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Old 05-11-2008, 04:45 PM   #241
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clear-coat removal

Yesterday I decided not to let that brand new gallon of Napier RemovALL 220 sit there doing nothing. So I waited until it was about 95 degrees instead of 99 degrees outside and I began applying the stripper with a paint brush by hand. I let it sit just long enough to apply a single coating all the way around the trailer. Probably about 1 hour. Then working in the same direction around the trailer I used water and a large car wash brush to brush off the stripper and old coating. This stuff works great and now I have close to a mirror shine at least on the lower 3/4 of the skins. The coating was definitely gone on the end caps, upper skins and top and oxidation is evident there. Still it's amazing the beauty that can be found after 32 years hidden below the worn layers in these trailers!
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:01 PM   #242
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WOW, Todd! That looks great! I was going to suggest that you call Dan, but I see that's been taken care of. Keep a close eye on that small spring, it can cause all sorts of issues if you have problems with it (ask me how I know ).

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Old 05-11-2008, 07:09 PM   #243
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Dan as mentioned I have those outriggers. The trouble is apparently they don't match the model of steps on my trailer. Question is how does the lever arm work on the newer model steps and is that lever available as a part for purchase? If so I can probably upgrade the lever arm on my existing steps rather than fabricating the new outriggers to fit the old lever-arm. I was hoping somebody might also have some photos depicting how the newer lever arms work.
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:51 PM   #244
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double-step release mechanism upgrade

Looking carefully at the newer model of stairs versus the older model on my trailer Dan and I decided that the the old steps can be upgraded to fit the newer outriggers. Thanks Dan! Karma to ya!

The significant difference between the older steps and the new steps is the step release mechanism. Rather than modify the new outriggers to fit the old step release mechanism I decided to upgrade my steps with a new step release mechanism. Looks like it's going to cost about $45 in parts to do the upgrade.

Dan was very kind to provide photos of the new step release mechanism for comparison and agreed to let me post them here. So I'm going to order the parts for the upgrade and avoid modifying the outriggers. Occasionally I like to solve problems the easier way!

I should also mention that it looks like it would also be possible to adapt the new outriggers to fit the older release mechanism. However, there is a plastic bushing that would be necessary and I'm not sure those parts are still available. Occasionally I prefer to solve problems the easier way!
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:22 PM   #245
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small spring issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Keep a close eye on that small spring, it can cause all sorts of issues if you have problems with it (ask me how I know ).

Jim
Jim, okay I simply can't resist asking any longer. I've had my eye on that small spring for awhile now and it has yet to reveal it's secrets. Do tell us about these small spring issues. Perhaps your experience will also lend some insight into why the release mechanism has been changed? The old style spring has actually been eliminated in the new model. If you look closely at the middle photo in post 244 you can see the new style spring attached to point where the release mechanism is bolted to the outrigger.
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:21 AM   #246
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That spring is there to keep tension on the release handle so that it stays in the "up" position. I screwed up by accidentally POR-ing it while POR-ing the frame. I was able to get most of it off before it dried, but it would have surely "frozen" the spring in position if it had stayed on there.

Jim

On edit: I think the new setup looks much studier, BTW. I would change mine out if I had the chance. I didn't know there was an alternative when I had the belly pan off.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:33 PM   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
That spring is there to keep tension on the release handle so that it stays in the "up" position. I screwed up by accidentally POR-ing it while POR-ing the frame. I was able to get most of it off before it dried, but it would have surely "frozen" the spring in position if it had stayed on there.

Jim

On edit: I think the new setup looks much studier, BTW. I would change mine out if I had the chance. I didn't know there was an alternative when I had the belly pan off.
There might need to be a slight modification to the wrap in that area to accomodate the new release mechanism. I'll let you know how the upgrade works when the parts arrive.

Instead, how about POR-ing the spring in the extended position, let it dry, then release the tension. Actually it seems like a good idea to POR the spring given the amount of rust I discovered on mine. See the above photos in post #236.
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:27 PM   #248
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axles and outriggers

Stopped by John's, the welder, today to discuss positioning the axle mounting plates and to take measurements. The position of these plates vis-a-vis measurements to the center of the jack stand is critical in order to properly align the axles and balance the running gear. We took measurements from the outside to the outside of the frame (or inside to inside the plates) so the new axles will, hopefully, fit the new frame. Apparently the factory measurement for this year model is 61-3/8". The old frame, however, measured 61-1/2" and was our pattern for the new frame. So the new axles will be cut to that dimension. I'm going with a new set of Henschens. BTW Andy and Greg at Inland RV were easy to reach and very helpful providing the necessary information. Kudos to them both for their expertise and help!

