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Old 11-09-2014, 01:09 PM
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Rzeppa Rzeppa is offline
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Default FJ60 Frame Crossmember Repair

After installing new OME suspension on the rear, things felt pretty good and I was pleased with how things went on the Spooky Night Run. A couple days ago, I started hearing a clunking noise from underneath rear. Close inspection revealed that the crossmember that the top of the shocks connect to had broken off.

Last night I removed it. The ends were jagged and worthless so I cut them off. I ordered in new shock pins from $OR which should be here late next week in case I need to fabricate a new crossmember from scratch.

I do have a short chunk of tubing that almost fits inside the old crossmember, and am considering repair options to re-use the remaining old crossmember, and am soliciting advice and suggestions.

First 2 pictures are what the inside of the frame rails currently look like. The right side where the fuel lines and brake line are routed looks problematic. I was thinking of fabricating some bent sheet metal shields to go around the lines to protect them from cutting/grinding/welding potential mishaps. I know that no matter what (new crossmeber or repair old one with the tubing as an inside sleeve) I will still need to prep these for whatever goes in there.
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Last edited by Rzeppa; 11-09-2014 at 01:17 PM. Reason: Resize images
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Old 11-09-2014, 01:16 PM
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The next couple of pictures are of each end of the old crossmember with the jagged cut off ends shown for clarity. The next picture is of the old crossmember with the chunk of tubing I have laid up against it.

As I was poking around my pile of steel pieces in the garage looking for something suitable to use to repair or fab a replacement, I came across the old tailpipe from my FJ40 that got tweaked on the Father's Day Spring Creek run, and noticed that it was the same diameter and wall thickness as the old crossmember. The thought crossed my mind that a possibility to make a new one would be to take her up to OK Muffler in Evergreen where I get my custom exhaust work done, and have them make one with the new shock pins using exhaust tubing and weld it in there. Thoughts?
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Old 11-09-2014, 01:21 PM
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I'd sure trend toward using black iron gas pipe from Home Depot. Cheap, and a far thicker wall. These need to be heavily rustproofed inside, as you know, no matter how thick. I would make the whole thing yourself.

A competent exhaust shop shouldn't object to welding it in there, if you have it all prepped and fitted. I'm sure they've done nastier jobs than this. Having a lift would make the welding a lot more fun, so perhaps you let them do that part.
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Old 11-09-2014, 02:07 PM
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Jeff:

The first pic, the one on the right side frame rail--is that rust through of the frame rail below the crossmember I see?

Pretty incredible that the crossmember weakness didn't show up until the new suspension went on.

I would also use as thick of a crossmember as you can. Exhaust tubing just isn't all that thick--even thick exhaust tubing,

Dan
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Old 11-09-2014, 04:44 PM
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Hi Steve, why black iron instead of steel? I agree, the exhaust shop is more experienced than I at this kind of welding. I'm better with non-upside-down stuff.

Yes Dan, the inside of the frame rail is pretty much rusted through at that spot. The reason I thought of exhaust tubing is that it is the same wall thickness and diameter as the original crossmember. Plus it's galvanized.

BTW, since I originally posted up, I did cut and clean up the remnants on the inside of the frame rails, they are now roughly square and either bright metal or very little rust. It's half time, I'm going to go back down and do a little more work on prepping those ends. I figure no matter what the end solution, those ends on the inside of the frame rails need to be prepped as well as possible.
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:01 PM
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The expression 'black iron pipe' means mild steel - just not galvanized steel pipe. (For natural gas piping, you don't use galv. due to flaking issues).

When you're done you can spray cold galv. compound all over the outside of the pipe, of course.
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:44 AM
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You should be able to find a scrape piece of tubing at any steel yard for a few bucks. No way I'd use exhaust tubing.

I'd remove the fuel/brake lines and pull them out of the way. Probably less hassle than fabbing something to prevent damage anyway. Depending on how the inner frame rails look you may want to add a piece of plate to them or cut out the inner part and replace. Would suck to fix it and have the metal fail around it.

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Old 11-10-2014, 09:20 AM
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probably failed now because you put stiffer shocks on it.

I'd also shy away form exhaust tubing.... it *might* work but why chance it... go ahead and get something 1/8 wall or so and be done with it. also echo Corbets comments on pulling lines away from frame rails and building decent plates to bulk it up. you need to get down to fresh metal...

Also, if you get the back of that thing up a bit higher (like on ramps or something) maybe you'll fine you can almost sit down there and get in a decent position for a weld. you've done enough welding on body work type stuff to do just fine on this! Crank the power, do a few test parts and go for it. The only problem is rust is your enemy especially while welding... if it's not bare metal like with no rust, it's be hell to weld and if you do get it welded it'll be all porous.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover67 View Post
probably failed now because you put stiffer shocks on it.

I'd also shy away form exhaust tubing.... it *might* work but why chance it... go ahead and get something 1/8 wall or so and be done with it. also echo Corbets comments on pulling lines away from frame rails and building decent plates to bulk it up. you need to get down to fresh metal...

Also, if you get the back of that thing up a bit higher (like on ramps or something) maybe you'll fine you can almost sit down there and get in a decent position for a weld. you've done enough welding on body work type stuff to do just fine on this! Crank the power, do a few test parts and go for it. The only problem is rust is your enemy especially while welding... if it's not bare metal like with no rust, it's be hell to weld and if you do get it welded it'll be all porous.
Yeah, funny about the "stiffer" shocks, I had bought a set of OME shocks from Sascha last spring, but they were an unknown amount worn out. Obviously the brand new ones were much stiffer. The Spooky Night run was their off road debut, that probably stressed what was left of the ends of the crossmember.

I have already fabricated and installed sheet metal shields for the lines and spend a number of hours cutting, grinding and wirewheeling last night to get everything down to bright shiny steel.

There is no service length for those lines. The only way to get them away is to completely remove them. That would involve twisting off however many rusted bolts currently attach them to the frame rails. In other words, removing the lines will involve MANY more hours, drilling and retapping where I will twist the bilts off etc. BTDT way too many times and know exactly how the scope of work will roughly double.

Marco, I did a similar job on my 40 when I did the 4 speed conversion. What I did there was make the section of crossmember that goes behind the e-brake removable by adding plates with captive nuts so I can bolt and unbolt that section of crossmember.

Here's that thread:

http://risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/s...t=1629&page=13
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:58 AM
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Is the middle of the old cross-member healthy? It might make more sense to move the shock mounts to a whole new length of tubing rather than trying to splice in the old rusty piece.
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