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Towing after frame damage

 
Old 03-08-2019, 09:27 AM
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Default Towing after frame damage

About 6 months ago I was rear ended by an F450 DRW. Had to replace the bed and just about everything from the rear axle back. Hit so hard that it pretzeled the class III. Needless to say there was some frame damage.

I tow often, sometimes just under payload. If I have the water tank full, generator with fuel, and a full hunting/camping load for 3-5 days I am 250 lbs under payload. I know that is too close for comfort for most. I'm under, legal, and I only do that once a year, and its an 1.5 hour drive to the hunting lease. Most of the time I have no water in the trailer, or only 1/3 of the tank full, and we don't bring the generator/fuel with us on camping trips. So on a "normal" trip I estimate 600-700 lbs under payload.

Now on to the question. I was leery after the wreck about being that close to payload with the frame damage. I took it to a dealer body shop to be repaired...they assured me the truck would perform up to factory specifications after the repair.

Just this week someone hit my truck while it was parked. They must have had a "good" Fat Tuesday. The hit on the driver fender and pushed the core support and pumper over. So now I have more frame damage, this time on the front.

Should I be worried about towing at these limits I usually tow at, after having all of this frame damage? I am taking the truck to the same dealer repair shop and I am sure they will tell me the same thing again. I know about legal recourse after the fact IF there is a failure. I just want to avoid the failure. Should I worry?

Thanks,
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Old 03-08-2019, 09:39 AM
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This is a better question for an engineer and a lawyer.
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Old 03-08-2019, 09:57 AM
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My two cents: if they're following Ford guidelines, I'm willing to bet on Ford having properly engineered those guidelines with enough CYA factor to make their lawyers happy.

From a metal-strength standpoint, it would depend on the manner of the repair, but if it's bolted-together pieces, the strength should be the same as it was (assuming proper assembly). If it's welded, I'd defer to those who are better-versed in such things (I'm not sure how the high-strength steel in the frame affects welding), but I've been taught that a good weld can be stronger than the metal it's attaching.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:42 AM
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The frame is steel, so even bending it back into position will not significantly impact it's strength. There is excess strength designed into the frame, and I've been told the only reason they don't fix extremely bent frames is due to the difficulty in getting the mount points back into the correct positions.

If the shop had to straighten frame tabs (integral to the frame) to fit a new receiver, you are ok. Any welded tabs should have been replaced. Welds are strong but also tend to fracture under bending stresses.

I would push for a new frame, though, if possible. Maybe pony up the difference for the HD frame. And then mount airbags to the ends ot the truck, as it seems to be a bumper magnet.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:53 AM
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I asked for a new frame when it was rear-ended. No luck. And the cost difference was significant. This time, the damage is minimal. Will just have to straighten it. most of the damage is to the core support. heck, the frame may have no damage, it could all be in the core support. it's hard to tell until they get it torn apart. I am just a little nervous. But its starting to sound like I don't need to be.
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