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Old 07-21-2020, 06:16 AM   #401
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If I had a nickel for every time I said “Rah Roh” on this project... My son who is a master surfboard builder said to me a couple of years ago that the sign of a true craftsman is how well they hide their mistakes.

When you consider that we are amateurs pursuing a hobby, doing things for the first time or things we don’t do often, mistakes and miscues are going to happen. So far most of mine have been correctable. But I admit to praying that I haven’t overlooked a big issue.
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Old 07-21-2020, 02:13 PM   #402
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Hi Bill,
Thanks for the reply, and also the perspective! My next steps (buttoning the trailer back up and starting on the windows) are a little intimidating to me, so I am going more slowly than I normally would, and spending a lot of time just staring at the area I am about to be working on... I am very grateful to have this forum as my main resource. So much support comes from here in both current posts and threads of others. It is amazing, and softens that aspect of not having done these things before :-)


Thanks,
California David
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Old 07-21-2020, 04:20 PM   #403
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Even those of us who've done it once, hesitate when we have to do it again. We're fixing soft floor in our rear bathroom, and buttoning things back up now, but we've changed how we hung the black tank back up and supported it. We'll also probably have to cut down some decorative elements and cabinets as we place them back into the bathroom as we put a little thicker flooring in there this time around. I think nothing ever goes back together exactly as it came out!
Continue to take pictures as you put things in. Hopefully you won't need to use them as we did!

Kay
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Old 07-22-2020, 10:40 AM   #404
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Hi Kay,
Thanks for your response -- it is good to get your perspective! I had not been taking as many photos as I should have, and that penalized me when time passed between progress, I am now documenting pretty much every step because, well, my memory is not what it used to be :-)

I will definitely refer back to your Little Girl thread more than once as I proceed. The way you guys handled the interior walls is brilliant, in my opinion.

Thanks Again,
California David
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:21 PM   #405
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Which one first?

Hi All,
Well, the buttoning process has begun, although I may have already Made a mistake.

The C (U?) channel below the rear access door is about 3/4 inch higher than the subfloor, even after making certain that the sag was taken out of the very back before beginning to attach the “sandwich”.

The C Channel on the sides are also lifted, although not as much. I initially thought it would be best to Start with bolting together the sandwich that includes the rear hold down, etc., but now I am wondering if I will be better off working my way around the corners and then finally attach the very back end.

Thoughts?


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California David
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:43 PM   #406
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I might try putting a floor jack, or a screw jack, under each frame rail at the rear of the trailer. Carefully and slowly jack the trailer frame rails up until the subfloor reaches the C channel. Then bolt the "sandwich" together. We had to jack up our frame rails about an inch to close that gap. Then we bolted it all together.

The body holds the frame up, and the frame holds the body up. Semi-monocoque construction Airstream calls it.

Colorado David
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Old 07-23-2020, 11:18 PM   #407
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Hi David,
As usual, a great suggestion! I have jacks under the two frame rails already, but I stopped jacking when the floor became “flat” front to back, and level side to side. I didn’t take into account the fact that, even after being attached, the shell and frame will settle back into position. Thanks!

Once both frame members are raised enough, will it matter if I “button” from the sides or rear first?


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California David
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Old 07-24-2020, 01:31 PM   #408
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Buttoning up...

Hi All,
Exciting day today, as progress is being made on the re-attachment of the subfloor-C channel connection. Pics below include the fasteners (both elevator bolts and trailer floor bolts are being used), and also the first section of subfloor after cinching... the marks in the tops of the installed elevator bolts are from the use of a 5 pound hammer and the business end of a nail puller, as I "bammed" them into their seats.


Thanks,
California David
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:02 PM   #409
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It certainly looks well attached. Maybe you got that gap at the rear closed up with your jacks. Normally the body is placed on the frame and subfloor from the top down. like using a hoist and gantry. Us guys to don't remove the body gotta bring the frame up to position. Then bolt the two tight with the plywood in-between.

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Old 07-24-2020, 09:06 PM   #410
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It's buttoned up, so you better get the party started!

Hi Colorado David,
Thanks for your reply! The sandwich "has been made"! I did jack up the frame as you had suggested -- that helped a great deal. Then, between using trailer floor screws and elevator bolts, I was able to secure the U Channel very securely to the frame and floor.

As you, Aerowood and others have written about, the vertical ribs in our coaches don't always make it to the U channel, nor is there a positive connection between the two (or three, where the frame intersects). I think this is weird, so I have cut some angled aluminum stock into short lengths, to act as L brackets. I have not yet determined the best method for connecting the L bracket to the rib, and am open to ideas :-)

I did get a rivet gun, and could potentially learn on these hidden pieces, but might aluminum rivets (the only ones I have) be too soft?


