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Cracked Frame! - what do I do!? (with pics)

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by TX Mudder, Apr 3, 2002.

  1. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    I found a crack on my frame on my 73 K20. It is where the engine crossmember meets the frame on the passenger's side.
    Here are two small pics of it. The two links below are the same pics, but larger (about 100k each) with a lot more detail.

    http://users3.ev1.net/~mattell/frame/smallframe2.jpg

    http://users3.ev1.net/~mattell/frame/frame2.jpg

    What do I do about it? I want to install a beefy MOO crossmember, but I realize I need to fix this crack because it will only get worse. I don't know anyone with a welder. And the crossmember will need to be out to fix it, it looks like, so it really looks like it needs to be done in the driveway - I'm not going to remove the engine.
    -- Mike
     
  2. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Just get a new frame. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
    It's given you the excuse you need now to do a frame off resto!

    Good luck with that dude!
     
  3. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    I started with a bare frame/cab and built it up to this!
    I don't think that crack was there when I got it. I went over the frame pretty well and I replaced the crossmember that's in front of the engine crossmember (it holds the prop valve) and so I was surely in the area for long enough to have noticed it.
    Any ideas?
    -- Mike
     
  4. TULSAK5

    TULSAK5 Registered Member

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    Houston, huh. If you were in Oklahoma I'd fix it for you but you'd prolly spend more in gas money than you would just taking it to a welding shop and having it done. Shouldn't be too expensive.
     
  5. reddog64

    reddog64 1/2 ton status

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    you might drill a small hole where the crack ends to keep it from going... then weld in a patch on either side...
    my .02
     
  6. Quack_Addict

    Quack_Addict 1/2 ton status

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    JBWeld it! /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

    Seriously, I'd get it welded by someone local before driving it anywhere else. I would take the rivet out that holds the x-member to the frame and have the FULL length of the crack welded (both sides if possible). Grind the top & bottom of the frame flat where the rivet was and install the largest diameter grade 8 bolt that fits, with washers on both sides and red Lok-tite.
     
  7. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    how about when you rip that crossmember out to do the MOO install have a mobile welder drop by and stitch her up.
     
  8. 76_Cheyenne

    76_Cheyenne 1/2 ton status

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    Get the frame repair kit from ORD. It needs to be welded on, then you can put on the steering box brace, to keep it from breaking again. Check out there website.
     
  9. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    The ORD kit is for repairing the area by the steering box on the driver's side..
    The frame is cracked on the pass side by the engine crossmember.
    I think the best idea so fa is for a mobile welder. I can easily remove the crossmember (have to anyway to install the MOO one) and let someone do it in the driveway...
    I've never heard of a mobile welder before, so I'll have to look...
    -- Mike
     
  10. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    a mobile welder is common.
    usually a guy with a 1 ton truck and an entire welding shop on the deck.
    pipelines are built that way,
    industrial machines cant go to the shop so the welder has to go to the job.
     
  11. SkulzNBonz

    SkulzNBonz 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, contract welder's should be a dime a dozen in Texas. Probably cost between $10-$20.
     
  12. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I say it's time to get yourself a welder and fix it yourself. You could always rent one--but I'd just buy one. I am actually planning on buying a big MIG soon.
     
  13. Depdog

    Depdog 1/2 ton status Author

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    To fix it right, you will need to be able to weld or have a good welder do it for you. You need to grind and remove that rivit. You can replace it with a bolt later. Then grind straight down the crack, like you are trying to cut the frame in half where the crack is, not through the frame mind you, just about 1/3 of the way into the frame, the full length and width of the crack. Then have your welder run a bead inside the slot you made. This gets you full penetration on the frame and makes for a much stronger weld. Let it cool off by itself, DO NOT put any oil or water on it to cool it down. Should have NO problems with it after that. The weld is actually stronger than the steel if done right. I had a bad tear crack in my rear frame and have had NO problems with it after fixing like this.

    Depdog
     
  14. Depdog

    Depdog 1/2 ton status Author

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    To fix it right, you will need to be able to weld or have a good welder do it for you. You need to grind and remove that rivit. You can replace it with a bolt later. Then grind straight down the crack, like you are trying to cut the frame in half where the crack is, not through the frame mind you, just about 1/3 of the way into the frame, the full length and width of the crack. Then have your welder run a bead inside the slot you made. This gets you full penetration on the frame and makes for a much stronger weld. Let it cool off by itself, DO NOT put any oil or water on it to cool it down. Should have NO problems with it after that. The weld is actually stronger than the steel if done right. I had a bad tear crack in my rear frame and have had NO problems with it after fixing like this.

    Depdog
     
  15. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    the full length of the crack wont be apparent until the heat of the welder is in the frame
     
  16. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    If you need more convincing, I'll add that DepDog has it dead on. I ran a frame machine for years and that's exactly what I did...
     
  17. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Good point MJ. However, you'll also be able to see it when you start grinding if you look close in the slot. Just grind a bit (how much depends on the extent of the damage) beyond where you think it ends and you'll be ok.
     
  18. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    I was amazed at how far the cracks ran beyond where I thought it ended
     

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