Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bad Winter

This winter has been quite severe at times and has lasted longer than desired.
A big slow down in progress but a good time to plan ahead.

Ambassador shell hanging from the rafters and waiting patiently.

The chassis is inside the shop protected from the elements.  
However, over the cold months, I noticed that the humidity caused one section of new flooring in the front "A Frame" area to raise up away from the main frame rails.  That area of the floor has few bolts for attachment and is exposed to foot traffic above.  I need to fix this problem.

I added a brace to the outriggers under the floor next to the main frame rails.  I added more elevator bolts.  The braces and bolts  in that area pulled the floor back down into position and added support to the floor.  Problem solved.  A better quality of plywood may have prevented the problem.

Planning ahead for the belly pan.

The outriggers are made of  steel "C" channel and are naturally sharp on the end due to the design.
A protective adaptation was needed to soften the impact against the new belly pan once installed.  
Scrap aluminum protectors were fashioned and attached with pop rivets which did the trick. 

The same adaptation with slight modification was added to the wheel wells.  Caulking was applied where road splash and water must be eliminated.

Skinning the steel plate up front.

The steel plate and cross member below need to be faced with aluminum.  The shell and belly pan will soon be installed and will cover the top portion.  If not covered now with new aluminum it would not be easy to cover and protect the area from the elements.  The lower portion of the aluminum will be polished to match the rest of the trailer.

Attaching the aluminum is done with pop rivets.
But before riveting the aluminum directly to the steel plate it needed to be insulated.
I used new, plastic dinner place mats (commonly available) in between the aluminum and steel.

Pop rivets go through to the "C" channel.  So I needed to insulate the back side of the steel plate and the front side of the "C" channel as well.

Back side of the steel plate all insulated (smaller pieces).  I will cut off the excess plastic on top.

Now, all is protected and ready for the shell to slide down over top.

Sealing the bottom of the floor.

Plywood needs to be sealed against moisture wherever possible.  I used "Smith's,  Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer" (Cold Weather Formula).

Two parts "A and B" need to be mixed together to provide the durable protection.
Applied with a paint roller.

Belly Pan.

The attachment of the belly pan aluminum is like hanging drywall (my opinion). 
The surface of the bottom of the frame must all be of the same elevation.
I want to preserve the "Vintage" look of the trailer so the bottom needs to look smooth like a cookie sheet.

Originally, two 4 X 25 foot pieces of aluminum were used to construct the belly pan on this trailer. They were attached side by side to the bottom of the trailer to make one smooth surface.

On this restoration, I will fashion and install aluminium with access panels.  I want to be able to get to the plumbing should it be necessary later. Some additional attachment points were needed on the frame.  I used some angle iron braces for final riveting and/or screws.   

When the frame was repaired and strengthened the bottom frame rails grew taller by 1/4 inch.
The bottom of the cross members needed to have spacers attached to level the surface for attaching the belly pan.  I used  1/4 by 1 1/2 inch plastic strips purchased at the "RV Super Store" to level the bottom surface of the cross members.

Spacers installed.  See the brake wires fed through frame rails.

Attached with large sized pop rivets from "Vintage Trailer Supply."

All new aluminum belly pan has been ordered !