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Old 07-04-2018, 12:17 PM   #15
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I have seen cracks like this formed on the front of other units. Itís possible this resulted from frame stresses caused by driving over a severe grade transition such as a steep driveway with the WD bars attached. But hard to know for sure.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:21 PM   #16
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Liquid Steel

This is what I used after drilling out old rivets and installed new rivets. Also drilled a larger hole in the aluminum rock shield to relieve stress. Donít Over tighten the cap nut to give the shield room to flex.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:30 PM   #17
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Liquid Steel

J-B Weld available at any hardware storeClick image for larger version

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Old 07-04-2018, 01:05 PM   #18
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2014 27' FB International
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Minor crack in aluminum

My wife and I purchased a 27' 2014 International Sterling which we love! I don't want this to freak you out, but I wanted to add my 2 cents because cracks and stress dents in the outer shell can be a precursor of another underlying issue. Our AS goes to Jackson Center every spring for a full check up. (that is just the way we roll). Before our last visit this spring, I was waxing and I opened the rock shields to clean and wax behind. Lo and behold, the outer shell had a dent in it! No damage whatsoever to the rock shield. Well, while at Jackson Center, I had the techs look at it and the conclusion was the front struts holding the shell to the frame had sheared off! What! We ended up having the guys open up the inside front skin to reveal that, yes indeed, the tiny rivets holding the tiny "L" bracket that holds the support struts for the outer shell had sheared off. What happens next is as the frame flexes while driving over bumps and pot holes, it causes the outer skin to flex, thus the "dent". The repair was a substantial "L" bracket with substantial bolts to hold it firmly in place. If left un-repaired, the situation gets worse and the aluminum can tear and then water can infiltrate and... well, you can guess the rest. If you look at the threads on "shell separation from frame", you will see this is a common problem especially with the longer units. Now I am not saying this is what is going on with your unit, but fore knowledge is good as you inspect your trailer in the future and keep an eye out for stress dents and tears in the outer shell, especially in the front and rear.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreamingB View Post
Hi there,

I thought I did post a photo- weird. Still adjusting to the forum. My apologies.Attachment 315868
Well... you have a problem...

The metal bracket is called a hat section so that the bolt can be spaced away from the sheet metal.

If you notice the crack is right along the same line as the bolt center... thus something is flexing the sheet metal as the bolted section puts stress on it.

You can try to stop drill it.. but its not going too... as what we see...

It appear that they used some oversized pop rivets to hold the hat section to the body metal. The crack appears to be along the bottom side of the hat section... which is causing the body metal to flex... it will contenue... what a lousy design.

To keep the crack from getting larger you need to give the body metal and the bracket some more support other than just the body alu.

Thus if you want to do it right... you should drill out the pop rivets... and remove the hat section... clean the metal under it.. check for small hair line cracks using the dye penatrant spot check... if found.. stop drill at the end of the crack.

You then need to make a doubbler plate to go over the crack section and existing pop rivets holes... here you would want to go with at least a piece of 2024 , 6061, etc... aircraft grade alclad... 0.032-0.050 thick... that you might get for free at the local airport FBO shop scrap cutoff pieces... and if you talk nice to them they might even sheer (cut) the scrap pieces to size for you...

The plate should extend at least 3/4 - 1 inch outside ...past the crack.. drill stopped area... making it rectangular... and giving the body metal some back up support... by taking the stress outside the existing teared area...

Do not use silicone.. it contains urea.. and will cause the alu to corrode etc... (best way to kill alu is to use silicone that is not designed for aircraft) Use the recommended sheet sealant that will not attack the sheet metal...

You only need to put it in /along the crack area... at least covering about 1/2 inch wide over the crack line... it will act as a seal...then...

