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Old 06-10-2012, 08:41 AM   #21
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OK, next stage of the problem...

I've drilled out the rivets on the rear section of the belly pan, taken it down as much as I can, and wow, what a mess. More about that in a later post.

My immediate problem is that I can't figure out how to REMOVE the !@#!!@# belly pan entirely, and I'm hoping somebody understands the anatomy of the AS butt better than I.

The belly pan was held by rivets on three sides, simple. The fourth side is part of a 4 layer sandwich: The bottom layer is a galvanized box which seems to hide and protect plumbing. It's attached to an iron flange, a long piece of angle. The front edge of the belly pan sits between this flange and the frame's crossmember. There seem to be bolts, bolts/nuts, and even rivets holding this sandwich together. And some caulk here and there.


------------------------| <---- frame
----------------------------------------------------------------- <---belly pan ---------------------------------------
------------------------- <--- flange
----------------------| <--- galvanized box
|

I can't figure out if the belly pan is just held in the sandwich by friction, or if some/all of the bolts/rivets go through it. I'm loathe to just start taking it all apart, cause it looks like Pandora's freakin box - once I start, I'll end up with the entire trailer in pieces on my driveway.

What's the secret here? Cut the bellypan? Disassemble the wicked assembly?

THANKS!
jon
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:03 AM   #22
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Quote:
Pandora's freakin box - once I start, I'll end up with the entire trailer in pieces on my driveway.
There is a finite number of fasteners. Go for it!

I know near zero about newer Airstreams, but I have seen several of Pandoras' trailers. All I can do here is assure you here will be many more places to compromise the deeper one goes, so think of it as a 'buy one, get one free' shopping opportunity & go for it. I see enough fresh damage you should not flinch now you're on the front lines of saving a worthy trailer!
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:41 PM   #23
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My '86 had the same type of set up by the galvinized boxes. I removed the screws with the hex heads & tried to get the belly pan slipped out from there.......it didn't budge. It was held in with some really tuff black goo. I cut the pan off right along side of the frame there & when I replaced it, I covered over the small piece that was left & riveted it back on to that section of frame.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:34 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckybillrae View Post
My '86 had the same type of set up by the galvinized boxes. I removed the screws with the hex heads & tried to get the belly pan slipped out from there.......it didn't budge. It was held in with some really tuff black goo. I cut the pan off right along side of the frame there & when I replaced it, I covered over the small piece that was left & riveted it back on to that section of frame.
Yup, that's the new plan. Tried to remove one of the bolts between the flange and the frame crossbar (the ones whose nuts tack-welded on). SNAP! Definitely not in the mood for 3 more of those. Be enuff fun just trying to drill this one out without wrecking the nut.

So cut it is.

THANKS for the info, and the "Terrified of the bellypan! thread". Most helpful and entertaining.

Jon
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:01 PM   #25
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The way I did it was just cut the belly pan where it went under any bars. There was too much rust on the bolts to deal with them. I just cut out all the old steel and the bars and replaced them with new ones.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:36 PM   #26
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Try Plasti Kote Rust Converter

This product was recommended to me by a sailor From Salt Lake City who sails his boat in the Great Salt Lake. He used it to coat his Cast iron Swing Keel. It is available form auto supply stores in small quantities.

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Old 06-14-2012, 05:47 AM   #27
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I am about to start the same project on my 99 Bambi 19. Does anyone know what kind of paint to use on the frame once it is ready? Factory color? After market? Anything that will last longer? Thanks for the info!
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:42 AM   #28
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I am about to start the same project on my 99 Bambi 19. Does anyone know what kind of paint to use on the frame once it is ready? Factory color? After market? Anything that will last longer? Thanks for the info!
Por15 is the stuff you want to use. you can paint it right on the rust, it then kills it and you can't chip it with a hammer when hardened. But don't get it on you skin. It doesn't come off. I sprayed my yesterday and know have a shade of black on my hands. And I tried everything to get it off. And I mean everything. See here
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ml#post1161074
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:57 AM   #29
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After experiencing the same thing as Jason with Por-15 (only I was going to Mexico the next week & had to don a bathing suit!), I found out that they also make a solvent that removes it from your skin. I used it when I coated my second frame & it really did remove it from my skin. Super strong stuff, so you still want to cover up, but at least you don't have to wear it for two weeks, or use a scrubby pad to remove the top layer of your skin to get it off! (which is what I did last time!)
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:19 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Toasty's Dad View Post
Hi All,

Our well-traveled 2004 Bambi is showing a little rust on the A-frame, so i was thinking about doing a ilttle brushing and painting. And what the heck, take a look at the frame underneath too.

