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Old 03-23-2006, 01:09 PM   #141
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Jim, I need to quit being lazy and post some pics of what I built. It's basically the same concept as what's on the larger early 70's trailers. I went and poked around a bunch of them to come up with the design. I could just slide the ply in and it would probably stay in place, but I can't imagine adding a few bolts would hurt anything. I will probably end up going with the metal sheet under the ply, in addition to treating the wood with either POR-15 or something like the marine epoxy. I'll get pics up by this weekend, for sure!
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Old 03-23-2006, 01:11 PM   #142
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Bad News

When I was towing my trailer frame over to the shop to do the welding last week I noticed the tops of the rear tires seemed to by moving "in and out"... I looked at the axle rear axle and it actually appears to be bent!

So, what now?
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Old 03-23-2006, 01:24 PM   #143
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Mine are like that, they look to be intentionally bent upwards just a bit in the center of the axle. I just assumed they were manufactured that way because of the way a torsion axle works.

On the other hand, the two axles on my trialer are the only torsion axles I have ever looked at "close-up".

There's a ton of guys and gals on the forum who know more about this than I do, and I'm sure one of them will "straighten" us out.

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Old 03-23-2006, 01:46 PM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Mine are like that, they look to be intentionally bent upwards just a bit in the center of the axle. I just assumed they were manufactured that way because of the way a torsion axle works.

On the other hand, the two axles on my trialer are the only torsion axles I have ever looked at "close-up".

There's a ton of guys and gals on the forum who know more about this than I do, and I'm sure one of them will "straighten" us out.

Jim
The axles are arched upward by the manufacturer to set the correct tire geometry. It is perfectly normal. This is another reason why the correct jack point for the axle is the frame mounting plate and not the axle tube itself.
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Old 03-23-2006, 02:22 PM   #145
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If the top of the tire is moving in and out, you have a bent wheel. Check lateral runout of the tire, it should be less than .080", or .040" at the wheel rim.

The bend in the axle is to set proper camber.
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:24 PM   #146
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But... I don't have torsion axles. I have leaf springs. Is this still normal? I only noticed the bend in the rear axle... but there is definitely an upward bow in the middle of it.
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:34 PM   #147
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It's possible that one axle was replaced. The original axle on my '59 was straight, when I replaced it the new one was bent in the middle. Or maybe the axle was bent in an accident.

But the problem remains; if the axle is bent it won't cause the wheel to move in and out. I still think it's a bent wheel. Jack that axle up and spin the wheel by hand, hold your finger against the rim and see if it moves.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:35 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by ankornuta
But... I don't have torsion axles. I have leaf springs. Is this still normal? I only noticed the bend in the rear axle... but there is definitely an upward bow in the middle of it.
The new axles that I installed on my 1954 Double Door Liner came with a bend in the center upward. I was told that it is a common way to manufacture them. You may notice that most flat bed semi trailers have an upward hump when they are empty, it then flattens out when they are loaded. I think the same theory applies to axles, or that is what Henry formerly of Axis Axles told me.

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Old 03-24-2006, 08:47 AM   #149
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Phew!

Awesome news, thanks everyone! I'll check the wheels for possible bends; they're getting replaced once everything is put back together anyhow. After all of the complications I've run into in this project, the last thing I wanted was a bent axle. I may replace the leaf spring axles with torsion some day... but I didn't feel like having my hand forced on that just yet.
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Old 03-27-2006, 10:22 AM   #150
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POR-15 and other updates

I applied the POR-15 to the frame this weekend. I'd like to mention a few things about it for anyone else going down this path.

1. It is not necessary to sandblast your frame down to bare metal before applying. As a matter of fact, if you do, you'll have to perform an extra step of etching the metal before painting with the POR-15. I used a wirebrush on an angle grinder to take the old paint and rust scaling off the metal first. That's one of the best things about the POR-15 is that it can be applied directly over rust, so long as it's not too flakey.

