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Old 04-28-2013, 11:09 PM   #15
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Harbor Freight,,,, my brother always told me if your livelihood or life depends on it DON'T get it HF. If you are only going to use a tool one time, get it there and teh best tools there are the hammers.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:14 AM   #16
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I agree- shop HF with caution. I'm the kinda guy that owns a $75 Snap On screwdriver, so it took me a LONG time to warm up to HF. However, I have to say.... I'm kind of addicted now... I rely strongly on the online reviews for product performance. I now have added quite a bit of tools from there, that I am very pleased with. If I were in the business, would I still buy a certain product?? I dont know- depends I guess. I have nice Lithium Porter Cable drill and impact gun, Delta table saw & planer. Probably wouldn't buy that at HF, but many other things are great. For instance:

1. Angle grinder. Paid $9.99. It freakin grinds metal- what more do I want?? Its awesome. Lowes had some Hitachi for $50+ bucks. Same thing.
2. Zip ties.... work great.
3. Drill bits. OH THE DRILL BITS!!!! I bought a bunch of their Titanium Nitride to drill through my frame and being a woodworker hobby guy, I was a little concerned with drilling 100 holes through 1/8" and 3/16" steel.... So I went to grainger and bought some $8 ea bits. I can tell you that I paid less than $1 each from HF and I drilled TONS of holes through steel like butter.
4. Air grinder.
5. Portable Band Saw. Awesome. Milwaukee makes one for $400 bones. I paid around $72 bucks from HF and bought some good Lennox blades from Lowes. Although I did not use the "better" blades- the one that came on it cut TONS of metal no problemo. Its back in the box for safe keeping now, and 1 day I'll need it again. Am I missing the Milwaukee? Nope.
6. Air Hoses and parts. Work great and cheap!
7. Jack stands, pipe clamps, c- clamps, sockets, impact gun, air hammer, buck rivet gun, HVLP sprayer, work gloves, dust collector, hand truck wheels, chain hoists, hoist straps, Multimeter, trailer hitch and accessories.... I could go on and on.... All these have performed flawlessly for me.

Oh, and did I mention drill bits?? Yup... I'm addicted. Have fun!
Mic
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:04 PM   #17
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1975 31' Sovereign
cary , North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mixter View Post
I agree- shop HF with caution. I'm the kinda guy that owns a $75 Snap On screwdriver, so it took me a LONG time to warm up to HF. However, I have to say.... I'm kind of addicted now... I rely strongly on the online reviews for product performance. I now have added quite a bit of tools from there, that I am very pleased with. If I were in the business, would I still buy a certain product?? I dont know- depends I guess. I have nice Lithium Porter Cable drill and impact gun, Delta table saw & planer. Probably wouldn't buy that at HF, but many other things are great. For instance:

1. Angle grinder. Paid $9.99. It freakin grinds metal- what more do I want?? Its awesome. Lowes had some Hitachi for $50+ bucks. Same thing.
2. Zip ties.... work great.
3. Drill bits. OH THE DRILL BITS!!!! I bought a bunch of their Titanium Nitride to drill through my frame and being a woodworker hobby guy, I was a little concerned with drilling 100 holes through 1/8" and 3/16" steel.... So I went to grainger and bought some $8 ea bits. I can tell you that I paid less than $1 each from HF and I drilled TONS of holes through steel like butter.
4. Air grinder.
5. Portable Band Saw. Awesome. Milwaukee makes one for $400 bones. I paid around $72 bucks from HF and bought some good Lennox blades from Lowes. Although I did not use the "better" blades- the one that came on it cut TONS of metal no problemo. Its back in the box for safe keeping now, and 1 day I'll need it again. Am I missing the Milwaukee? Nope.
6. Air Hoses and parts. Work great and cheap!
7. Jack stands, pipe clamps, c- clamps, sockets, impact gun, air hammer, buck rivet gun, HVLP sprayer, work gloves, dust collector, hand truck wheels, chain hoists, hoist straps, Multimeter, trailer hitch and accessories.... I could go on and on.... All these have performed flawlessly for me.

Oh, and did I mention drill bits?? Yup... I'm addicted. Have fun!
Mic
Given this info, looks like I'll go ahead and start gutting the airstream and go get the outriggers.. Its also good to know I'm right by a steel supplier and can get anything I need right off their floor locally.. So yeah you convinced me, I'm going with the shell off using your method. That frame scares the crap out me me.

