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Old 08-29-2014, 06:14 AM   #221
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Frame is ready! Picking it up this Saturday. Need advice from the group:

What should I be looking for regarding inspection of the new frame? Should I attempt to take measurements and compare it
to the old frame? I have zero welding experience so I don't know what to look for.

I would just hate to pay off the balance, get this frame home, only to find there is a problem.


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Old 08-29-2014, 06:24 AM   #222
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I did not know there was a gasket. How does air get through there to burp the tank? The air vent for the tanks is in that same compartment. I am not real nuts about that little flap door and it does lend itself to contaminating the water.

Perry

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Took my daily bite of the elephant today putting new weather seal on the h2o inlet. When it rained I could see the water leaking inside, which means it would end up in my water tank.


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Old 08-29-2014, 06:32 AM   #223
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Millertime's rear bathroom rot '76 Tradewind thread

That is a tough one.

I can only tell you what I think I would do.

I would look it over in comparison to the old frame to make sure that everything is where it should be visually. I would do a few quick measurements of a few key dimensions, and if it looks right, and it looks like they did a good job I would pay for it and tow it home.

If you start measuring and find things in the wrong place, (axle placement, overall length or width, etc) then I would do more measurements.

I think if everything looked cool I wouldn't spend more than about five minutes measuring, and another five minutes doing a visual inspection.

For me there is a fine balance in this kind of thing, it is important to have a product that will work right for its intended purpose, and it is important to me that I also don't seem like a weasel when I am delivered a great product for a great price.

If this is a production shop, I say the odds are that the metal work is going to look great, and the frame will be dimensionally correct.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:40 AM   #224
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I agree with the measuring.... I would say measure, measure, measure- particularly the outriggers. When I duplicated my old rotten floor onto the newly refurbished frame, I quickly realized how important it is to have everything line up the way it was built.

These trailers are built "one-off" for the most part, in that the sheet metal is cut to fit as the coach is assembled. The wheel well openings, door, door step, access openings for battery, storage and water heater, etc. are already cut.

Perhaps the floor cuts are a little more important than the outrigger placement, but some of the outriggers need to be fairly accurately duplicated, such as the wheel wells and the door step. If the wheel wells are off, it wont line up with your wheel well in the skins.

In the end this will never be an exact match- its simply the nature of the beast, so you'll surely be making adjustments along the way.

You sure are moving though, so I dont expect any adjustments to slow you down. Nice work!
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:11 AM   #225
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Make sure every other cross member is lowered by 3/4 inch to accommodate the bracing beneath the sub-floor. My welder forgot to do that...and it caused some headaches.

Take a tape measure or a ball of string with you, so you can check the squareness of the frame.

And there should be a small space under the main frame rails and the axel mount, to accommodate the belly pan sheet sliding in between. Otherwise, you will have to cut out around the axel mount....(pia).
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:56 AM   #226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arktos55343 View Post
Make sure every other cross member is lowered by 3/4 inch to accommodate the bracing beneath the sub-floor. My welder forgot to do that...and it caused some headaches.

Take a tape measure or a ball of string with you, so you can check the squareness of the frame.

And there should be a small space under the main frame rails and the axel mount, to accommodate the belly pan sheet sliding in between. Otherwise, you will have to cut out around the axel mount....(pia).

I am a little confused on this one. Every other crossmember should be 3/4 inch lower to accommodate bracing below the subfloor. As I recall all crossmembers were level with the main rails. What am I missing here?

Hoping he noticed the gap for the belly pan also.


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Old 08-29-2014, 10:12 AM   #227
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Matt, you might want to google "weld inspection;" I'll bet there's some pictures of good weld and bad welds.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:43 AM   #228
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I don't understand the every other cross member thing either.

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Old 08-29-2014, 04:18 PM   #229
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On my sovereign there were at least a few cross members that are dropped in the center of the frame to allow for a double layer of plywood.

I didn't do a frame off so I only looked at this in passing where I had the last sheet of plywood off the frame.
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:02 PM   #230
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Swabby just look it over at the seams and weld points they should all look uniform and without small pinholes or bubbles! Look at the welds on line (YouTube) and make a mental comparison if they look the same then pay the man and take it home because you know checking quality and questioning ability are real close and you may need him again! Tell the chef that he did not use enough salt and you just might end up with the squirts!

