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Old 02-14-2010, 08:37 PM   #61
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Plans never seem to work out as planned. Saturday morning Lorrie and I bought the ACX plywood and went to the shop where we swept and vacuumed out the trailer. It was great to get most of the dirt out of it. We felt much better after that.

We took off the wheel well liners and found that we will have to repair the inner liners on at least the crub side before putting the new floor in. On the curb side at floor level there are holes correoded thru the liner on both the front and back. Small patches made out of galvanized steel ought to fix that.

Then we started to remove the closet, but it became obvious that it was wedged in and was holding up the roof, so we stopped. About all we got done after that was measuring for the new floor pieces. I got them all measured, but had no time to start cutting them, so home they came with us uncut.

Today I got a Ryobi One+ Jigsaw for Valentines day to go with my growing set of One+ tools. I immediately put it to use as I got the rear floor section cut to shape. One piece cut, four to go. I may only cut and epoxy the front and back at this time to allow even more double checking of my measurements for the other pieces after the two ends are installed. It seems like it should take two Saturdays to get the floor done. Two ends this coming weekend and the three middle pieces the next weekend.

I hope to get off work early one day this week and get the front and rear inner skins pulled to look so that I can see if the floor channel will need to be repaired. I hope to also get some of the front and rear floor out if time permits.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:55 PM   #62
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Things never work out as planned (where did I hear that before?). I got sick and ended up making a trip to the hospital on Wednesday, so Lorrie and I didn't get to the trailer during the week last week after all. But I did get the front and rear floor sections cut, epoxied and painted in my garage during the week.

We did spend Saturday Fed 20 at the trailer again. We got the rear inner skins off and almost enough rear floor out to put a new rear floor section in, but still have to scrape and paint the frame. What we found was that the rear curbside outer corner skin has already been replaced once a long time ago (before it was again creased). We also found all of the rear floor channel to be in perfect condition (I was half expecting to see it corroded away like I have seen in other restoration threads). All in all I was very pleased with what we found, but our progress is slower than planned (always is).
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:02 PM   #63
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I took a vacation day Thursday to try to get more work done. Lorrie and I got the front and streetside inner skins off. Not too bad except the one forward of the door on the curbside. I had to deconsruct one of the fridge vents that was made of galvanized steel that was riveted to both the inner and outer skins. Also, the door frame rivets were very hard to remove as they all had a broken off steel mandrels in the middle that made drilling them out impossible.. I eventually figured out that I had to grind the back side off of them with an angle grinder and then I could punch the remainder out of the door frame (later to be removed from the inner skin), but it took a lot of time to figure out the process. Now I need to figure out where to get more of those special rivets.

Once the front inner skins were off, we were surprised to see how little insulation was still in the walls - the mice really did a number on the insulation. We have no idea here it went, unless it was in the bellypan. The front floor J-channel was again mostly in very good shape other than being covered in mouse poo, but there is one small section at the front curbside corner below the lower fridge access hole that is a little corroded, but it should be easily repaired.

We also got the rear frame scraped, wire brushed, and painted so that it is ready to have new floor installed tomorrow. In the rear frame photo, the 2x4 is being used to lift the body slightly so that I could get the last sections of floor out from between the body and rear outriggers. I'll have to use it again to install the new floor. With a 30" long 2x8 screwed to the top and covered with a rag, it makes a nice way to lift the body and can even span across a roof vent (it was spanning across the rear roof vent in that photo).

In addition to the rear floor, the hope for tomorrow is to get the closet and last piece of lower inner skin out, rip out the front floor, repaint that frame section and install a new front floor section. Probably optimistic, but that's the plan.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:03 PM   #64
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Saturday was a big day for the Safari. Lorrie didn't go with me, but I had the help of two Airstream buddies, Dave & Tom, who have been through Airstream restorations before. With their help I got a lot more done in one day that I could have on my own. The order of events when something like this:
1. Remove the closet
2. Remove the curbside inner skin
3. Install the rear floor and tack it in place temporarily with a couple of screws
4. Remove the front floor
5. Paint the front frame
6. Discover the front plate was badly rusted (large holes in the horizontal flange)
7. Remove the J-channel and horizontal flange from the front plate
8. Make a new flange for the front plate by diagonally cutting a 1/8" thick 2" square steel tube
9. Use a spare piece of floor to properly position the angle to the vertical part of the front plate
10. Plug and tack weld the angle to the front plate (Thanks Bob!)
11. Paint the repaired front plate
12. Install the front floor and tack it into place with a couple of screws
13. Remove floor around the curb side wheel well to expose the corroded flange

Next week I need to fix the wheel well flanges and hopefully install more floor. I'll un-tack the front and rear floor if needed to make slight adjustments to the fit as the middle pieces go in. Once they are all in I will screw everything down securely.