So, I did, to the extent that it can be seen beneath the underbelly. I'm not sure if what I'm seeing should cause me to:

1) freak out, head up to Jackson Center, and spend $$$$ getting this thing fixed
2) remove all the underbelly and do more investigation (or have a pro do more)
3) Wirebrush/repaint what I can get to
4) Re-rivet the loose underbelly and ignore it - all iron rusts at least a little.

Pics attached (I hope). If not, will include in the next post.

Most of the rust is patchy and fine-grained, what I'd call "surface rust", and which I'd do no more than wirebrush and paint if even that, for a ferrous object I'd find around the house or under my car.

But in the rear end, by the stabilizer jacks, the rust is somewhat flakier (and flaky under the paint), the underbelly is sagging from down from corrosion around the rivets, and it's generally a lot less pretty. So is this Kryptonite (i.e. a Bad Sign)?

If the solution involves me removing and replacing the underbelly, where do I get the panels? And is there anything better to use than aluminum, which is obviously just a setup for corrosion with the iron frame. Just use the usual pop rivets (same problem), or are these special somehow?

Thanks for your patience and expertise!
Jon


from what i'm seeing it's all surface which por 15 loves! but pic 3 is a bit more oh no! i would grind that back to see the damage as that's rusting inside out but if all is good por it all!! as for aluminium vs steel well a layer of paint will stop the reaction and from what i have seen the amount of corrosion is minimal so a coat of paint between the two should stop it for atleast a lifetime!!
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:33 PM   #31
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My frame broke the other day in the wilds of Montana. I got inside and couldn't get back out the door was stuck. I didnt realize what had happened until I got home to Oregon. I bet the insurance doesnt pay for this kind of thing. Henceforth I will take rust a bit more seriously. Is my beautiful trailer worthless now? Never build on a crumbling foundation I guess is the lesson
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:26 PM   #32
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After experiencing the same thing as Jason with Por-15 (only I was going to Mexico the next week & had to don a bathing suit!), I found out that they also make a solvent that removes it from your skin. I used it when I coated my second frame & it really did remove it from my skin. Super strong stuff, so you still want to cover up, but at least you don't have to wear it for two weeks, or use a scrubby pad to remove the top layer of your skin to get it off! (which is what I did last time!)

I got some of that with it. It still only takes it off if it hasn't dried. I made the mistake of thinking that it hadn't dried on the trailer so it hadn't dried on my skin. WRONG. it dries faster on skin.

In fact my trailer frame was still tacky at noon today. 5% humidity and 90 degree weather.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:22 PM   #33
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My frame broke the other day in the wilds of Montana. I got inside and couldn't get back out the door was stuck. I didnt realize what had happened until I got home to Oregon. I bet the insurance doesnt pay for this kind of thing. Henceforth I will take rust a bit more seriously. Is my beautiful trailer worthless now? Never build on a crumbling foundation I guess is the lesson
The short answer is no, it's most likely not worthless at all! The "most likely" part comes in when it comes to any other damage that the broken frame may have caused, specifically in the shell. This is a hard way to learn that lesson...

This will however be a big project; I would say a shell off to be realistic since the frame will have to be welded and if it's badly rusted then pieces will need to be replaced.

This may put it out of the realm of what you want to do, which would then put you in a difficult position since it will be hard to command a decent price for the trailer if it has a broken frame. Do you have pictures? You might as well pull the belly pan to get a look at it since it will have to come off anyway....

Sorry to hear about this. I would imagine that the floor would help hold everything together to prevent the damage from twisting everything in terrible ways... fingers crossed that that's the case...
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:52 PM   #34
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My advice is REMOVE ALL THE PINK STUFF and and don't put it back. I was messing with the step area in mine today and I know I got all the leaks fixed months ago but the pink stuff was still damp doing its job of rusting the frame out. If you see holes in your belly pan and you can see pink stuff it has gotten wet and fallen against the skin and frame.

