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1973 - 1979 F-100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Dentsides Ford Truck

Re-building a wrecked F-150: bent frame

 
  #31  
Old 09-07-2014, 06:12 AM
vtpkrat2
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flowney,I can see you are getting your head wrapped around this and that is exactly what you need to do! So,I see you are understanding the "basic" let me delve into a bit more of frame stuff.
Crossmeasuring,crossmeasuring,crossmeasuring is the name of the game.Go to the farthest points you can.2 people is the best deal w/a tape although I usually can do a lot alone. I also have "trams",adjustable measuring bars with different length pins in the ends.Easy checking with these!!
Do not get caught up in trying to find factory "pins" (usually for factory jigs during manufacture of the frame/truck) to measure by. The vehicle makers are very specific on mounting holes,bolt holes,slots etc,being absolutely the same ,either side. Just check ,double check that your measuring points are the same.
Kingpins back to the underside of the leaf spring shackle is a great reference point. That is assuming a spring or rearend has not been hit or shifted.That is where you should check ;way out on the front(kingpins),way out on the rear(center of spring shackle).So, you run a tape down,dead on,no worry.If it is off then you check,is it the spring "wrapped" up ,bent differential,diamonded frame etc. You shouldn't have any of that rear damage in your case but that one quicky measurement is 'tell all".
A difference of 3-4 mm. is a factory tolerance on most vehicles.So if you are within say a 1/16",you are probably about as close as you are going to get.
The last little smidgeon on straightening is always the hardest.99% of any damage will usually zing right back out.That last little bit is the toughest. Every bend,every bow,every kink is holding,giving strength to the damage.That is the purpose of a bit of heat here or there and especially the cutoff wheel slicing a bulge or kink.That metal has expanded and has nowhere to go when you try to straighten hence the slice to relieve and take the strength out of the extreme kink until straightened and welded.
Although it is nice to repair everything "cold",heat and welding do take a place in frame straightening.G.M and Ford, for example have a "repair" frame,and even some sections, where you cut the entire front of the damaged frame off and reweld the new frame sections on. I am not saying anyone is right or wrong on this subject but a repaired frame is a percentage weaker I would assume.But who knows the circumstances of another accident,side hit,high hit,10 mph faster or slower.I don't believe it could ever be substantiated unless a lab "crash test dummy" thing was done.
Let me just make sure we are clear on your support for your up & down measurements. Even tho' your cement is on an angle ,you need to have the 2 rear supports absolutely equal heighth compared to each other and your 2 front supports could be 4 or 5 inches different from the back ones,who cares, as long as THEY,the front 2,are absolutely equal in heighth.
Enough for now ,you're doing fine,Gary
 
  #32  
Old 09-07-2014, 08:13 AM
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I have a few more minutes so I need to say that ALL this measuring info is preliminary to devising a plan on "pulling" or "straightening".You NEED to know exactly what & where the damage is,THEN decide if you can repair or it needs to go to a person with frame straightening capabilities. Very,very briefly.... to repair a diamond or a sway or an up or down section, a person needs to ANCHOR securely the frame to straighten the damaged portion(s). Equipment for pulling/straightening is generally 10 ton stuff also. At times, a tedious time consuming process on severe damage. Generally speaking,in this New England area,$1000 will pay to have a pretty hard hit repaired.
 
  #33  
Old 09-07-2014, 12:03 PM
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Managed to get some time in on the truck this AM before it got too hot (Georgia). Tried to get more accurate data by measuring from the rear axle centerline to the zerk fitting on the bottom of the kingpin. Found both sides to be equal. I then cross-measured from the pass side rear axle to the driv side kingpin comparing that to the distance between the driv side rear axle and the pass side kingpin. Equal.
Next up is getting the frame equidistant from the surface L2R in the rear followed by doing likewise in the front. That should yield valid L2R comparisons of frame height using frame landmarks (holes, slots, etc) common to both sides.
BTW, here's a pic of the frame horn off a '77 F-250. The metal is ~ 2X thicker and the rails are taller by more than an inch. I'll be cutting that F-250 frame further in order to make a trailer out of the bed. The engine (460/C6), cab and front sheet metal will go to other projects. Anyone need an F-250 front suspension, steering and brakes?

 
  #34  
Old 09-08-2014, 06:41 AM
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That is great news that your crossmeasuring from front to rear is the same!You should be o.k. from here on out. I would be VERY surprised after hearing that, that the frame has any buckles up or down.Gotta' be a good hard hit to do both usually.I now think you are going to be just fine in straightening the front horns. A million years ago I was struggling with hard hit vehicle and an old body man stopped at my shop to visit.After hearing me whine for a bit he said "Gary,it's just metal" . I have remembered that many times over the years while in a tough spot.You are doing just fine.Carry on...
 
  #35  
Old 09-12-2014, 04:30 PM
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Just a quick update. I've built another two threaded rods to keep things in place along that plane while I warm and push the metal back to where it was in the opposite plane. The radiator X-member hole is still oval shaped so there is a ways to go yet.



... and the bird's eye view:



... finishing up with a perspective view:

 
  #36  
Old 09-18-2014, 06:40 PM
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Another quick update. The 4 Ton ram that I've been using has done a great job but it's not enough. Thus, I've upgraded to a 10 ton unit thanks to a 20% discount coupon at Harbor Freight. I've also concocted push blocks fore and aft to spread the force and keep from adding new damage to the project.



