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-   -   Frame repair and reinforce (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/frame-repair-and-reinforce-92992.html)

dkrukosky 06-27-2012 10:09 AM

Frame repair and reinforce
 
https://197519751975airstream.blogspot.com/
https://197519751975airstream.blogspot.com/

I was having trouble finding a frame specific repair thread so thought I would start one.
frame and its issues:

1. The frame buckles and sags from just behind the rear axle.
2. on the toilet side the bottom of the main C channel has some rusted through holes.
3. Many of the outriggers are rusted through on the bottoms
4. The stair mounts/outriggers have fallen off at the welds
5. 2nd cross member is completely rusted through and useless
6. first cross member bottom part of C has holes rusted through it.
7. general rust is all over.

so my plan is to fabricate some new outriggers and replace the shot cross member with C channel of the same profile.

I could use some advice on what to do about the main frame rails straightening and reinforcing.

purman 06-27-2012 10:23 AM

On your main frame rail I had the same sag. My farther in law brought his frame bender over. Just a piece of I beam to chain the frame to by the axels, and jack up the rear with a bottle jack one side at a time. we jacked the frame way past level to get it level, because of spring back.

Once we got it straight I had some 3/16 6" flat bar bent into a "L" shape to weld inside the frame. This way it had a round conner not a sharp one like angle iron dose. It fit in the frame better.

THe top part of the "L" was 1/4 wider than the top of the "C" channel on the frame so it stuck out and made it easier to weld. bottom I welded to the inside side of the frame. I put it in from the middle of the axels going 8' back in 4' sections. Once I had this in the frame didn't flex one bit.

You can see what I did here at the bottom of page 2 post #27 It's simple and gets the job done. https://www.airforums.com/forums/f174...a-90934-2.html

dkrukosky 06-27-2012 07:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by purman (Post 1166452)
On your main frame rail I had the same sag. My farther in law brought his frame bender over. Just a piece of I beam to chain the frame to by the axels, and jack up the rear with a bottle jack one side at a time. we jacked the frame way past level to get it level, because of spring back.

Once we got it straight I had some 3/16 6" flat bar bent into a "L" shape to weld inside the frame. This way it had a round conner not a sharp one like angle iron dose. It fit in the frame better.

THe top part of the "L" was 1/4 wider than the top of the "C" channel on the frame so it stuck out and made it easier to weld. bottom I welded to the inside side of the frame. I put it in from the middle of the axels going 8' back in 4' sections. Once I had this in the frame didn't flex one bit.

You can see what I did here at the bottom of page 2 post #27 It's simple and gets the job done. https://www.airforums.com/forums/f174...a-90934-2.html

so did you remove your cross members then re attach?

wahoonc 06-27-2012 07:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dkrukosky (Post 1166447)
https://197519751975airstream.blogspot.com/
1975 Airstream overlander restoration

I was having trouble finding a frame specific repair thread so thought I would start one.
frame and its issues:

1. The frame buckles and sags from just behind the rear axle.
2. on the toilet side the bottom of the main C channel has some rusted through holes.
3. Many of the outriggers are rusted through on the bottoms
4. The stair mounts/outriggers have fallen off at the welds
5. 2nd cross member is completely rusted through and useless
6. first cross member bottom part of C has holes rusted through it.
7. general rust is all over.

so my plan is to fabricate some new outriggers and replace the shot cross member with C channel of the same profile.

I could use some advice on what to do about the main frame rails straightening and reinforcing.

You can buy outriggers from Out of Doors Mart. Not so sure about the cross members. There are also stiffening/repair plates that can be bolted on across the main C channels in the axle areas. From the sounds of it, you might be better off just building up a whole new frame.

Aaron:cool:

68 TWind 06-27-2012 08:22 PM

The outriggers can be purchased for Out of Doors Mart
Airstream frame parts : Out-of-Doors Mart!, More Airstream Parts on-line than anyone!

Eric H 06-27-2012 08:33 PM

I had the same issues. Took out a lot of bad steel.
I used L and flat steel and sistered it onto the existing C.

Pictures of frame repair are in this thread. If you have any questions about any of them just ask:-) https://www.airforums.com/forums/f421...ybe-85368.html

purman 06-27-2012 10:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dkrukosky (Post 1166719)
so did you remove your cross members then re attach?

Nope, I notched around them leaving the flat top of the "L" in. they were 4 feet long. Some of the cross members are lower than the others so I had those in the middle of the 4' sections, with the notch in them. Didn't seem to affect the strength once it was welded up.

I now have the shell on and when I walk to the back of the trailer there is no bounce or sag and I weigh 205. Even if I bounce up and down.:bb:

Like I said it was a quick easy fix with no changes to the frame, or taking pieces out and putting them back in. And it worked great.

195Pilot 06-27-2012 10:23 PM

Dk,
I'm on the middle of a new frame build. From the sounds of your frame mine was in about the same shape. After pricing the pieces "one center section is like 80.00 plus shipping" I decided to use available steel from a steel distributor,And make own pieces and weld together.
I used tubing 2x5x .120 wall thickness for the main beams,also the same material for the cross members and I made 20 outriggers out of the same material today. I cut the cross members 57 9/16", with the 2" beams I have the same outside width as the old frame. I will reuse the original A frame.
IMO there was just to much rust, too much metal missing to try and patch my old frame.
My fear was being 1000 miles from home base, hit a pot hole, rr track, etc, and the old frame break again right past the axles.So this way I KNOW the condition of my frame and I know it will out last me,(the old frame lasted 37 years).
I will have roughly 750.00 to 1000.00 in the frame, 2x5 rect.tube, welded,POR-15, ready to lay the plywood on.
Good Luck,
Jack

wahoonc 06-28-2012 03:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by purman (Post 1166801)
Nope, I notched around them leaving the flat top of the "L" in. they were 4 feet long. Some of the cross members are lower than the others so I had those in the middle of the 4' sections, with the notch in them. Didn't seem to affect the strength once it was welded up.

