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Old 07-29-2009, 07:02 PM   #221
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progress

I like the idea of jacking up the wheel well to mate but there just isn't the give to get it all the way. With the frame/ floor and shell straight I'm just going to have to work with what I have. I've marked the well where the panel meets it and I'll just trim to fit.

On that note I whipped off the street panel this afternoon and I'm just glad I have a lightweight mini air drill! It came off OK, all 16' of it. I had to take out just one window and 18 stringers. It's definitely going to be a two person job to get it back on though.

I'm still hunting for some non tempered J trim for the well/panel joint, I tried a link I found on Carlos's thread but it quoted me $308 shipping so maybe a phone call is in order.

So for now it's all tarp'd up until Saturday. Luckily it's a long weekend here in sunny Alberta so with the cheery assistance of the GF I hope to get street side replaced and maybe some work on the curb side.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:28 PM   #222
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Been there done that, looking good. I would cut in the window after the skin is on.
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:58 PM   #223
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One other thought on the wheel well problem. In the second picture it may be that the wheel well is pushed back from the frame member a bit. It's hard to tell from the angle of the picture. But here is the thought. If both outside edges of the fenders were moved out away form the frame member"out riggers", that would increase the width of the fender at the frame level where it meets the skin. The top of the fender well would move down to make up for the increased distance at the bottom. I hope this makes some sense. I could make a diagram if that would be of any help. If this is the case, the only answer I can think of now is to split the fender at the top to align the holes with clecos. Next put a patch in the fender to get rid of the space. Not the greatest answer.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:42 AM   #224
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The fact that the rib isn't settling down in the channel suggests that nmbosa's suggestion is at least probable. I had a similar issue when I set my shell back on, only for me it was related to verticle alignment rather than horizontal. The holes on the shell landed about 3/8 of an inch in front of where they should have been on the curbside and behind on the street side. No big deal I thought, it just needs to be pulled forward on the left and back on the right.

So, on the left, the truck served as an anchor point for the ratchet strap. On the right I didn't have anything to attach to so I made a sky hook.

After putting more force on it than I knew it should require I started looking again for the reason it wasn't budging, with no success. Then I tried running a putty knife all the way around and, lo and behold, just behind the wheelwell on the curb side a dimple on the skin was hung up on a split from forming the belly pan wrap. It was the barest hangnail, but as soon as I freed it the shell settled right in place where it belonged.

If that ain't it, then Aerowood is no doubt right.
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:25 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by dieseleagle View Post
Then I tried running a putty knife all the way around and, lo and behold, just behind the wheelwell on the curb side a dimple on the skin was hung up on a split from forming the belly pan wrap. It was the barest hangnail, but as soon as I freed it the shell settled right in place where it belonged.

If that ain't it, then Aerowood is no doubt right.
AWESOME pictures dieseleagle!

Yes, just the barest bit of metal can hang up the entire works. When I was reinstalling the aft subfloor pieces, I briefly had a hard time getting the shell back in position, situated correctly in alignment with the original holes in the original j-channel. Then, recalling Frank's words on this very subject, I ran my putty knife around the entire perimeter one final time, and found just the smallest bit of a rivet still stuck in a hole in the channel. Didn't seem like it would cause any problem at all, but once removed, everything settled in just fine.

Good luck!
-Marcus
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:33 AM   #226
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This is a good short section on how and why a shell alignment might have problems. Maybe an administrator can figure how to put this on the Forums list. With the title Shell realignment.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:54 PM   #227
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Maiden voyage? Did I miss something, like about 3 months of interior work?

Or, is this one of those "auminum tent" maiden voyages?
I don't want to steal Katie and Ryan's thunder, so I'll just say it sure aint an aluminum tent.

Truck, looks a little airy in your trailer.
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:51 PM   #228
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Truck. I too had problems getting my shell ribs to seat all the way into the C channel. It would not quite seat down far enough for everthing to line up. My solution was to make absolutely sure the frame/floor was level. Then I pulled the shell (by the ribs) down onto the floor/frame. The method I used to do this was to take a section of 2x4 and screw it to the floor near the c channel next to a rib. (make sure if your tanks are in your not over them;I almost did this!) Screw a nice strong eye hook into the 2x4. Then using a racheting tie down strap you can hook into the rib above usually via one of the electrical wire coduit holes already there. You now can rachet the shell/rib down further into the c channel. Actually I ended up doing this at several points simultaneously on both sides of the shell to bring it down. It worked well for me. Don't know if that will help your issue but maybe... Keep up the great work. I'm following with interest. Ed
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:48 AM   #229
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porcupine shot

We've had some serious weather this weekend so only about 6 hours work on the trailer so far. We prepped the old panel and made the new one and got it cleco'd in place. (giant hail 20 miles away!) We used a Fein Multimaster with the scraping blade to get the black stuff with mesh embedded in it off, awesome tool.

