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Old 01-24-2014, 09:28 AM   #1
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removing the belly pan?

Hey all. My mechanic is coming up to help with rewiring the brakes on my '74 Argosy 22. I'm thinking I have to remove the belly pan for this...yes? Any advice? I'm not terribly handy, am I biting off more than I can chew?
Thanks in advance for any tips you all can offer.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:36 AM   #2
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First....see where the current wiring is. On a standard wiring job the running, tail and brake lights share a harness arrangement with the charge wire and the electric brakes. The electric brakes wire is tapped at some point to the axels. I'd try to pick up the "re-wiring" at that point. If that won't work go foreword to a point where you can pick up that brake wire and tap in there and run it to the brakes. There will be numerous places where you can bring the wire up inside the shell or the pan. I would not drop the pan for this job.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:36 PM   #3
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Hmm. Ok. How about the brake away switch? Does it need a separate battery or does it draw it's power from the trailers 12 volt system?
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:49 PM   #4
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Hmm. Ok. How about the brake away switch? Does it need a separate battery or does it draw it's power from the trailers 12 volt system?
Mine pull off the trailer battery. I have seen some with a separate battery just for the breakaway switch, not sure if it was a belt and suspenders or required by local law. I may use a separate battery when I rewire mine, that way I can use a kill switch on the main trailer battery but still have the legally required breakaway switch.

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Old 01-24-2014, 07:01 PM   #5
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The breakaway switch is hard wired to the trailer battery. Trailer breaks away, switch is activated, brakes on full. Separate battery unnecessary.

I would not drop the belly pan to require the brakes. Use the existing wiring (repairing as necessary) or use a wire fish to run new wires (your mechanic will know how to do this).

Enjoy the journey,

Mike
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:00 PM   #6
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The breakaway switch is hard wired to the trailer battery. Trailer breaks away, switch is activated, brakes on full. Separate battery unnecessary.

I would not drop the belly pan to require the brakes. Use the existing wiring (repairing as necessary) or use a wire fish to run new wires (your mechanic will know how to do this).
Easy-peasy. Attach the new wire to the end of the old wire. As you pull the old wire out from the other end, you pull the new wire in at the same time.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:27 PM   #7
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Thanks you all for the pointers. Brakes and new tires are the last step to getting her road worthy. Can't wait for spring to take her out. 😃
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:28 PM   #8
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And, of course, that would be "rewire" vice "require" -- damn autocorrect...

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Old 01-24-2014, 08:29 PM   #9
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And, of course, that would be "rewire" vice "require" -- damn autocorrect...

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I've seen far more embarrassing autocorrect mayhem
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:59 AM   #10
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Adding on to the conversation. How hard is it to remove the belly pan, just to see what lurks under? I just bought a 1989 34' Excella. Although the flooring has been repaired at some point in the past, there was a walk through inspection done to aid in the sale of the trailer that recommended that the pan be pulled for further investigation. Sounds like a good idea, but how much am I biting off? And I'll be optimistic, I pull it off...everything is tight, clean, dry, and I replace it. A Saturday job?
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:34 PM   #11
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Adding on to the conversation. How hard is it to remove the belly pan, just to see what lurks under? I just bought a 1989 34' Excella. Although the flooring has been repaired at some point in the past, there was a walk through inspection done to aid in the sale of the trailer that recommended that the pan be pulled for further investigation. Sounds like a good idea, but how much am I biting off? And I'll be optimistic, I pull it off...everything is tight, clean, dry, and I replace it. A Saturday job?
It's a good amount of work and probably very necessary if it hasn't been removed in a long time and you have no idea of the condition of the flooring and frame. You have to drill out the rivets and in order to completely bring it down, disconnect the gas lines on the bottom so you can drop the panels. Of course all the rivets wont come all the way out and there will be some tearing in the aluminum around them. Then there's all that lovely fiberglass insulation with whatever has been living in there over the years. So, yes its a Saturday job, as long as you devote several Saturdays to it. If you want to see what I have gone through so far, click on the blog <points down>. I'm just starting to pull the belly pan on the front half of the trailer and its been slow going.
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:09 AM   #12
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Bob - THANKS. I'll keep checking back in to see how you're coming along. The pics are wonderful and I appreciate you sharing as I'll be headed down the same path. As I spent 25 years in No. Virginia (Fairfax), I understand the hesitancy of laying on cold wet cement for any length of time. Good luck in your restoration.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:10 PM   #13
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I am not afraid to take anything apart, but I wouldn't drop the pan without a good reason, too much work for too little return.

I did a lot of work on my 72, but I dropped very little of the pan.

Also, if done well, those brake wires will work just as well run under the trailer the same as the gas line.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:40 AM   #14
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Pulling the pan is not for the light hearted but getting all the wet stinky pink insulation out and inspecting the frames is not a bad idea if you are in it for the long haul. It is on my list to do. I removed alot on my 81 center bath from the tanks on back when I had to repair the rear floor. I still have the long front section to do. I used screws to put mine back on. This is an area that needs to be accessible from my point of view. I may add a second gray water tank while I am under there.

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