Another 93 Coleman Rio Grande Restoration

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by chumpshorty, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. ballard

    ballard New Member

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    I was thinking on doing the same thing with the axle flip.

    I have not done it yet.

    For my 1993, the one problem with going to a bigger tire is the lack of clearance on the rear of the tire. The trailer frame cross member which boxes out the wheel well area just behind the door side tire, is really close. Maybe two inches at best.

    Do you have the same clearance issue?

    Looks really nice and I like the new trunk lid.

    Regards to the axle flip:, I have been assuming I have a straight axle. Being that there are no brakes, I was going to just do a literal flip of the axle. After having the axle off....do you think it was straight or do you think there was a camber in it?

    What kind of welder do you have?
     
  2. chumpshorty

    chumpshorty Member

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    It is a little tight on the backside of the tire, probably the same 2" you have on yours. Here is a look at it:

    [​IMG]

    I don't see this as much of an issue since there isn't any real lateral movement (or at least there shouldn't be). I have seen less clearance on some of the trucks I've had. It can be addressed with the proper back-spacing on the rims if needed. I'm kicking around the idea of cutting out the sides and putting fender flares so the whole tire is visible. Something like that would give more room. Probably won't be necessary for my build though.

    The bigger issue for me was the clearance at the top of the tire. If you look at this view you can see a really weird wear pattern on the tires:

    [​IMG]

    This is the same on both sides. With the tires off, I think I found the culprit:
    [​IMG]

    I can't imagine that it came that way from the factory. I will take care of that at some point. For now it is just sitting in the garage so it isn't doing any additional damage.

    I have to look at all the tire sizes and compare them to the actual size they measure out at. The stock tires measure out around 20.5". With the lift I think I can go with a tire that measures out as large as 22" before the step to the door gets in the way. I may take that step off though, it is all bent up and does extend. I think I can come up with something else for that function. With the step off, I can go much larger.

    Regarding the axle. I didn't think there was any camber initially. After taking it off and then re-installing it, I think there is a camber. I didn't really see it prior to painting the axle. With the gloss black on there it is a little more noticeable. Maybe I'm full of it, but I think there is something there.

    This is a relatively simple mod that has more pluses than minus's in my opinion. My welder is a small flux core box, a Lincoln Pro-Core 100. It works good for light stuff like this.
     
  3. ballard

    ballard New Member

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    I'm not at a location where I can view the pictures so I will comment later when I get on my home pc.....but your mention of flaring out the fenders is funny cause I've been kicking that around in my imagination for a while. I've had many different ideas: One was a longer axle with flared fenders, another was a longer drop axle like a teardrop trailer. Another was to keep the same axle but cut a shape like was on the old scotty trailers. ......that's way down the road though........

    One thing of note on my wheel wells.......I accidentally noticed a recall notice on the internet. It stated that the wheel well clearances were not large enough on a bunch a trailers from the 1993 run and the notice advised to bring it to the dealer where they will move the leaf spring to the lower attachment on the spring Hanger (to raise it up) and place a spacer on the hub (or something like that).......I've looked at my tires and there doesnt seem to be any rubbing so I have not really given it any thought until I started contemplating my wanting larger tires. That's when I started thinking about the axle flip but then I noticed the clearance issue with the cross menter to the rear of the tire.........

    I've got a hobart 110volt mig but if I can avoid the welding on the axle, Id prefer to just do a literal flip. If I take the axle off and roll it on a "true" flat surface, I should be able to verify if it's cambered or not.

    Your answer to the flip kit that dexter sells for $40.......what they are giving you are spring perches that are made to screw on and clamped to the original spring perches on the opposite side......they contend that this is necessary because and axle should not have a weld bead running around the entire circumferance of the axle which they claim will cause the axle to be weakened......... [?:~{] I guess I see merit to the statement but I think the failure would be due to poor welding or blowing through the metal, not due to the design of having a continuous weld bead around the axle...... Sounds more like a lawyer liability thing than a reality thing.
    But anyway I think this explains the $40 price, they are selling you a specialty perch and covering the butts since they know all too well that an axle flip process can go dangerously wrong if mistakes are made.
     
  4. ballard

    ballard New Member

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    In case your curious or the info is of any use to you....Here's the recall notice that I was mentioning:http://www.allworldauto.com/recalls/NHTSA_92V168000_1993_COLEMAN_RIO_GRANDE_recall_36827.html

    The corrective action calls for an adjustment to the height for top clearance in the wheel well (you've taken care of that) and the second corrective action suggested was a spacer plate on the hub to move the wheel out laterally.

    I've always read that hub spacers are not ideal but then again neither is a blowout.