Should I just fix the frame as is or beef it up somehow? ( donor frame)
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:06 PM   #18
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And now we know why America is having a tough economic recovery.........
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:01 PM   #19
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Wow- you're frame looks pretty bad... almost scary to get underneath that thing! My concern is that much of the damage is on the frame rails- which are the primary structural members. Outriggers and cross members are pretty simple if you have good frame rails... I'm sorry- I can't help you with the method to fix frame.

BUT, I can give you some insight to what I did to fix my frame... I had a bunch of bad outriggers and rear cross member was totally gone on bottom half.

I ended up pulling the shell and I AM SO GLAD I DID! I started off pulling up floor inside the coach with the plan of fixing the frame with the shell on. I got to the point that all the floor was out, and I realized that it was only about 150 rivets holding the stinkin shell on, so off it came.

Per Colin Hyde, lifting is the way to go- no bracing and jacking crap. I couldn't agree more! I copied Belegedhel's Gantry, but made mine 12' tall x 10ft wide. About $100 in wood, and 2 $40 Harbor Freight hoists and 3 hours in an afternoon and had some Gantry's. Used a 4x4 to lift from the 2 ribs nearest the vent holes and voila! (I've even put the thing back on just for "test" fitting for lining up new stuff.) It very gently lifts and lowers- awesome. I set the shell on 2x4s careful not to bend the aluminum that wraps past the c channel. That thing is heavy and rigid. Mind is somewhat protected from wind, so I dont have it sand bagged down- I dont see it moving.

With the shell off, I was fully able to inspect the frame and work on it. MUCH better way to do it. I even found cracks that never would have been found. Had pieces fabricated and welded on, and then had the option to sandblast and powder coat for $500 from a local place that has a 30' oven, but I opted to POR15 because of the versatility of being able to touch up wherever/ whenever. I did not like the idea of having a powdercoated frame, then drilling holes and compromising the integrity.

The gantry's are now being used as a rotisserie to easily flip the trailer over to work on the bottom and top from above... Made spraying POR15 a breeze. Belly pans have all been test fit and changes/ fixes addressed from above. NO MORE LAYING ON MY BACK with crap falling all over me! If you have the room, I can give my vote for this method- boy does it make working on this thing much more enjoyable.

Here's some pics
You information is very helpful and I am about to do a shell off floor replacement and frame inspection as well as reinsulate. I am VERY NERVOUS about this next step. I have a 31' Sovereign. I have several questions for you if you don't mind.

1. What tools did you need to remove shell from the frame?
2. Do you have to remove the interior walls first? What about the bellypan?
3. How many people did it take to help you to actually move the shell? I am wondering how many people I will need to help me.
4. What did you put the shell back onto while you work on frame? Sawhorses?
5. Once you placed the shell back on your nicely restored frame, how did your secure it back down? What exact tools, equipment do you need? I want to order everything I need and have it all ready so I don't have to keep making trips.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ANY HELP!
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:43 PM   #20
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAStreamin View Post

You information is very helpful and I am about to do a shell off floor replacement and frame inspection as well as reinsulate. I am VERY NERVOUS about this next step. I have a 31' Sovereign. I have several questions for you if you don't mind.

1. What tools did you need to remove shell from the frame?
2. Do you have to remove the interior walls first? What about the bellypan?
3. How many people did it take to help you to actually move the shell? I am wondering how many people I will need to help me.
4. What did you put the shell back onto while you work on frame? Sawhorses?
5. Once you placed the shell back on your nicely restored frame, how did your secure it back down? What exact tools, equipment do you need? I want to order everything I need and have it all ready so I don't have to keep making trips.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ANY HELP!
I also am interested in hearing the replays on this...these are very good questions.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:44 PM   #21
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And now we know why America is having a tough economic recovery.........
No politics in my thread please, I want to keep this clean of any of that.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:10 PM   #22
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No politics in my thread please, I want to keep this clean of any of that.
No kidding.... As if I should have gone to Lowes to buy my china products.... come on now.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:22 PM   #23
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Hi Shade,
Your axles will cost $495 each + $235 shipping to a commercial address in 28139 zip. The total will be $1225. The axles will come completely assembled & include 10" brakes, powder coated axle tubes, "safety lube" spindles (allows you to grease the bearings without removing the wheels), shock brackets welded in place, mounting bolts, lug nuts & an owners manual. Although 10" brakes are the Industry Standard for axles of your load rating, you can choose 12" brakes @ $595/axle. The total would go up to $1425. These axles will come with Henschen type mounting brackets, so drilling will not be necessary during installation. Lead time for the build should be 3-4 weeks & shipping should take several days. I use Monroe Gas Magnum shock #555003 for this application. They are available at most Auto Parts Stores for about $26 each. If you would like to place an order, please send a check to: Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations, 195 Jabez Allen Road, Peru NY 12972. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.
Thanks,
Colin
(518) 578-7772
www.colinhydetrailerrestorations.com
The Vintage Airstream Podcast | Vintage Trailer Resotration (the Vintage Airstream Podcast)



