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Old 03-07-2007, 07:36 PM   #15
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1978 31' Sovereign
Moncton , New Brunswick
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Well I am back after somewhat of a hiatus due to various factors. Finally making some progress. Had some help getting the trailer up. Used scrap 2x6 blocking from scrap ends obtained from a lumber yard. Worked very well, was able to jack incrementally getting in one peice at a time at each blocking point. Blocked it in six places so it is quite secure.

Past weekend got the rear belly pan off from the waste tank on back. Overall the frame is good inside the main frame rails but still have not seen the outriggers on the other side. Also, the rear cross member is in very bad shape, and rear floor section looks like it warrants replacement.

My plan is to drop the wate tank and pan, the water tank and forward belly skin. Also to remove beltline and bannana skins. Any ideas how long that should take to get all the belly skin, tanks and bannan skin off? Also, what is a reasonable time to expect to get it back on? How difficult is it to get the tanks off and back on - I am a bit apprehensive once I end up with all these peices to get them back together?

Once the frame is exposed I plan to get an experienced welder to do the rotted outrigger repair, and the rear cross member I have seen so far. There will probably be more. Is it possible to patch/weld framing in areas which still have wood floor above or near? (I am hoping to only have to replace front and rear floor sections).

Other news - finally picked up a tow vehicle although I may be a long way off before I finaly get the trailer repaired. But is was a good price for Canada, 1995 Suburban K1500 LS 4x4 for $3,100.00. It is actually pewter color with red base, so if I ever get things on the road combination should look okay.

Hopefully get some pictures posted once the bottom is exposed.

Any comments appreciated.
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:53 PM   #16
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To take it all apart to get to the frame figure about a full day.
That assumes you have a rivet removal tool, without that......well a long time.

Also air tool for all the bolts holding the tanks is nice but not absolutly needed.

You can buy the outriggers for $15 ea then have the new ones welding easy.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:09 PM   #17
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Fixing that tank

Hey toga, I'm in the same boat with my outriggers as you are, except I've lost the ones next to the step. As for fixing the plastic though, I've found a great material to use for most plastic repair is 3M's 8115 Automix Panel Bonding adhesive. If you go this route, you'll need a larger piece of plastic or fiberglass than the hole to use as a patch for the outside of the tank. Also, you'll need to spray their Adhesion Promoter 5907 before you apply. Sand the plastic w/80 grit paper, clean with soap & water, allow to dry, spray with adhesion promoter (let set 10 minutes), mix adhesive as you would body filler (pallete & spatula), apply to both tank & patch, apply patch to tank (hold in place with tape until dry, 90 minutes) - done. Hope this helps. Erik
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:23 PM   #18
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Bob/ Erik,

Great information, thanks - I am encouraged I can get things off in a time frame of a few days.

First the rivet removal tool - what is that? I have been using a battery powered drill. Is there something specially designed? Is it readily available? As for the tank bolts, I had to remove a few to get the rear belly skin detached from the waste tank pan. Not too bad even though it was mainly by hand ratchet. I have a snall impact driver I think will be useful for lots of bolts.

Erik - thanks for the info on the tank - may be a while before I get that far. -40 windchill here the last few days but spring is coming.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:23 PM   #19
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Rivet removal is typically done by drilling the rivets out as you seem to be doing. Once in a while you will find one that starts to spin and will not drill out. What I did was to use sharp stiff paint scraper to just chop off the offending rivet. Works great. The photo shows the general type that I mean. They are readily available at most any hardware store or Lowes and Home Depot. The pointed end is actually helpful for taping a chopped off rivet through the hole too.

If you do decide to take off the rub rail and remove the banana skins one word of caution - make sure you keep the rub rail pieces in a safe place. I managed to step on part of mine and bent it too much to fix. They don't make this stuff anymore and it is a bit hard to find used pieces in nice condition. By the way leaving it on a letting the banana wrap hang down does expose pretty much all of the outriggers with the exception perhaps of the ones at the very ends of the trailer. Because of their molded shape they don't hang down. If you do take them all off I suggest a couple of things:

1. There are several different pieces - make sure you label them all.

2. Consider putting a strip of masking tape on the body just above the rub rail before you take it off and put a few marks on it to help you align the pieces when you put them back on.

