I am off schedule here a little, but we have all been sick here this past week again. Here is a picture of the frame after a first run of cleaning. It cleaned up really nice, but there is still more cleaning to come. The frame looks so long without the shell and it is amazing how flimsy these Airstream frames are, but that is all part of the unique design that makes an Airstream and Airstream.
It looks like at some point there was some major frame damage and you can see where an “attempt” was made to fix the issue. The rear portion of the frame from where that new weld is located is sagging and must be fixed. The frame is level up to that point, but is close to 2″ out of level by the time you reach the bumper area. Not good.
You can also see where the frame bolt for the shock also has serious damage. I don’t think rear sag over many years caused that and I would be very interested to know what actually caused that damage!
The welders were actually working on the frame today and made a lot of progress (lots of pictures during next week’s update). There was a lot more work required on this frame than I had originally anticipated, but we are doing it right and making sure it is fixed before proceeding. The welders are also building two sets of a-frames out of metal that are 13′ tall. We will use this from now on as our shell hoist and it will be a portable solution even at our new shop. The new a-frames should be ready this week and the chain hoists are ready and waiting at the shop. I will never again do a shell off the jack way and this will allow the shell to be gently lowered and positioned and even removed again if needed before bucking all of the c-channel rivets.