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Old 09-29-2012, 08:51 AM   #1
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1962 19' Globetrotter
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Removing subfloor with shell on

Hey guys

Restoring my 62 globetrotter and the p.o. I stalled a new subfloor over top of the original one now with water damage. I want to know if these subfloors can be removed and replaced with the shell on? I'm hoping its a yes because I'd like to do some frame reinforcement while I have it open.

I have to Install a new axle as well but really don't want to remove the shell etc unless I HAVE to.... Seen a lot of threads on here regarding shell removal but not a lot about straight sub floor replacing

I
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:50 AM   #2
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I've never done it, but I did go to a seminar once about it, and the instructor said you could do it a piece at a time, but you had to "wiggle" the pieces into place on the sides. As I recall, he did not recommend it for a total floor replacement, but for parts, he said it was OK.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:06 AM   #3
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We removed the front half of the floor in our 1977. It wasn't easy, but it was doable.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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To the guys who removed the whole shell, was it that difficult??

Basically, how is the frame attached to the shell? I'm guessing the interior panels need to come out (the lower ones)?

Drop the belly pan I'm guessing as well? Just worried about a crAp load of parts that could go missing?

How did you guys actually pull it off the frAme? I've seen guys attaching structural stuff inside to keep it straight etc but how did you actually jack it up?

Lots of reading on this site... I am going to totally replace the floor And a new axle so I'm guessing this is going to have to happen
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:15 AM   #5
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I did it that way on mine because I just had no place to put the shell. There actually isn't a lot of difference--you'll still have to take at least the lower interior skins off and most likely the bellypan as well.

If you search, you'll find many examples of those who have done it shell on.

cheers,
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:02 AM   #6
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Shell off is a huge undertaking even on a 19-footer. No, it's not like eating an elephant one bite at a time, more like a blue whale.

Shell off gets easier if you have a dedicated parts & tools runner on work days - stopping to run out to get a scroll saw, drill bits, bolts etc. breaks momentum.

I used hydraulic bottle jacks and stacked blocks to lift the cross support beams I attached to the ribs - so I lifted the shell using the floor as jack support. Wobbly but got the job done, 3-1/2" or 5" lifts before racking up support pylons and repositioning jacks. Discovered big box store lumber has been sprayed with silicone when shell crept downhill as much as it was being lifted.

The deal with shell off it is easier frame rehab - if I had it to do over again it would be via the derrick - overhead lift method as that allows to set the shell down and reposition it to lift frame and flip or partially flip it for easier repairs and painting.

I did the back-sheet R/R with shell on - then decided to go the whole shell off route later on. The tools and experience gained by doing shell-on floor repairs will benefit you if a few summers from now you decide to do the total rehab.
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:36 AM   #7
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I just put my shell back on the frame yesterday. Fit like a glove.
Really the only extra work involved in an shell off is building the lift system.
If your going to do frame repair its a no brainer to pull the shell. You can use the gantry's to lift the frame, rotate,easier to weld,paint, inspect the frame than laying on your back with welding sparks running down your shirt sleeve.
I think your model has 2 U channels one enclosing the ends of the plywood and the second on the bottom edge of the trailer walls. This will also give you the opportunity to replace rusted out nuts and bolts,hardware.
In my case the thought and worry of pulling the shell was worse than actually pulling the shell. If I had to replace more than one sheet of plywood and frame repair I would pull the shell.
By the way mine is 31 foot long.
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:40 AM   #8
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Wicked answer!


I'd like to leave shell on, but I will be able to remove the subfloor doing it that route? I wasn't able to look in detail the other day when I pulled up the one he threw on top.



