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Old 11-15-2019, 03:23 PM   #21
:SPACE A" S/O 11 Air19745
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2006 34' Classic S/O
Fort Worth , Texas
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This dent is doable if you open up both sides. The cross rib may nor be bent, but if it is a Port-a-power body jack can push it straight. As you add pressure to the rib tap the creases in the rib, and use a bucking bar, if bent as you go. When you get the rib and sheet metal relatively straight, try fastening every thing together with equally spaced screws or clecoes. If more work is needed to get thing to line up, repeat the process. If you get to the point that replacement ribs and or a rib is needed you will just have to do it. An English Wheel will fix the sheet metal but you need to know how to operate it.
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Old 11-15-2019, 03:45 PM   #22
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1993 34' Excella
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Originally Posted by daleyocum View Post
Iíd look into an epoxy auto body filler putty. I wouldnít use anything that relies on air contact to cure, like caulk, since you are filling such deep areas.

These come in all kinds of different forms and some are used with fiberglass sheets. You sand it down to the contour you want. 3Mís Bondo is a market leader and a place to start.
Ditto, then paint it with rattle can aluminum paint and a clear finish.
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Old 11-15-2019, 05:09 PM   #23
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If you're going to hide the damage with a solar panel then don't try to straighten the dents. Most certainly don't fill them. That just adds weight and it may not permanently adhere to aluminum.

My take is that the vacuum dent pullers are the best method to get most of the dents straightened then hide them with the solar panel.

Admirers won't be climbing on the roof.
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:17 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by doughpat View Post
Ok, you all have convinced me to give dent removal another go. I do have the harbor freight dent puller -- it helped out with another large dent and did a pretty dang good job.

The idea of somehow screwing the dent puller to the frame member and using the slide hammer to bend it back upwards is a good thought. I'll have to get 'clever' about how I attach the dent puller, but I like being clever (probably just need to find some kind of flange with a female thread to match the bottom of the dent puller, then mount that onto a piece of mild steel that I can screw to the frame member).

Whatever I end up doing, I'll post it here
I suggest the innertube method to pull out the larger dents. There are a few threads with photos.

Here is one>
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:17 AM   #25
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Bend , Oregon
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Well I guess id better at least try the vacuum method. It might be challenging to get a seal. Maybe Iíll try using sole putty/clay to build up a wall for the inner tube to go across. Since the dent is so long (almost the whole width of the nose), Iíll probably need to work in sections.

I will also look harder at how much work it would be to pull off the cabinet on the inside, then push the dents/rubs out with a jack.

Anyway all good ideas and perspectives! As alwyS, thank you for your input.
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Old 11-16-2019, 01:20 AM   #26
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Doug, there is a member here who sells custom dent rollers. Look it up. You will want one!
Your profile says.. 2019 Sport. The good news is that the overhead cabinet should be fairly easy to remove. I dont know if the sport has sliding doors or lift-ups. Sliders mean one big cabinet, lifters will be two cabinets ganged together. A helper will make the actual removal so much easier! Gravity can be a witch.
Take pictures of the speakers and lights as you unplug them so plugging them back in will be easier.
SLIDER DOORS: Inside, at each end there are thin panels that cover the wiring for the speakers, they are installed with A) brads or B) nothing. Easy to pull out. You will see some of the mounting screws once they are out, and the under side of the speakers. The wiring for your LED lights is under a false floor of the cabinet. I don't know, but suppose it is screwed down. Removing it will lighten the cabinet quite a bit. At this point you should be able to see all the screws.
LIFT-UP DOORS: The front curved panels are removable. On my older Safari they were installed with brads. Look for tiny bits of filler on the perimeter... where the brads were shot in. If you see 2 on top and at the bottom, try gently pulling them off. They may also be screwed to the side of the cabinet. Look first! You'll discover that the cabinet doors are preformed foam with a plastic skin, not wood except on the Classics. There is a false bottom of each cabinet that conceals the wiring for the under cabinet lights. Remove that. After you get the side panels and false floor off, the screws holding the cabinet up are visible but there are a few more inside the lift up doors and at the back near the bottom of the cabinet.

I don't think you will jave to mess with the wiring for the outside runnimg lights or a backup camera, but you will be in the area, so be aware.

Now for the surprise.... the inside curved segments AREN'T. There are big holes in the corners of one big flat piece of aluminum that looks like one big fat inverted "T". That sheet is pinned into a curve with a couple of pop rivets. Ugly and cheap.... and easy to remove and set aside.

Store the parts and go for the dent roller. Gently does it! Five weak passes beats one that pushes a dent out too far! The seams may straighten with pressure from the roller applied right beside the rivets, but you might need some nudging with a hammer. I would place a block of scrap lumber (ash has a soft grain) on the rivet line and tap thru that to encourage the seam to rebound. Again gently!
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Old 11-16-2019, 01:37 AM   #27
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Okay the prior post was a fib. I would do all that if I were 10 years younger and a lot poorer. I am guessing you've bought a totaled airstream from an insurance auction and are bringing it back to life. I wish you well... and join the WBCCI. Lots of practical experience and help there.

As it stands right now, I would go to the factory and let them slap on a whole new 5 panel endcap set. When you take the tour, you see that is a sub-assembly and the only variation between the endcap of the widebody, the 8 footers and the 7.5 foot sports is the width of the center segment.
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:33 AM   #28
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Iím curious, how did that get damaged? I hope it all turns out well for you.
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Old 11-21-2019, 05:10 PM   #29
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I think a tree branch dropped on my roof during a summer storm. I didn't know that the roof was seriously dented in the front cap area until I was at Jackson Center. My tech used that grey caulk stuff that I have used on my former MH to ensure the seam would not develop a leak. He felt that the cost to remove and replace was greater than the return. Dent puller not an option according to them.
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Old 11-21-2019, 05:31 PM   #30
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Top end caps, at least from a factory perspecitve, can not be fixed. Fairly thin aluminum, pre stretched and fragile. So cosmetically something will always show. Give it your best shot externally and cover the remainder with the solar panels.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:00 PM   #31
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I had a somewhat similar dent on the aluminum near the AC on our 67. Drilled a fairly large hole in the outer skin and stuffed a BUNCH of styrofoam peanuts into and around the gap between inner and outer skin, pushing up the dented outer skin somewhat. Then patched the hole with a nice aluminum heart shape. It helped the looks quite a lot, but never was perfect.

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