Saturday, October 15, 2016

Panel Replacement Curbside

The curb side panel behind the entry door had some issues that made it a prime candidate to be replaced.  
First, it had a refrigerator vent that had become obsolete with the installation of a more modern  roof vent. Second, it had a hole burned through it from a malfunctioning exhaust outlet from the old refrigerator.  Thirdly, a crude hole was cut for an electrical outlet/light hook-up that needed to be relocated for better functionality.  
And finally, I now have experience replacing full sized panels. 

I will enjoy trying my luck at this one.

Here is a closeup of the issues discussed above.

The trailer door had to be removed for this operation because the top hinge was attached to the panel.

Systematically, I drilled out the old rivets to free the 57 year old panel.

Before long the panel was out and I wondered what predicament I had gotten myself into.
This looks like a real "big mess!"
Never Fear!  


In the shop I carefully laid out the old panel on top of a new piece of  aluminum and cut to size.

I drilled some pilot holes and placed screws through both pieces to hold them in place.

With the two pieces held securely in place I marked the cut lines.

 The holes necessary to reinstall the panel were drilled using a 1/8 inch drill bit. The holes in the old panel acted as precise pilot holes. 

After drilling the holes a larger drill bit was used to clean out any burs left behind.

A test fit was necessary to see if it was correct.

After the test fit I finished polishing the side of the trailer in this area to make it look right.

With the help of my assistant the panel was riveted into place using buck rivets.
A strategic backer plate was added for strength where the door hinge attaches to the panel.  It was badly needed in my opinion.

I was very pleased at how well it turned out!

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