frame damage and repair


Old 09-17-08, 07:03 AM
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frame damage and repair

About 3 months ago, I was driving my 83 F350 wrecker down in virginia beach from NJ on a run and i fell asleep at the wheel after being on the road for a good 13 hours. The truck veered off into one of those deep ditches and i smashed into a big concrete culvert at 30 mph. Luckily, I walked away with just a goose egg on my forehead and a bloody nose. Unfortunately, the front end of the truck did not fare well. The passenger front frame horn is bent out and back onto itself. The driver side horn where the steering box is, is OK. the bumper and the stabilizer bar took the initial beating as they were bent. however, the drag link and the tie rods look intact. Also, the big front crossmember is intact as are the radius arms. there are NO torn rivets in the frame. The section of the horn that is bent looks to only support the radiator and the bumper. I know that this has to be pulled back in but would it be easier to cut it off right back to the front crossmember and weld steel channel OR heat and pull in, then fishplate and reinforce? The backend of the truck and the cab were in excellent condition (still are except for a cracked windshield and mesed up passenger fender)
I never welded before and I don't know what I am looking at in terms of repair. Where I am in S. Jersey there are hardly any reputable frame shops and I just dont want to give it to anyone and have a butcher job done on it. Should I just take out my Oxy/Acetly torch and cut her up and be done with it? I am getting tired of looking at this thing in my driveway.

Thanks for any input
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Old 09-17-08, 05:01 PM
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Sorry to hear about your accident Ben! Glad you are ok! I've made dozens of trips from Va Beach to Boston. I-95 & I-64 are very tiring!

I don't know what to tell you in regards to your repair, since I have never dealt with the frame. Hang in there, and maybe someone else can chime in.
Old 09-17-08, 05:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Michigan
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Can you cut off damaged metal--get the metal you need--
bolt it in place (w/angles or other) & then you can practice your welding.........................
Old 09-17-08, 05:57 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Let me tell you, I was pretty banged up and I hurt for a week or 2. All I really remember is going over the chesapeake bay bridge which was very VERY long and then I hit a dark stretch of road. Funny thing is, those roads in VA dont have many (if at all) street lamps and hardly any guard rails. If those metal guard rails were there, maybe I wouldnt have suffered the damage that I did. Now I have more respect for those guard rails when I see em; they can be lifesavers...too bad I hit a section that was without em....
Old 09-17-08, 06:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 912
truck frame

What we used to do if a frame was bent too badly was find a donor vehicle and cut off what was needed and weld it on. Do a lot of measuring if you dont have access to a frame spec book. Dont try learning to weld on something like this. Get it jigged up and have a pro weld it. Just my 2 cents. RW
Old 09-17-08, 07:13 PM
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rw is spot on, but that and 2 bucks will get you a cup of coffee.

if we're not supposed to eat animals why are they made out of meat?
Old 09-17-08, 07:19 PM
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I know what you are talking about! If you are going North or coming South towards Chesapeake Bay Bridge, you are in the middle of nowhere.

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