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Old 09-29-2007, 03:33 PM   #1
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Rusty floor beams -what to do?

I just ripped up the floor and found out that I have a bad rust problem! Can I have someone weld on another beam for me or is it gonna be much more than that. Here are some photos. Thanks for your help.

-Mike
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Old 09-29-2007, 04:50 PM   #2
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Welcome

Hello Mike... If you could post some pics ..
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Old 09-30-2007, 03:27 PM   #3
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Unhappy photos

Woops I thought I posted them yesterday. Here they are
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Old 09-30-2007, 03:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirMillie
I just ripped up the floor and found out that I have a bad rust problem! Can I have someone weld on another beam for me or is it gonna be much more than that. Here are some photos. Thanks for your help.

-Mike
Mike,

Just cut the old crossmembers out and weld in new ones.

Bill
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:08 PM   #5
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more photos

Is this gonna cost me an arm and a leg?
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:04 PM   #6
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Air,
I had some of the same issues with mine, I can weld so I replaced or added addition beams or use angle iron to re-brace some areas. I use a thin gauge angle iron to support some weak areas that came from the factory. Try calling a welder out and see what they recommend, their the experts. They can probably patch some places pretty cheap, unless you have large structual issues it shouldnt be too bad. The metal used in mine welded really good with my electric welder. Welders like easy welding old metal.

Hope this helps, Doug
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:01 PM   #7
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Mike

You can save a bundle if you pick up the metal and precut it to fit, then wire brush the area on the frame where the welds need to happen. Use the old pieces for templates.

Mobile welders are pretty flexible with their pricing so the easier you make it for them the better it is. Also, if you don't need a receipt, some of these fellows will drop by on a weekend or an evening for a couple of hours.

It's not that big a deal, but it is dirty work, and will take some effort on your part. In the end, though, you will have a strong base to complete your restoration on.

Good luck and keep us posted on what you do.

Barry
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:08 PM   #8
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First make sure the main frame rails are sound; if not, you need to start with a new frame, which is a real showstopper.
If the main rails are okay, a competent welder can do the job well. Get the correct gage metal as it is difficult to weld thick to thin; shop around at metal wholesale places as you'll be needing at least 48 linear feet it looks like. Go to the trouble to get the right material; don't settle for angle iron or structural channel which is very heavy; I haven't looked at an airstream frame in person but it looks like formed plate in the pics, not rolled channel.
This should be done with a mig welder; don't let someone use gas, this will heat the main rails too much. Another thing, you'd best remove the belly pan, as falling sparks may damage it, plus the welder can get underneath.
Good luck, I'm personally assembling an SOB project that got waaay more involved than imagined at the start too, so I feel for ya.
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Old 10-09-2007, 05:20 PM   #9
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You could also use wood, but go for the real 4x4's then use lag bolts, or use 2 2x4 around each one(it is easier to cut the angles). To preserve the integrity of the beams as they are get ahold of some rust converter and it will do wonders.
CHeers, Peace and Happy Trails!
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Old 10-09-2007, 05:45 PM   #10
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Wow! With all the effort you have gone to so far in stripping everything out of your trailer to see whatcha got and all the big plans to do things with the level of "green" quality you've posted about, I would hope you would fix it right by welding in new pieces where necessary instead of fixing it with wood as suggested!

If I were the "next owner" of a trailer with a wood fix, I would be if I found out it had a band-aid like that. I would imagine it would be pretty difficult to sell it with a wood fix too - that's the beauty of Airstreams, their metal/aluminum monoque construction and light weights. Seems this would be dimenished with all that wood...

While rust converter will do wonders, it will not strengthen weakened rusted out metal, it will just help surface rust from progressing....and make things look better.

That metal frame lasted 50 years...I would think you'd get another 50 by fixing it right!

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Old 10-10-2007, 03:03 PM   #11
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I agree that the best would be to to replace all the bad joists and cross members with new iron. But it appears that there are no bent members and the structural integrity of the frame is still there. So it appears to be an issue of making a strong flooring anchor that is level and light.
Be considerate of the weight, as you don't want to overload the axles and springs.
If you are on a tight budget and are planning on keeping it for yourself, wood is light and strong for smaller repairs, and will last for decades if it is treated.
But iron would be best.
Cheers, Peace and Happy Trails!
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:11 PM   #12
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I have talked to a experienced local welder that will let me help him with the project. All I need to do is find out the exact measurements of the beams so he can have them ready when I arrive. Should I remove the entire top prior to the welding work or should I do it after?
Thanks for all your help.
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:06 PM   #13
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What do mean by the entire top? Do you the shell?
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:26 AM   #14
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...there is a product that is used in the oil feilds to protect pipes...called OSPHO...smells like sulfur and is a blue green liquid you drinch it on with a cheap (blonde) paint brush and let set over nite I converts rust chemically into iron somehow and can be primed for painting. I am just saying this not for major rust like you've got, but for beginnings of it. Sherwin Williams can get it...costs about 10-14 dollars a gallon.
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