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!

Corner Patch

An old fashioned TV antenna used to hang on the trailer near the curbside front panel.

When it was removed it left behind a few unsightly holes that need to be patched.

I made some measurements and came up with a plan.

Some strategic rivets were removed.

I cut a patch to cover the area and slid it into place.

I used caulking and buck rivets to seal it into place.

Looks pretty good and will shine up very nicely..