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Old 06-06-2021, 04:19 PM   #1
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1973 Argosy 26
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Is this frame to far gone?

Area where the tongue meets the boxed section top and sides are "decent" the rot is mainly on the bottom edge. Is it feasible for a welder to graft in a new piece or that a safety issue given that its on the main rail?
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Old 06-06-2021, 04:31 PM   #2
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[QUOTE=seal;2502259
. .
Is it feasible for a welder to graft in a new piece . . . [/QUOTE]

No . . . IMO.

Maybe get a welder to look.

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:04 PM   #3
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I agree with OTRA15, don't try and graft to frame components that bad. Time to discuss with a welder whether grafting on a new half frame or a complete new frame makes more sense for cost and longevity.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 57Vintage View Post
I agree with OTRA15, don't try and graft to frame components that bad. Time to discuss with a welder whether grafting on a new half frame or a complete new frame makes more sense for cost and longevity.
Agreed. It would probably be a wash in cost to splice a bunch of steel pieces where needed on the existing frame versus using the existing frame as a pattern and fabricating a new one. Looking at the pictures, even the parts of the frame that look reasonable, probably arenít. Better safe than sorry. Good luck
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Old 06-07-2021, 01:22 AM   #5
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PS seal, is this the 1973 Argosy 26' listed in your ID panel on the left?

You might want to read "The Love Shack" thread, which covers Eric's "shell off" reno of a 1977 Argosy 26D:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f22...ck-183431.html

Welcome to the forum, and good luck,

Peter
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Old 06-07-2021, 01:58 AM   #6
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PS2 -- Just noticed your other thread:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f46...sk-219603.html

Great photos of possible mods from other folks IMO.

Peter

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Old 06-07-2021, 09:18 AM   #7
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Hi

Even a very good weld is not as strong as solid metal. That's just the way it works. Fiddling with lots of small pieces may save material cost, it very much does *not* help the labor cost side of the bill.

Do a full replace on the rusted out sections. Don't mess with some sort of sandwich.

Bob
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Old 06-07-2021, 10:18 AM   #8
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Before I made any big decisions I would probably pull the flooring and belly pan so I could inspect the rest of the frame. If that was the only bad area I would say repair it. If you need more repairs then you need to decide which option is going to be money well spent. A good fabricator can fix what's in the photo for way less than a new frame. The question is can you find someone that is competent. Of course if they cant fix that problem I don't think I would allow them to build a frame either.
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Old 06-07-2021, 12:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Eric 26 Argo View Post
Before I made any big decisions I would probably pull the flooring and belly pan so I could inspect the rest of the frame. If that was the only bad area I would say repair it. If you need more repairs then you need to decide which option is going to be money well spent. A good fabricator can fix what's in the photo for way less than a new frame. The question is can you find someone that is competent. Of course if they cant fix that problem I don't think I would allow them to build a frame either.
Good advice, until you now how much else needs repair you can't tell if it's worth repairing.
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Old 06-07-2021, 01:03 PM   #10
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I used to weld, both for personal projects and work at times.

From looking at the pics I would say your frame is about 1/2 the strength it was when new. A proper weld will be stronger that the metal surrounding the welded area, but you are dealing with areas that have reduced strength and the patches will not fix that problem. You also could have a problem welding to the remaining metal as it looks fairly weak and loaded with corrosion. A repair may hold for a while but you are still risking the chance of a failure while towing causing severe damage to the unit or tow vehicle.

A properly built replacement frame will be cheaper overall than trying to patch repair the already weakened unit every 3-5 years. The cost of 150 ft of strong enough stainless or aluminum square tubing and fabricating time should not be massively more than trying to do the multiple patches the frame requires. You will not have to think about a frame failure while towing, the unit will stay straight and strong, and the problems with corrosion will be gone for quite some time.

The cheapest method would be to remove the body using a sling or cribbing arrangement and take the bare frame in to get the work done, a copy made, or a install a replacement.

