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Old 02-18-2011, 12:50 PM   #21
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I am looking for advice regarding replacing the street side lower panel. Should I replace the entire 21' section, or is replacing the back 16', with a seam on a rib a good idea?
When sheet metal is spliced, that says the coach was damaged.

If and when you may decide to sell the trailer, that will work against the sale price, since the splice says the trailer was wrecked, to a potential buyer.

The addiditional cost for the rest of the 21 foot panel, is minor compared to the overall cost.

Replacing the complete sheet, is really the best way to go.

Make sure you properly support the trailer, prior to removal of the original panel.

Andy.
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Old 02-18-2011, 01:06 PM   #22
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Thumbs up Been there, done that!

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I am looking for advice regarding replacing the street side lower panel. Should I replace the entire 21' section, or is replacing the back 16', with a seam on a rib a good idea?
I would go ahead and replace the entire panel (and we have!)...the difference in cost & effort for the additional 5' of aluminum is not going to be that much more. It's only about $15.75 a foot for the aluminum at Airparts and the bucked rivets are pennies. The tools & learning curve are the same whether you are doing 16' or 21'.



Go for it...it's actually fun!

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Old 02-18-2011, 04:11 PM   #23
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Thanks Insideout and Andy!...

Andy, you have me worried. I have the trailer level and stabilizers down. I have already removed the lower horizontal row of olympics, as well as the vertical row, up to the bottom of the window. I hope I did not mess this up...The door seems to close the same way, so I am hoping I did not rack the frame.
I still am on the fence with rivet type. Being the great decision maker that I am, I will probably by Buck and Olympic tools...just in case...you never know what you will need, until you don't have it.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:23 PM   #24
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Thanks Insideout and Andy!...

Andy, you have me worried. I have the trailer level and stabilizers down. I have already removed the lower horizontal row of olympics, as well as the vertical row, up to the bottom of the window. I hope I did not mess this up...The door seems to close the same way, so I am hoping I did not rack the frame.
I still am on the fence with rivet type. Being the great decision maker that I am, I will probably by Buck and Olympic tools...just in case...you never know what you will need, until you don't have it.
When removing sides of an Airstream trailer, jacks must be placed under the front and rear, before the metal is removed. I have no idea if you did that or not.

In that way, when the metal is removed, the trailer will not change shape, from front to back.

Therefore, if you duplicate all the holes, in the new sheet, matching the original sheet, it will fit perfectly.

If the trailer is allowed to sag, then those holes will not line up.

Bucking rivets are fine, except you must remove the interior, which will take a lot of extra time on a 31 foot trailer.

Olympic rivets, properly sealed, work just fine.

Andy
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:58 AM   #25
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I am in the process of removing the sandwiched panels. The same rivet holes were not used to attach the outside panel, so there are already many holes in the stringers and ribs. I would use the outside panel to use as a a template for size and rivet holes, but I think that the long dent has stretched the panel, and may not be the best template.
I was thinking that I would make a c channel to cover each rib and stringer made of 2024T3, spare material from the 48" X 21' sheet I will buy, and drill new holes in the ribs and stringers. Is this a good approach? I also have an old aluminum siding brake 10' long, has anyone used a tool such as this to bend 2024T3?
As a side note, the Olympics that I have been removing have a rubber washer under the head. Everything I have read so far on the forums have indicated that this is a poor choice in Olympic rivets. I would leave the remaining Olympics alone, if I thought that they would not already be compromised.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:08 AM   #26
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I am in the process of removing the sandwiched panels. The same rivet holes were not used to attach the outside panel, so there are already many holes in the stringers and ribs. I would use the outside panel to use as a a template for size and rivet holes, but I think that the long dent has stretched the panel, and may not be the best template.
I was thinking that I would make a c channel to cover each rib and stringer made of 2024T3, spare material from the 48" X 21' sheet I will buy, and drill new holes in the ribs and stringers. Is this a good approach? I also have an old aluminum siding brake 10' long, has anyone used a tool such as this to bend 2024T3?
As a side note, the Olympics that I have been removing have a rubber washer under the head. Everything I have read so far on the forums have indicated that this is a poor choice in Olympic rivets. I would leave the remaining Olympics alone, if I thought that they would not already be compromised.
Bending 2024T3 90 degrees, with a small radius, will usually result in cracks.

I don't see any advantage in adding the extra metal.

You will do yourself a HUGE favor, by removing all the washer type Olympics.

Adding a small bead of vulkem underneath the heads of Olympics, seal them, if you wish, for the rest of your life.

A compromised repair, previously done, should be corrected, "once and for all". That pays many long term benefits, and peace of mind.

Andy
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:33 AM   #27
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Andy, I was concerned that there were too many holes in the ribs and stringers, and that if I drilled a new hole near an existing one, the rivet connection would fail. Is this a valid concern, and if so what approach would you take to minimize that effect?
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:36 PM   #28
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Andy, I was concerned that there were too many holes in the ribs and stringers, and that if I drilled a new hole near an existing one, the rivet connection would fail. Is this a valid concern, and if so what approach would you take to minimize that effect?
The main bows in your 73 are "Z" shaped.

You can add some flat aluminum to the back side of the outer portion of the "Z".

Fasten in in a few spots and then install your side sheet.

I would suggest some 1/8 inch material. It won't hurt anything if it's too wide.

Andy
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:38 PM   #29
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I have created a new thread that discusses the entire project. Please stop by and comment.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f187...tml#post958001
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