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Old 08-29-2009, 04:48 PM   #1
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1980 31' Excella II
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Outrigger Issues - Please Help

I have 3 outriggers that were all rusted out. The 3 are the one on the front of the wheel well and the next 2 going forward toward the door in the curb side. I ordered up the outriggers and went to weld them in. They were sagging so bad thatI had about a 1 inch gap between the top edge of the outrigger and the frame. So I dropped the belly pan and jacked the wall up so that I could weld the out riggers in level. All was good until I went to close the door. It would not close. To get the door to close I had to cut out most of the weld until just the top of the outrigger was still welded on and the outriggers sagged down again. I have put a level on most of my out riggers now and they all have about an 1/8 inch gap out on the end. But between the door and wheel well where I am trying to replace them I have a 1 inch gap. Any ideas on how to best fix this. If they all need to sag a little I can live with that, but an inch between the door and wheel well is hard to swallow. The shell is still on, and I have no where to put it so I really can't go all the way with this project. I also really don't want to cut out and re-weld every out rigger on my 31 feet of fun. I know there are several of you out there that know what you’re doing so any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Brad
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:16 PM   #2
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Please Help! I tried to explain my problem in detail, if I am unclear please let me know. I am stuck at this point and not sure what to do with my sagging outriggers.

Any ideas, or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Brad
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:37 PM   #3
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Hey Brad,

Can you post some photographs of the condition?

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:55 PM   #4
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Brad,
Ill probably be able to come over Saturday afternoon...Ill take a look and see what we can do...You gonna be around?
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:39 AM   #5
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Here are a few pictures. The level is laid out across the main frame members. The first 2 are of the new outriggers I welded in and then had to cut the bottom out go get the door to close. The third picture is of the outrigger just foward of the door. The second picture the is close to a 1 1/2" gap. Let me know what you think.

Thanks
Brad
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:01 PM   #6
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My initial reaction to your pics is that you'd really be the best off by getting the shell off and repairing the frame and bringing all those outriggers back to level. I understand, though, if you just can't do it shell off. I couldn't on mine either as I also had no place to put the shell.

To me, the sag is the issue, not the door. My door wouldn't close properly after I got my new subfloor in, but I knew the problem had to be the way the door hung on the hinges from the earlier sag I had. I knew the shell was on straight and true. A little work on the hinges got it all lined up right. I'd sure want to proceed with everything straight and level and square if I were you and worry about the door after your subfloor is back in. Certainly, the plywood subfloor adds a bunch of strength to the frame and I'd not worry much about exactly how the shell and door line up until you've got the subfloor back in and bolted down.

If it were me, I'd get all the old subfloor out if you haven't, get the shell jacked up enough that you can weld in the new outriggers level. I'd want to get the bellypan off all the way around too, to make it easier to get the shell jacked up and to get your new subfloor in. Sure would be easier to get the frame fixed with the shell off, but if you can't, you can't, and I'd think you can still fix it ok shell on if you can get the shell lifted up enough to get the frame squared up.

Everything is fixable on these things.

cheers,
steve
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:50 PM   #7
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Thanks Steve, Is there a way to adjust the door hinges? Or do you have to adjust the door frame?
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Old 09-04-2009, 04:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by excella80 View Post
Thanks Steve, Is there a way to adjust the door hinges? Or do you have to adjust the door frame?
I don't know on yours, Brad. You'd have different hinges. I'd guess it's easier on my '57. But, I'm sure the door is a solvable problem. Once you get outriggers welded in level with the crossmembers and a good solid subfloor back in, everything will look a lot better.

That stage you're at right now is the hard one as it looks like you'll never get it fixed again, and there's no denying it's a bunch of work. Just take it one step at a time and it'll start looking like a trailer again. For me, getting the welding done on the frame was a huge step, followed by paint on the frame, and then seeing a solid subfloor back in there. I'm still doing fasteners on the floor, but it really feels good to have come that far. You'll get there.

If you haven't already, try to make some time to read those major renovation threads http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html and you'll pick up many good ideas that will help you. I keep going back to them and keep picking up ideas.

cheers,
steve
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:38 PM   #9
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Found More Fun Today

I removed the under belly today and got my 31' of fun up on some jack stands in a shop so I could work off a level surface. Jay came over to help me figure out the best way to deal with the outrigger issues. We found a small crack in the frame (see picture below). The second picture shows how the frame is sucked in and pushed out just forward of the crack. The frame is torqued or twisted in several places. I think this is why my outriggers are sagging. Has anyone else see any one this on their restorations? If you put a level on the side of the main frame beams it is leaning toward the out side. I found areas on both side that are doing this. The first area we found was just forward of the crack in the frame. I know the crack is not helping the situation, but I found other areas on the other side of the frame that were torqued in the same way and no other cracks were found. If any one has experienced this please let me know what you did. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
Brad
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:41 PM   #10
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I haven't gotten quite as far along as you..BUT to get an Airstream frame fixed properly you have to support it and level it properly before you can weld and repair frame damage. Looks like you may be on the right track.

Aaron
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:37 AM   #11
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1980 31' Excella II
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Aaron,

With all the issues I have with my frame I have decided that the easiest way to deal with it is to lift the shell and get the frame into my friends fabrication shop. Do you plan on going that far with eaither of your 31 footers? I have read several posts of others lifting smaller shells, but have not found any one doing a 31 footer. I talked with another airsreamer last week about how he lifted his shell on a 22' trailer and got some good ideas. Just wounding if you have any ideas.

Brad
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