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goransons 10-22-2016 07:44 PM

50k? whoa!! I'd do it for 45k ;)

the biggest challenge here is the upper metal was so stretched and creased that it couldn't be used as a template, AND the original bows in positions 2, 3, 4, 5 were destroyed so donor bows were used, but no two bows are the same so they had to be "adjusted" as close as we could to the original bows.

The best thing on this is that it's so far apart, that I will be able to reseal every window, every panel seam, every rivet and roof vent/opening before moving on with the rest of the renovation and are getting into our wet season so I'll be able to keep an eye on what may leak before putting the inside skins back on.

You are correct on the aluminum. I got it from Air Parts Inc. They sell it on the roll so I can order whatever lengths I want and they will put the PVC safety coating on roll it. Even though they ship from out east, they can send me up to 36' of 2024 for $45 in shipping plus $8 for the box. Can't beat it.

I ordered 3 14' sheets for the sides and enough to replace to other side panels, and a 16' piece of belly pan. Shipped to me in two boxes came to $983.42.

goransons 10-23-2016 02:57 PM

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Didn't work as long today. 3 windows and their horizontal supports in. Sure stiffens the wall back up! Refrigerator vent cap off for repair and solar dome frame cleco'd back in. More rain due tomorrow. We aren't water tight but better than it's been since it came homeAttachment 274033

goransons 10-23-2016 03:17 PM

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Attachment 274034

dbj216 10-23-2016 05:55 PM

I used Air Parts in Kansas City for my aluminum also. I purchased a whopping 4 by 4 sheet of 2024 for some exterior "patches" I had to make for the new furnace, water heater and dented panel by the entry door. I also purchased my belly pan 5052 material from them in a 30 foot roll. Nice folks to deal with.

I really like the row of windows on the curb side of your 63. I bet they did stiffen the structure quite a bit once riveted in place. It is certainly more water tight than it was upside down in the street after the storm.

Good idea to list the parts you are looking for in your thread. I'll bet you will get some response.


goransons 11-03-2016 06:30 PM

Realized that the front of this had been spray painted silver years ago. Started with Aircraft stripper. On the second coat I noticed some lettering in the front corner. Sent the ghost numbers to Joe this evening but it was on some caravans in 63, 64 and 65 for sure. Attachment 274767Attachment 274768Attachment 274769

goransons 11-03-2016 09:20 PM

Tradewind and the wind
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Attachment 274771

goransons 11-03-2016 10:06 PM

Heard from Joe, the VAC Historian.

32 - Eastern Canada Summer 1963
38- Historical Summer1964
40 - Mexico Fall 1964
42- Mexico Winter 1965
43 - Alaska Summer 1965
45 - Mexico Fall 1965
1964 Princeton (N.J. location for International Rally that year).

This trailer project was a rescue mission so plan is to sell after it's back together. The question, do I repaint the caravans after polishing or leave it blank slate?

dbj216 11-04-2016 06:47 PM

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Many of our vintage Airstreams have bits of history found during renovation. Mine had rally and caravan decals on the entry door, see photo. Others have factory worker names and dates on backsides of cabinets and inside exterior skins.

If it was a Wally Byam personal trailer, or some other piece of unique Airstream history, then it should be preserved. Maybe your trailer is like mine, just used and enjoyed by regular folks who liked to keep a record of where they had been, like bumper stickers on the back of the station wagon. I personally don't think the record of the rallies your trailer has attended in the past is all that valuable.

You have taken photos of what you found under the paint. Put these photos in your restoration folder as "before polish". Then restore the original luster of your trailer with a good polish job.

More free internet advice....


goransons 11-04-2016 08:13 PM

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Attachment 274825

Interesting as I did another application of stripper I realized that someone stripped the lettering, it didn't go away so they painted the front. You can tell what had clearcoat left and what came off back in the day.

Blue Pearl 11-04-2016 08:48 PM

This takes ghost letters to a new meaning, great find. I would leave them, my vote.

goransons 11-05-2016 05:19 PM

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Weather was too cold today to strip the back. Finished installing the last half bow on the street side that was missing and riveted in the cross members. Was on track to finish the street side today when my really nice vintage Chicago Pheumatic rivet gun diaphragm failed. Will call around Monday to see about a rebuilt but bought a gun from Aircraft Spruce to hopefully be riveting again by Wednesday. To replace my gun with the same model was almost $800 which isn't going to happen (mine came from the Boeing folks).

