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Old 01-22-2008, 09:07 PM   #57
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Rear end sag...

Everyone has it but no one likes to admit it...

Your's doesn't look too bad and when you slide in the new plywood and fasten it all up, you shouldn't have much. With the longer units, some frame sag is inevitable, but the shell will help keep it up.

I'm thinking Andy's response was a light hearted one, because any coach without a rear floor has, by definition, a problem with rear end separation.

You are obviously aware of the problem and are in the middle of fixing it.

It's the poor souls who have rear end separation and don't know it (and are running around with dead axles and unbalanced running gear) that we should pity the most. (Kinda like most newbie buyers)

Because of the distance from the axles to the rear, it's a good idea to keep stabilizing jacks down (when stationary, of course) and to be careful of how much cargo is stored in the rear bedroom.

As for rear bath/center bath argument, the main issue is the integrity of the plywood floor, and its exposure to moisture. Moisture can come from the inside (bathroom fixtures) or the outside (rear beltline seal, window, taillights, marker lights). Whichever direction it comes from, it destroys the floor, and hence the rear holding points.

Below is a very crude drawing of an additional hold down which should be added (per Andy's instruction) to the frame on both sides to further secure the shell to the frame (with plywood floor in between)(the bolt is green)
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:27 PM   #58
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Ron,

Thanks for the positive comments. Sometimes I wonder if I am going to get this together. I have visited your site/pictures a few times and am impressed with the extent and skill of your rebuild. Especially since you have more than 2 times the number of kids I do!

Yes, I am hopeful that once the floor slides in and is bolted up that it will pull things together. I will install the bolts as you have suggested. One aspect that I see you have dealt with is the weathered/ rotted aluminum at the bottom of the rear skin. I think you used some stainless and I suspect I may take a similar approach (may have to wait till spring, -22 deg C right now!). Regarding reinstating the shell to floor, I see almost no evidence of the steel " tie down plate"; it seems to have essentially disintegrated/rusted as there is some highly rusted steel between the channel and inside of the exterior skin.

My rear floor section is cut and painted with a coat of oil based floor enamel and I am waiting to slide it in once I have figured out the pieces and method I will use reinstate/strengthen the rear channel - floor - frame joint/ fit up. For my floor repairs I have taken a 4 inch wide butyl rubber.vinyl backed ice shield and put it on the edge. For the edge that will slide in the channel toward the front of the section I used some aluminum tape. The purpose of this is to protect the edge of the plywood particularly from wicking once it is back in. I think wicking from the edge was one of the main reasons I had such extesive floor rot. Try to attach pictures.

John
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:53 PM   #59
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John,

Stay with it. It feels like you'll never get there, but you will. (I know how long it takes, believe me. I know all about despair and despondency, etc.)

You could have a rear hold down plate fabricated if you could get the dimensions from someone. It is a piece of angled steel, but not 90 deg, more like 110 or so. Here's a link to a picture of mine.

The paint and butyl look like a good idea. Just stay on top of your leaks.
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:30 PM   #60
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Ron,

Do you know if the horizontal part of the rear hold down plate goes under the bottom of the floor or does it fit between the bottom of the channel and the top of the plywood floor? In the service manual it looks like the latter, however the hold down plate in the front seems to be under the floor.

I am thinking of seeing if I can get a scrap piece of stainless, and have it angled as you have suggested. If it goes between the floor and the channel I will put it in first then slide the floor in. If the channel goes under the floor, I will have to slide the rear floor section in first.

John
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:12 PM   #61
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John,

The horizontal portion of the hold down plate goes under the floor. (The plywood floor is sandwiched between the hold down plate and the shell.)

It sort of needs to be in place before you slide the floor in because the back side of it (vertical section) slips between the floor channel and the rear exterior skin. It is riveted in place to the floor channel through the exterior skin (and is covered up by the belt line).

At least that's how I think it goes.