The other solution would be to find a burnt out or rolled unit from a southern area where corrosion is minimal and do a frame transplant.
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Old 06-07-2021, 01:04 PM   #11
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You can not weld rust...it is junk...run away..
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Old 06-07-2021, 01:52 PM   #12
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If you are forced into a "shell off" redo, I would find a professional aluminum wellding shop and ask them about a new frame made out of aluminum. Aluminum, pound for pound, is stronger than steel and won't rust. With todays high steel prices, aluminum may not be more expensive. You trailer would be lighter after the rebuild.
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Old 06-07-2021, 03:16 PM   #13
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You can not weld rust...it is junk...run away..


The OP may already own this trailer. See his other thread linked in Post #6.

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Old 06-07-2021, 03:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Eric 26 Argo View Post
Before I made any big decisions I would probably pull the flooring and belly pan so I could inspect the rest of the frame. If that was the only bad area I would say repair it. If you need more repairs then you need to decide which option is going to be money well spent. A good fabricator can fix what's in the photo for way less than a new frame. The question is can you find someone that is competent. Of course if they cant fix that problem I don't think I would allow them to build a frame either.
Good guidance Eric.

For anyone who missed the link in Post #5, Eric has done an amazing shell off renovation of a similar Argosy.
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PS seal . . .
. . .
You might want to read "The Love Shack" thread, which covers Eric's "shell off" reno of a 1977 Argosy 26D:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f22...ck-183431.html

. . .
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Old 06-07-2021, 04:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by seal View Post
Area where the tongue meets the boxed section top and sides are "decent" the rot is mainly on the bottom edge. Is it feasible for a welder to graft in a new piece or that a safety issue given that its on the main rail?
No. That frame is not too far gone. It can be repaired by adding 1 1/2 inch angle iron over the swiss cheese and stitch-welding the angle to the good, rust free metal on the side of the rusted C channel pieces. Again, you have to have plenty of existing good metal to do this repair properly and it's best to use long pieces of angle that span from junction to junction, don't just cover the swiss cheese section.
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Old 06-07-2021, 04:21 PM   #16
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Question

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Originally Posted by mikextr View Post
No. That frame is not too far gone. It can be repaired by adding 1 1/2 inch angle iron over the swiss cheese and stitch-welding the angle to the good, rust free metal on the side of the rusted C channel pieces. Again, you have to have plenty of existing good metal to do this repair properly and it's best to use long pieces of angle that span from junction to junction, don't just cover the swiss cheese section.
Without knowing the condition of all the rest of the actual frame, how can he proceed, given his concern for safety?

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Originally Posted by seal View Post
Area where the tongue meets the boxed section top and sides are "decent" the rot is mainly on the bottom edge. Is it feasible for a welder to graft in a new piece or that a safety issue given that its on the main rail?
This "Swiss cheese" sandwich sure leaves a bad taste in the mouth IMO!

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Old 06-07-2021, 05:21 PM   #17
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Thanks for everyones input

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post


The OP may already own this trailer. See his other thread linked in Post #6.

I do own it, I had pulled the belly pan back in a couple places and stuck a bore camera in to asses the frame and while it had some surface rust was decent everywhere I saw so I moved forward with getting new axles. Removed the old ones, decided to drop the belly pan and found this one area was pretty bad and also found a crack on the same rail closer to the door.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guskmg View Post
If you are forced into a "shell off" redo, I would find a professional aluminum wellding shop and ask them about a new frame made out of aluminum. Aluminum, pound for pound, is stronger than steel and won't rust. With todays high steel prices, aluminum may not be more expensive. You trailer would be lighter after the rebuild.
guskmg
Thats a good idea, are you aware of anyone who has done this? I was going back and fourth with a guy who builds custom aluminum trailers for a work trailer that I need, maybe Ill ask him

