Tuesday, June 3, 2014

We Have Touchdown

The shell has been hanging from the rafters in the barn for nearly a year.
It was necessary to brace the shell against seasonal wind gusts.
Summer is here, it is now time to put this trailer back together!

The moorings have been removed.  The shell awaits the arrival of the completed chassis.

The completed chassis is slowly maneuvered into position under the shell.

Once the chassis was centered under the shell it was jacked up and placed on cement blocks to be leveled both side-to-side and front-to-back.  

With help from my son, the shell was slowly lowered down onto the chassis.

Curb side rear.

Street side front.

Curb side wheels.
I held my breath for long periods of time but it all fit like a glove!

New steel plate (black) up front in position.

A little "wiggle" help from my friends!

The final fit took patience and small adjustments to get the shell into the proper position.  The final dimensions of the finished chassis were right on target.
I was very happy that alterations to the chassis were not needed.

The wheel wells required lots of planning to arrive at this point in the total re-construction process.  As one can see, the "banana wraps" and the wheel wells now need to be trimmed to follow the gracefully arched opening set by the factory for this model.  The "cut" trimming will terminate toward the under-side of the banana wrap.

When completed there will be a trim piece attached to "finish" the look.  I saved the old trim pieces but they measured a little bit too short.  
New trim will be ordered from "Vintage Trailer Supply."

The "Bolt Down!

First, the body needs to me secured to the floor. 

Once secured to the floor the lumber can be removed.  It was used to limit movement.

These lifting pieces that I built and the chain hoists were very helpful.  Soon, they will be gone.  

The studs or aluminum bows of the trailer need to be attached to the floor inside the "C" channel.  The factory system of installing "L" brackets will be copied and improved upon.  
I want it to be strong!

The four corners of the trailer body will be secured first to finalize the position.  Then the other bows can be secured with "L" brackets.

Fortunately, most of the bows landed between the outrigger bolts inside the "C" channel.
I deformed the "C" channel here to assist the fit.  It will be bent back into position later.

Unfortunately, some of the bows landed right over top of an outrigger bolt posing a problem.

"L" brackets were fashioned and cut from aluminum angle.
They were installed using steel bolts through the bows.  Plastic washers were used to insulate the two different metals (steel bolt and aluminum bow).  Screws were used to attach the brackets to the floor.

Steel brackets were fashioned to "side-step" the outrigger bolt where needed in the bottom of the "C" channel.
Again, plastic washers were used to insulate the dissimilar metals.

The rest of the bows were secured in a similar fashion after.
Here, both sides of the door were firmly secured.


And, "After" the"L" brackets were installed.

This process proved to be very successful in making the body very rigid and stout.
Much different than when the body was hanging free (limp and wobbly) without support.

All secure!

Starting to look like a trailer again!
I will now start thinking about rivets!

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