... and a close up of the front and rear push blocks.




This, too, is not enough. Going over to the undamaged F-100, I've made a cardboard template of this rather complex part of the frame horn.



Transferring this outline to two .75" pieces of plate steel should produce a push block that will also function as a form with which to restore the original shape of this part of the frame horn.



Stat tuned for further developments.
 
  #37  
Old 09-18-2014, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by flowney View Post
I did consider that and, in fact, have the two front frame horns from a '77 F-250 sitting in my shop. Unfortunately, that's a much heavier frame. I could make it work (sectioning) but that would be a lot of work too. I am on the lookout for an F-100 or F-150 frame that I can cut the horns off of but no luck so far.
Yet another fallback option is to fabricate that frame horn. The key to making that work would be getting the radiator crossmember holes and the bumper bolt in the right place.
Still, I've made some progress on the driver's side and will post a few pictures later today or tomorrow.


i dunno where youre at in middle georgia but last time i was at the pull a part place in augusta they had a bunch of trucks out there you could get a chunk of frame off of
 
  #38  
Old 09-19-2014, 06:10 AM
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You are about to the hammer and dolly stage by the looks of the frame.If your length and width dimensions are very close then it is just cosmetic straightening from here on out. Now, hammer & dolly on sheet metal is one thing , a heavier gauge frame obviously different in tools but the same procedure. At this point I would go with the template for a guide ,hold a LARGE hunk o' metal (a sledge hammer works nicely for this) on one side of the frame for the DOLLY and use a heavier hammer (like a 2 pounder) for the hammering part.This should straighten all the edges and level most holes and kinks. Read up a bit on "dolly on- dolly off techniques" if you are not familiar. Here's the big snag tho'; once that frame has been hit,straightened,worked on,heated,pounded,etc,etc,it WILL NOT return to its original form completely ,strictly because of the metal stretching.It will be close but holes might be slightly oblong,a buckle or bow here and there etc. This is only cosmetic so body practices come into play at this point NOT frame straightening action any more.
 
  #39  
Old 09-19-2014, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rmodel65 View Post
i dunno where youre at in middle georgia but last time i was at the pull a part place in augusta they had a bunch of trucks out there you could get a chunk of frame off of
According to Google Earth, Augusta is 122 miles (2 hours 14 minutes) from my location.
Do Pick and Pull yards allow or supply tools for cutting a frame? I've been told that most of them allow only hand tools that you bring to the site.
 
  #40  
Old 09-19-2014, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by vtpkrat2 View Post
Here's the big snag tho'; once that frame has been hit,straightened,worked on,heated,pounded,etc,etc,it WILL NOT return to its original form completely ,strictly because of the metal stretching.
Yes, I have so far resisted doing a lot of hammer work in the hope that the steel "remembers" enough of the shape is used to have to resume something close to that shape when heated and pushed in the direction opposite of the collision.
 
  #41  
Old 09-19-2014, 06:22 PM
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Frame Horn Form - Part I

Having sourced some 3/4" steel plate, I could now use the cardboard template to fabricate a form that can be used to coerce the frontmost part of the damaged frame back to its original state or something close to it. I'll be using two of these and welding them together to make a 1.5" special purpose dolly.
After using the acetylene torch to cut the basic shape, a few hours at the grinder got it to fit the inner portion of the frame on my undamaged F-100. Here's what part one looks like:



Note the radius ground into the back side. This is to accommodate the radius of the stamped steel frame.
... and here it how it fits the undamaged F-100 frame:




Not only will this dolly serve as a form for hammer work on this part of the damaged F-150 frame, it will also serve as a push block for the last efforts to stretch the frame back to its original length and pull the few remaining dents and bulges out.
 
  #42  
Old 09-19-2014, 06:35 PM
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A Necessary Diversion

After spending hours facing a grinder, I needed a change of pace. In anticipation of success (or whistling in the dark), I took a closer look at the grille shell that came with the donor truck, a '77 F-250. Yuck! The PO had painted it black at some point. I sprayed on some paint stripper:




... and the result looked much better to me.




Learned a minor trick with this spay on/wash off with water paint remover. It helps a great deal to use an old paint brush after applying to get those stubborn areas. I discovered this late in the process but better late than never. Also, take care not to get this stuff on your skin. Even just a tiny spot can be very painful. Wash off with water immediately.
 
  #43  
Old 09-19-2014, 08:54 PM
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You're doing some very good work here, keep it up!
 
  #44  
Old 09-20-2014, 05:55 AM
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Realize that getting to the finishing stages of straightening,you will NEED to start hammer and dollying.As EVERY wrinkle ,bump,crease is giving strength to the irregular contours.As you apply pressure to an area envision which wrinkle/crease/bulge could be holding it from going or staying where you want it to go.Hammer that bulge in, hammer & dolly that other wrinkle out.... you'll get it, but just realize that final straightening of anything entails final "flattening" (hammer/dolly).You are at the point where no special tools are probably needed ,just good body practices which I understand is a learned process but is what your frame needs at this point I would think.Keep on! Gary
 
  #45  
Old 09-20-2014, 08:49 AM
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this is maybe one of the more incredible auto restoration stories i've seen. i'd love to know what your background is. subscribed!
 

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