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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Welding a Truck Frame

Author  [Modern View]
Lanse

05-06-2010 16:55:14
65.89.42.149



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Hey Yall!!

I recentally bought a totaled S10 to fix up and joyride around the farm in...

It hit a santa fe going about 55, and so the front of the frame is messed up six ways from sunday. Accually, everything in front of the water pump was destroyed. The sheet metal was so bad i had to burn it off in peices.

So, needless to say, i need a new frame.

Thing is, i dont know how to get one home.

Ive got an old minivan, but im pretty sure it wont fit in there. So, my thoughts are, find a used frame somewheres, take a sazall, and cut it into about six peices, so it will fit. Then, get it home, and weld it back together.

I know welding frames is frowned upon, but its just an old wreck of a farm truck. Its days on any road are over, and it probabally wont go over 30 miles an hour again.

My thoughts are:

Buy frame, cut into peices
Stuff into minivan
Drag home

Grind the edges clean, bevel with angle grinder, clamp in place, weld both sides, then grind down and weld steel brace over other weld.

What kind of rod would be best for this?? How many amps, with AC buzzboz??

Anything else i should know?? Thanks guys

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36 coupe

05-09-2010 08:56:31
216.220.250.207



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
Lanse, forget it.It takes an expert welder to deal with the distortion you will run into.



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sparktrician

05-09-2010 07:34:21
173.104.75.177



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
Lanse, you remind me of myself in a time not that long ago....more ambition than sense, not scared to work hard. The thing is....one day you will look back at projects like this and think....I was forking nuts!!! But that is ok, cause you will learn lessons of life doing things like this that are unobtainable ANYWHERE else in the world! Good luck, but in my "educated" way of life, I wouldnt do it. Now, if you were close, I would probobaly come drink beer and watch you attempt this feat.....

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Puddles

05-09-2010 04:10:48
24.113.87.130



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Cas, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
You just gotta love this site. Not quite 3-days 36-replies. Over on the biggest welding forum on the net, 4-replies, and they're still working on how to get the frame home, not one word on how to weld it!



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Truck

05-08-2010 14:49:25
108.12.67.120



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
Stick an axle underneath that new frame and weld up a hitch on the other end.....drag it home like a trailer. .. When I was your age I transported a Pinto wagon body shell home with a tow bar on the front and just the back wheels on the ground.. Thruway toll booth people looked at me funny, but hey, I was an invincible 20 year old at the time...;-)
Good luck and be safe..



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Scott Hightower

05-08-2010 09:30:01
75.234.87.78



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to jdemaris, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
I assume the steel will be pretty rusty so clean it up as best you can and use a 1/8" 6010 rod. A 6014 will be even better.

This won't be as strong as some other rods but will be adequate for what you are doing.

Scott

Fab Manager

http://www.welders360.com/



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135 Fan

05-09-2010 00:03:55
68.149.56.30



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Scott Hightower, 05-08-2010 09:30:01  
What's a 6014? If you mean 7014, it's a poor choice for truck frame, not designed for dynamic loading. Dave



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graygander

05-08-2010 05:00:16
205.188.116.141



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
good grief folks all he wants to is replace the front frame horns on an old truck to putt around on the farm with and your scaring him with legal bs and lessons on metal dstortion . I"ve patched and welded broken and rusty frames on old trucks many times without any disasters. sounds like a good learning experience and if something goes wrong he wont be out a whole lot



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135 Fan

05-08-2010 08:37:37
68.149.56.30



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to graygander, 05-08-2010 05:00:16  
No, that's not what he wanted to do. The simplist thing for him to do is find a similar truck to use parts from his wrecked truck on. Dave



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36 coupe

05-08-2010 02:55:36
216.220.250.129



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
Scrap is high,sell it and buy a real truck.



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bspauld

05-07-2010 08:41:58
64.12.116.141



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
i have "sub framed" a few street rods,cut the old front supension off and put a newer type on for disc brakes and power steering. I was told NOT to use a stick welder,but use a wire welder. the new metals didnt like stick. I was carefull measuring and then took it in for a front end alignment and my own street rod has been on the road for 15 + years no problem.



