Monday 28 March 2011

is an airstream a white elephant?

Some may suggest  that owning an Airstream is like owning an over valued asset that is not worth the upkeep, in fact it appears most of North America considered them to be white elephants until a recent revival in the past decade or so . 

Well, I think most aluminitus folk will disagree, but perhaps like the one below, they might themselves  be considered a white elephant by others -

Below, a very important message from a very important person, also there's also a letter from St. Jame's Palace........

I can confirm, whale tails look equally as nice from the inside as they do from the outside -

Wednesday 23 March 2011

it's a sign

I like Whale Tail Airstreams

But how weird is it when I find one with my name on it -

You can see from the image below it really is an act from above -

Sadly, after close inspection the Harkness Whale Tail was not for me.............

But I did offer to buy the sign.

royal airstreams, to be or not to be that is the question?

after a chilly winter things are starting to warm up again thank goodness.

in the uk we have a big wedding coming up in late April

Sunday 20 March 2011

Corrosion, What Where When Why How?

I'm sure many airstreamers and other aluminitus sufferers worry at times about the condition of their aluminium.

An excellent source of information on Aluminium Corrosion is Aluminium Matter . This is an e-learning website which seems to cover most of the corrosion issues airstreamers will be faced with.

While keeping the outer skin in good condition is one concern, you should not forget about the inner skin.

Exhibit 1 - CA built Airstream, 1956

Alclad supplier - Reynolds

Location - Primarily resided in California

NB - The content of these images may be disturbing or offensive to some aluminitus sufferers. While they may look bad, I would like to mention it's all treatable, it just takes time -

Outer skin, tell tail signs -

Inner skin, the full extent of corrosion is revealed -

Closer look and a slight tap -

Factory sealing of the seams has not help stop the corrosion -

Rear light panel will need replaced also -

Other Isolated patches -

Friday 11 March 2011

Factory finishing - West compared with the Mid West / The Heartland

I was told that Wally Byams #1 Trailer was made in Ohio but was confused as it had a Californian  Dutchman's cap / Whale Tail but Ohio style wheel arches.

I was later informed that the trailer was actually built in the Los Angeles factory.

The following article in Trail R News September 1955  also confirms the trailer was built in Los Angeles Ca.  -

Since then, I've noticed some small differences between both factories production line finishing in the mid 50's. These are a little less obvious than looking at end panels, wheel arches and s/n's.

Below are a few -

Internal rivet sealing

Out of all the mid 50's CA trailers I've worked on the rivets have been sealed internally.  I first noticed this with Wally's #1 trailer and thought it got special treatment, but I since realised it probably was standard LA practice -

56 CA Bubble interior, complete seal -

55 CA Wally Byam Bubble, rivet stem sealed

56 OH Bubble, no seal

Door Gasket fitting
I've also noticed the CA fitted door gaskets with a blind rivet. Expamples below, first the Wally Byam #1 trailer  and then a 56 Ohio Bubble

Wednesday 9 March 2011

jas cunningham

Magnesium Alloys and surface treatments

I'm lucky to have some very good contacts in the metal industry having worked with the Metal Man himself Marc Rich in London and New York.

I asked for some advice on how safe this magnesium alloy is to work with. I had already cut a sample out for the assay with no problems, but I wanted to check to be safe.

I have been advised that I should take particular care with the swarf and dust while working with the alloy.

An excellent source for information on Magnesium is Magnesium Elektron, they have branches all over the world.

Two relevant docs are -

Machining Magnesium datasheet

Suface treatments, if untreated magnesium alloys could well turn to power

Lots to think about on how to tackle the chassis.

Tuesday 8 March 2011

X251 Chassis results

The X251 assay has arrived. This has been prepared based on a sample of the chassis I sent to their lab.

This is also posted on the bubbles face book page, You need to be logged into facebook to view -

Also posted on facebook is a general information/comparable grade sheet.

The chassis will require various works to fix damage already done plus a few tweaks to help ensure the same problems do not happen again.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Airstream flipper

I've posted this short video on flipping Airstreams in Europe. It's on the #1 Wally Bubble Facebook page. You'll need to sign up to view.

I will be posting details of the Assay on the #1 Airstream chassis very shortly, so get signed up -

Just put Wally Byam Bubble into facebook and request to join.