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Old 02-19-2005, 08:57 PM   #1
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Frame-Flat

Hello All,

I have lifted my poor silver pod of its shell and am now down to the bare frame, getting ready to POR 15 and start back towards respectability.

I find, however, that the two outriggers just behind the wheels are tilted up just slightly, maybe 5 degrees. If you look at the entire frame from an oblique angle it is perfectly flat... except for these two outriggers. I am wondering if they are supposed to be like this, or should I persuade them to be like the rest? One of the wheel wells was pretty banged up, I assume from a tire mishap some time ago - perhaps this could have caused the bending?

If this isn't clear I will try to post some pictures to show what I am talking about. I thought maybe one of you out there that has done a shell removal might have noticed this - or might know that the frame should be planar on top.

Thanks for any help,

Carlos Ferguson
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:45 AM   #2
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My wife and I did a frame off on our 59 22' Caravanner. If your coach is a leaf spring unit then the frame should be nearly identical to ours if its a box frame (as opposed to a C channel main frame rail). I did not notice any of the outriggers to be any different the the rest.

I do recall looking under our coach as I was working on the belly and noticing a distinct bow after the axle because the floor had failed and the monocoque structure was compromised.

My first though is the trailer has been overloaded in the rear or out of balance running gear has cause the frame rails to start to buckle after the last axle mounting point. If it was a box frame it may have flared the lower section of the box and cause the outrigger to tilt up. If its a C channel a similar issue as the frame will start to twist they the stress is applied.
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Old 02-20-2005, 01:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcferguson
Hello All,

I find, however, that the two outriggers just behind the wheels are tilted up just slightly, maybe 5 degrees. If you look at the entire frame from an oblique angle it is perfectly flat... except for these two outriggers. I am wondering if they are supposed to be like this, or should I persuade them to be like the rest? One of the wheel wells was pretty banged up, I assume from a tire mishap some time ago - perhaps this could have caused the bending?
Thanks for any help,

Carlos Ferguson
Carlos,
I am reasonably sure that the outriggers should not point up, or down. Their job is to support the flooring, and eventulally the c-channel and shell.
I suggest you first clean and inspect the frame and wheel well area, then the axle mounting plates, and lastly the outrigger itself. Make sure there are no cracks or rusted through areas.
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Old 02-20-2005, 07:22 AM   #4
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Three stirkes and you're out! I agree with Eric and Uwe, the outriggers on mine were flat as a pancake.
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Old 02-20-2005, 07:24 AM   #5
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Outriggers

Thanks, I suspected these two should be flat as well. The rest of the frame is perfectly flat and straight the entire length of the trailer, just these two right behind the wheels are tilting, they still seem quite strong and I will see if I can nudge them back down a tiny bit. I am planning on replacing the last two cross braces in the rear, as they were quite rusted at the bottom (to the point of disappearing).

There is some rust on other areas of the frame -- how do I know how much is too much? I think the structural integrity of the frame is good everywhere except these two last crossbraces, but there is some pitting in places. Should I worry about this?

Thanks,

Carlos Ferguson
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:15 AM   #6
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Before you bend anything get the frame level and support it in the rear and see if it levels out on its own. If it does and there is no rust in that area then don't worry about it.

The Body of the coach IS the frame as well. Its monocoque like an airplane.


The frame barely supports itself. When I rolled the frame back under the body there was close to 6 inches of sag at the rear of the frame before it would be on the same plane as the rest of the frame forward the axle. When I put the body back on mine I had to lift the tail and bow the frame down in the center to get the body back on and worked the rivets from the ends while lowering the jack at the bumper. This sounds drastic but thats what it took to get the original rivet holes holes to line up. The body should be in tension when its all back together.
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:00 AM   #7
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Rust

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcferguson

There is some rust on other areas of the frame -- how do I know how much is too much? I think the structural integrity of the frame is good everywhere except these two last crossbraces, but there is some pitting in places. Should I worry about this?

Thanks,

Carlos Ferguson
Carlos,
The rust needs to be removed for inspection of the frame sections. Do this with a wire wheel in a 5.5in or 6in grinder, and make sure to wear body protection and face protection when you do this.
Some pitting is acceptable, but sections with really deeply rusted spots, or wherever rust has thinned the steel considerably, need to be replaced.
Surfaec rust and light to medium pitting still provedes a good layer of solid steel underneath, buth where rust flakes off in pizza slice proportions is where you want to break out the cutting torch.
I can highly recommend the POR15 rust treatment system for the healthy but rusted parts of the frame, and after you do the repairs to coat the new steel. They have a system of cleaner, neutralizer, and coating.
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