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glennster

05-07-2010 06:06:14
75.57.131.175



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
lanse, lanse, lanse,......you"re scaring me!!!!! dont do it. if you are buying the used frame from a salvage yard, they will probably deliver it for you either no charge or nominal fee. like the other guys said, rent a trailer to haul it home. or...make a roof rack and tie it to the mini van roof. what you are trying to do is complicated, even with a well equipped shop. my shop has close to 100k in frame straightening and measuring equipment, and i would pass on trying to weld a frame back like you are suggesting. you will need fixtures to hold the frame sections together and a measuring system to handle the 3 dimensional measurements. then during the welding process, the frame is going to move from the heat, and you will need equipment to pull the frame back into specifications.

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Puddles

05-07-2010 03:01:47
24.113.87.130



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to GA Dave, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
Oh I can almost remember those days of having more energy than sense! :lol:
Just a little FYI, I have a brother-n-law who is a retired major collision body & fender man. In his almost 50-year career no telling how many frames he pulled back into manufacture specs using hydraulic frame machines, little heat & water, and a big hammer. When he went through his apprenticeship in the 1950's oxygen / acetylene welding was the go to process. He's probably the best O/A weldor I've ever seen! I remember in the 1980's he had to take a factory authorized Mig welding course. All the major car manufactures required Mig welding on their frames. :wink:

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Bob S.

05-06-2010 21:40:03
66.168.13.13



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
Hey Lanse,
Why do you want to replace the whole frame? I have a "53 Ford F100 that we cut the frame off at the firewall and added a "74 Nova front stub to. I gained power steering, power disc brakes and Chev V8 power. I have been driving it in the summer for over 25 years and the frame is still intact. If I had your truck I would do the same thing (especially if you have that 4.3 anchor under the hood). Good luck.
Bob S.

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barn E

05-06-2010 21:00:00
66.2.148.159



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
One of the best welders I knew in construction was asked about welding car frame. He said welding is no problem. Problem is alignment.



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kevin2

05-06-2010 19:33:44
174.103.215.249



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
Wow, that's quite a project to tackle! I just hauled a frame on my 10' single axle trailer last year, couple feet hanging off either end, not a problem. You need a friend with a trailer, it would save many,many hours of welding.



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Deere in AR

05-06-2010 19:14:30
71.30.142.184



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
Drive your tractor over there and pull it home.You have a weekend project for shur.



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trucker 40

05-06-2010 18:55:41
69.154.20.106



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
Alright why cant you go to U Haul and rent a tow bar and pull the frame home?Or Put the welder in your Mini van and go weld a hitch on the frame,if it had the rear end on the frame you have a trailer now just pull it home in one piece.Or borrow a trailer from somebody and haul it like that.

If you do cut it up you need to know how to weld with 7018 and weld it good.If you can run into a train and live then you probably can weld your frame.You probably are better off getting something else to drive thats not welded up,but that wouldnt be as much fun either.

You might also want to go buy a couple of lottery tickets since you lived through the train crash,or was it you?

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135 Fan

05-06-2010 21:35:10
68.149.56.30



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to trucker 40, 05-06-2010 18:55:41  
What exactly is going to power his welder? It's not an engine drive. He wasn't driving the truck, he bought it wrecked. Dave



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Lanse

05-06-2010 19:01:04
65.89.42.149



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to trucker 40, 05-06-2010 18:55:41  
Hahaha... Not a train, a hyundai santa fe...

It wasnt even mine then... It belonged to a friend, who lent it to his sister. She took it to town, and then hit an SUV that ran a stop sign...

All this was back in 2008...

Thanks for the advice man!! Whats different about welding with 7018?? How many amps should i use??



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trucker 40

05-08-2010 18:06:17
69.152.172.94



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 19:01:04  
Lanse to set 7018 rod right you need some metal to practice on.That would be 7018 AC with your buzz box.Then you weld a bead.Once you get it set right the slag will curl off of the weld as it cools.1/8 rod would be from about 90 to 120 amps.Every welder is different.

