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Old 05-01-2012, 11:58 AM   #1
3 Rivet Member
Anchorage , Alaska
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 231
Belly Pan replacement Material for a 1963 Bambi

I apologize for wasting folks time with this post, because I should re-research the answer. I had sifted through the archives and researched the qualities of the various aluminum alloys, and determined the material I should use, should I need to replace a panel. Apparently I tapped the info into the notes on my phone, and have subsequently gotten a new phone.

Q1. I probably need to replace the belly pan on a 1963 Bambi. the local aircraft repair supply shop mic'ed the old material at .032. Can anybody confirm what AL alloy material was used by the factory in 1963? And if polishing is not a big priority for a belly pan, is there a better alloy combination for rust and corrosion resistance ?(2024, 6061, 3004, 5052...)

Q2. My Bambi's belly pan consisted of two pieces of material running the length of the approx 13' coach, (with a seam running front to back). It looks like the longest piece of material I can get is 12'. Any particular concern in using three pieces of material forming a "T" shaped seam, as long as I alighn the seams with a frame member?
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:33 PM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,328
I am working with .032" 6061 T6 for my '73. The original stuff looks considerably thinner--probably .025" at best. As for seams in the underbelly, I would suggest that it doesn't make much difference. Because my trailer has a large roughly 4' x 5' sliding panel in the middle to allow access to the fresh water tank, the belly pan is broken up into at least 6 different sections--they just rivet together on the cross members, outriggers, and frame rails. In fact, I am strategically creating a few extra sections so that if I need to get at the plumbing in the back, I can just drop a 2'x 5' panel rather than cutting into it or dropping the whole pan. Its not supposed to be water tight anyway.


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Old 06-11-2012, 04:29 PM   #3
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
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You will most likely have to section the pan. My 1975 came from the factory with 3004 alloy .024" thick. Cute part is that mine was 61-1/2" wide by 280" long. I have been merrily sectioning it as I go.

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