Basically, work on the frame has slowed somewhat while the axles are being measured, fitted, ordered and shipped. This is a critical point so I've been moving cautiously. So I was thrilled to discover that in the meantime John has been welding up outriggers! As mentioned we used some salvaged channel for the outriggers and while they look a bit shabby next to the new steel eventually with the help of a little POR they'll look great. I can say this they are definitely stronger than the existing outriggers. John and I were really happy with the way they turned out too. Here's a few photos.
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:50 AM   #249
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stabilizer jack mounting plate

In post no. 13 of this thread I described how the stabilizer jack mounting plate had completely rusted through and detached from the frame. And at some point when pressure was applied while stabilizing the trailer the jack had punctured the belly pan. Pieces of the mounting plate AND FRAME were still bolted to the jack when I removed the jack! So today I'm very happy to show the new rearward stabilizer jack mounting plate! BTW those rusty, bent stabilizer jacks eventually need replacing too. They look as if they have served their time above and beyond the call of duty. Don't you love the look of that shiny, freshly welded steel?
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:35 PM   #250
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Clever solution, Cap'n Jack.

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Old 05-19-2008, 07:16 AM   #251
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Monocoque - could you please ask & report back what amperage and rod type the Welder used on the average outrigger (ie: _0232 & _0233) as posted above? It's just an itching curiosity on my part, I've already welded in replacement outriggers but they sure didn't come out as neat as those & I have a few more places to mend... (Thanks in advance)
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:40 PM   #252
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filiform corrosion

Wabbiteer, I'll check on it for you.

BTW in post no. 17 of this thread I asked myself whether I had seen the worst realizing the frame was going to need replacing.

Yesterday, I think I discovered the second worst airstream misfortune: filiform corrosion. Now what are the odds of ending up with a trailer with not only frame rot but also a pretty serious case of filiform corrosion! I suppose the two do go hand-in-hand.

At first I thought I was only having trouble with heavy oxidation. So I even started a thread describing it: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f441...ion-42083.html Pretty quickly, though, I was advised that the trouble was more serious and in fact filiform corrosion.

What's that, I asked? Well the thread goes into it complete with photos but it seems I may have dodged another bullet...yet again: apparently there is a remedy! When I bought the airstream nobody ever said I was going to need a copy of "Zen and the Art of Airstream Maintenance" to go along with it.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:25 PM   #253
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overlaid panels and blind vs. sold shank rivets

I've been following Kevin and Prim's thread, http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...ter-42332.html, concerning hail damage repairs at the mother-ship, Jackson Center.

What I find interesting is the JC method of replacement of the lower front panels. Kevin discovered that those panels aren't being replaced. Instead new panels are being installed on top of the original panels. In other words double panels. See post numbers 15 and 34 of Kevin's thread. Apparently the original solid shank buck rivets are ground down and the new panels are blind riveted in place.

Now this is interesting to me because it seems I had discovered a similiar method of repair on my '75 Ambassador. Until I read Kevin's thread I hadn't figure out why the front quarter panels were doubled? I was also becoming real dizzy again trying to figure out why these double panels were installed with blind rivets. Especially since I found lots of mildew around those blind rivets and a rotten floor below.

Apparently the new panels were installed to cover up a dent in the roadside panel. The dent is clearly visible on the roadside panel viewed from the inside. I'm not sure why the curbside panel was replaced. No visible damage to the curbside panel from the inside.

Now you can see from the photos that extra, loose, ribs have been added and a new line of blind rivets added and attached to the new ribs. (In the photos it's the middle rib.) I say extra or new ribs because these "added on" ribs were not attached at either the top or bottom. Also notice that the new line of blind rivets missed the extra, add-on, ribs entirely! (In the last photo notice the new line of rivets immediately to the left of the seam.)