Now I see how these guys told you a lot of info that is actually good,but I have welded stuff with 7018 and it worked.MIG would be the best to use,but 7018 is good.Even 6011 would work at from about 90 to 120 amps.7018 is going to be hard for you to weld with if you dont know how.It shouldnt take a lot of practice before you can make a good weld with it if you do this-as you weld watch the puddle right behind the arc a little, like a quarter inch,adjust your speed faster and slower until the line behind the arc is straight across the weld.Curved forward is too slow,curved back is too fast,straight across is just right.What that line is,is the slag as it is laying down on the hot weld bead.You can weld anything flat like that and it will look like a machine did the welding as long as you keep that line straight and have the amps set close to curling the slag.

The best way to weld something with 7018 or anything as far as I know is uphill if possible.For now until you master making good welds with 7018 flat,just do it like I told you and after you get the slag peeling its as good as it gets with 7018.Actually I seem to remember that peeling slag is just a touch hot,but it will be close enough for what you are doing.

While there are some differences with the final weld,MIG being stronger for what you are doing,7018 and MIG are a lot alike with about the same strength.On stuff like this where the metal is brittle MIG holds up better.MIG welding is what should be used if you were going to run it on the highway.Just around the farm you are only risking yourself right?The problem with using 7018 on this is that it gets so hot.MIG is a cooler weld.So in order for it to work better for you,after you find the point where the slag curls off of the weld,turn it down 5 or 10 amps.Thats going to be as strong as you can get it with that kind of rod.What it does is that it will crack right next to where its welded.Watch it close for a while and if it doesnt crack you will be alright maybe.If it does,and you grind it and weld it again,those usually dont break as bad the second time.

If you cut it at an angle with a sawzall it would be easy to put it back together.Cut at an angle in a place where you can clamp a piece of angle iron to it to get it flat one way,then clamp an angle iron to it the other way to get it straight,and weld the heck out of it.If you put a plate where you weld it and stay an inch away from the radius of the channel of the frame,it will probably hold.

I have welded frames in pickups and stuff before the place I worked at had a MIG and it held,but I was a good welder at the time,not a beginner.I have welded a lot of truck frames with 7018 and they held up to 600 or 700 or more bushel coming out of the field with lots of stress on them and didnt break with 7018 and MIG.New car stuff is more brittle maybe,but I dont think its as big an issue as some try and make of it.
The real issue was welding unibody cars with stick versus MIG welding.I can see where MIG is a lot better for thin metal.Frames are somewhat different.Remember cooler is better with 7018 welded right.MIG actually is better for a car frame but I have welded them with 7018.Main thing is to V out the area to be welded.Grind any bad places in the weld and do it over and over until its got a good weld with no bubbles in it.If you have trouble just post again,I will look for it.

Also I always grinded my weld down where it was flush or a little above the surface of where I welded it,except the grain trucks and I did some smooth and some I left with the weld showing,mainly so I could show my weld to people and talk about it.An old man told me,or I read someplace that grinding a weld makes it stronger because it relieves stress on the surface of the metal.Some are going to say this isnt so,but I think it is.
There is a lot to welding and nobody knows everything about it.I just know what I do from doing the work mostly.Working for places that had a buzz box to weld with and doing what had to be done with that because thats all there was to use.

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T_Bone

05-07-2010 22:54:07
64.57.205.153



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 19:01:04  
Hi Lanse,

7018 is the wrong electrode for this application and you will get poor results.

On AC/DC machines then 6011 would be first choice and 6010 a second choice but on if you have a DC machine and then using DCEN or straight polarity.

Short tack then skip weld using the back step method.

Using stick welding, gaps will NOT be your friend.

Me,(ask first) I would go dumpster diving at your local SM contractor and see if you can find some 14ga SM then plate the seams, then weld. No SM company's around? then buy some 1/8 flat bar and do the same.

T_Bone

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135 Fan

05-06-2010 22:00:31
68.149.56.30



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 19:01:04  
It's simple. If you have to ask, you don't have enough welding experience! You could take all the markings off a welding machine and an experienced welder would easily be able to set the right heat for each type of rod used for the job. Dave



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Brad Buchanan

05-06-2010 18:53:24
67.249.162.77



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
Well perhaps to settle the issue...cut the S-10 frame apart and make a trailer to carry the dollie back to the rental......