2. Wear gloves and long sleeves!! That stuff is nasty. Also be sure to wear gloves and long sleeves when using the Marine clean and metal etching substance. Be sure to clean all your metal ahead of time, this is a very important step.

3. Be sure to use the "metal etching" stuff (some kind of weak acid dilution, I think) on any new metal and welds, first. Otherwise the paint won't stick very well.

4. POR-15 dries very slowly in dry climates and faster in more humid climates. I found that to be an odd property of the stuff.

5. Allocate an entire day for this process and start early. The cleaning and painting goes pretty quickly, but you have to wait about two hours after cleaning to allow everything to dry, then paint the first coat, then paint the second coat within four hours of the first coat.

6. When closing the can of POR-15 put a sheet of plastic wrap over the top before putting the lid on. This will help to ensure that you can open the can again in the future.

Also, the gray water holding tank that I hastily ordered doesn't fit the support I built for it. I should have just waited for the tank that I really needed to come in. Oh well, now I have to wait anyhow. Once the tank gets here I can finish up the plumbing and start closing everything back up. I really cannot wait to get the body back on the frame!! And if I can get it done before it starts getting too hot here, all the better.

My dad warned me that building always takes much longer than disassembling. He was dead-on with that...
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:51 PM   #151
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Frame - some before and after/during pics

Here's a picture of my frame before I did any welding or POR-15'ing, and during the process of painting, but after the welding was done. You can make out the new rear cross members and also the sub-frame that I built to support the holding tanks.

Oh, and that steel box that's visible between the axles, above the frame in the "during" picture is the shower pan. I had set it on there to measure for my drain lines going to the rear.
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:08 PM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ankornuta
Here's a picture of my frame before I did any welding or POR-15'ing, and during the process of painting, but after the welding was done. You can make out the new rear cross members and also the sub-frame that I built to support the holding tanks.

Oh, and that steel box that's visible between the axles, above the frame in the "during" picture is the shower pan. I had set it on there to measure for my drain lines going to the rear.

That's like Deja'vu...
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Old 03-28-2006, 12:39 PM   #153
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Frame looks good. Nice and straight, at least from the angle we're looking at. Good work.
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Old 03-28-2006, 12:48 PM   #154
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That's like Deja'vu...
LOL, how do you mean? Does it remind you of the work that you did?
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Old 03-28-2006, 12:49 PM   #155
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Frame looks good. Nice and straight, at least from the angle we're looking at. Good work.
Thanks! It's been slow-going lately, but the progress is finally visible. I'm over the hump; it's all re-assembly from here on out.
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Old 04-03-2006, 12:02 AM   #156
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Went down to the metal place this weekend and bought a very thick sheet of aluminum to put underneath the 1.5" plywood that will be holding my holding tanks in place. I think it's over 1/8" thick... a 48"x96" sheet, I paid $54 for it. How does that price stack up to the sheets of aluminum people have used for their belly pans? Just curious because I want to replace the belly pan metal. So then I used some adhesive/sealant to attach the aluminum plate to the plywood, placed it into the holder I built for it, sealed it into place, and used like 20 1"x1/4" self-tapping bolts to hold everything in place. I put some sides into the tank holding box as well; everything's been treated with POR-15 to keep the wood dry inside, etc, etc.

Next step is plumbing. What do most people use for black and gray drain pipes and vent pipes? I was thinking about 1.5" ABS for vent and gray water drains into the holding tank. 3" ABS for the drain into the black water tank. Sound good?

I removed the old "battery box" from the front of the hitch. It was more like some bent tubes, it doesn't really look original. I'm going to fabricate a new battery box to house two RV/marine batteries once I get the body back on. I touched up the POR-15 in that area after the grinding.

