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Cracked frame, Champ

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  • Frame/Springs: Cracked frame, Champ

    My '62 Champ frame has a small crack behind the transmission cross member and the steel plate for the clutch shaft. There is really no room to do anything underneath the frame at the crack, as that steel plate ends about where the crack is.

    I have a small wire welder, and a Miller stick welder. Not very good with either, I can't make pretty welds, but I can usually weld good enough to make things stick. Or maybe professional should make the weld/repair? Pretty new to all of this, so like to hear your suggestions as to how I should proceed.

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    Mike and Dawn

    '61 Champ

  • #2
    A good welder will know what to do to weld and re-enforce that crack. Well worth the money. Truck shops repair frames and should have a knowledgeable welder.
    The weld must not only stick it must then flex in coordination with the rest of the frame. Have it welded.
    Rob

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    • #3
      The frame metal is to thin for welding the crack and making it hold. You will probably want to weld a fish plate under the crack to support the crack weld.

      Comment


      • #4
        I WOULD NOT...try to weld that break with minimal skills. It'll open again in very few miles.

        Proper preparation and a proper TIG weld should work there.
        BUT as mentioned, if that is a high stress point, a doubler should be added now that the base metal has broken. Yes, a "cracked part" IS a "broken part"..!

        Mike

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        • #5
          A Truck "C" Channel Frame is a LOT thicker and stronger than a thin Stude. Car frame.
          I would think it would take a side Hit in the Driver Door or similar to do that. Maybe getting Airborne!
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

          Comment


          • #6
            It looks like the majority thinks it best to have it repaired. That would probably be the best, but if you decide to repair it yourself there are a couple of things to consider. First you will need to grind the crack nearly full thickness, creating a V shape. Then I would run a root pass with the wire welder, followed by a full thickness weld with your stick welder. A fish plate would definitely improve the strength, but you may have to remove some components to get in there to work, and it would be overhead welds. I think that a good full thickness weld would be adequate, and you could keep an eye on it for a while. If the weld breaks, then it would be time to have it done professionally. Good luck with it!

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            • #7
              Thanks for all the advise. I wonder how many other Champ pickups might be cracked there, or just a rare occurrence. Be hard to spot with the cab on the frame.

              I understand the frame has to have some flexibility to it, and the way the frame is in this area, I think there could be less flexibility than other places along the frame. But I'm no engineer...... Or maybe, its from when someone took the cab off? Have no idea what could cause that much force from taking the cab off.

              Anyway, I think I will look around for a competent welder, with frame experience as my first step. Thanks again for the advise!
              Mike and Dawn

              '61 Champ

              Comment


              • #8
                Cracked frames seem to have been a problem with Studebaker for quite awhile. I am using a Hawk frame under my 53 Champion coupe and I fish plated the cracks on both sides and wire welded the crack. I think there was something listed either here or in a manual on addressing the problem. The factory was aware but..... they were CASO owners and should have used a little heavier gauge metal in their frames.

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                • #9
                  I'm with those suggesting finding an experienced welder for such a critical job. I would suggest you stay away from welders like me. I came up with enough money to buy a welder and just because I can strike an arc does not make me a welder. However, I had customers who made industrial boilers, gas turbine engines, automobile chassis, and assemblies for military weapons, railroads, & aircraft. In those applications, all their welders were required to be "Certified" welders. Which means when they strike an arc...they know the science (metallurgy) behind doing it correctly.

                  So, if you know anyone in these fields, it would be worth the peace of mind to get their service. In my younger days, I had a friend who taught, inspected, and certified welding for the Southern Railway. (RIP) He was a great guy, loved his profession. On weekends, he operated a backyard shop and patched up machinery for local farmers for years.
                  John Clary
                  Greer, SC

                  SDC member since 1975

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 1953champcoupe View Post
                    Cracked frames seem to have been a problem with Studebaker for quite awhile. I am using a Hawk frame under my 53 Champion coupe and I fish plated the cracks on both sides and wire welded the crack. I think there was something listed either here or in a manual on addressing the problem. The factory was aware but..... they were CASO owners and should have used a little heavier gauge metal in their frames.
                    I read somewhere some of the longer wheel based Studebaker cars would get some frame sag. Being a short wheel based pickup, and not going to be used for hauling anything, hopefully mine stays ok.
                    Mike and Dawn

                    '61 Champ

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jclary View Post
                      I'm with those suggesting finding an experienced welder for such a critical job. I would suggest you stay away from welders like me. I came up with enough money to buy a welder and just because I can strike an arc does not make me a welder. However, I had customers who made industrial boilers, gas turbine engines, automobile chassis, and assemblies for military weapons, railroads, & aircraft. In those applications, all their welders were required to be "Certified" welders. Which means when they strike an arc...they know the science (metallurgy) behind doing it correctly.

                      So, if you know anyone in these fields, it would be worth the peace of mind to get their service. In my younger days, I had a friend who taught, inspected, and certified welding for the Southern Railway. (RIP) He was a great guy, loved his profession. On weekends, he operated a backyard shop and patched up machinery for local farmers for years.
                      I'm no engineer, but I would guess where the crack is, I could weld it myself. But, I'm going to get some second opinions from folks who know better first. Thanks for the advise.
                      Mike and Dawn

                      '61 Champ

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 1953champcoupe View Post
                        Cracked frames seem to have been a problem with Studebaker for quite awhile. I am using a Hawk frame under my 53 Champion coupe and I fish plated the cracks on both sides and wire welded the crack. I think there was something listed either here or in a manual on addressing the problem. The factory was aware but..... they were CASO owners and should have used a little heavier gauge metal in their frames.
                        No cars of the 1950s-1960s were engineered to last more than half a Century. The design criterion for American cars at that time was three to ten years.
                        Gary L.
                        Wappinger, NY

                        SDC member since 1968
                        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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