Now you need to use some 1/8 in olympic cherry max rivets coated with sealant.... spaced about 1 inch apart (starting at the corner ) and at least 2-1/2 dia from the edge. (if you use 1/8 inch rivets.. it about 1/4 in...) Thus you may want to do the math and layout the plate so you get even spacing... Try to keep 'em in a streight line.. by pre drilling the plate and then attaching by drilling through the holes etc... Then use the rivet shaver to make it look factory

When done it will be noticed... as a second piece of metal attached... but it will transfer the stress to a larger area.. that shouldn't flex and crack.

Then finally re-locate the Hat section on top of the doubble plate... and again use the cherry max rivets... (don't use the same holes... hat section alu can be had at aircraft metal supply store... if you want to make new... shave when finished... and it will look professional...

You can do the same size doubbler plate to the other areas that airstream put the hat sections on to hold the rockshelds... to make it look like it was factory done...

good to go... and shouldn't have any more problems with the flexing of the body sheet metal...

hope this helps... to do it right.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:40 PM   #20
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Has exactly the same problem on my 1998 29 ft Excella. Removed the mounting bkt. Bought a piece of aluminium from Jackson Centre 6" x 6". Rounded the corners about a 1/4 " radius and siliconed and pop riveted it over the crack. Start the pop rivets on one vertical edge and work it around the corner. Then remount the bracket for the stone guard. hardly noticable when finished.
Ross
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Old 07-04-2018, 03:48 PM   #21
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Same issue on my 2005. Found this last year. This the the middle mount, which was not lined up properly and causing it to pull. Ended up unbolting and sealed crack. With it unbolted from guard the crack has stopped spreading.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:09 PM   #22
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I had JC Service Center remove my battery boxes after Lithiums were installed under the queen bed. While doing it they reinforced all the structure as mentioned above without me asking. Also, during a routine wheel bearing repacking frame cracks were observed. Three on one side and two on the other. Of course, they welded them up and on a receint visit the same tech checked his welds to make sure they were holding. They were, and I was impressed with their careful inspecions while doing other work. Folks, the Interstates are slowly trying to reduce our rigs to rubble. Although I see lot's of Interstate reconsrution and repair going on, I am afraid, in the longer run, it is a losing proposition. Too much population growth and too little money to keep up the needed repairs.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:36 AM   #23
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All the cracks in the photos I've seen here appear to me, to be caused by vibration of the rock guards causing the skin, which the bracket is attached to, to work harden and crack. Stop drilling alone will not fix the problem. At a minimum a patch around the damaged area will be required. I am always mystified as to why Airstream continuously attaches components to the skin with no reinforcement, and etc, etc, etc,.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:06 AM   #24
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crack in Aluminum

Two possibilities come to mind. Depending on the visibility, you might use JB weld. It's a very good product for metal repair can be sanded and paintable.
However it is a dark color and may be a distraction if visible.
#2, is aluminum welding.
Good luck.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:24 PM   #25
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drill the end with 1/16" bit and fill with sika-flex. this is how an airplane would be repaired.
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:05 PM   #26
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I had the same problem...in the same place. Try Steelstik by JB Weld. It's a metallic epoxy. Just knead together, press it into the crack, and remove the excess.
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:31 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecatsandi View Post
drill the end with 1/16" bit and fill with sika-flex. this is how an airplane would be repaired.
I DON'T THINK SO... but nice try... with the sika flex... what a mess it would turn out...
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:45 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
All the cracks in the photos I've seen here appear to me, to be caused by vibration of the rock guards causing the skin, which the bracket is attached to, to work harden and crack. Stop drilling alone will not fix the problem. At a minimum a patch around the damaged area will be required. I am always mystified as to why Airstream continuously attaches components to the skin with no reinforcement, and etc, etc, etc,.
Iím not a metal guru or and airplane guy but I agree with Aerowoodís advice. I also happen to admire a well done patch. My preference is a flush patch but you would need access to both sides of the aluminum to accomplish this. So instead I would suggest a lap patch.

Carol

You can read more about patches here: http://okigihan.blogspot.com/2017/06...structure.html
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