Weekly Update #5

This was a busy week and it feels like a lot happened, but not much visible change to most people. The entire frame was cleaned with a wire wheel and then cleaned using the marine cleaner from POR-15 in preparation for the POR-15. The frame looks almost new after all of that work and I need to take a picture of how the tongue and bumper look after the cleanup process! The new floor was all cut out, with the exception of the last rear piece. We spent some time trying to find someone locally that could fabricate a new bent piece of c-channel for the rear as it is broken into 3 pieces. I found a place with a 12′ brake and a mammoth bender, but the c-channel material is too flimsy to make it through the bender. We are just going to repair the channel ourselves, but someday might try to weld two c-channels together and then see if that would run through the bender. All of the old c-channel has been cleaning up pretty nicely. The exterior wheel wells also began getting a restoration and more pictures on that next week.

The welders came and began the process of fixing all of the various things that were wrong with the frame. There had obviously been some frame damage at some point in this trailer’s life. The fix that had been performed has not held up well, so we decided to fix the issue, instead of just putting on another band-aid. First there was about 4′ of frame to the bumper that needed to be completely replaced. Once that was removed, repairs had to be made rear of the axles to the damaged frame. The frame was almost 2″ out of level from about two feet behind the axles to the bumper. The shock mount pictured in the last post was also fixed and reinforced. The welders really did an awesome job and they even took the time to straighten out the bumper, which was badly crooked. I didn’t take finished pictures of all of the frame repairs on Friday as the batteries in the camera died, but I will do that this week and post them as the frame is now in excellent shape!

We removed the old axles and traded them to the welder, who is going to make a 30′ pipe trailer out of them. You can see from the pictures below how arched the old axles are! The new axles went in fairly smoothly, but we had to wait a few days for the axle shock mounts to arrive as they didn’t come with the axles originally as they should have. The new wheels/tires are also all assembled and ready to go onto the trailer after it is painted this week.

The welders also built us a set of 13′ custom A-frames. They are really nice and each one is built in 3 separate pieces that can easily be torn down and stored if needed. The sides connect to the beam with several bolts and are very stout. These frames are huge, but will allow us to lift the frame for painting early this week and then later next week we will move them inside the shop and use them to lower the shell onto the frame.

The next few weeks should be much more interesting visually as we are going to paint the frame, paint the floor with an epoxy, install the floor, and then get the shell back on the frame. I need to order the aluminum for the banana wraps, so we might have to lift the shell off in the near future again to properly install the banana wraps, but we can get a lot of polishing work done and easily raise the shell as needed with the new hoists. Stay tuned!

I should also mention this project is getting a ton of interest sitting out in the yard as it is now in this industrial area. We get people stopping by asking what we are doing and then some regulars that just want to see how it is progressing every few days.

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