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Old 04-18-2008, 04:18 PM   #141
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I would think that outriggers made of tube would be open along the bottom out near the ends because you would have to cut the sides to fit the necessary curve. That being the case you should be able to use an extension on your socket wrench to reach the nuts on the bottom of the bolts at the ends of the outriggers. Also I would think that you might be able to use an air powered socket wrench in the tight space at the end if you wanted to work just from the end. You would need to be carefull not to overtighten. I snapped off an elevator bolt with my air wrench so I decided to hand tighten them all.
Malcolm, and considering C_Ferguson's project in the link you provided it looks like the outriggers are made of tube with the mid-section cut away, only the "frame" of the tube remains. That would be much lighter and give more working room too. Makes for a really neat looking and sturdy outrigger.

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If you can find a local sheet metal shop it might not be a bad idea to have them bend up some channel for the cross-members out of sheet metal of a suitable thickness - similar to the existing cross-members I would think. That way you could have them made up in two different heights as needed. You could probably also have them bend some channel for the outriggers. If they have a metal cutting band saw it would be nice to have them cut the curved bottom edge too.
Also referring to C_Ferguson's project the cross-members appear to be fabricated out of channel with bracing tacked in at the ends on the open side and at various places in between. This also make a neat looking and sturdy cross-member. Great ideas.

At some point I'll be working directly with the welder but at this point obviously I'm in the dark and just trying to do my homework. At the very least I am developing some ideas and hopefully so I can provide some direction when we reach the welding stage.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:29 PM   #142
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I think that Carlos may have used rectangular tubing for the cross-members and just cut out parts of the metal on the sides something like he did on the outriggers.

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Old 04-18-2008, 08:48 PM   #143
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Let's try this again...with a few added details. After some measuring.

11 cross-members at 61 inches each will require about 60 feet of material. 23 outriggers at 14-3/4 inches will require about 30 feet of material. And two 29 foot main rails will require about 60 feet. So the total material is 150 feet of steel.

Using 5" channel, 1.750" flange, .190" web thickness at 6.7 lbs 150 feet is a 1,005 lbs frame. The original frame probably weighs somewhat less than 1,005 lbs, although the main rail material is likely the same, because of the lighter factory outrigger and crossmember material.

Using 5" inch channel with a 1.885 flange and .325 web thickness at 9.0 lbs per foot 150 feet of material is a 1,350 lbs. frame.

Using 5x2 rectangular tubing in 3/16 gauge at 8.15 lbs per foot of material 150 feet is a 1,222 lbs. frame.

I'm guessing, using either of the heavier materials, channel or tube, I'm looking at a frame approximately 500 lbs heavier than the original frame? Here again, in terms of weight, the difference between channel and tube would seem negligible.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:10 PM   #144
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1000 pound frame

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Originally Posted by malconium
I think that Carlos may have used rectangular tubing for the cross-members and just cut out parts of the metal on the sides something like he did on the outriggers.

Malcolm
Yup, and if I used rectangular tube and Carlos' cut-out method I bet I could bring the frame in at less than 1,222 lbs.

Let's say, using Carlos' method, I shaved 222 lbs off the total weight. I could easily be within 300 lbs of the original frame and that would be using 5x2 rectangular tubing in 3/16 gauge!

(My best guess is a factory frame is about 700 lbs. 60 feet of outrigger/cross-member material using 5" channel, .190" web thickness would weigh 603 lbs. I assume the factory material weighs at least half that or 300 lbs. 1000 lbs frame less 300 in outrigger/crossmember material. )
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:28 PM   #145
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I dropped the fresh-water tank today. With the floorboard removed it was an easy task. The 1 inch plywood underlying the tank was in surprisingly good shape. The tank appears to be in good shape, no leaks, and was about half-full of water. Needs a good internal cleanse.

And I pulled the forward most flooring, the last of the floorboard to be removed. Discovered a colony of carpenter ants with mazes constructed in the fiberglass. Probably survivors from those days of sitting quietly under the mesquite trees.

The plywood had pretty much rotted around the entire curve of the front floor channel. Most of the rot wasn't visible until the floor was actually removed. I used the dremmel with cut-off discs to shear the remaining bolts securing the u-channel to the outriggers. The dremmel works great. Most of the bolts were in really bad shape, lots of rust, and some merely lifted out by hand!

BTW the floor rot, at least in this area, appears to be the result of leaks from around the windows and especially leaks around the olympic rivets. I'm still trying to guess why so many olympic rivets, around windows and exterior skin, were apparently installed at the factory instead of the more substantial solid, buck style rivets?

After I remove the wheel-wells, probably tomorrow, I'll be inches away from raising the shell. A neighbor has volunteered all the cinderblocks I need to construct four pillars to support the wooden framing. So I might be doing the levitation as early as next weekend! Yahoo...
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:09 PM   #146
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Wheel-well covers removed. Ready for wooden-framing.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:53 PM   #147
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It looks like you are making great progress!

