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Old 12-26-2006, 03:53 PM   #41
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1974 31' Excella 500
Bremen , Alabama
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 24
Well here are the pictures I have been promising. Sorry for the delay, I had a computer crash and then my camera went out on me too.

In these pictures I hope you will be able to see the wavy or bent axle mounting plates, the difference in height in some of the outriggers, the broken weld between the reinforcing plate and the frame, and the new reinforcing kit sold by Airstream.

In the area of the broken weld, rust had occurred between the frame and the reinforcing plate, forcing the reinforcing plate out or the reinforcing plate had bent out allowing rust to form between it and the frame.

There are approximately four 1/8th inch holes rusted through the frame.

Once the rust is removed and the broken weld is rewelded, will any other reinforcement be needed in this area? What do you think?

Thanks for your help and suggestions.
airstream74
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Old 12-26-2006, 04:28 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airstream74
Well here are the pictures I have been promising. Sorry for the delay, I had a computer crash and then my camera went out on me too.

In these pictures I hope you will be able to see the wavy or bent axle mounting plates, the difference in height in some of the outriggers, the broken weld between the reinforcing plate and the frame, and the new reinforcing kit sold by Airstream.

In the area of the broken weld, rust had occurred between the frame and the reinforcing plate, forcing the reinforcing plate out or the reinforcing plate had bent out allowing rust to form between it and the frame.

There are approximately four 1/8th inch holes rusted through the frame.

Once the rust is removed and the broken weld is rewelded, will any other reinforcement be needed in this area? What do you think?

Thanks for your help and suggestions.
airstream74
Your photo's are real proof, that an Airstream trailer does flex. The frame flexes with it, as you have shown.

The cause for the wrinkles in the axle mounting plates, is not due to a poor frame design.

In this case, the problem was caused by an inadequate amount of welding bead to hold the axle mounting plate to the bottom of the frame. If you wish, increase that bead to be 100 percent. The wrinkles could also be caused by the shocks doing their job.

Jack up the rear end of the trailer so that it's places considerable stress on the axle mounting plate area. Heat the wrinkled steel and then flatten it. After that, then you can increase the amount of welding bead. Then you can add the steel plates.

You can weld the plates in place as most servicing dealers do, instead of bolting it. Just make sure you add some weld to every hole.

Contrary to popular opinion, the axle mounting plate kit does nothing for rear end separation, as it will not correct it nor will it eliminate it from happening.

Andy
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Old 12-26-2006, 04:48 PM   #43
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1974 31' Excella 500
Bremen , Alabama
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Thanks Andy. If I understand you right, straighening the axle mounting plates , rewelding the broken weld, and installing the reinforcing plates will restore the original strength of my frame. And I don't need to worry about the four 1/8th inch holes rusted in the frame. Is this right or did I miss something?

If it matters, besides the broken weld, I think most of the damage was the result of bad axles.

Thanks again for taking your time to help.

Airstream74
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Old 12-26-2006, 06:43 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airstream74
Thanks Andy. If I understand you right, straighening the axle mounting plates , rewelding the broken weld, and installing the reinforcing plates will restore the original strength of my frame. And I don't need to worry about the four 1/8th inch holes rusted in the frame. Is this right or did I miss something?

If it matters, besides the broken weld, I think most of the damage was the result of bad axles.

Thanks again for taking your time to help.

Airstream74
Bad axles will eventually damage the frame as well as the shell.

The plan as you outlined is fine.

After all the rust has been removed, then and not before then, add the steel plates. That will assure you that the rust wasn't covering something.

When your done, coat all the steel work with at least two good (dripping) coats of underseal.

You should also check for any rear end separation. Typically, when severe damage to the frame has occured, as in your case, some rear end separation also takes place. Any vertical movement at the rear is not acceptable.

Andy
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:31 PM   #45
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1974 31' Excella 500
Bremen , Alabama
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Andy, Thanks for the help. Now I just have to get back to work on it.

Airstream74
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