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Old 03-24-2020, 02:44 PM   #281
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Hi Taylor,
Thanks -- that is a great idea, and I am likely to follow it closely. We also had rain today, and during a break I decided to set up my Airstream for flashing at the back end of the coach.

Below are 3 pictures -- One of the rear with the frame cross member cut so that it follows the shape of the floor, one that is a closeup of the junction point (floor and shell, before the shell is dropped over the edge of the plywood), and one with the cut off piece next to the area that was cut.

I will definitely flash this area, and probably the whole coach. Exciting times ahead :-)


Thanks,
David
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Old 03-24-2020, 02:46 PM   #282
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Sorry, I hit the wrong button before adding the pictures...
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:18 PM   #283
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The pictures of the work you have done to that rear cross member look very good. You now have a smooth vertical surface to sheet rain water away from the subfloor end cut.

I bet when the elephant ear surgery was done, the tech just overlapped the cut out piece enough to rivet it back together. I can't see if they are pop rivets. Maybe they are olympic trifold rivets (more likely).

I used oak wood for a subfloor fix at the rear of the trailer. I also used a painted steel sheet splice between the oak and original plywood. Oak is a strong wood.

You will sleep better with the rear end all buttoned up. Jump on the rear frame rails at the bumper and verify there is no rear end separation anymore.

David
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:07 PM   #284
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Hi David,
Thanks for the post! I will do the rear end separation test as soon as it is all attached to itself.

In the meantime, I am now planning how to flash the back, reinstall the tank and belly pan. A second look at the rear of the shell makes me wonder if the "elephant ears job" also entailed trimming a small amount of aluminum from the bottom edge of the aluminum. Even after making certain that the shell is not hung up on the plywood the shell does not seem to come down over the subfloor. Maybe it never did, but that seems odd to me... regardless, there will be aluminum covering it in the near future and beyond :-)

Thanks,
David
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:19 AM   #285
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Hi David,

So what I think your pics show is a section of metal cross member trimmed off to give a smooth vertical surface for water to run straight down. Is this correct ? Or was this the wood floor that you trimmed.

My cross member at this location was just inside of the vertical body section, but still had the water issue. So the flashing back there helps.

Looks great David and thanks for the pics.

Taylor
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:29 AM   #286
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Ok you answered my question already in the previous post, you trimmed the crossmember. Looks great

Thanks

Taylor
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:54 AM   #287
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What Iíve been doing for the rear is tuck flashing up inside the rear skin, then bend it outward below the skin, rearward.
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It funnels water rearward plus is an attachment point for the bumper trunk cover.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:58 AM   #288
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Hi Taylor,
Thanks for the response! What the picture I'm my previous post is supposed to show is the rear crossmember that has been cut with a grinder to match the curve of the subfloor/shell. I had cut the curve of the subfloor based on what I had left of the original subfloor. I did need to trim it a bit more after sliding it into position. The original subfloor was so rotted that I had to guess a bit as far as the back edge (picture below).

I suspect that the shell was trimmed as part of a floor replacement/repair. I'm now trying to figure out how best to increase the angle on a replacement piece I bought for the rear hold-down. A friend of mine has a sheet metal brake, and has offered to help form this piece. I also plan to slip a piece of angle iron between the newly trimmed rear frame cross member and the floor (there looks to be around 1/8" difference) in order to stiffen up the area that was weakened when I trimmed it.

How are you handling the access to the tank(s)? Are you able to direct water away from the opening in the tank box, or is that not a factor?


Thanks,
David
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:53 PM   #289
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It's 100 degrees somewhere!

Hi Taylor,
Thanks for the pic -- that looks great! How did you manage the curve in the vertical part of the rear flashing?

I took out some "shelter in place" frustration today on a piece of angle iron, and now have a strong candidate as the rear hold down piece. Pic below.

To lessen the chance of corrosion I will paint the recently cut rear frame cross member and this rear hold down with POR-15. I will drill the holes all the way through everything (the "sandwich" as Colorado David has called it) and touch up the insides of the holes with dabs of POR-15.

I slid the hold down beneath the subfloor and on the top side of the rear frame cross member. It seems to belong there, as the thickness of the rear hold down piece fits perfectly in the gap between the subfloor and frame (the cross member was welded below the long frame members). Is this the place that the rear hold down belongs?


Thanks,
David
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:51 PM   #290
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Your homemade rear body hold down plate looks similar to mine. You sure got a good bend on it with your "die". It should work great.

