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Old 01-18-2013, 07:19 PM   #21
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We have a few more pictures to share. I'm hoping to post a pic of the original step and surrounding framework and then the new frame with the reworked step, also a pic of the length of the new frame.

As you can see, we have a lot of work to do!

Deb
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:44 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Air Cruiser View Post

I read that Shelly used Citristrip, so I picked up a jug and am going to try stripping the zolatone off of one of the panels -- if it works as well for me as it did Shelly, we'll pick up some more. They didn't have any plastic razor blades, but I did pick up plastic putty knives, so we'll see how that goes.

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Wow! Your moving fast! Looking great. I did try plastic putty knives, they don't have a sharp enough edge and the stripper will make the plastic soften pretty fast, then they are useless. It's key to keep changing the blade, that's going to get expensive with putty knives.

You won't find plastic razor blades locally, no one even knows what they are, have them shipped from amazon, trust me you'll be using them for everything!
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:31 PM   #23
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Well, more has been done to our frame.........our friend placed a stainless steel sheet under the new subfloor where the step is to seal that area up; used the template we made of the inside of the floor prior to lifting off the shell, plus did a recheck with cording and ended up marking and cutting the shape around both ends (how much that brings the project together, giving her the shape back makes it seem real!) and brushed a coat of marine polyeurathane along the "C" channel edge to seal that; aluminum was placed around the wheelwell openings to seal off the plywood subfloor there too. He also cut and shaped the new (heavier than original) "C" channel and attached that to the new subfloor.

Then, 2x4's were cut, stacked, and anchored in place so that they could turn the frame over without damaging the new "C" channel, now they're working on the underside of the frame. To make the turning of the frame doable for two men, our friend welded onto where the bumper will be replaced, a piece of leftover box tubing with a round piece (looks like part of a leftover drive shaft tube) onto that box tubing. When they wanted to turn it over, they simply used an engine lifter on one end and a Bobcat on the other, walla -- belly side up! Easy for me to say, I wasn't there, so I'm certain they were a little nervous thinking of what could happen.

Last week, they had the gray tank material (stainless steel) bent to shape, and today my DH started welding it together, but rain out of Argon, so he'll have to finish it another day.

DH picked up insulation at HD last night -- we are using Reflectex and R-13 unfaced insulation. Today I picked up the trailer brake wiring and the wire and plug which will be the trailer whip plug (plugs into the back of the TV). After wiring has been ran and insulation has been cut to shape, the underside of the frame will be painted, dried, and insulation put in place. And, I think after that the belly pan goes on, if I'm not mistaken.

Please, someone speak up if we're forgetting something here.

Tomorrow I'm planning to try the CitriStrip on one of the interior skins to see how easily the Zolatone and other paint come off -- let's hope relatively easy.

We have some more pics to post here. Hope everyone's having a great weekend.

Deb
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:57 AM   #24
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WOW you're making great progress!
I found that the citristrip worked well for me but you gotta be a bit more patient than with other strippers. Painted it on in the evening then went back the next day and it scraped right off.
To keep your plastic putty knives sharp I stapled a piece of fine grit sandpaper arount a small wood block ala sanding block and simply 'resharpened' as needed- worked well for me.
good luck, the stripping is one of the nastier jobs you will encounter, especially working overhead.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:28 AM   #25
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Thumbs up

Watching your thread with a great deal of interest and dreaming about taking one of these on in the future sometime.

Thanks for your very detailed reports and look forward to the rest of the story.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:20 PM   #26
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Rumrunner -- Thanks for the tips on the CitriStrip; we have our first coat on and just waiting until time to start removing. I'm going to try your method of sanding the plastic putty knives, and if that doesn't work for me, I'll have to give in and order those plastic razor blades which Shelly used -- I just hate to wait on deliveries, waiting is a killer!

Fortunately for me, I'm hoping I don't have to do overhead removal of the paint from the skins since we're planning to remove all interior skins to remove the old insulation and replace with new. At least that is the plan as it stands now, but you never know..........

Alphonse -- You are quite welcome regarding our posting of our restoration, we're trying to pay back a little from all of the help/inspiration we've received from others here on AirForums. These people are all just the greatest. If you do one, we'll follow your thread along too.

Thanks to both of you for your compliments and for taking the time to follow our thread. I am in the planning stages for the interior, but first we need to get the belly pan and shell back on. Can't wait until we're pulling out the first time we go camping with her!!

One other thing, I can't remember now if I stated this before, I think I did, but, anyway here goes (again?) -- while building the new frame we increased the size of the wheelwells by around 2" hoping that will allow us to use 16" wheels/tires. The new axle (we purchased through Colin H.) is due to arrive sometime in a couple of weeks, and once it gets mounted, we are going to try our spare wheel/tire from our '99 Safari which happens to be 16" to see if it fits and check out clearances. We're thinking we'll be very fortunate if it does fit as then we will have less stress running down the highway not having to worry about blowouts as much (Michelins), and we'll only have to have one spare for the two AS's since we'll be running the same size on both.

