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Old 08-25-2012, 11:58 PM   #15
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1975 31' Sovereign
Pierre , South Dakota
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Sound like you have it taken care of.
Good Luck
Jack
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:13 AM   #16
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cary , North Carolina
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Originally Posted by 195Pilot View Post
Sound like you have it taken care of.
Good Luck
Jack
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kinda, im wondering what breaks easily in the bathroom,aside from seals and such, what did you find most problematic, seeing as how you have done this with yours? or was yours the mid bathroom model?
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Old 08-26-2012, 01:18 AM   #17
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Mine is a rear bath model. The frame had broken aft of the rear axle at some point, Welded up and then the factory frame doublers were bolted in the axle area for support. The plastic is fragile will break if all the rivets are not removed. Just remove the aluminum trim and there will be more rivets under the trim holding the furniture.
Have you removed all the belly pan? from rear bumper to A-frame? The insulation needs to come out, it assorts moisture and laying against the frame rusts out the frame,cross members and outriggers. Look close at the A-frame, just inside the aluminum. You can see the bottom of the front hold down plate and check the A- Frame for heavy corrosion.If any of the outrigger have cut a vertical slot in the side wraps that outrigger has failed in some way, weld broke loose, or outrigger broken or rusted away from the frame
As I side note I have all 8 area's of certification (NIASE) if IIRC they changed to ASE in 1979.
Get you a cheap 110V MIG welder, a good auto/dark helmet, and watch a few you tube videos. Go to Lincoln Welders site and read a few how t.o.'s. Practice laying a few beads and welder up yourself.
Of course what do I know I'm doing mine under the shade tree, but I can put my BSME stamp on my shade tree frame.
good luck.
Jack
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:46 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by 195Pilot View Post
Mine is a rear bath model. The frame had broken aft of the rear axle at some point, Welded up and then the factory frame doublers were bolted in the axle area for support. The plastic is fragile will break if all the rivets are not removed. Just remove the aluminum trim and there will be more rivets under the trim holding the furniture.
Have you removed all the belly pan? from rear bumper to A-frame? The insulation needs to come out, it assorts moisture and laying against the frame rusts out the frame,cross members and outriggers. Look close at the A-frame, just inside the aluminum. You can see the bottom of the front hold down plate and check the A- Frame for heavy corrosion.If any of the outrigger have cut a vertical slot in the side wraps that outrigger has failed in some way, weld broke loose, or outrigger broken or rusted away from the frame
As I side note I have all 8 area's of certification (NIASE) if IIRC they changed to ASE in 1979.
Get you a cheap 110V MIG welder, a good auto/dark helmet, and watch a few you tube videos. Go to Lincoln Welders site and read a few how t.o.'s. Practice laying a few beads and welder up yourself.
Of course what do I know I'm doing mine under the shade tree, but I can put my BSME stamp on my shade tree frame.
good luck.
Jack
BSME
A&P IA
Licensed Pilot,Comm.ME.Instrument Rated.

Thanks for the info bud, really appreciated. Also, I tip my hat to you good sir/ma'am.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:41 AM   #19
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If that is $800 and he provides all the material kinda sounds like a deal.

The welding should* be the easy part... I'll take ten minutes and write up a quick list from memory here, a lot of hidden costs in time and money covered in that estimate there.

- sourcing the correct materials (alloy/thickness/length/profile) at decent prices and a decent delivery date...
- sourcing the correct equipment, good quality welding machine, saw, grinder & wheels, rod/wire/gas, gloves, helmet, other shield to lay on back and weld above your head, power source, extension cords, magnetic & other clamps, full shield gas bottles on hand or anti-splatter spray, working spool gun or tuned wire-feed system, or correct & dry welding rod if stick welding...
- getting custom bent profiles made on spec
- cutting to fit, align and clamp

....can easily take 95% of the time, effort and cost involved. Then the not-as-easy-as-it-looks but quick part...

- tack weld into place
- double-check all dimensions then weld for strength
- chip slag and brush weld to inspect
- BFH (big fat hammer) test on welds to see if they yield, give or break
- grinding down bad weld spots and reworking them

$800 for a turn-key package, yanno, ready to start continuing the project as soon as the paint dries, kind of sounds like a deal to someone who's been there and done that
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:57 PM   #20
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Oh - and about the harshest chemical to broadcast widespread in the trailer should be something like the same antiseptic ingredient they use in Bactine... its sold as a Moss & Algae killer, dilute it well, rinse it well. The more reactive the chemical (chlorine) the more corrosion and daughter elements its produces amongst the metals, wiring and plastic which then linger and may not be too healthful.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:49 PM   #21
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Oh - and about the harshest chemical to broadcast widespread in the trailer should be something like the same antiseptic ingredient they use in Bactine... its sold as a Moss & Algae killer, dilute it well, rinse it well. The more reactive the chemical (chlorine) the more corrosion and daughter elements its produces amongst the metals, wiring and plastic which then linger and may not be too healthful.

