Front cross member is torque, can it still be used if tightened down? I am gone now to buy a pipe clamp to see if I can slightly re torque / straighten it by hand.
The leaf springs fit fine, but the leaf spring to cross member clamps have to be tapped /hammered up due to the slight spreading or expansion of the inside cross member.
you could, but i wouldnt. get creative, put a spring in so it will hold it's shape, put a 4x4 against the rear cross member, and use a 4x4 cut to length and a hydraulic jack to push it back. keep track with a tape measure so yo dont get out of square, c clamp things so they dont move, and make square cuts on the 4x4 so it stays straight. or, put the frame rails against something solid and pull with a come along. bent like you are the spring will bind, and or the wish bone will be hard to get in the ball socket
I would try putting the spring in with the clamps on and twist it back using the spring for leverage.
I just recently straighten the front cross member on a TT (same as car) and I can say with certainty that you won't straighten that with pipe clamps. You'll need a hydraulic jack, chain and some heavy flat bar to keep the front frame rails stabilized while it's twisted back in place.
I wouldn't particularly use the rear cross member for support. You could put a twist in it too. I used a similar method to that used to bring the radiator mounting holes back into spec. But I also had the frame mounted to a frame and body jig.
By the way, that will have to be straightened or replaced. You'll never get the correct wheel caster and most likely break a spring. Use the crankcase pan and front bracket to make sure the cross member isn't pushed back as well as twisted. It looks like it is in the pictures.
Looks like you need to weld up the areas worn thin in the frame flanges at the front.
You could take it out and put in a new one. It's a lot of work, but it's not hard.
Steve Jelf, you did an awesome job. I saw your other pictures before.
I agree with Steve. I had to change the front crossmember on the car Constantine drove from Australia to Moscow because it was bent and cracked. This is something you need to fix properly before proceeding further. It's not too hard but you need a good torch and proper riveting equipment.
Guys, I am not able to fix the cross member (knowledge, equipment, etc...) so, can a modern auto repair facility do the job on these type frames? Either replace or un-torque?
It's hard to find anyone who actually fixes anything these days, at least in my neighborhood of the southern USA. Instead of fixing things all they want to do is replace good old stuff with something modern that is not as good.
You might talk to the guys in your local T club.
I imagine that you are trying to keep the original frame. Going forward would be a labor of love and probably pocket-book.
With the front looking like that, the frame may be twisted and sagged elsewhere also. I'd strongly suggest you go through a thorough frame check as to flatness, side to side 'wallow' and square using diagonal measurements from known holes or points. You just may find OK...you may find nothing square and 'flat' which will only frustrate you to no end once you get past this hurdle with the front.
As Royce says...finding someone who knows how to 'straighten' and keep it that way once pulled up is a bit difficult unless you have someone local who has already been through it.
Although it sounds off the wall...and would probably cost a good deal...if you really want to keep the original frame, you 'might' find a local body shop known for their survival skills....the "Chiropractor of auto body shops'...one that has a floor plate and hydraulic ram pullers all over the place that they can program to 'do what they want'. I would guess it would be tough on the existing rivets, but I don't know. Ask them.
I had the misfortune one time of having a relatively new car T-boned to the tunnel and it was so new the insurance company didn't want to total it. We cut a deal...they had a shop with one of these hydraulic gizmo's locally,and the deal was let them pull it out and make it right...if I found a wave or a problem when done we'd talk other alternatives before accepting the fix. I was asked to visit when pulled out, when primed, and when the doors were mounted. I think it wound up better and squarer than when the manufacturer made it in the first place. In fact, it was used and handed down through the family and the kids, and at 275,000 miles it finally was used as a trade by one of the kids and the body and paint still looked new and would have still passed the ball bearing roll along the joints. I have no clue what it costs...but a local with that kind of gear might be worth talking to...you may even get lucky, he may also be an old car guy and actually be up to the challenge and be fair on price.
Just a thought...but probably worth a call to find out.
I'm also curious about something...that one front rivet looks out of place to begin with? Ive never done something older than a '15...but have never found a rivet on centerline of the rail...they have always been at the outboard rail and in line. Others may want to look again and comment.
Yes, that left front rivet is a bit out of place. I wonder if it came from the factory like that.
Guys, I am not able to fix the cross member due to lack of knowledge, equipment, etc... so, can a modern auto repair facility do the job on these type frames? Either replace or un-torque?
sorry for the repeat.
Good advice. I will make a few calls and see if there is a local shop who does collision work on frames.
Heat! You can heat these frames as they were never tempered when new.
You can unspread it by backing up one side with a steel bar, placing a hydraulic jack on the opposite side and wrapping a chain around cross miner and jack.
As you crank up the jack and tighten the chain, the sides of the cross member should move inward. You need to make sure your hands are clear if the jack tries to slip out. Use a chain, not a cable.
You still need to weld up those thin worn spots at the front of the frame.
My money says if you work at it with persistence you can figure out how to get it fixed.