We learned a few things. With the belly pan opened, there is no need to flex the floor over a 2x4 to install it - the walls move enough to just get it to drop in. Using the jack to raise the body made it easy to slide the floor between the body and outriggers. You can weld a new angle to the front plate rather than drilling out all the rivets and totally replacing it, if the vertical part is fine, but the horizontal part is rusted away.

Lots of photos to follow . . .
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:10 PM   #65
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Part 2 of Saturday photos are attached to this message. That's it for photos for this week.

Now I can cut, epoxy, and paint the remaining floor pieces (at home) with confidence and hopefully have them ready for installation next Saturday. I already bought some galvanized steel today to be used to repair the wheel wells. Real progress is being made each week! I cant wait until the floor is done!
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:08 AM   #66
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Wow Joe, you are making some great progress! That thing will be done before you know it. You mentioned raising the body with a jack to fit the floor pieces in, I take it that the shell is completely detached from the frame at the moment?
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:37 AM   #67
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Wow Joe, you are making some great progress! That thing will be done before you know it. You mentioned raising the body with a jack to fit the floor pieces in, I take it that the shell is completely detached from the frame at the moment?
I hope the floor is done soon, that will be a great mental barrier to break through - I will then be out of the deconstruction phase and into the reconstruction phase.

The shell is ALMOST completely detached. It is still attached along the street side wall only. But it only needs to be detached in one area to raise it in that area. When all I had out was the rear floor, I was able to use the jack to raise the rear of the shell and slide the new floor in. Same for the front when the front floor was out to install the new front floor. I have also used the jack to raise the middle curbside wall a little, first to remove pressure from the closet walls to get it out and then to test fit a board between the curbside outriggers and J-channel, between the door and curbside wheel well.

I don't think I'd try to lift the entire body with jacks this way as there would be no horizontal support to keep it from shifting left/right or fore/aft. But lifting a section here or there, with the rest still supported by floor and outriggers seems to work. It may also be easier to lift in my case because the belly pan is opened up, but then that makes everything move around (left right, fore/aft) more, so you've got to be careful when lifting - go slow and watch everything..

If you do this, you want a large flat board on top to distribute the weight and watch what you are hitting in the roof. I am finding that it seems to work better when my board spans over a roof vent (just position it left or right of the knobs). The ceiling does not deform then as there are effectively ribs at the front and rear of the vent opening. These ribs distribute the lifting force to both the inner and outer skins. When I tried to lift between vents where there was no rib in the ceiling I started to deform the inner skin and stopped before doing any permanent damage.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:06 PM   #68
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Lest you all think work has stopped on the Safari, I am posting to note that in addition to Saturday's, I am trying to get to work on it on the occasional weekday afternoon. Why? Because about 2 weeks ago I was informed that the shop owner is indeed moving at the end of March and I need to have the Safari out of the shop by then.

I have been working so fast that I have been taking less photos, but mainly I have been so tired at night between working on things in my garage (cutting, painting & epoxying floor and making wheel well liners), shopping (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.), and researching on-line, that I just haven't wanted to resize the photos and post them here. Maybe I'll get to that when the trailer is out of the shop.

The current status is that I have rebuilt the wheelwells using galvanized panels meant for furnace ductwork. I have temporarily installed them with screws, but will eventually replace the screws with rivets when I have more time. I got the third floor sheet (of five) slid into place and hope to get the final two sheets slid in tomorrow if I can get off work early. Nothing is screwed down, however. The shell is sitting on the floor, which is sitting on the frame. Gravity is holding it all together at the moment. And the belly pan is completely opened up. The thing shakes like a bowl full of jelly when I walk around inside. A bit disconcerting given that it rests on steel saw horses about 3 feet above the ground.

I've got this weekend to try to get the shell secured to the floor and the floor secured to the frame and hopefully the bellypan buttoned up again (aluminum order was called in today for four 4'x12' sheets of 6061-T6 .032 which was all we could get on short notice). I've got helpers lined up for both Saturday and Sunday to try to get this done.

At least I hope I don't have to work on those items the following Saturday when I should be pulling it out of the shop. I'll know need a rest when the trailer is safely parked back in the storage yard.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:48 PM   #69
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Joe, I don't think you really need the bellypan in place to move it, do you? If you concentrate on the floor, putting some elevator bolts down, and then securing the shell to the floor, you should be good to go, correc?. That will allow you time later to put the insulation, any additional wiring, etc in.

From what I've been reading, the whole thing gets much more secure one the floor's in place.