darn, I am going to have to scrub it inch by inch.did not think about that. THX so much for pointing that out!

this is gona be fun..lol, finally i can put my hazmat gear to use and freak out the neighboors.been waiting for an excuse to the wife to do this.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:53 PM   #22
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If that is $800 and he provides all the material kinda sounds like a deal.

The welding should* be the easy part... I'll take ten minutes and write up a quick list from memory here, a lot of hidden costs in time and money covered in that estimate there.

- sourcing the correct materials (alloy/thickness/length/profile) at decent prices and a decent delivery date...
- sourcing the correct equipment, good quality welding machine, saw, grinder & wheels, rod/wire/gas, gloves, helmet, other shield to lay on back and weld above your head, power source, extension cords, magnetic & other clamps, full shield gas bottles on hand or anti-splatter spray, working spool gun or tuned wire-feed system, or correct & dry welding rod if stick welding...
- getting custom bent profiles made on spec
- cutting to fit, align and clamp

....can easily take 95% of the time, effort and cost involved. Then the not-as-easy-as-it-looks but quick part...

- tack weld into place
- double-check all dimensions then weld for strength
- chip slag and brush weld to inspect
- BFH (big fat hammer) test on welds to see if they yield, give or break
- grinding down bad weld spots and reworking them

$800 for a turn-key package, yanno, ready to start continuing the project as soon as the paint dries, kind of sounds like a deal to someone who's been there and done that

yeah hes a real good guy, hit me for 55/hr for labor and mats, i did some work for him, hence why its so cheap , the man has a WAREHOUSE of metal,its amazing. their are scrap yards here where he can find all kinda metal, and when i mean all kinds, its ALL kinds.. i have for instance never seen a gear the size of a person just sitting in a metal hoarders corner...thing was huge..
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:51 PM   #23
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Hello, I'm new..

I'm a closet Airstreamer that's coming out.
my name is Jonathan, I'm a plumber/electrician/and certified MVAC tech, with ASE 1-6.. so allot of the issues on mine have already been fixed, the one thing I'm not is a welder....Yet


I just bought an airstream with the mind of knowing that I'm going to have to repair the frame. The rear end has separated to the point where the frame is broken on the right rear side, (but their is some silver rod that isn't that's inside of the frame??what is that) and what looks like long bolts that went into the wood;(?) are no longer connected.., can someone asses the damage by these photos real quick and tell me what all needs to be done? and please don't say anything about a shell off, because the interior is in amazing condition, and ripping that stuff out to me is out of the question. drilling out sections of the floor i'm fine with.. I have been reading here alot, and it seems that a gentleman by the name of andy seems to be a good authority in these matters..

1.)Can anyone tell if the axles need replacing by these photos? if not how do I tell?

2.)what caused the rear end to separate like this? bad running gear balance or lack their of? Some places even said AS mounted tanks in a bad area in the rear? (I don't trust this as AS have several engineers that test this stuff hardcore..) Do new axles come with running gear Already balanced from inland RV or any other place anyone knows about?? Finding that snap on tool is almost impossible to balance the running gear

3.)Where can I order the pieces I need for this repair? i'm going to take it to a welder I know, and I want to be able to provide the parts to him that are the correct ones. Fabrication to me goes against how these were manufactured, and AS engineers usually know what their doing, so I'm not a big fan of backyard fixes. For the record I'm not knocking anyone who fixes them properly in the backyard, just so long as their done properly.

Money is not an Issue here, this is going to be a gift to my mother, and I want this done right..I know I'm going to be doing allot of cleaning on the AS.


