Welding Frame back together - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-17-2008, 10:16 AM   #1
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Hey there! Couldn't figure out why our new egg was so wobbily and found the weld from the A frame of the tongue to the frame had broke. It's nice and clean and straight line. I believe I've seen were some had a mobile welder come out, but we are a little concerned about the fiberglass getting damaged from the welding heat. On our Pacer, the body sits down into the frame & we can't even get behind it to strap the joint together with hardware. Any ideas, suggestions or ??? Thanks, Eve
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:34 AM   #2
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When welding, just tack weld than wait for 1 minute, repeat until the crack is filled. This way it can cool between each weld cycle. Will not hurt the fiberglass.
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:44 AM   #3
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I think it is important to find a "Certified" welder with years of experience because he will have the knowledge to fix it with out burning it down.
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Old 09-17-2008, 01:47 PM   #4
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Hi Eve,

Sorry, I don't have any welding advice, but I am an interested Perris Pacer owner. A good welder is like an artist and will probably make it stronger than it was - good luck.

I think the break you described is on the curb side. Could you pin-point the break for me? Here is a link to a free-hand drawing I made of my frame... maybe it has a reference point you could use.

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...ic=30842&hl=

thanks!
Billy
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:55 PM   #5
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Talking

Hello Billy, Well, looking at your diagram, I'd have to say the break is on the street side just as A comes off the tongue diagonally and meets at the corner with the frame of the trailer. I read the scoop you all had posted and you guys are way over my knowledge of framing, axles & such, so I hope I don't sound too dense about this. On the opposite side, you show where "F" and "B" meet. Hope that helps. SInce I only drove her half way home and had to leave her for repair, I'm just going on memory, but I think the first cross support on my 81 are forward, joining at the bend off the tongue. The good news, I have a "certified" mobile welder coming by tomorrow to take a look and possibly knock it down on the spot, so I may get her home soon & can go from there.

take care, eve
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:55 PM   #6
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Thought I'd join in by updating with some pictures. Here are my new wheels (projects).
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:45 AM   #7
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Umm, you DON'T want to be "filling cracks", you want to be welding reinforcement material that bridge over the weak area (aka fish plate). Drill a "stop crack" hole at the end of the crack to keep it from spreading and forget it.

Filling cracks merely heats up a zone around the new weld that will be weak and likely subsequently fail.

Consult a professional welder who knows more than how to run a bead...
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Old 09-19-2008, 11:35 PM   #8
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Hey Guys, Thanks for the helpful advise & confidence. I got my Pacer home today!

You see, I had actually picked her up last week and after a long wobbily hour on the road, I knew something was wrong & I had 2 hours to go. I don't know if the frame to the hitch was broke when I drove off or even if the seller knew. I did inspect the frame & looked underneath (I could of been more thorough) Anyway, I got her to my folks house & parked her & that's when I saw the break, not a crack, a complete break of the tongue A frame to the trailer frame. Well, now I realize how lucky I was & you learn something new everyday. I think I could looked harder and I should of used the buyer check list. I'm a newbie & was just so jazzed to buy an egg, and now I have already learned so much in just 10 days from everyone here. Then, I had no idea & thought I was toast & may have lost my investment before I even got her home. Now, after a few road trips back & forth, a tow on a flat bed to the welder & an easy & strong fix, she's as good as new. Now comes the fun stuff. She really looks better than I remembered and we'll see what all works this weekend and start the list. Here are some pics of my Pacer home and of the weld repairs for reference. PS, I was lucky & found a great welder. A number of things could of caused this, I'd think age, but then he showed me another trailer he was making the same repair on. It was a 2006 Wells Cargo.
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:06 AM   #9
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ok, try again, all my pics got dropped.

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Old 09-21-2008, 11:48 AM   #10
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are you anywhere near Corona/Riverside/Norco?

I have a guy that maintains the running gear and frame of my rigs and he has much experience with this exact frame repair. He goes above and beyond and is an FAA certified shop.

PM me if you would like his info.

I am not a welder, but I am told that welds on right angles (Such as your fix) can actually weaken the frame, not enhance it. From personal experience having a welder do a similar fix to the one you show and having it break again, just beyond the welds, I believe it.

My guy repaired by boxing in the frame at the break and did all the vertical welds at a 45 degree angle.
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Old 09-21-2008, 12:09 PM   #11
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oh great. I thought I was over the hump & now reading your post, sounds like I just made it worse. Sure, send me the info in a PM, I'm about 2 hours away & thanks Gina.

Anyone have any comment or reference on my repair?
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:51 PM   #12
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Anyone have any comment or reference on my repair?
I think it is very hard to make accurate comments about it without having seen it done. Unlike Gina, I'm happy with the outside 'fishplate' reinforcing the joint, but none of us can comment on the inside of the joint, as that is hidden - there isn't any access to the inside (where the fiberglass is), so maybe the welder cut an opening in the outside face for access, which would explain the slightly odd shape of the fishplate.

Andrew
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:42 PM   #13
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"Certified Welder" because they have the knowledge to do it right the first time.

Anyone can weld (Or so they think) and anyone can quote facts however are they facts or welding myths?

It's no different than a "Board Certified Cardiologist". You want the best in the business when it comes to fixing the pump even though a physician that is not board certified knows something about it, it just is not the same as one who has passed the test. Certified welders pass a very stringent test and fixing this frame wrong could very well put lives at risk.
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:04 PM   #14
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I'm good to go!

I had a "Certified Welder" and he did cut for access to weld the inside of the frame & added the fish plate, plus, he has years of experience working on rv's.

I made many inquiries and heard the quick & cheaper weld fix and my option was for a permanent & reliable repair, which I feel I have. Gina may have had only the exterior of the frame welded "the quick fix most welders offered me" and not known it, and I believe that would really weaken any frame.


I agree with Andrew, I'm happy with the repair made, knowing & seeing it was welded on all sides and added reinforcement.

Thanks & I'll just consider this a done deal
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