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Old 11-24-2011, 08:58 AM   #21
Restorations done right
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Originally Posted by vinstream View Post
THIS MAY HELP!



I too listened to the last VAP and Frank is right and somewhat wrong. The factory can no longer get the 5005 to stretch form end cap segments, It is my believe that all alloys polish up differently and have some what different sheen or luster. I don't think that the factory is not wanting to, rather that they are unable...

SO whats a person do?
First let me say this all started with someone making a mistake. He in turn walked away from his mistake denying any responsibility and leaving me to make it right.
I spent hours on the phone with Airstream. I offered to drop ship the correct aluminum, I offered to drive it to the factory and even do the work myself. The best line I was given was "It is how we do it. It is close enough, live with it."

My beef is very valid. I was sold "an exact factory made replacement panel", that was NOT an exact replacement. I told the guy in California where, why and how this panel was to be used. I also discussed with the parts manager at Airstream where, why and how this panel was to be used. I even asked questions about stripping and polishing before the segment was even pressed. Neither of them once informed me of it being a different alloy of aluminum. I feel very strongly that both parties not only knew, but looked at this as just a sale and nothing more. Had either of them wanted to make it right, it would already be done. This was close to $300 out of my pocket for the first panel from the California part peddler. A salvaged panel is $500 with crating and shipping. That is $800 in just materials to fix someone else's mistake. In the two weeks following this incident, I have ordered over $2000 in parts. All but $100 of that buying would have been from just one vendor located in California. Now I take my money else where. I also have a new lead on Acryl R now. For years I have been recommending people buy it there, no longer will I be supporting the Company Store.

Just to show you how different the alloy is, I have included some photos. Please note how perfectly the new segment matches the new license plate sent to me by the State of Maryland...
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:05 PM   #22
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I spoke with a guy at work about the idea of flame spraying aluminum onto a segment and he seemed to think it was doable. At his previous employment they flame sprayed tungsten and ceramic. It sounds like building up a decent layer is not difficult. It's a shame we don't do this at our shop.

If I can find someone who does this local to me I'll be sure to get an idea of cost... I've even started dreaming of using acid to remove the corrosion, a little prep work and a flame spraying whole trailer, zero polishing! (I'm kidding, I imagine it's expensive)..
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:15 PM   #23
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Does this mean....

Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander View Post
First let me say this all started with someone making a mistake. He in turn walked away from his mistake denying any responsibility and leaving me to make it right.
I spent hours on the phone with Airstream. I offered to drop ship the correct aluminum, I offered to drive it to the factory and even do the work myself. The best line I was given was "It is how we do it. It is close enough, live with it."

My beef is very valid. I was sold "an exact factory made replacement panel", that was NOT an exact replacement. I told the guy in California where, why and how this panel was to be used. I also discussed with the parts manager at Airstream where, why and how this panel was to be used. I even asked questions about stripping and polishing before the segment was even pressed. Neither of them once informed me of it being a different alloy of aluminum. I feel very strongly that both parties not only knew, but looked at this as just a sale and nothing more. Had either of them wanted to make it right, it would already be done. This was close to $300 out of my pocket for the first panel from the California part peddler. A salvaged panel is $500 with crating and shipping. That is $800 in just materials to fix someone else's mistake. In the two weeks following this incident, I have ordered over $2000 in parts. All but $100 of that buying would have been from just one vendor located in California. Now I take my money else where. I also have a new lead on Acryl R now. For years I have been recommending people buy it there, no longer will I be supporting the Company Store.

Just to show you how different the alloy is, I have included some photos. Please note how perfectly the new segment matches the new license plate sent to me by the State of Maryland...
Attachment 145905

Attachment 145904
Does this mean I can't/shouldn't order a couple of new segments from CA? I have about three segments that need replacing...one for absolute and two that could be lived with. I am worried about ordering if we can't be assured that what we order will fit in with what we already have. Advice?
Sandy
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:57 PM   #24
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Andy at Inland has new ..old...ones. North Dallas RV has new...old...ones. Griffith RV has new...old ones...
So, just look around. They are getting scarce, however.
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Old 11-25-2011, 06:12 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ND10CentCan View Post
Does this mean I can't/shouldn't order a couple of new segments from CA? I have about three segments that need replacing...one for absolute and two that could be lived with. I am worried about ordering if we can't be assured that what we order will fit in with what we already have. Advice?
Sandy
You can. It will fit perfectly. It will be made of the same aluminum as a brand new 2011.

Melody, guess I should had called North Dallas or Griffith. The first guy you mentioned has NNS not NOS there is a vast difference between the two.
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Old 12-09-2011, 04:07 AM   #26
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I have both endcaps from a 69 that are good to excellent for sale. And they are in Florida.
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:27 AM   #27
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You can. It will fit perfectly. It will be made of the same aluminum as a brand new 2011.

Melody, guess I should had called North Dallas or Griffith. The first guy you mentioned has NNS not NOS there is a vast difference between the two.
Tom at Griffith probably had them -- that's who's done 95% of the work on our trailer, and I know he's highly regarded as a body shop, same as North Dallas.
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:37 PM   #28
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The end caps on my 81 look like a different alloy than the straight sections. I expect that on any year trailer that the alloy is going to be different on the end caps than the straight sections. However, if they are both Alclad they would polish up the same. Flame polishing might be easier but the sections could be electroplated with pure aluminum if someone has a tank big enough to do this. I would think a big plating shop could do this. They might also be able to electropolish the resulting part and make it shine like a mirror without you having to touch it. I am sure this would not be cheap but if you have several end caps you wanted to do this way the price would go down. If I were building an Airstream from scratch I would anodize all the sections and not have to worry about corrosion or clear coat etc.

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Old 02-18-2012, 01:40 AM   #29
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We have had good success installing and polishing the new segments from the factory. It isn't easy but it can be done. The new clear coat cannot be removed with chemical strippers. We start with a 300 grit sandpaper on a pneumatic dual-action sander to remove the clear and the mill finish (not brushed) to a smooth surface. We follow up with 600 grit and then 1000. Each set must remove all the scratches from the previous step. When we are finished sanding we go after it with one of our drum polishers and Green Ox compound. We then use a couple of Nu-Vite grades, ending with "S - Final Finish" to protect the shine.
The process takes about 2.5 to 3 times as long as the original metal but it can be done. The two segments marked with red arrows on the 1971 Safari tandem were replaced with the new material.
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:43 AM   #30
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... and how much material are you left with Brett? I cannot see removing that much aluminum and having very much skin left. Could you post some photos of the two segments side by side please? From 30 feet it, under florescent light it looks a good match. In the light of day I think the color of the metal will be very different.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:06 PM   #31
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We remove so little metal the difference cannot be measured with a micrometer. We star out with .040 aluminium which has been stretch formed and probably varies from .040 to .037 We remove less than .0005". This is far less material than is taken away when a tree branch scratch has to be sanded out. Keep in mind the sanding process is accomplished with super fine grades of paper.

I will get photos of another unit,in the sunlight, at close proximity, and post them here.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:18 PM   #32
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Custom multi-segment end caps would be cool. They are also easy to repair since they are flat sheets not die formed.

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Old 02-19-2012, 05:53 AM   #33
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Thank's Brett. Always looking to learn something new...
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:12 AM   #34
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Where is Darkspeed?? I miss him!

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