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Old 09-02-2003, 07:31 PM   #15
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The energy crunch years mid 70's approx 74 through and I can't confirm. They incorprated these frame kits into the 82 and newer years as part of the factory frame.
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Old 09-03-2003, 04:42 AM   #16
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How much did the kit run you?
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Old 09-03-2003, 07:54 AM   #17
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Ah yes the all important question.
How much did it cost?
The total cost for everything I needed to purchase:
Frame Kit, bolts, nuts, washers, drill bits, and paint.
I also included the cost of the fuel I used to drive up
and get this kit came to less than $350.

Now what really came as a suprize is on my trip I got an impressive fuel mileage of 20.5 mpg. WOW
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Old 09-08-2003, 04:12 PM   #18
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Great post, Greg! Thanks a lot.
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Old 09-24-2003, 07:25 AM   #19
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Greg,

Excellent description. Thanks for being so informative. I'm planning on doing the frame repair on '69 Sovereiegn & it's nice to get an idea on what all is involved. I feel better informed having read your posts.
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Old 09-24-2003, 08:38 AM   #20
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The axle mounting plate and frame crack as shown above are caused by a combination, to some degree or other, of the following. The worst offender, is listed first.

1. Bad axle or axles,

2. Lack of proper running gear balance.

3. Bad shocks.

4. Traveling considerably overloaded.

5. Excessive tire rating such as load range E, F or G.

All of these causes, have been well documented over the years.

We just completed repairs on a 27 foot trailer, that also had the axle mounting plate AND frame, cracked in half.

The repairs consist of welding the axle mounting plate back together, along with the frame. Then the frame kits are added.
And finally, replaced both axles, and balance the running gear correctly.

Expensive, oh yes.

How to avoid?

Easy. Get the running gear balanced as best you can, AND replace the axles "IF" they are bad.

Andy
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Old 09-24-2003, 08:46 AM   #21
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Unfortunatly for me is I got the problem second hand. I noticed that the tires got warmer than what I would call normal when towing so Yes there could be running gear problems, but I feel that underinflated tires was the cause. I suspect overloading is the biggest problem as the previous owner traveled using it as his home.
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Old 09-24-2003, 08:48 AM   #22
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Outside of frame photo.

Andy
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Old 09-24-2003, 08:58 AM   #23
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rear end sag

Just wondering if you also had the rear end seperation that seems to go along with the frame break? I suspect they are caused by the same problems.

Garry
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Old 09-24-2003, 09:03 AM   #24
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Garry.

You are correct.

Most axle area abuse, will also result in rear end separation, eventually, especially on the older models. The longer the trailer, the more likely it will happen.

Andy
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Old 09-24-2003, 09:09 AM   #25
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I had both, didn't know what to look for and it cost me a bunch for repair. I had A/S dealer in OK City do the work. After joining the fourm and looking at the Inland RV site I know the cause was bad axles and I will not tow again until replaced. Will order and do the work myself next spring.

Garry
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Old 09-24-2003, 10:07 AM   #26
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Andy,

Can you tell us specifically, What years/models are susceptible to rear sag and frame cracking?

Steve
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Old 09-24-2003, 10:59 AM   #27
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Actually, any trailer reagrdless of year can have "rear end" separation. All it takes is the right kind of abuse.

Typically however, from the late 70's and older, are more prone to the separation.

How it happens is easy.

The greater the abuse and speed, the faster.

Any of the following or combination, will result eventually in rear end separation, and/or frame damage at the axle area.

1. Bad axles.

2. Improper or no running gear balance (hub, drum, tire and wheel).

3. Adding "ANY" weight to the bumper, such as a tire, bicycle, generators, motor scooters.

4. Overloading the interior rear end of the trailer with excessive weight.

5. Hitting the bottom of the rear end with curbs, bumps, etc.
Dragging the rear end, "SLOWLY" over a bump or dip, will not cause any separation. Skid plates are built in for that purpose.

6. Adding dolly wheels and allowing them to hit, will cause
separation as well as damage the rear quarter panels.

7. Traveling with full holding tanks is OK, "PROVIDED" the running gear and axles are OK.

8. Suspending the trailer in the air by placing jacks at the front and rear ends, with little or no weight on the tires.

Front end damage is caused also from some of the above as well.

However, shearing front end rivets and damaging the front metal occurs when the tow vehicle is very heavy duty, excessive rating hitch bars are used, and overload springs on the tow vehicle, and the like.

An Airstream trailer loves a soft suspended tow vehicle and balanced running gear, along with a proper rating hitch for the task. Contrary to opinion, a 31 or 34 foot trailer does not require 1200 pound hitch bars, when being towed with a very heavy duty tow vehicle or one that has overload springs.

Andy
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Old 10-21-2003, 01:57 PM   #28
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Thanks for all the good info on the Frame / Separation issue. I purchased my '69 29' Ambassador knowing that I may have some of these issues. The price was good enough to offset the work to be done. Question: I do have some amount of ripple to the skin forward of the front axle. Can the frame problem cause this without the rear end having separated yet? I've been told by the A/S dealer in this area that if you bounce on the bumper and you see movement between the bumper and the body, you have separation. I don't see any of this when I've tried, so I'm hoping that it may just be a frame issue. Any input on this would be very helpfull. Thanks
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