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Old 10-10-2010, 06:51 PM   #1
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Street-Side Dent

I have a 3 foot long X 4 inches tall indented "scratch" that starts about 10 feet back from the tongue, on my 1973 31' Sovereign. It is in the middle of the bottom, almost full-length panel on the street side. One of the ribs may have been bent.
My question to the AS skin gurus out there: Can I cut out the damaged section, and splice in a new panel, avoiding the replacement of the entire panel? I am worried that there was a structural purpose for such a long panel.
I will post pictures tomorrow.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:17 PM   #2
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Don't be shy, as well as posting some pics, tell us how you did it so we can avoid the possibility of us doing it.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauxter View Post
I have a 3 foot long X 4 inches tall indented "scratch" that starts about 10 feet back from the tongue, on my 1973 31' Sovereign. It is in the middle of the bottom, almost full-length panel on the street side. One of the ribs may have been bent.
My question to the AS skin gurus out there: Can I cut out the damaged section, and splice in a new panel, avoiding the replacement of the entire panel? I am worried that there was a structural purpose for such a long panel.
I will post pictures tomorrow.
Post a photo showing the damaged area.

Andy
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:43 PM   #4
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Bauxter,

I don't know about any structural aspects of the panel, but I know when my neighbor at the storage yard backed into my trailer (with me inside at the time) leaving a nice transverse scratch (with not apparent deflection/rib damage) in the same street side panel, the estimate from Inland RV was about $3,000 for replacement.

Pricey any way you look at it.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:48 PM   #5
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Wow, Andy, That was quick!

IRV knows their stuff. Send him a photo and I am sure he can give you the proper response!
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:27 AM   #6
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Added Pictures

I attached 3 pictures that show the damage. I placed red lines where the ribs should be, on one of the pictures. I was planning on cutting this portion out, and splicing in a piece of the same length with some overlap.
Some of my follow-up questions would be:
  1. Do I need anything between the new aluminum and the ribs (rubber, Vulcum, etc)
  2. How large of a compressor do I need to run the Buck rivets in?
I have already started a frame-on restoration. The panel replacement task will probably be scheduled for next spring, when the inner panels have been removed.

In case anyone is wondering, you are indeed seeing duct tape holding my awning brackets down. As Red Green used to say, "Its a handy man's secret weapon....for those who know who Red Green is.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:34 AM   #7
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BeBop, I am very inexperienced to moving 31' trailers. I transported this behemoth about 60 miles without incident. Once I arrived in the storage facility, I failed to pay attention to the trailer, as I rounded a curve, and scraped up against the bed of a dump truck.

Dump truck beds are very unforgiving things....
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauxter View Post
I attached 3 pictures that show the damage. I placed red lines where the ribs should be, on one of the pictures. I was planning on cutting this portion out, and splicing in a piece of the same length with some overlap.
Some of my follow-up questions would be:
  1. Do I need anything between the new aluminum and the ribs (rubber, Vulcum, etc)
  2. How large of a compressor do I need to run the Buck rivets in?
I have already started a frame-on restoration. The panel replacement task will probably be scheduled for next spring, when the inner panels have been removed.

In case anyone is wondering, you are indeed seeing duct tape holding my awning brackets down. As Red Green used to say, "Its a handy man's secret weapon....for those who know who Red Green is.
Cut away some of the metal that's covering the main bow that's damaged. Straighten the main bow the best you can, and then you can add shims to it so that the outer edge is in alignment with the other main bows.

Then simply overlay the old metal, with the new. No need to remove the old material.

Remove all the rivets from the main bows that will be on the forward and rear edge of the new panel. Riveting over rivets at a seam, is not good, plus it will leave gaps so that the new metal will not be flush with the old metal.

Seal the new metal with Vulkem to make sure it cannot leak. Water between the two panels would not be good.

You can easily use Olympic rivets instead of buck rivets. The new panel will be much more of a detraction than the Olympic rivets.

Andy
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:50 AM   #9
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I wonder if you could make the patch the same vertical dimensions as the trim that is visible in the photo behind the damage. Then you could extend the trim forward. That would make the patch much less noticeable.

Regards,

Ken
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:08 AM   #10
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Ouch! Two suggestions... if you're taking the innerskins off already, try rolling out the dent from the inside.. it will still be there, but it might not be so bad after rolling it out.

