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Old 04-07-2016, 06:46 AM   #141
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I get the frustration. My only suggestion would be too see if you can get the shell to look how you want it, just hanging or sitting on blocks. Ditto check the floor on it's own. If that's possible it's just a challenge to marry it up to the floor buy adjusting the bows and the skin as it interfaces with the frame rails. If you can't get the shell to look good on it's own that implies that the windows front and rear were installed crooked or similar and would require some other fix. If the floor isn't flat that would require floor removal then heat to the rails but I'm certainly not a welder...
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:25 AM   #142
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See my post #284, http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...-38289-21.html for my rear bolt down plate. By putting the belly pan on before the shell could have made the frame to ridged, your frame should have been very flexible without the belly pan.

Also I would contact Andy of Inland RV and have him take a look at your thread, I consider Andy a true expert on matters like this.

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Old 04-07-2016, 10:22 AM   #143
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I would also use the old frame as a template to build an entirely new frame as HiHo has described.
Sorry to see it is sagging and crooked. My post above was a suggestion because of the problem you are now faced with. I'm not trying to rub it in your face, but I've been where you are now and wished I'd have listened to the advice I was given. Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2016, 01:50 PM   #144
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Well, thanks for the input guys. I would say the shell has never been off….for sure. In hindsight yes…..new main frame rails would have alleviated any doubt as to the frames straightness. My women says to just embrace the old girl for all her flaws and move on. Ha! Maybe if it was original yes. My Indian vibrates like hell but I wouldn't want it any different because thats what they did back in 1930. Im thinking that Wally would not have let this rig leave the lot crooked….even though there isnt a straight rivet line on her.
Once again appreciate your help. I will take a look at the back plate and maybe give Andy a call. Cheers
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Old 04-07-2016, 02:34 PM   #145
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Believe me I really understand the frustration of Airstream restoration - I've done it twice now and didn't particularly enjoy it both times - way more fun to be IN the trailer rather UNDERNEATH it - Anywey the first thought I had was similar to toaste - the belly pan has made the frame rigid - I don't think I would give up on the frame if otherwise solid - the frame is very flexible without shell and belly pan. I'm wondering if you could "loosen" the belly pan - get it straight, drop the shell down leaving the belly "loose" and make it all straight and rivet it all together - one of the problems is the shell may "like" the bent frame and have a hard time settling down - that's what happened to me on the Flying Cloud - we think the trailer was dropped of the ship - frame is bent at the wheels and the tongue - we left it and the shell seemed happy - it all went back together and seems to be happy - hang in there - I know exactly how you feel

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Old 04-07-2016, 02:38 PM   #146
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Thinking more - before I did much of anything, I would figure out why/where the frame is sagging - its it really the frame, springs - smaller wheel ( ) hill side or what.

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Old 04-07-2016, 06:41 PM   #147
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shell off restoration of '54 Cruiser

Get her back in the hanger and put it up on jack stands, 6 stands with the tires off the ground. Shim each stand until the floor is flat an level. Check in both directions, front to rear and side to side in multiple places since it will sag under its own weight and was probably twisted a bit from the original welding. Then you can tell what is wonky.

I level like this before I bolt down the ply and again after I flip it and start the belly pan. Even after all of that effort the frame/floor/belly pan will twist and sag without the shell. Then it's a matter of shoving stuff around as I reattach the shell. My 63' had 4" of frame droop when it was sitting on the tires and jack stand. The last one I did the RR corner was determined to twist high by 1/2" and I had the add weights to hold it flat during each step. It turned out really nice.
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:50 PM   #148
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Im trying a last ditch maneuver. Before the front right side, looking from the rear was low. Im starting in the front and working my way back. I lowered the shell all the way off the chains, there was still an inch or so where the frame could be raised. I jacked the front up slowly and until the belly pan was sucked up all the way and the holes line up with the 3/4" c channel. before that I put in a tube of Vulcum. What the hell…just go for it. I started drilling and riveting. Just pop rivets. I also drilled out some hole in the front plate and clecod them along with a few pop rivets. The holes line up with the c channel going back to almost the wheel pants. then they are slightly too high along with aft of the wheel pants. My plan is to jack and drill my way aft…I tried that before with just a few holes and clecos and they all popped out. This time I will throw some pop rivets in every 10 holes or so just to hold it in place. The back of the trailer doesn't lean as bad as before. Don't ask me why , maybe the 24th time is a charm. It still leans however. Im thinking that I might have to shorten the rear right side u channel so that the shell is aloud to be pulled down. Worse case is I will call her Ilene and try not to stand behind her. wish me luck
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:58 PM   #149
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I kind of tried that Hiho. I pulled the wheels and blocked it up so that the frame was level. I blocked it in 5 places. Thats when I discovered the 1" or so sag in the left rear that I thought I fixed. Maybe with the belly pan it is too rigid to flex like ken or toastie said.
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Old 04-07-2016, 07:31 PM   #150
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I kind of tried that Hiho. I pulled the wheels and blocked it up so that the frame was level. I blocked it in 5 places. Thats when I discovered the 1" or so sag in the left rear that I thought I fixed. Maybe with the belly pan it is too rigid to flex like ken or toastie said.

That's my guess. If you can't get the basic frame/floor/belly flat your are kinda behind the 8 ball to start.
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Old 04-07-2016, 07:38 PM   #151
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That's my guess. If you can't get the basic frame/floor/belly flat your are kinda behind the 8 ball to start.

Click image for larger version

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In this photo, the frame is perfectly flat. I had to add shims under the jack stands and weight to one corner but after adding the bellypan the assembly was much stiffer and flat.
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Old 04-07-2016, 07:50 PM   #152
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Here are a couple of other photos, the first is the frame and floor. You can see the sag over the length. The second is after the belly pan and how it helps hold everything flat. As an assembly it starts to gain some strength. Click image for larger version

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ID:	260176Click image for larger version

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Old 04-07-2016, 09:43 PM   #153
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That was a mistake. I didn't think much of leveling or keeping the frame flat/straight when I did the belly pan…not like the floor which I made sure was flat. I just approached it like …..the belly pan is here to just protect the floor and insulation. Wasn't thinking in terms of support. makes sense thought
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:46 PM   #154
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I will say that the shell even hanging on the chains slumps and droops in the old position it was in for …who knows how many years. It naturally wants to go back to that position. Not sure I will be able to get it right…hoping I can get close.
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