    1993 COLEMAN RIO GRANDE Recall

    HOME » C » COLEMAN » RIO GRANDE » 1993 » Body » 92V168000
    NHTSA Campaign Number: 92V168000
    Vehicle/Equipment Make: COLEMAN
    Vehicle/Eqipment Model: RIO GRANDE
    Model Year: 1993
    Mfg Campaign Number:
    Mfg Component Desc: STRUCTURE:BODY
    Mfg Involved in Recall: COLEMAN CO., INC.
    Manufacture Dates: 08-01-92 through 11-01-92
    Type of Report: (V) Vehicle
    Potential # of Units Affected: 351
    Date Owner Notified by Mfg: 11-13-92
    Recall Initiated By: MFR
    Mfg Responsible for Recall: FLEETWOOD ENT., INC.
    Report Recieved Date: 11-17-92
    Record Creation Date: 11-27-92
    Regulation Part Number:
    FMVSS Number:

    Defect Summary: THE WHEEL WELL WAS NOT RECESSED DEEPLY ENOUGH TO ALLOW ADEQUATE CLEARANCE BETWEEN THE TIRE SIDEWALL AND WHEEL WELL.

    Consequence Summary:
    THIS CONDITION CAN CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE TIRE AND RESULT INAIR LEAKAGE OR POSSIBLE BLOWOUT, WHICH CAN CAUSE LOSS OF VEHICLE CONTROL AND APOSSIBLE ACCIDENT.
    Corrective Summary: SPACER PLATES WILL BE INSTALLED BETWEEN THE HUB AND THE WHEEL ASSEMBLY, AND THE AXLE WILL BE INSTALLED IN THE LOWER SHACKLE BOLT HOLES. THESE MODIFICATIONS WILL ALLOW ADEQUATE CLEARANCE FOR THE TIRE IN THE WHEEL WELL.
     
  5. chumpshorty

    chumpshorty Member

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    Good info. I took another look and my tires were definitely rubbing at some point. One of the wheel wells has a hole rubbed clean through the plastic liner. And to think that the previous owner hauled this thing from Arizona to Alaska to South Texas in one 6 week trip with that rubbing going on [:!]! As you said, it shouldn't be a problem for me now...Thanks for the heads up though.
     
  6. Ramsport59

    Ramsport59 New Member

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    My 93 Destiny does have a Cambered Axle, so yours should too. When I did my flip I made my own spring pads out of some 2x3 box with the 2" side cut out.

    Rick
     
  7. chumpshorty

    chumpshorty Member

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    Wow! has it really been almost four months? I knew I hadn't worked on my pup much, but didn't realize how long it had been. Well, I've done a little work since the last post. No where near as much as I thought I would have by now. Here's a brief re-cap:

    I decided to rebuild my stove, sort-of. I took it all apart and repainted it. Although I wasn't real happy with it, so I am going to start over and do it right this time around.

    I removed the awning. The zipper on the case is rotten and needs to be replaced. I figured it would be best to remove the track before I re-paint the roof. Screws came right out but the double sided tape was a little tough. I took a putty knife and ran it between the track and the roof. It actually involved tapping the putty knife with a hammer to cut through the double sided tape. After that I took a wire wheel on my grinder and cleaned the remaining adhesive off. I caulked all the screw holes and left it at that. I will put the screws in new spots when I re-attached the awning.

    Weather today was better than it has been in months, so today I pulled the trailer out to start some work on the roof. The plan was to clean it off real good, look for any problems, fix 'em, then prime and paint.

    During the wash process I found that I screwed up when I installed my new trunk lid. It now leaks like crazy. Needless to say, plans changed and I had to re-prioritize. I think the leaks are fixed now. I will shoot some pic's and describe the fix once I'm sure it is in fact fixed. Weather is improving and the in-law's house is done, so I should have more time available to keep this rebuild going. We'll see...
     
  8. chumpshorty

    chumpshorty Member

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    A few photo updates...

    I found a design problem with my deck lid. I trimmed the lip on the hinge side of the opening to allow for the intermediate supports of the deck lid. You can see that here:

    [​IMG]

    The problem is that water runs off the roof and works it's way behind the hinge. The lip that goes around the opening directs the water out to the sides of the trailer. When I trimmed those two sections to allow for the lid supports I ended up giving the water a way into the trunk area. As it turns out, I trimmed the lip I took off far more than I needed to. My fix was to cut a piece of 1/2" wide aluminum flat bar to cover over the slot while allowing enough room for the lid supports to cross that lip when the lid is closed. This blocks the water's route into the trunk area. I glued it in place with construction adhesive and caulked it real good with silicone caulk. Here is what it looks like:

    [​IMG]

    I wanted to let it dry real good before I put the hose on it. I have to pull the pup out of the garage tonight, so I will try it out then.