3. You are likely to find that the banana skins overlap on the outside of the body skins which has a tendancy to let water leak into the edges of the floor. I suggest you glop up the seam thoroughly with Vulkem before putting the rub rail back on.

4. One place for a lot of potential leakage is where the rub rail goes across the back. That area has a piece of aluminum attached to the hinged lid of the bumper storage area that slips under the floor panel. Take a look at the photo of the way mine was when I took it out. I was able to rivet on a new strip of aluminum to repair it just fine. The whole area tends to wick in water and needs to sealed up carefully. I had more floor rot in that back area than anywhere else - and I have heard that others have found similar problems.

5. The typical rivets used to hold the rub rail on are standard aluminum 1/8" pop rivets of the type that Lowes and Home Depot carry. You should make sure to get long ones (about 1/2"). Once in a while I found that I had an enlarged hole and had to add a larger pop rivet. You may not find that to be the case though.

6. One of the best buys I have made relative to AS tools is my pneumatic pop rivet tool. This is what I bought from Harbor Frieght:

Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

If you happen to have a store near you print out the sale price from the Internet and they will honor it at the store even if it is not listed on sale in the store.

I hope all this helps you get started. Keep asking questions - there are lots of people here on the forum with plenty of good advice.

Malcolm
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:36 PM   #20
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You can leave the beltline and all the rivets at the top of the bannana skins and save a ton of work.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:42 PM   #21
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see removal tool
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:02 PM   #22
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Bob,

I had forgotten about the type of rivet removal tool you show in your photo. I have one of those sets too and it works great. Thanks for the reminder. It is mostly for the Olympic rivets on the outside of the body, though. I have found, at least on my 1973, that the rivets used on the rub rail, banana wrap and belly pan generally seem to be the more common pop rivet type with a center hole that your drill bit will nicely center on.

That reminds me too that I did take all of my rub rail off and reinstall it with Vulkem underneath but I did not actually remove the banana wrap except in a couple of places where it needed to be replaced. What I did wast to take a piece of rub rail off, clean underneath, glop on the Vulkem and put the rub rail right back on.

Malcolm
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Old 03-11-2007, 06:57 PM   #23
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1978 31' Sovereign
Moncton , New Brunswick
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Tanks for the tool info - I am going ti think about ordering some of those. Also thanks for the advice.

It looks like the aluminum strip on the back lid did in my rear cross member - will try to attach photo (I notice the aluminum strip attached to the lid is tack welded to the top of the frame - is that normal or did the PO do that as it was attached to nothing once the rot got so bad in the back?). The rear cross memeber looks like it needs to be completely reconstructed; it seems to have gotten so weak that there is a slight concave downward in it and the floor. Also the rear floor section looks pretty much shot. Given this, I am thinking of removing the rub rails and rear bannana skins and maybe try sliding in a whole new rear floor member. Otherwise I will have to reconstruct the floor in pieces. Does anyone know if the rear floor section is same shape as the front? I have removed the front floor section a few months back, and have used it as a template for the front fllor section.

Managed to get the curbside banana skin dropped down. All the outriggers are still there although a few are rusted in spots, looks like they should be easily reinforced.

Can't seem to load my pictures - the file size is too large.

John
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:54 AM   #24
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Rear Floor Question

A Late Response To The Floor and Access Question
Most all of the repairs done by Forum members are credible repairs - and there are as many solutions as there are old trailers.

Pizza Chop certainly did a good job on his.

The rear is not the same as the front. The thread below is where I documented my repairs.

Also you will find an alternative to jacking on the frames.

I was able to remove and roll back the belly pan without removing the banana wraps.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=14737

The good news is that the rear is repairable without separating the frame/floor/U-channel/skin assembly.

I placed some light angle under the rear floor simply because AS built them much less robust than they should have - IMHO.

I intend to keep mine for quite a while, but may not necessarily have it on the road much.

Have LOTS of hours and bucks in it - but I am now going back together with the interior. I need to decide very quickly about which configuration I am going with in the rear bedroom.

As far as your resizing photo problem - about any "more than basic" photo shop program will allow you to resize the photos to a 640 X 480 size, then save them as a different name from the original photo.
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:12 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toga
Tanks for the tool info - I am going ti think about ordering some of those. Also thanks for the advice.

