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Old 03-06-2009, 10:59 PM   #61
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Thanks, Shar! Someday I'll get to enjoy the weather, relaxing in my A/S....but until then, work, work, work It isn't all that bad, though. Learning a lot from this and the good part is, I'm enjoying it!
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Old 03-08-2009, 04:06 PM   #62
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Lot's of progress today, but had to suspend actually removing the frame due to lack of a precious resource........time.

Here's where I'm at with the frame removal:



The only thing that I have to build now is braces for the front and rear ends, otherwise I think that this will hold. I gave it a small test run and lifted the curbside about 2 inches and then lowered it back down. Made some scary noises and got the heart pumping, but my braces seem that they will hold the weight.

If anyone has taken their shell off before and see something wrong with my design, please ring in and let me know. Over this week I'll be making the braces for the front and rear and looking at pulling the frame on Friday or Sunday. Until then I'm hoping that theres no wind storms brewing on the horizon because the only thing holding my shell on is the weight of the shell on the outriggers
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:44 PM   #63
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Not a lot of progress over the last week due to the rain. I was happy to win my new Smev sink/stove combo unit. I can't wait to get it. I'm starting to draw out my interior plan, but I'm stuck on what to do for the bath area. I want to put a shower back in, but am unsure of how I'm going to do it.

Here's a pic of the sink/stove unit:



I love the design and think that it'll look great in the trailer. I'm not much of an oven cooker, so decided to not put one back in. I may regret this later, but I think that a Dutch Oven can make up for it Been reading all of the recipes here for them and can't wait to try them out one day.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:45 PM   #64
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That is cool. I'd imagine that using that Smev combo would free up a lot of counter space, if you get rid of the original stovetop/oven and sink...

Tom
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:10 PM   #65
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Here's a different look of the crack/deflection in the frame. I'm still at ends of how this could have happened. I'm wondering if I should bang this piece back straight or just leave it as it is, fix the crack and reinforce the opposite side.

I still have a shell sitting on the frame, though. I'm having difficulties getting the shell raised and have run out of sun light to do anymore today. Better luck next weekend! Not too many left until I head up to Kentucky for the rally.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:23 AM   #66
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Here's a different look of the crack/deflection in the frame. I'm still at ends of how this could have happened. I'm wondering if I should bang this piece back straight or just leave it as it is, fix the crack and reinforce the opposite side.

I still have a shell sitting on the frame, though. I'm having difficulties getting the shell raised and have run out of sun light to do anymore today. Better luck next weekend! Not too many left until I head up to Kentucky for the rally.
The bent axle mounting plate has an easy answer.

The plate is supposed to be completely welded to the frame.

If the bottom of the frame is welded to the axle mounting plate helter skelter, then the bending as you have, can happen very easily. There is nothing to stop it from doing so.

Look at the backside of the axle mounting plate and you will see that it was not welded as it should have been.

The fix??

Take most of the weight off of the axle mounting plate. Next, using some big "C" clamps, clamp the axle mounting plate back to the frame.

Weld it, weld it and weld it, not in random spots, but completely back to the frame.

Andy
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:01 PM   #67
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Andy,

Once I can get this HUGE shell off , that's exactly what I was intending on doing to both sides. I'm going to drop the axles right off to take the weight/stress off the frame (fix the crack), then get the axle mounting plate back in place with copious amounts of weld.

I haven't completely inspected the street side, but I get the feeling that I might have something similar. It was also suggested that traveling with full black/grey water tanks on rough roads can cause this as well. I contacted Airstream to see if they would suggest anything further and awaiting their advice.

Also, am I going to lose any strength from pushing the bend back in or would it be of any use to weld another plate over the top of the original?
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:28 PM   #68
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Andy,

Once I can get this HUGE shell off , that's exactly what I was intending on doing to both sides. I'm going to drop the axles right off to take the weight/stress off the frame (fix the crack), then get the axle mounting plate back in place with copious amounts of weld.

I haven't completely inspected the street side, but I get the feeling that I might have something similar. It was also suggested that traveling with full black/grey water tanks on rough roads can cause this as well. I contacted Airstream to see if they would suggest anything further and awaiting their advice.

Also, am I going to lose any strength from pushing the bend back in or would it be of any use to weld another plate over the top of the original?
Rough roads has nothing to do with it.

Common sense says that if it's not welded as AI pointed out, it's going to bend.

How much weld do you find, within the bend??

I bet you found "NONE."

No you won't lose any strength, if fact you will gain strength, "AND" stop the cause of the bending.

Andy
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:35 PM   #69
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Good point. I'll be sure to snap some pics of the axle plates "welding beads" that I find.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:40 PM   #70
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Getting more confident

Well, It's been almost 2 months since I last posted here, but I havn't been slacking, I swear

I've actually re-worked my shell bracing a bit and added some more stability to the screw/nail points.

I've since got the 4x4's underneath, going to add some bracing for the end caps and I should be ready to go.

I do have to come clean, though. After doing some additional research in lifting the shell, I didn't realize the the plate up front where the 7-way connector is, was riveted to a plate that is welded to the frame. This could have been why I was having sooooooo much difficulty getting the thing to lift up front

So this weekend, or possibly during the week, I'll get the chisel back out and get those rivets off.

I feel alot more confident in lifting it after reading up some more. The only thing that I fear now is we just entered the hurricane season and I'll be headed out to Guam in a couple of months for a 6 month deployment.

