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Grim/Stephen - CRACKED FRAME UPDATE - REPAIRED !!!! SEE POST AT BOTTOM

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by BurbinOR, Aug 5, 2001.

  1. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Well, just got back from a camping trip, was cleaning up the truck, had a header gasket to replace, so was under the beast removing the collector from the header...........and as is my usual practice, I look at the frame all around the steering box..........and had a freakin' heart attack! Small crack on the BOTTOM of the frame near the rear-most bolt of the steering box. Doesn't look too bad, and is the only spot I could find............without removing the steering box.

    Needless to say, I am not a happy camper (no pun intended.......er, sorta). Have had the brace on for 9 months.........truck has had 31's or 33's on it its' whole life until two months ago, and no lift larger than 2.5" until we did the one ton conversion/4" TC springs.

    So put that in your pipe and smoke it ....yet another truck with a steering brace with a cracked frame.

    Taking it to the frame shop tomorrow for the weld-on patch repair. Let ya know how it turns out.

    To clarify, this is not a bitch at ORD in any way, shape, or form..........I have all kinds of ORD parts on my truck and will continue to speak highly of Stephen and the quality of the parts............I'm just frustrated at the GM frame problem........I had this happen on my '75 and wasn't paying attention to it.......and instead of an easy weld-on fix I had to replace a frame section! Not cheap.........oh, well, so there is only ONE weakness with our rigs.

    <font color=blue>'79 ONE TON TPI K5 - See it at---&gt;&lt;a target="_blank" href=http://www.blazzinor.alloffroad.com&gt;www.blazzinor.alloffroad.com&lt;/a&gt;&lt;P ID="edit"&gt;&lt;FONT class="small"&gt;&lt;EM&gt;Edited by BlazzinOR on 08/09/01 06:43 PM.&lt;/EM&gt;&lt;/FONT&gt;&lt;/P&gt;<P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by BlazzinOR on 08/09/01 06:45 PM.</FONT></P>
     
  2. Waxer

    Waxer 1/2 ton status Author

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    Well in my honest opinion, the brace alone isn't enough. The weld on kit plus the brace will do the trick.

    Crawlin the rocks with my K5
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.rockreadyk5.com>http://www.rockreadyk5.com</a>
     
  3. BigTex

    BigTex 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    I'm beginning to really think the frame brace just keeps the frame from cracking for a while longer, but eventually they all crack. Is the money spent on the bolt-on brace really worth it? I'm planning on buying it this week.

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.chriswhitley.com>www.chriswhitley.com</a>
     
  4. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    Yes it is worth it to help with bump steer and extra support. My theory is that with the brace you take the flex out of an already weak spot and with wheeling a lifted truck something is gonna give. Maybe the weld on kit with the brace is the way to go. Just my $.02.

    <font color=blue>Wayne<font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>Happy Trails<font color=blue>
     
  5. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    ORD's brace triangulates the the steering gear section of the frame, and ties it into the cross member. The theory is strong, but the frames are not. The only way to truly "fix" the problem would be to redesign the entire steering sys. and frame section. Everything else (braces and fish plates) is just a band-aid fix to poor factory enginering. It's extreamly hard to renginer a "fix-it-kit" and keep it bolt-on.

    MAYBE;
    The brace is TOO strong (possibly, the strongest part of the frame). The rest of the frame is flexing like crazy, except for the steering gear section after the brace is installed. Maybe, the problem is flipping around, now the steeing gear is held steady, but the rest of the frame is weak, causeing the frame to crack.

    These Chevy frames are extreamly fexible. Anyone notice when, someone packs a tire into the fender, and gets the frame all twiztid out, the ditance between the bumper and body? It getts pretty wild, now if just one section of that frame is held square, Where is the stress going to be?

    Maybe, if the brace is trimmed a some, just enuff to allow it it give alittle and allow it to flex a bit with the rest of the frame.

    Just a thought.