I suppose in my case it seems obvious that the inner skins were never removed to make this repair. I say obviously because why would the technician otherwise use so many blind rivets? And if the inner panels had been removed why did rivets miss the extra ribs entirely? I suppose, at least in this case, it can be marked off as a sloppy repair?

But in Kevin's case I'm still left wondering why is JC using blind rivets when the inner panels have been removed? Surely there is a rational explanation? Isn't this a situation where solid shank rivets seem to make more sense? Since the inner panel are out I'm definitely considering replacing the panels and the rivets with solid shanks. Or should I?
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:19 PM   #254
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Should you? Good question. Bucking rivets around those window frames is going to be a pain, especially if you haven’t done it before. On the other hand, those existing rivets I’ll bet are part of the leaks you have, just based on where they are and the way they were installed thru that old layer of Vulkem. Those look like Olympic rivets under the window frame and I’ll bet they have creased the Vulkem and are allowing water to come in. Just depends on how much work you want to put in, I suppose. You might be better off just resealing everything. I agree with you, looks like somebody did a half-acre job on that repair (mechanically, that is). It looks pretty darn good from the outside, from what little I can see.

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Old 06-01-2008, 10:28 AM   #255
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I too was somewhat mystified as to why JC would put the new lower panels over the originals. I just don't understand why this is done. I changed these panels on my GT and had no problems at all. Putting a new panel over an old just screams wrong to me, with the possibility of trapping water in between the two panels and causing corrosion.
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Old 06-01-2008, 02:06 PM   #256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood
I too was somewhat mystified as to why JC would put the new lower panels over the originals. I just don't understand why this is done. I changed these panels on my GT and had no problems at all. Putting a new panel over an old just screams wrong to me, with the possibility of trapping water in between the two panels and causing corrosion.
Overlaying of panels saves time.

Next answer could be the installer is lazy.

Charging someone to replace a panel and then overlay it, is fraud, no matter how you look at it.

Caravanner Insurance, penalized anyone caught overlaying panels, yet billing for replacement hours.

No question, it's wrong, but there are those that would argue.

The real key is how they charged the customer for labor.

Andy
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Old 06-01-2008, 05:40 PM   #257
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panel and more panels

Overlaying panels is not a new thing. I can't say how long ago it was done, but one side of my trailer has double panles. I suspect The inside panel, the one that was covered, does not extend to the bottom. (see pictuer) It may be they just sheared off the damaged area and put another panel over the top. The rivets they used were blind, not olympic, but still with a solid head. In the pitures you can see four layers. Actually where two middle panels (window level) come together and they overlap the bottom panel, and the covered panel, including the channel, there are five layers. I did not give this much thought until I started reading about it in this thread (and a couple other parallel threads). Now I think I am going to drill all the rivets and remove the hidden panel. It can only be adding weight, a place for corrosion, and if it is in good shape (it appears to be) then it will become pieces of channel.

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Old 06-01-2008, 05:44 PM   #258
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RWB: riveting while blind

The other mystery concerning these front corners are the "loose" ribs. As you can see from the photos in post 253 there is a "loose" rib in each corner that isn't connected at the top or bottom. When the blind rivets were installed the technician missed the ribs. So those extra ribs are literally just sitting there doing nothing. My first guess was that these loose ribs were installed from the outside without removing the interior skins. A blind tech could easily miss a blind rib with a blind rivet.

On second thought that doesn't make much sense because that same blind tech would have had to remove the original panel, added the new ribs, reinstalled the old panel, then overlaid a new panel. It makes no sense as far as I can see (pun) to remove an old panel and then reinstall it and then place another panel on top of that one?

The only scenario that seems to make a little more sense is that the interior skins were removed, the loose ribs added, and then the new exterior panel overlaid on top of the old. But once again the question, why did they use blind rivets with the interior skins off? And how did the tech miss the ribs with the inner skins off when riveting in the new exterior panel?
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Old 06-01-2008, 06:41 PM   #259
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cutting corners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In

Overlaying of panels saves time.

Andy
"I see," said the blind man!

"Saves time"...also seems to explain the blind rivet vs. solid shank conundrum.
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Old 06-01-2008, 07:01 PM   #260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FC7039
The rivets they used were blind, not olympic, but still with a solid head.
Hey FC, what do you mean "blind, not olympic?" Do you have any photos of the rivet line from the backside?
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