I wasn't able to work on the truck Sunday or Monday, so last night was my last opportunity to get back at it. Last night was spent removing the easy parts from the frame like the rear wire harness, all the lines and shocks....things like that. All that's left right now is the main suspension parts because I want it to be a roller for the time being.
Tonight I will begin rust repair. It has some pretty significant rust in the area of the front fuel tank crossmember. There were huge clumps of mud here that caused all of the damage. I didn't see this damage until after I removed the bed and pressure washed the frame. I probably could have done the repair with the cab on, but with the cab off I can have better access and I don't have the weight of the cab stressing the frame while I cut parts out of it.
The worst is the passenger side.
The driver side isn't pretty, but the damage isn't as deep.
To repair I'll be removing the crossmember, cutting out some of that top rail on the frame rails and patching in new steel. I will do the same to the crossmember before bolting it back in place.
But then other parts of the frame are really nice, like these horizontal surfaces in the front. It was just where those mud clumps sat that the frame got really hurt.
Then there's the rear shock mounts. The passenger side one is obliterated. I saw this damage when I was under the truck before bed removal. I had already decided to remove the bed before I saw that, but then after seeing it I was very happy I had made that decision because this would have sucked to work on with the bed in place still. I was surprised to find that a couple companies actually make replacement shock mounts, so it must be a somewhat common problem. I'm going to take a look at the new ones and decide if they should be reinforced at all before I install them.
Tonight I got more done than I thought I would. I got the crossmember removed, the rust on the frame rails cut out, the patches made and then got them welded in place. Tomorrow night I’ll start on repairing the crossmember.
Tonight I got one side of the crossmember fixed. Rather than just scab a piece of steel over the uh, hole, I decided to burn a little extra of my 3 week calendar and get a little fancier. After some work with the oxy-acetylene torch, a vise, a couple different hammers, an improvised anvil made out of a chunk of railroad track and of course a grinder I ended up with a repair that looks mostly factory and good enough for who it’s for. On to the other side tomorrow night.