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Old 09-14-2004, 06:50 PM   #1
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1963 22' Safari
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Floor is not flat

et al,

I am in the process of completing my shell off floor replacement on my 63 safari. As you may recall from my previous posts, the original floor was removed so I never had a template to go by when installing the new floor.

I draped fiberglass insulation lengthwise across the frame and bolted down the new floor (used elevator bolts about every 6-8"). I have the frame and new deck under the shell and am lowering the shell onto the new deck after centering and squaring the shell as best as I can (any good center reference points?) to get the shape for cutting.

My floor is not flat - it seems its a combination of the farthest out bolt going through the floor channel and outrigger is not in yet and the insulation is pushing up the deck a bit, and possibly some frame sag? The distance is anywhere from a 1/4" to 3/8".

If I drop the floor channel to the deck, my rivets wont catch the floor channel. Do I jack up the deck/outriggers where needed to meet the floor channel? I was worried that may be a lot of stress on the shell. Also - can my shell not be straight?

Thanks for your thoughts and help.

Kevin
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Old 09-14-2004, 07:51 PM   #2
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I found the best solution was to place jackstands in the rear, and use the tongue jack to adjust the frame to match the shell and floor channel. If you need to go in the opposite direction,place a couple of concrete blocks in the front and back. I spent a lot of time jacking the frame up and down a few turns at a time until everything was good.

Analyse how you have the shell supported. How is the shell blocked up? Are you supporting it with crossbeams on the first and last rib? Are you using cribbing under the crossbeams. Having all the weight of the shell supported by the first and last rib will cause a little sag in the shell, but you also have all the weight of the shell concentrated in a few spots on the floor. This may be causing some deflection of the frame that will disappear once the shell is in place and evenly supported.

I marked the center of the floor with a line from front to back, then marked the center of the ends, and lined them up. The shell can easily twist to one side or the other by 2 or 3 inches if you let it hang free.
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:14 PM   #3
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Thanks for replying Mark.

The only floor channel that I was able to salvage was the curved pieces. When I put in the replacement channel for the straight sections, I am using the line of undercoating/clean aluminum that appeared when I removed the old channel as a reference.

Did your shell extend below the decking?

In analyzing the support I used for the shell - I screwed 2x4's lengthwise down each side - screwing into each stud, then did cross bracing for jacking and stability. After thinking about that, since my original floor was gone, I had some studs/floor channel resting on the outriggers, others were not touching at all - it would seem that my shell wasn't level/straight when I braced it.

Can I use the bottoms of each stud as a reference for straightening the shell? Should each stud rest right on the floor channel, or are they sometimes floating?

Kevin
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Old 09-15-2004, 04:57 PM   #4
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Kevin,
Should the shell extend below the floor? I just checked the dimensions on my shell. The rivet line is 7/8" above the lower edge. The rivet holes in some of my remaining floor channel are also 7/8" above the bottom, so it appears that the edge of the shell should be level with the top of the floor. It's hard to tell visually because the belly skin covers the joint.
Regarding the studs meeting the floor, as I recall a couple of them may have been short by 1/4" or so. I lined up the rivet holes in the shell with the holes in the studs and some of them look that way.
There are lots of rivets holding the shell to the ribs, and also to the floor channel, so all of the weight is tranferred from the shell to the floor via the skin panels. Having the rib actually in contact with the floor is not critical for stress distribution.
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