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Old 07-22-2014, 02:51 PM   #1
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1970 31' Sovereign
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Fabricated Wheel Wells

Since I have my shell off and I'm talking to a local welder tomorrow for some minor fixes I thought I'd ask the forum about this before I speak to him. My '70 Sovereign has a one piece poly wheel well that mounts to the frame under the decking. Not a good design if you ask me. If anything ruptures that plastic it's gonna be a bear to fix. And as common as I hear you guys talking about blowouts, why not fabricate a heavy-ish gauge steel wheel well and weld it directly to the frame? You know....while he's at it. Is there anything I'm not thinking of?
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:55 PM   #2
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I would use aluminum to make a wheel well. It has been done before. You could make one out of galvanized sheet metal as well. It will be heavier.

Perry
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:08 PM   #3
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A great idea. I'm thinking of how to address much the same deal on my '60 Sovereign, in fact just posted earlier today. I think the only tricky bit is how to figure out the connection between the outer shell and the well, being as it involves curves and a curved wall. Interested to see what you come up with.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:22 PM   #4
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Galvanized and it can be done at most hvac fab shops if you can show them what you want and it is not really that expensive!
Cliff
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:57 PM   #5
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I wouldn't weld it to the frame. The wheel wells attach to the trailer's skin, so you would need to put it in place with some wiggle room until the shell is back in place and the wheel wells are riveted to the skin again--then you could fasten down the wheel well. My outriggers that form part of the wheel wells were just about disintegrated when I did my shell-off--probably why AS went with a plastic design starting in the 70's.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:59 PM   #6
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1970 31' Sovereign
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I figured I'd bring my poly wheel well to them so they can copy it. My issue is I'd like the wheel well to be independent of the decking. As it is now, the well flange goes under the floor making it impossible to get out. If I just put it on top of the decking, the plywood edge would be exposed. Not good. That's why I thought maybe a heavier gauge steel could be fabricated and welded directly to the frame and be done with it. Galvanized sounds good too, RM66caravel, but it will still have to mate with the frame under the decking. If you think that it's strong enough to probably never have to deal with then I think it's probably a more economical option.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:01 PM   #7
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1970 31' Sovereign
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Our responses crossed but you make a good point. Maybe I'll just leave it like it is and hope I never have a blowout. I just think it's a bad design and it bugs me.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:12 PM   #8
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Galvanized wells

If you are worried that the wells may get damaged and cause interior damage I would just make galvanized interior covers for the poly carb wheel wells and attach them to the interior floor. Then you could even add some insulation between the poly and galvanized to add extra barrier against cold and hot air leaks. Ed
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:13 PM   #9
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The wheel wells protect the floor in that area so they need to go under the floor but I like the galvanized because the elements do not seem to do as much damage to the metal.
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