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Old 05-29-2002, 04:56 PM   #1
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Tail sag and separation

Hi

I recent bought a 1972 29 ft Ambassador. Has the frame separation which appears to have been "repaired" years ago. Also seems to have some sag in the frame behind the axles. Probably the result of the suspension being nearly/completely bottomed out with an empty coach.
I e-mailed Airstream and recieved the Bulletin for the separation that entails bolting the frame back to the coach.


I need info on the bolt/weld on frame reinforcements.
E-mailed Airstream re-explaining the probem but no answer yet.
Does anyone have a copy of the the frame reinforcement bulletin??
I have new axles on order and need to fix this while I have the axles out.

Thanks
Dan Phariss
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Old 05-30-2002, 08:28 AM   #2
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frame seperation

Hi Dan,
Try Tom Pattersons site www.tompatterson.com I beleive he has a copy of that bulletin on his site there.

John
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Old 05-31-2002, 09:56 AM   #3
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In pulling the bottom skin off the 72 29' Ambassador I find the reason for frame droop behind the axles. Under an aluminum patch I find someone has jacked on the curb side frame at the rear of the plate the axles bolt to and have bent the flange of the channel upward considerably for about 6-8 inches.

The frame sag is greater on this side. Have not gotten far enough to see the other side well. Got rained out.
I suspect that some of the wrinkling of the flange is as result of the frame bending after the damage was done.
In the process of planning a repair at this time. Still have not found a copy of service bulletin that supposedly addresses frame repair in this area.

This find does perhaps explain why pre-greywater tank Airstreams have frame sag behind the axles.
The morale is, be careful with your jack.

Dan Phariss
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Old 05-04-2003, 09:13 PM   #4
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Frame kit...

I am interested as well in the frame repair kit. I have located a kit in Dallas and am ordering it. I am curious, is this a bolt on kit, or is welding required also?

I have a 67 Ambassador. A true basket case! The separation in the rear is horrible indeed. The shell hangs helplessly about 3 inches above the floor. It sat like this at some deer lease for 10 years, flooded out several times and rusted the frame through at a few places. But the frame is surely bent aft of the axel, and very badly on the curbside. I suspect this side is worse because of the hot water heater. The wood was easy to remove as it was rotted away. I have it completely gutted now as it awaits my repair. I have no welding capabilities, and I cannot tow it at this time. A bolt on kit would be great. But it also seems to me that an opposing c channel bolted directly back to back to the channel area that is flexing would work nicely too. Any thoughts would be great…

Thanks…
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Old 05-04-2003, 11:31 PM   #5
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I have repaired boat trailer frames that same way as they rust out qickly in Fla. salt water....there is a new glue to use also but I don't have the name or Manufacturer with me....drilling is a pain under the trailer so drill a pilot hole first after clamping the c-channel to frame checking for square and level, of course....use at least 1/2" galvanized bolts and spray the rust with rustproofing conpound after cleaning with a wire brush...cutting out the rust and welding in new material is still the best way but for the money and time bolt in a new section and be done with it!...geof
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Old 05-05-2003, 08:39 AM   #6
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Do you have any pictures of the damage? If it is severe as you say welding might be the only way to repair it. The frame needs to be a solid run front to rear and side to side. The body, floor and frame combine to give an Airstream it's strength.

John
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Old 05-05-2003, 11:12 AM   #7
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The axle mounting plate kit has "NOTHING" to do with rear end separation.

Those are two entirely unrelated problems.

How to repair rear end separation is a function of how far it was allowed to progress.

Can take a couple of hours to 50 to 60 hours (when you know how).

Rear end separation can be caused by many things.
Unbalanced running gear, adding weight to the rear bumper, bottoming out, because of dips or bad axles, water leaks, from rain, gray or black tanks.

An axle mounting plate kit, won't solve or fix any of those problems.

Andy
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Old 05-05-2003, 02:05 PM   #8
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Frame kit, bolt or weld?

Will it “solve” the problem of the frame “flexing” badly immediately aft of the rear axel mounting plate? And is this a bolt on kit? This is the answer I have been seeking. I know that ALL the reasons you stated caused the separation. I have completely assessed the area now, and it is plane to see as I had my son push the bumper up and down. The frame is flexing badly in this area, and under it’s own weight now it hangs limp about 3 inches below the shell. So, if I were to jack the frame back up to level, and install this kit, will the frame stay straight when I remove the jack? Is this kit meant to prevent this flexing of the frame in this area? I have other structural mods I need to do also due to rust, but I need to solve the flexing problem first so the frame will stay where it is supposed too. Amazingly enough, the frame isn’t really rusted that bad in this area, it just seems like a very big weak spot…

Thanks,

Mac
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Old 04-01-2004, 10:54 PM   #9
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Hope that Colplink would check in again. This is always sad to see, 3 posts last one 10 months ago. Member disappeared and no follow up to his question or his status..?
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Old 04-01-2004, 10:59 PM   #10
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Yes, Jaco, what WAS holding you up from responding informatively to the question & otherwise following up with this poster?
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Old 04-02-2004, 07:01 AM   #11
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Well summerkid leave it to you to seek malice where there is none.
I just happened upon that thread recently, and I do not have an answer for the gentleman.I thought his final post is a fairly good and fair question. Perhaps the reason he posted only three times was that he felt his honest question was ignored.Perhaps he is still with us in lurk form only, or perhaps he assumed room temp while working on his trailer. Don't know, but I plan to attempt to email him and I'll tell him you said hello. Of course he probably never knew that if he'd stuck around he would have the pleasure of your insight and fine company. The problems he refers to are very serious matters to many of the serious Vintage owners. What subject matter do you find serious?
Perhaps if you ever consummate your fantasy of Airstream possession you will find yourself in a similar position as Mr. Colplink. If you do and happen to post a question or two I suspect you might appreciate an answer.
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Old 04-12-2004, 02:50 PM   #12
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Well, I'd like to know what to do! Hub has assigned me to find out all info here on how to fix rear end sag. The metal is kind of crumpled a little behind the axle. It is becoming obvious to him our airstream was in an accident that someone tried to fix but didnt do a good enough job. So any info would be appreciated and sent on to my husband. thanks, silver suz
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Old 04-12-2004, 03:07 PM   #13
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Silver suz.

There are many approaches to fixing the frame and/or rear end separation.

It is considerably easier to not confuse the issue, by finding out what the "exact" problem is, first.

Please post a photo ot two, clearly showing the separation. Also please show a photo or two of the area of the frame that is damaged.

From that, you will narrow down the possibles, so a straight forward answer can be suggested.

I will be glad to help you, but, the pictures are worth more than a thousand words.



Andy
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Old 04-12-2004, 03:37 PM   #14
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Thanks, Andy, will try to do. Hub says the AS was in a crash. But I am sure the picture would explain more. Did you see how far we have gotten! photo forum. elder son was home so he put pics on for me. silver suz
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