2) If it's still noticible, make the patch go a bit further forward to the front curve around.. it's only another 3 ft or so.. and it won't look as bad. I'd do as Andy suggested, tuck the new patch under the upper panel, and over the old one. You'll have a bunch of rivets to drill out, but I don't think it would be that noticible. Don't forget about drilling out the side hatch too.
Marc
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:44 PM   #11
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If I just lay it over the old, then there will be a seam that faces forward. I was planning on overlapping the front panel over the new patch, which would make the seam face rearward. This would keep water from being forced in the seam during transit. Maybe I am over-thinking the problem?
I like the idea of trying to roll out the crease, but I don't think it will look very good, as the crease is fairly deep.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauxter View Post
If I just lay it over the old, then there will be a seam that faces forward. I was planning on overlapping the front panel over the new patch, which would make the seam face rearward. This would keep water from being forced in the seam during transit. Maybe I am over-thinking the problem?
I like the idea of trying to roll out the crease, but I don't think it will look very good, as the crease is fairly deep.
You cannot roill out that crease, period.

Covering it or replacing the entire side sheet, is your two choices.

Andy
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:53 AM   #13
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Since I am am new to the AS world, my tool set does not include anything associated to riveting. I don't want to open up a heated debate regarding Olympic versus Buck, so I was going to buy the tools to do both. Being the cheapskate that I am, I have been searching online auction sites,such as EB@y. I think that I can buy everything I need fairly inexpensively. I know the risks of buying used, and am willing to accept the risk.
If I buy something similar to the item at the end of this link, will it shave the Olympics correctly, or do I need to make sure the bit is correct? I would also ask if the bit is interchangeable?
IR INGERSOLL RAND 7AH AIR PNEUMATIC RIVET SHAVER - eBay (item 300483605360 end time Nov-19-10 13:48:02 PST)
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauxter View Post
Since I am am new to the AS world, my tool set does not include anything associated to riveting. I don't want to open up a heated debate regarding Olympic versus Buck, so I was going to buy the tools to do both. Being the cheapskate that I am, I have been searching online auction sites,such as EB@y. I think that I can buy everything I need fairly inexpensively. I know the risks of buying used, and am willing to accept the risk.
If I buy something similar to the item at the end of this link, will it shave the Olympics correctly, or do I need to make sure the bit is correct? I would also ask if the bit is interchangeable?
IR INGERSOLL RAND 7AH AIR PNEUMATIC RIVET SHAVER - eBay (item 300483605360 end time Nov-19-10 13:48:02 PST)
Unless I missed something, the ad for that rivet shaver says it "shaves rivets off".

What you need is a shaver that trims the rivet head to look like the original "brazier head" buck rivet.

Andy
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:18 PM   #15
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The rivet shaver shown is for shaving countersunk rivets flush with the skin if they protrude a little after being shot. The shaver shown is also missing the foot or cage that stabilizes the shaver. It is worthless with the missing parts.
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:35 PM   #16
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Please bear in mind that this is all new terminology to me, and am learning as I go.

Is that a bit change, or do I need a specific air tool designed for that purpose, or am I better off to get the shaver that is designed for an electric drill.
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Old 10-24-2010, 02:56 PM   #17
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The shaver that is designed for the Olympic Rivets has a radiused cutter that is screwed into a Microstop cage with a foot designed to set on top of the rivet head and then shave the stem. It can be used with any type of drill motor electric or pneumatic. You could piece one together but it would cost more then just going out and buy it assembled
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:15 PM   #18
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While pulling the wrap off from around the AS, I noticed that the panel with the dent already has another panel underneath it. Apparently some PO must have had a similar event as mine. The panel has been attached with Olympics.
I am thinking that I could pull both entire streetside lower panels off, cut out the 6 to 8 feet of damaged outer panel,and seam in a new 2024T3 panel of the same length. I would use the outer , and trash the inner panel. If that plan is not feasible, I will need to order a sheet for the entire side, I am guessing about 25 or so feet (length - endcaps).
Any advice to seaming in a panel would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:09 PM   #19
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dent repair

Give some thought to a flush patch with countersunk rivits. With the thin skin you'd have to dimple the holes, but if you do a careful job it would get rid of the overlapping seams. A lot more finicky, but if you own an ancient airstream you have to be into self inflicted pain anyway....cheers!
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:39 AM   #20
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replacing the street side lower panel

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?
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