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Old 09-16-2010, 10:45 AM   #41
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Pete check out post #14 on my thread for pictures of the cribbing. They are a little dark but you can see what I did for support.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ins-67532.html
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:44 PM   #42
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Slow progress & several questions I need to answer

Hi there,

Got to spend about 5 hours on the project today. It was raining hard all day so I spent my time cleaning up the current mess and then starting on removing bolts and screws from the 'C' channel. The five bolts at the rear end came off easily. Four of them actually screwed off and one broke off. The three at the front came off with a little more work. One broke off as I tried to turn it with a 9/16th socket. The others came off with a little work with a cold chisel.

During a break in the action I took a close look at the 'C' channel along the sides. It seems to be the same stuff used as horizontal braces further up the interior of the shell. I didn't notice it at first but clearly it is the same material. The 'horizontal' part of that combined 'C' channel is sized for 1/2 inch plywood.

Several questions come to mind tonight:

Question 1: Do I need to remove the inside wheel well covers before lifting the shell? I have the outer covers off and I took a look today but it isn't obvious how to remove the inner covers.

Question 2: If steel and alum. against each other cause corrosion problems, why aren't they more careful to avoid contact? The very front exterior panel has a stell backing for mounting the drive light plug. Seems a bit of double laying of alum. would be just as effective and avoid the problem with dissimilar metals.

Question 3: How does stainless steel do with alum.? Does it still cause corrosion problems?

Question 4: As I was looking at the 'C' channel, assuming all of the bolts through the 'C' channel have been removed, I still I couldn't figure out the best way to lift the shell. Seems I'd have to spread the shell at the base to pull it away from the plywood. However, that doesn't feel right. Certainly can't do that if I have all my cribbing in place. Will I have to cut the existing plywood in half to get it out? I'm fully expecting to use it for a template for the replacement decking so I don't want to be destructive.

Question 5: Rivets... Are the original rivets known as the "olympic" rivets I've read about? I'm thinking the original rivets have a solid head that doesn't need to be 'shaved' like others. I noticed today that the rivets on the very front panel, where the trailer lights socket is mounted, have a wire center showing. Looks like that panel might have been removed and replaced at some time in the past. Someday I'll be replacing rivets on the shell and I'd like them to look like the factory installed rivets. So what type will I be using?

Sorry for all the questions... got on a roll as I'm thinking about the remaining work.

I'm likely to have to delay actually trying to lift the shell for a while. I've got to leave for a week business trip to Orlando next Sunday and then in 4 weeks I'll be off for month long business trip to Saudi Arabia ... but on a lighter note I went to an estate sale yesterday and scored a trailer mounted Lincwelder 225 rig for $100. I was the only person interested in it. Learned later from a friend of the family that it is suppposed to run well. I haven't had time to play with it yet but it is under cover next to the barn as soon as I find some time.

Pete
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:01 AM   #43
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Hi Pete yes the horizontal braces are the same as the side C channel.
Answers:
1) The inner wheel covers stay with the floor and not the shell. They have a lip edge which is underneath the floor between the frame rails. They are also screwed into the floor horizontally at the corners.
2) The steel backing you are talking about is the front holddown plate. They use steel for strength and at some point even if you used aluminum it would still touch the steel of the main frame rails. This plate is welded to the A frame and if painted with a rust paint like POR-15 it will never rust again.
3) I'm not sure but steel is steel so?
4) Drill out the small pop rivets inside that are holding the vertical ribs to the horizontal C channels and drill out all the buck rivets outside that are holding the outer skins to the channel. When you lift the shell the channel stays on the floor and is removed after the shell is lifted.
5) the original rivets are buck rivets and do not need to be shaved. Olympic rivets are used to mimic the appearance of buck rivets. they are used when access to the back of the rivet is not possible to use a bucking bar. they are then shaved to look like buck rivets. So buck rivets when rear access is possible and Olympic when not.
Hpoe this helps you. You will probably find yourself constantly thinking about the A/S and how to do this and how to do that. It called aluminitis and there is no cure but can be treated with regular applications of contact with your A/S. LMAO.
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Old 09-20-2010, 06:06 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by phoyt View Post
Question 3: How does stainless steel do with alum.? Does it still cause corrosion problems?


As Chris replied previously - steel is steel - even less corrosion-wise with Stainless (depending on the grade). Most all of the Airstreams have some sort of a hold down plate both front and rear....I helped removing the shell of a 66 model the other week (had to drill out each of the front mount hold down rivets)...no sign of corrosion anywhere.

That 66 model is 44 years old (the frame fell apart while being dragged to the welders), but no sign of "dis-similar metal corrosion"...

How long do you REALLY need it to last?

FWIW - I quit building for a fifty year design life a long time ago - a twenty year design build is just fine for me now.

