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-   -   Removing the body shell and installing new floor completely - any one done this? (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/removing-the-body-shell-and-installing-new-floor-completely-any-one-done-this-428.html)

williamhenshall 05-07-2002 09:34 AM

Removing the body shell and installing new floor completely - any one done this?
 
1 Attachment(s)
Hi,

Well after a weekend of look and see, we have come to the conclusion that we might be better off completely replacing the floor of our 1958 18ft Traveller. There are 2 large areas of rot, the rear where the bathroom was, and the front offside area. The rest of the floor is kinda ok but not in perfect condition, although it is not rotted.

We had been looking into patching these areas and tying into the gap under the body shell and then back in to the good pieces of floor with some strong brackets, but we have a feeling it will be quicker to start over. It is seems very tricky trying to fit stuff in like this and you don't really get a proper job done at the end of it...

I understand to do this properly we have to remove the shell.

Anyone have any first hand experience of doing this? It looks like we need to drill out the carriage bolts and then remove the screws all the way round first, then lift it off.

Is this the best way to proceed?

What about any problems with the underbelly removal? It looks fairly straight forward...do we need to remove it all so we can access under the frame?

I was then thinking of removing the old floor by drilling through the carriage bolts (they are completely rusted) and using it as a template to cut new ABX 5/8th ply.

Many thanks in advance if anyone can shed any light on this!

Will Henshall

BobbyW 05-07-2002 07:54 PM

Safety First!!

To remove the shell you will have to remove the perimeter skirt and the belly pans. This will give you access to the bolts on the bottom which you will find have been bent over to keep them form backing off. This was Airstreams idea of a safety nut. Use a grinder or a cold chisel to remove them. I use both, but mostly the grinder. Airstream also used wood screw every couple of inches along with the bolts to secure the shell. Remove the lower interior panels to gain access to the shells toe plate (bottom flange) from the inside. It is only a couple hundred rivets. Use a 1/8" drill bit. If your floor edging is really bad those wood screws probably will just pull free. I would then take some angle iron or 1 x 2 furring and attach it to the shells support studs, with bolts, across the width and the ends as close to the floor as possible to keep the bottom of the shell from expanding or twisting, before you remove all of the bolts attaching it to the floor.

To lift the shell off you will have to run some timbers, pipe or steel beams (remove windows) through the shell and support it firmly. This should be done before you remove all of the bottom bolts to keep the shell from sliding off on top of you while you are working and killing you.

After the bolts are removed and everybody is out of the trailer, lift the shell up just enough to roll the chassis out from under the shell. Roll it out for SAFETY sake and only lift it enough to clear the floor. If you leave it in the air, block it up with some timbers to relieve the stress on the shell. If you have a flat bed trailer, you could roll it under the shell and sit it on it until you are ready to mate them back up. Or you could lower it to the ground.

You can now put the new plywood squares onto the chassis, drop the shell backed down and trace the perimeter. Lift the shell and cut your new floor. If you braced the bottom of the shell as noted in the steps above and your shell has not flexed, you should have a perfect floor.

Please be very careful and keep telling yourself that this is fun.
Safety First!!
Safety first!! (and don't hold me liable for any accidents)


Sorry if there is a serious tone to my reply, but this is heavy duty activity and I really want to see the end results of your endeaver. Having been the Project Manager on big industrial construction projects I just can't help myself. And have fun!

-BobbyWright

badagle 05-23-2002 10:07 AM

Hi,
I just saw the neatest pictures of a complete remodel of a 28 foot Argosy. Complete with a series of pictures removing the body. You might want to look at it.
Betty
www.angelfire.com/ns2/argosy

BobbyW 05-23-2002 11:27 AM

Who is this masked AirStream renovator...
 
Thanks for the Post.

Does anybody know who this is. It would be great to invite him to join our family here. I saw no e-mail address on the site, but the photo's really tell the story.

-BobbyWright

badagle 05-23-2002 12:13 PM

Hi Bobby,

I saw the post on the Yahoo groups: airstream list. It's a very good group. I'm kind of new to it but I will mention this group. I think some of the members of this group are also members of that group.
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/AirstreamList/

Betty

thenewkid64 05-23-2002 12:35 PM

Airstreamforums Most wanted... for advice!
 
1 Attachment(s)
I would love to be able to ask them some questions.... Anyone know who these guys are?

Jim Clark 05-23-2002 01:03 PM

If you go to https://groups.yahoo.com/group/AirstreamList/
and join you can email them form their.
This is Hunters list. Here is a copy of the msg.

I would guess that that the mail address may be a Hot Mail account.

