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welding 2 frames together

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Old 03-23-2012, 07:56 PM   #1
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welding 2 frames together

I know i've read about this somewhere, but searched and couldnt find the thread i was thinking about. My truck (an 88 xtra cab) has a good frame, up untill the back of the cab/begining of the bed. There is one SMALL hole in the frame, but other then that no cracks, or bends, or bad rust etc. But what concerns me is that i shined a flashlight into both back frame rails ( a good L.E.D one that really light it up) look like they're rusting from the inside out....wich is what frames do, but it looks as if its pretty bad. It looks like the whole inside 1/4 or 1/8 of inner frame wall are falling off, but the metal underneath the falling off peices look good. i was wondering how to tell if a frame is good or not. since its rusting from the inside out theres really no way to visually inspect it. It seems to ride fine, and i've beat it so hard of road i've had the wheels jump off the ground and it seems fine. (my 85's frame is cracked, so i know what a bad frame feels like when it drives)

anyway....the real question. If worse comes to worst, i'd have to frame swap (wich i know i will for my 85) BUT from the back of the cab up the frame looks great. Would it be possible to cut the back off of a good donor truck and weld it onto my truck....bassicly cutting two trucks in half, and welding the good halves together? i know i've heard people do this before, but in all honesty, is it really as strong as one solid peice of metal?

and another quick question. i've heard of people drilling holes in the frame to let the water/mud out so it doesnt rot. where do i drill? and is that only for mud trucks and not daily drivers?

Last edited by 85gijunk4x4; 03-23-2012 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:13 PM   #2
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Here's an idea...

Scrap the 85. ( its at that point ) and SAS the 88. win win.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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actually, i have a suprise. Since my 85 is all original, and its over 25 years old, its considered a "historic vehicle" in new jersey! wich means i get "qq tags" this summer (hopefully).

all i need is a frame...a couple fenders, bumper and grille.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:14 PM   #4
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sounds like the perfect excuse to chop the back off and four link it just a thought...........p iii
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:27 PM   #5
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find the best jump you can and ramp that sucker as fast as possible if your truck doesn't break in half the frame is good... or you weren't going fast enough.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:57 PM   #6
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Red face

There are a quite a few threads around on this

Easy way to test your frame is to take a old screw driver start back of the cab and just try and push the screw driver through the frame.

Results are quite easy to see and feel.

Another thing you should look at is on the floor where the cab mounts attach . I have a 87 4Runner that the top mounts are gone the ones right under your feet.

I am now putting in a new floor and new mounts Since new mounts are discontinued I am using new ones from a 2000 Tacoma. The things one does for inspection

Yes a frame splice can be done how easy depends on the skill level you have and a good place to work. this is not really something you want to be doing alone.

2 or 3 people who know what they are doing make it much easier. (although it can be done just remove all liquid flammables as to not be tempted)

Most important is to avoid vertical joints avoid welding into the corners make fish plates for both the inside and outside of the frame .

There is much more to doing this . It is done the same way as stretching a frame just your not putting in the extra section as when making a tractor into a straight truck.

these will be both welded and bolted done correctly you should have no problems .

If you need more help feel free to PM me. Having repaired so many of these it gets quite easy.

Then again your not all that far away
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldirtydirt View Post
sounds like the perfect excuse to chop the back off and four link it just a thought...........p iii
i've been thinking bout it. I've been dreaming about having a setup like drew103 or whatever, the "my truggy" guy with the red yota.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Black_1985_SR5 View Post
find the best jump you can and ramp that sucker as fast as possible if your truck doesn't break in half the frame is good... or you weren't going fast enough.
thats what i have been doing so far so good. and for the record, thats what i will continue to do.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyoming9 View Post
There are a quite a few threads around on this

Easy way to test your frame is to take a old screw driver start back of the cab and just try and push the screw driver through the frame.

Results are quite easy to see and feel.

Another thing you should look at is on the floor where the cab mounts attach . I have a 87 4Runner that the top mounts are gone the ones right under your feet.

I am now putting in a new floor and new mounts Since new mounts are discontinued I am using new ones from a 2000 Tacoma. The things one does for inspection

Yes a frame splice can be done how easy depends on the skill level you have and a good place to work. this is not really something you want to be doing alone.

2 or 3 people who know what they are doing make it much easier. (although it can be done just remove all liquid flammables as to not be tempted)

Most important is to avoid vertical joints avoid welding into the corners make fish plates for both the inside and outside of the frame .

There is much more to doing this . It is done the same way as stretching a frame just your not putting in the extra section as when making a tractor into a straight truck.

these will be both welded and bolted done correctly you should have no problems .

If you need more help feel free to PM me. Having repaired so many of these it gets quite easy.

Then again your not all that far away
thanks! i'll start off with saying all the cab mounts etc. are good. Bed mounts however are starting to show some age, but are still very strong. The cab has some rust on the back wall/floor seam AND rocker panel/quarter that i've cut out and am in the process of patching, but thats as far as it goes. Nothing structural on the cab was comprimised, and whatever rust was there, stayed put and didnt spread.

now for the frame, all the cab mounts, engine mounts, crossmember mounts, torsion bar mounts etc are all good. From the back of the cab up the frame still has its nice black factory paint with little pin spots of rust, and under the engine the frame is so oil covered that when i pressure washed a little spot it looked brand new. The only bad part is from cab back.

i shouldnt say its "bad", its taken a beating, and so far theres only one little hole i found when i shot it with the pressure washer point blank.

my concern is that its rusting from the inside out. I know right now its okay for the most part, but in the future i feel as if it will get much worse since theres nothing i can really do about it.

i just want the peace of mind that if something were to happen i could just hack the back off and replace it, rather then do a total chassis swap, and potentially just junk it.

i do know a buddy of mine who does alot of frame work on lowriders, mosty cutting the frames off and "C-notching" them. i know whenever he does something he uses tons of different methods to make sure the frame is 100% straight and not tweaked or crooked on one side or another. I guess its the same princapal, like you said, of doing different forms of frame work, without actually adding modifications in there.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:15 PM   #9
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I still like the idea of doing the SAS to the 88. Then next year that one will be an "antique" if you can wait that long.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:21 PM   #10
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i do wanna SAS the 88. I hate my i.f.s only thing stopping me from using the 85's axle is that i use the 85 for everything. Hard to belive that i use it for hauling everything imaginable since it has a bad frame. I use it at my house to do alot of yard work, and then i use it at the farm where it really gets a workout. We've loaded it to the top with manure (had to be atleast a half ton), haybales, 50lb feed bags, towed tractors, pulled trailers etc. etc. i'm suprised the frame hasnt let go yet, i really am. So long story short, if i pull the axle, i wouldnt have my 85 anymore

heres some pictures i dug up from this weekend. This is baby stuff compared to what i've used it for.



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Old 03-24-2012, 04:48 PM   #11
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Ive never seen the those sweet graphics before! Were they a factory option? Haha
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:03 PM   #12
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i beleive they were actually added by winnebago. my truck was going to be converted to a trekker, but they only added the graphics and somehow forgot to do the actual conversion
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:14 PM   #13
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i was thinking....

4-link might come later no.

either that or i'll just box the frame with square steel and make a basic angled box frame.
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