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Old 10-02-2019, 10:17 AM   #1
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Can I weld on frame?

I have the Equalizer weight distribution system. My issue is the torsion bar bracket that clamps to the frame walks on the frame each trip under normal use. I have applied plenty of torque to the bolts. I want to keep the system if possible. I am considering welding stops to the frame to keep the bracket properly located. My question is, can the frame be welded on?
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:27 AM   #2
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I'm not qualified to respond to the welding question, but I have considerable experience installing and using my Equalizer hitch. I have used the 10000/1000 hitch on two different trailers over the past three years and never had the link plates move at all. I suspect something is wrong with your setup. Are you torquing the bolts to the correct values?

https://www.equalizerhitch.com/manua...nal-tightening
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:19 AM   #3
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Yes it is possible to weld. Iíve done this, but suggest keep any welds small. Youíre intent is to eliminate creep, as such tack welds will usually suffice.
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:47 PM   #4
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It is best to make any holes in the middle of the frame member not on the top and bottom edges. The same goes for welds. I would use a MIG welder not a stick welder unless you really know what you are doing.



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Old 10-02-2019, 01:47 PM   #5
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Overtightening will distort the brackets and give you less grip rather than more. I had the problem until I followed a post on here to take some copper pipe the size of the bolts and cut the length to the width of the frame rails. As odd as it seems, it will not let you get the bolts too tight; my brackets never moved after that.

From Robertsunrus: Hi, go to the Equal-I-zer hitch thread and you will see how I fixed this problem on my hitch and my brackets never slipped again. Buy a piece of 1/2" copper tubing, cut four pieces 2"s long, buy a third set of nuts and bolts for the frame bracket. Now install the top bolt with the piece of copper tubing between the brackets. Install the second bolt as close to under the frame as possible. Install the third bolt in the lowest hole in the brackets; Install the third bolt with the piece of copper tubing between the brackets. Snug up all of the bolts and then tighten them. The copper tubing on the top bolt will help prevent the bending/bowing of the frame brackets. The copper tubing on the third bolt will hold the brackets out so when you tighten the second bolt, the brackets won't bend or bow.

Bob refers to:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ead-98886.html
Post 13.

Al
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:32 AM   #6
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Hi

First step would seem to be to pull the brackets and look at them. I'd also look at what's under them. As noted above, if either the brackets (or worse the frame) is now bent, that's not a good thing. That needs to be addressed before anything else is done. If there is something *really* weird under the brackets (like silicone lube) that needs to get taken care of as well.

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Old 10-03-2019, 09:38 AM   #7
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Welding!

NO!!! Definitely do not weld to the frame especially between axles and the hitch! Drill and use bolts! And(very important) DO NOT drill into the flange part of the frame!!! Only to the webbing and closest to the center as you can. Any welding will shrink the heated area which will put the metal under stress which could then lead to a crack!
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Old 10-03-2019, 10:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mykytiukr View Post
NO!!! Definitely do not weld to the frame especially between axles and the hitch! Drill and use bolts! And(very important) DO NOT drill into the flange part of the frame!!! Only to the webbing and closest to the center as you can. Any welding will shrink the heated area which will put the metal under stress which could then lead to a crack!
The entire frame is assembled by welding it together. Welding is not a problem.
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazyj66 View Post
I have the Equalizer weight distribution system. My issue is the torsion bar bracket that clamps to the frame walks on the frame each trip under normal use. I have applied plenty of torque to the bolts. I want to keep the system if possible. I am considering welding stops to the frame to keep the bracket properly located. My question is, can the frame be welded on?

I have the same issue.
Probably due to someone before me over tightening the "clamps"
I like your idea of the stops.
Thanks
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Shermy1987 View Post
The entire frame is assembled by welding it together. Welding is not a problem.
That may be the case but do we know if Airstream heat treats the welds to stress relieve?
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:27 PM   #11
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I had the same problem, on my 71’ I welded the brackets, just completed 7,000 mi trip no problems. No regrets
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Old 10-03-2019, 03:11 PM   #12
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I sure hope you can. Because I’ve done it more than once.
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Old 10-03-2019, 04:37 PM   #13
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Can I weld on frame?

Some good insight expressed in several posts. Inspect the brackets and surrounding areas and see if there is an obvious cause for the condition youíre experiencing. If you decide that welding is your best remedy, donít be concerned. This is mild carbon steel which is readily weldable by a competent person. As was previously mentioned the frames are welded, and in most cases the coupler is welded to the frame, so consider that for perspective.

The welding process (GMAW, FCAW, SMAW, etc.) is irrelevant as long as a competent welder is involved. These frames are fabricated of thin wall/section mild carbon steel. IIWM I would use GMAW-S with ER70 series wire and I would not be concerned about stress relieving the welds. Remember to keep them small, and if possible keep the orientation along the length of the A-frame rather than across.

As for holes, they serve to lighten a structure, or act as a pathway for the insertion of something. I would avoid unnecessary holes, but if one is needed then Iíd drill and proceed. The issue with a hole is that it is a portal for moisture entry if not properly sealed. As for placing holes here, but not there. Put the hole where it is needed. If there is concern about creating a stress riser, or weakening the area, then add a doubler plate, or reconsidering your approach.

Let us know how things work out for you and remember we like pictures

In closing, best wishes.
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Old 10-03-2019, 04:47 PM   #14
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Mhphhoward

Had to replace A-Frame coupler. I welded. Furthermore, Hensley hitch brackets are secured to the yoke with two short sheet metal screws in addition to the u-bolts. Installed at the Hensley factory in Romeo MI.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:00 PM   #15
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200k miles on frame, hitch and trailer. Running well.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shermy1987 View Post
The entire frame is assembled by welding it together. Welding is not a problem.
Yes it IS a problem!!! Any manufacturer that does welding on structural items like a frame are done under controlled conditions as in heli-arc welding, welding in a jig, stress relieved and so on. Call Airstream in Jackson Center!!!
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:28 AM   #17
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That may be the case but do we know if Airstream heat treats the welds to stress relieve?
I can assure you they did not.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:33 AM   #18
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If the frame is tempered then welding is not recommended. A lot of large trucks have tempered steel frames and are assembled with mechanical fasteners. Airstreams do not have tempered steel frames, so are assembled by welding.
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazyj66 View Post
I have the Equalizer weight distribution system. My issue is the torsion bar bracket that clamps to the frame walks on the frame each trip under normal use. I have applied plenty of torque to the bolts. I want to keep the system if possible. I am considering welding stops to the frame to keep the bracket properly located. My question is, can the frame be welded on?
In 20 some years using these types of systems on various rigs as you appear to be doing, I have never had the creep happen as you suggest. I'm sure it's possible, but like many I have been fortunate enough not to have it happen.

If all the rest of the setup has been verified and proven correct, I see no reason as Kevin245 suggested why you could not do a very small tack weld or two to keep it in place, but I would first want to verify the setup completely before taking such action as even tack welding makes your choice of setup slightly more committed than just the preferred method of connection.

Those saddles not only get torque bolted to the frame, but the downward forces in addition to the clamp style should have been more than sufficient to hold the saddles in place-- even on a painted frame.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:24 AM   #20
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I can assure you they did not.
Hi

Airstream does not manufacture the frames. They come in pre-assembled and then Airstream puts the trailer structure on top of the frame.

Bob
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