    I wanted to give it a day or two to dry out before I put the hose
     
  9. dozer

    dozer New Member

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    Ok! I don't know how I missed this one but I am now going to go back and read it through! I saw your Dozer! I named my Dozer after a bull dozer too! Sometimes it was because he liked to nap!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. chumpshorty

    chumpshorty Member

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    And now it has been another year with little to no progress...life seems to just continue without my pup getting any attention. But Dozer's build has inspired me. Here is the latest.

    I decided to conduct a couple of tests on the exterior. My new approach is to restore the outside then move on to the inside. I removed the door to test my approach. Here is how it went:


    [​IMG]

    Here is the door after I took it off. I removed all the screws holding the trim pieces on, then took it apart.


    [​IMG]

    And here it is all taken apart. I decided to build a new wood framework for it because I want some extra support for a future modification. So I took some pressure treated 1x4 that I had and built a new frame (note the pocket holes - love that kreg jig)

    [​IMG]

    Given that my business is furniture restoration, I have serious, commercial grade paint strip chemicals at my disposal. As in 50 gallon drums worth. So I decided to strip the paint off of the aluminum skin rather than sand it. I probably would not have gone this route if I didn't have this paint remover. Here is the stuff I used

    [​IMG]

    As I said, I buy it in 50 gallon drums which run about $500 delivered. It can be purchased in 1 gallon containers which ought to be enough to strip just about an entire pup. Maybe 2 gallons would be safer. If any of you readers decide to try this stuff, be aware, IT IS NASTY STUFF. I use heavy rubber gloves, a face shield and a respirator. It will eat/melt right through most plastic. If you get it on your skin it REALLY burns until you rinse it off with water. I typically keep a wet rag nearby just in case. I find that if I don't wear a respirator I get a really bad headache the following day. That is the scary part, the upside is that this stuff works. The junk that is sold at Home Depot, Lowes, even Sherwin Williams is useless. This stuff gets it done.

    Here is a door panel with the first bit of strip applied and soaking in.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the same piece, along with the outer trim pieces about 15 minutes later.
    [​IMG]

    The process is fairly simple: apply strip, let it activate for a minute or two, scrape off with a putty knife, repeat another time or two, hose it off with water (pressure washer is best), then let it dry. Now I have a clean slate to prime and paint. I took the pieces home and primed them with a Rustoleum rattle can. Would have liked to have sprayed it at the shop, but it was the end of the day and I was tired of being at work.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Why black primer? I'm tipping my hat to my color scheme. Took the pieces back to the shop the next day for some sanding and top coat. Here is what I chose to paint the top coat with.

    [​IMG]

    I considered a true automotive paint process, but decided to keep it simple. If this is good enough for marine applications, it ought to work on my pup. Black?!?!? Why black?!?!?!? There are millions of white campers, not too many black ones. Why not have some fun with it? "It's going to be hot!!!!" Quit over thinking things. It will be fine! Here is how it turned out.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A little bit of orange peal, but as it dried it stretched out very nicely. All in all I'm pleased with the results and feel pretty good about painting the rest of the body with this process. Once the paint is really dry I will re-assemble the door and re-attach it (hopefully before it rains!) There are some plastic pieces that I still need to try the paint on. I will not be stripping those, don't want to melt them. Those parts need some repairs though, that will be the next update.
     
  11. sdn40

    sdn40 Member

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    I'll toss out an opinion that could save you loads of time.

    Disclaimer is that if you choose to strip every panel - all the more power to you.
    My thoughts are this: I've never seen a rust problem on a pup. No surprise since they rarely if ever see winter or salt. A factory primer and finish MAY be more reliable than we can produce, therefore my logic was to remove the decals, scuff thoroughly with a scotch brite pad - and since I didn't break through to bare metal - applied an implement paint directly. And with a foam roller no less. I did end up with an even - very light texture - but that's a good thing as it hides all imperfections. Pictures of the finished product available by clicking the camera.

    If you have other reasons why you want to disassemble every panel - then all bets are off - but if not - I'm wondering if the end result will be worth the numerous extra hours. I'll also say this - the big panels are very flimsy when taken off - so be careful as they can probably bend under their own weight.

    I'm not judging or trying to persuade you - just offering another perspective. My slogan during my re-build was "its a camper not a Cadillac". It helped me keep things in perspective
    Good Luck
     
  12. chumpshorty

    chumpshorty Member

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    I appreciate the input and agree with you just about 100%. The panels are aluminum, so rust isn't an issue. Therefore, scuffing and painting would work great in most cases. Honestly, that is exactly what I would recommend most people do. My paint is really faded and chalky, in some places is has faded through to the metal. I happen to have the chemical stripper at my disposal, so I figured, why not? I disassembled the door because it had some structural issues that needed to be addressed. The previous owner did a hack job of a repair, I wanted to fix it properly. I am not going to take all the panels off, that would be a nightmare. The strip is a gel that can be applied to vertical surfaces. I will apply it that way, right were the trailer sits. I will have to remove a lot of the odds and ends that are attached to the sides, but I would do that regardless. Again, I wouldn't take this approach if I didn't have the strip on hand already.

