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Old 07-20-2012, 04:02 PM   #161
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I am glad you can keep a good additude Steve. I have a hard time doing that in the face of Airversity sometimes.

Keep up the good work

Perry
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:55 PM   #162
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Perry, you're not the only one who gets bummed out! I started on this project in November (I think). By January, I was so down, I didn't really want to work on it much at all because I was so overwhelmed. I'm 63 years old. One thing that helps me is that when things are really crappy, I try to think about the good, bad and ugly about life and I realize that I've had some of all of it and that will continue.

Hang in there. You've made a lot of progress on your trailer!
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:33 PM   #163
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Here's what I'm doing for a front frame brace to reduce the liklihood of front end separation.

Cardboard pattern seen from below (will be made from 3/16" mild steel plate).


Brace/Shelf/Frame Extension seen from above inside (to be wellded to top of outrigger, forward frame extension and A frame).


Brace will also work for opposite side.
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:46 AM   #164
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Steve it looks like there is extra structure there already to accomodate the jacks. I saw no signs of front end problems in my 81 when I replaced the battery boxes. I think as with the back end, that leaks lead to separation. You going to plate that corner like you did in the back?

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Old 07-21-2012, 08:19 AM   #165
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I really like those plates. Are you going to add an aluminum doubler inside similar to what you did in the rear?
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:29 AM   #166
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Perry and Vernon,
The approach for the front will be very similar to the rear. Once the plates are welded in (scheduled for next Saturday morning), we'll drill out the few rivets in the vicinity of the front end cap of the shell at the bottom. Then we'll slip in an internal doubbler (.040" about 8" tall and as wide as it needs to be to go from the front A frame opening and around the corner to about the outrigger). Then we'll rivet it all together using a lot more rivets. I'll be showing that part too once we've got this done.

In the next week, I'm going to be prepping the frame for welding and POR-15. Then we'll do the three step process of the POR-15 and start making patterns for the plywood floor.

As an aside, I found an appliance store that sells Sub-Zero brand refrigerators. These still come in cardboard boxes that are thick (about 3/8") slabs of great pattern material. I've learned tha many appliances have a wood palet/cardboard base, molded foam corner protectors and are shrink wrapped...so it was harder to get some good cardboard than I thought it would be. I've also found that pizza carry out boxes work well for patterns, along with brown craft paper.

Perry,
I agree that leaks contribute to front and rear separation (not the only culprit though). As I see it, leaks cause rot which takes the meat/wood out of the structural sandwich of C Channel and floor attaching the shell to the frame. If the meat is gone from the connecting structural link, the shell and frame are free to move and tear away from each other. Also, the amount of attachment between the shell and frame is too concentrated at a few points. Then there's the half arse job of construction that's done at the factory. Sorry, mini rant!!!
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:59 PM   #167
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Yeah they have bad days and good days at the factor. I think the rear end of mine was made on a Friday afternoon. The main cross beam that anchors the rear end was an inch too far forward and many of the bolts missed the C-channel. This is why I had to put the load distrubution plates in that were made from 1x1 steel angle. In hind sight I should have just moved the beam. I was in a hurry at the time but I think it is going to be fine. It is certainly better than it was coming off the factory floor. I am just about finished with all my structural stuff. I am working on the interior now. It is always 3 steps forward and 2 steps back.

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Old 07-22-2012, 09:25 PM   #168
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Great work, Steve, and I love the photography!
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:03 PM   #169
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Hi, I like your extra mounting brackets on the corners; Did you put something in between the steel and aluminum? [rubber, wood, plastic, Etc.]
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:24 AM   #170
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Steve you might consider putting in some drains in the C-channel. I did this on the front of mine. I also caulked at the bottom of some of the vertical stringers so it would be like compartments in a ship. Each compartment has its own drain. I also caulked up the gap between the straight and curved C-channels. I ended up putting a drain in the middle of each compartment but what I should have done is put one right next to the vertical stringer at the ends of each compartment. This would keep water from pooling in the corners if the trailer was not perfectly level and they never are perfectly level. Having compartments also makes it easier to isolate a leak. You know it is at least close to that compartment instead of 10 ft away.

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Old 07-23-2012, 05:44 PM   #171
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Quote:
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Great work, Steve, and I love the photography!
Thanks Aage! I appreciate your help so much when I first started this thread in trying to get the pictures posted correctly and your suggestion to use PhotoBucket. I'd had an account with PhotoBucket for several years but never used it very much for several years.

I've been an avid amateur photographer since I was about eleven. Now I'm 63 and I still like the hobby. From 1979 until about 1986, I worked as an instructor in the technical training department at my former employer Beech Aircraft. We had to develop or help with the development of slides and illustrations for use in the classroom. That's when I saw what a powerful tool that good photographs could be in demonstrating how things operate, are built, etc.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:49 PM   #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, I like your extra mounting brackets on the corners; Did you put something in between the steel and aluminum? [rubber, wood, plastic, Etc.]

Robert,
No, there won't be anything between the steel and the alumium except for the POR-15 paint (maybe that counts). I don't want a buffer or cushion there. Rather, I want the connection between frame and shell to be solid, spread out over a broad area with a number of fasteners/bolts. Also, the aluminum U chanel on top needs a load distributing plate for each fastener. The factory uses steel and I'll use 1/4" aluminum plate. I plan to use stainless steel hardward with nylon locking nuts.

