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Crossover steering owners

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 84_Chevy_K10, May 7, 2004.

  1. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I just got back from the longest 24 hour period of my life. Pics will shortly follow.

    If there is anybody here with crossover steering that hasn't reinforced their frame at the steering box, make that your weekend project SOON. I know, I should have known better--but I know there are a few of you guys out there still, that like me, have been putting this project off for a while.

    I had intended on doing the weld in kit this Sunday with my buddy, just for the hell of it. Unfortunately, Wednesday night, I completely ripped my steering box off the frame. Before I got my frame, it had been cracked and welded up. It never looked that bad but I intended on fixing it anyway just in the interest of avoiding future problems.

    Luckily, when it did rip off, I was at the trail head. Had it done that exact thing not 30 minutes before then, I was back in the woods pretty far, to the point where this repair would have had to been done on the trail which would have been an absolute disaster.

    Those of you that have done this mod, I don't know how long it took you but it took me a total of five hours to do the weld in kit including taking it all apart.

    This of course not including the time spent going and getting my truck from the trail head with a trailer because I had ABSOLUTELY no steering, the steering box was just hanging there.

    I have come to the conclusion that crossover steering puts tremendous stress on the frame in this area, MUCH more so than front to back steering. Combine that with a front locker and big tires and it is literally an accident waiting to happen.

    I'm just so fortunate that mine quit where it did instead of on the road somewhere or back on the trail miles from a nice shop with welding equipment.

    I am going to be adding the bolt on brace as well and will probably be coming up with something for the back side of the frame so I can tie it in to the upper and lower portions of the C channel so it doesn't rip the frame apart again.

    It's amazing how tight my steering is now. It didn't seem messed up before, but it's much better now.

    First trip with front locker and I ripped the frame apart, and I wasn't on the trail except one hour.
     
  2. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    Tim I have the kit, I put it on a year ago as a preventive piece. I do have a bit of advice when intalling the things. Use new bolts (kind of a "duh" but I tried using the old ones and the loosened up often) I got ones a 1/2" longer than needed and put a locking nut on the outside to keep everything tight. Sorry to hear about your luck. How was the steering and locker during the time you got to use it.
     
  3. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    well, that pretty much seals the deal. weld in patch kit, and a bolt in brace for me...
     
  4. daleearnhardt01

    daleearnhardt01 1/2 ton status

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    You think the bolt in brace is enough?
     
  5. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Nope, I have heard of people tearing the frames up with the bolt on brace installed.

    It may survive on a light trail rig/DD that doesn't have crossover & front locker but with crossover and a front locker the weld in kit is mandatory. Tim found out the hard way.

    Harley

    Harley
     
  6. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Luckily where it broke it wasn't too inconvenient. We just trailered to to my friend's house and welded it up.

    I know it says not to weld the kit all the way around, but we did. I am not an engineer nor a welder but that's how we did it.

    My friend Josh did most of the welding. We had a 135 amp MIG available but he chose to stick weld it instead. It turned out pretty decent IMO. I did some of the welding. I probably would have done all of it but I hate stick welders. I've been spoiled by the use of a MIG welder.

    I'm still going to have to try to come up with something for the back side of the frame though, because IMO, if your frame is as fu*ked as mine was this morning, you're going to want to not only add the weld in kit, but you're going to probably want to tie into the back side as well.

    I can also say that I am somewhat disappointed in the weld in kit. Besides the fact that it fits like complete crap, it isn't really that thick and I'm actually afraid of ripping my frame again although I doubt that's likely.
     
  7. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I am with you on that. I didn't rip my frame up badly (2 cracks, one was starting to clib down to the bottom framerail) but I am still affraid of tearing it up even with the brace on there. I don't have huge tires (35's) but I do have crossover and a locker. This truck might see 37's one day though. I am probably just paranoid like I am with most things but you never know. I think eventually I will look into reinforcing it more just to be on the safe side.


    Of course hydro assist will cure your problem totally. /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif

    Harley
     
  8. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    And I do have the WTO box already so I'll probably be installing hydro assist in the near future, just with the bumpers, the crossover/1 ton swap/lockers and the EFI not far away, I've pretty mcuh burned my bank account dry.

