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Anybody made their own steering box brace?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mrk5, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    Did some searching and I can't find anyone that has made their own steering box brace.

    So, I'm wondering if anyone has.
     
  2. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    I bought my first one from ORD . But now that I have 2 trucks and both need built up , homemade sounds better .

    My idea , and bear in mind I aint did it yet . Would be built off the factory spacers , and run to the center crossmember hole . Not unlike the others , but cheaper .........I wonder how much beer I can give Marv to make one up :D
     
  3. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    yep I did, I just used some 1"x1"x 1/8" square tubing, used the factory spacers. I dont see spending $100+ from ORD for something that isnt to difficult to make.
    Have fun finding the bolts though, I could only find them on the internet or where I got mine was at Lowes.
    Here is a link to mine.
    Steering box brace
     
  4. K5MONSTERCHEV

    K5MONSTERCHEV 1/2 ton status

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    I have. I think theres pics in my webshots, let me check.

    Actually here, sorry there big. The red bar. Mine had a plate inside the frame already, looked factory. We made this to tie the frame rails together and I havent ever had any problems.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Robert79K5

    Robert79K5 1/2 ton status

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    I know not everyone has a spare junk frame just sitting around but if you do.....
    I cut the steering box section out of my junk frame and then cut the top and bottom of the C channel off. Then I spaced the top and bottom out a little and re-welded them back on. This made a duplicate of the frame section where the steering box is that slid over the frame, welded in place and bolted my steering box back up. Now my frame is double-thick at the steering box.
     
  6. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    If you do build your own brace make sure you focus on the back 2 bolts of the steering box. They take the most pressure. I just helped Matt (az-k5) fix and weld up a MAJOR breakage at that point in the frame. The crack was at least 8" long and was open up at least 1/4" in the middle of the brake. It was ugly.

    He had the weld on plate repair. So we ratchet strapped it back over as best we could and did ALOT of welding to reconnect the 2 sections of frame together, rewelded the patch kit on, and then used some angle iron to reinforce the patch kit near the bolts.

    Harley
     
  7. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    Thanks for the pics guys. I really think I could save some money, and make my own.

    Paul, I'll let you know what I come up with. Maybe give you some ideas for you yours.

    K5MONSTERCHEV-my wife and I agree, you have a badass truck! :D
     
  8. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    Question.

    Is it better to tie the frame ends together like K5MONSTERCHEV or just weld the reinforcement patch in place??
     
  9. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    The best option is both. The weld on frame brace is not a cure all. It can take alot of abuse but it can fail.

    Harley
     
  10. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    How much tire do you have to run before you get into cracking? Just looking for an average understanding it depends on how you abuse your truck. Since I've never dealt with this problem before I gather the steering box is trying to rip itself off the frame when a lot of force is applied?.
     
  11. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I had 2 cracks about 3" long each when I installed my patch plate. They were just hairline cracks but that is how they start.

    My truck had never really seen any hard four wheeling. It was mostly stock with 32" tires and saw hunting duty and camping duty. Most GM trucks of our era have cracks in the frame near the steering box. Alot of times they are behind the box so you can't see them until they start to spread out from behind it.

    Basically it is only a matter of time before it cracks if it isn't already cracked. If you offroad without the patch kit and or brace then you are almost guaranteed to crack the frame there.

    My buddy Matt has had about 1.5 years of hard use on his truck offroad and about 8 months of that has been with a front locker and crossover steering. They both make the strain on the steering box area worse.

    Last week he found a BIG crack in the frame. It cracked the frame where the bottom section of the C channel turns under the truck. It was over 8" long and over 1/4" wide in the middle.

    Harley
     
  12. K5MONSTERCHEV

    K5MONSTERCHEV 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks! :)


    Just thought Id add that my frame did NOT have a crack. It already had a plate rivited (maybe welded, dont remember) to the inside of the frame I belive. The brace was the last thing I did when I did the lift and all and have never had a problem, and turn those tires easy.
     
  13. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    My brother-in-law's blazer had a frame crack behind the steering box. It's stock with 32s.
     
  14. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    One thing that I may add is before I braced my frame I had no cracks but when I turned the wheel and felt the frame I could feel the frame flexing, after about 2 months of mild off road and on road driving I had 2" long cracks around 2 of the holes. I welded up the cracks and fabbed up the brace, I did the turning test while feeling the frame and there is no flex in it know so I know the brace is working. I also welded in a 3/16" plate to the bottom of the frame just to give it more support.
     
  15. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    I just finished looking at everyone's pics, and I just don't think it will be that difficult.

    I think something like 85mudblazin's set up will be easy to duplicate.
     
  16. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    19 years of 31 inch tires , 2 years of 32 inch tires . One year of 33's with the ORD brace ...... and mine had an unknown age hairline crack I found not too long ago ;)
     
  17. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    Sheesh,

    better get out the stick welder and get busy reinforcing the frame. Thanks guys, good post and pics.
     
  18. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    not just a 4x4 problem either!

    I'e had a 74 C10 2wd that had cracks behind the steering box too--so its not a 4x4 only problem!--seen a few other 2wd's the samw way too...I hate to look,but I should inspect both of my trucks frames closely and see if they are showing any stress near the steering box... :crazy:
     
  19. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    no probs for me just running the weld on brace... of course, I have hydro assist, which prolly takes some pressure off the 'box.

    j
     
  20. 89GMCSuburban

    89GMCSuburban 1/2 ton status

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    Find a junked truck, torch off the frame where the box is, massage to fit over your frame, weld on.
     

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