    Thanks for the perspective, even if it doesn't change my approach on this step, I'm sure it will in future steps. Your slogan is great, mine is "it is only a project if there is an end in sight...until then it is an eyesore".
     
  13. Dusty82

    Dusty82 Active Member

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    Just a quick note: I can't speak for your '93 model, but the exterior panels on the '75 and '78 models of Coleman that I stripped were made of steel - not aluminum. You might take a magnet outside and make sure. I had always assumed they were aluminum on mine, and was very surprised when I found out they weren't.

    I was also surprised to see that you used a foam roller to paint your pup, snd40 - your Columbia is one of my absolute favorite restorations. It's really a beauty.
     
  14. chumpshorty

    chumpshorty Member

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    Worked a little here and there since the last post. First was another test. The corner caps on the roof are pretty tired, cracked and faded.

    [​IMG]

    I figured I would give this bondo glass product a shot.

    [​IMG]

    Slathered a coat over the entire piece

    [​IMG]

    Sanded it to shape
    [​IMG]

    Finally put a coat of primer on it.
    [​IMG]

    I think it will work to repair the other plastic parts the same way.

    This weekend should be busy, gonna try to strip the rest of the pup and possibly prime it. Pictures to follow
     
  15. Oranges Rhymed

    Oranges Rhymed Member

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    Hmmm, looks good. I have a few cracks on my front trunk that could benefit from some of this, I think.
     
  16. chumpshorty

    chumpshorty Member

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    Lots of progress to share from the last day and a half. Let's get right into it!

    For starters I got in pretty deep with the rear plastic panel. It was in rough shape, looks like previous owner backed it into something.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Wasn't in the original plan to remove it, but I decided I needed to in order to fix it right. Drilled out the pop rivets across the top, then removed the screws across the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    YIKES! Starting to get scary. Disconnected the tail lights from the wiring harness and got busy with the structural repairs. More bondo glass work...

    Here is the backside at one of the tail light wells.
    [​IMG]

    And now the front, after some sanding.
    [​IMG]

    There were a handful of spots that got the same treatment. After body work comes the primer.
    [​IMG]

    Then paint. (the streaks are because I had just wiped it down after bringing it home from the shop)

    [​IMG]

    So to recap...before:
    [​IMG]

    And after...with lights re-installed.
    [​IMG]

    I just threw that old license plate on for fun. Matches the color scheme pretty good though.
     
  17. chumpshorty

    chumpshorty Member

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    While the rear cover was drying I came home and started on prepping the pup for paint. First I took off the marker lights, cable hatch and city water cover. Then, using the same stuff I used on the door, I stripped the aluminum sides.

    Before:
    [​IMG]

    After first pass with chemical strip:
    [​IMG]

    You may notice that I didn't strip the front storage box. Those panels are sort of like FRP, so chemicals are no good for that. I didn't photograph it, but I removed the hatch cover, cleaned it and primed it.

    Made one more quick pass with the chemical strip, then lightly sanded:
    [​IMG]

    With all that out of the way, laid down some primer, I'm kind of digging the flat black:
    [​IMG]

    Some pics of the ther side:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The whole process went real fast. Probably an hour and a half of stripping, another hour or so sanding and masking. The primer went on quick. Now I get to look for another few free hours to paint the top coat.

    Have a handful of goodies to order to trim things out. New cable hatches, new water outlet and some other odds and ends. Also going to replace the plastic on the front of the trunk with diamond plate. More to come...
     
  18. Sharon

    Sharon Dover, FL

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    Wow, your doing a great job. Love the black, Very sharp.

    Sharon
     
  19. fmbhappycamper

    fmbhappycamper PuP Power

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    We Need a LIKE Button [8D]
     
  20. Tibof

    Tibof Member

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    Door panels on my son's '94 Destiny Coleman were aluminum — and corroded through. I did a similar complete door rebuild — even found the original trim tape decal. Pocket screws are classy, but given that a sheet of thin plywood goes over the frame on each side, not really necessary. What is critical is to get the entire sheet metal and wood component sandwich the right thickness so that the aluminum frame that slips over the edges will fit. Since I couldn't find 1/8' plywood and had to use 3/16 IIRC, I had to narrow the thickness on basic wood frame. Texture on the white paint can be duplicated by shooting matching paint on the dry side.
     

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