This week has been extremely productive, with lots of changes taking place that we have been looking forward to for some time now. We hired Phil (seen in the pictures working
on removing the floor) to work on our project full-time starting this week and he has turned out to be a huge asset and is doing an incredible job. I would really like to do every bit of the work myself, but my consulting business keeps me too busy to really make much progress myself at the moment. Anyone interested in a restored or semi-restored Airstream please let me know as I am going to turn this into a business after we finish the ’67.
The week started off with moving the trailer outside as the weather is in the 70-80s here. We started by getting 80% of the clear coat removed before running out of airplane stripper and are planning on finishing up the last 20% this coming Monday once we will have more product. We tried Jasco, but the airplane stripper worked much better on the clear coat. The only place locally that carries the airplane stripper is Pep Boys and unfortunately they didn’t have much in stock. All of the name plates, emblems, and lights were removed and the windows that the PO had covered with plastic and duct tape were cleaned up and are now looking great.
Next, we finished removing all of the vinyl from the inner skins, removed the inner skins, removed end caps, and all of the insulation. The skins came down very easily and having that all out makes it look like it is that much closer to the build back phase. I have decided to use Prodex for the new insulation, so farewell to that itchy fiberglass stuff.
The next task was to remove the floor so that the welder could begin fixing the rear 4′ of frame. We drilled out around the elevator bolts and then used a multi-purpose tool to cut around the elevator bolts located around the perimeter of the trailer under the shell. This is my first time at any of this so there is a lot of learning, but by this afternoon we decided to turn this into a shell off restoration on Monday since it is barely hanging on at the moment. The rear separation is partially to blame, a broken outrigger, and then there are just way too many places where the shell’s C-channel is not attached to the chassis in any way at all. Having the shell off will allow us to more easily fix the frame, replace the flooring, and then make sure the shell is 100% secured and aligned to the chassis/floor as it should be. The good news is that it looks like the rest of the chassis is in excellent condition and the welders should be able to get the frame repaired sometime next week.
The first batch of Nuvite finally arrived today so this evening I tried a little test area with the F7 grade. I think it is going to take some G9 in this front section and we might also try some rouge to get the 80% polish on its way. Polishing this trailer into a mirror finish is going to be a huge task, but will be worth it!
Next week we will remove the shell, finish removing the flooring, begin on the chassis restoration, and possibly install the new axles or get busy with the new floor!