Message 18945

From: "argosy282001" <jamieswallow@h...>
Date: Wed May 22, 2002 10:05 am
Subject: Argosy restoration


Hi everyone. For those of you who are interested, (or may remember), I have finished the total restoration of my 1976 28' Argosy. It took 9 1/2 months, (8 1/2 of work...one month of not being able to get to it), but it's done. I had the opportunity to test all the systems on our recent long weekend, the Victoria Day weekend, and everything wasfine.If you feel like it, all the pics covering the restoration are on theweb at www.angelfire.com/ns2/argosy. Feel free to look around andcomment.

Thanks for all the info I gathered as a "lurker" while working on my project.

Jamie
'76 28' Argosy
'95 Chev extended cab

Rick 06-04-2002 08:15 PM

Will,
Don't be surprised at what you find with the steel structure when you get the floor off. I am in the process of the same thing on my '68 Overlander. I took the floor out section by section using both an angle grinder and demolition saw to the bolts, fabricated plastic spacers where the shell met the frame & installed bolts to hold everything together shell to frame. Now I've got just a shell on a frame, and I can work on everything from the top down. What I did find, and you may as well, is a goood bit of rust damage in the bath areas. I had to weld new support members to the frame and reinforce several others.
It's not an extremely hard project - just very time consuming. Above all, be careful as stated before! Keep us posted!

PWDF4 02-01-2005 04:21 PM

Shell Removal
 
I REPLACED THE ENTIRE FLOOR ON MY 69-18' CARAVEL. I DID THIS WITHOUT REMOVING THE SHELL. IT WAS VERY TIME CONSUMING BUT I DID THE JOB SOLO. I CUT THE ROTTEN PLYWOOD OUT ABOUT 25% AT A TIME. I JACKED UP THE SIDES AND CUT THE BOLTS WITH A CUT OFF TOOL IN MY 4 1/2" GRINDER. THEN I REPLACED THE FLOOR WITH POLYBOARD 1 SHEET AT A TIME. I MADE A TEMPLATE OUT OF HEAVY PAPER. I HAD TO REMOVE THE BELLY PAN TO DO THIS. THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH REMOVING WAS THAT THERE WERE ABOUT 50-100 RIVETS TO DRILL OUT. I'M NOW IN THE PROCESS OF REWIRING AND REPLUMBING MY CAMPER. BECAUSE THE POLYBOARD WAS NOT AS RIGID AS THE PLYWOOD, I HAD TO WELD 2" CHANNEL IRON INSIDE THE FRAME. IF YOU NEED PICTURES OR ANY FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE E-MAIL ME AT PWDF4@AOL.COM

malconium 02-03-2005 02:08 PM

Floor techniques...
 
Will,

There is a tremendous ammount of information in these forums about floor installation. Also there are some of us that have done it without removing the entire shell from the frame. I was able to replace mine that way. In my opinion the main reason that someone would need to remove the frame entirely is if major rebuilding or restoration had to be done. Especially if the work had to be done somewhere else. I was able to have some welding done on my frame while sitting under the body. I also cleaned it up and painted it there. I think that floor replacement can be done without removing the belly pan if the frame is not in too bad of a condition. I took off about 1/2 of mine mostly because it is going to need to be replaced. Here are some threads where I documented a shell on replacement technique and the use of a product called Polyboard as an alternative to plywood.

https://www.airforums.com/forum...0&page=1&pp=20 Polyboard for a floor.

https://www.airforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=14804

https://www.airforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11818 (title = Body and banana wrap on floor replacement technique.) Look especially at the first post where I added a drawing. I am not using this technique but it still should work fine if you want to replace the band around the edges first. You would be able to access all the bolts from above too which was part of the intent of the approach.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11814 (title = Shell Off vs. Shell On Summary) Look especially at my detailed progress report in post number 74. The bracing that I used there works great and does not require all that much in the way of materials. There are photos in my gallery that go along with that report. The technique does not require lifting the body entirely off of the frame - it just supports and locates it while you repair the floor under it.

Good luck with your floor rplacement. It is a really nice feeling to get the work done. Also feel free to ask any questions along the way. Someone in the forums will usually have an answer. I know I have learned a lot from these forums.

Malcolm

Dan Clayton 01-15-2006 06:22 PM

Will,
I have done two floor replacements. On my 1963 Airstream Globetrotter 19FT, pictures are on this web site under Dan Clayton user search. I left the body on and replaced the floor in 8 pieces,adding some cross supports were the new floor seams butted. On my 1956 Airstream I have removed the body replaced the frame, new floor, new belly pan, and all new sheet metal on the body. You can easly replace the floor with the body on and get excellent results, and it will take 3/4 of the time and money. Let me know if you have questions and I will be happy to answer and send pictures if you like.
Good luck. Dan

Joey 73 03-13-2006 11:21 AM

I have a 1973 ambasador and doing a frame up restoration and i was wondering if anyone knows the best metal to use for the frame and outriggers?


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