After that work I replaced the bad bow back by the tub on the curb side and got that cleco'd in place along with a new corner panel (still in plastic ). Replacing the rear panel in the morning and a small patch to cover some damage to the bottom of the long side panel.

Our friend Wally (Dr. Bucking Bar) took the tool failure in stride and did some test polishing up front and got a good start on the front end cap. Tomorrow he's going to help me around the 2 jelousie windows and the front window so I can reinstall them their eyebrows and get things dry up front.

Attachment 274860Attachment 274861Attachment 274862

dbj216 11-05-2016 06:48 PM

Looking like a 63 Safari again. I wonder about how much of the exterior skin you actually replaced. I bet over 50%. Just a whole lot of sheet metal work.


goransons 11-05-2016 06:59 PM

My signature line is misleading, I do have a 63 safari, this actually a 62 Tradewind (single axle) with a custom layout much like the flying cloud that year, just with one more cabinet on each side. Haven't found the layout documented yet, part of the reason I wanted to save it (my original plan was to cut this down and make a "fake" bambi length trailer just for fun.

I'm about at 50% of the flat metal yes, by the time I'm done that's about right. On the bright side that's 50% less to strip clear coat off of, and 50% less to grind the crud off in the polishing stages. If you count that it's getting a 100% new belly pan I guess it's more than 50% of the sheet metal.

dbj216 11-05-2016 07:22 PM

I stand corrected. I knew it was a Trade Wind. Just wasn't thinking. Nice that you have two vintage Airstreams, both from the Byam years when only the best would do.


goransons 11-06-2016 05:47 PM

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LONG day today. No riveting while I wait for the new rivet gun to arrive. Punch list stuff today.

All c channel on the curb side bolted down. Angle brackets reinstalled on the door frame and bolted in.

Outrigger belly pan on curb side from bumper to step installed.

Rear end cap and remaining lower panels stripped for polishing.

Rear anchor plate bolted in and rear wall panel replaced.

Wally did some great polishing on the front end cap getting it ready for the front window to go in for real (after it gets cleaned up and I remove the front end cap). Will be nice to get the rock guard, emblem, etc all back on and finally have a dry front end.

Here's his polishing work with the dirty window frame back in for the night (man it looks bad)

Attachment 274952

End cap is starting to blend nicely with the new metal

Attachment 274953

Last of the new panels in. Some small patches to put on but I'm out of cleco's.

Attachment 274954

Attachment 274956

Anyone got one of these in better shape? At least the lens. Don't mind the mess it's in place temporarily to keep the water out since is above the window.

dbj216 11-06-2016 06:01 PM

Good old Wally the well polished bucking bar holder is making some good progress. And so are you.

Our friends at Vintage Trailer Supply have Airstream "scare" lights if you need one.


goransons 11-06-2016 06:10 PM

I have one from VTS, it's smaller and the lens isn't interchangeable either (theirs uses 3 screws, mine uses a different pattern and 4 screws). I had the same thought as you and ordered it with my last order. It's an exact replacement for my 63 so it'll eventually end up there. If I wanted to use it on the tradewind I'd need to put a patch up there and recut a hole, I'm hoping to find an exact replacement. I'm tired of sheet metal work :) I bought a complete set of the new LED side marker lights, new lenses for the tail lights, and new license light and bracket. As soon as we get polished around those openings I can get all those on and sealed up.

dbj216 11-07-2016 06:04 PM

I didn't look closely, I just ASSUMED they are all the same. An exact replacement may be harder to find.

I understand your desire to move on from the exterior sheet metal work. You've certainly done a lot of riveting.


goransons 11-11-2016 05:41 PM

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Thanks Aerowood for designing a great roller! Well worth the money. I still have a bit more work to do but about an hour with my home made roller and another 45 minutes with the better one he designed and a heat gun and we are well on our way.


Attachment 275257


Attachment 275258

goransons 11-12-2016 05:36 PM

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The last of the patches...

Deleted antenna using original holes just in case someone wants to put it back.

Attachment 275324

Deleted mess from the tv antenna mount.

Attachment 275325

Panel repair from the retaining wall. With more than 50% of sheet metal replaced I decided not to reskin the entire side just for this corner. Purists I'm sorry you're disappointed.

Attachment 275326

Jelousie windows seem to always result in a crack above the window near the bow. New repair plate with a backing plate inside ready.

Attachment 275328

Tomorrow curb side belt line and rear panel get rivets. Hope to clean up the two jelousie windows, polish around them and reinstall for good. All depends on the weather cooperating.

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