David
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:57 PM   #291
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Hi David,
Thanks for the post ! I am planning on installing the hold down below the subfloor, as The taller flange will reach to just below the rear hatch. Do you see an issue with that?



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Old 03-28-2020, 03:56 PM   #292
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Hi David,

That angle iron bend looks great, don't thinks my bend on this piece was that good, closer to 90. If I had it to do over I would try for an angle closer to what you have. The POR is also a great idea, I used some sheet rubber to separate the aluminum from the angle iron, I like the POR idea better also. As far as where that piece was on my Airstream when I took it apart, It was between the C channel and on top of the wood floor, may be different on yours, you have a rear hatch mine does not. The flashing that I installed at the rear is just shaped outward and around the frame, not that pretty but works. May redo this part, just wanted the flashing on all the way around the Airstream when we were going into the winter months last year.

You are doing a great job, and I will be following.

Thanks
Taylor
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Old 03-28-2020, 07:19 PM   #293
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I am planning on installing the hold down below the subfloor, as The taller flange will reach to just below the rear hatch. Do you see an issue with that?


I don't know that I can answer your question correctly: It seems to me that having the rear body hold down below the subfloor would be a good thing. It seems to me it would help the subfloor not wick in water if there was a leak. I believe Airstream put it on top of the subfloor, and the C channel on top of the rear body hold down. This might be simply due to their assembly process where the body is built separately from the frame and subfloor. Then they can plop the body on the subfloor and bolt it down to the outriggers and body hold down plates, front and rear.

You will have to accomodate the subfloor so it will fit into the rear body hold down. And of course bolt the "sandwich" of rear cross member, rear body hold down, subfloor, and c channel together nice and tight. This includes the bolt into the frame rails on both sides.

David
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:23 PM   #294
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More sag than I thought...

Hi Taylor, David,
Thanks for the replies! I had a chance to spend a little more time inspecting the coach more closely, and realized that:

* I'll have a MUCH easier time of it if I place the rear hold down on top of the wood but below the C channel, and

* As The Rolling Stones once sang, at least two spots in the C channel are "Shattered" (pics below -- first pic is to the left of the hatch, and the second is to the right).

This is making me think that the best plan is to cut the remaining 1/2 inch or so of the C channel and make my life easier when it comes to placing the rear hold down. I will put a flat plate at the bottom of the C channel that will be bolted down as well, enhancing its rigidity.

I'll also add some angle iron/steel in the 1/8" tall gap between the rear frame cross member and the subfloor. This will shore up the cross member after I had cut some of it away. Of course, it will also get the through-bolt treatment...

I expect that when these measures are put it place (along with the vertical flashing) the rear of the coach will be significantly stronger and more watertight. All of these ideas have come from you guys and others on Airforums. I can't express my gratitude to this site and for your help deeply enough -- it is making all the difference in the world!


Thanks Again,
David
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:34 PM   #295
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The thin aluminum C channel isn't very strong. It was broken in my Overlander and this Sovereign I'm working on now. Ours was broken at the frame rails where the frame rails became detached due to rot and rust, started flexing up and down over every bump, and the c channel just fractured.

The function of the c channel is provide a place for the exterior skins and interior skins to be riveted. It also provides a place for the outrigger bolts and front and rear body attach bolts to the frame to pass through, thus holding the whole body to the frame.

I assembled my new rear body hold down angle to the top of the subfloor. I made broken c channel replacement out of angle aluminum, although channel aluminum is available if a guy wants it. What is important is your rear cross member is bolted to the frame rails, the rear body hold down angle is bolted through the subfloor and to the rear cross member, and the rear body under the cargo door is securely riveted to the rear body hold down angle.

These photos may help, or may confuse you.

It appears you are on the right course to repair the rear end separation.

Colorado David
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Old 03-30-2020, 09:37 AM   #296
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Jacked up ?

Hi David,
As always, your advice helps-- a lot !! I appreciate it...


A couple of quick questions:

1. I see that you did not replace the broken length of C channel -- or at least that is how it looks from the pics. Was that because the area is for storage and the interior panels are attached to the hatch frame?

2. In the last photo, you show the pieces stacked up (view from outside and looking up). I am trying to determine the exact order of fastening. Did you jack up the frame? Or is the picture taken before that point? I ask because the shell is not riveted yet and I cannot determine if that is where the skin will end on my Ambassador (and if then the belly pan comes up to that point. The entire belly pan was missing on ours from the start of the tank box rearward).

