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Old 03-08-2013, 09:04 PM   #1
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Double step question-step brackets

Just got a complete set of double steps off a 1974 AS. I am installing the second step to my existing step on my 75 AS. It fits and works perfect. My question is that the step i bought has two additional aluminum plates-brackets. I have looked at pictures on the forum have not found any with these brackets. The arms on my existing step do not have the holes for these additional brackets.

My question is "are these part of the original step or are they an add on?"

I plan on using these because i see the benefit just wondering if they are original. Need to drill 6 holes and counter sink to add the brackets.

Thanks
Larry
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:07 PM   #2
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:04 AM   #3
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Does anyone have these brackets on their double steps?
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry b View Post
Just got a complete set of double steps off a 1974 AS. I am installing the second step to my existing step on my 75 AS. It fits and works perfect. My question is that the step i bought has two additional aluminum plates-brackets. I have looked at pictures on the forum have not found any with these brackets. The arms on my existing step do not have the holes for these additional brackets.

My question is "are these part of the original step or are they an add on?"

I plan on using these because i see the benefit just wondering if they are original. Need to drill 6 holes and counter sink to add the brackets.

Thanks
Larry

They are not original, but they should have been. These brackets stop the second step connection pieces from digging in to the first step. This over time will produce a grove on both sides that will cause the second step to sit a downward angle. This can be very dangerous. I don't know when or who came up with adding these brackets bit they have been around for a long time. I had two of the brackets made and installed on the steps of my 1976 Sovereign. Make a pattern of these while you have them off and how they are installed and others may want to add these to their steps. They work .

Don
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:51 PM   #5
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Don
Thanks for the reply, yes i will make a pattern future use. Who ever made these up did a good job, good quality.

Thanks again
Larry
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:14 PM   #6
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I think a lot of the old Airstream dealers and service shops made most of these. But although this was a problem with these steps from the beginning it was never picked an added to production models going forward at some point.

I have seen some people put a brace on the ground along the front edge of the bottom step to keep it level. But this is really dangerous. These steps were designed to hang in place and can sometimes fold down if you step on the bottom step with a brace under it. I saw this happen at a rally a few years back. The guy came out of the trailer and when he stepped on the bottom step the whole thing gave way and he went flying. This simple little device keeps the step in a straight position like it was intended to do.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
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They work for me. Got them from a dealer after he saw the wood blocks under the step. Sal
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by adonh View Post
... Make a pattern of these while you have them off and how they are installed and others may want to add these to their steps. They work .

Don
I like this mod. While I haven't had a problem with the steps yet, the bottom step gives me the feeling that it wouldn't take much for it to become a 1 person trapeze act without a net. I made a pair of braces from aluminum square tubing that when inserted between the rear edge of the bottom step and the junction of the sub floor and frame reduces the springy feel of the step. But they are something that need to be put on and taken off.

After looking at the photos here it appears these braces fit flush against the vertical link when the lower step is deployed also restricting the step's desire to move down and in. I like that there is nothing to attach and remove. I would be interested in seeing more about the dimensions and best way to mount them. Or is this an item Airstream dealers generally stock?
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Goose View Post
I like this mod. While I haven't had a problem with the steps yet, the bottom step gives me the feeling that it wouldn't take much for it to become a 1 person trapeze act without a net. I made a pair of braces from aluminum square tubing that when inserted between the rear edge of the bottom step and the junction of the sub floor and frame reduces the springy feel of the step. But they are something that need to be put on and taken off.

After looking at the photos here it appears these braces fit flush against the vertical link when the lower step is deployed also restricting the step's desire to move down and in. I like that there is nothing to attach and remove. I would be interested in seeing more about the dimensions and best way to mount them. Or is this an item Airstream dealers generally stock?
Silver Goose,
I have not found time to install yet. If you want me to mail you a template PM me your address and I will send you a pattern.

When I do install I will post some pictures of how they are mounted.

Larry
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:20 PM   #10
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Silver Goose,
I have not found time to install yet. If you want me to mail you a template PM me your address and I will send you a pattern.

When I do install I will post some pictures of how they are mounted.

Larry
Larry:
I would love to have a template for this mod as well! Photograhs of the installed piece as well if you have them. My bottom stem on my '82 has done exactly as described in this thread. the lower step sits at a downward angle because it has worn a groove in the top step.

Thanks!

