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Old 06-07-2020, 11:07 PM   #1
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Nashville , Tennessee
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Can I swap 26’ Overlander End caps with 26’ Land Yacht caps?

I have a 1965 26’ Overlander with end cap damage on the front and rear. All of the end cap panels need reapired/replaced. I have found a 1966 26’ Land Yacht with practically flawless end caps. My novice brain tells me that I could just pop off the end caps from the Land Yacht and slap them on the Overlander, but I have a sneaky feeling that it is not quite that easy.

Why wont this work?
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Old 06-07-2020, 11:15 PM   #2
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65’ Overlander pics...

Here is my 65’ Overlander:
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Old 06-07-2020, 11:34 PM   #3
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The '66 International..

The '66 International..
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Old 06-08-2020, 12:59 AM   #4
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welcome Surfside1, the international Landyatcht is the tirnm package;looks like a Overlander(i had a 64). no reason why you couldn't use the caps.
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Old 06-08-2020, 06:50 AM   #5
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Thanks, @ke6gkv. You are right, the other unit is an International. I was too tired yesterday when I posted this.

I just wasn’t sure if I could assume that the curves, angles and lengths would be an exact match.

Now, I am curious of the procedure. Is it going to be as simple as drilling out the rivets on both units, swapping the panels and putting new rivets back in? Do I run the risk of the holes not lining up?
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Old 06-08-2020, 08:02 AM   #6
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Much Detail and Effort required this journey

OK...several issues in your proposed end cap swap.
As a big DYI Airstream guy, I'm all for saving big bucks like this option could save you. Yeah!!

First. Just drilling out the old rivets is the beginning of your journey. Those old panels have been caulked/glued together for what now? Eternity? Say 55/56 years?? Therefore the likely hood of them being difficult to separate and not be stretched is a problem. You don't care about the damaged ones...so you can beat them up all you want getting them off. But when you go to extricate the donors try not to stretch or bend the rivet areas AT ALL. This could be be a future leak path.

Next issue is how well do the rivet holes from the donor match up. If not perfectly aligned....how are you going to fill them in to prevent leaks? I'm repeating myself here. I hate leaks and so do you. I suspect that if you bite the bullet and buy new panels they do not come pre-drilled for this reason. This way you are able to line up the old holes with new ones you drill in the exact spot reducing the chance for leaks. And I suspect that you will not be pulling off inside panels Right? So what ever sealant/tape or whatever you use to seal the two surfaces needs to be absolutely sterile. Because observing for leaks like Airstream does at the mother ship is impractical for you. You must plan for leak tightness base case.

Finally get a air powered rivet gun. Your wrists will thank you. Here is a link to mine.

https://www.amazon.com/WINTOOLS-Pneu...1501896&sr=8-9

Good Luck with your project.
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Old 06-08-2020, 08:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ol Bob View Post
OK...several issues in your proposed end cap swap.
As a big DYI Airstream guy, I'm all for saving big bucks like this option could save you. Yeah!!

First. Just drilling out the old rivets is the beginning of your journey. Those old panels have been caulked/glued together for what now? Eternity? Say 55/56 years?? Therefore the likely hood of them being difficult to separate and not be stretched is a problem. You don't care about the damaged ones...so you can beat them up all you want getting them off. But when you go to extricate the donors try not to stretch or bend the rivet areas AT ALL. This could be be a future leak path.

Next issue is how well do the rivet holes from the donor match up. If not perfectly aligned....how are you going to fill them in to prevent leaks? I'm repeating myself here. I hate leaks and so do you. I suspect that if you bite the bullet and buy new panels they do not come pre-drilled for this reason. This way you are able to line up the old holes with new ones you drill in the exact spot reducing the chance for leaks. And I suspect that you will not be pulling off inside panels Right? So what ever sealant/tape or whatever you use to seal the two surfaces needs to be absolutely sterile. Because observing for leaks like Airstream does at the mother ship is impractical for you. You must plan for leak tightness base case.

