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Old 06-29-2013, 12:43 AM   #121
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I think the answer to your question is no....cannot remove the screw without losing the washer and nut in this case. The units came with their own screws without nuts, but I was concerned about the swiss cheese effect, and that they might not have a lot of holding power...which would then lead to premature leaks.

I see your point regarding possible hail damage, and the need to remove. But I think the covers are able to be removed without taking out the whole unit. In the case of catastrophic failure, where the whole unit needs to be removed, I would probably just go up to the next size of machine screw sans washer and nut and call it good.

Note to self: Must purchase and travel with large galvanized buckets to cover and protect Fantastic Vents during hail storms.....LOL.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:55 PM   #122
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Preparing for Launch

Spent the day raising the shell to its pre-rejoining-with-the-frame height. I thought it was way up there when I removed the frame without the wheel wells last Fall. Now it's going to seem REALLY high with the wheel wells re-installed. And of course....severe thunderstorms in the forecast for late tonight and tomorrow afternoon. I hope it doesn't fly away on me.

Need to take the bull by the horns and get the shell back on, so I can take the rig to have the a/c installed....to plug up that last big hole in the roof. I earlier installed 2 auto-Fantastic Fans front and rear, and a manual FF fan with a smokey cover for a skylight amidships. As for other holes, I replaced the old TV antenna with a Jack HDTV antenna...and the nearby hole for the old antenna cable, I plugged with an external WiFi antenna mount. Did my first Olympic rivets on the roof too, where several were found popped. So far so good with the rivet gun.

So, sometime this week, I hope to be able to back the frame under the shell, which is likely to be a very difficult and tense job, since the AS is on a very narrow alley....and my angle of attack is pretty tight. But I am hopeful I will be able to get it done, if I go slow.

I will be much relieved when this part of the project is done..... Please send positive vibes my way.

Thanks
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:12 PM   #123
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Near Touchdown

Gathered my courage today to raise the shell (45 inches) and re-unite it with the frame. I guess after you have done it once to remove the frame, it's not such a big deal. But it got a little hairy when I had to stack cinder blocks on one side for support because of the proximity to the neighbor's garage....not enough room for a more sturdy platform. There wasn't much room to maneuver the truck and the frame in the alley either, but I managed to get it more or less under the shell without knocking it off its pillions. Then a couple helpful neighbors assisted in muscling it into place. The sun was starting to set, so I lowered the shell as far as the bottle jacks would allow, and tied it off for the weekend.

Here's how my day went......

Much more work to be done....but at least this major hurdle is behind me.

Time for some much needed motorcycling......
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:05 PM   #124
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Nice work!
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:54 AM   #125
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Gee. I visit, volunteer, leave contact info, and promptly get snubbed on being asked to help as within 24 hours the shell gets landed... I'll interpret it as the largest favor done on my behalf in a long, long time. Thank you! The offer still stands, I left my number w/ R.

Remember if you jack on the trailer floor-to-shell to finally land the shell, place stabilizers ground-to-frame as the flexible frame will dip and wobble. If you don't have a set of the screw jack stabilizers I have a set available...

Looking good, especially dodging storm damage. Never seen serial sidewalk buckling up three feet, every twenty-five feet for half a block like a bizarre suburban obstacle course from where trees toppled over. The 3-foot tall Honda Odyssey was also noteworthy. I'm glad the second-hand pylons worked for you!!
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:03 PM   #126
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I hope the [sarcasm] tags were obvious on my snobbery comment

Way excellent deliberate process you've got, compliments!

Another series of thoughts hard to put into text follows:

I think I amplified a pleat of loose shell skin popping out at the wheel well openings by having the frame leveled & braced while attaching the side and rear C-channel. As soon as the frame is unsupported on these old trailer frames, and some sag happens, the flex point on the shell is above the wheel wells so that skin-flap above them can/does pucker or resist being taut once the well tubs & trim sections go back on.

I also did not think about exaggerating any stretching of the shell until after I'd tied down to behind the wheel wells. Wracking the door frame away from square/parallel would be bad, I may have added just under 1/4" to the opening bottom width as mine played out.