It looks like the aluminum strip on the back lid did in my rear cross member - will try to attach photo (I notice the aluminum strip attached to the lid is tack welded to the top of the frame - is that normal or did the PO do that as it was attached to nothing once the rot got so bad in the back?). The rear cross memeber looks like it needs to be completely reconstructed; it seems to have gotten so weak that there is a slight concave downward in it and the floor. Also the rear floor section looks pretty much shot. Given this, I am thinking of removing the rub rails and rear bannana skins and maybe try sliding in a whole new rear floor member. Otherwise I will have to reconstruct the floor in pieces. Does anyone know if the rear floor section is same shape as the front? I have removed the front floor section a few months back, and have used it as a template for the front fllor section.

Managed to get the curbside banana skin dropped down. All the outriggers are still there although a few are rusted in spots, looks like they should be easily reinforced.

Can't seem to load my pictures - the file size is too large.

John
My guess is if your unit is like mine that leakage in general caused the aluminum strip, the rear cross-member and the floor to have problems. My aluminum strip was not tack welded in so you may be right that someone did that later.

I built a new and stronger rear cross member out of angle iron about 2" x 2" x 1/8" thick. The attached photo shows what it looks like.

The rear section curve is definitely not the same as the front. I was able to make a template using thick poster board before I took out the old flooring. The template I made followed the outline of the inner edge of the body. Just add 1-1/2" to that outline and you will be fine. In my case I was replacing all of the subflooring. If the piece in front of the rear piece is out you can rotate the new end piece into place entirely from inside. It would also be OK to cut the piece down the middle into two pieces and fasten them backtogether at the joist with a spline underneath. With glue and screws this will be pretty much as strong as if it were one piece.

There are new larger size photo limits but the max in each dimension needs to be no more than 1600 pixels. As pointed out most software for doing even mimor edits to photos will allow you to resize the photo.

Malcolm
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:30 PM   #26
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Dennis and Malcolm,

Thanks for your advice. The info you gave will do the trick.

Will try to attach photos herein showing the state of rear floor and cross member. I like the angle iron cross member repair. I assume you have a couple of holes in the top one to bolt the shell flange and new floor section to. Also, it looks like a some type of flashing may be useful to avoid this problem in the future - from folding down the curbside rear bannana skin I can see my rear floor is gone there as well apparently due to water entering under the beltline and wicking into the plywood. Any other suggestion in replacing plywood to minimize future rot e.g. fiberglass coat/ laminate, or floor enamel paint?

Should hopefully be some photos attached although I don't see them in the preview.

Thanks,

John
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:49 PM   #27
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ooooooohhh - looks nasty

Toga:

Have you thoroughly inspected the rest of the frame?

The reason I ask is that the rear cross member is so far gone if there are any other cross members or arm extensions as bad it might be good to do everything at one time (dare I say Frame Off/New Frame?).

My condolences to your having to fight the snow on a gravel drive - I know how miserable that can be.

Post more pics the ones you have put up are great - I have found it to be really beneficial to keep a running photo journal of the work - even down here in the south with a lot of available work time I have had the Sovereign "on the blocks" for way too long.
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:39 PM   #28
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87MH,

I have seen bits of the frame and I know there are a few issues. I am hoping at all costs to avoid a shell off and new frame. I remember on the forums though someone saying he got a frame done up for $1500.00 - seems awfully reasonable. From what I have seen I know that at least a few of the crossmembers between the frames seem to be in good condition, and I am hoping the rest are reasonable. I plan to expose the whole thing including dropping the waste, grey and water tanks.

Removed the gas line and stabilizer jacks from the front section of belly pan. Should hopefully drop that soon and get a view as to condition. I am still thinking of removing the bannana wraps - I think I will ultimately need the access to repair the rotted outriggers. (About the belly wrap, aside from the curved corner peices, on the straight sections can they be reasonably made up from some aluminum house flashing? A couple of the sections running along the sides are in rough shape - some corrosion and tears.)

Right now if things are reasonable on the frame I hope to get a welder in to repair the outriggers similar to what Pizz Chop did to reinforce, and maybe do the angle iron on the back cross member as you have done - that looks quite sturdy.

Regarding the gas line, what is the general opinion. Should it be replaced if one has taken it off. Is it expensive? There are a number of little shutoff valves along the line.

Within the next few weeks hope to have gotten a better view of the frame and will post pictures; I am hoping it can be patched up.

Thanks for the info.

John
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