If there is any question if what you are doing is "good enough", then build it hell for stout and everything else will take care of itself.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:39 PM   #45
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Hi there! To summarize then:

1. Ignore the inner wheel well covers till the shell is off.
2. Paint the front and read hold down plates with POR-15 and forget about concerns over steel touching alum.
3. Steel is Steel so even stainless would cause a problem if left in contact long enuf ('long enuf' is now defined as 50 years or less). Since I don't plan to make it to 110, I'll just use POR-15 when possible and not worry about it.
4. The 'C' channel stays with the flooring. Makes sense, must have been too close to see the forest for all those trees in the way.
5. Learn to buck rivets on someone else's AS... or maybe practice on some scrap alum. But plan to buck rivits before putting the interior back on. Its got to look professional!
6. Take along a small piece of my AS to put under my pillow while on all these pesky business trips. :-) Wonder if they have an AS dealer in Riyadh... they have just about everything else you can think of. Pray for a good internet connection so I can continue to haunt this forum!

Thank for the info!
Pete
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:10 PM   #46
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Pete I love it a piece os A/S to get your daily fix. I fell out of the chair laughing when I read that.
BTW I need to learn how to buck rivet as well. I'm still trying to get riveting kit from Vintage Trailer Supply. It's been on backorder for at least a month now. If it doesn't come in soon I'm going to look elsewhere. I have a friend locally here who is going to come up and show me when I'm ready. My frame is going to a local shop in the morning for paint. It's too cold and wet here for me to do it outside. I hope to have it back on Friday. I'll post some pics before floor goes back on.
talk to you soon.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:20 PM   #47
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I can't believe that it has been 9 months since I've been on this forum or for that matter, worked on my AS. But in those 9 months, I've been to Saudi Arabia on business twice and worked massive overtime through the winter. Enough with the excuses... it is time to crawl back under my rig and pick up where I left of. I was out in the barn today to look over the project. Seems I'm at the point where it is time to figure out how to remove the bolts that connect the shell to the floor. That doesn't look like an easy task so I'll dig around on this forum to see what I can learn from some of the other restoration records... glad to be back to the important work!
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:58 PM   #48
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Welcome back Pete. That piece of aluminium must be well worn by now after being under your pillow for so long.
To remove the bolts, the ones holding the channel to the outriggers can be bent back and forth with vice grips until the metal fatigues enough to just snap off. The main holddown bolts are too thick to remove that way so the easiest way is to cut off the nut with a grinder and a cut off wheel. Just cut down through the side of the nut in a couple of places and the nut should come free from the bolt.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:17 PM   #49
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Question: How are those darn wheel well covers attached to the floor and to the outside shell?? I am creeping up on being ready to remove the shell and it seems obvious that I have to first deal with the wheel wells and the trim around the outside of the wheel well opening. I have the same issue with the battery compartment. I have the inside battery compartment shell off. It was attached with a couple of screws and a few rivets but mostly that caulk like 'stuff' that is a bear to remove. I suspect the wheel wells are also attached in the same manner but the channel around the edge of the wheel well covers is full of that caulk. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:43 PM   #50
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Hi Pete the black wheel wells have a lip that is sandwiched between the floor and the main frame rails running front to back. They have the same lip on both the front and back ends which is also sandwiched between the floor and the outriggers. The floor is then screwed down through the wheel wells into the main frame rails and also into the outriggers. They are attached to the shell with pop rivets and use the wheel well trim as a stiffener for the shell skin. Drill out the rivets holding the trim on and the shell will come free from the wheel wells. Once the shell is lifted you can remove the floor screws and lift the floor sheets up off the wheel wells. The mother ship uses copius amounts of Vulkem to seal the outer edge of the wheel wells where it meets the shell and to seal the inner edge where they meet the floor.
For the battery compartment since it actually sits halfway above and below the floor you will need to drill out the buck(solid) rivets holding the compartment frame to the shell and drill out the pop rivets holding it to the belly pan and remove the entire compartment before lifting the shell. Yes again copius amounts of Vulkem is used to seal it all up. I found that if you heat up the Vulkem with a heat gun first it is much(somewhat) easier to remove.
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:03 PM   #51
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Thanks Chris, that will keep me out of me out of trouble for the weekend for sure... hope the wifie doesnt' mind me hijacking her heat gun again! :-)
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:04 PM   #52
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Well... I managed to get the battery compartment taken all apart and out... and the curb side wheel well is all ready to go. Just have to get to the road side to prep that side. I find it hard to believe that the factory used screws to attach the outer trip to the inner trim. Those screws were not coming out. I had to cut a slit in the heads with a dremel and then use a big screw driver to back them out. A couple just had to be cut off. I'll have to get a few pictures of the trip I removed just in case that might help anyone else. Now that I have one side off, I understand how it goes together... and I'm thinking it won't be easy to get it back in place when this is all done.

Checked the local NAPA store for POR15. The don't normally carry it but knew what I was looking for. Anyone know how much it will take to treat a 31 foot frame? I can order it through them but not sure how much to order.

Another question... can replacement frame parts be ordered and if so, where... and how long to get them? Once this shell is off, I'm going to want to get the frame fixed up and treated asap so I can put the shell back on. Otherwise, it might spend the winter in two pieces and that wouldn't be good.