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Old 04-21-2008, 05:18 PM   #148
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Malcolm, thanks! I went back and reviewed your earlier posts and pictures on this thread concerning framing for the shell-off. They were very helpful! Framing up next. So I stopped by H.D. and picked up a load of lumber yesterday afternoon. I still need to unsnap the front exterior skin from the metal plate that lies behind it and ties to the cross-member in between the A-frame. But with luck the framing and lift-off will take place this weekend. Now I'm beginning to see the reasons why you attached framing to the vertical members somewhere above the floor channel. In my case especially above the wheel-wheels where there is no floor-channel.
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Old 04-21-2008, 05:42 PM   #149
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The wheel well area is indeed one of the areas I was trying to re-enforce a bit. Also by putting the lengthwise strips in place I did not feel it was necessary to have cross-members at each rib.

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Old 04-25-2008, 09:20 PM   #150
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Fiesta!

It's Fiesta! here in San Antonio and so I've had some free-time away from the office to work on the AS.

I spent the morning removing about 36 of the solid-type rivets from the metal plate that lies behind the foremost exterior skin. That metal plate is welded to the frame, and secures the 7-way connector socket, so the rivets have to be removed to accomplish a shell-off. Average time to drill-out a rivet: about 3 minutes. A little quicker with a fresh, sharp bit. Drilling out all 36 rivets required a full battery charge on the Makita.

I was lucky to borrow about 40 cinder blocks from a neighbor and I stacked those into four columns, two on each side of the trailer, to support the shell during the lift and while the frame is being removed.

I've adopted at least part of Malcolm's ideas for internal framing of the shell. Front to back along the walls I used 1x4's attached to the vertical ribs. I used 2x4's for cross-bracing placed below the 1x4's and attached with screws to the vertical ribs.

I decided against installing diagonal bracing. I figured since the upper interior skins are still in place they should provide enough support for the upper shell.
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:46 PM   #151
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She Floats!

Today was the day. And only one near death experience! Warning: don't try this magic trick at home!

My driveway is on a steep grade, as you can see in the photos, which required that I super compensate to keep the trailer level. Super compensate, turned about to be a critical factor. Unfortunately I underestimated the grade at first and wasn't paying attention to the forward level and the shell shifted downhill about 12 inches while it was up on blocks!

Luckily, no harm done to the shell or myself. After the NDE I began lifting the corners in 2 inch increments and kept a constant eye on the level. My angels were definitely nearby. But the frame is finally out and the shell is back down in a safe position. Whew!
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:48 PM   #152
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strongest lifting points

The most difficult thing about this to me was finding the lifting points.

Initially I used the frame itself to support the jack and lift the shell via the wooden frame I had constructed from the inside. Even this method didn't seem that strong. The walls at these points tended to walk outward slightly. Plus there simply wasn't access to the wooden frame from the outside.

The strongest spots in the front where I had outside access were the two points where the end cap met the first ribs. In the back I found support just forward of the end cap directly below the ribs.

Believe or not those four points are sitting on the 4x4's and are supporting the entire shell! That's an amazingly strong shell.

Also notice that at one point the front of the shell was floating four cinder-blocks-plus high! Yahoo. I admit it was risky and probably even stupid but I didn't seem to have a choice given the grade on the driveway.

This was just high enough to keep the trailer level and give enough clearance to pull the trailer out. In the back I had only inches of clearance plus I lowered the air in the tires down to about 15 lbs. to gain a bit more.
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:52 PM   #153
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Congratulations!! It is a great feeling to reach a milestone like this one isn't it? It should be easy to work on your frame now...

As far as steep driveway goes I know just what you mean although I think mine is steeper. There is about 3' of drop in my driveway from the front of my 31' to the back. I have attached a photo that shows the back end fully 3' off of the ground while the front of the tounge is close to sitting on the ground. I am sure glad I did not have to pull my frame out like you did!

In case anyone is wondering my unit in this photo still has the axles in place and is sitting supported almost entirely by the two heavy duty yellow jack stands that you see. They very conveniently have a grove in the top of them into which the flange that the axles bolt to fits very nicely. The two pieces of pipe I have at the back end just help stablize and support the rear end while I work inside - and especially while the inner skins are off. If you look closely you can see the two stabalizer jacks at the front are down to help with stability at that end. I had to make angled support blocks for below the jack stands and the pipe to compensate for the angle of the driveway. To get the trailer up on the stands I used a bottle jack like you show in your photo first on one side then on the other. I think I move up maybe 3" on one side before I moved to the other side - back and forth...

Malcolm
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:09 PM   #154
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CAT Scale: 1340 lbs

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I think I move up maybe 3" on one side before I moved to the other side - back and forth...
Thanks! I am very, very much relieved this stage of the project is complete. It was a big task. I anticipated it as such but didn't feel the pressure until the frame was actually out. Water under the bridge now!

You definitely get the prize for the steepest driveway. It certainly made lifting the shell more difficult in my case. We used the same screw-like routine with the jack. I moved in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction moving up or down several inches at a time. Like balancing a stack of cards being very careful to keep the weight constantly equalized on all four points.

Today I delivered the frame to the welder. I also took it by the local CAT Scale for a weigh. Gross weight of this trailer (minus the shell): 1340 lbs. Anybody have an idea how much each axle weighs?

BTW here's a great link to a DOD website for locating a commercial certified scale nearest you in all 50 states. I found one in San Antonio open on Sundays. $8.50 per weigh including a guarantee.

Scale Locator
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