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Old 06-07-2004, 09:21 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
The best method I've seen for running plywood the length of the trailer is to weld a stringer in the center of the trailer from front to back and bolt the plywood to that.

Ken
Absolutely. One of the openings in my floor framing was 29"x82" with a 1/2" plywood floor, real springy. I welded 2 supports in there, 1 down the rest of the center.

John
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Old 06-07-2004, 04:00 PM   #22
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Drill does not always work...

I had the same problem with some of my rivits - most notably the ones on the belly pan that were probably added by a PO. The problem is that some of them have too much of the steel center pin sticking out of the center of the rivit. This makes it virtually impossible to get the drill to center on the rivit. Hence the chopping off approach.
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Old 06-07-2004, 04:04 PM   #23
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Question What size of stringer?

I like the idea of running a stringer down the center. What size, thickness and shape of metal did you guys use for yours?

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 06-10-2004, 01:51 PM   #24
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Okay - here is an update:

I removed all of the base interior panels using the Paint scraper method to cut them - worked like a charm! Thanks for that tidbit of info. Since the walls were not attached to anything after the PO removed the floor, they have a lot of play, and are slightly out from thier original position - Do I make the new deck end at the end of the outriggers? And then suck in the wall when I reattach them?

My banana wraps have a lot of small holes in them, that I could patch. But what about this idea - I am thinking of taking the shell off - but instead of taking out all of the rivets and sliding the banana wraps off, what if I cut the banana wraps leaving 3" of the original sheet still riveted to the side to be used as a strip/fishplate to attach new banana wraps to?

So, I would cut the wraps down, pull back the remaining, lift the shell and pull out the frame. What do you think?

Leonard - your photos are great. What was the sequence? You show the jack in place and then the new floor in place - did you do one side at a time moving the jack over between pieces? Also, how did you clean and paint your frame, wire wheel and primer or POR-15?

Kevin
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Old 06-10-2004, 02:24 PM   #25
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Wood cross members?

I still need a couple more days to decide just how much repair and replacemet I need for my floor. I have almost everything out of the trailer now so I might as well do as much as makes sense since I am not likely to take things apart this far again. I have lots of thoughts bouncing around relative to how best to do each thing but here is one that I would like to toss out for consideration:

At least one of my frame cross-members (the one at the back of the trailer) needs to be replaced. I have not finished removing enough of the belly pan to examine all the others. I am sorely tempted to consider replacing the crossmember with treated wood (or maybe even plastic wood). The metal cross members do not seem all that sturdy to me. I could either use solid 2x lumber or maybe even costruct an i-beam with treated plywood. I could also use 5/4" plastic decking lumber (trimmed to fit).I can easily visualize how to attach the cross member at least as solidly as the metal ones that I have seen so far.

Is this idea way to weird or othewise imparctical? Any thoughts from any of you structural engineers out there?

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 06-10-2004, 02:29 PM   #26
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My question is how would you attach it? That would seem to be the biggest issue to me - those cross beams are welded in place and while on a 73 they look a bit wimpy - they do add a lot of strength.

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Old 06-10-2004, 03:07 PM   #27
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Attaching wood cross-member

Attaching wood (or plastic wood) cross members could be done farily easily. But for starters it does not seem like they would actually need much attachment. For one thing the plywood across the top of the cross-members does quite a bit to hold the frame together (keep it from spreading). The c-channel shape of the main rails would keep the cross-members from falling out the bottom or lifting up. Both the plywood floor and the belly wrap help locate the cross members front to back. Having said all that what I think I would do would be to drill two holes in the center of the main channel at each end of the cross-member (maybe just one depending on the size bolt I used). I would drill holes in each end of the cross-member that would alingn with the holes in the frame. I would use what they call a dowel nut or cross dowel (or some variation) that can be placed in the wood cross wise to the direction of the bolt. The following site shows what I mean graphically.

http://www.comdir.co.uk/components.a...rWebTemplate=C

These types of fasteners should be available from many different suppliers. I just piked one that had a good drawing of how to use them. They are often used in the furniture industry. I would have to track down a source of a suitably sturdy one - preferably galvanized or stainless.

What do you think?

Malcolm
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Old 06-10-2004, 03:14 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium
I like the idea of running a stringer down the center. What size, thickness and shape of metal did you guys use for yours?

Thanks,

Malcolm
I used 2"X3/16" and 2"X1/8", I already had the two sizes on hand thats why I used two sizes.
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Old 06-10-2004, 03:20 PM   #29
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Hmmmm - not sure - part of the purpose is to keep the frame from twisting - I would use steel - the only good reason I have is because it was done that way.

I really don't have a strong argument against the wood. I do know someone who used wood for his entire belly pan..............

Ken
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Old 06-10-2004, 03:29 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbatm01
Okay - here is an update:

I removed all of the base interior panels using the Paint scraper method to cut them - worked like a charm! Thanks for that tidbit of info. Since the walls were not attached to anything after the PO removed the floor, they have a lot of play, and are slightly out from thier original position - Do I make the new deck end at the end of the outriggers? And then suck in the wall when I reattach them?

My banana wraps have a lot of small holes in them, that I could patch. But what about this idea - I am thinking of taking the shell off - but instead of taking out all of the rivets and sliding the banana wraps off, what if I cut the banana wraps leaving 3" of the original sheet still riveted to the side to be used as a strip/fishplate to attach new banana wraps to?

So, I would cut the wraps down, pull back the remaining, lift the shell and pull out the frame. What do you think?

Leonard - your photos are great. What was the sequence? You show the jack in place and then the new floor in place - did you do one side at a time moving the jack over between pieces? Also, how did you clean and paint your frame, wire wheel and primer or POR-15?

