Saturday, July 6, 2019

Wheel Well Covers

New wheel wells were fabricated to replace the previous wells.  They were severely damaged in the dismantling process.  

Wheel well covers are used to encapsulate insulation placed between the outside and inside wells.

The wheel well covers were originally constructed of a thin gauge galvanized steel and were coated with several coats of paint. 

Minor repairs and sanding was all that was needed to ready them for reinstallation.

The angle grinder with 80 grit sand paper did the trick.

New 2 1/4 batt insulation was installed between the outer and inner wells.

The wells were screwed to the floor and riveted to the sidewalls to hold them into place.

After several small details were completed it was time to think about paint!

Window Trim 

Previously, when removing the window trim in the dismantling process I made a decision.
New window trim would have to be made to replace the old trim that was caked with many coats of paint and was of very thin gauge aluminum.  

I copied the profile of the old trim and had new trim made using a slightly thicker material.

The pieces were made in four-foot sections.
They were later cut to lengths appropriate to fully trim out all of the windows and some small door openings in the trailer.

Windows were trimmed using a 45 degree cut and attached with 1/8 inch pop rivets.

Even spacing of the rivets and true 45 degree angles were the rule.

Once completed the look was very acceptable for a 1959 Vintage trailer.

The roof vent was also trimmed out using the new material.

New paint and an insect screen is all that is needed to complete the look.

Lower Skins

Once the ceiling panels were up it was time for the lower skins to be installed.

The lower skins needed to be stripped of many coats of paint and glue.

Paint stripper followed by harsh sanding was the preferred method to clean the panels.

The stripping process and hard sanding left the lower panels devoid of any paint.

The sanding marks were visible but will be covered by new paint.
The plan is to use Zolatone Flex roll-on paint plus a primer.
The paint should hide all the imperfections very well.

After several days all of the panels were installed.

During these steps all of the pop rivets that hold the ceiling in place were replaced with a larger 3/16 inch pop rivet for better service.  The lower panels were also attached with 3/16 inch pop rivets.

The Plan

It was time to call in the reinforcements for the next step.
We planned a cookout with my two sons and daughter.
 Hopefully, some work would get done as well.

The crew and the grandkids were ready so let us get started!

The end caps were installed with those assistants not assigned to fix food.  
No pictures were taken of end cap installation. 

The first ceiling panel was carried to the trailer.

It was the smallest of the two and was more manageable.
It was rolled up and tied with a bungie cord.

My boys held the panel in place with the aid of some wooden props.

The holes in the panels from previous rivets were matched up with holes in the ribs of the trailer.  Even though the process looks hard it was obvious where the panels were previously fastened.

A manual pop rivet gun was used to attach the ceiling panels.  Hard work and persistence allowed the crew to mount the panels where they belonged.  Not every rivet was replaced during this process.  Enough rivets were installed to hold everything in it's proper place.

The second ceiling panel was larger and more difficult to manage.

The panel was gently folded in half and started through the door.

Almost in there!

Yes.  It fit!

Once inside the trailer the panel had to be maneuvered into place.

The wood props and muscle helped to coax the big panel into it’s proper place.

This picture shows the end caps and ceiling panels in place.  The center holes for lights and fans were already cut into the panels.  The new refrigerator vent hole on the left was cut after the panel was up in place.

We accomplished a great day's work.
 Everyone had a good visit and plenty to eat.