Wow, that's stressful. Good luck on the move.. even PBear moved his trailer with most of his floor gone and c-clamps holding wood spacers in place between the floor and the shell.
Take care!
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:07 PM   #70
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How far is the move? I'd echo Marc's statement, get the wood bolted down and the shell down to the outriggers and rear bolts and you should be good for some short distance travel. May mean some temporary screws into the c channel from the outside skin, but don't kill yourself racing to get the belly pan made, looks kinda tricky from what I've read (not having done it myself)
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Old 03-18-2010, 04:26 AM   #71
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The belly pan was cut, removed, and discarded between the frame rails when the frame was repaired. You are right that that part could stay off if necessary. The trouble is that the wrap sections at the outriggers are still attached to the outer skin, but were bent down to allow access to repair the outriggers from below. Those sections, at a minimum, need to be bent back into place and be secured before moving the trailer or else the will fatigue the metal and crack from vibration during the trip. If the bellypan was still intact from side to side everything would be a little more secure, but with it opened up and the shell not bolted down, everything is scary.

When I talked about just securing the wraps with a friend, I was assured that attaching new bellypan in the middle (temporarily with screws) and then re-securing the wrap sections to it wouldn't be much more work than just addressing the wrap sections. The benefit is that the bellypan should be easier to work on while the trailer is 3 feet off the ground now, rather than sitting on the axle later. Or so I was told.

In any case, the whole belly will be temporarily secured with screws because it will be opened up later for plumbling and other work. It will be riveted into place only when finally done. And many if not all of the wrap sections are damaged and will eventually need to either be replaced or skinned over, that is why I ordered a little extra aluminum, better to pay one delivery charge now, rather than one now and one later. I'll have enough left over for those pieces when I need them.

That's the plan anyway, but as I am finding, plans often change when one gets into the middle of the project. A last minute audible could be called to only secure the wraps if necessary.

Thanks for the advice and opinions. It's always an adventure.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:26 PM   #72
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The belly pan was cut, removed, and discarded between the frame rails when the frame was repaired. You are right that that part could stay off if necessary. The trouble is that the wrap sections at the outriggers are still attached to the outer skin, but were bent down to allow access to repair the outriggers from below. Those sections, at a minimum, need to be bent back into place and be secured before moving the trailer or else the will fatigue the metal and crack from vibration during the trip. If the bellypan was still intact from side to side everything would be a little more secure, but with it opened up and the shell not bolted down, everything is scary.

When I talked about just securing the wraps with a friend, I was assured that attaching new bellypan in the middle (temporarily with screws) and then re-securing the wrap sections to it wouldn't be much more work than just addressing the wrap sections. The benefit is that the bellypan should be easier to work on while the trailer is 3 feet off the ground now, rather than sitting on the axle later. Or so I was told.

In any case, the whole belly will be temporarily secured with screws because it will be opened up later for plumbling and other work. It will be riveted into place only when finally done. And many if not all of the wrap sections are damaged and will eventually need to either be replaced or skinned over, that is why I ordered a little extra aluminum, better to pay one delivery charge now, rather than one now and one later. I'll have enough left over for those pieces when I need them.

That's the plan anyway, but as I am finding, plans often change when one gets into the middle of the project. A last minute audible could be called to only secure the wraps if necessary.

Thanks for the advice and opinions. It's always an adventure.
Joe

If it's like a bowl of jelly then yes I would be very nervous about the move. If the floor is down and the front and rear hold down plates are in place with plenty of angular bracing inside to eliminate the jelly effect you should be good to go, I don't think the belly pan needs to be in place. How many miles?

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Old 03-18-2010, 07:24 PM   #73
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Joe

If it's like a bowl of jelly then yes I would be very nervous about the move. If the floor is down and the front and rear hold down plates are in place with plenty of angular bracing inside to eliminate the jelly effect you should be good to go, I don't think the belly pan needs to be in place. How many miles?

toastie
It's jello-like because nothing is bolted down. Once it is screwed together I assume it will be strong enough for a 15-20 mile trip home.

Since I am writing, I will note that today was one step forward - two steps back.

I got the last of the old floor out, the last of the frame painted, and the last two pieces of floor slid into place today (not screwed down yet, though). I should be celebrating, but two floor sections will have to come back out temporarily on Saturday .

Call it a rookie mistake, but when I was putting the wheel well liner repair pieces in last Saturday, I ran a bead of Roof and Flashing sealant between the flanges of the liners and the frame. Then I did not end up getting all the floor in that day as previously planned. The trouble is that the sealant set up between Saturday and today and the body is not in the correct position - it is too wide and won't bolt to the outriggers. Plus having the wheel wells "glued" into place made spreading the body to get the floor in tough. It'll be just as tough to get the floor sections back out.

I tried to scrape some of the hardened sealant out from below the floor and from inside the wheel well after the floor went in (and after I discovered the problem), but it was not working very well from either location. If I take the two floor pieces out that span around the wheel wells it should make removing that sealant much, much easier. Then I won't re-seal until the body is bolted into proper position

Everyone - learn from my mistake - leave your wheels wells unsealed to the frame until the floor is in and screwed down and the body is put in proper position and screwed down if you cannot get all of this done in less than one day. Otherwise the sealant will set up and ruin your day.


