Hello all. I have a dinged-up end-cap panel on 1961
Bambi. There are no replacements available - apparently the only ones that match are from other Bambis, not just other '61's. I've researched, read posts, and watched videos until I've come full circle from feeling like I had the answers to feeling like I don't have a clue.
So ... I realize that 2024-T3 cannot be adequately formed for the compound curves of the average end-cap segment. However, if you anneal it, it will
stretch and possibly CAN be formed -- at least for the less curvy panels like mine below.
However ... some people use 2024-0 Alclad, instead, which can be formed, but isn't heat treated and therefore will be weaker overall. But, as one of the experts noted on these forums, Airstreams aren't a true monocoque construction and even the 2024 without T3 is plenty strong -- they note that the 2000 and 7000 series metals are overkill for our low flying aircraft, anyway.
But ... other people prefer 6061-T6 (or even 7075 T6), since it's easier to form on a wheel or hammer, and Airstream themselves used it on end-caps in the 70's while keeping the 2024-T3 in the middle sections, and on the roofs.
Which would be the best option between annealing the 2024-T3 and trying to get it to work, or 2024-0, or 6061-T6?
Lest you think the panel isn't that bad, you're right, but it has creases, a small hole, and a bunch of rivet holes from a bad attempt at a prior repair, which you can see in the pic of it still installed. I found a guy who's a wizard at sheet metal forming and I'd like to at least give him a shot at making a new panel.
Any experts care to weigh in?