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Old 08-29-2006, 09:55 AM   #1
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1969 Airstream Dents

is there any help for these dents on this thing or im i looking at alot of money




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Old 08-29-2006, 10:02 AM   #2
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Geez, what happened? You would have to take out the corresponding interior skins, and endcaps, to be able to "massage" out the dents from the inside. This is quite a bit of work, but cheap. It would not turn out perfect though. To get perfection, you are talking replacement panels, likely done at the factory at Jackson Center, Ohio- BIG bucks. You could also creatively make "patches" to cover the affected areas, I suppose, trying for symmetry. Best of luck, and welcome to the forums!-tim
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Old 08-29-2006, 10:24 AM   #3
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thanks for the response i have a chance to buy it real cheap but dont want to if its not worth saving or at least calm the dents down some.....im not sure what happened to it
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Old 08-29-2006, 10:26 AM   #4
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man, i hate to say it, but i'd look for another trailer, if you want a perfect skin. i've done the skin replacement thing on my 59, and it is incredibly time consuming. the compound curved end pieces on that though are really big bux. you could probably part that out and get your money back out of it, though or use it as a donor for your next un. you never know.

best of luck!

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Old 08-29-2006, 10:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacknvp
thanks for the response i have a chance to buy it real cheap but dont want to if its not worth saving or at least calm the dents down some.....im not sure what happened to it
i'm convinced the cheaper the airstream, the more you end up spending on it overall. i got the merit badge on that un!

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Old 08-29-2006, 10:50 AM   #6
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i think the scrape yard would bring about 1500 by itself and thats still more then what im going to pay for it...ill just have to think about it i guess
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Old 08-29-2006, 07:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacknvp
i think the scrape yard would bring about 1500 by itself and thats still more then what im going to pay for it...ill just have to think about it i guess
Material cost alone is about $2000.00 for the 4 panels.

Plus the bumper, which is no longer available.

Add to that rivets, vulkem sealer, shipping and painting with plasticoat.

Andy
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Old 08-29-2006, 07:22 PM   #8
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and bandages for the cuts, not to mention the rivet gun, shears, new clothes (cause vulkem doesn't come out!), and countless hours on the weekends.

is it worth parting out?

jp
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Old 08-29-2006, 08:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by A-Merry-Can
and bandages for the cuts, not to mention the rivet gun, shears, new clothes (cause vulkem doesn't come out!), and countless hours on the weekends.

is it worth parting out?

jp

Vulkem does come out, but you must do it quickly with lacquer thinner.

Replacing sheet metal does take time, expertise and patience.

So does drinking beer.

The formula is something like 1 case of beer per segment.

Just think, in 4 weekends the job would be done, and look at all the aluminum cans you would have left. That scrap aluminum brings a pretty penny, these days.

Plus you have the scrap aluminum that you removed from the trailer.

And when your all done, with the metal work, it "WILL" make a better driver out of you, because now you what you can look forward to, should you dent another segment.

Andy
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Old 08-29-2006, 08:12 PM   #10
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Thumbs up

A-Merry-Can]is it worth parting out?

im sure it is i can buy for less then 600 dollars
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:09 PM   #11
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Vulkem does come out, but you must do it quickly with lacquer thinner.

and what about AFTER it dries? i've got a few spots on my trailer from skin replacements that seeped out and i didn't catch.

jp
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:22 PM   #12
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and what about AFTER it dries? i've got a few spots on my trailer from skin replacements that seeped out and i didn't catch.

jp
Cured out Vulkem can be removed.

First, and very carefully, cut away all that you can and as close as you can to the metal.

Second, apply a good paint remover to the vulkem. You will have to do it several times. Eventually, it will all come off.

Andy
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:04 PM   #13
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Hi, hacknvp,

Let's not get so focused on these major dents that we fail to consider the rest of the trailer. I agree that the dents are unsightly and probaby why you can buy it so cheap.

But if you want to go CAMPING, think about appliances and the FLOOR.

You can make some of those dents look 90% better at home. It's not difficult to remove interior panels or replace them. Basically, you need a drill motor with a bunch of #40 drill bits and some doohickies called clecos and pop-rivets to put it back together.

This is just my opinion, but if you get past the dents and find the floor is rotten, the water system has freeze damage, and the propane system needs work - or any major appliance needs replacing - start adding $ with a bunch of zeros. Is it worth that to you?

There are two theories, at least, about buying old Airstreams. One is to get the unit as cheaply as possible and fix it up doing all the work yourself. When you get done, you may have ten grand in it, but you'll know what you have, and it'll last longer than any stick-built RV you can buy new today for several times more.

The other theory is to hunt and hunt and buy the most sound Airstream in your price range you can. That's what I did. I paid sort of top dollar for mine, but it was what I wanted and exactly as represented. Everything worked (!) when I got it. Since then, I have replaced the oven, the water heater, the electric jack, the heating element in the fridge, and the brake backing plates. I bought a heavier duty tow vehicle. I had to remove and repair the shower pan, and I have a new Fantastic fan waiting for me to climb on the roof and replace it. I'm saving up for five new tires, and I haven't even had it a YEAR yet.

I'm not dissappointed in this trailer. I knew what I was getting into to. I knew it was 27-years-old and would need some TLC and repairs.

Unless your personal since of pride is not going to allow you to fix just 90% of the dent's appearance, I would suggest that you give the REST of the trailer a close, critical inspection so you know what ELSE you may be getting into.

May good fortune follow you no matter your choice.

Lamar
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:55 PM   #14
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Looks like it's been hit more times than Joe Louis!
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:49 PM   #15
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If the floor is basically sound , and the interior is not a nightmare, and the axles will allow it to be pulled safely and the brakes are decent, and the frames not rusted, and the appliances are ok, and the tanks and plumbing are also,, then 600 is a good deal. Otherwise 600 will quickly become 6000. Then you might as well have started with one that cost 6000 and needed way less.
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:51 PM   #16
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I’d have to concur with the others. If you can get it cheaply, and can estimate the cost to get road ready, and can live with the dents, it might be a worthwhile. That is if your primary ambition is ‘Just Camping.’

Think in terms of interim live cycle costs and your potential resale return.
I’ve driven old cars simply because my primary objection was get from point A to point B at minimum cost until I was able to move up.

There is a saying from industrial design: “Form follows Function.” However, there are many situations when the Function is more important than the esthetics of the Form.
Weigh the personal pros and cons- -Good Luck.
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SafeHarbor
When you get done, you may have ten grand in it, but you'll know what you have, and it'll last longer than any stick-built RV you can buy new today for several times more....

ONLY $10K? i passed that 2 tires and a fantastic fan ago! and i STILL have no toilet!

... but i love it anyway!

jp
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:48 AM   #18
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campgrounds usually have toilets, but not fantastic fans..and you are riding nice on those tires
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:04 PM   #19
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If enough stuff works so you can tow and camp. I'd buy it and fix it up as you go. Just come up with an improbable story for the dents. i.e. Area 51 and enjoy yourself. You can sell it and get your money back if you get tired of it and you'll never have to worry about scratching or denting it yourself. From here it looks like cheap fun.
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:40 PM   #20
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And, hacknvp,

I'm just curious. Does the guy selling this trailer have any, uh, perceptual problems?

Lamar
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