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Reel.Adventure

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Hey Everyone,

It is just about time to start the build of my 87 K5 Blazer. On the list of things accomplish is a motor swap, complete suspension rebuild, new axles, gearing, manual trans conversion, roll cage, and a healthy amount of body work. For most of these topics I have been able to find a decent amount of information. The one item I am having difficulty finding answers for is about my frame. The truck was originally from Washington State and was brought to Maryland by a navy buddy of mine. It sat here for a few years and after about a decade of Maryland winters and road salt has developed a significant amount of body cancer. The frame has scaling and has definitely thinned out in some areas. At what point is a frame swap recommended? Are patches and boxing an option even if the frame is has thinned out over the years? I’m sorry if this is in the wrong area. Just looking for some advice. Thanks in advance.

-Sam
 

skunked

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It really depends on how much rust and where it’s at. If you’re planning on replacing the typical rusty brackets like the hangers or the front crossmember it really doesn’t matter. I see frames around here for $100 all the time so I lean toward replacing a frame that would require any significant amount of work.
 

Reel.Adventure

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I haven’t been able to source out a good frame around me. Wasn’t sure how much different a m1009 frame is in comparison. The majority of the thinned out frame portions lie between the transmission cross member and the rear wheel arch on the main C-Channel itself. There are other sections around the tailgate and steering box that don’t look amazing as well. I’m not very worried about bracketing as there are places to have them sourced from. My biggest concern is for post engine swap. I’m looking at 6.0 LQ4 or a 5.9 Cummins. Both produce more power not to even mention a drastic change in weight. I want my rig to benefit from the effort put in and not end up a broken pile of trash due to a crippled frame.
 

sweetk30

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nope .

these frames hold newer 6.0 ls and 5.9 cummins with the correct mounts and few beef up parts .

sbc = 550-600 lbs very with options iron heads .
bbc = 675-700 lbs very with options iron heads .
6.2 diesel = 650-675 lbs .
ls engines iron head = 580 lbs
ls engines aluminum head = 500 lbs
3.9 cummins = 855 lbs
5.9 cummins = 1,100 lbs 12v or 1,150 lbs 24v

these are close ranges of weight .
 
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sweetk30

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heavy duty engine cross members / steering box bolt in brace kit / custom made trans / t-case cross members . the beef up parts for the common weak area's .

i added engine info to last post above
 

sweetk30

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i got no clue i dont play with them .

others here have done 5.9 swaps and boxing there is lots of write ups on it . i am sure they will pop in and post up .

i do know kirt at www.diy4x has kits for boxing frames .
 

Tnsejed

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With thinned out sections, as long as they are not very large I would still work with it. Especially if you can't find a better frame locally.

You can fishplate over those bad sections as well as boxing.

Realistically you need to grind down to bare metal for the welding, that will tell you how deep the scaling is. I would keep you're work symmetric even if the other side doesn't need it.
 

Reel.Adventure

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Fishplate? My plan is to get the body off and in the garage. Once there I was going to blast the frame with coarse media to see what I was left with. I’m no way a professional and have a concern that attempting to box the frame may prove to be a lost endeavor. Hence the start of the forum today and concern about frame thickness. I just want to be sure I’m putting my time in the right place.
 

imiceman44

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Fishplate? My plan is to get the body off and in the garage. Once there I was going to blast the frame with coarse media to see what I was left with. I’m no way a professional and have a concern that attempting to box the frame may prove to be a lost endeavor. Hence the start of the forum today and concern about frame thickness. I just want to be sure I’m putting my time in the right place.
Being in an area where frames don't rot, I cringe at the thought of working with a rotted frame.
I had a 1200lbs turbo diesel in my 76 k5 with zero rust and it was not reinforced by the shop that put it in, within 40k miles the frame was cracked in so many places I had to get rid of it.
I wouldn't spend time on any frame that has more than just surface rust, but I see guys doing it all the time and they spend a lot of money and time to make it live.
 

Reel.Adventure

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That’s my biggest concern. I know that my series frequently had issues around the steering box and around the transmission cross member. That’s with a 500lb SBC. I’m definitely going to keep my eye out for a new frame or just scrap the idea of the 5.9.
 

imiceman44

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That’s my biggest concern. I know that my series frequently had issues around the steering box and around the transmission cross member. That’s with a 500lb SBC. I’m definitely going to keep my eye out for a new frame or just scrap the idea of the 5.9.
I have an 84 that had the frame reinforced around the steering box both the weld on patch and the bolt on brace.
I had the body spoken for and I was going to see if anyone needed a frame.
Now I have a buyer in Canada who wants the whole thing but I am still waiting for shipping options and not sure if the sale will go through.
If it falls through I can sell you the frame but it will still be a matter of shipping to east coast
 

6872xtc

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It would probably cost me more to ship then the frame itself lol.
True, but it could possibly save lots of work and be a better end result.

If you could find someone willing to disassemble the frame by removing the rivets from the crossmembers, and then ship it all, would it make a more reasonable shipping rate? (No dead space in the middle)
:dunno:
 

Reel.Adventure

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Yea I’m not sure if someone would even agree to that lol. There is a couple junkyards around me and still a few company’s to try and source the frame through. I plan on trying that before attempting to ship one across country. Even though I’m sure the frame would be of better quality.
 

Fastereddie

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Check out Patriot chassis if you wanna be outside the box.
 
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