    <font color=purple>Twiztid</font color=purple>
     
  6. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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  7. Jason73K5

    Jason73K5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    Yes, it's worth it! I reccomend putting on both kits even if your frame isn't cracked yet. The difference with and without the brace just in terms of steering play was amazing.

    73K-5: TBI350/TH-400/NP-203/14FF/D44
    Topless, doorless and no tailgate!
    Fresno, CA
     
  8. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    Not to sound like a smart a$$, but when was the last time you tightened the steering box bolts and the brace bolts? Over time they WILL loosen (naturn of the beast), and allow the bolts to shuck a little, which will allow the frame to crack. As with anything, with enough pounding and pressure anything can break, but the steering brace helps to keep that from happening as quickly. As to the question of money well spent.....Hell Yeah! I was really impressed with the fitment and gauge metal of the brace. I have Loc-Rites front and rear, and my frame bucks alot when I hit hard-pack and I have yet to have the frame crack (but I know it may someday). I just bought myself time with the brace. Remember, we all love GM, but we do have to face the fact that the frames are not the strongest for a fullsize rig. I would just hate to see ORD take a bashing when something is truelly not their fault. I have several of their products and think they are all top notch. I usually check the tightness of the brace every oil change while I'm greasing the balljoints and steering components. Just my $.02.

    If you didn't build it yourself, how can you call it yours.......?
     
  9. 4x4_76

    4x4_76 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    Lots of work but how about boxing the frame from front to the firefall or under the front seats like on -88 and newer pick-ups... Just a thought.
     
  10. Brian 89KBlazer

    Brian 89KBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    I agree with 4x4_76

    The way to go is to fix the problem; not bandage it. I'm not bashing ORD either as I've got a pile of Stephen's parts on the way but my solution to the fix is to ditch the frame all together! Too bad Matkins or someone like that didn't produce a Chevy frame. I'm building my own out of 3/16" wall 2x5 tubing. That way, the weak points, flex, and all the other Chevy frame weaknesses will be gone! When I get the frame done, I'll have some plans and anyone who wants them can have a set. Hopefully, I'll have the bugs worked out to make it a bolt-in once built!!

    Like I said; not bashing anyone, just giving my opinion but I've heard so many complaints over the years on this site &amp; others that I'm not even going to bother "fixing" the old frame.

    Brian
    89KBlazer

    Build it Right or Don't build it at all!!
     
  11. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    I didn't think you were bashing ORD but maybe some people might have thought you were. Hell the same thing happened to a few other trucks too including Steve Fox's. Who knows maybe with all the problems with the weak frame and all of us working togeather we can come up with a solution to fix it permantly the first time. (Hint Hint Stephen) With a couple of guys using the frame repair kit and the brace we will find out over time if it cures the problem or if we need to figure something else out to add to it.

    <font color=blue>Wayne<font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>Happy Trails<font color=blue>
     
  12. OneInTheSun

    OneInTheSun 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    I can't remember if this point was brought up in the old discussion or not -&gt; According to Stephen's direction sheet, some blazers came with a factory brace on the front of the crossmember. How many of those with the cracked frame (with ORD brace) did or did not have this factory brace (and reinstalled it in addition to the new brace)? Not that it's that strong of a brace, but over time maybe it's enough to keep the frame from weakening at that point. I waited longer than I wanted to when I finally got the ORD brace installed, but no cracks, so maybe the factory brace on mine had something to with that. Of course I'm not getting all twisty on rocks either. Just a thought I wanted to throw into the mix.

    <font color=blue>Rob
    85 K5</font color=blue>
    [​IMG] 24 beers in a case, 24 hours in a day - Coincidence?
     
  13. tlarsw

    tlarsw 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    On the ORD steering box brace. I've been running mine for about two years and thought it was all I needed to keep my frame from cracking. I ran the Disney, OK run this weekend and with mild to moderate trails I encountered there, I cracked the frame. I'm trying to figure out if it is worth it to buy the patch kit and reuse the brace or just re-enforce the frame by itself, possibly just boxing it instead.