Now I'm thinking about pulling the axles off so I can properly clean them up and paint them. However, I'm curious about how that all works as I haven't pulled off leaf-spring axles before. Are the spring leaves "sprung" or are they naturally curved like that? I'm just curious if there are any special tools or safety precautions I should take before removing those bolts....
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:12 AM   #157
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Which metal place did you get your aluminum from? I hope it was Capital Metals as they have the best selection in town. Your plumbing pipe sizes sounds right. That battery rigging thing on the front was just palin wierd. Bet you're glad to see that go. If you take the tires and rims off the frame, wouldn't it be easier to just turn the frame over, rather than taking the leaf springs and axles off? Just a thought? You're making great progress.

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Old 04-03-2006, 05:21 PM   #158
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Which metal place did you get your aluminum from? I hope it was Capital Metals as they have the best selection in town. Your plumbing pipe sizes sounds right. That battery rigging thing on the front was just palin wierd. Bet you're glad to see that go. If you take the tires and rims off the frame, wouldn't it be easier to just turn the frame over, rather than taking the leaf springs and axles off? Just a thought? You're making great progress.

Brad
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I get my metal at Davis Salvage, down on 32nd st and Washington. They have great prices there and an amazing selection, as well. However, they are not at all helpful and you're pretty much on your own in terms of customer service. It seems that they cater more to the commercial customers who know exactly what they need.

I think I may end up turning the frame over after removing the axles in order to do the belly pan, actually... it should make that task a lot easier. However, I'm still going to need to remove the axles so that I can un-shackle them from the leaf springs in order to get in there and really get rid of all the old grime and scaling and rust and get them clean and shiney.

Your description hit the nail on the head in regards to that thing on the hitch... I'm very happy to see the hitch nice and clean now!

Thanks again for the encouragement...
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:27 PM   #159
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If you haven't been, you owe it to yourself and your '58 to go check out Capital Metals. Their showroom is impeccable and the warehouse is about two to three football fields in size. Very helpful and knowledgeable staff who got a kick out of my restoring a vintage Airstream.

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Old 04-04-2006, 02:20 PM   #160
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Even more thoughts on A/C

Well, I kind of feel like an idiot. For some reason I thought there were two-way Air Conditioners out there, like the refirgerators, that run on propane as well as 120v electric. And I found out, rather abruptly, from a very informative yet gruff man on the phone at an RV supply place that there are indeed no such things as two-way air conditioners. The guy I spoke to was the owner of ADV RV (advrv.com) and was actually very helpful.

So anyhow... I swore I would not put a roof-top unit on my trailer, but I did recently come across a Carrier unit that is only 7.5" tall, 28.5" wide and 42" long. It's a 15,000 BTU unit which should be plenty of cooling for my trailer. Painted properly, at that size I don't even think it would be noticeable on the roof. I do like the idea of saving interior space and not worrying about whether the air coming out from under the bed will properly cool the trailer or not. But on the down-side, I have a mid-bath trailer and even with the low-profile cieling package, I will have to alter the bathroom wall to accomodate the cieling portion of the A/C. I'm going to have to take some measurements to see if this is what I want to do. One of the interesting features of this particular unit, by the way, is that it has a "slinger" and doesn't need a drain line installed. It barely drips any water at all except in extremely humid conditions, and in those cases the excess water runs down the trailer side.

advrv.com also sells the dometic duo-therm basement units. The 15,000 BTU model is 26 1/4"W x 16 1/4"H x 19 1/2"D and weighs 102lbs. This would have to go under the rear bed... but I'm concerned about the amount of heat it's going to throw up to the bottom of my bed (even with insulation) and the noise it's going to make, not to mention to additional weight to the rear of the trailer.

Then there's also the option, like previously discussed, of using a portable or window-mount A/C unit, also placed under the rear bed. I'm still a little concerned about the weight, heat and noise, though...

The two RV-specific units are similarly priced, coming in right around $900 when all is said and done. I'm not sure if better prices are available elsewhere. Modifying a portable or window-mount A/C unit would be quite a bit less money.

The thing is, I'm going to have the body back on soon, and it's starting to get very hot here. There's no way I'm going to spend the summer in the trailer re-wiring it and insulating it in 110 weather without A/C....
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