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Old 01-12-2015, 11:44 PM   #1
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Broken chassis brace

Coach is a 2004 Winnebago Journey 36G with 60K miles. While working on an oil catch can for the slobber tube, I noticed a diagonal brace that runs from the sidewall to the chassis frame just aft of the battery compartment. It was welded to the frame, but the weld has cracked. The end of the brace has separated about 1/4", but doesn't appear to be causing any issues. Anyone else experience this?

On my Tiffin, I learned that Tiffin installed braces during the manufacture that weren't really needed once the coach was assembled. Anyone know if this an assembly brace versus a needed coach brace? Incidentally, if the wall were to try to sag, the brace would compress against the frame--it doesn't appear to be moving at this point. Just trying to get an idea before I take it in to have the brace re-welded. My welder BIL has suggested that it should have a plate welded to the end of the brace, and in turn have the plate bolted or welded to the frame rather than just the brace butt welded to the frame as it was at the factory.
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:55 PM   #2
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Sounds like the side panel had enough flex to break the weld. I'd re-weld brace to make sure it doesn't flap or break off in the future.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:11 PM   #3
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If it stressed out once and broke, then I would be sure to beef up the welds and material some to prevent it from happening again. Stronger is better than original.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudrnnr View Post
Coach is a 2004 Winnebago Journey 36G with 60K miles. While working on an oil catch can for the slobber tube, I noticed a diagonal brace that runs from the sidewall to the chassis frame just aft of the battery compartment. It was welded to the frame, but the weld has cracked. The end of the brace has separated about 1/4", but doesn't appear to be causing any issues. Anyone else experience this?

On my Tiffin, I learned that Tiffin installed braces during the manufacture that weren't really needed once the coach was assembled. Anyone know if this an assembly brace versus a needed coach brace? Incidentally, if the wall were to try to sag, the brace would compress against the frame--it doesn't appear to be moving at this point. Just trying to get an idea before I take it in to have the brace re-welded. My welder BIL has suggested that it should have a plate welded to the end of the brace, and in turn have the plate bolted or welded to the frame rather than just the brace butt welded to the frame as it was at the factory.
I'd give Winnebago a call. They might have a better answer.

If you do get welding done I hope that you are aware of the special precautions needed to protect the drive train electronics. Check your engine and transmission manuals on this topic.

Rick Y.
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:56 AM   #5
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We have a 2005 34 foot Itasca Meridian. Last year while tidying up some wiring underneath the coach, I noticed the diagonal brace aft of the the battery trays had separated from the frame.

Since I was going to Gaffney for service anyway, I just added re-welding that brace to the list. After that we continued our trip from Northeast Florida to Alaska and back. The bracket weld is still holding.

It appeared to me that the point where the bracket attached to the frame rail was originally tack welded in place. Now it has a full weld holding it together.
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:05 PM   #6
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Frank, thanks for the input! That is exactly the brace and location where ours has separated. Did anyone at Gaffney give you any input as to why the separation occurred in the first place?
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:25 AM   #7
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Just a quick update on this--contacted my favorite local service guys and found out who did their welding. Twenty minutes in the shop and the brace was welded better than it was from the beginning (tack welds on one side only).
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:03 PM   #8
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Cloudrnnr,
I have a 2004 Meridian 36G. I have a broken diagonal brace too near the same location. Mine has a bolt and nut directly under the broken weld that holds the brace in place. I am not planning on fixing it as I can't move it buy hand, but I check it when I'm under it.
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cloudrnnr View Post
Just a quick update on this--contacted my favorite local service guys and found out who did their welding. Twenty minutes in the shop and the brace was welded better than it was from the beginning (tack welds on one side only).
Glad that it is back together. What was the purpose of the brace? By chance was it only a temporary brace needed during manufacturing? Did flex or time cause the failure?

Happy trails,
Rick Y
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