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Old 09-14-2015, 08:39 PM   #1
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1973 23' Safari
1970 27' Overlander
Boerne , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 179
Belly Pan Stuck Near Axle

I am having trouble getting the rear belly pain all the way out in my 73 Safari. I have removed all rivets I am certain - the belly pain appears to be hung up between the axle brackets and the frame. I've jammed a putty knife in there to try to loosed this up but did not help. Any hints out there?
Thanks,
Greg
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:03 PM   #2
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1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
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If you're not reusing it, cut away as much as possible and try to pull out what's left with some plyers or something similar. It'll give you more leverage.
Also if it's in tight side to side then pulling at any angle will cause it to bind at the sides since you're essentially making it wider and fit tighter.
How big is the gap between the top of the axle bracket and frame. If it's really tight it could be pinching the belly skin.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:08 PM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
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Your freshwater tank? Is it still up, the bolts that hold the front and back of the tank pan go through the belly pan material, are the bolts still there?
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:39 PM   #4
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1973 23' Safari
1970 27' Overlander
Boerne , Texas
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I would like to reuse the belly pan; it is not hung up on the water tank - it is free from that section and hanging down over the front of the axles.
Greg
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:50 PM   #5
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1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
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Check for sealant/caulk in there. May need a few people to pull it straight out. Keep trying to work it loose with putty knife. Can you get anything between the belly and frame or is it blocked by the belly to much? Squirt some lubricant in there might help.
I just replaced mine and if the piece that went in there was cocked even a little bit it tended to bind up and stick when sliding it in.
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Old 09-14-2015, 10:07 PM   #6
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1968 24' Tradewind
1967 17' Caravel
Northborough , Massachusetts
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Split?

My belly pan was in fact 2 sheets joined at the middle. I needed to take each one out separately... the overlapping one first. If you have already split it and are still having problems trying to pull it out then you may have a well hidden rivet or two. Examine very carefully underneath the axle(s) and along the seam edge with the frame... they can hide pretty well... use a strong flashlight to spotlight the areas in question. If you find one you can't access with a drill, use a cheap sharp wood chisel to cut off the head cleanly.

Chuck
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:31 AM   #7
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1973 23' Safari
1970 27' Overlander
Boerne , Texas
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Thanks for the responses. I think I will get a couple more people to help - have them pulling while I am under there with a putty knife trying to work it loose.
Greg
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:33 PM   #8
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1972 23' Safari
Camas , Washington
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I had to drop my axles to get mine out, but then we were replacing the axles anyway.
Good luck hope it comes out easy.
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:38 PM   #9
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
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I did the same, except all I did was put the trailer on stands and loosen up the axle nuts and bolts which allowed the axle to slip down just enough, and then pulled the pan out.
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:39 PM   #10
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1972 23' Safari
Burlington , Kentucky
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When I removed yours on our 72 Safari it was pinched between the axle n frame. I loosened the axle bolts a bit n raised the frame with floor jack. Then the axle dropped bout a 1/4 inch and the pan slipped right. But as stated before be sure u keep the pan square to the frame or it will surely bind.
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Old 09-15-2015, 08:21 PM   #11
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1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
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I seem to remember that the belly pan on my '89 had rolled seams where the panels met. Is it something like that? I don't know anything abut the older units.
JCW
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:46 PM   #12
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1973 23' Safari
1970 27' Overlander
Boerne , Texas
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Debnw - with the belly pain half hanging down and since you want the axle plate to drop some, where did you place the jack?
thanks.
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:24 PM   #13
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1968 24' Tradewind
1967 17' Caravel
Northborough , Massachusetts
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Frame

My favorite lift point is the frame between the axles... the belly pan is attached to the inside edge of the frame. You need either a high lift floor jack or a strategically placed piece of wood on top of the jack pad to do the lifting.
For this application you should not need much of a lift... only enough to allow the axle(s) to "drop" about a 1/4". Be careful to mark the alignment points for both axle(s)... you don't want to tighten them back up askew as it will cause off line tracking or excessive tire wear.

Chuck
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:36 PM   #14
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1968 24' Tradewind
1967 17' Caravel
Northborough , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 136
the other lift point...

The other lift point is the rear bumper... mine was plenty strong enough to support the whole trailer during reconstruction with all 4 wheels off.
Point 1) The hitch, supported with concrete blocks and wood boards to distribute the load evenly.
Points 2 & 3) the bumper where it meets the frame.
I had my whole trailer supported this way for weeks while I did finish work inside and finally got around to putting on the new axles when time and weather allowed... now as a caveat, I did strengthen the rear part of the frame
fairly significantly to carry twin 25 gal tanks.
You should be able to access the frame without risk of touching the belly pan somewhere rear of the wheels... there is a separate pan back there to access that part.

Chuck
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