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Frame Options and Two Post Lift

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  • Frame / Springs: Frame Options and Two Post Lift

    First time posting here and I need help with my first running Studebaker project, a 55 Hardtop Coupe

    Inspection/Problem
    Driver side frame rail, bottom plate is ready to crumble and the torque box is a tattered mess. Passenger frame rail is good, but the torque box needs replacement. Crossmembers look good. The car is reasonably solid for 58 yr car.

    Inspecting the driver side frame rail shows the joint between the top C channel and lower bottom plate has up to 1/8 inch cracks running 6+ inches near the rear leaf spring support. Cracks run near the bottom material that is ready to crumble. So this needs to be corrected.

    Options
    1 Can one knock out the bad lower plate, trim the ragged C channel and weld to the remaining parts (in their own home garage)? Then put in the torque boxes. Is this option a fools folly?
    2 What are other cost effective options?
    3 Best longer term solution new frame - Aside from the Art Morrison frames, does anyone fabricate new frames?

    I really dont want to pull the car off the frame for several years due to time, space, and money constraints. However, I can sit on this project for an indefinite time.


    Finally, where the heck would someone lift these cars with a standard shop two post lift? I am assuming it's on the frame even if they are 12 inches in from the body, but I wasn't sure if the front cross member and rear leaf spring support is acceptable.


    Thanks

  • #2
    From the reading of your post, you might be in danger if you attempted to lift this on a two post hoist. I have and use a 4 post hoist.

    Several members have replaced the bottom plate and torque boxes. Unfortunately, only GT torque boxes are available, but can apparently be made to look like an earlier torque box.

    To the best of my knowledge, no new frames are available other than Morrison and used frames.

    Comment


    • #3
      ]I'm currently doing frame work on a '64 cruiser.
      The L/h rail bottom plate was delaminated and so far, I've removed the bottom material
      from behind the trans area to the rear of the wheel arch.I removed the fuel tank and springs and diff to give me room , and ensure there is no Kaboom..
      I used a die grinder, grinder, air chisel, and approx. 12 metal blades on a recipro saw to do this.(due to spot welds everywhere)
      The remaining c part or hat part of the frame is solid.
      I have some new material ready, drilled 7/16" holes in it and intend to clamp it to the flange of the rail and plug weld it to the existing rail.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by dickeedee; 11-28-2012, 03:04 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Biggie

        If you can post a couple of pictures of the areas in question we might be better able to address the problems you are describing.

        If the top hat portion is reasonably solid then repairing the lower plate and some partial repairs are possible. If you need to replace complete frame sections then a safe and durable repair is more difficult. There are frames around but without your location we have no idea of where you are.

        I've repaired a couple of frames much like you are describing but I will only go so far.

        As far as the torque boxes (hog troughs), I can supply you a couple of shots of the ones I built for my 54 hardtop. They are not difficult but take a lot of bending and welding.

        In any case, Welcome and I hope we can help.

        Bob
        Last edited by sweetolbob; 11-27-2012, 06:51 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=9F2129C2D6015BFB!121

          Sorry this took so long, but I had to get data over. The link should take you to a pdf of the rear suspension point. You will see the plate around the suspension point had been welded already. The hog trough isn't doing much. The 3rd page shows the frame rail is very rusty and I imagine it will shatter if hit with a hammer.

          The problem I have is the existing frame rail cracks. The welded section is so much stronger the frame above it cracked. Im afraid if I repair the frame rail and the hog trough on page 3, the same types of cracks will appear as already exist. The picture on page 3 is the worst of the frame rust. The passenger side is pretty good. The car was under coated at one point and the remaining body is in good shape.

          Goal
          1. Make the car safely drivable for 5 to 7 years, with the minimum of mods and learn. Only safety related. Distance less than 500 per year.
          2. Eventually if time and money permit, do a full restoration. I definitely can't afford this right now, but I can sit on the car for many years.

          Questions.
          1. Can the hog trough be removed while sitting on all 4 wheels? I am assuming its purpose is less roll by transmitting torque to the frame, and the hog trough is not essential in stationary state. I believe this is necessary to see what the frame rail looks like as road salt could have got in there years ago. Am I correct?
          2. Is there enough information here to say, find a new frame?
          3. Or does it look feasible to clean out the hog trough, frame rail, and weld in parts. Please note, all I have is jacks and jack stands at this point.

          BTW I am in NYS.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Biggie View Post

            Questions.
            1. Can the hog trough be removed while sitting on all 4 wheels? I am assuming its purpose is less roll by transmitting torque to the frame, and the hog trough is not essential in stationary state. I believe this is necessary to see what the frame rail looks like as road salt could have got in there years ago. Am I correct?
            2. Is there enough information here to say, find a new frame?
            3. Or does it look feasible to clean out the hog trough, frame rail, and weld in parts. Please note, all I have is jacks and jack stands at this point.

            BTW I am in NYS.
            The hog troughs are an integral part of the body and while they could be removed without the body off the frame, it would be difficult. Also, much more difficult to install in that configuration. They are connected to the rocker panel, then the floor in three stages and also the body mounts. Not impossible but not fun either.

            Below is a shot of my 74 Avanti frame with the bottom plate and spring mount removed. There is a lot of metal there. I don't see a lot of rust on the top hat part of your frame. If there is disregard the following:

            If you want to repair the frame this is what I would suggest you do with the spring mount area. Put the 55 on the stands and remove the complete rear end. Then drill out the rivets that hold the spring mount plate to the frame and outer support. Remove it and see if it is salvageable. Then take a 4 1/2" cut off wheel and remove all the welded additions to the frame and any of the bottom plate in the area that looks compromised. Look the frame over for rust damage in that area. If it looks solid in the top hat area, cut out any damaged/rusted metal and replace it with 1/8" thick plate fabed to replace the sections. I use 1/8' X 4" wide steel to replace the bottom plate and bend to replace frame sections. I'm going through this because the fact you see shiny steel says it may look worse than it is.

            If you can find a frame that would be the best but even that is no walk in the park.

            Based on what I've said above, once you start, you are committed so don't start if you don't plan to follow through. Also be sure you know how to weld.

            If you decide to embark on this venture and find the spring mounts are too far gone, you can buy them from Nostalgic Motors and, possibly, other Stude Vendors. I made mine from 1/4" plate.

            If you decide to go forward, I have a few more shots of the Avanti frame repairs I'd be happy to share with you.

            [IMG][/IMG]

            I did some frame repairs on my 83 Avanti using jack stands so it can be done. However, that experience is why I now own a four-post XLT lift and I used that on the 74. Much better.

            Bob

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