So - Front tie plate locked down, front C-channel to complete door frame aligned and locked down, and the rest of it follows those surveyed benchmarks.

Seeing how mine played out got me started thinking about how the aft frame settles with load on it, and how to 'stretch' the shell against the front anchor plate, C-channel & entry door with the frame NOT blocked level, allowing it to droop under its own and the mechanics inside weight. Even vanishing 1/8" of friction binding (and it does bind!) in the c-channel-to-shell from the remaining circumference 'in play' while squaring the back and choosing the rear-sheet cut 'landing zone' will make a visible difference once the rivets start going in. The shell is very stiff but there is some degree of loading play on it...

Again, not meaning to convey true snubbished-upon or whinging-snubblingtude, was a rare chance to thank you for being excluded from an DIY ulcer brewing situation
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:59 PM   #127
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ARGH!! I go away for a couple of days, and a buddy moves all of my irreplaceable fiberglass components directly beneath a 150 year old tree with a history of dropping big branches....not to mention the very real danger of the entire tree coming down on top of the project during the next big storm!!! I think somebody has lost his focus. It seems that green grass is more important than a safe place to temporarily store my un-obtainium. Gonna have to have a talk....or find a new place to do this project. Did I say "ARGH"!!!!??? Some people just have no dedication or patience. LOL
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:21 PM   #128
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We Are Nearly One Again.....

I spent the day lowering the shell onto the the frame, with its brand new sub-floor. Wish I had taken more pictures, but it was hotter than Hades, and I was having a hard time keeping the sweat out of my eyes so I could see what I was doing...let alone try to focus a camera.

At the beginning of the day, I had planned to build a 3 or 4 legged derrick / block and tackle type contraption on the inside to support and lower the shell onto the frame. In the end, I just carefully took apart the interior framing/bracing and re-distributed it with additional lifting points and used the bottle jacks to bring it home.

The front end pretty much fell into place...with only an inch or two of adjustment to get the holes to line up. I used a 5 lbs sand-filled hammer to judiciously coax things into alignment. From there, I worked my way back until I had one bottle jack supporting the back end. At about 4 inches off the deck, I decided to call it a day.

Tomorrow, I will use a 3 ton come-along anchored to a tree stump and tied into the rear end (somehow) to stretch the shell over the rear tie down and then determine the final profile of the last piece of sub-floor. As far as I can tell right now, I am only about 1 - 1.5 inches off my rivet holes along the sides. So I am hoping the come-along will bring everything into line.

The only real troubles I had were when I tried to slip the floor into the c-channel ahead of the door. The piece of right-angle aluminum door frame support was preventing the c-channel from finding home. So, I re-lifted a few inches and removed that support piece for now. The c-channel fit much better then...and I will decide down the road whether or not that support piece needs to go back in....don't expect it will be much of a problem....as long as I don't forget about it.

So, tomorrow I am looking forward to seeing if I can get the come-along to stretch everything into its proper place....and then scribe and cut the last piece of sub-floor along with positioning and riveting in the rear tie down.

It's good to get things done.

Now, I am contemplating the purchase of another vintage Airstream. Call me crazy??
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:33 PM   #129
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Stop now and I'll bring over my 3000psi pressure washer and you can get the inner shell clear of traces of ... well anything that may have roosted there (sniff?). Just have the seams & bolts sealed and use my Stihl leaf blower to chase out water in the ribs etc. with no worries about C-channel holding water until the end days...
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:16 AM   #130
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W - I partially P-washed it several weeks ago...but the P-washer was leaking so bad, couldn't get the job done. Anyway....something came up and I have to go to the doc this morning. Then I should go up to Camping World and pick up that ailing refer unit. So, I'm not sure I am going to get to do what I planned today.... may be able to get back over there later today....and of course, tomorrow.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:40 PM   #131
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It Ain't the Heat....It's the Humidity....

Lordy....thought I was going to pass out a couple times today inside the Airstream. But I popped open the Fantastics...opened the windows....and was thankful for a slight breeze.

Today, I removed all of the electrical wiring that has been hanging down for weeks now. I hope I hid it well enough, so the scavengers don't find it. And hope I can figure out how to put the new wiring in....not an electrician here.

