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-   -   Little Girl Refurb 1972 (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f186/little-girl-refurb-1972-a-50967.html)

Minno 02-27-2011 07:11 PM

Built the bottom of the second gray tank yesterday and today. Measured the inside dimensions, and the capacities of the tanks will be 24 1/4 Gals and 20 1/2 Gals, giving us a total gray water capacity of 44 3/4 Gals. Plus a couple of gallons in the drain pipe between the tanks and the dump valve. Not bad at all. Certainly worth the work involved.

donovan 03-05-2011 12:07 PM

i just bought property with an abandond airstream 1972 sovereign. in fair shape i love the little porthole windows. im a rookie airstreamer and already excited about the possibility's. any info -advise and links for restoration and just knowledge about this would be appreciated. are these rare? thx donovan

Minno 03-05-2011 12:21 PM

Geez, you're lucky! There's lots of threads that can take you through reno or restoration depending on what you want to do with her. I don't know about rarity - I think Sovereigns are not all that rare. Older trailers in the 30's, 40's and 50's are more highly prized from what I've read. We wanted the length, and like the lines of the early '70's AS's. Our's had a very rotted floor, damaged frame in some areas, and had been partly taken apart on the inside when we bought it, which is what we were looking for. Our plan is to keep the outside as vintage as we can, but have an all new interior designed for our tastes. Check the floor carefully, especially in the rear where there's a known flaw in design that lets water in to the floor. There's also the very common "rear end separation" especially in rear bathroom AS's. It's all fixable! Just takes time and money... :rolleyes: There's lots of very good information on these forums, so do some reading!
And welcome!

Kay

Minno 03-05-2011 08:26 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Did some more work on the two gray tanks today. Cut 4 inch long pieces of 1/8 thick ABS to form reinforcements for the corners. I want to make sure the corners will not burst out if we ever travel with the gray tanks full.

Attachment 123746Attachment 123747
Heated them on the center line, and then bent them in place on each corner of the tank to ensure a good fit. Managed to not burn myself at all doing this. :D

Attachment 123748Attachment 123749
Once I had all four reinforcements made, I glued them using the 4707 ABS glue I bought, and clamped in place for a couple of hours.

Attachment 123750
Removed the clamps, and will let sit overnight as the glue directions say full strength will occur after 24 hours.

Now, inside on the computer posting this, and then on to the layout of the black tank. Thatll be more interesting as I do want the bottom to slope towards the drain outlet.

Chris

driftless 03-06-2011 10:14 AM

Chris, you are having way too much fun with that bending apparatus! Seriously though, these are some really interesting things you are doing with the ABS.

Have you thought of making new wheel wells, or wouldn't the ABS be suitable for that? I've seen quite a few posts where folks spend a lot of time repairing their wheel wells. Just wondering if you think this would be an option.

Minno 03-06-2011 02:08 PM

I think the ABS sheet would be great for making new wheel wells. I repaired the black inner ones already, and they were a lot less than 1/8" thick. I'm not going to rip them out and build new ones though. But, I may make new ones to replace the cream colored ones that mount over the black wheel wells. I need to look at them again next summer and see just how bad they are.

HiHoAgRV 03-06-2011 04:50 PM

That ABS is fun to work with. I used a similar technique to build a shower pan...years ago...black silicone worked GREAT as a seal in my application...of course I wasn't drinkin from it either :yuk:

Minno 03-06-2011 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV (Post 960388)
That ABS is fun to work with. I used a similar technique to build a shower pan...years ago...black silicone worked GREAT as a seal in my application...of course I wasn't drinkin from it either :yuk:

These are gray and black water tanks.... I really don't plan on drinking from them either! :yuk: Plus, the ABS sheets I'm using are not rated for potable water.

Minno 03-06-2011 06:32 PM

10 Attachment(s)
Today, I cut out and bent the bottom of the black water tank. The biggest challenge I ran into was how to build the tank with a sloped bottom without requiring all the seams be welded together. Not that I object to welding, but bending is faster and a heck of a lot less stinky!



