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Old 02-28-2008, 11:43 AM   #29
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Cost of Frame for 75 Ambassador

What's a new frame for a 75 Ambassador going to cost? I'm just wondering before these bids arrive. I'd like to have some numbers to negotiate with at this point. I spoke with a local trailer shop (not a welder) about a new frame and was quoted $6,000 which doesn't include the labor for removing and replacing the shell! I was stunned. At that price looks like I'll either by buying a welder or returning this rig to it's lonely spot under the mesquite tree where I found it. My guess is about $2,000 - $2,500. But I'm probably just shooting in dark at a moving target...
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:46 PM   #30
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While waiting on bids from the welders. I laid out and cut the plywood to replace the floor in the event I am unable to have a frame fabricated.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:50 PM   #31
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Here's a few photos of the old floor laid out on top of the new plywood taken from the curbside and streetside.
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:34 PM   #32
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Rear Hold-Down Plate

This is the rear hold-down plate. Note the condition of the plate. Also I have included a few photos showing the condition of the bolts "holding" the rear shell to the frame. I'm suprised there was no apparent rear-end seperation. The angle of the hold down plate appears to be greater than 45 degrees? Not sure why this is but I'm wondering what might be to replace this plate with of the same angle? The angle iron I have found at the home depot is 45 degrees.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:11 PM   #33
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The original is made of Galvinized steel. I replaced mine with a thick piece of aluminum that I bent up
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:20 PM   #34
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I seem to recall seeing some angle aluminum at Lowes. I'll look to see what I can find in aluminum that is bendable to get the angle.
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:56 PM   #35
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Cost Estimate New Frame

Finally heard back from one of the welders Friday and he estimates the cost of a new frame, material and labor, using somewhat heavier steel at between $2,000 to $2,500. It seemed from his expression that he was surprised the cost would be that high.
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:10 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocoque
Finally heard back from one of the welders Friday and he estimates the cost of a new frame, material and labor, using somewhat heavier steel at between $2,000 to $2,500. It seemed from his expression that he was surprised the cost would be that high.
IMHO.....this is NOT a bad price for a complete frame rebuild if they will be doing it to spec of the old frame. You may be able to negotiate them removing the shell and placing it back on for you as well into that price.

For my 22' safari..the shop wanted $3500 for a new frame and subfloor (Including removing and replacing the shell). Your trailer is 7' longer, so the price looks good to me.

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Old 03-10-2008, 07:55 AM   #37
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Quote:
For my 22' safari..the shop wanted $3500 for a new frame and subfloor (Including removing and replacing the shell). Your trailer is 7' longer, so the price looks good to me.
SM,
Did they ever complete it at that price?

Todd,

I'd be really leary of letting a shop remove the shell unless they had some real experience with an Airstream. It's one thing to bring them a naked frame and have them duplicate it, but quite another when you get into all the disassembly required for removal.
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:51 AM   #38
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Ron,

Six months in, they had still not started on my frame because they were busy with more "Important" cutomers. They had also damaged a part of the trailer, and lost the rear door enroute. Since I had sold the trailer, I picked it up from them after they had gutted it. I have since left a pretty nasty BBB complaint.

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Old 03-10-2008, 11:56 AM   #39
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The welder who made the bid is only a welder --this isn't a full service trailer shop. He lives near my house and I was referred to him by friends who knew I was looking for welder interested in fabricating a frame. Ron, you're right I wouldn't trust him to remove the shell nor do I think he would want that part of the job. He does the work out of his house. So removing the shell falls to me.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:13 PM   #40
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Point of No Return

It seems, fortunately or unfortunately, I have reached a point of no return with the Ambassador and will indeed be going ahead with a full monte, driveway shell-off, frame replacement. Thanks to all here who helped me reach a decision. It wasn't an easy choice. But I'm happy to say this AS isn't going back under the mesquite tree where I found her any time soon. I say point of no return because I jumped in this weekend and spent about 6 hours stripping everything in the interior except for the bathroom and kitchen which happens next weekend. So the end of the interior strip is now within sight. Interesting discoveries: Guess what was lurking on the wall behind that refrig and vent? Also the plastic wheelwell cover is cracked...something I'll have to replace or repair. Here's a few pics of the progress. What does one do with an 32 year old refrig?
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:34 PM   #41
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"What does one do with an 32 year old refrig?"
That's a good question Monocoque, the new ones last 6-8 years on average according to those in the know. The old ones like my '76 are still going strong(knock on wood). Do you know if it still works?
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:58 PM   #42
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GKiesel, I do not know if it works. Though I would be interested to find out. A few of the control knobs are lose or have become completely detached so I haven't tried to switch it on. Should I? The unit is now outside the AS sitting on the driveway.
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