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Old 07-01-2012, 08:34 PM   #1
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1978 28' Ambassador
Byfield , Massachusetts
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Shell Off & C-Channel

Hi there,

We are close to lifting off our 1978 Ambassador shell from the frame/floor. We are going to use 2 gantry lifts and chain hoists to lift the shell from the chassis through the top vents.

Our questions:

Is the shell flexible enough to "pry" out the floor from the c-channel on each side, so it stays attached to the shell when we lift it or do we have to drill out the rivets and leave the channels with the floor?

Thanks for any advice,

Georgie & Kiera
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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Unless your trailer is made different from mine, the channels don't tuck under the plywood in that year of trailer. I have my 1975 gutted and have had the front and the rear channels loose. They only sit on top of the floor. You may need to put a bit of pressure on the shell then run a putty knife or small pry bar around the perimeter to make sure that there isn't any sealant holding things down.

Aaron
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:09 PM   #3
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1975 31' Sovereign
Pierre , South Dakota
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I have pulled mine with the gantry's and chain hoist.and in the process of welding up new frame. The sides are flimsy after the rivets are drilled out, I don't think there is enough give to pry or hammer the channels off the plywood to get the shell airborne. After all the bolts are out of the outriggers there are sheet metal screws holding the channel to the plywood( one or two I did not find until I hammered the channel off the plywood).
I did a lot of reading before I drilled out rivets, no one mentioned sliding the channel off one side and then another. You may come up with a quicker better way. Keep us informed.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:22 PM   #4
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1974 23' Safari
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I did not drill out the rivets. That seems like an awful lot of work Vs cutting the floor out and leaving the channel on the shell when removing it from the frame. The screws and bolts holding the channel to the frame and floor are steel, better to remove those and leave the rivets in the shell. The channel will help the shell stay ridged as well. It takes some work to get the new floor in the areas where the C wraps around the floor, but it sure seemed easier than taking off all of the channel to me. If your C is really badly broken or corroded then it might be good to take it off I guess.

The way I see it is; keep the aluminum with the aluminum and the steel with the steel;-)
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:39 AM   #5
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when i lifted mine i left the c channel on the body and cut the floor out inside to have easier access to the bolts but drilling the rivets would also be easy in my opinion as there are not so many and then you're not rolling around trying to remove the bolts.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:46 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies.

@Eric: Where you able to get in the new floor sheets in one section (like original designed) or did you have to do a center cut to get them in place?

I guess sliding the sections in from the front and the back would maybe work too, depending on how much friction there is to overcome...
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:54 AM   #7
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1974 23' Safari
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The floor went in in 4 sections in my trailer (as it was originally), and was not cut in the center. In my Safari the channel along the edge of the end caps were not C so the end cap just fit on top. The areas next to it where there was C we just ended up sliding the floor pieces in.
It's a tight squeeze, but doable if you can get the frame out of the way.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:08 AM   #8
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I drilled out the rivets in the side C-channels. As mentioned in the other posts, the channels that go round the front and back ends just sit on the floor. My channels had a lot of corrosion where the elevator bolts went through, so I am replacing the channels anyway.

Another advantage to drilling out the rivets and removing the shell from the C-channels, is that reassembly of the whole can be a lot less painful. I used double gantries to lift my shell, pulled the trailer out from underneath, and then set the shell down on the ground. I then moved my gantrys over to where I parked the trailer frame and have used them to lift and flip the frame several times. After reinstalling the plywood directly to the frame, I have flipped it over so that I can easily work on the wiring, insulation, tank installation, belly pan reninstall, etc.. The way I see it, you might save yousrelf the pain of drilling out and then re bucking the rivets that hold the whell to the channels, but you will do a hell of a lot of work lying on your back.

Good luck
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:16 AM   #9
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I did what Belegedhel did with the Gantry's but left all my side c-channel on. Make sure your Gantry's are 12 feet tall or it will be hard to get the frame out.

The front and back floor were rotted out and had been replaced, but I wanted the front and back C-channel for a pattern for the floor so I took them out. Riveting it back in is time consuming and a lot of work. Some of my C-channel was torn up and I had some made to replace a small section. I also had some made that fit inside the old c-channnel as just the inside part was all bent up.

Plus when you put the shell back on you know where it goes if the c-channel is already in place.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:19 AM   #10
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I just lifted the shell (using gantry cranes) from my 78 31' sovereign this weekend and I left the side channel on the floor and the front/back end channel on the shell.

I found there was a little flexibility when lifting the shell off but not enough to make me comfortable with prying the c-channel out from under the floor.

I'll be bucking like crazy when the shell goes back on, but until then I have easy access to everything I need to work on.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyMattr View Post
I just lifted the shell (using gantry cranes) from my 78 31' sovereign this weekend and I left the side channel on the floor and the front/back end channel on the shell.

I found there was a little flexibility when lifting the shell off but not enough to make me comfortable with prying the c-channel out from under the floor.

I'll be bucking like crazy when the shell goes back on, but until then I have easy access to everything I need to work on.
Do you have any pictures of how it went?
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:07 AM   #12
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1978 31' Sovereign
Parkersburg , West Virginia
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyMattr
I just lifted the shell (using gantry cranes) from my 78 31' sovereign this weekend and I left the side channel on the floor and the front/back end channel on the shell.

I found there was a little flexibility when lifting the shell off but not enough to make me comfortable with prying the c-channel out from under the floor.

I'll be bucking like crazy when the shell goes back on, but until then I have easy access to everything I need to work on.
Do you have any pictures of how it went?

Check out the bottom of page 2 on the thread linked below.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f219...y-92201-2.html
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