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Old 05-09-2011, 04:57 PM   #1
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2001 30' Excella
Somerset , New Jersey
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Self tapping floor screws, stripped threads

I'm repairing a section of floor in the forward section of my 31' AS. I removed all the rotten OSB and cleaned out the channel. Today I installed the new floor. I used 3/4" ext. plywood. I took a router and reduced the thickness to 5.8" where it slips into the channel and I rounded it to make it go easier. So far so good. All's well to this point. I purchased the self tapping screws from Vintage Trailer. I have to tighten them down pretty well to get them flush with the floor surface but when I do they strip out the threads in the frame. Gonna try some creative stuff tomorrow. I'll drill a hole and countersink it a bit and maybe I won't have to bear down so hard and pop the threads. Not sure what else to do. Any suggestions are welcome.
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:32 PM   #2
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How about wood floor softener. Sorry, couldn't resist it's been a long week. You could get a countersink bit at Lowes. It will take twice as long pre-drilling for the heads, but it will work for sure.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:46 PM   #3
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1985 31' Excella
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Looks like we are working on the same trailer. Thanks for the warning. That frame is so light gauge I can see it could strip out. I got my outriggers welded in today and now will be looking for floor material.
Are you using a impact type driver or a drill?

I only had damaged outriggers where the insulation had fallen down to the belly pan on the outside wall.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:09 PM   #4
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2001 30' Excella
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I ended up doing OK. I predrilled through the frame then with a countersink I make a divit in the plywood for the head of the floor screw. When I screwed it in I didn't have to force it too much to get it flush. That seemed to work out OK for me. I'm putting things back together now. If I can match the cork floor that the previous owner had installed I will get some and will be done for now. I don't think I would have put the cork floor in but it is really livable and rather than replace it all I'll just match it up. I was using an impact driver maybe it puts too much torque to the screw.

Good luck with your job.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:12 PM   #5
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1959 28' Ambassador
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
I'm repairing a section of floor in the forward section of my 31' AS. I removed all the rotten OSB and cleaned out the channel. Today I installed the new floor. I used 3/4" ext. plywood. I took a router and reduced the thickness to 5.8" where it slips into the channel and I rounded it to make it go easier. So far so good. All's well to this point. I purchased the self tapping screws from Vintage Trailer. I have to tighten them down pretty well to get them flush with the floor surface but when I do they strip out the threads in the frame. Gonna try some creative stuff tomorrow. I'll drill a hole and countersink it a bit and maybe I won't have to bear down so hard and pop the threads. Not sure what else to do. Any suggestions are welcome.
While you're repairing the front floor section, it would be a good idea to add a steel plate across the front crossmember, extending up the inside of the front skin panel. This plate should be welded to the front crossmember & buck rivetted to the skin panel.

Trailers of your age & size & newer will often separate, & the body will bounce off the chassis. 70's era & earlier trailers have this plate incorporated in them originally, so when separation occurs in these trailers, the problems are no where near as severe. Trailers with these plates will have a double row of rivets just above the front crossmember, visable behind the propane tanks. Extreme separation cases will also have a diagonal stress crack on the skin on the top RH door frame corner.
Thanks,
Colin
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:53 AM   #6
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1985 31' Excella
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Originally Posted by Colin H View Post
While you're repairing the front floor section, it would be a good idea to add a steel plate across the front crossmember, extending up the inside of the front skin panel. This plate should be welded to the front crossmember & buck rivetted to the skin panel.

Trailers of your age & size & newer will often separate, & the body will bounce off the chassis. 70's era & earlier trailers have this plate incorporated in them originally, so when separation occurs in these trailers, the problems are no where near as severe. Trailers with these plates will have a double row of rivets just above the front crossmember, visable behind the propane tanks. Extreme separation cases will also have a diagonal stress crack on the skin on the top RH door frame corner.
Thanks,
Colin
Colin

According to the Service Manuel there is a photo of the frame showing alignment that shows the plate I think you are talking about. That being said I haven't removed my skin yet but have noticed some shell channel corrosion around the bolt holes for the outriggers. I was planing on dropping some rectangle washers made from 1/4" aluminum stock when I replace the elevator bolts. Also the frame in the photo is not built exactly like mine. I have a stringer going down the center of my floor that is about 6" wide and the photo has 2- stringers equally spaced between the frame members.

From your post are you saying to put something like a 12GA. steel plate between the frame shell frame and the skin between the battery boxes?

Wes
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:10 PM   #7
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Colin

According to the Service Manuel there is a photo of the frame showing alignment that shows the plate I think you are talking about. That being said I haven't removed my skin yet but have noticed some shell channel corrosion around the bolt holes for the outriggers. I was planing on dropping some rectangle washers made from 1/4" aluminum stock when I replace the elevator bolts. Also the frame in the photo is not built exactly like mine. I have a stringer going down the center of my floor that is about 6" wide and the photo has 2- stringers equally spaced between the frame members.

From your post are you saying to put something like a 12GA. steel plate between the frame shell frame and the skin between the battery boxes?

Wes
Hi Wes,
The plate would go between the floor "C" channel & the interior of the exterior skin & extend down to the front crossmember. Yes, it would be between the battery boxes. Just check the exterior skin & look for the double row of rivets. I doubt they are there as I have had to add this plate on many trailers of this era.
Colin
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