Here's a pic from my Overlander. The rear wall support angle should've been referred to as the rear hold down plate
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:07 PM   #62
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Ron,

Thanks for the info. It looks like it would go in as you have suggested for your Overlander. I don't know if this will work for me at this point as When I did up my 1/4 inch merante(?) board template I slid it in from the back to check the template fit. If it slides in from the side I don't think it will go as there is a few inchs of channel on each side where the front portion of the plywood floor replacement has to slide into. If I have to slide it in from the back one option that I thought I might use is to get a couple of hinges, take their pins out, slide the floor section into place then put one hinge plate horizontal and one vertical and reinstall the pins and "voila" I have a hold down plate. Am I thinking too much about this?

John
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:18 AM   #63
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John,

The hold down plate is about 40" long or longer (if I remember correctly). It holds the shell down to the floor at a high stress point, where bolts and washers would eventually pull through.

The hinge idea might work, I'd never really thought about it. I'd use a lot of them (which will be hard because you need spacing to fit the pins in) and definitely add a hold down point outboard of each main frame rail as well.

Sliding in from the side was not an issue for me because the '73 didn't have the channel up the side to prevent it.

What I would probably do in this circumstance is to cut or bend back the C-channel on one side to allow the floor to be slid in from one side and stick with a solid hold down plate. The hold down plate in the rear is more important than the 6" (or whatever it is) of C-channel on the side.

Does this make sense to you?
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:43 PM   #64
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Ron,

I think you are right; the hinge idea may be out there. Your suggestion on cutting the C channel is worthwhile. What I am thinking at this point is to maybe try sliding the floor in from the back then inserting the stainless hold down plate that I will get made up. Either I will try to get the vertical portion inside the exterior skin or slide it up flush with the bottom of the exterior of the rear skin and once it is all back together the exterior trim (rub rail?) will cover it up. One reason why I think this might work is because I re-looked at what is left of the rotted hold down plate between the lip of the rear channel and the inside of the back skin. It is highly rotted but it seems that the plate only came to the top of the channel and not as high up as on yours. Probably add an interior angle to attach the stainless to and to strengthen the rear channel.

Lots of time for thought as we are having quite a winter in these parts. By the way, my plastic welder gave up and returned by tanks; he just did not want t bother trying to weld them. I am looking for other welding resources.

John
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:27 AM   #65
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Quote:
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... By the way, my plastic welder gave up and returned by tanks; he just did not want t bother trying to weld them. I am looking for other welding resources....
John -
Great documentation - thanks for posting all of the pics here.

I have a question - did your plastic welder give a reason for retrning the tanks?

I have no experience at all with plastic welding and I was wondering if the type of plastic (or shape) of the tanks used in the AS was exceptionally difficult to work with - please keep us informed (pics would be nice) of what you do - or don't do - and the reasons behind your decision.

Is it all three tanks that need repair?
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:46 AM   #66
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John,

Not sure about installing the hold down plate after the floor. (Seems it would be very tight once the floor is in, but I've never done it that way)

Sliding the floor in from the back will be difficult, as the main frame rails will be somewhat in the way.

I think the side is your best bet. I'd like to know....how much C-channel extends aft to the rear floor piece? (Picture would be helpful)

You'd only have to cut one side and could reinstall it once the floor is in.
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:37 PM   #67
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Dennis,

Not sure what the problem was with my plastic welder. This part of the restoration is on hold but I will kepp you posted.

Ron,

There is not much C channel that would have to be cut; maybe 4 inches?. I will try and post some photos. I am tempted to try the back in part because it is getting demoralizing tearing things a part. Why do you think the main frame rails would be in the way? The 1/8 inch template seemed to slide in. Maybe what I will do is try a thin width of 1/2 inch plywood first and see if it slides in. You were right about the length of the hold down plate. From what I can see of the rot that is left it measured about 40 inches long. I am planning to have one made up at 41.5 inch long, 2.75 inch on the horizontal and 2 inch on the vertical bent back about 10 degree from the right angle. Hoping to get back to work soon as things seem to be warming up.

John
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