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Old 10-26-2010, 01:20 PM   #1
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frame crack

I was cleaning up the frame on my 14' 1948 Boles Aero in preparation for rustproofing and noticed a thin crack running along the tongue. There are two spots. One is about 10" in length (first two pictures) and the other is about a foot closer to the shell and is about 2" in length.

This is a very small and light trailer and I'm surprised to see this. It looks like more of a flake than a crack, but I can only assume some kind a shearing force caused this. How concerned should I be? What is the best way to repair this?

The rest of the frame is great. The trailer has been in the California desert for virtually all of its life.
-Blake



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Old 10-26-2010, 02:04 PM   #2
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The BOTTOM two pictures are a continuous crack. It does not go very deep and almost looks like scaling or rust flaking - though it definitely is a crack.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
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On a trailer that has seen over sixty years on this planet and is as collectible as yours, I would certainly be concerned by cracks on the frame.

Has your warrantee expired?

Seriously, I think a qualified RV tech that has a reputation for doing good welding would be a goo place to start.

ps: how about a bunch of nice photos? you are obviously good at taking them...
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:04 PM   #4
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I would start by drilling a hole at the end of each crack to stop it spreading then get it welded. Box the inside of the rail or reinforce it in some other way. Keep an eye on it after that and if the cracks come back you may need a new frame.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:37 PM   #5
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The linear indication in bottom set of pictures looks like a rolling discontinuity. We would refer to this as a mill sliver or a lamellar flaw where an errant piece of steel was sandwiched during the rolling process at a lower than desired temperature creating a cold seam. Basically an area of partially bonded material.

It looks like the indication ends near the left end of the middle photograph, has a rounded tip and lower edge profile. We see this in steel plate sections and shapes from time to time.

My guess is that this is original to the material and opened slightly over time, or was covered by paint and never noticed. Weldable steels were common in the late 40's, and if the material is a mild grade steel (are other frame connections welded) then the seam could be welded closed, or piece replaced entirely. The seam appears to extend under the coupler so you may want to investigate under there as well.

The upper picture is not as clear.

Feel free to PM me if you have specific weldability questions.

Kevin
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:06 PM   #6
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I am concerned, but I was going for the hail mary and hoping to hear "that doesn't look too bad". I was prepping to paint and was looking forward to a nice satin coat of black on the steel. I already spent several days cleaning and painting the entire frame minus tongue.

I have a good friend that welds. Sounds like I should run it by a trailer place and then work with him to do a fix.

The trailer is remarkably sound structurally and there's not much else to it. It was completely gutted when I picked it up. I've been taking some pictures. I've been thinking about starting a build thread. I'll do that and then post a link here.
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:45 PM   #7
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I started the thread up with a few pictures. More to come later, but for now:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f417...ero-70994.html
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