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Old 01-16-2009, 10:16 PM   #1
Augie R.
 
1960 22' Safari
carlsbad , California
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Freaking out

Hi there folks,
Sorry about the title but I'm freaking out....right now...I finally got the floor and the belly all off. the belly was in such bad shape it pretty much just pealed right off..can't really use the the pattern so I have to try making all on my own now and I'm looking at the rust on the frame and I worried about repairing all the bad spots. Is there somewhere I could get a quote on a frame for my AS ? I haven't been able to find the C-channel I might get lucky tomorrow at this metal place I found... Ok last complaint holly crap the aluiminum for the belly is expensive.....15.95 a foot then shipping .....


Ok I got it all out I read alot of older threads tonight that helped with most of my questions, but I still have a couple.

I forgot to make a template of the rear end before I took the outside edge apart off the C-channel, can I trace the front that is still has wood holding the shape to use for the rear of the trailer? ( the C-channel was destroyed from corrosion)

About the axles ...I can't find anyone that has the leaf springs for them. I was wondering what brand and size would the shocks be ?

How clean does the metal have to be before I put on the POR-15 ? (see attached photo)

Well thanks for reading my little rant...Any sugestions at this point would be great.........Take care.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:32 PM   #2
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Some of your outriggers etc might need some beefing up since the metal looks pretty thin but I'd hardly say it looks to me from those you need an entire frame. Definately got some C channel work to do there, but a decent welder with even a 110 wirefeed could fix most if not all of what you showed on the frame anyway.

I'd make a template out of cardboard , just cut and tape it together to fit just inside the wall, then add the width of the wall to the plywood before you cut.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:47 PM   #3
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I agree, from the photos it appears that you have mostly surface rust without any serious erosion of the frame.

The cardboard idea works well for making a template.

What's the deal with the springs? The shocks will need replacing, but your springs look dirty but OK. Unless the photos don't show something...

Good luck
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Old 01-17-2009, 12:10 AM   #4
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Here's a link on rebuilding the spring shackles and getting a new axle made for the springs you have
1956 Flying Cloud - Axle

You can POR 15 after you scrape off the surface rust. Don't freak, just take your time. Plenty of resto help around here!
Welcome!
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Old 01-17-2009, 04:33 AM   #5
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Relax man relax... Frankie says relax.

That frame looks fine... if you use Por15 just get the worst of the surface rust off and go at it. Buy black and grey so you can see where the second coat is going. if you use the Eastwood system(my recommendation) get the worst surface rust off and treat with the converter then encapsulator. Do you have missing cross members or outriggers? Are some rusted through? It does not show in the photos. Outdoorsmart has those and great service to boot I hear. A mobile welder is just a yellow pages visit away.
The belly pan.... try your best to get the pieces back into one shape, for you are going to want to copy them. All those slits and folds are very important to getting the right shape of the curve. Near the back you are actually curving in two directions so all those cuts are key. You can order 5053 from AirParts Inc and save a ton of money. The bell does not need to be Alclad like the sides.
I also se no issues with those leaf springs. If you want to convert them to the duratorx style, I suggest a call to GSM. Colin can probably hook you up with replacement axles. I know SafariTim did it on his 1960 Ambassador. He even did hydraulic disc brakes.

Once again relax, don't freak out. That is how things get broken and damaged. This is not rocket science this is Airstream science and trust me Airstream science is more fun.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:40 AM   #6
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As Frank says, relax

I replaced both axles, springs and hardware on my 1954 Liner for less than $600. I purchased the whole batch from Axis. Give them a call, as I remember the springs were about $17 each. You can also call Colin Hyde at GSM, since he deals with Axis and have him help you with new springs.

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Old 01-17-2009, 10:22 AM   #7
Augie R.
 
1960 22' Safari
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Some pics

Thanks for the support everyone I feel better today ready to get back to work. I attached some pics of the rust damage to the frame it will have to be a few post. Any suggestions would be a great help.

I thought of getting a welder (110) from Harbor freight then selling it when I'm done. I've done a bit of welding in the past to feel good about doing it myself.

on the angle iron attaching the crossmembers together looks like the stuff I could get at home depot and weld it myself.

on the crossmembers and outriggers I'm looking for a local replacement if not found I will have to order I guess

Ok last and final big one...The FRAME on the areas that have really bad holes and rust is it possible to cut the frame off then add a new piece all the way through to the end of the AS its only like 4' I would replace. I know that I would need a stick welder 220 to do that kind of welding. Well enjoy And Thanks again for all the help.....

Good thoughts, Good Vibes, Good energy and most of all safe travels.....
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:11 AM   #8
Augie R.
 
1960 22' Safari
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more pics

Here are a few more
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:35 AM   #9
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Please relax.. it will be okay. Freaking out is a logical notion now that you post those photos. Okay that is a little worse than I thought originally. Actually it is real bad. I would suggest a new frame be fabricated. I think, if it were me, I would find a good welder, a welder for $110 at HF is not going to help out here. I also think I would find a professional welder to look at that. Having someone build it for you might not be as much as you would think. It is probably something you can handle, but the savings might not be worth the struggles.
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Old 01-17-2009, 12:45 PM   #10
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Augier,

I agree with 62overlander on this one. I would find a good welder hopefully by reference - word of mouth. If possible, get some friends to help get the body off of the frame. A jig made of wood would be helpful to prevent racking and facilitate replacement. Use the old frame as the template. and you'll know what you have when your finished.

