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Old 07-03-2009, 11:09 AM   #181
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Jalousie windows

Jalousie windows, unfortunately cause some shell problems.

1. The jalousie windows that Airstream used, are structurally very weak.

2. Because of that weakness, they considerably weaken the streangth of the shell, forward of the entrance door.

3. The lack of strength in the entrance door jamb, also adds to the problem

4. In time, fatigue crackes will appear in the shell, directly, either at the upper right or upper left corners of the top jalousie windows.

5. That problem can be cured, if a major rebuild will be a goal.

6. Adding vertical bows and horizontal stringers, fore and aft of the jalousie windows, adds enough strength to eliminate the stress cracking problems.

Also, that problem will be accelerated, in the event of lack of proper running gear balance, excessive rated hitch bars, and an excessive rated tow vehicle.

The shell, if not modified, is extremely weak, forward of the door, in all the models that used jalousie windows in that area.

Andy
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:28 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Jalousie windows, unfortunately cause some shell problems.

1. The jalousie windows that Airstream used, are structurally very weak.

2. Because of that weakness, they considerably weaken the streangth of the shell, forward of the entrance door.

3. The lack of strength in the entrance door jamb, also adds to the problem

4. In time, fatigue crackes will appear in the shell, directly, either at the upper right or upper left corners of the top jalousie windows.

5. That problem can be cured, if a major rebuild will be a goal.

6. Adding vertical bows and horizontal stringers, fore and aft of the jalousie windows, adds enough strength to eliminate the stress cracking problems.

Also, that problem will be accelerated, in the event of lack of proper running gear balance, excessive rated hitch bars, and an excessive rated tow vehicle.

The shell, if not modified, is extremely weak, forward of the door, in all the models that used jalousie windows in that area.

Andy
I would believe that.

But mine has made it 46 years without any signs of the problems mentioned above, so there you have it.

-Marcus
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:48 PM   #183
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I would believe that.

But mine has made it 46 years without any signs of the problems mentioned above, so there you have it.

-Marcus
Marcus.

The fatigue cracking, is far more common to the single axle trailers.

It still happens, once in a while on tandems.

Andy
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Old 07-03-2009, 04:42 PM   #184
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Thanks for the info Andy. I've got balanced running gear, the correct bars (800 lbs) and a suitable tv so all I need to do is address any structural shortcomings and it'll be looking good.

I quite like the idea of adding some horizontal and vertical supports; they might even aid me when installing the inner skin. The inner skin around the jalousie especially up against the front cap wasn't what I'd call craftsmanlike..

I don't have the resources to fabricate ribs/ bows like the factory ones so I guess I'll have to come up with some stringer like pieces made from 032". It shouldn't take more than a couple of hours and a few ounces of extra weight.

On a similar vein has anyone added automotive sound deadening mat to the door and the surrounding area at all? Again it would add weight but I thought I'd ask.

Last question: where can I get wheel well trim that bends? The Vintagetrailer stuff says it's tempered which seems like an added hassle. I found some here J-Bar Bottom - 1/16" but until I get a sample I can't be sure it'll work.
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:41 PM   #185
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Truck, When I rebuilt my doors I used a foil faced sound deadening material on the insde of the outer door skin (its very adherent) and then used reflectix insulation in the doors. It added a little weight but gives the door less of a tin can feel. I liked the results. Ed
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:22 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by truckasaurus View Post
Thanks for the info Andy. I've got balanced running gear, the correct bars (800 lbs) and a suitable tv so all I need to do is address any structural shortcomings and it'll be looking good.

I quite like the idea of adding some horizontal and vertical supports; they might even aid me when installing the inner skin. The inner skin around the jalousie especially up against the front cap wasn't what I'd call craftsmanlike..

I don't have the resources to fabricate ribs/ bows like the factory ones so I guess I'll have to come up with some stringer like pieces made from 032". It shouldn't take more than a couple of hours and a few ounces of extra weight.

On a similar vein has anyone added automotive sound deadening mat to the door and the surrounding area at all? Again it would add weight but I thought I'd ask.

Last question: where can I get wheel well trim that bends? The Vintagetrailer stuff says it's tempered which seems like an added hassle. I found some here J-Bar Bottom - 1/16" but until I get a sample I can't be sure it'll work.
The J bar I used came from the flooring place down the street from me. Looks identical to the one linked to above. I believe it is tempered, but bends like a wet noodle when you heat it with a torch. I paid $7 (?) per 12' stick. I have a piece here if you'd like it to test out. Wear welding gloves when handling the hot trim.
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:29 PM   #187
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Quick questions #2, It's a way off but what rivets will I need to reattach the door hinges and will a 3x gun drive them?