    I think the kit should be sold with both pieces, if that is what's needed to actually "eliminate" the problem with frame cracking.

    I haven't lost any faith in ORD, they put out good quality products. But with the damage that I had happen this weekend, I think the steering box brace needs to be looked at to determine what is actually needed to fix this problem.

    I was led to believe that this would fix the problems with the frame cracking and it did not. Just my $.02 worth.

    1986 K10 TPI350/NV4500/Gen2 Doubler/D60(ARB)/14FF(Detroit)/4.56 gears
     
  14. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    We just discovered a crack on my brothers frame Saturday and have to fix it. And then we look at mine.. The box moves but we cant find any cracks(didn't take the box off) So I think in the near future we will both be ordering the patch kits and the braces...

    Mike

    <font color=green>"It's like a sore dick deal, You cant beat it!"</font color=green>

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/emmettology101>www.geocities.com/emmettology101</a>
     
  15. BigTex

    BigTex 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    Yeah, I'm definitely buying the brace from ORD but I also had the idea to box the frame as well. Why in the heck don't some of you welders out there start making strong frames for us?! You could make some serious bucks!!! Just a thought...

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.chriswhitley.com>www.chriswhitley.com</a>
     
  16. Waxer

    Waxer 1/2 ton status Author

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    I agree that the kit should include the weld on kit as well. Just 1 of each isn't enough, both together fix the problem.

    From a business standpoint I can see that selling them seperately would yield more profit than selling them together.

    Crawlin the rocks with my K5
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.rockreadyk5.com>http://www.rockreadyk5.com</a>
     
  17. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    I definately think you need both. Mine cracked with 33's and did no more wheelin than slinging some mud here and there. Thats it, no crawlin, no major $hit and its cracked. If it cracks this easily, then the extra material from the weld kit along with the brace should be a bare minimum! And then box it in later if need be.

    Does anyone have a grinding disk I can borrow?[​IMG]3/4 in progress[​IMG]
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.nashvillek5.freeservers.com>www.nashvillek5.freeservers.com</a>
     
  18. Donovan

    Donovan 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    This is my theory on the frame cracking and just my theory nothing more. It is not the frame brace that is breaking the frame but the sway bar that is cracking the frame. On a stock suspension with the sway bar connected it is pretty much parallel with the ground and the spring, but when you put a larger lift on the sway bar starts to get more of a working angle on it. So the geometery of the spring and the sway bar gets all screwed up with the greater the lift. So when you hit a bump the swaybar forces the crossmember to the front of the truck. There is not much give in the connection between where the spring bolts to the swaybar and the swaybar connects to the frame. I hope I made myself clear on what I am tring to say. My question for you guys is how often to you see a frame crack on a 72 and earlier blazer or truck? I have never seen one but that is not to say that it don't happen. The 72 and earlier don't have a sway bar on them. Also look at the Dodge truck and Ramchargers do they have a problem with frames cracking? I don't think they do. Or I will put it this way they don't have a repair kit for the frame like the chevys, that I know of. The swaybar is connect in a differnet way. They allow the axle to float in there. Just some things I have been thinking about.

    Donovan
    Bigger is Better
     
  19. tlarsw

    tlarsw 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    Good try, but I'm not running a sway bar at all.

    1986 K10 TPI350/NV4500/Gen2 Doubler/D60(ARB)/14FF(Detroit)/4.56 gears
     
  20. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Grim/Stephen - more research data for your CRACKED FRAME theory!?!?! Mine!

    Good idea, Donovan.

    Well, my truck has had the swaybar correction/disconnect kit on it since the 4" lift was put into place. Did not have it when I had the 2.5" lift tho.................


    <font color=blue>'79 ONE TON TPI K5 - See it at---&gt;<a target="_blank" href=http://www.blazzinor.alloffroad.com>www.blazzinor.alloffroad.com</a>
     

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