Normally this would not be a big deal if I was not under a time crunch, but with about a week until it has to be roadworthy any hiccup has me stressed. I know the error was made because I was trying to go fast. I'm sure at normal pace I would have thought this through before doing it. Now going fast means starting over on this part of the project. (Fast = Slow)
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:53 PM   #74
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Hey there are tons of these little lessons, most I've relearned from the same mistake before, don't feel bad. Looking forward to you being able to slow down and update us with some photos!
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:53 PM   #75
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Joe, fast or slow, I'm impressed with all you've done. Hope the move goes well.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:29 PM   #76
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Today was a good day at the Safari!!!

I had my buddy Lou helping and we got the two peices of floor out and the wheel wells unstuck from the frame before noon. Then we put the floor back in and started adjusting the pieces to the correct locations.It took a while and a bit of tweaking, but we got the best fit we could and then drove a couple of screws through each piece to secure them in place. On a couple of sheets we drove several more screws into the frame, but there are lot left to do tomorrow.

We then started securing the body J-channels to the outriggers and floor at the rearmost outriggers moving forward. Didn't put too many screws in as it took one person outside and one inside for most of those operations, both drilling holes and installing bolts through the outriggers and pushing the body into alignment so that it could be screwed to the floor. We bascially got as far as the door opening before we had to quit for the day. More to do tomorrow, but it should go much faster because there won't be too much measuring with over half of each side already partially secured into the correct position.

In the end, we again did not get as much done as planned, but did get a great feeling of satisfaction with the progress today! Walking in the trailer it is already noticeably more stable (much less "jello-like). I can't wait for the floor and body to be fully secured tomorrow. That should make it feel much more solid!

Oh, that the bad news. It was suggested that it would be nice if I could pull the trailer out tomorrow rather than next Saturday as previously planned. We'll see of Dave and I can finish securing the floor and body and temporarily hang the bellypan in one day. Wish us luck!
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:30 PM   #77
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Oh wow, that's incredible progress you're making under duress... here's to a great time tomorrow. My fingers are crossed for you!
Best of luck!
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:43 PM   #78
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Today was another good (but tiring) day. Dave and I got the rest of the floor secured down to the frame and the body secured to the floor (and frame at the front plate and across the rear cross member). That really made the trailer feel solid!

But by then it was getting late, so we opted to just secure the belly wraps to the outriggers rather than hanging full belly pan. In the end, I think this was the correct decision as I still need to run brake wires through the belly area and this gives me better access for planning holding tanks. Plus, all of the belly wraps are damaged or rotted and will need to be replaced. This way I can do it once (and hopefully do it right). But that certainly remains a lot of work ahead of me.

In the end, we almost got it done today. It's still on the steel saw horses, but Bob will take it down and put the wheels on it tomorrow (couldn't do it today because one of the saw horses was in the way of the tires going on). Then one afternoon this week, or possibly next Saturday I can pull it home (well to the storage yard). My only tasks left to get it on the road will be a little caulking and securing temporary lights (or reconnecting the regular lights).

Whew! I am beat! I can't thank my friends Dave, Tom, & Lou enough for helping me get it to this stage. I couldn't have done it this fast and some things I just couldn't do at all without their help. These guys are the best!
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:34 PM   #79
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1962 22' Safari
2016 30' Classic
Southeast , Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,532
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Woo Hoo! The Safari has left the building!

Saturday Lorrie and I picked up the Safari and hauled it to the storage yard. I had to jury-rig up some temporary lights, because I didn't have the proper tools with me to figure out which blue wire went to which rear lamp. The floor is solid and the trailer feels pretty stiff even without the inner skins in place, but without shocks on it yet it is a bit bouncy inside on the new torsion axle. The lack of interior weight is also a factor, for sure. Relatedly, a mid-50's safari is supposed to have about 400-450 lbs of tongue weight, but right now it is probably 100 lbs without the front kitchen installed and no LP bottles on the tongue. I can actually lift it by hand and it is scary to walk behind the axle if the ball is not secured to the hitch - I have visions of the trailer doing a wheelie.

There is lots of work yet to do. Given the state of the belly wraps, they have to be replaced, which next has me asking "while we are at it", should I also replace the three exterior panels that have significant dent, scrape, and/or gouge issues? Where does it all stop???

Anyway, it feels good to get it to this point. The next task will be new door and storage compartment gaskets and an overall leak inspection to try to get it water tight.

I am too tired tonight, but will try to post photos one night this week.
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:40 PM   #80
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1975 Argosy 26
1963 24' Tradewind
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2002
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Woo hoo! Great job! You should feels a great sense of accomplishment. Congrats!
Marc
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