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Looking for help with frame rot repair

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  #1  
Old 11-28-2010, 05:30 PM
trusty79 trusty79 is offline
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Looking for help with frame rot repair

Hi Marylanders,

The passenger side spring tower rusted thru and broke apart on my 79 F100 2x4. My son and I finally got the rivets out this weekend and found this huge hole in the frame. Any ideas of a shop or someone who would be willing to fix it? I have a good spring tower all set to put in, but the frame looks too bad to leave as-is. I'm in Columbia, MD. Eventually the truck is going to get pulled apart for a frame-off restoration - once I get the garage cleaned out - probably a year from now. It was my Dad's truck and my boys want to keep it running for another couple generations. I'm planning to buy a welder to do some of the sheetmetal work, but this seems like it's too much for a beginner to tackle. Appreciate your advice!

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exterior frame rail, right where the spring tower is riveted. Motor mount right above.
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looking at the inside of the frame
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rot on lower frame lip and crack in the cross-member.
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2010, 06:17 PM
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jr32560 jr32560 is offline
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dang a lot of rust on that frame
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2010, 07:14 PM
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Looks bad in the photos but I haven't found any other places where it's rusted thru this bad. The driver's side spring tower doesn't show this kinda damage either. Right now my goal is just to get it back in shape for in-town errands. Might have to find a rust-free frame when I get around to the full restoration.
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:23 PM
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you really need to re think using that frame, not only does it have a hole in it that you can see, the thickness of the metal has been compromised.look at pic #3, and you can see that the metal is so thin you can almost poke your finger through it.your spring will be placeing a load on that, and will eventually rip the rail in half. you are wanting to do a frame off, so a new frame would be a great start for your dad's truck. a good person to start you towards finding a good frame would be John in Hagerstown, he fools with that vintage truck, plus there is a junk yard up there near Hagerstown that has hundreds of 70's fords to get parts from. I have welded, and boxed frames in the past, but it has always worked out that I end up replacing the frame after all. sad part is, I just scraped a 78 I parted out a couple of months ago...... and it had a good frame.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:56 AM
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Thanks for the advice dustybumpers, it's good to hear it from someone who's been thru this before. Guess I've got to get started on cleaning out the garage so there's a place to do the tear-down.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:25 PM
66fdtrucknut 66fdtrucknut is offline
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Long bed? 73'-79' trucks are common and pretty cheap. I'm a welder and if you had to pay a shop to fix it would prob. be cheaper for a donor parts truck, plus you might end up with other parts you might need later then scrap the rest. Gotta love those ol' I-6's.
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:19 PM
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Thanks for the advice 66fdtrucknut. We knocked off more rust and got a better look at the frame - found more holes and thin spots - bummer. The 79 is a short-bed - love that turning radius compared to my 09 F150 supercrew. Any suggestions on where to start looking for a donor truck that's got a decent frame and what it would be worth?
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:34 AM
66fdtrucknut 66fdtrucknut is offline
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Shortbeds are little more hard to find, start with craigslist. Junkyards maybe. I'll keep a eye out around here. Ir was a 2wd drive right?
Charlie
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:02 AM
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there is a junk yard near hagerstown, that has 200 acres of old stuff, from the 30's up. you may find something there. a full size frame can be cut and sectioned, if you can't find something else. I think your frame is from 68-79, should be a few good ones still out here somewhere.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:06 PM
66fdtrucknut 66fdtrucknut is offline
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73'-79' the frames are the same, wider in the back and slightly longer. 65'-72' are about the same. In 73' they made them wider for the rear mounted tanks.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:44 PM
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oh. so the side has to be an innie, not an outie
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:15 PM
66fdtrucknut 66fdtrucknut is offline
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Yep, That's a popular swap with my era trucks, that way you get the tank out of the cab and disc brakes. Wheel base is a little longer and we have to redrill the beds. I couldn't tell you a thing about a ford truck after 79', except I've owned a 05' and 09' never worked on niether or will ever, lifted the hood and scratched my head and shut it.

Charlie
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:29 PM
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that's ok, I've got them from 80-94.
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:37 PM
trusty79 trusty79 is offline
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Yes, it's a 79 2wd. Am I right that the F100 and F150 frames are identical? It's just the springs that are different?
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:54 PM
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Yes, I'll keep a eye out over here too and in DE.
Charlie
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