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Old 08-28-2010, 10:13 PM   #1
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Default Frame Repair or Alternative Use?

my 1995 4x4 f150 has a cracked frame. it is near the front and affects steering to the point it is unsafe to drive (obviously) especially over ~50mph.

It has the straight six w/ under 160k miles. I've owned the truck since 22k miles. I religiously changed the oil every 3 or 4k miles and roughly every 4th or 5th change I would put in the new oil, take a 10 minute drive then change it again.

The point is, she starts and runs as strong as when i bought her.

The wheel wells are rusted but the rest of the body isn't bad.

I put stainless wheels and 31" TA KOs on about 5k miles ago

I've already bought a 2k6 f150, but I can't seem to bring myself to sell the '95. I don't think welding/reinforcing the frame would be worthwhile.

I found a post on a toyota truck forum where the guy claims he repaired his frame by filling it with epoxy. also claims the mechanic raised the truck up a few feet on a lift then let it drop, a few times, to test the repair would hold. I'm skeptical of that, but having worked with several commercial type epoxies, I do believe it could work.

Looking for opinions - bad idea?

If so, what else could do I do with her, aside from selling for parts.

I looked into converting the engine to marine inboard use but experts say thats not practical.

I'd love to have a 20+ cfm compressor, but don't have 1.5k+ to buy one. A generator would be cool too. Problem here is I'd have no idea how to pull the computer (I'm assuming I'd need it if the engine was repurposed.

Any other ideas? Thanks...
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:29 PM   #2
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Eh, offhand without seeing the problem - suggest welding would be much preferred over epoxy. No doubt the epoxy is up to the task - worried about getting the required prep necessary for adhesion.

My Jeep (see garage) had severe frame rust issues behind the rear axle, worried about the rear spring supports - cut and welded plate steel to reinforce - so far, so good, but it ain't pretty.

The 300 is respected as a near-bulletproof engine for many applications, but not versed well enough on your repurposing ideas to offer an opinion.

Perhaps try to find a similar donor vehicle needing an engine?
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:32 AM   #3
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I changed the frame on my car, so I guess I'd do it for the truck. Or I would weld in plate if it's not that bad, but I do own a welder.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:42 AM   #4
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weld it...the frame near the steering box is a typical problem on our trucks. You will be much better off welding it in the long run especially if you ever decide to sell it
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wde3477 View Post
No doubt the epoxy is up to the task - worried about getting the required prep necessary for adhesion.
I'm considering filling the frame (or the broken section) so I wouldn't be worried about adhesion.

There are a few other potential problems though.

1. Heat - aluminum trihydrate can be added to resins to help dissipate heat but I think you'd have big problems if you tried to fill a whole member, or even a good size section all at one time. Although, I am in NY and could have the truck prepped and waiting for a 0 degree day...

2. I'm sure there's something I don't know about the way the frame was designed. ie, a friend tells me his grand cherokee's AC has a water run off tube that actually goes into the frame. He never knew that until it got plugged and found water in the interior of the car on hot days...

3. NY state inspection. I have no doubt that a resin filled steel frame is MUCH stronger than the frame was, say...two years ago, and maybe even stronger than when it was new - but I don't know how the decide if it passes 'inspection'.

4. Estimating the internal volume of the frame accurately would be very important - so as to have some confidence that it is filled, but also to have the appropriate amount of materials on hand. So far all I can think of is to park on the steep hill in my back yard, cover all the holes in the frame, fill with water then drain/measure. That's how I determined how much expanding urethane I needed for my boat - but obviously a frame would be a huge pain in the butt compared to the boat...

In the end, I'll probably just list it in craigslist and offer to deliver by uhaul trailer...then spend all that time rust proofing underneath my new (used) truck w/ penetrol lol
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:07 PM   #6
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A few things, the frame breaking there is not a common problem like suggested for Fords.....that issue pertains more to Chevrolets. Welding the break together then grinding it smooth and sandwiching it with plate still will be more than efficient and you'll have no worries.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flareside_thunder View Post
A few things, the frame breaking there is not a common problem like suggested for Fords.....that issue pertains more to Chevrolets. Welding the break together then grinding it smooth and sandwiching it with plate still will be more than efficient and you'll have no worries.
the steering box pushing/twisting the driverside frame rail that attaches to the front crossmember is common on the 92-96 F150's actually...it's mainly b/c the connection between the two parts is held with only two top rivets. This area needs the seams welded if you are going to be doing any hardcore offroading with your truck
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:35 PM   #8
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i personally would take this chance to find a good bodied no runner and put your gear in there. or just weld it
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