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msb

05-06-2010 18:49:06
67.236.241.30



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
Lanse, take a piece of flat metal and weld a bead from one end to the other. Weld it in the middle of the piece and then you will learn a lot about welding metal and what happens when you do.Welding does crazy things to metal. It shrinks the metal for starters.



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Stan in Oly, WA

05-07-2010 10:06:55
174.31.212.22



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to msb, 05-06-2010 18:49:06  
Hi msb,

Well, yes and no. Welding doesn't shrink metal, but it can distort the base metal. The molten metal of the base material at the weld joint together with the filler metal is in its most expanded condition as a liquid. As it cools, it shrinks back to its normal size which causes one of three things to happen: the base metal is drawn toward the weld area, the base metal or weld area cracks, or the welded assembly holds its configuration but contains built in stress.

Al the best, Stan

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T_Bone

05-07-2010 22:31:06
64.57.205.153



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 05-07-2010 10:06:55  
Hi Stan,

I'll add that when most metals are heated above 500f, there is a great tendency for the weld to cause distortion with-in the base metal.

Number one cause of weld distortion is poor joint fit up, ie; any gap larger than is needed during the weld process to control distortion, and according too AWS code, 1/8" maximum root opening allowed no matter what the welding process that is used.

On most of my open root stick and Mig certification tests I use a 3/32" land face and root opening for 90% of the common electrodes out there. This works very well to control final distortion.

The general rule of thumb to control distortion of flat plates is tack spacing of no more than 50 times the thickness of the base metal. For thin SM, I found that this rule does not work and use a small tack spaced on 1/2" to 3/4" centers with a root opening equal to 1/2 of the thickness of the base metal.

A good example would be seam welding with Tig on commercial SS counter tops and sinks while using the above method for tacking. Zero final distortion results.

Another example is a poor joint fit up on intersecting pipe joints with too much gap. After the weld is completed, there will be a lot of distortion on the longest pipe.

Can I shrink metal by welding? Yes, but only if I'm using a mis-matched filler metal. Using matched filler metal to the base metal then almost never. In 45yrs of metal working, I've learned never to say never. :)

T_Bone

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135 Fan

05-07-2010 21:33:57
68.149.56.30



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 05-07-2010 10:06:55  
Welding a bead around bearing races makes them fall right out. LoL Welded pipe joints usually shrink one half of the root opening and this factor is built in on piping blueprints. 3/16" gap for MIG root will shrink to 3/32" on finished weld. I always wondered how they got critical piping with lots of complex nozzles to fit to together relatively easy, until I worked in a vessel and piping shop. Dave

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Goose

05-06-2010 18:45:21
67.63.68.13



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
As long as it's cut and fit exactly, the welding isn't anything to be afraid of. After the first weld, I'd grind it smooth and fishplate it. The thing is, on something like this you have to get it right the first time.

I built a half dozen late model stock car frames from scratch out of 2"X3" rectangular tubing and welded them with a stick welder. That was before wirefeeds got popular. I was going to say they probably underwent more stress than the frame on a street machine but maybe not, with the cage to stiffen the frame.

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Lanse

05-06-2010 19:03:45
65.89.42.149



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Goose, 05-06-2010 18:45:21  
Thats cool man!!

Thanks... But, how do i "Get it right"??

Im thinking of a diagonal cut, that would line up easier... I could follow the natural contor of the frame, and go from there...



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Gary in da UP

05-06-2010 18:21:29
174.124.136.117



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
Lanse, I have followed your exploits for some time now, you never cease to amaze and scare me. You truly are among the most humerous contributors on this site. When you get to college ,take some class' in creative writing, I think your calling is there. You will make much more money writing books, but keep fooling with tractors and such, it will provide the inspiation and material you'll need.



