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Old 10-16-2012, 06:10 AM   #41
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Man, does that bring back memories... She's looking good!

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Old 10-16-2012, 08:07 AM   #42
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Very informative; thanks!
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:54 AM   #43
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Does this look right to anybody?

My wraps are being difficult....

Does this look right to anybody, or is it a bad repair from the PO? The piece hanging down is not a wrap, but is part of the whole piece from the window down.

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:06 PM   #44
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Looks like maybe a repair by a p.o. It eliminates a seam in that area under the beltline trim. Probably when the trailer was built, the side wrap was a separate piece there. If it's in the way, you could cut it off at the beltline, but we would leave it if at all possible.

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:30 PM   #45
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Thanks for the info Minno! I'm just afraid it is going to get in the way or get damaged when I lift the shell soon. Hopefully I can work around it.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:03 PM   #46
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That style of assembly was discontinued around the early 70's - if that is the only full-tailed wall sheet then possibly whomever repaired the collision damage favored that style and tacked it in...
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:07 PM   #47
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If you are planning to set the shell directly on the ground you may as well just cut it flush now. But if you are going to store the shell in the air then use some good old duct tape to pull it out while lifting. Wrap the tape from inside around the bottom then up to near the window on the outside. Pull it out far enough to clear the floor as you lift the shell. It may take several strips to hold it long enough to get the shell off. When you get the shell set down and secured take off the tape and let the skin "rest". But remember before you go to re install the shell you will have to pull it out again and tape it up. DONT LEAVE THE TAPE ON IT! It is a bear to remove the glue after a few days.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:41 PM   #48
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Thanks Mike - I'm planning to use 1000lbs sawhorses
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:04 PM   #49
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How NOT to do it......

Had a great day going... drilled out all of the Olies on the hold-down plates... and all along the sides to release the wraps. By early in the afternoon, the shell was free and ready to be lifted off the frame. Then I got WAY ahead of myself...didn't do my homework...or didn't remember the homework I had done.

Got ready with some 2x6s, bottle jacks and heavy duty sawhorses.

What I DIDN'T do is install any bracing on the inside. I could see that she was flexing out at the sides once the wraps were removed (I was not really anticipating that the belly wraps were riveted through the c-channel, and that I would lose all of that structural integrity when the wraps and the c-channel came off). I attached some ratcheting straps to the inside to keep the sides from bowing too much. Too little...too late.

As an aside, I'm a carpenter...and I'm used to working by myself and figuring things out. But that didn't do me much good today.

I was able to jack the back up enough to get a 2x6x10 inserted just aft of the wheel wells. I then repeated my mistake in the front end...but got it done, none-the-less. I then went back to the rear end and set up my bottle jacks on a platform of misc. boards (on the ground). Made several attempts...reset...try again. She was finally going up... And then I got bit for my foolishness.

All of a sudden, she shifted forward and to the curb side. I really thought she was going to go over on her side. I crawled out from underneath to inspect the damage. Indeed, she had shifted about 6 inches forward and was leaning heavily toward the curb side. I went around to the front...and my heart sank to see a significant deflection on the right front...as the shell was trapped against the hold-down plate. Another bit of damage to the right rear panel, where it came to 'rest' on the frame.

Hopefully, it is not major damage. I set up a bottle jack beneath the front right side to relieve some of the pressure there until I can get back at it tomorrow...since I ran out of daylight tonight. I guess I can replace a dented panel, if I have to. But I can't repair the damage to my pride. I feel awful, and probably won't sleep tonight.

Tomorrow I will get going early to pick up some equipment from my Airstream Mentor....and see if I can manage to right my wrongs....

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Old 10-17-2012, 09:08 PM   #50
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Ouch. Everything is fixable, remember.

Kay
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:07 PM   #51
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Stressful, but Successful!!

Spent the last few days installing interior bracing to stabilize and strengthen the Trade Wind's shell, after almost losing her to an ill-fated attempt to go shell off. She shifted forward and to curb-side...trapping the front c-channel behind the hold-down plate....leaving a big 'deformation' in the outer skins....which I am hoping will correct itself once the pressure is released. Otherwise, I will be replacing some sheet metal at some point.

I used 2x4s and 2x6s attached to the first 3 spars and the door frame....and again to the last 2 spars aft of the wheels (being careful to not put any pressure on the end-caps)...and then boxed them in front and back...and connected them with 2x4s along the main frame members. I then spanned from the middle of the door directly across and under the 2nd spar (street-side) with a 2x6, which will be my lifting point in the front...strengthening it with a 2x4 on edge (upside down T) and a piece of flat iron. I did the same to the rear.

Today, I finished up the framing. I then did a 'test lift' of a few inches in the rear. Hardly a single groan or creak anywhere! Beautiful!!! She seemed to be very solid and stable. So, I got brave and went for a bigger lift, as I wanted to relieve the pressure of the back end sitting cockeyed on the frame.

I used a stack of 2x10s and 2x6s about 35 inches long to create a platform on the ground for my 2 bottle jacks. Inch by inch, I lifted her until I could slip 2x6s between the frame and the lifting member I had created out of 2x6s and flat iron. Then I got REALLY brave and repeated the process in the front end. To make a long story short, I repeated the process several times, alternating front and back, until I had successfully lifted the shell about 8 inches...thereby releasing the damaged front from behind the hold-down plate.

I am very happy and relieved to report that (so far) the operation has been successful. The shell is raised about 8 inches...and is very stable. Not enough to clear the wheels yet. But that will come tomorrow or in the coming days. I still have to transfer the interior supports to the exterior with 4x4s spanning the width of the AS before I can pull the frame. All in good time.

