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Old 12-12-2013, 06:51 AM   #43
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Too far down the road for an objective opinion here.....I would turn it loose.

Do you want to use it or work on it?

If time is not a concern, spend some more of it on a thorough stem to stern bottoms up inspection.

Anything can be restored with $$$ & effort.

Your TV has most likely accelerated the frame separation.
"About My Tow Vehicle
1996 Ford F-350 XLT 7.3L DRW"....pretty stiff.

Good Luck...

Bob
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:41 AM   #44
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Hey all,

Will be out and about today, going to pick up steel plates and several bolts, and plan on tackling the inspection and temp repair tomorrow and will be sure to document the process in this thread.

Thanks for the support, everyone!
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:21 AM   #45
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It does not look like he is using a load distributing hitch. I think using one will put more stress on an already weak frame. What sort of hitch arrangement do you have?

Perry
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:07 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
It does not look like he is using a load distributing hitch. I think using one will put more stress on an already weak frame. What sort of hitch arrangement do you have?

Perry
I've got a Reese hitch with 1200lbs. spring bars in stirrups.
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:21 PM   #47
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That setup will crack a new frame

Quote:
Originally Posted by DmcrtcTrvlrs View Post
...1996 Ford F-350 XLT 7.3L DRW...

I've got a Reese hitch with 1200lbs. spring bars in stirrups.
Wow - that'sa really stiff setup!

If you are interested, a little more insight into spring bars can be found at this link:

Tuning a Reese Hitch

While the author appears to have an uncanny insight into the topic, his writing style is boring as all get-out. Try to stay awake till the end.

But good points are made.

Tom
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:02 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW View Post
Wow - that'sa really stiff setup!

If you are interested, a little more insight into spring bars can be found at this link:

Tuning a Reese Hitch

While the author appears to have an uncanny insight into the topic, his writing style is boring as all get-out. Try to stay awake till the end.

But good points are made.

Tom
Yeah, I'm just learning now that I need to drop down to probably 600# bars after some discussion with other folks over email. Will probably leave them off until a permanent fix is in place.
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:13 PM   #49
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What grade bolts/nuts and lock washers did you get?

Enjoy,
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:17 PM   #50
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How big a trailer? Unless it's a 34 foot you may not need any spring bars at all.
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:44 PM   #51
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It is a 34 and he is pulling it with an F-350 Diesel so he might be better off structurally leaving them off. The truck can handle the load I am sure. I am worried about the frame more than the truck. I would think a thick walled 2x2 box beam welded across the bottom would hold it together for a while.

Where are you going to pull the trailer to? You are in West Palm now?

Perry
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Old 12-13-2013, 01:47 PM   #52
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Hey gang,

Quick update. Pulled the corner banana wrap off and got a better look at the area:



We went to a steel fabrication place and the welder I've been talking with over the phone is putting together a 1/4" thick, 18" long U-channel that will wrap around the whole area. He recommended keeping the number of holes drilled to a minimum, so we decided on two 1/2", Grade 8 bolts to go all the way through both sides of the U-channel/beam unit. We also picked up a proper drill bit for the job, some washers, and locking nuts. I also plan to throw on some Loc-Tite for good measure. Altogether, about $82.

My plan is to slide the U-channel into place, and then put two jack stands under either end of it, and one on the other side of the A-frame. Then take some of the weight off the tongue jack so that the weight of the trailer starts to push the A-frame flush against its new splint. The U-channel will have the holes already drilled when I get it back from the shop, so I'll then drill through the frame, using the U-channel as a pilot. I'll bolt it up while it's still on the jack stands, and then hopefully that will be it. Thoughts?

Thanks again for all the advice and support - classic AirForums. I'll post pictures as soon as I get the U-channel from the shop, but it might not be until Monday.
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:18 PM   #53
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I would use at least 4 bolts - 2 on either side of the crack.

The channel is a good start but you need to tie the repair in to the front cross member.
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:57 PM   #54
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I would take the trailer bolted with the repair and have the repair welded with a weld connecting the new U-channel repair to the cross channel. Spreading out the the load of the repair in other directions will create greater stability in the trailer.

While you are waiting for the repair piece ...... clean up the existing frame sections and coat them. POR 15 would be a good solution. Bolted, welded no matter what your solution stopping the corrosion from spreading to the new patch is smart.

Stop Rust with POR-15® - We Know What Permanent Means!

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Old 12-13-2013, 06:33 PM   #55
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That looks nasty. I don't know if you have enough good metal to bolt the reinforcements to.

You need to be careful bolting to a hollow box like that. When you tighten the bolts they squeeze or collapse the box and never get tight. That is if you use long bolts that go all the way through.

You need to use short bolts that just go through the metal. To do this you need a hole or some way to get the bolts inside the box. Trailer hitches come with a wire gadget that pulls the bolts thru the hole.
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:27 PM   #56
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It looks like it is confined to a relatively small area. Chip the majority of it off and then wire brush it. A cup brush on an angle grinder works well for this. I agree with AldeanFan. You need at least two bolts on each side of the crack in order for it to do anything. Otherwise it is just a hinge. Take it from a rocket scientist. I would POR15 it before you make the final repairs. Also POR15 inside the frame members. You might want to wash everything with baking soda first to get that acid neutralized. Keep in mind that with very stiff tow vehicle suspension and heavy load bars even a good frame will take a beating and the connection between the shell and frame will suffer. Considering all the miles you put on the old girl and the years of neglect she held up pretty well.

Perry
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