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Old 01-03-2009, 12:26 PM   #1
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Best way to remove collapsed stabilizers?

Like the title says, what's the best way to remove bent/collapsed stabilizers? ...and to add to the fun the AS is parked under a house so it cant be jacked up very far at all.

The PO that parked it there let half the air of the tires to get it to fit. They didn't air the tires back up but they did put the stabilizers down. That was four years ago. Now the tires are completely flat and the trailer settled onto the stabilizers and bent them.

Here's the gory pics...




The best Idea I can come up at the moment is to first put some heavy duty jack (12 ton) stands near the axles, a-frame and rear bumper areas. Then use a cutting torch to cut the stabilizers off and unbolt the stabilizer mounts. Then remove the jack stands and pull it out from under the house. Once it's out, I'll put new tires and wheels on it and bolt on new stabilizers.

Anyone have any better ideas how to go about this?
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by GoMopar440 View Post
Like the title says, what's the best way to remove bent/collapsed stabilizers? ...and to add to the fun the AS is parked under a house so it cant be jacked up very far at all.

The PO that parked it there let half the air of the tires to get it to fit. They didn't air the tires back up but they did put the stabilizers down. That was four years ago. Now the tires are completely flat and the trailer settled onto the stabilizers and bent them.

Here's the gory pics...

The best Idea I can come up at the moment is to first put some heavy duty jack (12 ton) stands near the axles, a-frame and rear bumper areas. Then use a cutting torch to cut the stabilizers off and unbolt the stabilizer mounts. Then remove the jack stands and pull it out from under the house. Once it's out, I'll put new tires and wheels on it and bolt on new stabilizers.

Anyone have any better ideas how to go about this?
One jack at the axle mounting plate, raising one side at a time, should be ok.

Stabilizer jacks will fail, if excessive weight is applied to them.

In your case, that's exactly what happened.

I would also suggest that you check out the axles. Parked for a long period of time, destroys any torsion axle.

Andy
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:37 PM   #3
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The fun way would be a cutting torch, the practical way would be a saws-all with a metal blade or angle grinder with a metal cutting blade. Just Jack it up a bit cut them out and pull it out.


Good luck
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:45 PM   #4
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Yup, a Sawzall or bayonet-type saw with a couple of metal cutting blades would be easiest and least likely to start a fire under the trailer. If you don't own one, I'm pretty sure you can rent one at any major hardware, rental shop or Home Depot. You're not talking about more than a minute or two per stabilizer.

You don't need new stabilizers until after you've got it home. Put new ones on there at your leisure.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:30 PM   #5
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If you had enough height to put the trailer in there you should have enough height to jack up either side and just unbolt the stabilizers and slide them out. You only need a 1/2 in to take the load of them in this position. Use a floor or bottle jack between the wheels against the frame.

If the tires will hold air I would pump them up before removing the jack you use to remove the stabilizers and roll out on them.

I would reconsider a torch under the trailer under the house unless you have another place to stay.
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:26 PM   #6
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I would ask whether the jacks have put so much pressure on the frame to distort it and if so, what would it take to fix that? Would jacking up one side make it worse on the other?

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Old 01-03-2009, 02:33 PM   #7
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Even if you sawall them, you will still need to remove the bracket eventually. So my recommendation is to just jack up the trailer at the axle mounting plates, install a jack stand... then unbolt them. You will only need an inch or two clearance to make that work.

Remember that that bolt near the center of the trailer can get stuck in the stabalizer jack brackets due to rust and other corossion. If it does... just spin the nut back on the bolt until it is flush with the end of the bolt (to protect the threads) and then tap it with a hammer. The bolt is 'J' shaped and just hooks over one of the crossbars that support the belly pan so you won't damage the bolt or crossbar while tapping it loose.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
I would ask whether the jacks have put so much pressure on the frame to distort it and if so, what would it take to fix that? Would jacking up one side make it worse on the other?