Attachment 123824Attachment 123825
Here, I have the bottom cut out, and Im heating the place on the bottom that will end up being the low spot on the tank. Both sides will slope down to this low spot, and the outlet will be attached to one side at this spot. In the second picture, you can see where I made a relief cut on the side at the bending point. This is needed so that once the tank bottom is bent, I can bend the sides up to form them. I ended up cutting a wedge shaped piece, just under a at the top, so the two pieces of the side would bend up next to each other.



Attachment 123826 Attachment 123827
Here, on my workbench, are two supports. The close one is high, and the far one is 1 high. In the second picture, I have the now heated bottom of the tank resting on the workbench and supports to form the bend in the bottom.


Attachment 123828
I left the bottom on the supports to bend the sides, and used a square to make sure that the ends where 90 degrees to the bench top, and not 90 degrees to the now sloped bottom.


Attachment 123829Attachment 123830
Heres two pictures of the tank bottom with the ends bent, and the longer sides bent. This is when I measured to see how much of the short piece I needed to cut off so it would clear the long side piece once I bent it up to 90 degrees.



Attachment 123831 Attachment 123832
Heres the bottom of the tank formed. All the seams still need to be welded, and the extra cut off the sides. In the first picture, you can see how the tank is sloped, and in the second picture, you can see how the two side pieces came together. Im going to reinforce that seam on the inside with a piece of 1/8 ABS as well as weld it together.



Attachment 123833
The blue masking tape (which came out quiet bright in the flash!) shows the extra I need to cut off the sides in order to attach the top and end up with a flat top. The bottom of the tape is my cut line.

The tank is 5 deep at the low point, and slopes up to 4 on the short side, and 3 on the long side. Same basic height dimensions as the original black tank that this will replace. Its a tad larger in both length and width, as Im not going to try and provide heat into the black tank box like they did originally.

But the main reason for building a new black tank is so we can relocate the toilet and have the tank drain towards the front of the trailer instead of towards the rear bumper.

Minno 04-21-2011 04:33 PM

5 Attachment(s)
It's been awhile since I've had time to work on Little Girl. But, last weekend I had some free time to work on her, and I did the final construction of the bottom of the black tank.

Attachment 127808
I welded the 4 corners as well as the seam where the tank makes it bend at the bottom. I also cut the top of the tank off to make it level once its installed. I need to file the corner reinforcements down a bit, but other than that, the bottom is ready for a trial fit under the floor.


Attachment 127809
Heres a close up shot of the side seam. Its welded, and then covered with my slurry mixture of ABS and MEK. I used this same slurry on all the inside seams as well.


Attachment 127810
Close up of one of the corners and the reinforcement I glued on.


Attachment 127811Attachment 127812
These 2 pics show the 1/8 thick reinforcement I added to the inside of the side seam. Kinda hard to see, but the reinforcement piece is about 16 inches long total.

We also bought a few more items in preparation for working on the bathroom this summer:

Fittings for the ABS tanks
Water heater (6 gal gas with electronic ignition)
ABS pipe for the drains & tank vents
PEX for fresh water (blue & red)
PEX clamps and a crimping tool

Were both getting Spring Fever really bad now! Cant wait to get out there and actually work on her again!

Chris

Minno 04-24-2011 12:58 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 128007
We spent some time yesterday playing with the layout of the bathroom. This is what we came up with for the fixtures. The blue tape on the floor is the wall and door opening between the bedroom and the bath. Well build a vanity to house the sink (as well as other cabinets), and installing it there next to the tub not only works for us, but it will make plumbing sooooo much easier.

One of our concerns with the tub was making sure Ill have enough head room while taking a shower. And even with it most of the way against the outside wall like it is, I will.

Its nice out today, so maybe I can play with trial fitting the tanks under her this afternoon.

Chris

Trex 04-24-2011 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minno (Post 982896)
Attachment 128007
We spent some time yesterday playing with the layout of the bathroom. This is what we came up with for the fixtures. The blue tape on the floor is the wall and door opening between the bedroom and the bath. Well build a vanity to house the sink (as well as other cabinets), and installing it there next to the tub not only works for us, but it will make plumbing sooooo much easier.

One of our concerns with the tub was making sure Ill have enough head room while taking a shower. And even with it most of the way against the outside wall like it is, I will.

Its nice out today, so maybe I can play with trial fitting the tanks under her this afternoon.

