Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hugo got new shoes

We are getting ready for our first rally. I've been working on the trailer trying to get it ready. I won't have the interior any way near ready. It will be an aluminum tent. I installed a new Dexter axle. This last week I got new wheels and tires for it. Next week I will be installing the brake controller and testing things out. New fantastic fans working out great! I hope my luck holds.

I you plan on using the Dexter axle, be aware that you will need new rims. The center hub is a little over 4 inches and the stock wheel with the baby moons won't fit.

The boss even came out to keep an eye on me. He's a tough guy to work for. Never far from that tennis ball.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Color Codes? We don't need no Stinking Color Codes!!

Latest project has been to install two Fantastic Fans in the Safari before we go to our first rally. After I removed the vent lids and drilled out a bunch of rivets, I had everything stripped down and ready for the new fans. The fans come with a foam gasket but I was concerned about how well that would hold up to the elements. I made a quick call to Frank Y. He told me he used the Butyl tape and SS screws. It is so cool to have someone you can call with questions. The forum is fine, but not when you are in the middle of a project. You may not get an answer for a few days there.
Next step was to make sure I had power to the vent for the fan. On the front vent I only had one white wire. I had to remove a light fixture to see if I could tap into a hot wire for power. The picture is what I found.

It appears some PO figured it was just fine to solder just any wire to any wire to make it longer. As the photo shows, this idiot had reversed the polarity!! This would guaranty blown fuses if it had been powered up or worse, fried fans. In the first photo you can also see that even though the wires should be in pairs, there are more white than black. I found some black wires that had been broken off and then just shoved into the cavity.

I finally got everything sorted out and hooked up. The fans work fine. Thanks Frank. Next project after the rally will be to start pulling interior skins and checking all of the wiring!!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dometic Repair

I started stripping the interior of the Safari to remove the floor tiles. I had found a few soft spots that I wanted to repair. After removing the Dometic Refer and finding the out side temperature hitting 100 and above, I decided to work on the Refer in the shop until it cooled off a little outside. There were cracks in the corners of the door as if there were heavy items carried there while the trailer went down the road. Since the axle was shot, it beat the door plastic so hard it cracked.

I used a Dremel tool to grind out the cracks. I ground them to a Vee shape.

Now came the hard part, trying to find something to stick to the plastic. After trying Bondo, Bondo with fiberglass and a plastic car bumper repair kit I was ready to give up. I place a call for help on the Airstream Forum. Don East (NorCal Bambi) came to the rescue. He said to use Marine-Tex from West Marine. This stuff worked great. I filled the cracks and sanded smooth.
I then flipped the door over and applied fiberglass mat and resin to the backside for more reinforcement

Since I had removed the old insulation to apply the fiberglass, I used the spray can expanding foam on the back.

Then, using my electric carving knife, I trimmed it flush.

If you attempt this, use the low expanding foam. The regular that I used expanded so much it warped the door!

It took a fair amount of work to repair that.

After that I primed it with Krylon Primer for plastic and painted it as close as I could to the original color.

Next step was to clean and adjust the burner and test it. It works great on gas and electric. I removed the wood panel from the door and sanded it but, it was too far gone. I was able to reverse the panel, sand, stain and varnish it.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Setting priorities

Even though it was in good shape, a few thing needed attention. First thing was to make it watertight. Even though it was the early summer, I knew water would be falling from the sky. First thing was the Phillips window operators and the window gaskets. Rebuilding the window operators was pretty straight forward. Luckily they were all there. It was basically take apart, clean, lubricate and reassemble.

Then I applied some gasket material from Lowes that looked like it would work pretty well. The cross section is in a D shape and is is a solid but soft foam.

I have recently purchased a 1966 Airstream Safari. It, like all others, needs some work. I will attempt to document the work on this blog. I have never had a blog so this will all be brand new.