Their's much controversy on how to fix "rear end separation", So much in fact I cant discern fact from fiction about it anymore. Whats overkill, whats not..etc. I have seen many shell off's, where people gutted it fixed it up, and never put the furniture back in,and sold it for 2k or less.. I do not want to end up like one of those people.


pictures are on page 10,11

Airstream
I have built a lot of equipment trailers since 1975. Having seen just a couple of pictures of the rust, and knowing how thin AS frames are, I would build a new frame. It clearly needs a frame off restoration. That frame would take more work, (by far) to fix than just buying new steel and building a new frame. It would take about $1500 in steel plus consumables, and labor, to build a new frame. I figure that it would take about 80 hours to build if a person had the jig, and the right equipment.
If it were me I would build it out of 6" structural channed with 3" structural channel cross members (and outriggers) 1-1/2" down from the top of the 6" frame rails. I would then use 2" x 2" x 1/8" angle iron, overlapping the 3" channel by 1/2" to make the frame flush on the top of the 6" rails. This will add about 100# but it makes a trailer that is extremely strong and easy to attach the shell to. It also makes it easy if the trailer is ever ruined, you can pull the shell off, sell everything extra, grind off the angle iron and put 2x10s (or 12s) as a deck on the trailer and have a valuable equipment trailer. When I build trailers, I MIG weld most verticals (except couplers), and I weld all horizontals, and axles with stick (7018). I do that because stick welds penetrate deep and are very sturdy. MIG welds are good, but they are harder to weld. I know everyone is going to laugh at that statement, but try to pass an X-Ray test with MIG. It can be done, but it is so easy to cold lap that it isn't funny.
Good luck with your rebuild.
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:05 PM   #24
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I have built a lot of equipment trailers since 1975. Having seen just a couple of pictures of the rust, and knowing how thin AS frames are, I would build a new frame. It clearly needs a frame off restoration. That frame would take more work, (by far) to fix than just buying new steel and building a new frame. It would take about $1500 in steel plus consumables, and labor, to build a new frame. I figure that it would take about 80 hours to build if a person had the jig, and the right equipment.
If it were me I would build it out of 6" structural channed with 3" structural channel cross members (and outriggers) 1-1/2" down from the top of the 6" frame rails. I would then use 2" x 2" x 1/8" angle iron, overlapping the 3" channel by 1/2" to make the frame flush on the top of the 6" rails. This will add about 100# but it makes a trailer that is extremely strong and easy to attach the shell to. It also makes it easy if the trailer is ever ruined, you can pull the shell off, sell everything extra, grind off the angle iron and put 2x10s (or 12s) as a deck on the trailer and have a valuable equipment trailer. When I build trailers, I MIG weld most verticals (except couplers), and I weld all horizontals, and axles with stick (7018). I do that because stick welds penetrate deep and are very sturdy. MIG welds are good, but they are harder to weld. I know everyone is going to laugh at that statement, but try to pass an X-Ray test with MIG. It can be done, but it is so easy to cold lap that it isn't funny.
Good luck with your rebuild.
That's why pipeline welders use stick!!
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:17 AM   #25
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If i do a shell of, and assuming all the furniture is ok, do i have to destroy the furniture or can i salvage it?
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:38 PM   #26
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Shell on is possible, but it might be harder in the long run. I have replaced the back section about 3 feet and the frame from the Front door forward. It's possible but has higher risk, and my guess is that the finished project would be better if you have the time and money to do a shell off. I don't have the time, so I have been fixing things little by little as I go. If you do the repairs shell on, don't make the same mistake I did, and set the old girl on fire! All ways have a spotter, and a water hose at hand. All that old wood, cloth, rat nests, burn real fast.. Smoke damages so much...

Get yourself a Hobart wire (mig) welder, watch some vids on YouTube, if you can soder copper pipes, then you can weld. It might not be pretty when you are done, but as long as you have good penetration it will hold.

Just a heads up, after you have pulled out the bathroom, closets, and part and the middle section, gutting the whole inside my not seem like such a daunting task. Keep all of the closet doors, walls, Etc. They have on odd curve, and if you need to make new ones you can use them later as a template.

Good luck, keep reading, you can get it done!
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:39 PM   #27
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About the furniture, save everything that you can, for as long as you can. Much of it you should be able to save.
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Old 09-29-2012, 05:28 PM   #28
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So, at the advice of several people, I took some welding classes ( still am) and it has indeed come in great use, I have had to replace the 3 inch c- channel skids on the 5 inch c channel frame. That(5 inch c channel) also was rusted to just half a foot behind the rear most cross member, the outriggers were gone, but I was fortunate enough to have a template for the frame on the street side of the airstream. So I replaced that with all new steel as well. I had to prefabricate the small top crossmember water holding support frame on the back that held the tanks up, and fabricate the pans for the tanks as well as the hinge support frames. I used the bed frames rail idea I saw from another member here on the forums and some more decently sized hinges, painted in por 15 silver, and am in the process of reattaching.

My question was, o. The front of my airstream, I noticed instead of the open c channel design on the curbside, it had a plate with circles about 4 inch in diameter that continued running down the frame to where the hitch bars meet.. Is this an original design, or did someone improve on the frame support sometime before I owned it?
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