Thanks,
California David
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:52 PM   #411
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California Dave, glad to see your progress! ain't it great to see your own progress? i'm glad i had very little frame damage. look ford to see your progress. kurt
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Old 07-25-2020, 05:38 AM   #412
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Thanks for the post. Any chance it was meant for a different thread? Or am I already to the point that I can't even remember asking about these things (definitely possible ?

dbj216 asked about that in Post #381. Sorry if I caused confusion.
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Old 07-25-2020, 07:27 AM   #413
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Looking good David,

A couple suggestions if I may...
Not sure if you used lock nuts or lock washers but it’s a good idea to slightly bend the free end of the elevator bolts to eliminate any chance of the nuts coming loose. A couple whacks with that 5lb hammer should do it.
Use aluminum rivets with aluminum mandrels where you can’t buck. Galvanic corrosion and such... also, drilling out rivets with a steel mandrel is no joke, or it is a joke... either way, it sucks.

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Old 07-25-2020, 07:29 AM   #414
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Oh yeah, I received your PM, holler when you want it.

Ian
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Old 07-25-2020, 07:52 AM   #415
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You need to use either AD rivets or bolts.
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:14 AM   #416
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Hi All,
Thanks very much for the replies -- I am constantly amazed by the generosity of this crowd, and appreciate all of the comments and advice!

To answer as as much as I can, I will try to go in order...

Kurt, Thanks for the continued support. Cold beer is awaiting you, should you decide to make the trip to Wine Country !

Mimi, it most likely me that is confused -- something that seems to deepen with every passing year... :-)

Ian, thanks for the comments. That 5 pound hammer would indeed put a curve into the elevator bolts. I did use nylock nuts, so hopefully, that is enough. If not, the hammer is nearby... and I will PM you about that file as I get slightly closer.

Aerowood, Thanks, as always. I will heed your advice. If I cannot find AD rivets today I may seek out aluminum bolts for the ribs. The bolts through the C channel and floor are steel. The only galvanic corrosion that occurred the last time these connections were made (including a lot of steel bolts and screws) resulted in the rear hold down plate being sacrificed. It was nearly gone in several places. I plan to have zero (or nearly zero) water intrusion, and definitely am taking steps to eliminate the "reverse flashing" that has plagued these coaches. Hopefully, those measures (along with our somewhat drier climate) will slow down any corrosion from the few steel-to-aluminum connections that I will have.

Colorado David, Kay, Bill, and many others, thanks again for your guidance. This feels like a milestone, and it would have not been reached without the help of so many !

Last, I hope at least one of you picked up on the thread title's reference to a famous song by Pink. That song starts out "I'm... coming up, so you better get the party started"...


Have a great weekend!
California David
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Old 07-25-2020, 07:42 PM   #417
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1970 New to us Ambassador reality check

AD rivets are very common, the Part Number you will need is MS20470AD5-x, x=the length in 16th inch increments. Genuine Aircraft Hardware is close to you in Santa Barbara.

Make sure you have a 5/32 470 rivet set.

You need to start using that rivet gun you have. It’s actually very simple and easy.
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:20 PM   #418
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Hi Kip, All,
Well, when you are right, you are right. As I am uncovering the structure of this coach, I am finding more and more items that cause concern. Both rear corner ribs with the holes drilled into them standing loose next to the bucked rivets inside. Maybe those corner ribs are simply there for the furnishings, but then there wouldn't be all of the holes, exactly next to the bucked rivets.

I understand that a coach is different than a house, but my many years of remodeling make my brain ask how anyone would think that the load of the shell and ribs (not to mention air conditioner) should be borne by the last inch of quite thin aluminum shell, instead of a skeleton upon frame setup, like a building.

That, and the fairly large areas that were repair using Olympic rivets, and poorly at that... I just received a rivet gun and set from Yardstore. Looks like I will be getting plenty of use from it !


Thanks,
California David
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:17 AM   #419
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Kip, what's an AD rivet? I asked Chris, and he said "anti-depressant". I don't think that's quite right.....

Kay
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:20 AM   #420
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CA David:
We had one of our wall panels riveted into the vent stack in the kitchen area when we took our trailer apart. I know your pain. We had no issues that you've had, though, with short ribs. We would do what you're doing and add lengtheners to tie in the structure. Loose is not good!

Kay
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