olympic Rivets, you will have a water tight rig that will last many years.
Look at this seam, no sealant, zero, nada
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:42 AM   #124
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Peter,

Now you've got me wondering about the 1986 345 that I dismantled a few years ago. I don't recall looking closely at the seams because when I cut the shell up I just used a sawzall to cut it into smaller chunks. I've got a few sections left sitting beside my shop. I'll take a closer look to see if any sealant was used on those seams.

I know Shepherd57 dismantled an Argosy and he indicated there was no sealant used between the seams. There is a product called Acryl-R that is applied externally to the seams that will wick in and seal. I actually have some of it on the shelf and used some around the back seams and it seemed to help. I think typically it needs to be applied multiple times before a seam is totally sealed.

I do plan on applying Acryl-R to all the seams on my Argosy before it gets painted.

Brad
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Old 08-28-2015, 01:59 PM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Peter,

Now you've got me wondering about the 1986 345 that I dismantled a few years ago. I don't recall looking closely at the seams because when I cut the shell up I just used a sawzall to cut it into smaller chunks. I've got a few sections left sitting beside my shop. I'll take a closer look to see if any sealant was used on those seams.

I know Shepherd57 dismantled an Argosy and he indicated there was no sealant used between the seams. There is a product called Acryl-R that is applied externally to the seams that will wick in and seal. I actually have some of it on the shelf and used some around the back seams and it seemed to help. I think typically it needs to be applied multiple times before a seam is totally sealed.

I do plan on applying Acryl-R to all the seams on my Argosy before it gets painted.

Brad
If I would have access to the interior walls, I would use Vulkem116 on all the seams, rivets and windows. Actually any window I ever removed had lots of Vulkem applied from the inside. Thats why they are so damn hard to remove.
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Old 08-28-2015, 05:51 PM   #126
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I forgot to make clear which panels I am replacing
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:21 AM   #127
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Peter, I looked at the 345 pieces that I had left and I couldn't draw any conclusive results. In some places it looked like their might be some sealant and in other places I don't think there was any.

When I dismantled the 74 Excella trailer last year I don't remember any sealant on any of the seams.

Now you have me thinking I should pull the interior skin and seal all of the joints with Vulkem 116 as you suggested.

More work...
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:50 AM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Peter, I looked at the 345 pieces that I had left and I couldn't draw any conclusive results. In some places it looked like their might be some sealant and in other places I don't think there was any.

When I dismantled the 74 Excella trailer last year I don't remember any sealant on any of the seams.

Now you have me thinking I should pull the interior skin and seal all of the joints with Vulkem 116 as you suggested.

More work...
Brad, start thinking like Tom Sawyer and invite all your Forum friends over
Actually I stand corrected on the sealant. Upon closer inspection of the back of the panels, they did apply a vulkem type sealant to the seams. Just none on the mating surfaces of the panels, which obviously is a lot more work.
Using a sealant on the exterior seams when you are all aluminum is a no brainer. If you plan on painting, its a different story. Any type of sealant would always be starting point for peeling paint.
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:06 PM   #129
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a few considerations for anyone that might be so foolish to try this at home :
The panels come pre-formed but not pre-cut to size. I found it to be the easiest to try to match the curve of the old panel. I made a real effort to NOT line it up with the old holes of the adjacent panel that remains, because it may cause some undesired big holes. Vulkem will permantly seal the old holes.
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:38 PM   #130
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Amazing how thin and missing the insulation was back there. I added 15 feet 16" wide R13, I am sure it will make a lot of difference.
After carefully fitting and adjusting the first panel (passenger side), I dry hung it with clecos, giving all my attention to this seam, because it will bite you later if you don't do it now. The panels came with a clear protective plastic sheeting that will remain until later.
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:45 PM   #131
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Here is something to really watch out for. Depending on how far you slide the panel under the roof panel and the windows in the back, you can have different heights of all three rear panels, which can result in a humpback look. I have seen rigs (and trailers) repaired like that and its not desirable. One way to check it is (besides taking care not to cut them to long abviously) by looking down the roof from the back and making sure that the panels are not higher than the plane of the roof
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:02 PM   #132
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drivers side panel and center panel are dry hung, ready to drill and cleco all the holes.
Then all 3 panels have to come back down, cleaned up and the final installation can begin
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:07 PM   #133
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LOT-O-WORK Peter, great job.

Mike
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:08 PM   #134
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Looks like you've got a nice shop to work in! Makes a HUGE difference.
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:28 PM   #135
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Yes Mike, it really does make a difference to have a dry, shady place to work. The real 30x40' shop is behind the covered RV parking, but the door is too small for the Airstream.
Ok, back to drilling a few hundred holes.
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:04 PM   #136
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Peter, good information on replacing panels!

For a job like that I don't imagine you could get by with 5 or 10 clecos

Brad
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:33 PM   #137
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Quote:
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Peter, good information on replacing panels!

For a job like that I don't imagine you could get by with 5 or 10 clecos

Brad
Thanks Brad, I figured that I was boring everyone to death with the step by step , but who knows maybe someday it could be helpful to someone.
Yesterday I completed the dry hanging and drilling all the rivet holes. I carefully marked the three panels for location and took them down. This evening I installed panel 1 after removing the clear plastic coating under the seams and at the row of rivets. I applied a very liberal amount of gray Vulkem 116 under all the seams and started to set the rivets.
I do not use Olympic rivets with washers, since the washer will disintegrate in a few years, due to the extreme heat. I let the vulkem 116 be the washer and also the sealant and adhesive for the panels.
If you zoom into my second picture, you will see vulkem under every rivet head and a thick beed squeezing out at the seam.
The third picture shows it all cleaned up and the rivets ready to be clipped and shaved, which will not happen for a few day to give the vulkem time to set.
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Old 09-01-2015, 02:00 PM   #138
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Quote:
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Thanks Brad, I figured that I was boring everyone to death with the step by step , but who knows maybe someday it could be helpful to someone.
I'm proably more into the technical aspects of these motorhomes than the social aspects. I frequently sit in my recliner in the evenings reading various technical manuals

Quote:
Yesterday I completed the dry hanging and drilling all the rivet holes. I carefully marked the three panels for location and took them down. This evening I installed panel 1 after removing the clear plastic coating under the seams and at the row of rivets. I applied a very liberal amount of gray Vulkem 116 under all the seams and started to set the rivets.
I do not use Olympic rivets with washers, since the washer will disintegrate in a few years, due to the extreme heat. I let the vulkem 116 be the washer and also the sealant and adhesive for the panels.
If you zoom into my second picture, you will see vulkem under every rivet head and a thick beed squeezing out at the seam.
The third picture shows it all cleaned up and the rivets ready to be clipped and shaved, which will not happen for a few day to give the vulkem time to set.
Definitely keep posting this info. I have to replace a couple of lower panels so any insights you provide will be put to good use!

Brad
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:18 PM   #139
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Less is more

Almost got in trouble with the final install of the center panel today. I misjudged what the thickness and setup time of the vulkem under the seams could do to the alignment of all the pre drilled holes.
Lesson learned: do not use too much vulkem
It was a struggle, but I got it all together. This pictures shows why it is a good idea to leave the protective plastic sheeting on until the very last (except for under the rivets and under the seams)
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:39 AM   #140
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Looking really good Peter. Good deal that the vulkem didnt bite you in the rear. That would have been a real PITA to have to pull that panel and scrape it off.
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