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Old December 8th, 2010, 11:37 AM   #1
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Default Hay Guise! Lern me some frame building skillz...

Tired of looking for a good replacement frame for my 66 - so I think I'm going to build one myself.

First questions I have to get me started:

* Material. I'm not taking this thing off any sweet jumps or rockcrawling, so I am thinking of 2"x4" box, 0.120 wall. Opinions on this initial choice, please!

* I ain't got no frame jig, so I'm building this thing on my garage floor. I have the old (bent) frame as a reference and a buncha OEM frame drawings with dimensions. Anyone evar do this with moderate success? (Jesus did, IIRC)

* how concerned do I have to be with warping from welding it together? The tubing will be big, so I think I'm good...

* I plan to do the two sides first, then start with the F&R (end) crossmembers. what makes for the best crossmembers material / shape? Can I get away with poop-pipe through-welded, or does I need DOM?


That's all I can think of for now, and I'm sure many of your answers / suggestions will help define my path as I go.

TIA,
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Old December 8th, 2010, 11:41 AM   #2
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.120 wall is plenty if done right and I've done a few with 2x3 also. But 2x4 gives you some better bracket mounting options. Creative fab (pat kinne) just did his cj frame the exact way your going to do it so feel free to pm him if you have some questions. I think he has some pics in his build thread.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 12:18 PM   #3
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2x4x0.120 for a 2wd street truck sounds good. Some frame plating where motor, trans, and susp mounts tie in would also be a good idear.

For straight crossmembers, poop pipe should get it done. If you needed some bends, that would depend on if you know more people with pipe kinkers or tube benders (or which one you have). You might get away with using your 2x4 for some of it, too.

My TJ has new frame sections front and rear, but not to factory specs, but it came out pretty nice in my opinion.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 05:57 PM   #4
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Thank you!
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Old December 9th, 2010, 07:39 AM   #5
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cut n paste from my build thread:


The bare frame is now on the garage floor - I cut off / unbolted the F&R suspensions last night. Did I ever mention how the quality of one's life (in the garage) is directly proportional to the amount of correct tools are on hand for a project?

Not to mention, a fridge full 'o PBR.

I need to call around and start pricing steel today.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 09:18 AM   #6
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What size is the channel on the old frame?

If you aren't planning to put a load in the bed, then 2x4 ought to be fine. Myself, I might consider 2.5 wide, more room on there for brackets. For example, a Jeep frame is roughly 2.5 x 4 or 4.5". Most truck frames would be at least 5 or 6" tall, for load capacity. 0.120" wall is good.

I just did layout lines on the floor of my garage and took it slow with the welds in seconds. Lots of tacks to get it all together, then weld in small sections. I used lots of pip clamps and wood blocks to assemble it into the shape I wanted before welding in the crossmembers.

I wasn't worried about it being 1/8" out of square or anything, since no old frame is straight anyway...

BTW, if you need smaller amounts of 1-1/4" pipe (1.66" OD, 0.140" wall, structural tubing, actually), I have lots around, and have a pipe bender, drive over during the holidays if you need any bent crossmembers..
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