I'm hoping to at least get the tanks and flooring back in before I leave so the thing has some stability while I'm away, otherwise I'm going to have to hog-tie the entire thing to the ground

I'll keep you all posted and again, thanks for all of the assistance thus far.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:00 PM   #71
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Glad to hear things are getting done, Brian. I had been following your progress, and will so again now that you are moving ahead again.

Two nice weather months before Guam? Noooo problem to get it back in one piece!
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:14 PM   #72
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Brian,
Glad to hear you are back at it. If you would like a quick fix for the L plate up front...get out the sawsall and run it between the underside of the plate and the frame rail, the bolts will have to be replaced anyway, and you can leave the rivets in it that attach it to the front outer skin. After having removed those rivets once before I would not do it again unless the L plate is toast. If you choose to take out the rivets, be warned that the factory used an adhesive sealer behind it, and it does come off easily!!
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:30 PM   #73
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How would I secure it back down after I hack it off?? I haven't really looked at it in detail yet. I recall removing 2 large bolts from up front and don't know if those attached to it or not.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:39 PM   #74
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Brian,
get the sawsall blade between the plate and the frame to cut the bolts, and then leave it attached to the shell. You should be able to get a good enough measurement for the bolt holes whe you re-install the floor.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:03 PM   #75
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On my 71 GT, in order to to get the "C" channel off I had to cut the bolts off that are under the "C" channel, and I did this with a sawsall with the blade between the frame and the ply, I also had 1/4 blind rivets that went through the "C" channel the ply and then the frame. In order to get these out, I had to run the blade in between the "C" and the ply. Who ever came up with is assembly process needs to be cut deep and bled out a little. Removing the rivets from the vertical plate will be required to lift the shell from the frame and "C" channel, along with the removel of the plug that you already refered to. When I put mine back together I moved that plug over next to the left vertical frame in order to mount a storage box behind the propane tanks. There was no sealent between the vertical steel plate, an aluminum doubler, and the front skin. I had corrosion on the front skin in that area. I primed all the mating surfaces and sealed when I replaced the front skin and doubler. I also extended the doubler to slide between the Lt and Rt vertical frames and front skin.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:29 PM   #76
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OK. I looked at the front mounting plate again moments ago and I will have to remove the 40 bucked rivets up front.

The setup on mine goes outer skin, mounting plate, c channel, inner skin. The mounting plate appears as if it just slides between the outer skin and the c channel. There is some sort of white sealant or adhesive along the inside of the trailer.

The entire front floor section is out and I just have some plywood spacers in c channel for the time being, but I don't see any other rivets, screws or bolts that I haven't taken out already.

Makes complete sense now of why I was having such an aweful time trying to raise the shell last time...blush.....It was still attached to the frame.

Aerowood....I do like your idea of moving the 7 way connector off to the side. I wanted to put in dual batteries and that's a perfect spot up front. I can also put my kill switch right there, too. Now I just can't imagine how much the battery wire is going to cost with the price of copper these days. But I can use the old battery storage area on the curb side for cable storage or something like that. Maybe even a keg-erator spicket That would be cool.

Anyways, I'll pop out those rivets this weekend. Being that I didn't remove the air-conditioner at the beginning, I'll take out all of the windows that I can to reduce some more of the shell weight. Also gives me more reason to go ahead and apply the new weatherstripping to the windows.

For anyone that has the electric jack on the tongue; if I pop off the top of the jack, is everything inside going to shoot out the top of the jack?? I have to redo the positive wire for the jack, as it snapped off inside the small metal conduit tube so I want to replace the entire wire and get some new grease inside there becuase I can imagine that it is still the original.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:38 PM   #77
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OK. I looked at the front mounting plate again moments ago and I will have to remove the 40 bucked rivets up front.

The setup on mine goes outer skin, mounting plate, c channel, inner skin. The mounting plate appears as if it just slides between the outer skin and the c channel.
That is correct
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:49 PM   #78
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Sweet. Makes me want to run outside right now with a drill and get working, but I'm exhausted after a full days of work.

Also gives me another excuse to buy a new tool.....A rivet gun.

If I remember right, buck riveting required two people, yes? One on the outside with the air tool and one on the inside with a bucking bar?

Any suggestions on what to buy? I can probably pick one up at Harbor Freight or my other favorite place, EBAY.....
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:47 PM   #79
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Brian,

You have the option of either "bucking" the rivets or using olympic rivets. Olympic rivets are much easier and do not require bucking practice. If you are looking to buy a new tool I would highly reccomend the air rivet gun from Harbor freight, you will wish you had one when it comes to put that trailer back together.

As for the jack, if you remove the top cover nothing should fly out at you, if it does than it was broke and you need a new one. Serious you can take off the cover.
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:43 PM   #80
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Thanks, Dave.

I have a great deal of Olympic rivets that I bought when I placed an order for other stuff at my local Fastenal store and will be the way that I likely go. I've already had to replace several rivets along the c channel using them. I just have to find my Dremel tool to remove the stems once they are all installed.

I didn't expect anything to come flying out at me, but with everything else I've encountered with my trailer, I wouldn't put it past it. The jack worked like a charm when it had electricity to it, just wanted to get some new grease in there and change out the wire.

On your A/S, how many bolts did you end up using along the rear mounting plate. I recall having 2 large machine bolts and rectangular washers like up front, and then an elevator bolt every couple inches. Surprisingly I didn't have any rear sag to begin with, but want to prevent it down the road. Like most trailers of my year, the entire floor section in the back was rotted and I'd like to beef up the rear a bit like you suggested at the rally in KY.
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