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Old 03-31-2008, 09:08 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by byamcaravanner
Todd,

The complete shell with windows and without A/C for your length trailer weighs about 875lbs. Remove the inside skin and you can deduct about 300lbs. This still leaves nearly 600lbs. The shell in the picture is missing the windows, wiring, the inside skin and quite a bit of the exterior skin.
As some have suggested, then, and even adding the wooden frame, the shell should be manageable. Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:27 PM   #72
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Frame condition between the axles

The flooring is out now between the axles and here, at least, there is no damage, either between the curbside or the roadside. So most of the damage, so far, is on the curbside. Extending curbside from the back up to the just behind the axle. There is some damage roadside extending only a few feet forward of the rearmost cross-member. The first photo is curbside, the second photo is roadside. Note the damage curbside aft of the rear axle.

I wasn't expecting the condition to be this good at the axles. However, given even this bit of good news I still don't think there is any chance of salvaging/repairing this frame?
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:47 PM   #73
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How to Remove Floor Bolts?

I've been removing floor bolts the most difficult way possible. I've been using an angle grinder to grind off the heads. This creates a lot of smoke and during the process requires wearing safety glasses and a particle mask. Usually my eyes are watering and I'm holding my breath to avoid inhaling the smoke created by the grinder contacting the wooden floor. A friend watching this process suggested that I get a 1/2 drill, one with a lot of torque, and back these phillips head self tapping bolts out mechanically. Somewhere I read that these floor bolts are bent back under the frame but I have found most of them unbent. I've tried to back these out by hand but the majority of them are frozen tight. Is there an easier way?
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:24 PM   #74
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I had no problem backing my floor bolts out with a 1/2" drill geared well for good torque - I did have a 3/8" socket drive Phillips on an eighteen inch breaker bar to persuade them, a turn or two out then back in to let the drill have some time to get up RPMs; but most of them came out on the drill alone. It's all muscle memory.

The leverage advantage on the machine thread screws really doesn't care if the screw shaft is bent as little as they usually are when enough force is properly applied.
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Old 04-01-2008, 04:17 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocoque
I've been removing floor bolts the most difficult way possible. I've been using an angle grinder to grind off the heads. This creates a lot of smoke and during the process requires wearing safety glasses and a particle mask. Usually my eyes are watering and I'm holding my breath to avoid inhaling the smoke created by the grinder contacting the wooden floor. A friend watching this process suggested that I get a 1/2 drill, one with a lot of torque, and back these phillips head self tapping bolts out mechanically. Somewhere I read that these floor bolts are bent back under the frame but I have found most of them unbent. I've tried to back these out by hand but the majority of them are frozen tight. Is there an easier way?
I have seen people use a hole saw to cut around the bolt heads. You cut around the bolt heads, remove the floor and grind/cut the heads off after you have 99% of the floor out.

I had bolts. Yes they were bent over underneath. I laid under the trailer and broke them off with a wrench and a breaker bar. On the ones that I couldn't remove that way, I cut them off with a grinder equipped with a cutting wheel.

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Old 04-01-2008, 05:28 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocoque
I've tried to back these out by hand but the majority of them are frozen tight. Is there an easier way?
Todd,

Very good explanation on the "grinder method." I can feel my eyes water and my nose burn as I recall trying that one myself. LOL!

What ultimately worked the best for me was to use a real long fine tooth blade in my Sawzall and cut the bolts off in the space between the top of the frame and the bottom of the floor. The compressed isulation allowed me to work the blade into that space.
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Old 04-01-2008, 05:34 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocoque
As some have suggested, then, and even adding the wooden frame, the shell should be manageable. Thanks!
Manageable?...definately! Carried off by two guys? I don't think so.

If you figure out a way to have it lifted by hand make sure to post pictures. LOTS of folks here would get a kick out of that photo. Those re-inactments of historical Airstream events are cool.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:24 PM   #78
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Reenacting the Shell Carry

Quote:
Originally Posted by byamcaravanner
Manageable?...definately! Carried off by two guys? I don't think so.

If you figure out a way to have it lifted by hand make sure to post pictures. LOTS of folks here would get a kick out of that photo. Those re-inactments of historical Airstream events are cool.
Steve, if I manage to recreate such a stunt I'll definitely get pictures and share them here! Now you've really got me thinkin!
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:11 PM   #79
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Steve has the right idea, a Sawzall works very well in these instances. George.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:17 PM   #80
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Sawzall Method of Floor Screw Removal

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Originally Posted by Gkiesel
Steve has the right idea, a Sawzall works very well in these instances. George.
Steve & George, help me out here. I'm not picturing how this would work. In order for this to happen the floor would need to be removed close enough to the screw to allow the saw blade to slide underneath the flooring and above the frame. So, correct me if I'm wrong, the floor, then, isn't being removed in sheets but instead is being cut out piece-meal to make room for the saw? In my case, grinding down the screw-head gives the advantage of allowing the flooring to be removed in basically whole sheets?
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:27 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by monocoque
In order for this to happen the floor would need to be removed close enough to the screw to allow the saw blade to slide underneath the flooring and above the frame.
I bet you have not removed your belly pan. Am I right?
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:30 PM   #82
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Sorry, I was thinking that you had access to the underside of the floor, from underneath the trailer. ie. no belly pan. From above yes, the floor would be removed piecemeal. Is there an advantage to removing the floor in whole sheets? To use as a template maybe?
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:20 PM   #83
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Sawzall Method of Floor-Screw Removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gkiesel
Sorry, I was thinking that you had access to the underside of the floor, from underneath the trailer. ie. no belly pan. From above yes, the floor would be removed piecemeal. Is there an advantage to removing the floor in whole sheets? To use as a template maybe?
I do have access to the underside of the floor as the belly pans have been removed. But if the floor needs to be cut out to allow room for the saw it wouldn't matter whether the belly pan is removed or not. With the floor cut out one could make the same cut from above as below. Right? Please excuse my lack of knowledge here. Still trying to picture the Sawzall method. I've never used a sawzall? But if it's easier than what I'm doing I'm willing to give it a try. Does a sawzall allow a cut at a 45 degree angle cut to the saw and without the floor being removed?

And, yes, one advantage of removing the flooring in sheets is having a template for the replacement flooring.
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Old 04-01-2008, 04:15 PM   #84
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Todd,

The fiberglass insulation is sandwiched between the frame and the floor. This leaves about an 1/8" "soft" space which is enough room to work the blade in. I used a 9" long blade which is very flexible. If you start the blade slowly at an angle to the frame, it will slide along the bottom of the plywood and work its way into the gap above the frame. Once the blade has pushed away the insulation you can speed up the blade and work your way over to the elevator bolt shaft. At this point... it's zip zip and the bolts are cut.
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