Casey
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:40 AM   #11
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Me 2

I also am faced with the same problem, and would like a template or a source for purchasing. Thanks, and look forward to pictures of installation
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:52 AM   #12
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Larry B (Thank you) mailed me a tracing of his brace that I scanned and printed on card stock. I cut this out and then took it out to the back yard to see how it fit onto the step and it makes sense once in hand. The brace mounts inboard against upper step's side member. There are 3 ribs that run the length of the step and the 2 7/8" cutouts and the notch on the rear end accommodate those ribs. The 3 3/16" holes allow for fasteners. When the lower step is deployed, the vertical arm will come to rest flush against the 3" vertical edge of the brace which should reduce the springy feel of that step and prevent it from trying to move to the rear.

Some thoughts on this... The pair of braces can be cut from an 8" by 8" by 0.25" aluminum plate. You aren't likely to find 1/4" aluminum plate at the local hardware store. A local fabrication shop or recycling plant may have something suitable. I found a place online that sources an 8" by 8" by 0.25" aluminum plate for under $10 + shipping. It is onlinemetals.com I have no ties to them, nor have I ever ordered anything from them before.

I would recommend making a cardboard or plywood copy and test it for fit before cutting the aluminum. You should note that on the 1/4" graph paper, the vertical and bottom side is not square with the top. I'm only guessing that whoever made the original had a purpose for doing it that way or simply whipped it out on a band saw and belt sander so that it fit the steps they had and it was good enough. I believe the critical dimensions are the notches that clear the ribs and their relation to where the vertical surface meets the vertical step arm. The 3" vertical surface is likely a compromise so that the brace can be cut from a 4" piece, provide adequate contact surface with the arm and not be so tall it would be a problem with the steps retracted.

After ensuring my test copy fits, I will lay it out on the plate and drill the 7/8" holes first, then make the bandsaw cuts. I plan to start with the vertical surface perpendicular to the top and leave some extra on that end so I can get a correct fit with the belt sander. I seem to think it should be square. I'll then radius the bottom corners. I think it might be easier to clamp the brace onto the step's side member and then drill through both from the outside rather than trying to make holes in the side member match those in the brace. I'm planning on using counter sunk machine screws with nylon insert locknuts on the back side.

One last thought, if you have a model with the door near the rear, these braces do extend down when the steps are retracted. They shouldn't drag as I believe the end of the frame should protect them in most cases. But they might on an irregular surface. That may be a reason Airstream has never adapted this into the step design after all these years.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Silver Goose View Post
Larry B (Thank you) mailed me a tracing of his brace that I scanned and printed on card stock. I cut this out and then took it out to the back yard to see how it fit onto the step and it makes sense once in hand. The brace mounts inboard against upper step's side member. There are 3 ribs that run the length of the step and the 2 7/8" cutouts and the notch on the rear end accommodate those ribs. The 3 3/16" holes allow for fasteners. When the lower step is deployed, the vertical arm will come to rest flush against the 3" vertical edge of the brace which should reduce the springy feel of that step and prevent it from trying to move to the rear.

Some thoughts on this... The pair of braces can be cut from an 8" by 8" by 0.25" aluminum plate. You aren't likely to find 1/4" aluminum plate at the local hardware store. A local fabrication shop or recycling plant may have something suitable. I found a place online that sources an 8" by 8" by 0.25" aluminum plate for under $10 + shipping. It is onlinemetals.com I have no ties to them, nor have I ever ordered anything from them before.

I would recommend making a cardboard or plywood copy and test it for fit before cutting the aluminum. You should note that on the 1/4" graph paper, the vertical and bottom side is not square with the top. I'm only guessing that whoever made the original had a purpose for doing it that way or simply whipped it out on a band saw and belt sander so that it fit the steps they had and it was good enough. I believe the critical dimensions are the notches that clear the ribs and their relation to where the vertical surface meets the vertical step arm. The 3" vertical surface is likely a compromise so that the brace can be cut from a 4" piece, provide adequate contact surface with the arm and not be so tall it would be a problem with the steps retracted.

After ensuring my test copy fits, I will lay it out on the plate and drill the 7/8" holes first, then make the bandsaw cuts. I plan to start with the vertical surface perpendicular to the top and leave some extra on that end so I can get a correct fit with the belt sander. I seem to think it should be square. I'll then radius the bottom corners. I think it might be easier to clamp the brace onto the step's side member and then drill through both from the outside rather than trying to make holes in the side member match those in the brace. I'm planning on using counter sunk machine screws with nylon insert locknuts on the back side.
Silvergoose/larryb:
Thanks for the fix!
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