I'm attaching one pic this time, I went back out to the barn/shop to check on the inner skin with the CitriStrip and took a pic. I'm guessing it had been on around 2-3hrs.; left side is just Zolatone and the right looks like someone painted over the Zolatone with some type of paint. Anyway, right after I took this pic, I used the corner of a small plastic putty knife to see if it was doing anything and to our surprise, the Zolatone side scraped clean to the aluminum without any pressure, but the side with the paint on top of the Zolatone took more pressure. We are leaving it to set overnight.

Deb
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:38 PM   #27
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Update on CitriStrip/Zolatone removal...............I went out this afternoon to remove the CitrisStrip. The side with the paint over the Zolatone looked dried, but came off with a little pressure; the side with just the Zolatone/CitriStrip was still wet, and was a little sloppy coming off, but seemed to take it off to the same level as the other side. It looks as though there could still be one layer of paint on there. After scraping, I used clean cleaning clothes which I wet in a bucket of warm water to get the remainder off and hopefully stop any chemical reaction which might occur from its being on the aluminum. While wiping, I noticed that on the side with just the CitriStrip over the Zolatone, if I rubbed more and got it rather wet, it came off down to the aluminum. It was cold out in the shop, was late and I didn't want to start a fire that late so I'll have to leave the removal to another day.

I'm wondering, does anyone know if it would be okay to wet wipe this down with a "0000" steel wool pad, or should it be "0000" aluminum pad? I think 4 ought is the finest it comes, isn't it?

Thanks.

Deb
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:58 PM   #28
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3M Green pads. They last thru the process and don't mar the metal for future polishing. No imbedded metal to rust.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:43 PM   #29
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I have read all the rules for the Forum and hope that this doesn't violate them. I've enjoyed reading about the restoration of the Airstream Bubble because I'm trying to find out about a 1956 Airstream Bubble that my father owned (serial #307). He died last month and I need advice on how to best sell it and how much it might be worth. It hasn't been used in years, but looks good on the outside. He also had an 1971 Avion Voyager, which I know is not the object of this forum. I'd appreciate any help!
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:13 PM   #30
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bubble

I have a 56 bubble I've restored-- feel free to send me a ton of pictures and details to kitzmillerted@gmail.com I'd love to help you. I purchased my bubble project 2 years ago and am just about "done" with it. I have a decent knowledge of current prices and how much $ a buyer could expect to spend in restoring it. my bubble is serial #336 cheers. Ted
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:52 PM   #31
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deb. you're doing great work. since you have the ability to protect your wiring whether trailer lights or other electrical. I would do all I could to protect everything and run it all through a network of conduits. that way you could eliminate pinches, deterioration, and perhaps. running a screw through something by accident. once things are buttoned up you don't ever want to have to find a short in your trailer light wires or other electrical. personally I would over build this area as much as possible. cheers. Ted.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:14 PM   #32
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I have the brother

I have #308.....I'd like to talk with you about possibly getting the two living in the same places.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:06 PM   #33
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I too would be very interested in your bubble, and am not a hoarder of these fine trailers but rather looking for an opportunity to restore and use it. ;>)
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:28 PM   #34
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I could use a bubble.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:02 PM   #35
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It will be great to see how another Bubble is being restored. My '56 started it's removal of interior skin last night, which was fast and fun, (of course it's only 13 ft. body). I have thought of restoring to original but like you said "not much room in a Bubble to begin with". Looking to lift shell off Saturday. One question fom another newbie...."what is the best way to DRILL OUT the factory exterior Olympia rivets. Sure don't care to slip off and drill into skin. And yes, my '56 Bubble is a California girl and looking forward to the project.
Thanks and what a great forum!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:16 AM   #36
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Hi Lew, glad to hear there's another Bubble being restored and will be on the road!

My DH made up a tool which just fits onto the rivet, has a hole in the center and it keeps the drill bit from moving off and damaging the skins. He went to Georgia for business this week and will return later today, so when he does, I'll ask him to post how he made it.

Have you started a thread on your rebuild and are you going to post pictures? It will be interesting to hear whether your frame is as bad as ours was or not; ours actually was cracked by the curb side wheelwell -- that could have been really bad!

Deb
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:00 PM   #37
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Thanks Deb. I appreciate info on drilling out exterior rivets. My bubbles frame is in bad shape and I will rebuild complete. Amazing how much you have accomplished on your project to date. How many are working on this bubble? Awesome.
I towed my bubble home Thanksgiving day 2003, 500 miles from Wisconsin thru the UP, across the Michigan Mackinaw bridge during a snow storm heading to southeast Michigan. It had been sitting in Wisconsin woods serving as a hunting shelter. The bubble was originally purchased new by couple who were archeologists and joined the "Pikes Peak Airstream Club" (club stickers still on bubble.) Also has # 2674 club numbers on front & rear, along with "Wally Byam's Caravan" below numbers. They gave bubble to their son. It ended up in Wisconsin and purchased by the couple l got it from. I hope to find more in depth history.
In the meantime, I am continuing the restoration.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:07 PM   #38
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Hi Lew I sent you an e-mail the other day , but didn't hear from you. Mind sending me an email, I'd like to talk to you about your trailer.
Thanks,
Barry & Karen Ollette
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:17 PM   #39
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Sold!
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:30 PM   #40
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hahaha
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