Perry
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:16 AM   #35
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The Demon Pink

Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
My advice is REMOVE ALL THE PINK STUFF and and don't put it back. I was messing with the step area in mine today and I know I got all the leaks fixed months ago but the pink stuff was still damp doing its job of rusting the frame out. If you see holes in your belly pan and you can see pink stuff it has gotten wet and fallen against the skin and frame.

Perry
Yup, pink stuff is outta there, and definitely not going back. It was still wet, still rotting the frame, and worse, the rear end of the crummy chipboard floor. There were mushrooms, actual mushrooms, growing downward from that floor into the insulation.

Luckily the floor, once dried, still seems reasonably sound.

The rust has been ground; no perforations or major thinning, thank zeus, and been marine cleaned. Today comes the metal ready, and tomorrow I start the POR15 routine. How many coats ya'll use?

jon
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:33 AM   #36
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Two coats. They have to be applied within a time frame. I can't recall how many hours (it says on the can. The paint will still be a bit tacky when you apply the second coat.

You're not along in the mushroom club. I had them inside, between the gaucho & the wall. I could put my fist through the floor. This the rusty frame!
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:17 AM   #37
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I sprayed the second coat after I did the first coat. The first coat was still wet. I think if you are brushing you may have to wait till it is a little tacky. Depends on moister in the air for dry time. Mine took over 24 hours to dry.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:39 AM   #38
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What they want is the solvent carriers to be evaporated when the second coat goes on, if/as the top layer flash cures while high solvents remain in the base coat there can be wrinkle finish, sags and bubbles.

The hard to reach areas saw the equivalent of three or four coats on mine both when brushing and spraying. One good place to triple up on is the belly sheet attachment areas. You're going to have to be very deliberate with few interruptions to catch every spar and outrigger inside flange and every weld. Catching the missed areas is what the second-plus coats are very good at but know gauging bare metal coverage is 300% easier than doing recoating of the same color.

One point I've noticed is the POR-15 did not like to cover the sharp edges of the stamped outriggers and spars, it visibly drew back the film from the edges where the belly aluminum wraps will likely be in contact with. If I can suggest one thing it would be taking a brush and adding a little 'beading' those sheet metal edges as the final part of the process...
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:55 AM   #39
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In Conclusion

The frame rust project is finally finished (at least on the rear 3rd). Thanks so much to all who advised us on fixing this. We would not have known what to do

Summarizing, the problem was frame rust on a pretty new trailer ('04). Just spotty surface rust in front. But in the rear section, rust heavily flaking; in addition the belly pan was falling down and exposing puffy pink insulation. So, we:

1) Drill out the remaining belly pan rivets in back; over most of it, the aluminum has completely rotted away around the rivets.

2) Remove belly pan and a slab of sopping wet insulation. The rear foot or so of the floor is soaked and actually growing mushrooms.

3) With mean wire wheel on an angle grinder, mechanic's creeper, full face shield and gloves, grind away most of the rust. Wire brush and sand where the grinder can't reach, break gloss on remaining paint. No rust perforation, and the floor is drying nicely, yay!

4) Next day, scrub down metal with POR-15 marine clean (chemical gloves and the face shield again) to clean all the metal. Follow this with POR-15 Prep and Ready, which allegedly prepares the metal for...

5) Next day, 3 coats of POR-15 applied by brush. Hot humid day, about 3 hours between coats to dry to the touch while retaining "finger drag". Follow with very light coat of spray primer in sun-exposed areas three hours later - this is supposed to allow a topcoat of paint to stick.

6) Next day, 2 coats of gloss enamel applied by brush to primed areas.

7) Next day, buy 22 ga 4X10 Al sheet at roofing supply - the belly pan is too rotted to save, and the sheet is 50 bucks with lots left over for the future. Cut, drill, and attach with monster rivets from Vintage Trailer. This belly pan is waayyy thicker than the old one, which I think is a good thing.

No insulation currently. Next year, I wanna take the pan down again and see if we're still dry and corrosion-free. If so, may reinsulate following your recommendations.

Our leak seems to be around a rear hatch under the bed. We challenged the entire rear section with a hard hose-spray and that's the only place H2O came in. I guess road/tire spray could be entering from below too; we'll find out.

THANKS AGAIN!
jon
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