I am guessing that the order of attaching things is rear hold down (and floor and C channel, if used) to the frame cross member and then that "sandwich" to the shell. Please correct me if I have it wrong.

I am carving out a bit of time each day to work on getting the floor/shell buttoned back up. My wife (who is working from home while we shelter in place) is tolerating me taking this small amount of time from a fairly long list of other needed projects because she knows that working on the Airstream is an escape for me. And hopefully (someday) us :-)


Thanks,
David
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Old 03-30-2020, 08:07 PM   #297
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Hi Mr. Sheds: I'll try to answer your questions:

1. I see that you did not replace the broken length of C channel -- or at least that is how it looks from the pics. Was that because the area is for storage and the interior panels are attached to the hatch frame?

I used a piece of aluminum angle to form the interior skin rivet attach. I did not use the broken C channel. Since I have the body attach on top of the subfloor, the c channel really doesn't have much to do back there. The skins from the cargo door frame to the subfloor is what, 3" max.

2. In the last photo, you show the pieces stacked up (view from outside and looking up). I am trying to determine the exact order of fastening. Did you jack up the frame? Or is the picture taken before that point? I ask because the shell is not riveted yet and I cannot determine if that is where the skin will end on my Ambassador (and if then the belly pan comes up to that point. The entire belly pan was missing on ours from the start of the tank box rearward).

Yes, certainly we jacked up the frame to level the frame rails front to back. We then welded additional metal to the frame to stiffen it. Our frame rails were sagging about 2". I have said before it seems to me the Airstream frame is a suspension bridge, like your Golden Gate. The axle mounting plates are the bridge supports. The frame rails and subfloor is the roadway. The body of the Airstream is the "cables" that hold the roadway up. When the rear end becomes separated due to rust and rot, the roadway sags. We want to repair it by firmly attaching the frame rails to the rear of the body.

The skin of the Airstream body usually reaches down to the bottom of the subfloor. Yours might be different due to the elephant ear surgery performed sometime in the past.


I am guessing that the order of attaching things is rear hold down (and floor and C channel, if used) to the frame cross member and then that "sandwich" to the shell. Please correct me if I have it wrong.

Yes, the stack from the bottom up is the rear cross member, then the subfloor, then the rear body mount, and then the c channel. 4 parts. We replaced the c channel with a piece of aluminum angle. Just something to rivet the bit of interior skin to.

Hope this helps a bit.

Colorado David
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Old 03-31-2020, 12:20 AM   #298
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Hi Colorado David,
Thanks for your reply! I finally am getting the full picture in my head. Hopefully, I can see if this vision becomes reality tomorrow.


Thanks so much!
California David
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Old 03-31-2020, 10:04 AM   #299
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Hi Colorado David,
Thanks for the bridge analogy -- that helps me a lot! Today I will jack up the frame in the rear of the coach and level it -- front to back and side to side. It will be interesting to see how close the vertical parts of the frame on either side of the rear hatch get to the C channel (the portion of C channel that has breaks will be removed before I jack up the frame). I plan on putting jack stands or blocking of some kind in place in order to keep the frame flat and level while I re-attach the sheet to the frame.

I am anxious about this step. I want to get it right the first time, and it will involve my first attempts at buck riveting. I will definitely practice beforehand. An aircraft mechanic friend of mine has lent me an impressive variety of bucking bars, Clecos and other sundry items. I do not have a proper air rivet gun, but will be using an air hammer outfitted with the attachment for driving rivets (sorry, I forgot the name).

If things go well, it may be that I can run the belly pan past the tank box and then vertically to be attached behind the skin -- providing the flashing and buttoning up the belly pan at the same time. Or is this just wishful thinking?


Thanks,
California David
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:41 PM   #300
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In process...

Hi David, All,
Photo below is the back end of the shell with short pieces of scrap aluminum between the shell and subfloor to help the shell slip past the plywood as the frame is being jacked up to level...

Here's what I am experiencing so far... The shell in the rear corner on the door side is all the way down past the subfloor and against the frame while the non-door side is yet to cover the subfloor, and the frame isn't even level yet. I am guessing that the floor should be attached and then the rear hold down placed and bolted down, but I could use some perspective here...

Am I looking for the frame to be level or the floor to be flat -- or both?


Thanks,
David
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