Would like to do some basic frame reinforcement etc as well when I pull it up...I'll just take a good gander at it. It's looking nice tho, mobile airstream diner coming soooooon!
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:41 AM   #9
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I did a shell off on a sma fibreglass boler which was easy lol.... Not this one haha
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:51 AM   #10
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Just so you guys don't think I'm crazy, I restore vintage trailers and vehicles and turn them into awesome food trucks, I do all comfort food out if them

Here is my 1974 50's styled gull winged boler

And my 1972 Vw burger bus
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:03 PM   #11
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If your going to make a mobile diner I think you will need some serious frame reinforcement if not new frame. The Airstream frame minimal at best. I think your frame is 4" c channel .120 thick.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:21 PM   #12
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That's the plan


Pull up the subfloor and have a look and see what we can do to strengthen her up
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:33 PM   #13
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We removed and replaced the entire subfloor in our '56 Safari w/o totally removing the shell. It would have been easier to remove the shell, but we didn't have the room to do so. Check out my "It's a Girl!!!" Thread starting around post #111 Then skip to around post #173+ & post #199+ to see how we did it.

Good luck!

Shari
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:02 PM   #14
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I have a lot of photos of my adventures with rear bath floor separation.

https://picasaweb.google.com/m/viewe...87771482453169

Fun! I am still working on flooring issues. We kept on camping while renovating. Priorities!

Good luck, and be sure to start a thread so you, too, can get all the advice you may need, and then some.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:22 PM   #15
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Went to pull her up and almost blew my head up from pulling so hard

Pulled some rot away... Questions:

1. Do I grind away these big ass carriage bolts holding the floor down? Or how is this subfloor attached... I could feel the screws but thought I could pull hard enough and it would come....not!

I have not removed the belly pan and don't want to if I do t have to....I just want to pull this damn subfloor up!
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stupidnoob View Post
Went to pull her up and almost blew my head up from pulling so hard
The plywood subfloor is securely attached every 1-2' with carriage bolts to the frame. You will never be able to "just pull it up". You need to get under the floor enough to break off the carriage bolts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stupidnoob View Post
1. Do I grind away these big ass carriage bolts holding the floor down?
No, don't grind them, just fatigue snap them with a pair of pliers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stupidnoob View Post
Or how is this subfloor attached... I could feel the screws but thought I could pull hard enough and it would come....not!
Cut out a big enough piece of wood at each bolt to get your hands in there and break off the bolts. We used a circular saw set just deep enough to get through 99% of the plywood and break it out in big pieces. Basically running it around the perimeter and all the frame members. Then you can see all the bolts that need to be removed. It's also necessary to remove the lower interior panels out so you can get inside the c-channel that holds the skin/floor/frame together. There are bolts there that have to be removed & replaced - I don't think this can be accomplished without removing the interior or exterior skins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stupidnoob View Post
I have not removed the belly pan and don't want to if I do t have to....I just want to pull this damn subfloor up!
We only removed & replaced a damaged potion of the belly (at the back) in order to weld & repair a damaged frame crossmember - there is no need to drop the entire belly when doing a shell-on floor replacement. At least with a 50's trailer, if you remove the rivets that hold the belly on, the shell also becomes free as the same rivets hold both together to the frame the way they overlap

Shari .
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:25 AM   #17
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Use a 2-3" hole saw to cut the plywood around each bolt. This will allow removal of the subfloor. Once plywood is removed you can attack the remaining bolts and plywood
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:30 PM   #18
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Use a 2-3" hole saw to cut the plywood around each bolt. This will allow removal of the subfloor. Once plywood is removed you can attack the remaining bolts and plywood
I forgot...we did this too!

Shari
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:19 PM   #19
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Just my "two bits", if you don't remove the belly pan (which kind of means "shell off" unless you trim out a smaller area of the belly pan), then you'll have to go with a different floor attachment method as the "stock" method requires access to the bottom of the flooring bolts (the ones you're breaking your back on) to tighten the nuts. Here's a link on a different website that you've probably seen, but in this case they only remove an inner portion of the belly pan to keep from performing a "shell off" situation.

Floor Replacement - Vintage Airstream
Your asking all the right questions though!!!

Here's my saga:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f73/...ons-92652.html

Good luck,
Lee
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:52 PM   #20
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I posted this in my build thread but here it goes


Circular saw died on me pulled it all up with my pry bar and my hammer. Those bolts are nooooooooo joke lol
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