Tonight, I'm having a VERY big celebratory adult beverage!!!
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:34 AM   #52
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The bracing idea is brilliant, and thanks for posting pics. It may seem obvious to others, but it didn't to me when I did our floor (I supported the shell the thickness of the ply off the frame and slid the ply under shell) and the body flexed slightly, which I only figured out when it was all done, and the door was a little tight. Good luck with your endeavor, it's really fun when a project like a floor replacement is finished.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:35 PM   #53
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Finally, We Have Separation!!

Long exhausting weekend making the final preparations to separate the shell and pull the frame for sandblasting and painting. Made the Home Depot very happy with lumber purchases. LOL. But glad to say...It is done!! Yeah!!! Winter is coming...and I need to move this project forward.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:44 PM   #54
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Thanks Globie64! Yes, the bracing did an amazing job of stiffening the entire shell. She lifted very easily and with no complaints. My door even still works. LOL. Looking forward to the next step in this adventure!
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:40 AM   #55
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Do you have that shell tied down? I can't tell from the pictures. Wind has a way of getting under and flipping these trailers .....and then all you have is parts.

You may want to lower the shell to the ground!
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:01 AM   #56
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Yes, for the moment, I have everything screwed together...shell to beams and beams to pylons. But I am going to bring her down tomorrow....makes me nervous having her hanging out up there. LOL.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:16 PM   #57
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Slow Progress

I've been on hold for a couple of weeks now, waiting for materials to arrive and waiting for the sandblasting shops to get around to returning my calls and emails.

So, I decided to go ahead and start on the sub-floor. I figured I could get the pieces cut now...and then seal and paint them while the frame is being worked on. That is, if I can find a shop to do the work. May also need some welding done...maybe replace one or two outriggers and the last 2 cross members, which are pretty rust pitted and compromised. I may try to find a mobile welder, instead of dragging my naked frame all across the metro.

I was thinking about having the frame powder-coated, rather than painted. And the shops that I talked to told me that the process could not be done with axels and wheels attached. So, I contacted Andy @ Inland...and should have new running gear by the end of next week. I still don't know if I am going to go ahead with powder-coating, but at least I will have the new running gear...which is badly needed.

Picked up 6 sheets of 3/4inch High Density Overlay. Not easy stuff to work with...heavy, with a smooth finish...hard to grab hold of. Fortunately, I had a buddy to help me move it around.

I had originally planned a shell-on floor replacement...and so removed most of the old rotten sub-floor in pieces. The rear bath area was totally disintegrated, and the front was pretty ragged under the c-channel. Fortunately, I saved all of the old pieces, so I could re-assemble them on the frame....match up the edges and holes where the elevator bolts were....and get a pretty good idea of what the dimensions should be. I'm sure I will have to do some fine tuning. But as far as I could tell, the old sub-floor had approximately a 1/2inch overhang of the outriggers. I hope that will be true when it comes time to re-unite the shell and the frame.

Everything was going fine until I got to the wheel wells....and then things started going a little astray. The edges of the HDO were lining up fine with the cross members of the frame...but things were getting a little wonky around the edges, and I was losing my 1/2inch overhang. Upon doing a string test, I discovered that it appears my frame is about 1 inch out of square and the old axels are not mounted true...most likely due to a PO accident at some point. Of course, I didn't figure this out before starting on the floor. So, there is a little wierdness around the wheel wells...but I'm hoping it will be ok, since that area is beneath the covers anyway. I'll figure something out....

Anyway...one more piece to cut...the rear section...for which I have no pattern. I may crawl under the shell and do a story board...or see if by chance...the silhouette for the back is the same as the front (I couldn't be that lucky, could I?)

In other news, during my idle time over the last week or so....have been working on some dents in the shell....especially the big one in the front that was caused when the shell shifted during the initial lifting attempt. I am happy to say that I was able to coax it back into place with the judicial use of a rubber hammer. Probably will need some fine tuning later on...but I am happy and relieved with the results so far.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:28 PM   #58
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Maybe a little late, a good frame shop may right the wrongs Joe Somewhen left as that Easter Egg you've now discovered - with little or no trauma/drama...

You will need to have overlap of the aft spar to the formed iron tie plate to the back skin sheet with the floor sheet acting as a spacer, and as they collide you want the shell to have been stretched & held to eliminate long sides slop and tension up the ends arcs - front tie plate is corner stone with everything else progressing onwards from it.

Was that clear as mud? Save cutting that sheet until the above scenario has elapsed - and then fit it w/o fear or adrenalin rushing you...

I am currently westbound in an Ohio toll road oasis watching a nice wet snow shower, back to MSP tomorrow, hope our weather holds...
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:29 PM   #59
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More Slow Progress

After negotiating with a bunch of different shops on frame work ($$$$$$), finally found an out-of-the-way shop that did a great job for only $. Replaced the last 2 cross members and beefed up the main rails aft of the wheels, as well as repaired several of the outriggers. And he did a great job installing my new Dexter axels, which turned out to be larger diameter than the originals, so he had to do a little cutting to make 'em fit. I had noticed in the rear view mirror when towing the frame prior, that the wheels/axels were not aligned properly. Now they look to be perfect. Yay!!

The frame is now at the sandblaster/painter...in que...and should be looking like new in a couple of weeks.

Still hoping for mild weather here in Minneapolis, so I can continue to work on the new floor. If not, I will tarp the frame or find some indoor storage until Spring.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:11 PM   #60
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When sliding the frame back under the shell you'll find that its now 3" - 4" higher because of the new axles.
So you'll have to .... you get the idea

Great thread !

I'm now going after the rear section of the floor on my '69 TW. Your pictures are a great help. Thanks for posting. Watching this thread.
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