I used 3/16" rivets and bucked them in place. Looks better than the original blind rivets, IMO.
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:34 PM   #188
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Evidence

Back from vacation and time to step up the project timetable.

Whilst in Seattle I collect two big cartons of aluminum that Airparts shipped for me. Another example of how great the forum members are; Ryan (r&kweber) offered to let me have the boxes sent to his shop so I could pick them up and check out his project! Thank you for helping me out, it saved me a bundle and it was very motivational to see another Airstream being reborn.

Anyhow, attached are todays shots of one end cap stripped (1 gallon of Removal). It seems to work well but it's going to take a lot of product to strip all the interior aluminum, I may just sand and prime it. I was going to cut out the overhead compartment as it's so badly aligned but instead I might keep it but repurpose the space...

I'm just glassing over the light switch cutouts and vent holes as I will cut new ones where I want them instead. I actually started repairing cracks around the window cutouts in the end cap but got a little ahead of myself. I suspect the crack is as a direct result of a damaged- repaired end cap being installed from day one. Fiberglass sure wasn't their forte!

Tomorrow I should get the second end cap stripped and glassed up and then the weekend is riveting time. I'm hoping to rivet the shell back on around the curved sections, then progress to side panel replacement the week after.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:45 PM   #189
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Questions, more questions

I'm just preparing for tomorrows riveting extravaganza and have a few questions if anyone can help.

Looking at the trim/ rub rail that covers the front and rear joint between shell and belly pan it looks like it should be buck riveted but the holes are so badly located that the rivet head will get deformed; were olympic or pop rivets used instead?

Second Q. No matter what I try the rivet holes around the steel wheel well sit about 1/2" below those in the side panel. It may not be a problem as both side panels will be replaced but I'm trying to get a handle on what the cause is?
- It looks like the chassis/ floor unit, even when jacked at the axle plates will lift the shell uniformly due the bracing. (the gap stays at close to 3/8").
- I used butyl tape between the chassis and wheel wells but only about an 1/8" thick.

When I have riveted the end sections down and attached the steel anchor plates to the bows I was planning on removing the bracing and going from there, does that sound reasonable?
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Old 07-24-2009, 03:00 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by truckasaurus View Post
Looking at the trim/ rub rail that covers the front and rear joint between shell and belly pan it looks like it should be buck riveted but the holes are so badly located that the rivet head will get deformed; were olympic or pop rivets used instead?
Truck, I'll defer to those with more experience reattaching the shell on your second question, but on the rub rail piece, everyone that I have seen, including mine earlier today, is held on with screws. I think that is one of the last pieces to re-install on the exterior.

Norm

PS sorry I missed you at Ryan's shop the other day. Sounds like you got a good tour of the Flying Cloud. I think they are heading out camping tonight.
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Old 07-24-2009, 03:57 PM   #191
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I'm just preparing for tomorrows riveting extravaganza and have a few questions if anyone can help.

Looking at the trim/ rub rail that covers the front and rear joint between shell and belly pan it looks like it should be buck riveted but the holes are so badly located that the rivet head will get deformed; were olympic or pop rivets used instead?
Mine had three levels of rivets here. First level is the bellypan to c-channel rivets, aka the "blind" rivets. Second level is the exterior skin to c-channel rivets, with the bellypan sandwiched in-between. Third level is the rub rail to c-channel rivets, with the exterior shell and bellypan in-between. ALL were buck rivets, all went all the way through all materials in-between and terminated on the inside of the c-channel. Does that make sense? You'll need to use progressively longer rivets as you rivet through these layers. The rub-rail didn't line up very well with original rivet holes, in many cases I drilled new ones.

Quote:
Second Q. No matter what I try the rivet holes around the steel wheel well sit about 1/2" below those in the side panel. It may not be a problem as both side panels will be replaced but I'm trying to get a handle on what the cause is?
- It looks like the chassis/ floor unit, even when jacked at the axle plates will lift the shell uniformly due the bracing. (the gap stays at close to 3/8").
- I used butyl tape between the chassis and wheel wells but only about an 1/8" thick.

When I have riveted the end sections down and attached the steel anchor plates to the bows I was planning on removing the bracing and going from there, does that sound reasonable?
On this one, I hope somebody else can answer. I didn't remove any rivets around the wheel wells, since mine is a shell-on.

Good luck, if you're anything like me, I think you'll find the buck-riveting to be rather enjoyable.

