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Old 05-04-2004, 03:29 PM   #1
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Attaching BAL jacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneakinup
I pulled the two rear stabilizers while dropping the belly skin. Here is a pic with one of them cleaned and painted. Came out pretty good, and the "clean" one was the worse of the two of them. I replaced a few of the bolts that were rusted.
from: http://www.airforums.com/forum...&highlight=bal

We are planning on putting BAL Stabilizers on our Safari, but we aren't quite sure how to attach them. Here is our story (or someone can cut to the chase and just give me the info - or a link there - that I need for attaching them ) Thanks in advance, guys.

Our '71 Safari came with a mismatched set of old fashioned generic stabilizer jacks. We figured we'd just get us a set of BAL jacks and a 12V impact wrench and make our lives a little easier.

So - I ordered a set of BAL jacks that I thought were what we needed. Wrongo. I called the retailer, and they said to call BAL, and find out exactly what we needed for our AS. I did, and they did, and the retailer had the correct set drop shipped overnight from BAL's warehouse in Compton, CA. I opened the box and there they were, but no instructions, and no mounting hardware. Drat! So I called BAL and told them that their warehouse neglected to send us everything we needed. They promised to send the rest. But, she said, the instructions would be generic, not necessarily for an AS. Odd, because they are manufactured for Airstreams exlusively, but I let it slide.

Meanwhile back at the ranch.....
Now I search the forums, and Sneakinup has posted a picture of jacks (newly spiffed up) and they look like ours. Huzzah! My husband was beginning to doubt that these things could be attached to our trailer.

We also just got a 1972 Service Manual today in the mail, so we can figure out the framework on the trailer as well. Now, if anyone could point us in the right direction 'vis a 'vis attaching the jacks to the trailer, we would be so happy, because the woman from BAL left a seed of doubt in my mind regarding their instructions. Thanks for reading this far
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Old 05-04-2004, 04:20 PM   #2
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The "T" part of the jack gets lag bolted in to the bottom of the main frame. The bottom of the "T" is where it gets tricky. The ribs that make the ladder effect on the frame under the belly skin are no more than 1/2" wide, making for difficult drilling, which is why mine rusted/shook loose on 2 of them. I dropped my belly skin and redid the underside, and while I was under there attached a strip of pressure treated lumber to give me an additional bite in to something. I am still going to shoot for the steel cross member, but wanted something behind it for additional holding power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtpalms
from: http://www.airforums.com/forum...&highlight=bal

We are planning on putting BAL Stabilizers on our Safari, but we aren't quite sure how to attach them. Here is our story (or someone can cut to the chase and just give me the info - or a link there - that I need for attaching them ) Thanks in advance, guys.

Our '71 Safari came with a mismatched set of old fashioned generic stabilizer jacks. We figured we'd just get us a set of BAL jacks and a 12V impact wrench and make our lives a little easier.

So - I ordered a set of BAL jacks that I thought were what we needed. Wrongo. I called the retailer, and they said to call BAL, and find out exactly what we needed for our AS. I did, and they did, and the retailer had the correct set drop shipped overnight from BAL's warehouse in Compton, CA. I opened the box and there they were, but no instructions, and no mounting hardware. Drat! So I called BAL and told them that their warehouse neglected to send us everything we needed. They promised to send the rest. But, she said, the instructions would be generic, not necessarily for an AS. Odd, because they are manufactured for Airstreams exlusively, but I let it slide.

Meanwhile back at the ranch.....
Now I search the forums, and Sneakinup has posted a picture of jacks (newly spiffed up) and they look like ours. Huzzah! My husband was beginning to doubt that these things could be attached to our trailer.