I now have the shell on and when I walk to the back of the trailer there is no bounce or sag and I weigh 205. Even if I bounce up and down.:bb:

Like I said it was a quick easy fix with no changes to the frame, or taking pieces out and putting them back in. And it worked great.

Those are the ones where the backing plate on the plywood joints went.

Aaron :cool:

Chuck 06-28-2012 05:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 1166854)
Those are the ones where the backing plate on the plywood joints went.

Aaron :cool:

slight hijack: are those joint cleats glued to the floor? (assuming that they are). I'm about ready to pull the floor from mine, and I'll need to separate the sheet that is being replaced from the next one up that isn't being replaced; wondering how to get the cleat out without damaging the floor.

Wabbiteer 06-28-2012 07:04 AM

On my '73 when I separated the back-sheet for replacement I used a thin metal-cutoff wheel to slice the corrugated joiner plates in half at the sheet seam. Gives a satisfying cloud of blue fir-aroma smoke and a nice shower of sparks.

The Phillips countersunk screw heads got cleaned out with a pick and air-blasted to get the grit out, then started with a 1/2" ratchet wrench with a heavy Phillips bit chucked in it. Once started and above the floor level a power drill with bit ran them out just fine whether or not they had been 'bent' over at the factory.

The cleats were 'slightly' glued and with the age of the wood it was pry up the cut-pieces and stomp on the joint to snap them apart easily. When I pulled the entire floor much later nothing was to be reused...

dkrukosky 06-28-2012 10:58 AM

I made up a paper template of an outrigger. the cut off piece becomes the support.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5g8z7AcYRQ...-02-56_433.jpg

wahoonc 06-28-2012 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuck (Post 1166881)
slight hijack: are those joint cleats glued to the floor? (assuming that they are). I'm about ready to pull the floor from mine, and I'll need to separate the sheet that is being replaced from the next one up that isn't being replaced; wondering how to get the cleat out without damaging the floor.

Maybe...some of mine had the entire glue pot dumped on them, others I think the glue pot might have been in the same room...if they were lucky.:huh:

Aaron :cool:

M2HB 06-30-2012 12:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 1166721)
You can buy outriggers from Out of Doors Mart. Not so sure about the cross members. There are also stiffening/repair plates that can be bolted on across the main C channels in the axle areas. From the sounds of it, you might be better off just building up a whole new frame.

Aaron:cool:

When the frames are rusted bad enough, it is easier to build a new frame. Besides, you can build it heavier so you can put upgraded axles on it and better cross members. For a minimal amount of weight increase in the frame, axles and wheels, you can make a much stronger trailer.

Chuck 06-30-2012 06:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 1167138)
Maybe...some of mine had the entire glue pot dumped on them, others I think the glue pot might have been in the same room...if they were lucky.:huh:

Aaron :cool:

yeah, turned out to be a piece of cake. very little glue. just a little prying with the wonder-bar.

The forward piece was very easy, because I could stand behind it and lift up from the other end of the sheet. plenty of leverage, and it just peeled away. https://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ml#post1167919

dkrukosky 07-17-2012 06:46 AM

Ok took a little break from the airstream to go camping. I am back on the project now. here is my frame repair plan.
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1QjH-0pIKQ...frame+plan.jpg

the bottom of the main C channel from the wheels back it badly rusted (I think due to water laying in the belly pan). so I am going to remove the lower part of the C and box in with a new L shape piece. I plan to do this from in front of the wheels back to bumper. I am also thinking of adding some reinforcement inside the new box at the jacking points as this seems to be where the frame buckled. Any thoughts?

dkrukosky 07-17-2012 06:49 AM

Also her is a picture of the first of my new outriggers made by my awesome neighbor.
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dzx_JAJVys...8-31-56_58.jpg

purman 07-17-2012 07:31 AM

If you box it in there will be no need for any thing else to be added. It will be very stiff with just the box.

dkrukosky 07-24-2012 08:12 AM

first of many frame repairs
 
here is the first of my many frame repairs I cut away the rusted through part of the original C channel and welded angle iron back in its place. My welds are not pretty but hey they are my first go at stick welding. I still have some more welds to complete this section and I am still waiting on my replacement out riggers so they will be cut away and replaced.

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dK6vCEgeFB...-08-14_851.jpg

M2HB 07-24-2012 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dkrukosky (Post 1178273)
here is the first of my many frame repairs I cut away the rusted through part of the original C channel and welded angle iron back in its place. My welds are not pretty but hey they are my first go at stick welding. I still have some more welds to complete this section and I am still waiting on my replacement out riggers so they will be cut away and replaced.

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dK6vCEgeFB...-08-14_851.jpg

I'm looking at the picture and it appears that the frame is off the trailer. Is that correct?
Was the original frame made out of 4" "C" channel?


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