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Old 03-14-2010, 11:26 PM   #41
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Good idea, getting the mask. And no, that is post-factory for sure, the fibreglass.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:25 AM   #42
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Bought the local Ace out of #30 bits. They had #30 bits and they had Cobalt but they didn't have a bit that was both. I went with the #30 and it worked just fine. In fact I removed the entire starboard side interior panel and a couple of smaller ones and I am still on my first #30 bit.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:25 AM   #43
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Yes HSS bits work well. Please beware the bit killer and hole oblongenator - the steel mandrel of some pop rivets that bind and/or throw the bit off center. A tap with an awl to drive it back allows the drill to self center properly. This gets to be more of a problem the larger the rivets get.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:28 AM   #44
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I was actually doing that very thing with an awl. I just tapped the awl with the hammer and put a tiny little divet in the center of the rivet and that was enough to keep the drill bit centered...

I saw the trick on the Classic Rides Airstream renovation show.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:39 AM   #45
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Removed some interior panels today. Decided to stop till I could get a good dust mask...that insulation is bad for the lungs. Surprise, surprise, some fiberglass over the old bathroom instead of aluminum. Hmm wonder if that it stock?
Not sure what your pictures are showing me. Are you saying there is fiberglass on the lower panels? Or, is it the upper dome?

If it's the upper dome, then it is original. Airstream used molded fiberglass domes in the fore and aft upper curved sections in this vintage and length of Airstream.

I'm not a big fan of drilling out rivets, but I really enjoy putting them back in. Especially the solid rivets that have to be "bucked" into place. I found that to be a lot of fun.

-Marcus
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:11 PM   #46
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It is the upper dome, good to know that part is stock, wonder why they did that? I guess I can expect to see it again up front when I get there too then.

Yes drilling them out has proven about as much of a pain as I expected.

The plastic fender covers are cracked and unserviceable so I've pitched them. The inner covers look like they might be galvanized sheet metal. Mine are corroded pretty bad so I expect I will have to redo them.

I noticed something like corrosion on the very bottom of the inner aluminum panel near the door. About an 1/8 of an inch has been eaten away. I had never seen aluminum do that. I thought it might have been touching a dissimiler metal and it might be due to electrolosis but I haven't found the culprit yet.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:14 PM   #47
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Aage...keep me honest!!! What is the ideal weight ratio for one of these trailers in terms of weight forward of the axle and aft of the axle?
I leave to those better informed than me to give you the fine detail, but my feeling is that it should be fairly straight-forward if you keep overall weight fairly evenly balanced left to right, and remember that tongue weight is usually 10-15% of total weight.

Come up with some estimates and post them for comment. You're sure to hear about it if you're wrong
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:17 PM   #48
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Bring on the feedback, I have thick skin and I am not afraid to change the plan for a better solution.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:25 PM   #49
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In it's completely empty state it feels like the tongue weight is much higher than that. I am planning on putting the tanks aft of the wheels or very near the wheels if possible.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:45 PM   #50
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It is the upper dome, good to know that part is stock, wonder why they did that? I guess I can expect to see it again up front when I get there too then.

Yes drilling them out has proven about as much of a pain as I expected.

The plastic fender covers are cracked and unserviceable so I've pitched them. The inner covers look like they might be galvanized sheet metal. Mine are corroded pretty bad so I expect I will have to redo them.

I noticed something like corrosion on the very bottom of the inner aluminum panel near the door. About an 1/8 of an inch has been eaten away. I had never seen aluminum do that. I thought it might have been touching a dissimiler metal and it might be due to electrolosis but I haven't found the culprit yet.
Yup, aluminum actually will corrode if exposed to moisture long enough, and galvanic activity will hasten the process but it can happen even without that.

And I'm guessing Airstream found that molding the fiberglass domes was cheaper than using aluminum, given the compound curving that those domes have. Older units than yours are mine used aluminum strips that resembled the exterior ones, but I suppose the fiberglass process matured enough during those years that when ours came down the line they were able to do it with fiberglass. I actually overlaid my rear dome with aluminum to make the entire bathroom nice and shiny.