    My frame was pretty trashed, those little sleeves were all on the other side of the frame and all four holes were about 3/4" in diameter. I suppose it could be worse but with the weld in patch it should be fine for now.
     
  9. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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  10. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    thats just pretty.... /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif
     
  11. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Too bad I forgot to take a pic before I took the box off.
     
  12. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I know it says not to weld the kit all the way around, but we did. I am not an engineer nor a welder but that's how we did it.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Dumb-ass...

    Rene
     
  13. 85m1009

    85m1009 1/2 ton status

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    Having been through a similar experience, I added this little piece of security to my frame before converting the steering. 1.25 solid sleeves through the frame with a 7/16" hole for the bolts. Boxed both frame rails and added a new 2 by 4 1/4" wall crossmember.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    That looks more like the bolts pulled through the frame....

    Couldn't you just plate the outside of the frame in something obscene, like 1/2 inch?

    Anyway, you have to consider that the frame wasn't pristine, it was repiaired, and who repaired it?

    Edit - AND you didn't have the bolt in?
     
  15. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    I know it says not to weld the kit all the way around, but we did. I am not an engineer nor a welder but that's how we did it.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Dumb-ass...

    Rene

    [/ QUOTE ]

    /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif The reason we did it that way is that it doesn't fit right. The weld in patch is a total pain in the ass IMO. I know every frame is different but with the front clip in the way I just couldn't get it to stay on correctly any other way.

    The bolts pulled through the frame and brought their little washers with it, and that's how the holes got that big.

    Plating the frame like crazy with 1/2" would be very difficult, it's not a straight rail so it really can't be done.

    My idea for strengthening it is just like steve's above. A piece of plate that runs from the top of the "C" to the bottom with longer bolts passing through it. I think that is going to work out great.
     
  16. K5MONSTERCHEV

    K5MONSTERCHEV 1/2 ton status

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    WOW man that sucks.

    Whats the big deal with the weld in brace kit?

    I got my blazer and the frame didnt have any cracks, and there already was a plate behind the p/s box. I made my own brace that bolts in between the frame rails, to strengthen the frame, not to flex at the box. Havent had any problems.

    I also had a problem with the front spring hangers, tweaking them, busting the rivets, so those are braced together now also.
     
  17. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Kidjethro will chime in. It just doesn't fit right. You can put four bolts in it and tighten them and without a front clip you can probably get it to go on good and right away.

    I know I had to beat the crap out of mine and there are some areas you just can't hit.

    I know that me and my friend did the best that we could for now, and everything is good. The bottom plate is on, and tied into the center crossmember and theoretically with that and the bolt on, I'd be fine.

    I think I'm still going to box my frame there though. I just don't want to risk this situation again. This completely sucked.
     
  18. Corey 78K5

    Corey 78K5 1 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Plating the frame like crazy with 1/2" would be very difficult, it's not a straight rail so it really can't be done.


    [/ QUOTE ]
    I have thought about this as well and I see what You mean about it not being a strait rail. However it can be done easy enough. Just hold a piece of cardboard up to the area that You want to plate and tap along the edge of the frame rail with a hammer leaving the impresion of the frame rail in the cardboard. The cut away the extra carboard and You should have a timplet that You can transfer to a piece of plate steel.
     
  19. florida4x4

    florida4x4 1/2 ton status

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    so errr... ummm... I have a 72 jimmy that I did a crossover on. There was some popping noises coming from the front end when turning at low speed but that is the spring pack as far as we could tell. I have never seen a brace kit for a 72... does anyone know if they suffer from the same weakness as the 73+ models? The frame looks pretty stout in that area...

    [​IMG]
     
  20. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    TTT,

    UPDATE, ordered the bolt on brace today from John at www.autofab.com. He owns the patent on it and this is the ORD brace without the ORD sticker. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    I'm seriously considering becoming a distributor of this product as well. Although I don't think it will work by itself, I think it is a big step in helping to strengthen a frame that isn't already cracked.
     

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