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Old 07-10-2018, 11:07 AM   #337
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Thanks all for advice. Colin is suggesting jack axle in place then use existing holes on axle mount plate to drill through frame or vice versa from frame into mounting plate with or without a washer welded to frame as additional support for what will end up as an oblong hole. Alternative would be drill new holes through both. Guess have no choice but to drill. Not excited about doing that underneath a trailer sitting on jackstands.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:09 AM   #338
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Acceptable belly skin aluminum alloys

Found a source for aluminum sheet up to 103" wide that you don't have to buy by the thousands of pounds. Their alloy is 3003 H16. Believe the recommendation is for 5052 for the underbelly. How similar are these?
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:44 PM   #339
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'70 Caravanner restoration

I've used 3003 on several bellypans. No worries.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:57 PM   #340
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3003 is what I bought. No issues.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:27 AM   #341
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Is your source local to you? I am in the market for belly pan material.

What are your thoughts on how you would apply it, 103" is pretty wide?
Mark
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:19 PM   #342
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I've done three belly pan replacements and used the 5052 material at .025 thick. It isn't as strong as the 3003 heat treated stuff, but it is a bit cheaper. I buy it in a 48" wide roll at the length I will need to cover the area. I cut 48" wide by usually about 66" long and start at the rear of the trailer. I rivet it to the frame rails and cross members, and to the belly wraps from the exterior skins. Then I lay the next piece, and the next piece and so forth. I rivet the sections together as I go. Every piece needs hand trimmed to provide clearance for this propane line, that axle mount, and the steps over there.

Yep, I have a lot more seams than Airstream does, but I'm working on my back under the trailer, I need easy to handle. I don't worry about the seams as I hope they will allow additional draining if water gets in there.

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Old 07-13-2018, 01:15 AM   #343
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Glad to know 3003 will work. What about at thickness of 0.040"? Thinking most use 0.025 or 0.032. Will have some 90 degree bends so want to be sure can work this stuff.

steinVT. Check out https://trailermarketing.com/product...sold-per-foot/. Have searched a long time and called dozens of places and this is only place could find that sold Alum wider than 48" without having to buy several thousand pounds. They get this from Aurora http://aurorametals.com/index.html who confirmed it is 3003.

Other option was 48" wide :
Aircraftspruce 3003 0.032" $100/4'x12' sheet http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...?clickkey=3797

Aircraftspruce 5052 H32 0.032" $98.75/4'x12' sheet http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...?clickkey=3797

Locally have PDM who quoted $84/4'x12' sheet of 5052H32 0.025" https://pdmsteel.com/products/stainl...-aluminum.html

For our layout, $21 per linear foot works out cheaper than if buying sheets of 48" wide (depending on shipping).

As far as how to apply...no idea yet. Am used to winging it. Probably a lot of helpers and a lot of clecos. Won't be as methodical as David. Am trying to have one beautiful piece in front of axles though except for cut out that goes below fresh water tank. Figure will never have to remove it. Over and behind axles will be different as want to create separate pieces as means to access gray and black tanks without taking too much skin off. Have also modified back there to accommodate relocation of a black tank that is deeper than the frame rails. Thus have to do some bending of Alum. Will work on diagram and post so can get feedback on how terrible the idea is.

David. Recall that during removal of ours there were spots where the belly skin wrapped far enough up the side to tuck between the outer skin and C channel. Did you originally have something similar? It looks like your belly skin stops short of wrapping up each side. Asking cause was thinking don't need all that overlap.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:10 AM   #344
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We have a local industrial specialty metals supplier that stocks 3003 in 4x10 sheets. The last I bought was under $50 a sheet. I also piece together the belly pan. Frame rail outward I run the sheets long ways. Between the rails I run it cross ways just like the plywood decking. That way I can leave some of the cross sections held in with clecos until the final plumbing connections are made.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:20 PM   #345
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I only overlapped about 8" under the wraps on each side.

I might add that I purchased my 5052 aluminum in a roll 48" wide.

David
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:25 AM   #346
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3003 h16

Jeremy, thanks for all of the sources.

I admit, there is something elegant in forming a single piece belly pan. Not sure I would be up to the stress. Maybe if you first made a full size template.

Regarding the 3003 H16, the H16 refers to the heat treat.

"3003-H16 aluminum is a type of 3003 aluminum. It is furnished in the H16 temper. To achieve this temper, the metal is strain hardened to a strength that is roughly 3/4 of the way between annealed (O) and full-hard (H18)."

I would want to get a sample to play with. It might be too stiff to do what you want.

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Old 07-17-2018, 01:35 AM   #347
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Thanks for that tidbit steinVT. Maybe rugjenkins and HiHoAgRV can share if their 3003 was H16 and whether they attempted to bend?? Could use the 3003 in front which would be biggest piece as there are no bends and then 5052 48" sections where need to bend around frame and for bumper box.
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Old 07-17-2018, 11:38 AM   #348
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Not sure if mine was h16. 3003 bends well. I used it to make new belly wraps also. I purchased mine in Jackson, ms on advise from HiHoAgRV. We have family in Louisiana and were passing thru when I bought it. I have used it for all my patches also. 3 yrs and they still look great. No issues. I'll see if I still have the invoice and check the exact grade.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:07 AM   #349
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I might have been a little quick to throw up an alarm, I image both will probably work.

Being a backyard mechanic, I like to literally feel how the metal bends in my hands before I am comfortable placing a big order or at least know someone else has used it successfully.

Doing some more research (google) 5052H32 0.025" thick is recommended by Airparstinc.com as belly pan material. That material is considered 1/4 hard. It has a higher tensile strength and more than twice the elongation than the 3003H16 which is considered 3/4 hard. And the 3003 material is 0.040" thick making it even stiffer.

I do so want to order the wide coil. The distance between the cross rails is 48" and I would love to cut 50" sections off of the coil to provide for an overlap. No wasted material that way. Maybe even span two bays.

I think I am going with the thinner 5052. I see lots of buck riveting in my future as I join panels together to get the width I need.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:07 PM   #350
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I used 5/32 blind "pop" rivets to join seams, and to attach the belly aluminum to the cross members. I used big head 5/32 rivets for the attachment to the frame rails.

I see the belly pan's job it to keep the dust out, keep road spray out, and help a bit with aerodynamics, less drag. It is not a structural part of the trailer in my view. And lucky for me, no one has ever gotten on their hands and knees to look at my belly pan. Oh wait, the buyer did, but no negative comments heard.

David
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