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Old 01-06-2007, 03:14 PM   #1
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Exterior crack above door

We have a crack above the door of our Sovereign. It seems to be growing, and we'd like to take care of it before too much moisture finds its way in. Does anyone out there have some advice for us? Can an aluminum welder take care of this for us?

Is this a sign of a MAJOR problem?

Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2007, 03:37 PM   #2
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without a pic it's difficult to offer total advise. BUT you need to stop the crack from growing- you need to drill a small hole at the end of the crack to keep it from growing. A welder with a square wave tig machine should be able to fix you up, won't be the prettiest but I have a few scars myself. Tim
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Old 01-06-2007, 03:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by doorgunner
without a pic it's difficult to offer total advise. BUT you need to stop the crack from growing- you need to drill a small hole at the end of the crack to keep it from growing. A welder with a square wave tig machine should be able to fix you up, won't be the prettiest but I have a few scars myself. Tim
Tim: We just discovered a couple of cracks too. Do we need to place a rivet in the drilled hole? Ron
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Old 01-06-2007, 04:55 PM   #4
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Exterior crack above door

While my experience was with a crack above the door on the inside of my Overlander, the two may share common causes. With the crack on my coach, it was attributed to a broken/failed outrigger near the door that was compounded by nearly worn out DuraTorque axles on the coach. The combination of excess vibration was thought to have caused the crack; and the placement of the refrigerator right above the outrigger that failed didn't help matters either -- my dealer, Ace Fogdall, repaired the outrigger, and repaired the crack -- thus far it has remained stable (about seven years). I have curtailed use of the Overlander and have been using the Minuet until I can afford new axles for the Overlander.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 01-07-2007, 01:23 PM   #5
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Exterior crack above door

Thanks!
My husband's heading out to drill a hole now. Guess we'll put electrical tape over it until we can get it welded.
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Old 01-07-2007, 01:38 PM   #6
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I knew that I'd seen a similar thread recently: http://www.airforums.com/forum...oor-27611.html

Kevin Allen has presented a good combination of factors to look into.
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher3rd
We have a crack above the door of our Sovereign. It seems to be growing, and we'd like to take care of it before too much moisture finds its way in. Does anyone out there have some advice for us? Can an aluminum welder take care of this for us?

Is this a sign of a MAJOR problem?

Thanks!
Likewize, my '77 Excella 500 developed a crack over the door that was about 3" in length before I noticed it. I stop drilled the crack then cut out a patch looking like a bell curve from a sheet of .024 aluminum. I then drilled holes through the patch and into the skin every inch along the inside of this patch. Each hole I would drill, I would place an Olympic rivet to hold the patch in place but would not pull the rivet with a rivet gun. After all holes were drilled, I cleaned the area up, filled the crack and adjoining area by the door with Silkaflex, placed a bead through each hole drilled and then placed the patch into position. I then dipped the end of the Olympic rivet in the Silkaflex and riveted each hole. I clipped the stem left by the rivet gun and ground it level with the rivet head. When polishing at a later date, it shined up just fine.

I attribute the crack to stress in the skin created by rear end seperation and probable improper balancing prior to my purchasing the unit. I don't think that you will be able to weld the skin with an aluminum welder, the door frame yes, the skin, no.
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:21 PM   #8
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The shop where we get most of our work done suggested placing a rivet into the stop drilled hole also. doorgunner, who does alot of work on old aluminum planes, seemed to think that it was worth a try too. We are going to give that a shot. Ron
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Old 01-07-2007, 06:52 PM   #9
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The repair is pretty straight forward, the cause may need a little more thought. Age, load and abuse of course come into play. I've seen doors "stuck" closed because the outrigger was cranked up waaaay to much. These AS work and move.So just be nice to your hunk of aluminum and resign yourself to the fact that botox is not yet available for aluminum!And Tig technology of modern times allows very thin welding. I've seen two pie plates welded together and the equipment used was not all that "trick". Tim
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:07 PM   #10
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Tim is correct on the TIG ,you can do extremely precise welds with it .
It takes definate skill to do this kind of work .My local stainless and aluminum welder built my front water tank from stainless (round cylinder style as OEM)
and TIG welded it together ,no leaks and a fantastic job ,the end caps of the
tank have very small precision welds ,yet strong .I really would like to invest
in a TIG welder someday ,the MIG is limited for fabrication work ,and other repairs the TIG for the precision small stuff and sheetmetal in auto /truck restorations.you want to TIG sheetmetal ,fenders and panels and such ,you have great heat control to minimize heat distortion .

Scott
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:00 PM   #11
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2024-T3 is not a weldable alloy. It will just re-crack on each side of the welded crack.
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:05 PM   #12
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sorry I'm stuck on 6061, having put my foot in my mouth-proir to welding anything try to determine what material you are dealing with> thanks for the help Aero. why didn't they use 5052. While 2024 is not considered weldable as Aero stated it can yield a nice bead but will fail upon stress load. So there it goes -any load where cracked? Decal time? Hysol maybee?
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:12 PM   #13
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Duct Tape-The Handyman's Secret Weapon

Some people would replace tha whole panel.
I think a patch could be nice, an opportunity to make an artistic statement.
If it looks like snow, rain, sleet, etc, hit it with a strip of the good stuff.
One cannot rush quality.
Rob
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher3rd
We have a crack above the door of our Sovereign. It seems to be growing, and we'd like to take care of it before too much moisture finds its way in. Does anyone out there have some advice for us? Can an aluminum welder take care of this for us?

Is this a sign of a MAJOR problem?

Thanks!
Cracks in the sheet metal over the door, are caused by "ONE" problem.

"Lack of proper running gear balance."

Theories abound, but the facts are the door area is weak. The same thing happens to 1964 and older trailers at the window forward of the entrance door.

Therefore vibration will do it almost every time, depending on the year and length.

You can seal the crack, and then plate it. To stop drill it is a waste of time, as the crack will continue. Then, balance the running gear.

Stop drilling a crack does not offset lack of proper running gear balance.

That's like saying I cut myself with a sharp knife, but I fixed it with a bandaid, therefore the knife cannot cut me again.

Andy
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