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Old 11-24-2018, 08:53 PM   #1
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1968 28' Ambassador
SW Ranches , Florida
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Creating a New Rear/Front Curved C Channel

We've hit a bit of a snag in floor process because our rear curved c-channel is in bad shape and cannot be salvaged. We have been reaching out to local metal shops and have not had any luck finding someone with the right tool to bend a new one. Has anyone had any luck finding a machine/metal shop that can bend this curved channel? Or is there a source for this piece online that I have yet to discover? We have a '68 Ambassador and our channel rests on top of the floor.

I know some people on here have done the "notch and bend" method to re-create the curve DIY-style, but it seems like that would lessen the strength of the channel itself. If it's our only option, then so be it, but it seems like a real pain that could maybe be avoided.

Thanks a bunch!
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Old 11-24-2018, 09:42 PM   #2
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I had to make a new one when I repaired the rear end separation on my 72.

I used a shrinker/stretcher tool to duplicate the curve on a sheet metal angles I had formed.

I made an inner and outer radius for each side and then welded them together into a channel.
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Old 11-24-2018, 09:53 PM   #3
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Creating a New Rear/Front Curved C Channel

You can find them cheaper, maybe Harbor Freight even, and you can have a sheet metal shop bend you some angles out of 16 gauge material if you don’t have access to a brake.

If you use aluminum you’ll need jaws for aluminum for the shrinker/stretcher. Right or wrong I used galvanized steel. Click image for larger version

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You can kinda see it in this photo.

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Old 11-25-2018, 07:48 PM   #4
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That's a nice piece of channel there! Thanks for the advice - I had not heard of the shrinker/stretcher before!
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:00 PM   #5
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Have you ruled out a trip to Jackson Center, Ohio to just pick up a new one? I think I payed about $90 bucks a few years back for a rear curved channel, for my '73.

It needed a little persuasion to fit, but it worked.


Actually, now that I think about it, I may have cut it and took a couple inches out of the center of it, under the rear window area.



When I replaced the curve, I also replaced the steel angle panel in the rear. it was all rusted out. That steel panel is pretty beefy, and must be a major connection point, between the shell and the frame.
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:28 PM   #6
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Not completely opposed to sourcing directly from Airstream, but hadn't considered it because of the difference in size; definitely going to reach out to them to see if that's an option. That's a great idea on removing a bit from the center of the channel to make it fit the older models! Thanks so much!
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashleyfigs View Post
That's a nice piece of channel there! Thanks for the advice - I had not heard of the shrinker/stretcher before!


They are great at forming curves in sheet metal bent into right angles, they’re quick and efficient at performing otherwise difficult bends.
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:52 AM   #8
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Out-of-doors-mart sold me the rear channel for my '71 Ambassador 29. It was a much better design ( but harder to install) than the c-channel which was there. The price was very reasonable, but the shipping for this light but large and fragile item was outrageous. It was worth it to me.

http://odmrv.com/catalog/index.php?m...oducts_id=1002
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:20 PM   #9
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Bend square tubing then cut in half long ways. Now you have both.
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