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Old 03-29-2009, 12:36 PM   #1
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Help and Advice Needed.....Shell Removal

Hey all,

I'm kinda in a bind in lifting the shell of my frame and need some desperate advice.

I'm lifting a 31ft'r. If you peak at my blog, you can see the shell support that I contructed.

The problem that I'm having is when I attempt to jack up the shell at the four corners, it just don't seem to want to raise as one unit. I'll jack up the back, the front lowers and vice versa. I've already got the 4x4's under the supports(at least all of them sitting in the middle), sitting on the frame, as these will run along where the main two frame beams do. But like I said, it just won't raise as on unit so that I can properly set the 4x4's. I'm getting sooooo frustrated and now need to take a break and thought that I'd ask for some help.

Does anyone see anything wrong with my support structure. It's a bit to late to redesign, as the shell is just tittering on the 4x4s right now, but maybe someone can give me some advice.

Thanks,
Brian
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:49 PM   #2
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Good morning Brian,

Have you found the hidden rivets? It sounds like your shell is still attached somewhere in the middle of the trailer, to me.

Also consider that the doorway needs to be tied together at the bottom so it won't spread as you lift the shell.

Is it possible to lift from inside, about five or six feet from each end of the shell? lifting just at the corners of a shell that long sounds like a possible problem.

I'm sure someone with more experience will chime in soon.

Good luck, Rich
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:53 PM   #3
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I took a look at your blog and got slightly distracted buy the cool cooktop unit, way cool. Anyhow I've just braced my shell http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ion-49720.html and will be lifting it soon. So I'm no expert but I couldn't see anything in your bracing going front to back. Would it still be feasible to get something in there? It may not be the problem so we'll see what the pro's suggest.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:23 PM   #4
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Can I assume you have left the rivets between the skin and the bottom C channel in and are attempting to make the separation between the C channel and the frame. If so the C channel is held to the frame with bolts or large self tapping screws. If you have removed them at each frame point and at each tip of the out riggers I would attempt to work a cake icing blade all the way around to make sure you got every one and also brake and rust scale that may be bonding the 2 pieces together.

Once satisfied there is nothing mechanical between them I would attempt to lift one side about 1 in., just to test it, as mentioned about a 1/4 of the way from each end. If one side lifts try the other side as a test. Once both are free go for it.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:35 PM   #5
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I based my shell bracing on your blog pictures (worked fine for me)

You will have to raise one end and then the other unless you have several people using jacks at the same time (great if possible)

steve
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:12 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm going to add some more support through the middle of the support, and lifting one end at a time. I've got all of the rivets/screws removed.....learned the hard way on that one and just about ripped out my c channel from the rear corner bolt (one of the four large frame bolts on the end caps). I'll try some more today and see what I can do.

Thanks again and I'll let you all know what comes.....
Brian
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:26 PM   #7
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Hey Brian, in your pics the wheel wells are still in place. Have you removed them now? That might be part of the problem. Mine had plastic covers on them with insulation under it, then the actual wheel well last. My wheel wells were riveted to the shell and bolted to the frame. Could be the problem.
Good luck, Rich
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VIKING View Post
Hey Brian, in your pics the wheel wells are still in place. Have you removed them now? That might be part of the problem. Mine had plastic covers on them with insulation under it, then the actual wheel well last. My wheel wells were riveted to the shell and bolted to the frame. Could be the problem.
Good luck, Rich

I'll take another look at those. However, the screws for mine were bolted the the plywood floor. I know that there were some rivets/screws that use to be there, but I've since removed. I'll go ahead and removed the wheel wells and make sure that there's nothing else holding the shell on.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:36 PM   #9
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OK...Had a light go on above my head and a change in my bracing may be due.

The reason I intended to lift the shell right now was to just get the 4x4's under the bracing in preps to lift the entire thing.

If I were to instead, screw the 4x4's to the top of the bracing instead of underneath, do you think that it would hold?? I wanted to use the 4x4's as a proxy frame rail, running down the length of each side of the trailer.

Just wanted to get everyone's thoughts on this before I proceed.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:51 PM   #10
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Hi Brian,

I can't see in your pics if the horizontal 2x4s are attached to the shell at each end, That is a must.

I would never recommend that someone go backwards with their project unless it looked like it would save time and possibly bad trouble.

That said, I would strongly recommend that you unscrew the horizontal 2x4s from the diagonal braces and the shell, if they are attached there already. Leave the diagonals attached to the shell and raise the 2x4s 4". By doing this you can run your 4x4s between the frame and the 2x4s, so you can lift by the 4x4s right off the bat instead of lifting the shell partially first to get them in.

Additionally, It would be a good idea to run the 4x4s the length of the shell if possible, or bolt them together to make a full-length beam on each side of the shell. Attach the 4x4s to the 2x4s at each junction and, if you have enough jacks use six. It sound like a lot of work but I would hate to see you fold your shell up. I've seen pics of smaller shells being lifted with more bracing than you have in yours.

Go slow, be safe.

Rich
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:09 PM   #11
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.. it would work but I'd try and get some twisted joist hangers or something. If you can use steel hangers and screws the force will be a shear force on the fastener rather than a force trying to pull a screw straight out/ down. I'd take a stroll down the deck building aisle or ask for Simpson ties at a hardware store, there will be something to accommodate your project.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:01 AM   #12
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Ditto the idea of the joist hangers. If not that Bolt the 4x4 on the top of the bracing rather than Screw for the stated reason.
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Old 03-30-2009, 05:53 PM   #13
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I think that the advice that Rich gave is what I need to to. Unbold the horizontal braces, raise them about 4 inchs (or at least enough to get the 4x4's underneath. I had already planned on running the 4x4 the entire length of the shell on both sides. That's where I've been having the problem is getting them underneath. With the way the shell bends/buckles/twists, I just couldn't get them underneath.

I'll head to my local "orange" store this week and get me some of those braces. I'm not sure which ones to buy, but I'll ask one of my builder friends.

We've got some more storms headed towards us this week, so I'm hoping that this weekend will be nice.

Thanks again. I really needed another set of eyes on this to see what I was missing. I do have braces on the front/rear end caps, but my pics were shot just before I put them in. I'll get some pics of my front/end cap supports up on my blog, too.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:48 PM   #14
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Brian, I'll be watching your progress on your blog. Best of luck to you
Rich
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