Chris

Nice layout.... Looks like you made "The Turn" and now the fun begins.

Minno 04-24-2011 03:55 PM

We did a trial fitting of the tanks this afternoon. Word to the wise - do not build tanks in the winter when you can't get out and crawl under the trailer to double check dimensions... :blink:

Although actually, the gray tanks will fit ok once I cut the flanges down a bit. That's something I was half expecting to have to do anyway, so maybe it's not so bad after all.

A kinda funny happened with the black tank. I measured and built it so it would fit inside the metal box that holds it to the bottom of the trailer. Then I had this wonderful idea that I should reinforce the corners of the tank like I did the gray tanks. The reinforcements made the tank too big to fit inside the metal box! Oppsy! :blush::blush:

Oh well. We pondered a few things we learned doing the trial fittings, and we have a plan for going forward. Like grinding off the reinforcements for starters. I'll post pictures of any real progress we make, but that'll probably be a couple of weeks from now.

Trex 04-24-2011 10:18 PM

Sorry to see you're having set backs...one step forward, three steps back.

Minno 04-25-2011 08:07 AM

At least it's all self-induced set backs, so fairly easy to overcome.

Minno 05-14-2011 09:18 PM

10 Attachment(s)
Finally, we were able to spend time working on Little Girl again today! Started out with a supply run to Youngblood to pick up some red alder and basswood. Well use basswood for the cabinet frames since its nice and light, and red alder for the interior wood.

It was rainy pretty much all day, so we did inside things once we got back home. The first project was to install the front headliner we bought. Its actually a rear bath headliner for a 70s Airstream, but I figured it would fit in the front just fine.

Attachment 129836
Step 1 insulate. Actually, that was step 2. Step 1 was adding a 12 volt power wire and ground to the front for the stereo, something I forgot to do when I did all the rough wiring last year. Good thing I caught it before installing the headliner! :blink:


Attachment 129837
Heres the headliner, and the 2x3s we used to prop it up in place. It was quite a bit lighter than the rear headliner in Little Girl, so the two of us could get it in place pretty easily. Propped it in place with the 2x3s and marked where we needed to cut it off to fit.

Attachment 129838
That threw us off for a bit, because if you look at the blue tape cut line, its not straight across the headliner. After much careful measuring, we confidently determined that the headline itself was not square. One side was about 4 longer (wider?) than the other side. Cutting it off was easy used a dremel motor tool and cut off wheel.


Attachment 129839
Then we put it in place, and have it held up with clecos right now. I still need to fix the vista view blinds and install them before we can rivet everything in place.


Attachment 129840Attachment 129841
Then we spent a bit of time filling holes in the rear headliner. Actually, Kay did that while I cut more holes in the headliner for the bathroom outlets on either side of the window. We used the ABS slurry I made for building the black and gray tanks to fill the holes. Plus a bit of fiberglass mesh tape for the 3 large holes (the big black spots). Well let that set up over night, and then sand the headliner tomorrow in prep for painting.


Attachment 129842 Attachment 129843
Attachment 129844Attachment 129845
The last thing I worked on was installing the rest of the 110 VAC outlet boxes. Two in the bath, one in the front starboard corner, and one on the port side just in front of where the fridge will be. This place had one of the original outlet boxes before, but those all were used in other locations, so I had to make a patch to cover the hole and install the smaller new outlet box into the patch. This will be covered with wood paneling, so the patch will be hidden by the time Im done.

Tomorrow promises to be sunny and nice, so well probably spend time getting our Star stream ready for the 4CU rally in June. Repack the wheel bearings and setting up the hitch to use with our new truck are the two big projects on tap. We are really looking forward to going to that - it'll be our first AS rally!!!! :bb:

Chris

Minno 05-17-2011 08:19 PM

2 Attachment(s)
We started painting this evening! Primed the rear half of the interior. She looks a heck of a lot better now that her walls are all one shade of white! :) We used Bondz primer and rolled it on.

Top 05-17-2011 08:28 PM

Looks great! Really brightens her up.

Minno 05-19-2011 05:36 PM

1 Attachment(s)
First coat of paint. :)

Minno 05-19-2011 05:48 PM

It's "Pursuit of Happiness" blue.

Kay


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