Then I caulked all of the minor spaces between sub-floor panels, as well as indents of elevator bolt heads. Eventually, I will put down another top-coat of porch paint to make it look all nice and fresh.

The BIG task for today was to get as close as possible to landing the shell. With the judicious use of some wood blocks and a heavy hammer, I got the front lined up and landed. Put a few screws into the c-channel to hold it in place while I worked my way back.

I'm having some trouble with the curb-side front corner panel, which is a former PO repair They cut the c-channel right at the corner, rather than replacing it...and didn't even try to get the edges to match up. Anyway, I got the shell where I thought it should sit...and found that I had a 'bubble' on the front corner that didn't even come close to matching the curve of the sub-floor. The street-side corner is darned near perfect. But on the curb-side...from where the corner panel attaches to the front center panel....all the way around to the window panel...it was a bit pregnant looking. I thought about it and thought about it (didn't take any pics tho....)....walked around to the back and sides to see what was going on. It appeared if the back end is out of alignment, it really affects how the front end fits...makes sense.

So, I re-blocked the lifting points at the back so I could let the rear shell down a bit more (I was only about 4-6 inches above the deck anyway)...hammering things as I went to get it to line up. Lo - and behold..letting the rear down started to move everything back ever so slightly.

Ack...to make a long story short.... I'm not real happy with that front corner yet. I may have to drill out all of those rivets and take out the bulge. But elsewhere, I am less than 1/4 inch off my rivet holes all the way around. So that ain't half bad. I also notched out for the door frame indent...figured if I didn't do it now, I would forget. And so far, the door fits pretty well....still.

Another thing I did today was attach a come-along to the rear end....to stretch that rear panel over the final resting place for the rear hold down. I am hoping that I am close enough tomorrow, to be able to cut out the final piece of sub-floor and attach the rear hold down plate.

Progress is good....a hot bath will be even better....

'night
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:36 PM   #132
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Smile Problem Solved

Yesterday's dilema...the bulged out curb-side front quarter panel...which kept me awake most of the night...got solved today in the cooler weather.

Evidently, the fact that the c-channel in that front corner was cut during a PO repair, allowed the forward-most rib to 'float' more than it should...pushing forward on the skin and causing the deformation. My solution was to start at the seam where the front center panel meets the curb-side quarter panel and drive some temporary screws through the panel into the edge of the sub-floor every 4 inches. This forced the panel back into position...and subsequently also moved the door frame almost an inch and a half rearward...where it's supposed to be. This will give me a chance to properly place the 'broken' c-channel, secure it and rivet it to the shell. Then when I remove the temporary screws, everything should stay in place. Happy camper!!

I also scribed and cut out the last section of sub-floor today...set it in place and let the shell down completely. A tight fit...but a perfect fit. Removed the new piece, sanded about 1/8 inch around the curve to give it a little more room, primed and painted it.

The next task to accomplish will be to attach the rear hold down plate. Since I had the welder replace my rusting rear cross member, I will have to determine where the new holes need to be drilled. I have some corrosion along the bottom edge of my rear center panel..as well as a few other places along those quarter panels, so I hope I have enough good material left to hold everything securely.
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:36 AM   #133
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Looking good! If you need help with electrical, Chris is very good at it.

Kay
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:24 AM   #134
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Thanks Kay! Great to know. Have to take a couple days off here from the project...to do some landscaping work. Really looking forward to getting the rear hold down plate attached, so I can lock it down.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:14 PM   #135
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The shell has landed....

-Rear hold-down plate epoxy coated and wrapped in sticky rubberized house window wrap to preserve and prevent further decay. I also used the window wrap on all of the top edges of the main frame and cross members to make sure no moisture will sit between the sub-floor and the steel frame. Will also probably wrap most of the rear cross member where water infiltration is a problem. The stuff STICKS....and is vinyl coated on one side.

-New holes drilled (my, they were sloppy when they installed the rear hold-down plate initially).