Gene
That's why I want to start by removing the front stabilizers first. Then I can remove the forward jack stands and lower the tounge jack a little bit. That should lower the front and raise the rear behind the axles enough to take the load off the rear stabilizers.

There is nothing but concrete under the trailer (no grass) and the belly pan is intact above the stabilizers. There should be no problem with using a torch around the mid point on the main arm on the stabilizers. I wouldn't dare try to cut the brackets where they bolt to the under carriage. That would be just plain stupid. There's no way to know what lies behind the aluminum skin so heating that area could very well create a serious fire hazard.

The trailer came with a set of Oxygen and Acetylne bottles, hoses and regulators and torches. I just got the bottles filled so it's all ready to cut. I have a 18V battery operated sawsall so I could use that, but the torch would make it a much simpler job of it.

There's not much space above the trailer. Maybe 12" at most and less than that near the lights under the house.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:30 PM   #9
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I would try to cut the bolts off or wring them off with an air gun. Try to leave the bracket attached to the trailer. You may be able to salvage the bent arms and fabricate new legs. Remember, they are called stabilizers, not jacks. If you don't have enough room under the trailer, air up the tires and pull it out from under the cover. You are going to need to change the tires anyway.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:37 PM   #10
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Will the old tires hold air?

If not, the old tires are now flat and bulged at the bottom, that my play hell with your wheel wells when you start to move it.
You say your getting new wheels and tires, you may just want to dismount the old tires and drive it out of there on the rims.
If you want to save the rims get a piece of fresh 2" X 12" wolmanized lumber (less likely to split from weight of trailer) and put them under the rims, no tires, block the wheels and ski it out of there.
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:06 PM   #11
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That's why I want to start by removing the front stabilizers first. Then I can remove the forward jack stands and lower the tounge jack a little bit. That should lower the front and raise the rear behind the axles enough to take the load off the rear stabilizers.
Installation instructions call for 2 bolts thru the stabilizers to the main frame, plus one more bolt that holds the rear portion of the stabilizer to a frame cross member.

You may be able to easly remove those with a socket set, once you lift one side of the trailer.

Would save you some grief.

Andy
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dieselgrin View Post
Remember, they are called stabilizers, not jacks.
I wish someone had told the PO that four years ago when they parked it. It would have made getting the AS out from under the house a whole lot easier.

This isn't my first RV so I'm very familiar with the difference between jacks and stabilizers. The jacks I was referring to in my last post are heavy duty automotive safety type jack stands.

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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, IN
Installation instructions call for 2 bolts thru the stabilizers to the main frame, plus one more bolt that holds the rear portion of the stabilizer to a frame cross member.

You may be able to easly remove those with a socket set, once you lift one side of the trailer.

Would save you some grief.

Andy
That would simplify things greatly if I can do that. I'll have to see how much room I have to work with given the ceiling limitations next time I'm over there. Where would be the proper place to use a floor jack to get the side lifted? Between the axles under the main frame rail?
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:03 PM   #13
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Heh Gomopar, how long have you had your 73 AS? I just bought my first AS a couple of months ago. If I knew then, what I know now, from this forum, I probably would have passed. Oh, well, there's plenty of projects to keep me busy.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:17 PM   #14
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Heh Gomopar, how long have you had your 73 AS? I just bought my first AS a couple of months ago. If I knew then, what I know now, from this forum, I probably would have passed. Oh, well, there's plenty of projects to keep me busy.
I bought it the day after Christmas for $1500. I won't be able to get it home till somewhere around the end of January. That'll give the PO time to remove their tools and stuff (LOTS OF IT!!!) and me time to collect necissary parts to be able to move it safely (ie: tires, wheels and maybe axles). The rest will come with time after I get it home and can look it over at my leisure.

I knew this was going to need a lot of work when I bought it. I got a low enough purchase price to allow me to make needed repairs and still keep it within my budget.
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