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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks
View Poll Results: What should I do with the cross member under the front cab mounts?
Leave it as it sets. Strength is a good thing and how often does the tranny come out.
6
33.33%
Cut it out, fab up some brackets and bolt it back in. The time is worth it.
9
50.00%
Get rid of it. It serves little purpose now that the Volare suspension is in there.
3
16.67%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

Keep or remove cross-member???

 
  #1  
Old 02-17-2011, 11:25 AM
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Keep or remove cross-member???

OK, so I am torn and am unsure which direction to go. I am tearing into my 54' F100 frame right now and am getting it ready for paint or powder coating. Obviously I want all the frame mods done before I get there. I have been going back and forth on the damn cross member for the last several weeks. So I need a little advice. The cross member at the front cab mounts. Anyone that has done a suspension swap should know the cross member I'm talking about. I have the Volare suspension installed. I am putting in a No Limit 4-link soon. I am running a 302 (5.0 HO) and an AOD transmission. I am going to be in the area of 325-375 HP on this build. I have been told 3 different things by 3 different people. Do I remove this cross member, cut it out and fab up a bolted setup so that it is still there but removable or just cut it out all together. Apparently the No Limit Volare DVD tells you to cut it out. (I haven't watched it, but this is what one of the local guys has told me.) I just don't know what to do here. So select an answer on my poll and explain. I definitely appreciate the help. I use to build Firebirds. This is my first Ford truck and am not sure where to go on this one.
 
  #2  
Old 02-17-2011, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Corrupt Silence View Post
OK, so I am torn and am unsure which direction to go. I am tearing into my 54' F100 frame right now and am getting it ready for paint or powder coating. Obviously I want all the frame mods done before I get there. I have been going back and forth on the damn cross member for the last several weeks. So I need a little advice. The cross member at the front cab mounts. Anyone that has done a suspension swap should know the cross member I'm talking about. I have the Volare suspension installed. I am putting in a No Limit 4-link soon. I am running a 302 (5.0 HO) and an AOD transmission. I am going to be in the area of 325-375 HP on this build. I have been told 3 different things by 3 different people. Do I remove this cross member, cut it out and fab up a bolted setup so that it is still there but removable or just cut it out all together. Apparently the No Limit Volare DVD tells you to cut it out. (I haven't watched it, but this is what one of the local guys has told me.) I just don't know what to do here. So select an answer on my poll and explain. I definitely appreciate the help. I use to build Firebirds. This is my first Ford truck and am not sure where to go on this one.
I don't have much experience with your type of setup but the first thing I would ask myself is "what purpose" does the xmem serve? Is it vital to the structural integrity of the 'unit' or is it there because it just happens to come with the package?

Hope I'm helping,
mervy
 
  #3  
Old 02-17-2011, 03:02 PM
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Thanks for the reply. That is my conundrum though. I was leaning towards the (fab some bolted brackets) method until I was told that the No Limit video says to just cut it out. (Again, that's what a friend has told me. I have not seen it.) They guys at No Limit know these trucks and have built several performance F100's. I can see however, how that member being just behind the front cab mounts adds the needed strength to keep the weight from the cab from twisting the frame rails at that point. Like I said, I'm leaning towards keeping it and erring on the side of caution.
I guess I should really be asking, is it really that difficult to drop the tranny with that cross member in? Is it worth the effort and time to have that member bolted vs. being a permanent fixture.
 
  #4  
Old 02-17-2011, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Corrupt Silence View Post
Thanks for the reply. That is my conundrum though. I was leaning towards the (fab some bolted brackets) method until I was told that the No Limit video says to just cut it out. (Again, that's what a friend has told me. I have not seen it.) They guys at No Limit know these trucks and have built several performance F100's. I can see however, how that member being just behind the front cab mounts adds the needed strength to keep the weight from the cab from twisting the frame rails at that point. Like I said, I'm leaning towards keeping it and erring on the side of caution.
I guess I should really be asking, is it really that difficult to drop the tranny with that cross member in? Is it worth the effort and time to have that member bolted vs. being a permanent fixture.
If you can give No Limit a call and ask them directly what your options are. This would probably ease your mind. On my rig it wll be nearly impossible to remove the tranny and cross member too. The easiest way would be to pull the engine and tranny together, but how often would this be required. I moved my original crossmember rearward 8 inches and bolted it back in. It would take longer to unbolt it than take everything out together.
 
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:23 PM
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That's a good point. It's not that difficult to pull the engine and tranny. And I'm not going to be racing it. Just a peppy cruiser, so I probably wont go through too many tranny's. (Fingers crossed... ) Thanks for talking it out with me. I always seem to play it safe on these types of things though. So I guess in all honesty removing it was never going to happen with me. Just a matter of whether or not I wanted to spend the time fabbing up a bolted in member.
 