Kevin
I put the jack far enough to one side to allow one sheet to be laid next to it. Then I bolted down that sheet and moved the jack on top of the sheet just laid and repeated the process on the side just vacated by the jack, so on and so on forward. I have one sheet left to install tonight, I'll take some pictures and post them when I'm done. I cleaned the frame with a wire brush on a 9" angle grinder, then used a hand brush on what I couldn't reach. I then used spray on auto primer to coat the frame. Krylon has a primer that has great track record and rust inhibitors.
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Old 06-10-2004, 03:38 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Ken J
Hmmmm - not sure - part of the purpose is to keep the frame from twisting - I would use steel - the only good reason I have is because it was done that way.

I really don't have a strong argument against the wood. I do know someone who used wood for his entire belly pan..............

Ken
I am not an engineer "but". I think the frame and floor work together as an integral part of the monoque (not sure of spelling) design. When I replaced the crossmember on my frame it was a simple matter to weld it in. The crossmember's are welded on the bottom side so the weld doesn't stick up into the flooring material. I welded mine top and bottom, I believe in overkill. And I would hold it up against any wood or plastic made.
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Old 06-10-2004, 03:46 PM   #32
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What size, etc.?

What did you use for your cross memebers? Were you able to find metal with the holes punched out or did you just use channel? What size and guage of metal? Was it readily available or did you have to have it made up?

Malcolm
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Old 06-10-2004, 03:50 PM   #33
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60.5" wide aluminum?

I think I asked this somewhere in the forums before but don't remember getting a reply...

Has anyone found a source for 60.5" wide belly pan aluminum? I understand that the aluminum can be a relatively low grade for belly pan use but where to get such wide stuff? Lowes and Home Depot go up to 20" or 24" wide.

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 06-10-2004, 03:51 PM   #34
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FYI - on my 58, those cross members are solid, whereas on my 75 they do have the holes in them and are thinner material. You could use C channel and have the welder cut some holes in it.

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Old 06-10-2004, 04:12 PM   #35
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Great photos indeed...

Leonard,

I just found your photos of your floor progress and they do answer some of my questions about your new cross members. It looks like you cut out the center of the channel. Am I interpreting the phot correctly?

It also appears that you did all your repair work without entirely removing the body from the frame. Is that correct? Are you then just using the jack to open up enough space to slide the plywood into place?

What type of plywood did you end up using for your floor? Did you coat it?

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 06-10-2004, 10:24 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by malconium
Leonard,

I just found your photos of your floor progress and they do answer some of my questions about your new cross members. It looks like you cut out the center of the channel. Am I interpreting the phot correctly?

It also appears that you did all your repair work without entirely removing the body from the frame. Is that correct? Are you then just using the jack to open up enough space to slide the plywood into place?

What type of plywood did you end up using for your floor? Did you coat it?

Thanks,

Malcolm
Yes I did cut the center out. There was enough of the old crossmember left to use for a pattern when I cut it out. The material was standard 4"X1/4" channel iron, Alot heavier than what A/S used but all I could find at local mom&pop iron supply. I didn't remove anything but the belly pan, put the last sheet in tonight. I forgot to take my camera so no pics yet. I place the jack under a shell rib then place a long piece of plywood on top of jack stud then raise shell to where plenty of room exist for floor to be slipped under wall channel. I used CDX treated with Thompsons water seal. You might want to countersink the elevator bolts with a forstner bit. Pictures to follow tomorrow.
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Old 06-11-2004, 09:03 AM   #37
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Leonard,

That clears it up for me. Sounds like we have a lot of the same issues - were your sides bowed out a little at the baseplate? If so, did you just run the new floor to the edge of the frame stringers and pull in the walls before bolting? What did you do around the wheel wells -did those have to be disconnected from the shell?

Thanks,

Kevin
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Old 06-11-2004, 09:05 AM   #38
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Leonard,

Sorry, one more question, how did you end up insulating your floor?

Kevin
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Old 06-11-2004, 09:21 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbatm01
Leonard,

That clears it up for me. Sounds like we have a lot of the same issues - were your sides bowed out a little at the baseplate? If so, did you just run the new floor to the edge of the frame stringers and pull in the walls before bolting? What did you do around the wheel wells -did those have to be disconnected from the shell?

Thanks,

Kevin
After welding in the center strips I snapped a chalk line down the middle by measuring to the center from the outside of the frame in the back and the front. markdoane (Don) gave me the original measurement of his floor which was 88" wide. When I cut the wood for the floor I cut it 44" wide and left it full length, I then laid the sheets on the chalk line assuring they were centered in the coach. Yes the walls had sagged out a little and will have to be pulled in before attaching to the floor. The way I replaced the floor you can't attach the wall channel to the floor until you have all the floor in and bolted down because you have to raise the shell to get the floor in. I am really sorry about getting behind with the pictures, I'll try to make up for it tonight. I didn't do anything to the wheel wells other than to make sure they were back in the same position when I laid the new sheets around them. You can see the old bolt line from underneath when you are drilling the holes. I will be securing the shell to the floor tonight, and I won,t forget my camera. Now that the floor is in I can start to see a little light at the end of the tunnel.
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Old 06-11-2004, 09:26 AM   #40
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Leonard,

Sorry, one more question, how did you end up insulating your floor?

Kevin
I haven't decided on what type of insulation I'm going to use yet, all I know is that I didn't lay it on the frame like A/S did. There were some serious rust issues I had to deal with and I think it was directly related to the insulation being compressed between the frame and the floor. When it gets wet I don't think it would dry out in a month of perverbial (spelling ?) Sundays.
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