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Old 01-08-2013, 10:07 PM   #1
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1959 26' Overlander
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Help with rear end separation

Hi all,
I am considering purchase of a 75 overlander. I've been told that the "rear bellypan was broken free below the rear bumper". The camper is about 4 hours away and I want to only make one trip if possible. I have yet to see the damage. I've been researching the issue here, but without being able to put my hands on it, its hard to decipher most photos. I'm concerned that what is actually being described is rear end seperation. How can I tell if this is the case?
Thanks,
Dan
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:12 PM   #2
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The belly pan is nothing more than a sheet of aluminum. Unfortunately, IMHO, if that is falling off there are probably other issues. Water leaks and rotten floor are pretty common, yet non-minor issues.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:30 PM   #3
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a easy way to tell if it has rearend seperation is to stand on the rear bumper. If you see movement between the frame and the aluminum shell of the camper then you have seperation. Make sure the rear leveling jacks are up when you try this.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:37 PM   #4
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Danruehl,
I just noticed you live in Brighton, Not sure when your making the 4hr journey. I live in Howell, If you want to meet this weekend I can show you what to look for. I bought one with a rusted out frame because It was a spur of the moment purchase and didn't know this forum existed. Personal Message if you want to take me up on my offer.

Larry
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:47 PM   #5
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Just put you foot on it first. The seller might loose his/her mind if you bend the back bumper 20 degrees down. Is it a rear bathroom?

How much are you getting into? To fix it right if could be a lot of work. The only way to know for sure is to pull the belly pan down and look at the frame and floor. My frame was so bad in the back I was able to bend the metal out with one hand after all the bolts were cut loose.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:56 PM   #6
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A problem I see regularly is where the belly pan curves up around the steel attach plate (thats what I call it) at both the front and rear. A combination of dissimilar metal corrosion and chafing will wear the aluminum belly pan to a point of failure. That failure is right along the touching points (edge) of the plate. Not to be confused with separation.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danruehl View Post
Hi all,
I am considering purchase of a 75 overlander. I've been told that the "rear bellypan was broken free below the rear bumper". The camper is about 4 hours away and I want to only make one trip if possible. I have yet to see the damage. I've been researching the issue here, but without being able to put my hands on it, its hard to decipher most photos. I'm concerned that what is actually being described is rear end seperation. How can I tell if this is the case?
Thanks,
Dan
Go ahead and post the pictures you have--I would imagine some of the trained eyes on this forum could offer some insights, and perhaps save you a wasted trip (assuming you are not interested in buying a trailer with obvious rear end separation). Of course nothing beats an in-person inspection, but if you drive 4 hours, you might talk yourself into not going home empty handed. Its dangerous.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:53 PM   #8
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My only pic of the rear.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:16 AM   #9
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Take 2
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:38 AM   #10
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It looks like, but is hard to see, that the bottom pan of the bumper compartment has detached at the bumper. This is the last piece of the belly pan on my 75 TW. The bumper looks like it took a hit and is bent. The damage to the bumper may have caused the pan to detach from the bumper. There may be no separation, but you should check the floor at the very rear of the trailer. Since this is an International unit, you can easily look into the rear compartment to see.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:06 PM   #11
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When the tail sags fender well skirts bow outward, on a normal 30+ year trailer there can be 3/8" ~ 1/2" flare just from normal gravity & over-the-road cussedness. Sighting along the side walls front/back back/front should highlight the effect as a quick check.

Anything more than 1/2" and there has been accelerated frame sag; the least worries on seeing fender 'pleats' would be plywood flooring disappeared or a majority of tie down bolts corroded away and/or pulled through floor and channels on the aft end, the worst is missing metal of frame rails..
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:30 PM   #12
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Thanks all
The biggest issue now is a missing title
After that's resolved I'll actually get a look at it
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:32 PM   #13
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If the aluminum belly pan is coming down, it may be due to failure of the steel frame that holds the waste tanks in place.

The angle steel framework on my trailer was more than 50% rusted away. Amazingly, the original plastic tanks were still in perfect condition.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
When the tail sags fender well skirts bow outward, on a normal 30+ year trailer there can be 3/8" ~ 1/2" flare just from normal gravity & over-the-road cussedness. Sighting along the side walls front/back back/front should highlight the effect as a quick check.

Anything more than 1/2" and there has been accelerated frame sag; the least worries on seeing fender 'pleats' would be plywood flooring disappeared or a majority of tie down bolts corroded away and/or pulled through floor and channels on the aft end, the worst is missing metal of frame rails..
Odd that you mentioned this. I noticed the same thing on my Ambassador before I fixed my rotted rear end. The sides still feel "loose" when you tap on them. The buck rivets feel solid so I assume that they are still attached to the inner frame?
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