  #6  
Old 02-17-2011, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Corrupt Silence View Post
That's a good point. It's not that difficult to pull the engine and tranny. And I'm not going to be racing it. Just a peppy cruiser, so I probably wont go through too many tranny's. (Fingers crossed... ) Thanks for talking it out with me. I always seem to play it safe on these types of things though. So I guess in all honesty removing it was never going to happen with me. Just a matter of whether or not I wanted to spend the time fabbing up a bolted in member.
Happy building to you, glad I could help. I like to error on the side of caution too.
 
  #7  
Old 02-17-2011, 06:00 PM
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You don't need a poll, what you need is an engineering assessment. First off, no car manufacturer puts that amount of steel and manhours into a frame section that has no purpose. What is it's purpose? Take a look at what is mounted on the other side of the frame rails opposite the crossmember...two extended arms with the full weight of the front cab mounts pressing down on them. These are torque arms that are effectively causing each frame rail to twist outward. The only thing, besides the actual strength of the frame rail, that opposes this force is the crossmember. Now you decide if you need the crossmember...
 
  #8  
Old 02-17-2011, 06:06 PM
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Also, not to mention when ya stand on the running boards, how much it'll want to twist outward.
 
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:02 PM
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"That's a good point. It's not that difficult to pull the engine and tranny."

Think about that statement for just a minute and ask your self why would you want to drain your antifreeze, pull you radiator, undo all your wiring, remove your hood (running the risk of scratching it and your fenders). Remove your front fender alignment rods, and other misc assorted parts to remove your trans. Then dangle a engine and trans dripping fluid out over your grill and front of your truck.
My cross member is cut and now bolted in and can be removed in about 10 min. I can pull the trans in less time that you can drain your antifreeze and pull your radiator.
It's your truck do what you want to with it.
Just my two cents worth.
Larry
 
  #10  
Old 02-18-2011, 01:29 PM
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I've already started working on brackets to bolt it in. Thanks for the info and help everyone. I decided a bolted assembly wouldn't be that difficult to fab up for the cross member. And I'm in no hurry. As long as I'm moving forward, all is well.
 
  #11  
Old 02-18-2011, 03:40 PM
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I have no idea what the engine/transmission combo is in the picture, I found it when when I was considering a 351C for my truck.

It looks like the transmission can be removed, if you take the cover off on the floor pan.



(for the record, I kept my Flathead.)
 
  #12  
Old 02-18-2011, 04:39 PM
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My opinion - take rivets out, replace with bolts

Hey There,

I had been going through the same question myself for my '56. I have recently taken the front end off and found one of my spring perches is loose so needs to be dealt with.

I found a local shop that is taking rivets off my radiator mount (to get the brackets off for a new radiator) and taking the riveted brackets off my front bumper so I can use the brackets for my new bumper. So I have my "frame shop" now.

I plan to take my truck in to them to have my spring perch rivets taken off (the rivets are loose) and replace with the proper (grade 8?) bolts.

When my truck is in, I'm going to have all of the rivets to the cross-member in question taken out and replace with bolts. That way, all of the original structural integrity of the frame is intact and the cross-member is removable if needed.



For your application, the cross member might be in the way which is why it's recommended to take out? If not, it seems to me having that cross member would be needed for the front cab mounting wings to be solid and not flex.

Heres a link to a thread that talks about it too:

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...s-stay-in.html


 

Last edited by AmericanROCKBREAD!; 02-18-2011 at 04:50 PM. Reason: Add link
  #13  
Old 02-18-2011, 05:00 PM
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I agree it is best to leave it in to avoid the flexing of the frame from the cab mounts. I would assume the only reason it is typically removed is to allow for the tranny to come out without much hassle. I've been told by some that the new transmission cross member and the additional material from the Volare clip will resist the twist of the cab mounts. However, as the picture Effie Trucker posted shows, the new tranny mount is quite a ways back from the mounts (and only attached to the bottom frame lip) as well as the Volare clip is quite a ways in front of the cab mounts. The way I look at it, I have added material from the Volare clip, the boxing plates and the tranny mount. I will leave the crossmember in there (whith a bolted connection for removal) as well. This should beef up the frame to support the added horse power and torque. The I.F.S. and 4-Link rear will absorb vibration and abuse much better. With all of this my frame should be safe. I am an aggressive driver, therefor when it comes to frame strength I tend to err to the side of caution or excess.
 
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by AmericanROCKBREAD! View Post
Heres a link to a thread that talks about it too:

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...s-stay-in.html


And thank you for the link. I knew I had seen it discussed before, but for some reason could not find it with the search...
 
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:02 PM
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Havi's got it. Without the crossmember, stepping on the running board brackets puts a significant twist in the frame. Mine was hacked out when I got it, and after building a 1 1/2 square tube tranny mount/crossmember, it still had some flex in it. I fabbed a bolt in section to the original x member, and the flex is gone.
 

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