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135 Fan

05-06-2010 17:55:01
68.149.56.30



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
You have to be very experienced just to cut a good frame and weld a new clip on it. What you're contemplating is a really, really dumb idea. "It hit a sante fe going about 55"? Was "It" driving by itself or was someone behind the wheel? Did "it" get hurt? If you wanted to say "it", you should have said "it" was a Toyota, then it might almost be believable. LoL Rent or borrow a trailer and switch everything over or just look for another beater to drive around the farm. I think finding another truck would be 1000 times easier and way cheaper than trying to fix what you have, even if you had a professional welder and autobody mechanic to do the work. Try to sell off any good parts "it" might have and put the money towards something that is at least driveable the way "it" is. The job your talking about is too big of a job for you to try and tackle yourself. You would need a lot of help and there WOULD be a lot of frustration involved in the process. Dave

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Lanse

05-06-2010 18:54:38
65.89.42.149



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to 135 Fan, 05-06-2010 17:55:01  
I dont know if anyone got hurt... I wasnt driving. The wreck was in june of 2008, more then a year before i got behind the wheel (legally) for the first time. The story i heard was the guy lent the truck to his sister, who drove to town, bought a few things, got about a mile out of town when a hyundai ran a stop sign.

Whats so dumb about it?? I know if wouldnt be easy, but im not too worried about that. Its got a wooden flatbed that i made, so that wouldnt be a problem...

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135 Fan

05-06-2010 21:47:22
68.149.56.30



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 18:54:38  
Like was suggested, find another similar truck that needs an engine or something and use parts off your wrecked one to fix it up. You will never get everything lined up properly if you cut a frame in pieces and try to put it back the same way. The only way you could get close would be if you had a special jig made up. If think your Allis B was frustrating, trying this latest project will make the B seem like a walk in the park! It is not even close to building a frame for a stock car. You could have the best welding machine made but you don't have anywhere near enough experience. If you did ever pull this project off and it broke while you had a passenger or someone else drove it and got injured, you would be sued. Find a similar truck to put your good parts on. You should be able to find a dead one pretty cheap. Dave

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OHReader

05-06-2010 19:45:08
96.24.176.207



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 18:54:38  
Well, if you really want to waste your time, then cut it up and haul it. Better to get someone to trailer it, me thinks. Also, if you do cut-n-weld, do yourself a favor and throw away the title to that beater. Because if you sell it titled and someone else drives into another Santa Fe when one of *your* welds fails, then you're going to get the chance to meet new and exciting people called...lawyers. And all that money you saved will go right in the crapper, followed by buckets of more money to keep your keister out of court/jail/whatever.

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Ron in Nebr

05-06-2010 17:38:28
66.252.114.22



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
Lanse, I honestly think your best bet in this case is to find another old s-10 with a useable frame and use parts off your wrecked one to make it runnable.

Sure, you COULD piece and cobble together a frame that would do ok for just bouncing around the farm(sure wouldn't wanna take it out on the interstate though!), I think the hassle wouldn't be worth the end result.

Then again, once you get past all the obstacles like how to get it home, what's the best welding method to use, and all the countless other hurdles to be jumped, it COULD turn out to be just a fun project! Come to think of it, it kinda sounds like a project I would have considered tackling when I was your age, just to see if I could do it!

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Lanse

05-06-2010 18:58:20
65.89.42.149



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Ron in Nebr, 05-06-2010 17:38:28  
It runs and drives fine amazingly... I made some custom radiator supports for it :-D

I think ill do it... It would be a fun weekend, and my viewers would love to watch that :-)



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Ron in Nebr

05-06-2010 17:42:21
66.252.114.22



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Ron in Nebr, 05-06-2010 17:38:28  
Shoot there I go again answering and then when I re-read your post, I realized you were already planning to start with another s-10 frame, not actually "building" a frame out of peices of other frames...your question was just how to get the replacement frame home.

My answer to that would be- get it home the same way you got the wrecked s-10 home.



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molinebob

05-06-2010 17:07:08
69.89.198.26



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
Your mini van should be able to pull a trailer, i dont thonk id go and cut a frame into many different pieces and try to weld it back together. If thats what you want to do, go get the part that you need and only weld that on to your existing frame.



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C.R.

05-06-2010 17:06:19
67.150.53.67



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 Re: Welding a Truck Frame in reply to Lanse, 05-06-2010 16:55:14  
sounds like a lot of messing around cant you find a trailer or a car dollie to burrow or rent it would save a lot of time



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