We also just got a 1972 Service Manual today in the mail, so we can figure out the framework on the trailer as well. Now, if anyone could point us in the right direction 'vis a 'vis attaching the jacks to the trailer, we would be so happy, because the woman from BAL left a seed of doubt in my mind regarding their instructions. Thanks for reading this far
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneakinup
The "T" part of the jack gets lag bolted in to the bottom of the main frame. The bottom of the "T" is where it gets tricky. The ribs that make the ladder effect on the frame under the belly skin are no more than 1/2" wide, making for difficult drilling, which is why mine rusted/shook loose on 2 of them. I dropped my belly skin and redid the underside, and while I was under there attached a strip of pressure treated lumber to give me an additional bite in to something. I am still going to shoot for the steel cross member, but wanted something behind it for additional holding power.
Question: Did the lags attached to the frame under the belly shake loose after a long time? Your jacks looked pretty old before you cleaned them.
I can understand why you wouldn't want to put the screws back into the same area and into the existing holes, but since ours has never had them installed before, do you think they will hold for quite awhile attached to the narrow frame (1/2" under belly skin) area? I'm not sure I could convince my other half to take off the skin for this project right now.
How about a bit of adhesive or sealant when they are attached?
Adhesive/sealant on the lags, I mean, 'cause I don't think it would be good to glue the jacks to the skin. (So sayeth the noob).
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:36 PM   #4
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The trick is drilling in to the center of the cross member. It is a fairly flimsy piece of steel, and if you aren't dead center on it, your bit is going to slip to one side or the other. Not to mention that you will be laying on your back doing this. I'm already thinking of changing my name to Michaelangelo.

Drilling is tricky when you can't see it through the belly skin. Look for your rivet line, or just do like you would when looking for a stud under sheet rock. Use a small drill bit or nail to puncture the skin to make sure you are on center. The holes will be covered when you attach the stabilizer.

The area where the "T" portion goes is easy because you can tell where the beam is, and it is almost 2" wide. Just take your time and mark it off and you will be fine. There are super adhesives that you can use to make it bond to the skin, but those aren't really necessary.
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtpalms
Question: Did the lags attached to the frame under the belly shake loose after a long time? Your jacks looked pretty old before you cleaned them.
I can understand why you wouldn't want to put the screws back into the same area and into the existing holes, but since ours has never had them installed before, do you think they will hold for quite awhile attached to the narrow frame (1/2" under belly skin) area? I'm not sure I could convince my other half to take off the skin for this project right now.
How about a bit of adhesive or sealant when they are attached?
Adhesive/sealant on the lags, I mean, 'cause I don't think it would be good to glue the jacks to the skin. (So sayeth the noob).

Well, I just took mine off in preparation for removing the belly pan. I have no idea when they were installed, but they've been in there a good long while. I was afraid the lags would be frozen. they weren't...but they weren't loose, either. very securely attached. I think I might replace the lag screws, as they look a bit rusted...but they were holding just fine. there was no sign of any adhesive or sealant anywhere.
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:32 PM   #6
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The thing to remember is that these are designed to "Stabilize" the trailer, not jack it up. The mounting points are not going to be strong enough for more than the designed purpose. Flimsy metal outriggers etc. are part of the design.
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:48 PM   #7
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MT palms,
To install the BAL jacks:
Use self tapping screws, as supplied by BAL. Get a cordless driver witht eh appropiate socket ( not an impact)
Now, locate the main frame rails, riunning front to back under the belly skin.
You can feel them under the belly skin.
The crossmembers run from one side of the main frame rail to the other. Locate those by feel also. Look for rivet lines - - dead giveaway!
You can find the exact point of attachment by giving the area a sharp rap with your fist. AFTER you locate the crossmember. This will make a slight crease in teh belly pan material which will tell you exactly where to start the self tapper.
Use the center hole for teh crossmember only.
The main frame rails get the same treatment, short rap with the fist shows the outline of the frame section on the belly skin.
I used a floor jack to hold the BAL close to the skin, tight enough to hold it, but loose enough to still be able to maneuver it.
Make sure and wear eye protection.
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:08 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the good advice everybody, as always it is much appreciated.
I feel very confident now that we''ll do fine.
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