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Old 11-05-2006, 09:32 AM   #1
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1959 26' Overlander
Hill Country , Texas
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'59 fiberglass endcaps

I am SO excited to be at this point, but I need some help from those of you who have removed and replaced fiberglass endcaps, please. They were the last thing out, so they're the first thing in.

But I'm having fits getting rear fiberglass re-aligned with rivet holes! Got several rivets in around windows and one or two on arched rib at forward edge of end cap. But can't seem to wrestle the @#$% thing into place. And it is so flexible AND brittle, I'm nervous about over-stressing it. There's not really any way to use clamps on this piece, either -- nothing to clamp to!

Also, does window trim aluminum get riveted in simultaneously with wall panels, or after? Seemed on dismantling that they were separately riveted, but around this rear window, it's looking like maybe I need to use single rivets thru everything: frame, fiberglass & window trim.

Thanks for any help,
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Old 11-05-2006, 11:58 AM   #2
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Lynne,

Are you using clecoes? I really think I couldn't do it without them. It was a matter of putting a few clecoes in, then jostling and pushing up in the center and seeing where I could put a few more in on another edge. Sometimes had to start over. I would hate to do it without clecoes.

Did you do a shell off restoration? If you had the shell off it's less likely you will have exactly the same geometry when putting it back together.

Another thing to think about is the old rivet holes in the fiberglass shell are pretty rough and oversized from years of rocking down the road. In several places you will need to drill fresh holes because the original ones won't hold a rivet anyway. I used 5/32" pop rivets to put the fiberglass endcap back in.
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:16 PM   #3
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What the heck is a Clecoe?

I've seen folks here talk about clecoes for years. What are they? Does anyone have a picture of one? Where do you get them?

I tried a Google search and couldn't even come up with a definition or a picture, or a store link to even buy them. Strange. However from some Google links I did ascertain that they appear to be something for lining up holes. I assume you would use them for this when reattaching a panel to an Airstream.

Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2006, 05:22 PM   #4
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not as far as you are but am attaching a pic of the front fiberglass area of my a/s. when i removed the window trim, the rivets went through the fiberglass. wise to be careful, it is very brittle. had a heck of a time with the fridge vent which is also made of fiberglass. most of the attachment areas were cracked so i know i will be in for a fiberglass repair of some sort when i get to reinstalling it. regard, dave
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:12 PM   #5
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Clecos

Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander
I've seen folks here talk about clecoes for years. What are they? Does anyone have a picture of one? Where do you get them?

I tried a Google search and couldn't even come up with a definition or a picture, or a store link to even buy them. Strange. However from some Google links I did ascertain that they appear to be something for lining up holes. I assume you would use them for this when reattaching a panel to an Airstream.

Thanks.
Hi, Joe. Clecos are temporary rivets, little spring-loaded gizmos that have bent wires inside which extend and move close together (so they fit thru hole) when pressure is applied to end with special pliers, then retract and move apart when pressure is released, thus holding themselves in place and the sheets of metal (or fiberglass) together.

I have a bunch of 5/32" Clecos which I used on external sheet metal repairs, was hoping to be able to avoid buying 1/8" one for interior, but guess I may have to drive to San Antonio tomorrow to get some. Aircraft supply houses seem to be only place I can find them.
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65overlander
not as far as you are but am attaching a pic of the front fiberglass area of my a/s. when i removed the window trim, the rivets went through the fiberglass. wise to be careful, it is very brittle. had a heck of a time with the fridge vent which is also made of fiberglass. most of the attachment areas were cracked so i know i will be in for a fiberglass repair of some sort when i get to reinstalling it. regard, dave
Hi, Dave,

Nothing on mine is cracked YET, but I'm fearful I'm going to damage something while trying to get the thing back in place. So, on yours the rivets went thru window trim, then thru fiberglass and into frame structures?

Thanks,
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Old 11-06-2006, 05:33 PM   #7
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lynne, will take a close up pic of the front end showing how fiberglass was attached. i had to remove the lower rivets on the fiberglass section to remove the lower skin. will get this off to you tomorrow. regards, dave
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Old 11-07-2006, 12:23 AM   #8
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Clequos...klingons...

Hi,

When we put any of our A/S back together, either inside or out... my hubby used the clecos in every rivet hole to get everything lined up as perfectly as he could before he started putting rivets back in. It is tricky business lining everything up. I would suggest using this method strongly... it is so easy to get something 1/32 off... and then it multiplies... and oh dear

Here is a link to a thread of my hubby's that has a picture (scroll to bottom of page) of clecos. They look like little spikey things poking out of the holes. A good aircraft supply place can provide these little clecos.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...-17925-15.html
Good luck!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:04 AM   #9
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fiberglass endcap attachment

lynne, hopefully attached will be a pic of the shower side, left of rear window, of the fiberglass endcap. first pic will show the fiberglass endcap overlapping the lower skin and riveted through the window trim, fiberglass, and then into an aluminum stud rail. the second pic is to the right of the rear window, outside of any direct water area. here, for some reason, a/s seems to have originally manufactured with the fiberglass endcap tucked under the lower skin. these are from an overlander but would imagine a/s's attachment procedure might have been similar. hope these help. regards, dave p.s. you may have to rotate pics (or your head ) to get the proper orientation. p.p.s. could only get one to upload without getting an error message. will try to send second one after this posts.
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:06 AM   #10
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lynne, same head exercise required.
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:21 AM   #11
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fiberglass endcap

lynne, realized i posted the front endcap picture as the first reply to you. just went back in and rotated the pics to correct orientation. will try to do it right the second time. oops.
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:23 AM   #12
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this should be the right endcap pic
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Old 12-14-2006, 02:16 AM   #13
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Sorry to have taken so long to reply. What finally worked for me was to unfasten the endcap at the window -- even though it was clearly lined up correctly with holes in frame -- and start cleco-ing from one end of the overhead rib. After all those overhead rib clecos were in, I was able to go back and re-attach around window. But it did take 1-2 other people pushing up and in on endcap to get it attached!

Also helpful was a 7/64" punch, to line up holes just ahead of where I was cleco-ing. Have to be careful with this and not exert much pressure, or you can inadvertently enlarge rivet holes (true for both fiberglass and aluminum panels).

Can't believe all the interior pieces actually went back in! Really, after getting the endcaps in, the only other major problem was that my sidewalls around the wheel-wells somehow were too long, and I had to use my Dremel to trim up to 1/2" off the bottom in places. Only thing I can figure is that the curve on the ribs must have gotten changed a little in the course of either the shell-on sub-floor replacement, or replacing the lower outside side-panels.
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Old 12-14-2006, 02:49 AM   #14
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A Cleco is a Device used to tempporarily hold sheet metal or anything elsse you are riveting in place until you are ready to Rivet.
Sheet Metal Tools from Aircraft Spruce
You need Cleco plyers to insert and remove them.
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1959newbie
. . . the only other major problem was that my sidewalls around the wheel-wells somehow were too long, and I had to use my Dremel to trim up to 1/2" off the bottom in places. .
Lynne,

Congratulations! I would say if that was the only tweak you had to deal with, you've done an excellent job of reassembly.
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