The Airstream Diary

Airstream Trailer Answers and Questions

Buttoned Up and Ready to Roll

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The weather finally broke today, and after a trip taking a friend down to the Sixth Floor Museum, I managed to get some of the exterior skins buttoned back down, and removed the back half of the belly skin (with force).

Unfortunately the belly skin was apparently either riveted, or oxidized in the spot where it disappears under the part of the chassis that holds the axle. I had to use an air chisel to peal away from the sandwich and loosen the back belly skin. And speaking of axle, I finally spotted the mysterious plate, pictured below, that was camouflaged by rust (pictured below). It was another of those moments where you feel like you’ve uncovered a message in a bottle.

Airstream DURA-TORQUE-AXLE
Possibly the last message in a bottle. Information plate on original Airstream axle.

By now, there aren’t any more hidden messages left though. We’ve found where mismatched pieces of skin were used on the inside walls, holes in the wheel wells, dirt dauber paradise, and so much more.

I am definitely seeing a lot more rust than I hoped for on the cross members, all of the cross members on the frame. However, I am a lot more relaxed about the frame, and prospect of building a new one from scratch – thanks to Paul at A&P Vintage.

Leslie tied down the air conditioner which was simply sitting it its hole, amazing me every time it rained that there were no leaks. She also pulled some of the miles of wire and a nice colorful pile of wire spaghetti sits outside the Airstream door.

Along with the wires and such, we also began clearing the decks inside. No need for bouncy projectiles leaving inside out dents either.

As darkness was coming, I managed to air up the tires, and jack up one side to spin the wheel and see if the bearings were good. It didn’t sound so good, so I popped off the hubcap (what do the originals look like anyway?), and the bearing cap. Plenty of grease there, so I am assuming the noise is all brake and drum related. It’s not like we are driving very far, but to say the forty miles to Paradise will be anything like a cakewalk is begging for trouble.

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