Wednesday, October 16, 2013

1968 Caravel 3 of...

Shell lift off is always a big event. The Caravel went through this hurtle last week. I set up my gantry in the back of the shop. With the Caravel being so short, I have the luxury of lifting the shell indoors and still having enough room to work freely.

Everything went fine except for that one rivet that held tight. The shell started to lift evenly and then an errant rivet shank was still in place, holding the rear corner. The shell tilted slightly in it's sling. It is very secure, but looks precarious the way it hangs. It will go back level when it goes back down on the refurbished chassis. The floor rolled out with zero effort.

The floor has seen much better days. About 40% is still intact, the rest is toast. It literally crumbles like dry leaves. This is ironic, since water, not dry caused this issue. Carpenter ants put some effort into it also. I found a substantial nest in the floor.

It is all missing all the way across the rear. You might note the bumper hatch. The hinge half of the lid extends under the floor and under the C channel.

This is what I consider a design flaw. This is something I always change for it directs water right to the sub floor.

When the channel was actually removed, you can really see how much is gone. It is a good thing I made a template.

An unexpected treat given by a previous owner was all this spray insulation. The use of this stuff is in hot debate over on the Airforums. There is no debate over it in my shop. The stuff SUCKS! It keeps the floor damp and the mice absolutely love it.

Fortunately, the foam did not bond well with anything but itself.

I expected more frame damage than I actually found. The damage I did find was significant up front. The forward cross member was completely detached on the curb side where it meets the frame rail. It is no wonder the rivets into the hold down plate had all sheared off

The second to last cross member also had broken loose. Both were replaced with all new material.

The front curb side outrigger was half rotten off.

I just made a new one out of one of the cross members I cut out.

Next all the bad metal was cut out of the frame so I could clean up the area to be welded really well.

I then rolled the frame outside and jacked it up to a good working height. 400 pounds of sand blasting medium later, all the loose metal, scale, and major rust was gone. I only sand blast it to shiny metal where it will be exposed. The POR15 paint system I use on the frame works better if the metal has a little rust still on it. 

A new forward cross member was remade as was a new hold down plate. 

Here is the frame all repaired. The new metal has all been treated with Marine-Clean and it is all ready to be treated with POR15.

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