-Marcus
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:18 PM   #192
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Looking at the trim/ rub rail that covers the front and rear joint between shell and belly pan it looks like it should be buck riveted but the holes are so badly located that the rivet head will get deformed; were olympic or pop rivets used instead?
Slotted screws on my '57, Truck. Took the back one off last week and only one screw refused to come out. Started the front today and two of them are being difficult. I'll stay with the screws when it goes back together, but I'm going to change them to stainless.

cheers,
steve
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Old 07-24-2009, 06:25 PM   #193
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50% of the mystery solved

Thanks for the super fast responses, I checked back through some of my old photos and did some zooming in and lo and behold mine was held on with pop rivets! It's good to know that there's no rush putting the rail back on so I'll see how it goes tomorrow. I like the idea of bucked rivets but maybe some sort of dome head stainless bolt would look cool, maybe even recessed for an allen key? (I need to strip the blue rattle can paint of the rails and take out some dents too unless anyone knows of a suitable source for replacement material).

(Norm, the next time I make the trip to Seattle I'll try and plan a bit better, especially now I know as an Alberta resident I can shop tax free, woo hoo. Unfortunately it took a 9 hour shopping spree at the premium outlet mall to become fully acquainted).
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:06 PM   #194
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I'll take a stab at the remaining 50%.... did you increase the wood thickness from 5/8" to 3/4"? between that and the 1/8" barrier layer... would that raise it up?

Did your fenders mount below or on top of the wood orginally?
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Old 07-25-2009, 04:24 AM   #195
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Mine is a 63 and the rub rails were attached with pop rivets. If you go this way get the long ones since you are going through a lot of material. As for the shell not lining up, mine didn't either, though not be half an inch. The thicker plywood definitely accounts for part of it.

Here's a picture of the reinstalled rubrail. BTW, Ford engine blue is pretty much a perfect color match.
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Old 07-25-2009, 06:58 AM   #196
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This is a great thread. I back working on my 55 Cloud. It would be great if some of you might have time to look at my thread and make suggestions and comments. My restorations are what I call 10 foot restorations. From 10 feet or more they look great. Get closer and you are going to see stuff.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...wax-25692.html
Also I'm looking for two windows. Front small lower by front door and the insert emergency window in the back. I have the frames it just the windows I need. All comments are always welcome.
Don
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Old 07-25-2009, 07:48 AM   #197
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Hey Don,

I've been reading your threads on your Bambi and FC since I joined 1.5 years ago, they are chock-full of great information, and I think most others around here do as well. I consider them part of the "Required Reading" homework for all who begin major renovations. I rarely comment on your FC thread because I know very little about the 50s trailers, but I am always watching and learning.

Anyway, please keep up the great work, and know that many many people read your threads. I will happily chip in any knowledge or experience where I have it, but you know far more than I do about Airstream reno, so usually I just watch and learn.

-Marcus
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:29 AM   #198
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Don, ditto what Marcus said, I thoroughly enjoy reading your updates. I was sorely tempted to flip my frame and floor like you did but realized that it was a bit out of my league; maybe on the next one..

Another day or so and I should find out whether it's the bracing holding the shell a little too high.

And wow that rub rail looks great Diesel, I didn't know the middle section should even be blue but it gives me an idea that I'll ponder on... The photo you posted also reminds me that I haven't seen any other units where the number plate is screwed directly through the shell like mine. It seems like a sketchy idea so I'll be modifying it somewhat.
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Old 07-26-2009, 03:13 PM   #199
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All good fun!

I'll admit the riveting had me a little nervous, with my girlfriend as bucker I had visions of a mangled Airstream and ending the weekend single but it went really well. In fact it was really enjoyable; well except for working with Vulkem, it mysteriously transports itself from the tube to my hands, clothes and tools.

Here's a couple of action shots when the shell was about an inch up in the air.

We got the ends all done and only one rivet doesn't look 100% so I'll just drill and replace.

Next weekend we'll try the curbside 2nd up panel. I think I need to
- remove all bracing
- whip off the eyebrow and gutters
- take out the windows
- remove the door hinges
- use the old sheet to template a new one
- drill holes, test fit, drill to correct size, clean, vulkem, replace, cleco and final rivet.
- I'll need to fabricate some new stringers as they are all bent up

I'm considering whether to cut the template for the doorway or whether to just skin over it and cut it out with nibblers and a file when I'm ready to re-install the door. Any advise bearing in mind the door still needs to be re-skinned on both sides and I'm not going to be ready to do this for some months?

NEWS. I've got a confirmed place on an Aircraft Structures course starting this fall so by spring '10 I should be better placed to get the door just right

Also whatever catch like device for the door(s) was on the curbside is long gone, could someone tell me if it's an available part or how I can prevent the door whacking the panel in a light breeze?
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Old 07-26-2009, 03:33 PM   #200
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Also whatever catch like device for the door(s) was on the curbside is long gone, could someone tell me if it's an available part or how I can prevent the door whacking the panel in a light breeze?
Lookin' good.

Seems that door catch is not quite available but should be soon at VTS: Door Latch At least that's the one on mine and I'm guessing for yours as well.

cheers,
steve
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