- Article/photo's courtesy of:
- CK5.comWith many of us wheeling our rigs harder and harder something has to give, and more often than not, that give is the frame around the steering box. The GM frame is a little thin and many of us have had problems with them cracking even with a steering brace installed. If you're going to be using your GM hard along with large tires, it would be a good idea to do the weld in kit for sure, even if your running the ORD steering brace.
ORD Weld in Frame Repair Kit
While performing a routine inspection of our test Blazer we noticed cracks around the steering box and knew our time had come. A call to Offroad Design in Glenwood Springs had our weld in repair kit on it's way so we could repair our frame damage once and for all. The next step is to locate a buddy with a welder, the job can be performed by a qualified shop but can get pricey fast so a friend with a welder and some time is your best bet.
As luck would have it, Pete Corssmit owns a Millermatic 35 MIG welder and was dieing to do some welding on the UAV, thanks Pete. Pete likes 220 volts for this kind of stuff, but a good 110 volt welder would also work.
Light behind crack
Steering box removed
The first thing to do is raise the front of the truck and place it on jack stands so the drivers side wheel can be removed. Then unbolt the drag link assembly from the pitman arm, from here we unbolted the steering box with all the lines still connected and simply moved it up out of the way. You may have to move a few other lines around at this time to get the steering box out of the way just remember that you will need room to weld at the top of the frame.
Check the frame for cracks, if cracks exist, use a hand grinder and grind a "V" shaped groove along the entire length of the crack, then completely weld grooves as necessary. Grind weld until flush with frame rail, but do not over-grind, as this will weaken repaired area.
Cracks "V" grooved
Welded in "V" groove
Plate clamped in place
Next, secure the large 8-hole plate to the outer frame rail at the steering box location by aligning four raised holes in the plate with bolts facing downward. Check to make sure the plate sits flush and level against the frame, we used a couple of large C-clamps to do the trick.
After the plate is flush to the frame, weld the plate in key areas as illustrated in illustration 1 below, do not weld entire circumference of the plate! Then weld remaining four holes in the plate for additional bonding.
Next take the remaining plate and clamp it to the underside of the frame, aligning the holes in the plate with the rivets located on the bottom of the frame. Now you can tack weld on the inside and outside of the plate where clamped. Remove clamps and tack weld at each end of the plate, then weld in areas shown in illustration 2 above.
At this point if you haven't lit anything on fire that you weren't supposed to it is time to reinstall the steering box, because the frame brace makes the area a little thicker you will need to install slightly longer bolts than you had before. Reinstall the rest of the steering assembly in reverse order of removal making sure to re-torque everything after driving for a few days.
Bottom plate clamped
Plates welded in
Installing the frame repair kit is not really designed for the "do-it-yourselfer" so be sure to read all the instructions before you decide to tackle this project. Our test Blazer has been out on a few trips since the repair and everything is tight with no more frame cracks, nice to know our steering box is going to stay attached to the frame the next time were on the trail.
- Off Road Design
- 484 County Road 113
Carbondale CO 81623
- Phone Number:
- (970) 945-7777