-New rear cross member....more new holes (much swearing)

- Bottom edge of shell is deteriorated from corrosion...but only where covered by the rub rail. So drilled new set of rivet holes 1/2 inch down from the top edge of hold-down plate to be in-line with rivets further up the shell. Yes, they will be visible, but I don't think that will bother me.

-Installed last section of sub-floor and drilled holes for the elevator bolts. Let the shell down (much more swearing as I ran around the perimeter looking for places that were binding). Had to jack one more time because a spar had come down on top of the edge of the c-channel. Some pounding, prying and more swearing...it finally fell into place. C-channel is still not completely sitting on the deck in a couple of places....don't know why. So, I stopped short of installing the elevator bolts this evening. Just secured it with a few screws until tomorrow.

-Tried out my new Cyclo yesterday. Had a really deeply scratched door. Happy to say most of the scratches and hazing came out with the first application of heavy-cut polish. Have 2 more grades to go....but probably will not go for a high shine this year anyway.

-Hope to be back at it tomorrow....but with a quickly deteriorating dental crown...further work may have to wait.
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:13 PM   #136
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The only thing more expensive than Airstreams is dental work. Good luck with the tooth.

Glad to see you're getting it together. Fixing others' mistakes takes more time than anything else.

I also find swearing helps, but I am not sure Japanese or German cars understand cursing in English. Fortunately Airstreams do.

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Old 07-25-2013, 07:24 PM   #137
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Riveting 101

Today was my first day of riveting. I think it went pretty well...with one exception. The bottom edges of my rear panel and quarter panels have some corrosion. So, I added a row of rivets about 1/2 inch down from the top of the hold-down plate. Those rivets went in fine. But when it came to the rivets at the bottom edge (behind the rub rail)...most of them did not go through the c-channel...so they will have to be done again. arg.

My front hold-down rivets went in much better...I'm almost proud of them My hold-down plate was a bit beaten up on one corner...so I wedged a 2x4 behind it...and screwed into it from outside...to compress the plates. That did the trick.

I even took a chance and moved the Trade Wind today....since it was a bit too close to the neighbor's garage to work on the street side...and...because the neighbors are putting their property up for sale....and I'm sure the appreciated having it moved a little further away. So, now, another area of the lawn will be sacrificed for progress on the Airstream.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:44 PM   #138
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Time Is Flying....

It's hard to believe, but it's coming up on 1 year since I acquired my '72 Trade Wind 25'. Work on the shell-off has been continuing throughout the summer. The shell is back on, so technically, it's no longer a shell-off. YEAH!!!! After completing the new sub-floor, I had to remove the rear section to trim off about 1/4 inch on the radius. Otherwise, it fits pretty durn good. After bolting down the last section of sub-floor, I have spent the last week+ bolting down the beat-up c-channel with 1.5 inch 5/16th high grade SS bolts, 1.5 inch SS fender washers, lock washers and nylon locking nuts....every 6 inches or so around the perimeter. I am almost done with that long tedious task. I'm having some trouble with the front c-channel bolts....very hard to drill through the front frame member...considerably thicker than the rest. Next go around, I will try the heavy duty drill. Looking forward to having that job done.

Next, I will be bucking the shell to the c-channel and replacing some rivets that have popped during the struggle.

The new Fantastic Vents are installed. The Penguin Low-Pro with heat is sitting awaiting installation. Haven't decided on a propane furnace yet, but will decide soon. All of the old electric has been removed....looking forward to start running new electrical.

So grateful for the relatively cool weather we have had...making this labor of love a little easier on this old body.

More pictures to come soon (I'm sure nobody really wants to see pics of nuts and bolts)
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:57 PM   #139
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Quote:
It's hard to believe, but it's coming up on 1 year since I acquired my '72 Trade Wind 25'.
Tinfant!

If you really want to buck rivets in I'll drag my compressor, gun and a stock of rivets over so you can gauge the bang-for-buck advantages...
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:14 PM   #140
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Cool! I have a compressor, to save your muskels. I have all my bolts in the c-channel except the front where my bolts are too short. So I will have to go get longer 5/16s. Other than a trip to Fleet Farm in the morning, I will be here...or in the neighborhood working.
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