Monday, July 21, 2014

Wheel Wells and Trim Installation

This picture shows the joining of the new wheel wells (green), the new belly pan (shinny aluminum) and the body or shell.
I need to make this look like the original wheel opening.
How am I going to proceed?
The top curvy part will be easy.  Just cut along the line provided by the body (green part).

Front wheel area.

Rear wheel area.

The area near the front and back of the wheel well needs a graceful sloping curve that terminates on the bottom side of the belly pan. 

Back to the drawing board to make a pattern.
I came up with a "S" shape pattern that worked out well.

 I also needed to transfer the curved pattern to the body.
I traced the pattern onto a thin flexible piece of plastic (my wife's cutting board) and cut it out.

I marked the graceful pattern onto the curvy body of the trailer.
I then cut out the wells using tin snips.
It worked !

Wheel well Trim.

I saved the old wheel well trim but later decided to buy new pieces.
I also purchased a rivet squeezer to make the task of installing the trim easier.

The new trim was slightly smaller on the back side but provided the same look on the exposed side.

I had to cut several pie-cuts on the back flange to allow it to be bent to the shape of the curve like the old ones.

The trim piece needed to be heated to allow for the bending process (by hand).

Clecos' were very helpful to hold the trim in place as I drilled and installed rivets.

I used 1/8 inch brazier head rivets here.

The rivet squeezer was very easy to control and did a good job on the rivets.
Works like a big pair of pliers with a vise to squeeze the rivet.

Trim and rivets looked good when done.

Time to Rivet


The shell was secured with lots of buck-rivets.
I needed some help from my two boys and sweet wife.

I used 3/16 brazier head rivets and many other riveting tools secured from 
Vintage Trailer Supply.

I remember drilling each one of these out some time back.
It was fun putting them back together again.

New belly pan aluminum mated up nicely with the shell.

Experience and skill with the riveting gun came quickly.

I could not have done the job without the help of my pretty assistant.

The brazier head rivets were installed using the "Bucking Bar" on the inside.

Picture shows the "C" channel bolted to the floor and pop rivets securing the belly pan wrapped up from underneath the floor.  The solid brazier head rivets were put through the layers and set.

The result was a shell securely fastened to a new floor on top of an improved frame.
It is amazing how strong the trailer became when all parts are joined together.