Sam's Teardrop - Chassis RefinishBack to Sam's Teardrop Page

The chassis of the teardrop I purchased was completely rusted and I saw no way around sanding and repainting it if I wanted my teardrop to last.

Here is the chassis after I dissassembled the tear from it. (4/14/2005) Teardrop - Chassis before any work
It's merely surface rust so comes off pretty easily. If only there wasn't so much chassis! Teardrop - Sanding the Chassis
It's hard to sand a chassis when it's hailing! This was on 4/16/2005 Teardrop - Get the hail away from me
Speaking of rust, the floor frame was held on via bolts through the corner gussets and through these angles the prior owner welded to the chassis. To me it just looked like a good place for rust to form so I cut them off. I will attach the frame directly to the chassis. (4/28/2005) Teardrop - Removing the Angle Iron
I removed the axle and springs so I could get to the chassis that was behind the wheels. Teardrop - Sanding the Chassis
The hubs, springs, hangers, and parts of the axle itself are rusted and need refinished. Teardrop - Rusty springs and hubs
Making some real progress. I sanded/ground/brushed small sections at a time, applied rust converter, then painted. Not the ideal way to do this but it works since the job is taking so long. (5/3/2005) Teardrop - Making progress on the chassis
The same method was used on the hubs, springs, and axle. Teardrop - Springs and hubs redone
The top and sides of the chassis are finally done. I finished this much in just over six weeks working on and off. Teardrop - Top and sides of the chassis are done
Flipping the chassis over shows that I still have a long way to go. Teardrop - Bottom of the chassis is still bleak
Tools of the trade: power drill with various wire brush and stripper wheels, rust converter liquid, and Rustoleum "Hammered" finish black spray paint. (6/2/2005) Teardrop - Tools of the trade
I've bolted the stabilizer jacks on and welded a receiver hitch and safety chain rings on to the chassis. I'm brand new to welding and must say it's quite a bit harder than I had imagined. I don't plan on double towing with the tear, the receiver will be used to hold a bike rack at most and my ugly welds should hold. (6/8/2005) Teardrop - Receiver and Stabilizer Jacks
I've replaced the wimpy chains the former owner had installed with ones that will actually hold the tear if it breaks loose. The coupler is a bolt-on model that he welded on at the back and through the bolt holes. I added an additional bolt through the front to hold the chains and as a backup for the welds. Teardrop - New Safety Chains
The chassis is de-rusted and painted. Another coat of paint all over and it'll be ready for the wheels and tongue jack again. (6/10/2005) Teardrop - Done Sanding and Painting
Finally done! I started the sanding on 4/14/05 and finished on 6/10/05. It was a much bigger job than I anticipated. I'm still torn on whether or not to flip the axle. As you can see, there is very little clearance between the tires and the chassis. Think I'll try it anyway. Teardrop - Finished at Last
The axle is now flipped to sit on top of the springs. Everything is tightened up. Teardrop - Finished at Last
You can see that there is only about an inch of clearance between the tires and the chassis. It's going to take a pretty big bump to move the tire into the side of the tear. Guess I better drive carefully. Teardrop - Finished at Last
But boy does it make a difference. The chassis dropped by about 5 inches. On to the floor! Way cool. (6/11/2005) Teardrop - Finished at Last

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Last Modified: June 11, 2005

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