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Old 03-06-2010, 12:20 AM   #1
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1960 24' Tradewind
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need help finding steel X members for '60 TW

I've got my belly skins off and it looks pretty good, all I need is a front and rear cross member replacement, and perhaps some reinforcement for the foldup steps. I've fabricated replacement J-channel for attaching the floor to shell out of T6061-T6

Question is how to find replacement steel for the frame. the local shops in Austin TX carry what they call C4.5 channel that seems close. Its 4" tall with 1.56" flanges and 0.125" thick No one carries pre-bent channel in 12gauge. Will this do? Or should I have custom C channel bent by a fab shop.

another question: the inner ribs have these small steel brackets bolted to the floor and frame, but they don't look to important-- only two rivets into the shell. I'll attach a picture. could they be tie points for handling the frame and belly pan assembly through the factory? Should I put them back in? Looks like there may be only 4, one at each corner of the floor.

I'm doing a floor replacement without removing the shell( as taught by Pat McDowell at the vintage rally last year)
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:33 AM   #2
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I think you will be OK with that channel as long as the main frame rails are in good enough shape to weld to. I had mine made to order but they were pretty expensive unless you know someone in the business.

I'm not sure what the tabs are for, but I think they are for making sure the body is squared up to the chassis when the two are mated. If you take the body off, it can get racked out of alignment. By lining up the body main frame ends with the tabs you can be sure it is square. If you are doing a frame-on floor replacement that shouldn't be a concern.
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:40 AM   #3
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1962 26' Overlander
1961 26' Overlander
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Use the 4" channel it will be fine. It is heavier, but will be a good solution

That little piece of angle is VERY important. It is the only place where all the elements that make up the structure of the trailer come together. It joins the flame, the floor, the channel, and the shell all together. There are four of those angles and I strongly suggest you put them back in EXACTLY as they were when taken out. Study the way the bolts go and the rivets go and this will all make sense.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:46 AM   #4
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Short of using structural shapes such steel angle or channel your best bet is to have some 12 gauge sheared and formed.

We've been had success two ways:

Some small metal fabrication shops will do this type of work on a piece meal basis and because the parts you need are so small you can usually purchase the material at "Drops" pricing. This usually requires some time digging through their metals recycle bin though.

A near by school career center is another good venue for you. Most of the secondary education career centers around here struggle for materials, projects, or equipment and will gladly take on tasks or projects for an individual for a small donation. We've had things formed, machined, or otherwise processed with great success. The price is never cash but rather a donation of any leftover materials, or maybe an extra saw blade or bit for one of the shop's tools. A couple of times it was simply providing a couple of pizzas for the students.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:20 AM   #5
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1963 26' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PetervB View Post
I've got my belly skins off and it looks pretty good, all I need is a front and rear cross member replacement, and perhaps some reinforcement for the foldup steps. I've fabricated replacement J-channel for attaching the floor to shell out of T6061-T6

Question is how to find replacement steel for the frame. the local shops in Austin TX carry what they call C4.5 channel that seems close. Its 4" tall with 1.56" flanges and 0.125" thick No one carries pre-bent channel in 12gauge. Will this do? Or should I have custom C channel bent by a fab shop.

another question: the inner ribs have these small steel brackets bolted to the floor and frame, but they don't look to important-- only two rivets into the shell. I'll attach a picture. could they be tie points for handling the frame and belly pan assembly through the factory? Should I put them back in? Looks like there may be only 4, one at each corner of the floor.

I'm doing a floor replacement without removing the shell( as taught by Pat McDowell at the vintage rally last year)
The channel is fine. I took mine to Spillar Custom Hitches down on South Congress and they cut out the old and installed new x-members for me, as well as fabricating the tank restraining system for my new gray tank, slung under the frame between x-members . They did good work for a reasonable price, if you need someone to weld and/or fabricate for you.

Good luck,
-Marcus
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