Most recently I hd the pleasure of meeting a welder in Florida who uses only aluminum for his trailer frames. He builds frames for large boats that are certainly heavier than an Airstream with a windfall in weight savings. He has built these for 20 years and has not seen any metal fatigue according to his personal reports. I cannot verify the longevity of that manufacturing practice.

I have done a lot to my Airstream but would not attempt this and certainly not with an underpowered welder. Keep us informed with pictures. Good luck.
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Old 01-17-2009, 12:45 PM   #11
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I always wondered why Wally never seem to be able to kick the steel frame design..
Now I know he was thinking about it, just like we are today..
I pulled this specs from Wally's 1955 Bubbles Airstream he had built.(one of a kind)
Get this..Volkswagen Beetle Convertible tow vehicle~!!
The Only Known Airstream To Use A Magnesium Chassis~!!
Wally, I apologize, for all the bad things I said about you before..
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:58 PM   #12
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You don't need new springs unless the old ones are broken. If you insist, there should be a spring shop in your area that can make new springs of any size. But don't waste your money, the old ones are fine.

POR 15 is made to paint over rust. In fact, if you paint it on clean new metal it will peel off. No kidding.

Scrape and wire brush the loose rust flakes off. CAUTION be sure you wear eye protection and a breathing mask when you do this. There is nothing worse than rust for flying around and getting in your eyes.

Then brush paint the POR15 or rustproof paint.

For the frame itself you should consult a good welder or fabricating shop. Who is good in your area I don't know, you will have to ask around. But if you are not an expert welder and fabricator this is not the place to start learning.

A good man can make up new crossmembers etc and weld them in. Or in severe cases, make up a whole new frame. But it won't be cheap.

The shocks are probably standard car or truck shocks. If you can find a part number great. Even if it is out of an old catalog a good parts man can cross reference it to a new part number. Find a parts store with old bald headed or gray haired counter staff. The bright shiny new place on the main drag with the pimple faced kid with purple hair and a snot ring, won't even know what you are talking about.

If worst comes to worst, take off the old shock, measure it full length and compressed, and note what kind of ends it has (eyelet or bayonet) and try to match them up. This is where you need to be in good with the old gray haired, or bald headed guys.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:27 PM   #13
Augie R.
 
1960 22' Safari
carlsbad , California
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Hey Folks,
Well I found a guy that can make the C-channel for me localy, he also has a huge machine shop in which he makes all kinds of things even some race cars for his weekend hobby so I think hes good....anyway I'm considering a new frame like some of you guys has suggested. Has any of you heard how much one cost by any chance?
I went sat outside trying to figure out the extent of the damage here are two pics with the bad areas outlined

if its outlined I think it needs to be replaced or patched ahhhh I wish I had a unlimited amount of money.....Ok I guess back to the wiring for the rest of the weekend.Thanks for the help Guys...
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:48 PM   #14
Augie R.
 
1960 22' Safari
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sorry

ok here u are....
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:39 PM   #15
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Ask the guy with the machine shop to have a look. There is a lot of rust out under there. It may be easier to make a whole new frame. It's hard to say for sure without seeing it.

It may be cheaper and better to scrap the trailer and buy a better one.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:52 PM   #16
Augie R.
 
1960 22' Safari
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Ok last try...
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Old 01-18-2009, 03:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganaraska View Post
It may be cheaper and better to scrap the trailer and buy a better one.
I do not agree with that. 1960 is a VERY cool year and in the end it will all be worth it.
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:54 AM   #18
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Wow, never scrap an old girl, for you see, I'm an old sentimental fool. The new pictures are actually more encouraging that the others. It appears that the main frame is intact and may just need some outriggers. Find someone with experience to inspect the frame if you are apprehensive and then paint it and move forward. Certainly, the welder you have found is qualified, as most folks involved in racing understand framing and cage building.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:47 AM   #19
Augie R.
 
1960 22' Safari
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I agree No scrapping her...Unless He meant the frame then maybe....well I'm meeting with the welder today I'm taking him Pics He says if he can he will swing by for an visual estimate aftarwards...lets hope we can salvage this one....

On another note I was looking up some previous post on taking the shell off...I was thinking I'm already 90 percent there why not go all the way, but i'm kinda nervous on putting it up on saw horse's. I guess what I'm getting at is what percentage of you guys think I should go for it?

It would make things alot easier I guess..... oh should I wait till I have it up in the air to make a template of the radius for the floor or do it before taking it off the frame....there's really not much holding it on anyway. three of the steel angle Iron marking the spot for the shell only have one rusted through bolt barely holding it down..
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:06 AM   #20
1972 Travelux Princess 25
 
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Has everyone seen the film on Youtube that shows how Airstream built their trailers in the 80s?

They made the floor first, then built the fusilage on the floor, then swung the complete fusilage onto the frame.

Then, they install the wiring, insulation, floor covering, cabinets, furniture and appliances.

This suggests to me that if you are going to do a complete frame off resto of an Airstream you should remove all the interior fittings then lift the fusilage off the frame as a complete unit WITHOUT removing the floor first.

Has anyone tried this?

In this particular case, now that the floor is out, it might be a good idea to install new floor boards, fastened to the body but not the frame, then lift the fusilage up and roll the frame out for repairs.

This way the fusilage can be set up on planks and blocks and worked on while the frame is being rebuilt.
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