Finally get a air powered rivet gun. Your wrists will thank you. Here is a link to mine.

https://www.amazon.com/WINTOOLS-Pneu...1501896&sr=8-9

Good Luck with your project.

Great advice. Thank you. The whole reason that I am even considering using donor panels is the cost. A few years back when I did a small bit of homework, I was under the impression that in order to get brand new replacement panels, I would have to take this to Jackson Center and they would charge me $1,000 per panel. I counted that I have 10 moderately to severely damaged panels, and I didn’t want to shell out $10,000 just for skins.

If this information is wrong; if I can order new panels and have them shipped for less than I can buy this donor trailer (or comparable), I am all in. Any advice or direction is certainly welcome. I understand any project like this is going to be lots of labor, but if there is an easier, cheaper solution that doesn’t mean unnecessary costs, let me know.
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Old 06-08-2020, 09:35 AM   #8
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Surfside. All airstreams are hand “bucked rivets” onnthe outer skin. Holes are drilled free hand as well. Odds having donor End cap holes matching you trailer body’s holes isnt good. You will also, for proper placement of new end caps create a “loaded tension” on the entire shell To help the shell and frame to support itself. This is the uniqueness of a full monoque chassis, as the shell is as instrumental as the frame to give trailer form and strength. You’ll need to study how much tension with 2pair jack stands placed up front and in rear under frame taking some weight off of the tires causing frame to droop at the axles a bit, so when you rivet everything up, and setting trailer weight back on to tires, the frame will try to flatten out placing more tension on shell creating rigidity (charging-tightening the shell) Similar to repairing front end or rear end separation where attachment bolts thru body’s lower wall “c” channel have bolts thru it into frame which attaches “house” tube to the frame. Hope this makes sense
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Old 06-08-2020, 12:05 PM   #9
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End panels.

I suggest you check with Colin Hyde. He will give you pointers and if he doesn’t think it will work he has end caps. May be a better deal. He will answer calls to his shop
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Old 06-08-2020, 12:06 PM   #10
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Follow all the good advice above. I would add that I would only do this by taking the whole of the front section off (4 pcs.) as one big piece separating it at the seam adjoining the side window which goes up over the top in a single line and the seam at the front window. That only leaves 1 new seam to seal on the roof.
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:24 AM   #11
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Surfside. All airstreams are hand “bucked rivets” onnthe outer skin. Holes are drilled free hand as well. Odds having donor End cap holes matching you trailer body’s holes isnt good. You will also, for proper placement of new end caps create a “loaded tension” on the entire shell To help the shell and frame to support itself. This is the uniqueness of a full monoque chassis, as the shell is as instrumental as the frame to give trailer form and strength. You’ll need to study how much tension with 2pair jack stands placed up front and in rear under frame taking some weight off of the tires causing frame to droop at the axles a bit, so when you rivet everything up, and setting trailer weight back on to tires, the frame will try to flatten out placing more tension on shell creating rigidity (charging-tightening the shell) Similar to repairing front end or rear end separation where attachment bolts thru body’s lower wall “c” channel have bolts thru it into frame which attaches “house” tube to the frame. Hope this makes sense
This does make sense, thanks. The only part that I am lost on is "study how much tension". Can You clarify? What needs to be studied, and what are the possible variables?
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:29 AM   #12
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Follow all the good advice above. I would add that I would only do this by taking the whole of the front section off (4 pcs.) as one big piece separating it at the seam adjoining the side window which goes up over the top in a single line and the seam at the front window. That only leaves 1 new seam to seal on the roof.
This makes a lot of sense. Would you see any issues at all with this approach? I would only see the shear weight of moving them all as one piece would be for someone trying to do this by themselves, but I will have several hands helping me when I remove the donor panels and when I attach them to the Overlander, so I feel confident that I can get them maneuvered. I just didn't know if there might be something else to consider, as well.
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