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Box frame

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by fireinthehole, Jul 16, 2002.

    Has anyone done or heard of someone boxing their frame for increased strength? I would be very interested in finding out how to so I can have it done for my Suburban. Its not cracked or anything, but anything to increase the strength would be a plus.
     
  1. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    I haven't, but i'd be interested in this as well...Maybe just high stress areas? And something that can be done with the body still on? Bueller? Bueller?
     
  2. pilgrim

    pilgrim 1/2 ton status

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    I've been tossing this idea around also. I think you would need to box the whole entire frame, for the reason that you would create weak spots inbetween the boxed sections. I'am not sure if you would need to weld all around or if you could weld only for a few inches every few inches??

    Might be hard to do a good job with the body on. I'd take the body off , box the frame and do a cage at the same time.

    would you weld plates over all those holes in the frame or would you just leave them alone?
     
  3. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I've thought about it, the only downside I can think of is having to move ALL of the brake/fuel lines, for should you ever need to service them and they are *inside* the frame....lol

    The only other idea I've been tossing around is some more side to side bracing of the frame, to better tie the raisl together. I believe that even boxing the frame won't solve the flex problem, because there just isn't much to keep the two frame rails from flexing through the crossmembers.

    It looks awfully hard to even do more crossmembers though, just too much stuff in the way. I'd love to be able to take a stock tranny crossmember somewhere above the rear driveshaft (about halfway down its length) and bolt it to the TOP of the frame rails, and perhaps even one at the same location UNDER the lower frame rail, but without looking at it with this in mind, I'm not sure if driveshaft movement would prevent this idea from working.

    Still wouldn't prevent the flex problem, but I don't think it would take much to lessen it. Ideally we'd run something like the old convertible cars, big I-beam steel "X" from the front frame ends to the rear frame ends (or as close as possible) but its not practical on our trucks.

    Maybe a section of square steel tubing as a crossmember (or a couple) that fits in between the crossmembers, and can be bolted or welded into place??

    I don't wheel hard, but there are too many tops that are seperating from flex, and I've *heard* my roof pop, and had the hard to open doors, even while out hunting. I'm going to go with poly body mounts eventually, which will help with the flex issue if the body is strong enough to make a difference, which it should be, even if slight.
     
  4. I agree about not solving the flex issue completly. I don't wheel hard either but was just tossing the idea out there because of the size/weight of the Suburban. I have the poly mounts, it was one of the very first things I replaced. You can imagine how shot the rubber ones were after 12 years of service. The new mounts helped with flex as well as get the body back square to the frame. Some complain about their vehicles riding rougher with the poly mounts, but your driving a off-road vehicle anyway,right???
    Just my 2 cents.
     
  5. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    The way I look at it, the suspension is supposed to be doing the work, thats why its there, not the body mounts, so the material shouldn't make much difference. (except in some vibration damping and noise isolation) Ideally you could weld the body to the frame and have no difference...wait, they do that, its called unibody : )

    I wouldn't want to use something as solid as aluminum, because its obvious we won't eliminate flex, so you have to allow for some (which poly does) but when you start using stuff way in excess of design constraints (rock climbing with 44" tires and a 454 on 10 bolts for example) you will QUICKLY find the weakest link, and in a body mount situation, I'd expect bolts to start shearing, or the body to start to bend, or ripped mounts, etc.

    You are right, its a solid axle truck with suspension technology from what, the 1800's probably, so unless you go with IFS and a truck that has taken advantage (and disadvantages ; ) of the leaps in recent technology in the last 20 years (unlike our trucks), IMO, worrying about ride quality is pointless. I'm not talking a Fred Flintstone ride, but thinking a K5 will ride like a 2002 Silverado is not smart. I *like* giving my kidneys a work out : )
     

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