now that's a hell of a deal , thought I should pass this along.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:23 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by GAStreamin View Post
You information is very helpful and I am about to do a shell off floor replacement and frame inspection as well as reinsulate. I am VERY NERVOUS about this next step. I have a 31' Sovereign. I have several questions for you if you don't mind.

1. What tools did you need to remove shell from the frame? Drill bits and center punch for the rivets under the rub rail. The bolts that go through the c-channel and through the outriggers are probably 3 inch long 1/4 20 and bent over on the inside from the factory install. They will need to be cut off with a grinder FROM CHINA VIA HARBOR FREIGHT
2. Do you have to remove the interior walls first? Yes- at least the bottom so you can see the c-channel, which is what the floor bolts through to the outriggers. What about the bellypan? Not necessarily if you're just going to lift the shell- you can remove them later.
3. How many people did it take to help you to actually move the shell? Just me!!! Simple with those hoists- just walking back and forth, front to back pulling the chain. I am wondering how many people I will need to help me.
4. What did you put the shell back onto while you work on frame? I lowered it to the ground and set it on 2x4s so it didnt crush the side wraps that go just below the c channel. Sawhorses?
5. Once you placed the shell back on your nicely restored frame, how did your secure it back down? Havent done it yet- still installing new wood sub floor. What exact tools, equipment do you need? You'll need some new bolts to bolt through the outriggers up through the c channel and rivets- lots of rivets. I'm going back with orignal bucked rivets- check out Vintage Trailer supply and you'll see the Buck Rivet selections. I've never worked with these before, so it ought to be fun. You need 2 people to do these- one to hold the "bucking bar", which is just a heavy piece of metal that smooshes the back side of the rivet. The other person operates the air rivet gun (WHICH I BOUGHT FROM CHINA via Harbor Freight with 25% off coupon for $75 bucks. I want to order everything I need and have it all ready so I don't have to keep making trips.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ANY HELP!

Hope that helps!
Mic
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:27 PM   #25
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Bought mine from Colin too.... I remember when I thought they were going to be installed in January!!!! Almost there...

The shocks can be had for $22 ea on Amazon w free shipping. Do a search for Monroe 555003
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:02 PM   #26
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Longview , Washington
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Well if it helps I used 2-4x12x16 ran them through existing holes in the body. I used just any scissor car jack I could find on saw horses. After the trailer part was removed I reinforced the shell to prevent it from being blown over or falling. A bunch of 1x4ís with deck screws work very well. I must admit it made me really nervous having that thing hanging in the air like that. But it worked well. I was able to pressure wash the inside with no problems. It also helped with re-aliening the shell when I put the thing back together. Good luck.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:09 PM   #27
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Mixter, you said you didn't brace the interior at all correct?
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:12 PM   #28
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Well if it helps I used 2-4x12x16 ran them through existing holes in the body. I used just any scissor car jack I could find on saw horses. After the trailer part was removed I reinforced the shell to prevent it from being blown over or falling. A bunch of 1x4ís with deck screws work very well. I must admit it made me really nervous having that thing hanging in the air like that. But it worked well. I was able to pressure wash the inside with no problems. It also helped with re-aliening the shell when I put the thing back together. Good luck.
All info helps me alot! I'm pretty much flying blind here, but all these posts are helping to give me an amazing idea on how to do this, thx so much guys and please keep the info coming.
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