Oh boy, that also means I'll need new axles at the same time... fortunately the Mrs. knows this isn't going to be a cheap or brief project. :-)

Thanks, Pete
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:38 PM   #53
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Hi Pete I used 2 quarts and a pint of the POR-15 in black and 1 quart and 1 pint of the silver top coat plus a gallon of the marine clean and two quarts of the metal ready to do mine. That was enough black to do two coats and one coat of the silver top coat.
Any Airstream dealer can order crossmembers or outriggers for you. Look at Inland RV's site they list the different outriggers and crossmembers. The price for the outriggers is so reasonable that it wasn't worth looking into having them made up.
I still have several new ones if you're interested.The crossmembers I got were all too short so to use them I had to box in the frame rails. I ended up having some of them fabricated locally. The main frame rails are not available as replacement parts but can be made easily locally through any metal shop.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:41 PM   #54
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Hi Chris,

If you still have those extra outriggers when I'm ready for them I may be interested. When I get the shell off and things cleaned up, I'll know what I need to fit things back to ship shape.

I found a local source of the POR15. Boy, that stuff ain't cheap is it!? :-) Still, rather to it right than twice. Thanks for the info on the amount you had to purchase. Pulled up the POR15 instructions for those who don't read instructions... glad I did. You really have to be careful with that stuff.

Decided over the weekend that have to re-deck my 16 foot flat-bed trailer so while I have that apart, I'll apply some POR 15 to that frame as well.

As you know my rig used 1/2 inch plywood. I can order marine grade plywood locally. They can get 3/4 inch easily or 1/2 if they use a different source. I'd prefer to use 3/4 but how in the world would I cut down the perimeter so it will fit in that 1/2 inch channel? Any ideas?
Thanks, Peter
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:35 AM   #55
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Hi Pete yes I do have the outriggers, just let me know how may and what ones you need.
Yeah the POR-15 is expensive but cheap compared to the paint I used for the floor. I used a product from Sani-tred. They use to to seal almost everything including aquariums. It's basically liquid rubber and makes the floor totally waterproof.
DIY Wet Basement Waterproofing, Finishing & Flooring, Swimming Pool, Deck & Concrete Crack Repair, Roof & Industrial Floor Coating

You can always router the edge of the 3/4 down to 1/2"
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:23 PM   #56
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Thanks for the info about the floor paint you used... I'll check into it. Yes, you are right about the router idea... I wasn't thinking it would be practical because of width of the wall. However, I only need to be concerned with the width of the channel the flooring fits into don't I? That shouldn't be more than 1/2 to 3/4" right? :-) If that is the case, I'll go for 3/4" for certain!
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:44 PM   #57
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I actually got to spend time on the project this weekend. Still not ready to remove the shell... I'm working on the road side belly wrap. I hadn't yet removed either of the tanks... so I finally got the main water tank out Saturday. Looks in fine shape, but I didn't know it had maybe 20 gallons of water in it... I also learned the hard way to read the BFM before starting on something like pulling the tank. I had all of the perimeter bolts off of the water tank tray off before I figured out that something else was holding it in place. Dummy.... I dug out that BFM I spent $100 to order from Airstream and read the instructions. Held up the tray with a floor jack and was able to release that center bolt finally, and get it all out.

No rust throughts on the trey, but some rust on the inside. Figure I can clean it up and maybe use some of that POR15 on it to clean it up for reuse later.

Next project is to remove the black water tank... that ain't going to be fun. It contains dried "stuff" from the previous occupants... guess no one thought to empty the tank occassionally. Once that is out, I can remove the rest of the road side belly wrap and get that much closer to pulling the shell.

Found it hard to believe that there was no easy way to drain the tank other than to use the water pump (long ago removed) to empty the tank. Wonder if I dare add a manual drain of some sort so I can easily drain the tank before putting things away for the winters around here.

Hoping to spend more time flat on my mechanic's creeper later this week to work on pulling that black water tank...
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:15 PM   #58
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Found it hard to believe that there was no easy way to drain the tank
Which tank?
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:54 PM   #59
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Found it hard to believe that there was no easy way to drain the tank other than to use the water pump (long ago removed) to empty the tank. Wonder if I dare add a manual drain of some sort so I can easily drain the tank before putting things away for the winters around here.
Mine still had the pump. I just drained mine one season. Filled it and drained it sitting in the same spot. Emptying the tank with the pump was about the only easy thing I've done on this trailer so far.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:52 PM   #60
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As it turns out, it doesn't look like I've got to remove the holding tank or the black water tank... figure once I get the shell off I can easily access the tanks to pull them out of the frame. I was thinking they had to come out so I could get the belly wrap off of the road side of the AS. Once I got under there and looked around, I decided I could get off the wrap without pulling the tanks. The fresh water did have to come out and I've got it all cleaned up and set aside till needed.

Wonder if anyone has used a composting toilet in an AS... I've had one in cabin before and it worked very well. It would be nice to eliminate the black water tank later but I doubt any composter would fit in the bathroom area.

Hoping to get the rest of the road side wrap off tomorrow.
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