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Old 02-24-2008, 04:49 PM   #1
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63 Safari Roof rib replacement

I need to repair or replace two ribs in the roof just behind the a/c that have deformed due to snow load. The ceiling is approx 3.5 inches low in the damaged area. I haven't open up the ceiling yet. Are partial ribs available? Are complete ribs available? Can I open up inside without removing a/c? I don't want to start until I know if parts are available! I will call Andy tomorrow and possibly the factory.
Anyone replaced or repaired ribs?
I have installed a complete rear section and about 12 ft of side on a 97 34' so do have some experience.
Thanks
Paul
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:42 PM   #2
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Before you do anything post a couple of pictures of the inside and the outside. Is the skin buckled at any point either inside or outside? If the shin is not buckled or eyebrowed anywhere it would be better.
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Old 02-24-2008, 06:05 PM   #3
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The ribs should be 1.5" deep, 3/4" flange, .065" thick standard aluminum channel. You can order it from any aluminum or metal supplier, but you won't find it at Home Depot. A well equiped metal shop can roll an arc it for you.

Before you order metal, be sure it is bent. The "half ribs" are joined with a riveted plate at the very top; perhaps the joining plate is broken and you just need to repair the joint.
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Old 02-24-2008, 06:23 PM   #4
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Before you order metal, be sure it is bent. The "half ribs" are joined with a riveted plate at the very top; perhaps the joining plate is broken and you just need to repair the joint.


Thanks, I thought the ribs were one big arc! I'll support the a/c and open up ceiling for a look see.
I'll take photos tomorrow and post.
The skin is buckled in one spot over the door.
Paul
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Old 02-25-2008, 03:08 PM   #5
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Se photos ! Ribs are not connected and are offset in the area with the problem! Ribs are from 15-20 inches apart from left and right. Ribs at front and back go clear across and rib at front of door goes clear across, there is a section of straight trailerapprox 107 inches where ribs go to center but NOT connected between the two sides!
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:28 AM   #6
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Well here it goes. The best way to tackle this is to remove everything from around the damaged area including the air conditioner, and inner skin. Be sure to level and support the trailer at both ends also. Now remove all the rivets from the exterior skin at the damaged area. You should see some improvements to the skin as the stresses are relieved. The ribs are very soft and if not cracked anywhere are reformable to a point. Stringers can be remade by any good sheet metal shop so remove any that are damaged (they will fall out anyway when removing all the rivets at the damaged area). Doing this will give you a better idea of repairs that will have to be made. You will be surprised at how much the skin will restore itself once things start coming apart.
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood
Well here it goes. The best way to tackle this is to remove everything from around the damaged area including the air conditioner, and inner skin. Be sure to level and support the trailer at both ends also. Now remove all the rivets from the exterior skin at the damaged area. You should see some improvements to the skin as the stresses are relieved. The ribs are very soft and if not cracked anywhere are reformable to a point. Stringers can be remade by any good sheet metal shop so remove any that are damaged (they will fall out anyway when removing all the rivets at the damaged area). Doing this will give you a better idea of repairs that will have to be made. You will be surprised at how much the skin will restore itself once things start coming apart.
This appears to be best approach! Until I start I won't know how to proceed! I will make a template from one of the good ribs, as a starter. I would like to add a new rib at the rear of the a/c, that goes all the way across. 9 foot without a complete cross rib seems like a large distance. However it lasted 43 years, and I believe the demise of the floor contributed to its failure! (The other half of this project)
Thanks for your comments!
Paul
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:31 AM   #8
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Support in place

I opened the roof and one thing leads to another! I built a framework from 1.5 inch square aluminum and installed from the full rib at front of door to full rib at rear where curve starts. The half ribs, two on each side were bent and cracked! Ribs were cut off to allow the 19 inch wide framework in place. support braces used to stiffen the roof were elimanated, as the framework was installed in their place. Framework was tied to full ribs at front and back using 1.5 x 1.5 angle cut into 1 inch lengths. I supported the AC with a boat jack after determining that it was a bigger job than I wanted to tackle to remove it. The roof returned to almost normal when the AC was lifted by the jack.
The existing ribs were reenforced with 1/8 aluminum bars and connected to framework with angle aluminum
I have one rib that was cut to allow wiring to pass as it came out of the electrical panel, that broke at the cut . wiring looks like factory original, but someone added a access door 6 x 6 that doesn't look original. acess is there but no support for rib, also opened on inside.
Pictures show the framework and connections to ribs.
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:44 AM   #9
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Wow! Good work, Paul.
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:04 AM   #10
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It's looking alot better
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