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Old 07-18-2016, 10:04 AM   #15
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2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
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Chevrolet mounted their differentials on Corvettes the same for a 327 or 427 big block in the mid 1960s. The big blocks could actually tear the differential from the frame as GM was too cheap to change the design for the 396's and 427's at the time, in my opinion.

Welding angle iron on both sides took care of the problem, permanently.

This seems to be a similar option for a frame repair. It is better to try to fix the problem than avoid it. Make the repair with more than needed. Going to need plenty of prep work on the rust and that will make it weaker to get to metal. Someone who had found a 'garage mechanic' solution is your best option. I am always impressed with the brilliant minds on this Forum. Mine, of course... excluded from this group.

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Old 07-18-2016, 10:15 AM   #16
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1974 25' Tradewind
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Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
Years ago when I was involved in building some mobile communications centers I was told by a vehicle up-fitter that one should never weld on a frame. The reason was that the frame members were heat treated and welding would anneal the metal.

These were GM cab-body trucks that were to have shelters mounted to them. Are Airstream frames mild steel so that it is OK to weld, or is there risk of damaging the frame by welding to it? Just curious to know as I may want to add a rear hitch or something in the future.


I would be surprised if the Airstream (or any other travel trailer) used anything other than mild steel for the frame members. The nice things about mild steel are that it's easily weldable, and it's somewhat forgiving of repeated stresses.

My guess (as a guy who has done some welding and amateur race car fabrication) is that this particular situation looks like it was initiated from the elevator bolt hole being too close to the open edge of the frame rail. Then the crack just propagated from the bolt hole, around the corner, and down to where it currently is.

Repair: Drill the *very* end of the crack with a 1/4" drill bit to take away the sharp edge of the crack. Grind off all rust around the cracked area, then jack it closed. Weld up the crack, but then add a doubler of equal thickness (the angle doubler suggestions are good) for 4 to 6 inches on each side (8-12" total) and weld only along the top and bottom edges. You want the weld to be in shear, not in tension. And, you don't want to create another vertical weak zone in the frame member.

Book recommendation: "Engineer to Win" by Carroll Smith. Lots of good info in there about materials properties, as well as anecdotes, by a legend in race car fabrication and preparation.

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Old 07-19-2016, 07:52 AM   #17
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1968 22' Safari
Tulsa , Oklahoma
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Originally Posted by tevake View Post
First of what a delightfully wicked sense of humor. The golf story had me laughing out loud even the second time I read it.
Thanks. I wondered if anyone noticed.

There's no evidence of anything having been mounted on the back, so I just can't say. I've yet to remove the floor on the other side, so I don't know about that either. Yet. But when I do, this board will know about it.

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