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Old 01-07-2009, 03:47 PM   #1
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Frame Repair Plate

I have been getting a lot of questions about bent frame repair. I thought I would start a thread about the service bulletin concerning units 1982 to ????? Non-widebody.


Dan
PS To all that have asked questions, thanks! It always helps to know what you are needing help on.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:55 PM   #2
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Good idea Dan...I've read several posts about weak frames. It's nice to actually see the plates and read the SB. Is there a way to make the picture display larger?

Thanks,

Kevin
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:19 PM   #3
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bigger picture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin245 View Post
Is there a way to make the picture display larger?

Thanks,

Kevin
I tried to make it bigger but it just gets grainy, and does not show any detail.

Dan
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:20 PM   #4
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Dan,
The bent frame bulletin you link to in your post #1 goes nowhere. What's up with that?
I also went to your store website and could not find anything about said bulletin.
Could you direct those of us who are interested to that bulletin please?

thanks
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
Dan,
The bent frame bulletin you link to in your post #1 goes nowhere. What's up with that?
I also went to your store website and could not find anything about said bulletin.
Could you direct those of us who are interested to that bulletin please?

thanks
Works fine for me...
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Old 02-20-2009, 05:18 AM   #6
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working now

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Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
post #1 goes nowhere.
It is working for me now, too. I guess the server was down at the time.

I would be happy to send it to anyone who emails me and asks.
Dan@outofdoorsmart.com

Dan
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:32 PM   #7
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Was wondering if the reinforcement plate above would work on a '75 31ft Sovereign?? Just found two cracks in my frame today and looking at options.
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:43 PM   #8
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Was wondering if the reinforcement plate above would work on a '75 31ft Sovereign?? Just found two cracks in my frame today and looking at options.
The frame plate, is a beef up kit "only".

It does not fix anything, nor does it stop the frame from cracking rearward of the plates, when proper PM is not performed.

We have repaired many frames, that had the plates, but still got rearend separation and/or more frame cracking.

Adding the plates, as far as we are concerned, doesn't do anything but lighten your pocketbook, and add weight to the trailer.

Your fatigue cracked frame is caused by several things, or a combination of them.

1. Out of round tires.
2. Lack of proper running gear balance.
3. Bad axles.

There is a myth around that the frames are not strong enough.

NOT TRUE.

Check the axles, first.



Andy
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dan4odm View Post
I thought I would start a thread about the service bulletin concerning units 1982 to ????? Non-widebody.
Please clarify. You mention above that the plate is used on 1982 and up Airstreams. The Service Bulletin says they have been used on production models since 1982. Which is correct?
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:45 PM   #10
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Andy,

Thanks for the info. I'm very aware that my axles are bad and is the likely candidate of why my frame got fatigued, which is why I haven't towed the trailer since I bought it. (it makes me sad every time I want to go hit the road).

Here are some pics of the crack:





It seems to me that the PO must have hit a large pot hole or something, as the frame just beneath the crack is also bent.

Any suggestions on the proper way to repair this. I'm not a welder, but I know that I better become friends with one real soon. I'm starting to consider pulling the frame out to fix everything, but don't know if I'm ready to do that yet.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrzyCorpsman View Post
Andy,

Thanks for the info. I'm very aware that my axles are bad and is the likely candidate of why my frame got fatigued, which is why I haven't towed the trailer since I bought it. (it makes me sad every time I want to go hit the road).

Here are some pics of the crack:





It seems to me that the PO must have hit a large pot hole or something, as the frame just beneath the crack is also bent.

Any suggestions on the proper way to repair this. I'm not a welder, but I know that I better become friends with one real soon. I'm starting to consider pulling the frame out to fix everything, but don't know if I'm ready to do that yet.
Clean the cracked areas.

Weld the cracked areas, both sides if possible.

Sand or grind the cracked areas flush.

Plate the cracked areas.

Change out the axles and have the running gear properly balanced.

Andy
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Old 02-22-2009, 05:19 AM   #12
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The crack shown started at the bottom flange of the frame. The bottom flange of the frame should be in compression, if the crack is rearwards of the mounting point of the axles. As a mechanical engineer, I do not see how this crack could have occurred. I do see some local buckling of the flange which does make sense since, that occurs when there is and excessive compression force generated due to bending. That does not explain the crack. The Airstream designed plate reinforces the frame to resist bending forces caused by excessive tensile loads due to the long overhang on the rear 70 an 80 trailers. It helps resist the tensile deformation of the upper web of the frame and cracks forming originating from the top of the frame. It will do little to repair whatever has caused the tensile fatigue failure that has started from the bottom of your frame. I would suggest you reweld the crack area and then reinforce the bottom flange of the frame by welding on some flat stock to the bottom of the frame. I would suggest that the repair strap should b twice as thick as the existing flange and be at least 12 inches long. I would also look closely at both sides of the frame on the upper flange to see if there are any cracks there. If there are maybe the Airstream provided frame stiffener might help.
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:09 PM   #13
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By time I'm done with this thing (A/S), I'm going to have all the tools to run my own garage

Got some motivation today and bought a mig/flux welder. Going to have some of my friends teach me how to weld this correctly and hopefully I'll be able to keep my mark of having this on the road by April.
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:13 PM   #14
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I have a 2003 22' int and have had numberer's frame problems from cracks,bending to complete frame replacement. it is still cracking and i have spent hundreds on welding and patches. the factory has been helpful in the past but now say it is ''out of warranty''..that means I'm on my own. the frame is clearly the weakest link in this model and i don't buy the theory that it is caused by ''bad axles'' or '' out-of-round'' tires. it is simply a poor design. cars, trucks, big rigs, hauling trailers do not have frame failures! airstream is an American icon in its overall appearance. and i think the overall quality is better than most others. the frame however could use the skills of a mechanical structural engineer.
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