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Old 07-23-2012, 06:08 PM   #173
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Steve you might consider putting in some drains in the C-channel. I did this on the front of mine. I also caulked at the bottom of some of the vertical stringers so it would be like compartments in a ship. Each compartment has its own drain. I also caulked up the gap between the straight and curved C-channels. I ended up putting a drain in the middle of each compartment but what I should have done is put one right next to the vertical stringer at the ends of each compartment. This would keep water from pooling in the corners if the trailer was not perfectly level and they never are perfectly level. Having compartments also makes it easier to isolate a leak. You know it is at least close to that compartment instead of 10 ft away.

Perry
Perry,
I am going to connect the front and rear end cap sections to the side wall U Channels with some "gutter bridges" that I'll make (similar to what you showed me a few months ago). Also, I'm going to add some dams and do a significant amount of sealing (TremPro 635) of the U channel for flood control. Then I'm going to drill a number of weep holes in the outboard bottom edge of the U Channel. The trailer already has some weep holes there and I will add more. I discussed this idea with Airstream customer support about five months ago and they told me that the holes were not mistakes but were intended to be weep holes. Too bad that the perimeter ditch has so many breaches in it.

You can see the outside view of the two left front corner weep holes here. They are intended to drain out beneath the trim piece that covers the belly wrap. These holes appear in a number of places on my trailer. I will make sure that they are unobstructed and that I add more.


If you look carefully, you can see the same drain holes from the inside. One is covered partially by the large red wire and the other can be seen below the bailing twine wire restraint.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:07 PM   #174
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The holes don't appear to go through to the C-channel. I lined the holes with 3/8" stainless steel tubing to get them below the floor.

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Old 07-23-2012, 07:40 PM   #175
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Perry,
You're right, the holes are drilled on about a 30 degree angle from the horizontal an do not go into the C channel section, just through the U channel portion of the bottom extrusion and the outer skin. I'll be doing the bridge you suggested here http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ml#post1095804, but not the drains as I think that about 30 weepholes will do the trick.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:11 PM   #176
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These are weep holes you are going to add? How are you going to keep the weeped water from getting back into the sub floor?

Here are the actual drains. Kinda crude but they work.

Quote:
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Ok here is what I have done so far with drains. It is not pretty but if it works who cares. I want to do this in months instead of years.

Here is one of the drains using the 3/8" SST thinwall tubing.



Here is the drain to the right of the door in the straight section.



Here is the drain in the front right corner.






Here is the drain on the right side of the door. This is put together with little bits of aluminum roof sheething cut to funnel water down the outside of the skin instead of in the area that use to be covered with wood. It is held together with Parbond and Vulkem.



This is a bridge between the straight C-channel and the curved C-channel made from the sheething and Vulkem.



I am going to put another drain between the two battery boxes and seal the section of c-channel with Vulkem where they cut and bent it to make room for the battery boxes. I am also going to isolate these sections from the corner areas. This is mainly to prevent water from getting up under the metal load plates that are already starting to rust. I am going to encapsulate them in Vulkem. I wanted to POR15 them but I don't want to waste a $50 can of paint just to paint the load plates.


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Old 07-25-2012, 05:02 PM   #177
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Perry,
Thanks for posting the extra pictures. I've studied them a couple of times now and I believe that we have very similar ideas as to some of the issues that need to be addressed. On my trailer, I not only need the four bridges between the straight sides and the curved corners, but there are a number of places where a couple of segments of the bottom shell extrusion are laid end to end with a small gap in the middle. I'll also caulk all of the holes where screws used to be.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:49 PM   #178
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I’ve now gotten the frame extensions/corner supports welded in to the front corners and I want to show what this looks like now. Steve, my welder, thought it would be better to cut these sections out of ¼” mild steel rather than 3/16” as I had originally planned. I’m glad he did because that extra 1/16” added some beef without much weight.

Here’s what the front looked like once I removed that front floor.


Here’s what it looks like now with the corners braced up from the inside.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:56 PM   #179
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Here's a detail of the corner reinforcement from above and below (front street side).


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Old 08-02-2012, 02:06 PM   #180
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This post shows some detail of the welded in corner support along with a boo-boo repair. You may remember this picture of the saw kerf when I was removing the floor from the front corners.


Well, there was more to the story of the saw kerf. The thickness of the wonderful OSB sub floor varies according to the amount of swelling that has occurred due to moisture. Regarding the OSB acronym, it’s important to get the letter order correct here as the opportunity for a Freudian slip is tremendous! I’d set the depth-of-cut on the circular saw for the inner edge of the OSB where it was thicker than the same OSB in the vicinity of the frame rail. That carbide sure is sharp and will even cut (or nick in this case) mild steel pretty good in a second or two! Soo…I had a nick about 0.010” deep across part of the frame rail. I could have probably painted this with POR-15 and it wouldn’t have failed in 50 years. But, I ground off the paint in the vicinity of the cut and had Steve weld a filler bead to replace the metal when he welded in the front corner supports.




I then ground the top of this weld flush where the bead would contact the floor.
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