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Old 02-27-2008, 10:22 PM   #1
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'75 Ambassador Needs Frame

As some of you know, http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...rot-39673.html , I recently purchased a 75 Ambassador, center bath, 29 feet. After dropping the banana skins, rear belly pan, and the floor in rear room I discovered significant rust damage to the frame. Pretty quickly a consensus developed here that the frame is beyond repair and a local welder in town has now confirmed that.

So now I'm curious, what's it worth, as is?

The exterior is in pretty good shape. No major dents. But it needs a frame. The interior is all original but the appliances are probably all shot. The software isn't torn or worn but is sun damaged, dirty and moldy. So there is not much to be said for the interior. What's its worth as salvage or to part out?
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:30 PM   #2
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so maybe (ok definately) I have really no idea what I'm talking about, but tkendall's thread on here today for a 76 that lost the shell due to high wind has a 31' frame now I'm guessing.... couldn't a welder make a 76 frame 2 feet shorter and piece together a good frame for your shell? Dunno about locations/how practical, but at least a thought... Their thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...ind-40000.html
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Old 02-28-2008, 06:44 AM   #3
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The only problem is the axles sit in a slightly different position on a 31, vs. a 29'. Add to that almost everything contacts the floor, and you would have to completely disassemble the coach to replace the frame, which is supported by the floor. It could be done, but would be very labor-and-cost intensive.
I bought an Argosy 22 in similar condition, but with a couple of body problems, for $300. The Ambassador should be more than that, the question would be how much more?
Is the frame only "gone" behind the axles, or is there more rot up front? This would be a major consideration not only for purchasing/selling, but any further rehab work.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:21 AM   #4
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It may also depend on how much work you want. Anything is do-able but maybe not practical.
I assume there are holes rusted through the frame? Is there any good frame metal at all where you could scab some steel along the old frame?
What would he charge to manufacture a complete new frame?
What about going to a salvage yard and purchasing a frame from another trailer and cutting it down to size?
If the frame is out from under the 31' the axles could be easily moved by a welder/fabricator.
If you don't have the money, time, skills or tools you should unload this thing as quickly as possible.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:35 AM   #5
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you should call around there are venders that make frames for other types of trailers maybe they can construct one for you based on the specs of your old frame.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:27 AM   #6
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Your model of Ambassador is pretty rare with the center bath and desireable to many. If you don't want the hassle of having a frame built, then you could try and sell it. We had the same issue with our 68 safari. We took it to a shop that was to fabricate a new frame and floor. After 6 months of them having it and only gutting it, we decided to take it back unfinished losing 50% of what we paid.

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Old 02-28-2008, 11:32 AM   #7
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I'm satisfied the frame is history and not repairable. At present I'm in the process of obtaining bids from welders for a new frame.

Steve, I didn't realize the center bath floorplan was rare. Nevertheless, this trailer definitely needs a frame.

I spoke with local shop that at least initially quoted $6,000 for a new frame not including labor! I was stunned. If that's the cost of a new frame either I'm going to learn to weld really quickly or this trailer is going on the block.

So I'm still wondering what's a trailer in this condition worth? $600?
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:04 PM   #8
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OK I found the original thead with the pictures.
If it were me - this is coming from someone who has just replaced front and rear sections of the floor and it took some time to do the work - more time that I thought it would.
I would be tempted to part it out depending on how much initial purchase money you have involved. If you really want to fix it - it will cost some jack.
I would find a place to work on the trailer. Carefully gut the interior and remove the shell and floor. Take many, many pictures and draw diagrams. Drag the frame around to various shops or find one in a salvage yard. This would take awhile a quite a bit of work -
There are more trailers out there........
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goransons
so maybe (ok definately) I have really no idea what I'm talking about, but tkendall's thread on here today for a 76 that lost the shell due to high wind has a 31' frame now I'm guessing.... couldn't a welder make a 76 frame 2 feet shorter and piece together a good frame for your shell?
My only thought was maybe rather than a frame becoming a car trailer or scrap and someone else starting from scratch that modification might be cheaper (not necessarily a easy process). Having done a lot in the auto body/restoration/hot rod area, and next to nothing in the airstream world, I can't even pretend to know, but just thought it might be similiar to using a front clip from a car to repair/rebuild a wrecked on. Even if cross members or outriggers were reused instead of fabrication, can't imagine the basic structure is that bad to build, but all the stuff that has to be custom machined is where I could imagine the $$ going fastest. But again, I reserve the right to be totally wrong
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