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Old 09-11-2012, 10:46 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by dkrukosky View Post
Ok most of the major frame repairs are done one major issue remains the tung A frame rails directly below the front of the shell are badly pitted with rust. still feels solid and no through holes but I am thinking while I have easy access maybe I should reinforce some how any suggestions on what would be strongest or weaken the area the least? If I weld U shaped sleeves around the area will I weaken the metal at the welds? here is a photo of the area I am talking about.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lUUeiZefxu...2_134+copy.jpg
Is it rust rusted where that cross member connects to the tongue? Is the rust just on the vertical part of the cross member?
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:17 AM   #42
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This will be the best time to make this repair, cut out the bad stuff and replace it with fresh steel. You don't want to be pulling your AS down the road in a few years and be wondering if that section is going to break. My welder buddies tell me that a good weld is stronger than the metal around it. So adding more steel should not weaken it. Take your time, I know its hard when you really want to push forward to the next step.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:29 AM   #43
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A frame issue

here are some better pictures of the pitted area on the A frame. I am thinking of making up some plates to reenforce the area.

1975 Airstream overlander restoration

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-AE_hnTFN_i...-34-08_232.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fLObo3A6QZ...-34-31_717.jpg
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:03 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by dkrukosky View Post
here are some better pictures of the pitted area on the A frame. I am thinking of making up some plates to reenforce the area.

1975 Airstream overlander restoration

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-AE_hnTFN_i...-34-08_232.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fLObo3A6QZ...-34-31_717.jpg
There are several ways to fix it. The very best way is to replace it. If you don't want to remove and replace the rails, then the only option is to add metal. The questions are where, what, and how? I would consider 3/16" angle iron over the top and sides of the rail. I don't know the size from the picture, but lets say you have a piece of 2" x 4" x 3/16" angle iron, you could place it over the area to be reinforced ( after you coat the rusted area with a proper rust preventative paint along with the inside of the angle iron that is going to reinforce it). Don't paint the immediate area where the welds will go, or just grind them clean before you weld. The reason that I say this is that you can't get in there later and it will rust between those two pieces of metal, especially if salt gets in there. Before you put the structural reinforcement on the outside, you need to make sure that you can allow for the thickness difference when you put the shell back on. If you have to put the reinforcement on the inside, it makes it more difficult since the channel that is rusted has a radius that has to be dealt with. I would weld the verticals 100% and probably do 2" on 6" center welds for the horizontals, top and bottom.

Once the replacement and repairs become extensive it is actually easier, faster and cheaper to build a new frame out of structural channel. I think that yours can be repaired, if done properly.


Let us know what you decide.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:18 AM   #45
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if the pitting weren't so well eroded into deep chasms at the old aluminum seams I'd be tempted to bead blast, etch and seal it as it stands, since 50% of the box beam circumference is not affected. Is this a place where an old timer stick welder might fill and grind the corners with a particular rod alloy and get away with it?

A 3' length of oversized (6" x 3" .120" 7.02lb/ft; .180" 10.30lb/ft) box beam and cutting it with four slices to kit up two J-section scab plates... Line the interior & underside well past the damage, and lighten the weight with narrowed 'dart' end extensions onto good metal would likely be my shade-tree mechanic solution.

I dunno, looks like you have it mostly covered up to now
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:27 PM   #46
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here is a picture of the U shaped sleeve I added over the main rail. this was done on both sides.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aDkTa0vrYR...-59-51_327.jpg
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