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikextr View Post
No. That frame is not too far gone. It can be repaired by adding 1 1/2 inch angle iron over the swiss cheese and stitch-welding the angle to the good, rust free metal on the side of the rusted C channel pieces. Again, you have to have plenty of existing good metal to do this repair properly and it's best to use long pieces of angle that span from junction to junction, don't just cover the swiss cheese section.
Why no just cut out the bottom leg of the channel and weld in flat? Itleast that was my thought on how to do it with the floor intact. If it would help Im certainly not opposed to pulling the subfloor, the first two pieces should probably be replaced (I think the door was leaking for awhile thus causing the current dilemma)
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Old 06-07-2021, 05:30 PM   #18
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the update.

Peter
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seal View Post
Thanks for everyones input



I do own it, I had pulled the belly pan back in a couple places and stuck a bore camera in to asses the frame and while it had some surface rust was decent everywhere I saw so I moved forward with getting new axles. Removed the old ones, decided to drop the belly pan and found this one area was pretty bad and also found a crack on the same rail closer to the door.



Thats a good idea, are you aware of anyone who has done this? I was going back and fourth with a guy who builds custom aluminum trailers for a work trailer that I need, maybe Ill ask him



Why no just cut out the bottom leg of the channel and weld in flat? Itleast that was my thought on how to do it with the floor intact. If it would help Im certainly not opposed to pulling the subfloor, the first two pieces should probably be replaced (I think the door was leaking for awhile thus causing the current dilemma)
Yes, the ideal fix is a new frame and a Coosa subfloor. I think you can do that under 8K.

The approach I described was suggested by a friend and neighbor who has been a welder all of his life. He has been an inspector for at least 5 years now working on high rise building and bridge construction. His first job welding many years ago was building and repairing logging trailers in Vermont. He taught me how to weld and helped me with my own frame repairs that are holding up perfectly after 6 years and thousands of miles. Some of those miles were on ranch roads in New Mexico that most people would never pull an Airstream down.

The Swiss cheese sandwich (thanks for the technical term, OTRA15 ) is one method he used for repairs on logging trailers only on a larger scale. It's based on the theory that you are actually creating a stronger structure by reinforcing the existing metal. The angle also allows you to reach past most of the rusted metal on the edge so you can weld into good metal on the side of frame members. Cutting out bad sections and splicing in new material is much more labor and material intensive and you are not necessarily making a stronger structure. Just make sure that your frame is nice and level before you start stitching in angle.

If the A-frame is too far gone, It's easy for a welder to cut out the old one, reinforce the main rails, and weld in a new A-frame if the rest of the frame is useable.

Also, the metal in contact with the subfloor is probably fine if the subfloor is not completely rotted above the frame. All my welding was done with the subfloor removed. I don't know if the heat from welding the frame is too much for the adjacent subfloor. You'll just have to test it.
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Old 06-07-2021, 11:51 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by mikextr View Post
. . .
. . . Yes, the ideal fix is a new frame and a Coosa subfloor. I think you can do that under 8K.
. . .
. . . The Swiss cheese sandwich (thanks for the technical term, OTRA15 . . .
. . .
Quite welcome!

seal, per your recent updates about new axles etc. already done, you may have passed the exit ramp for an ideal fix, but, in my personal opinion, you might want to consider back-tracking to save yourself a lot of time, money, and frustration in the long run.
[edit -- not to mention the safety concerns you expressed in the OP]

The following post is slightly out of context here, but is germane IMO:

[click on the orange arrow in the quote to see this post in context, in the "200 foot extension cord" thread]
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Yup . . . get the right tool and be done with it.

Avoid analysis paralysis.

Saving money on tools is usually a false economy IMO.

200' 6AWG extension cord.

A great investment for the rest of your life.

Life is short.

Live it well.

seal, what is your time frame, and what are your safety priorities?

If the "Swiss cheese sandwich" turns rancid in the future, will you regret opting for a less-than-ideal fix?

Choose wisely IMO.



Happy trails,

Peter
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