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Old 03-15-2009, 08:14 PM   #1
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1970 23' Safari
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1986 31' Sovereign
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Days of Destruction - Dent Repair

After a couple years of indecision, I went ahead and tore out the rear interior to access some problems.

1. Major dents on both sides of the rear endcaps.
2. Taillight wiring sucked.
3. Floor Rot. (I'm pretending the frame rot isn't there...)

After a saturday of work with the help of Larry from Lagrange, and Sunday, the dents have been reduced.

I'm planning on writing up a complete post, but until then heres some pics.....

Before & After
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Old 03-15-2009, 08:19 PM   #2
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WOW WOW WOW looks like it was worth the time and trouble. What did you use to push the dents out?
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Old 03-15-2009, 08:41 PM   #3
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Most impressive Dan!! I can't wait to hear all about it. I love that trailer, and I am so happy that you are doing so much to it.
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DanB View Post
3. Floor Rot. (I'm pretending the frame rot isn't there...)
Denial isn't just a river in Egypt...
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:23 PM   #5
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WOW WOW WOW looks like it was worth the time and trouble. What did you use to push the dents out?
My son! But seriously, he had a major streetside dent pushed out bare hands before I got a pic!

The major damage was push back just with palms. Creases were reduced with a rubber mallet, followed by more massaging.

Please understand that the panel is far from perfect. No way to get the creases to disapear. We basically were striving to reduce shadow lines. Plus, some metal stretch couldn't be corrected, so we are having some minor "pop back" issues.

Overall, the rear is a little less embarressing.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:24 AM   #6
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Good job! That's difference is amazing!
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanB View Post
My son! But seriously, he had a major streetside dent pushed out bare hands before I got a pic!

The major damage was push back just with palms. Creases were reduced with a rubber mallet, followed by more massaging.

Please understand that the panel is far from perfect. No way to get the creases to disapear. We basically were striving to reduce shadow lines. Plus, some metal stretch couldn't be corrected, so we are having some minor "pop back" issues.

Overall, the rear is a little less embarressing.

It looks great. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a few "beauty marks" and the difference is just amazing.

Only other thing to add, is that if you're addressing the floor rot, you might as well check into the frame (and repair it if necessary), at the same time. You can't put a price tag in money or time, on peace of mind. And you will not EVER want to go back in again once you've put it back together.

Keep up the great work!

-Marcus
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:11 PM   #8
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absolutely amazing!!! gives me hope ....
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:50 PM   #9
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Great job!! Looks like a 100% improvement!
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:38 PM   #10
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I assuming the photo on left is "after" and not "before" ....
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:51 PM   #11
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Well done DanB, and they say it can't be done! I'm just finishing up darn near the same. There is one more step you can take to smooth out the remaining improfections. A small sand bag inside and an old fashon hardwood slapper on the outside. If you do'nt know any oldtimers to show you, you can see examples on youtube.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:06 PM   #12
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I have the exact same dent. I redid my bathroom and I am really not wanting to rip it out again. Is there a way to get to it other then taking the whole bathroom apart again?


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Old 03-16-2009, 09:03 PM   #13
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dent puller

I sell a vacuum assisted dent puller that you hook a air line up to. It uses the air flow to increase suction, it will do way more than any regular suction cup for glass. Up to 150 lbs of pull! To do a dent on the upper sides all you would have to do is build a "deadman" to pull from with a come along. PM me if anyone is intrested or wants more info
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:30 PM   #14
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dent puller again!

I couldn't get some pics I took just now of the puller to post on PM. So I will do my best not to hijack this thread! I was actually wrong It will pull up to 500 lbs! If you are still intrested PM me and I will try to hook you up in your area. Thanks Lewis
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:05 PM   #15
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How I should have torn out the inside......

