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Old 11-16-2010, 07:02 PM   #1
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'74 Excella - bracing shell for removal question

I just bought a 74 Excella. The skin is in good condition but the frame is shot and I want to go ahead and get the shell off.

I've see pictures where the shell is braced on the interior with 2x6s. What I don't see and don't get exactly is how the actual lifting of the shell is done.

Also, once the shell is off and at rest, the weight of the shell should rest entirely on the bracing?

Thanks in advance.. I'm ready to do this!
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:08 PM   #2
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Daniel I used a couple of small bottle jacks between the bracing and the floor. I lifted the front a few inches with the two jacks and blocked it with 2x4's between the bracing and the floor. Then I went to the back and lifted it a few inches and blocked it. I just repeated the process front and back until the shell was high enough to rest on the 4x4's on the sawhorses. You can have the shell and C channel for the front and rear end caps rest on the 4x4's but the sides of the shell must hang free because they have no C channel attached and would buckle if they sat on the 4x4's.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:15 PM   #3
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Thanks.

What is good to use to attach the 2x6s to the frame?
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:52 PM   #4
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Daniel,
I used the same method as Wasagachris. I clamped the shell to the braces with several C clamps. I couldn't get the shell to lift off, then I discovered that the banana wrap was bent up over the C channel Take your time!
Tim
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:01 PM   #5
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Daniel I drilled holes through the 2x6's and the ribs of the shell and attached the two together with carriage bolts and nuts.
Tim your 63 was made differently than our 70's unit. The 60's style was better for preventing leaks from the shell into the belly because any leaks from the side of the shell went over the side wraps and in the 70's method of construction any leaks went under the wraps and into the belly.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:03 PM   #6
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Removing this shell is going to be a bit of a challenge. The trailer frame separated and twisted. Luckily the shell wasn't attached to the trailer starboard side rear. This is messy. Sorry for the poor quality pictures. I need to get a camera. I'm determined to get this shell off of this frame asap, and get it square and level again on stands. There is currently ~2 in difference side to side between the ribs front compared to back. I hope that I can get the bracing on at the same width by squeezing the shell together a bit to get the bracing on, then get the shell up and get it straight. The last picture is the big hump by the battery box. Any suggestions?
Thanks..
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:00 PM   #7
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Daniel I'm not sure I follow what your'e saying. Are you saying the shell is actually wider or is the 2" difference between the frame rails? I looked at the pics. The big hump you speak of is it in the floor or the walls?
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:11 PM   #8
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The shell on the curb side rear, because it is not attached to the floor, is floating out there and there is an extra two inches of width between the side walls on the rear. The hump is in the floor to the left as you come in the door, right at the battery box. that is where the frame buckled. It is a mess.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:22 PM   #9
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O.K. I understand now. I actually never checked mine for width because it was still attached. Where you are measuring is it on the end caps? Does the shell still fit directly over the floor or is there a gap between the end of the floor sheet and the lower edge of the shell. I can tell you that the end caps are not simetrical and the curved ends are not mirror images. Curb side is a different curve than roadside.
The most important thing will be to block the new frame exactly level front to back and side to side before reattaching the shell. I listened to a tip and blocked the frame in six points down each side to make sure it was level and straight. The shell will have some flex and it must be attached to the frame perfectly straight and level. The frame will actually have more flexibility than the shell. It has been stated here that the shell holds the frame and not the other way around.
Do you see any buckles in the skin of the shell?
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:33 PM   #10
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It sounds like the shell seperated from the floor at the rear starboard so the shell is bulging out where its no longer attached? Am I getting that right?
If thats the case then you need to correct it by pulling the wall in and using the bracing to hold it in the right shape. It might be easier to release the shell from the floor first, so you can jockey it around and get the bracing in straight without fighting against the twist and sag in the frame. Then lift it off the floor once you have it braced to the right width.

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Old 11-17-2010, 08:35 PM   #11
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There is a gap between the edge of the floor and the shell. The shell is hanging out about 2 inches or so. There is one buckle in the skin of the shell.. maybe more like a bow out. The skin isn't creased or anything. No damage to the skin as far as I can see.

I was wondering about how many points on each side to brace. The number that I came up with.. 6 or 7.
I was not planning on any bracing between the curved areas of the front or the rear, just from side to side where the walls are straight lines.

Also I'm thinking of just removing the interior sheathing on the bottom half. That should be plenty of room to get the bracing in. I'll worry about the interior once I get a new trailer frame and get the shell back on.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:39 PM   #12
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Yes Viking, that is exactly it. That makes perfect sense.. release the shell from the floor first.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:47 PM   #13
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You are right about the interior panels staying in the upper shell. They add rigidity to the shell, and not much weight.
I see you are in South Carolina. Have you thought about how to secure the shell while its off the frame? A strong wind can make the whole thing fit in a 30 gallon garbage can

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Old 11-17-2010, 09:00 PM   #14
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Thought about it some.. Ok, the shell will be braced and the bracing will be sitting on some 4x4s which will be resting on sawhorses. I have this 10x20 or so tarp. I was thinking to stretch the tarp over top of the shell. This should cover the majority of the roof area, then tie the tarp down to some short t-posts that I will drive into the ground.

This will give me a lot of strong anchor points. If I pull the tarp snug (not too tight) to eliminate any "give", I'm thinking that this should do the job.
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