When you get it home go CSI on the frame and take it back if there are glitches but mark any defects with a crayon or visible marker!
Cliff


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Old 08-29-2014, 06:41 PM   #231
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The purpose for the 3/4in drop on every other cross rail (between the main rails) is so you can span the joints of the sub-floor with a 4in wide piece of sub-floor which is then glued and screwed to the bottom of the new sub-floor from underneath, thereby strengthening the seam...eliminating movement. Maybe your '76 is different than my '72. If so, I don't mean to misdirect you. I'll try to attach a pic here to demonstrate.
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:57 PM   #232
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My 66 Trade Wind had a few dropped cross members. I understand this was to accommodate the floor joints. I heard them called spline joints. It is a piece of 1/2 plywood about 8" wide that overlap (underlap?) the floor joint to add strength. The area under the floor where I mounted my waste water tanks was one of these overlap joints. I had to add 1/2 plywood material to make a flat mounting surface for my tanks. The cross members are likely 1/2" shorter in these joint areas and thus do not sit level with the top of the frame member.

Here is a photo of what I mean. See the overlap joint to the left in the photo.

If your new frame was built without this consideration I would not panic. There are other ways to join the plywood sub floor sections together to make a strong joint. Tongue and groove, metal splicers, etc.

David

Opps... Arktos beat me with the answer and photo. He has a very good picture of the situation.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:51 PM   #233
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You got a DEAL!

Hi Matt-Just got our last bid in, second one out of three welders. The one who didn't bid asked us if it wouldn't be easier to find a trailer in better shape (!) and then decided he 'couldn't find the metal'. Yeah, thanks so much.

The other two guys were great, one in particular seemed very interested in the project. He has done some ah-MAZ-ing work on vintage boats and bomber restorations and he's my guy!

Re: the bids - we are WAY over what you paid, and just for the frame replacement (no extras like tanks/wheel wells/axle installation). The two bids were less than $100 apart, they bid about 40 hours in labor. So good for you, not so great for us. That's California for you. And I hate to say it but we are fortunate have a large, nice home so that never helps with contractors

Regardless- we are moving forward and thanks also again for your detailed thread. It's so nice to have someone one step ahead of us! I referred my husband to your thread and he stayed up until 2:00 am to finish it.

Looking forward to hearing about the great re-joining of frame and body!

Laurel (and Todd) in Loomis, CA
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:25 AM   #234
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Millertime's rear bathroom rot '76 Tradewind thread

Matt got a great price for his frame build, it will be hard for anyone anywhere to have a frame professionally built for near this price.

I know about what the steel alone is going to cost, there isn't a whole lot left for labor.

Remember we live in a time where a number two at Burger King costs ten bucks, and California is not really a business friendly place these days.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:54 AM   #235
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First look! Looks great very excited


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Old 08-30-2014, 10:39 AM   #236
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That looks awesome!

I am happy for you.
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:51 AM   #237
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Awesome looking frame


Yes I said that! Or did I?
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:58 PM   #238
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On my trailer they used corrugated nails to draw the seams together on the plywood sub floor. Some folks have created lap joints by rabbiting them together. You cut half the thickness away on each section so they overlap. You can also do something similar with twice the thickness by adding a small strip to bridge the two board but this requires the crossmembers to be dropped. I added extra width to the crossmember so each panel had its own support. This something the welder would have to add.

Rabbet Joints with a Router | Articles | Woodworkers Journal

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Old 08-30-2014, 01:52 PM   #239
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Millertime, Your new frame has so much subfloor support area you not need worry. My Trade Wind has a less subfloor frame support. Get some good "elevator" bolts (flatheads) and bolt the subfloor down like Airstream does. I think it will be quite strong.

My Trade Wind has 2" strips on the bottom of the frame to attach the side wraps and belly pan. They were rusty so I replaced them with aluminum angles. The side skins on my 66 wrap around to the belly pan. The wraps are separate on my 86. I think the one piece side skins are a better deal, one less joint to leak. Your 76 may have separate wraps.

David
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:30 PM   #240
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Those tube steel frame rails are going to add a lot of rigidity to that frame. It is going to be very nice I think.
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