-Marcus
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:03 PM   #51
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I actually overlaid my rear dome with aluminum to make the entire bathroom nice and shiny.
Oh lord don't tell my wife or she'll have me doing the same thing!
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:03 PM   #52
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Don't have a wife... but I will sure do the same...
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:45 PM   #53
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Marcus, faithfully reading these threads as you recommend. I have to say I am inspired and humbled by what some of these builders have been able to accomplish. My own efforts seem so amateurish by comparison.

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Congratulations on your new Airstream. You've clearly done some research, yes floor replacement is in your immediate future.

You might have found them already, but if you haven't, I consider the Major Renovation threads to be required reading for anyone who is about to tackle the job that you are setting out to do. You can find them here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html

There are many of them, and some of them are quite lengthy, but the amount of knowledge that can be learned from those threads is vast. They are excellent not only as a research tool, but also for inspiration, either when you're stuck with a design dilemma, or when you're consumed by despair, wondering if you will ever actually be able to use this thing. I've read all of them at least once, and several of them multiple times.

Good luck!
-Marcus
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:48 PM   #54
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Don't have a wife... but I will sure do the same...
It's not that I don't think it's cool, I just don't think I have the skills to pull it off yet.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:53 PM   #55
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I need a good step by step photo tutorial on putting in olympic rivets, any suggestions?
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:34 PM   #56
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You will find a mile of fiberglass insulation behind the dome.Wear your mask for removal.This pic I am attaching is what I found under my corroded aluminum on the doorsill.Swiss cheese steel.This will be replaced along with the strip used for riveting the skirts and bellypan to
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It is the upper dome, good to know that part is stock, wonder why they did that? I guess I can expect to see it again up front when I get there too then.

Yes drilling them out has proven about as much of a pain as I expected.

The plastic fender covers are cracked and unserviceable so I've pitched them. The inner covers look like they might be galvanized sheet metal. Mine are corroded pretty bad so I expect I will have to redo them.

I noticed something like corrosion on the very bottom of the inner aluminum panel near the door. About an 1/8 of an inch has been eaten away. I had never seen aluminum do that. I thought it might have been touching a dissimiler metal and it might be due to electrolosis but I haven't found the culprit yet.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:42 PM   #57
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I need a good step by step photo tutorial on putting in olympic rivets, any suggestions?
Gotta admit: this was hard to find! I had to type "Olympic rivets" into the search box of youtube! :: phew ::

The I went to lunch...



ps: you can buy them from Outdoors Mart, too. Not sure about the tool to dress them, but probably...
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:57 PM   #58
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Thanks! Youtube is restricted on my work machine but I was able to watch it when I got home. Are these the same rivets I hear others talking about bucking? That sound like a two person operation.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:21 PM   #59
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Thanks! Youtube is restricted on my work machine but I was able to watch it when I got home. Are these the same rivets I hear others talking about bucking? That sound like a two person operation.
No, Olympic rivets are not the same. Olympic rivets are one form of "blind rivet" which means you only need access to one side of the piece to be worked. To install an Olympic rivet, you use a hand riveter that you squeeze. The tool grasps the mandrel and pulls on it, which deforms three legs on the back side of the rivet and slowly clamps the pieces together. Pop rivets use the same tool and work in similar fashion, but instead of three individual legs deforming and pulling tight against the backside, the entire shaft sort of deforms and fattens up on the backside.

Solid rivets are different. They are structural rivets in the aircraft industry, and they require two people for installation. One person operates the rivet gun on the front side (you can think of this gun as a more precise air hammer), while another person uses a "bucking bar" and presses it against the back side of the rivet (after the rivet has penetrated the two or more sheets you're attempting to fasten together). The bucking bar is any flat, hard piece of metal-- its purpose is to apply pressure from the back side as the rivet gun hammers the rivet from the front side. The back of the rivet fattens up and squeezes the sheets together, forming a really solid joint when done properly.

Hope that helps.

-Marcus
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:52 PM   #60
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Thanks utee. I am learning a great deal and having fun!

BTW has anybody ever tried replacing the plywood with a planked floor? I have a source of cheap abundant rough sawn cypress planks and a power planer. Does the Airstream rely on the plywood structurally like a diaphram?
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