Today should see it Vulkum'd and riveted.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:09 AM   #230
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Great job! Its hard to keep such a large panel straight and smooth. Did just the two of you manage it?
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:20 AM   #231
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Wow truck, looks great! Did you cut the panel yourself, or did you end up having it cut to measure when it shipped?
Love the kitty watching too!
Marc
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:26 AM   #232
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Thanks guys. Just me and the GF, it would be easier with three people but was perfectly doable with two. I had three pieces shipped, one 32' 032", one 16' 032" and one 16' 040".
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:44 PM   #233
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Looking Good Truck.....
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:47 AM   #234
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Most impressive!
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:42 PM   #235
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Curbside

Whilst I wait for some longer rivets to arrive and get my hands on wheel well trim I thought I'd press on. (I still haven't found good J trim, the Brunnerent stuff seems OK but the shipping is shocking; also it's occurred to me that my curbside is 0.032" plus 0.040" so I may want 3/32" not 1/16" trim especially as I'm sure the Vulkem between the two takes up some space).

Today I finished glassing over the unwanted holes in the fiberglass end caps and finished off with a few skim coats or Bondo all nicely sanded smooth.

Lastly I removed the lower door hinge and the whole door assembly to get at the side panel better. The 12' curbside is now just hanging on Clekos ready for removal, clean up and templating onto 0.040". Most of the stringers are OK, I'll replace two that took a beating at some point in the past.

I know it's probably not the best time but I'm sorely tempted to pick up either the Makita 9227C or a Dewalt variable speed 7" polisher, a couple of soft 8" buffs and some 3M marine aluminum polish just to see how the old material will clean up..... I figure with the project sitting out all winter if it's a bit shiny it'll keep my motivation up.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:03 AM   #236
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Chance for a good discussion

CanoeStream has sent me a PM asking what I meant in my comment about there being great stuff in this thread. All those who have added ideas to this thread have good and varied ideas. Here is a change for another one of those great discussions. That beautiful sheet of aluminum being kept in place with all those clecos looks beautiful. However the looks can change a lot when the rivets start falling into place. If you have ever watched a person who has placed a million rivets, it looks so easy and the results are amazing. For the first timer, it can be a disaster. Rivet gun hop, great dimples in the sheet around each rivet location, loose rivets that leak, on and on. Then there is the whole discussion about what the back of the rivet should look like is it has been bucked properly. If you are a experienced aircraft mechanic this may be boring, but to the new-be it can be great knowledge. Are all of you willing to jump in with bits of rivet knowledge?
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:11 AM   #237
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Sure, I'm certainly interested in hearing from those who are more experienced than I am!

Here is what I will add-- it is absolutely imperative that the riveter and the bucker stay in constant communication with each other, and do things consistently each time.

For example, if you are always counting to three and THEN pulling the trigger, don't ever pull the trigger ahead of that beat. Also, if you are consistently firing one burst of riveting, don't hit it with a second burst when your bucker isn't expecting it. Communicate with your bucker and count it out again. If you DON'T do these things, then there is a chance that your bucker will pull the bucking bar back, or not apply proper pressure. This can lead to unsightly results at best (large indentations in the skin around the rivet), and at worst, you can end up firing a rivet all the way through the skin and blasting a huge hole (fortunately this did not happen to me, I did this on a scrap of test aluminum to see what would happen. Wasn't pretty).

It seems easy, but even after doing over a hundred perfect rivets, I miscommunicated one time and dimpled my skin pretty severely. Oh well, live and learn.

-Marcus
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:04 AM   #238
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Great idea Don. It can be like looking up a project in a Home Depot manual where everything looks square and plumb and then comparing it with the aftermath of a DIY disaster where every piece of lumber seems cupped and twisted. Luckily for me Airstream must have been in a budget crunch and unable to afford a piece of string to set the rivet lines straight so I know no matter how good a job I do it will still look more artisan than craftsmanlike.

At the introduction session for the A&P course I start next month the instructor showed me the sample rivets they get students to do at the start so that at the end they can see how much better they are. They looked just fine to me so I'm aware that no matter how well I do on this trailer next year I'll see every defect.

So far I'd say communication is the most important factor; like Marcus says if riveter and bucker aren't in sync it's going to end badly, (for the trailer and the combatants). We did a practice run on a mock up section of C channel and set the regulator on the gun which seems to help. Next I think it's harder to mess up when the substrate being riveted is more solid/ secure so I try and start the session off on a window frame, rib/ bow or something that isn't going to flap about. With the panel totally Clekod down I don't think it makes much difference but I've been starting in a central area and working out.

I doubt I'm doing it the correct way but once my bucker says go I'm "brapping" in a few pulses so that my bucker can call stop whilst I can hear her in between the cacophony. I'm getting a feel for the rivet squishing up now which makes timing the duration of the rivet action better.

I'd like some tips on getting Vulkem off the clekos! I have them soaking in mineral spirits and next I'm going to try WD40 but there must be a better way.

It would also seem logical for the riveter and bucker to swap roles occasionally, kind of like a 360 appraisal; I haven't tried this yet but hope to on a smaller panel.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:17 AM   #239
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WD40 takes it right off. Buy it by the gallon....
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:21 AM   #240
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A gallon it is then, thanks Frank, also I'm resisting the urge to get the polisher ASAP and instead ordered the Jestco kit. I spoke with a guy at 3M earlier and he was very helpful but their 8" pads (#05703) are about $40 and up so I could see it getting really expensive fast.
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