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Chassis Gurus, I ask for your advice.

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Old 04-12-2018, 03:41 PM
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Chassis Gurus, I ask for your advice.

Had to take a, longer than anticipated, break from working on the 1951 Ford F1 but I'm back at it. Finally got all the front end off before the break, and man was that a lot of bolts I had to grind!

Anyway, after getting the engine out the other day and starting to clean up the frame I noticed the front crossmember was in way worse shape than I thought, with the engine mount side forward being pretty toasty. Has anyone run into this issue and have a good solution?

I'm not sure I have the tooling to fab up a crossmember exactly the same, nor put the slight bend in the rails of the frame. And I don't have anything for hot rivets at the moment...

Here are some pictures of what I'm working with. Let me know if anyone needs a clearer look and I can bust out my camera instead of the phone.



passenger side


passenger side no flash


Passenger side

 
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:37 PM
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What are your plans for the truck? Are you keeping the flathead and straight axle? Engine swap? Suspension swap? The easiest thing would be to find a replacement crossmember from someone parting out a truck. (I may have one) The next question would be what engine will you be using? Do you need to keep the flathead mounts? If swapping engines you don't need the connecting hoops. It also looks like you may need to do a little patchwork on the frame rails so the new crossmember has something to attach to. It can be bolted back in. It does not have to be riveted.
 
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:58 AM
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Thanks Wayne.

The plan has been to keep the flathead (I'd say original, but this truck had a Mercury flathead)...BUT I'll have to wait until I get it washed to see if it is worth salvaging. Right now the only really bad spot is a rusted spot on one of the header mounts. Really minor that a gasket would probably negate entirely.

If the engine is cracked I'll just swap it out. And probably going crazy doing so as I'm looking at putting in a Coyote and 6R80 trans. As if I didn't have enough work...

And yes, I was prepared to repair the frame as well as the crossmember from the mounts on up. Was just looking at a way to do it that someone had, maybe, already tried. I'm not one to reinvent the wheel if I can avoid it. If I had the space and tooling and money, I'd just buy/make a chassis jig and make a new one. I have the time, the other resources are what I lack.

And I figured I could just bolt a new one in there, but if I were going to keep the flathead in, I'd also want it to be as stock as I could keep it.
 
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:55 AM
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Wow! That is pretty badly rusted I would worry about what you can't see. It might be easier just to find a used frame in better condition. Welding on that old rusty piece that you have may be a problem. Of course you could use bolts but IMHO it would be hard to duplicate the strength of the original rivets. If you have a bare frame then you could have it blasted clean and powder coated. Several of the guys on here have done that and I believe that if I ever do another truck that is the way I would do it.

Powder coated frame

 
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Old 04-13-2018, 11:32 AM
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I hear you Pete. If I could find a decent frame anywhere around I would. I've been looking for a while but have come up with zilch. Such is the state of metal being in the SE.

I didn't want to put too much into this thing, but man...it sure seems like something always needs money thrown at it.
 
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:16 PM
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If that rust is from road salt, forget it, it's done for. The salt is still working and has leached it's way into inaccessible spaces. Best bet imo, would be to graft in chassis sections or just replace the whole chassis.
 
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:23 PM
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Not road salt. We don't have much of that down here in the southeast. I'm guessing most of it is from sitting out in the field it was in since '78. And this was a farm truck, so it saw it's share of mud that wouldn't have been rinsed off frequently.

I'd ideally like to find a decent one, but I'll have to continue my search as I take care of the body. That will take some time as well.
 
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by suprchunk View Post
Not road salt. We don't have much of that down here in the southeast. I'm guessing most of it is from sitting out in the field it was in since '78. And this was a farm truck, so it saw it's share of mud that wouldn't have been rinsed off frequently.

I'd ideally like to find a decent one, but I'll have to continue my search as I take care of the body. That will take some time as well.
They use brine solution to keep the dust down on dirt roads.
 
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:38 PM
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Interesting. Why brine water?

And we don't have much watering of the dirt roads around here. Though, this truck is from SW Georgia, so who knows.
 
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by petemcl View Post
They use brine solution to keep the dust down on dirt roads.
Yes, and it also keeps weeds from growing. Brine is water that has a high concentration of sodium chloride, and is saltier than sea water.
 
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by suprchunk View Post
Interesting. Why brine water?

And we don't have much watering of the dirt roads around here. Though, this truck is from SW Georgia, so who knows.
Dust control.
 
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:58 PM
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I agree with the frame graft... try to find a parts frame and take the frame rails from infront of the axle ... it's not a hard job but do it right with good welding and fish plates... then if you do decide to swap out the flatty you have something solid to work with. Some of these guys have got to have a spare somewhere... freight might be a killer but it might turn into a road trip !!!!! everybody loves road trips ESPECIALLY when there are truck parts waiting on you... you might post another thread with a more specific title like Wanted 51 front frame clip...

that path seems like to me to be the easiest and safest (other than a complete frame swap)

later
john
 
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:26 PM
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Thanks John. I like your truck.

I'll definitely keep my eye out for another frame. I've got nothing but time on my hands.
 
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:46 PM
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My SWAG is the truck has been in the surf, perhaps on numerous occasions. What does the other end of the frame look like? Truck from SW, GA? Not too far for weekend trips to the beach.
 
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:51 PM
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I doubt this truck left the farm, but it's entirely possible that the old guy took it out for some serious beach fun!

The other end looks good, just some surface rust, no pitting. I'm thinking the tires were flat, weeds started growing, and the holes in the hood let more water come in from the top to match the moisture from the bottom.
 
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