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Advanced Fabrication and Engineering For when your build is going off the charts. Wildly modified vehicles and straight up buggies welcome.

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  #1  
Old December 21st, 2008, 20:25
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Frame Plating: How I did it.

The frame rails between the control arm mount and the rear leaves was the easy part. Order it up and weld it on, it took a full weekend but it was relatively easy.

The hard part was the forward frame rails from the control arm mounts to the front of the unibody frame.

Paper template for layout of plates and hole locations. Cut 3/16 plate. Use three sections for the sides and two for the bottom. Drill lots of holes for rosette welds (about 60 per side) and all the bolt holes. The plate that went behind the coil spring was formed to fit the curvature of the unibody. Cutting this plate part way through where the bends needed to be really helped to form it.

The plates:


Setting up to weld:


Bolting the lowers in:


Bolting in the two rear side plates:


Bolting in the front plate:


Side Plates ready for welding:


Bolting in the lower plates:


Some minor adjustments (lots of these):


Inspecting again! Its 90% prep and 10% welding.


Some final grinding to clean it up:


Now it finally ready for welding. Started at 0730 when it pulled into the garage and ready for welding at 1530:


Finally welding:


Bolting up the track bar bracket. Just one thead exposed on the nuts so I need to add longer bolts. It the RE HD bracket worked with the 3/16ths plate but it took a lot of grinding to oval out the holes to so it would fit but it does, fortunately. I will tack it in after I have longer bolts for the upper part of the mount. The lower bolts were still long enough to show 4 threads.


All finished. Primed, painted and later undercoated. Part of the prep work was to prime and paint the unibody prior to welding, mark the rosette welds and then grind those spots clean prior to welding. They use a lot of salt here and I will be doing stream crossings so anything I can do to protect the frame from rust (its California XJ) I tried to do.


It probably took 10 hours to strip the suspension make the templates and reassemble it.
Another 8 hours to cut the plates.
6 hours to drill everything and clean the plates of all rust.
15 hours to strip, prep, weld and reassemble the drivers side.
11 hours to strip, prep and weld the passenger side.

Was it worth it?

Heck yes. No more cracks, no more groaning, it drives a lot better, steering is more precise and I now have the foundation for cage work.

John
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Last edited by JeepFreak21; December 22nd, 2008 at 00:32. Reason: Fixed your pics.
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  #2  
Old December 21st, 2008, 20:30
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Re: Frame Plating: How I did it.

Real nice work. Looks time consuming, thats for sure. I dig the custom fab work.

But, why not some TMR front frame braces and a JKS weld on kit for the front? Just curious.

Any way to make the pics bigger?
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  #3  
Old December 21st, 2008, 20:38
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Re: Frame Plating: How I did it.

your doing mine next right? hahah just messin'. nice job. did you use a plasma to cut them out?
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  #4  
Old December 21st, 2008, 20:41
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Re: Frame Plating: How I did it.

I could have ordered up the plates and then drilled extra holes but I like the idea of doing it myself. Mainly because I could control how the lower and upper plates came together. The side plates have tabs that fold under and weld to the lowers along the 45 degree bevel that the frame rail has. Being able to use 3/16 instead of 1/8 was an added plus of doing it myself as well. Nothing wrong with the JKS stuff, I just prefer to do it myself for this part of the reinforcement.

A buddy shot the pics and I copied them from his photobucket album. I will try to increase the size.

John
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  #5  
Old December 21st, 2008, 20:51
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Re: Frame Plating: How I did it.

holy crap. awesome work... definitely a good step off point for those of us considering this.
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  #6  
Old December 21st, 2008, 20:57
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Re: Frame Plating: How I did it.

looks awsome, no doubt. very nice!!
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  #7  
Old December 21st, 2008, 20:59
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Re: Frame Plating: How I did it.

I cut the plates using a radial hand saw with a metal cutting blade and a 4-1/2 inch harbor freight grinder and a LOT of discs.

Its a ton of work but there comes a point where you either need to trash the chassis or build it up. Even on 31's if you wheel long enough and hard enough you will get cracks, blown out spot welds and other such problems.

John
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  #8  
Old December 21st, 2008, 21:04
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Re: Frame Plating: How I did it.

That is very impressive to say the least.

Subscribed.
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  #9  
Old December 21st, 2008, 21:11
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Re: Frame Plating: How I did it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosigma View Post
Its a ton of work but there comes a point where you either need to trash the chassis or build it up. Even on 31's if you wheel long enough and hard enough you will get cracks, blown out spot welds and other such problems.
yep. ask me how i know that.
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  #10  
Old December 21st, 2008, 21:18
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Re: Frame Plating: How I did it.

just me, or are none of the pics working (other than first one)

wouldn't mind seeing this thread in full.
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  #11  
Old December 21st, 2008, 21:18
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Re: Frame Plating: How I did it.

Only the first pic works for me, after that, nothing. From what I can see though, loks very nice.
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  #12  
Old December 21st, 2008, 21:18
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Re: Frame Plating: How I did it.

only the first picture works for me :-(

thats a very impressive first picture however...

and the text makes it sound like a very strong re-enforcement, that should hold the XJ together for a while (at least till you can find another daily driver. )
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  #13  
Old December 21st, 2008, 21:24
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Re: Frame Plating: How I did it.

here's the album

http://s49.photobucket.com/albums/f2...ame%20welding/


Pretty interesting album. Tell us more about this:


Last edited by sjkimmel99; December 21st, 2008 at 21:32.
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  #14  
Old December 21st, 2008, 21:28
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Re: Frame Plating: How I did it.

The links should be working again, I was trying to edit them to increase resolution. I cant edit the original anymore so there they are in a larger size, I hope.











John
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  #15  
Old December 21st, 2008, 21:31
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Re: Frame Plating: How I did it.

Cool! This is the tech I LOVE to see!

good job
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