Suggested sequence for stripping the rear interior of a 1970 Safari with curbside rear gaucho and streetside rear wet bath

1. Empty trailer as much as possible.
2. Remove carpet if possible.
3. Spend some time to protect fabrics, woodwork, and anything else that will piss you off if it gets damaged.
4. Remove window screens in work area.
5. Remove overhead cabinetry. This will involve pulling stables and exposing hidden and buried screws. You may be required to take apart more than you planned due to having to reach hidden fasteners.
6. Remove gaucho and lower cabinetry.
7. Disconnect and remove vanity sink. This may involve cutting some plumbing. All of my drain lines were glued together. Leave enough room at your cuts for installation of a coupler.
8. Pull beltline trim in bathroom starting at one end. Be careful, this is brittle.
9. Remove every screw and rivet you see.
10. Disconnect and remove vent and toilet paper holder.
11. Carefully use a razor knife to cut away all silicon and caulk.
12. Remove plywood bathroom wall between closet and rear. Disconnect electrical as req’d
13.. Upper half of bathroom should be able to be removed. Don’t force it. If it doesn’t come out somewhat easily, you probably missed a fastener. Take your time! Mine fit between the cabinets and out the door.
14. Disconnect & remove toilet.
15. Write nasty letter to whoever designed toilet mount.
16. Go buy a “drain key” at Lowes for $13 to remove drain cover.
17. Spend the next two hours getting 8 screws out of toilet flange. Feel free to type in “toilet flange” into airforums search engine for pages of info.
18. Bottom half of bathroom shell should now be free. Repeat notes on step 12.
19. Start drilling out every rivet and removing every screw in any wall panel forward of the first bulkhead. Don’t attempt to pursue “saving” a rivet. Just take them out. Your life will be easier.
20. Pull every panel you can.
21. I’ll skip the “Endcap Challenge” until another day…… This step deserves its own post!
22. Remove insulation. I filled a couple of garbage bags. I probably can reuse most of it.

A random thought: keep some spring clamps and duct tape handy. You will have lot’s of electrical lines hanging around.

These steps should get you far enough along. Further descriptions would include cutting out floor and the obligatory picture of you standing on pavement while in your trailer.

My pic will be posted soon!
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:49 PM   #16
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"21. I’ll skip the “Endcap Challenge” until another day…… This step deserves its own post!"

I have an even 'BIGGER' dent in my front end. thinking about pulling front end-cap and pushing it out...but folks say that endcap is a b*tch to get out... are they right? I'm asking because I also have a front wing window that could use replacing and replacing the panel (from exterior) would also give access to the window area etc....

wanna post the 'endcap challenge'? or point me to it if you already did.;..
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:51 PM   #17
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If I'm thinking right, the interior endcaps are the first piece to go inside the trailer. Hence, they can be difficult to remove because every other panel is overlapping them.

I pulled and reinstalled my front endcap in a weekend. The hardest part was getting the insulation to stay put. I'm still wondering exactly what the correct method is for that.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fotochop View Post
"21. I’ll skip the “Endcap Challenge” until another day…… This step deserves its own post!"

I have an even 'BIGGER' dent in my front end. thinking about pulling front end-cap and pushing it out...but folks say that endcap is a b*tch to get out... are they right? I'm asking because I also have a front wing window that could use replacing and replacing the panel (from exterior) would also give access to the window area etc....

wanna post the 'endcap challenge'? or point me to it if you already did.;..
The wing window can be properly replaced totally from the outside.

No need to even unlock the entrance door, to perform that task.

Andy
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
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If I'm thinking right, the interior endcaps are the first piece to go inside the trailer. Hence, they can be difficult to remove because every other panel is overlapping them.

I pulled and reinstalled my front endcap in a weekend. The hardest part was getting the insulation to stay put. I'm still wondering exactly what the correct method is for that.
Thanks, Dan. How much interior did you have to remove to actually get the end cap off? I'd REALLY rater PUSH the dent out from inside as I don't mind a few 'beauty marks' on the trailer. I just don't like the huge dent. I don't think a new section #21 would match my 40 year old alloy either. It's pretty ugly up there, but its original...
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:31 PM   #20
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Go to Harbor Freight, get a couple of packs of 1/8" drill bits, some pop rivets and a $40 pneumatic rivet gun. Best investment I've made for the Airstream.

Pull out any furniture under the endcap. Remove any drapery tracks, snaps, electrical covers, and other misc. stuff.

I removed all panels, window frames, and trim under the endcap. I then removed enough fasteners along the ceiling panels to allow for access to the hidden rivets holding the endcap up. Be careful doing this so as not to crease the hanging ceiling panels. You will probably have to remove a few light fixtures also.

Repairing the dent will take you about five minutes after the area is clear!

Do yourself a favor, take lots of pictures while your doing this repair. They will help during reassembly.

Good luck!
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