While greasing the front end parts I noticed this.This could be a real problem.
Looks like you have some riveting to do.
I've seen them welded with success. If you are or know a good competent weldor it is worth considering. You will need to at least remove the radiator, front engine mount, and the front spring.
I will just replace the whole part and do the job right the first time. Im sure I will need to pull the engine. Never a dull day when it comes to vintage cars. Now to just find the part.
Will: I am a retired certified welder. That is a very simple weld to make for almost anyone who will call themselves a welder. It would be a lot easier to weld it, than to replace the rivets. If you weld it, it will outlast you, and probably the next owner too. All that's needed to be removed for welding it, is the radiator, front spring clamp and front spring. The engine is not in the way. Just depends on how much work you want to do. Whatever you decide, good luck with the repair....
I have wrapped a ratchet strap around it to keep it from separating any further. Thursday morning the car has an appointment with the auto train. If you think a weld will do the job then I will try it. I assume I will need to somehow pull it back into place. I'm thinking maybe a strong ratchet around the frame pulling into its self until the crack closes?
That crack can be welded and last as long as you own the car.
If it were mine I would remove the radiator, drop the front axle assembly with the spring.
Use some type of clamp or strap to pull the crack together and run a good bead on it all the way around.
Use a E6011 rod at 90-100 amps. Will make a nice smooth weld.
The best way to pull the sides together is by taking out the front bolts holding the front fender braces on each side and replacing it with a length of threaded rod. You can pull the sides until the crack is closed, you may need a second rod if one won't provide enough leverage so just change out the two back bolts with another threaded rod. This also works to pull a sagging front cross member back in place with the help of a little heat applied in the correct places.
Steve, that's a great idea! Before you posted, I was going to suggest a sash cramp. A proper one, not the type using a length of pipe and sliding fittings. The clamping force of a sash cramp will be superior to that of a strap type, which has some inbuilt stretch/give.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
the weld will work, but look like crap. replace the cross member they are plentiful and cheep. riviots are cheep, its probably one of the least expencive "major" repairs you can do to the t, and it shows on the earlier t's like yours with out the apron covering the front. whats up with all the washers under the radiator?
A nice clean TIG weld bead will fix that right up.
Donnie and John are right. It could be welded. But not all of us are good welders, and it might not be pretty. If you do replace it, you'll need one person to hold the fire on the rivet and another person to mash the end. Clayton is right about rivets being inexpensive. Jim Dix will have the right ones and the tools to squash them. You do need something heavy against the cold ends of the rivets to back them up when you pound the hot ends. I use some 1"x 6"x 12" pieces of steel. Next time I do this I'm going to bolt them in place. Clamping them was unsatisfactory.
If you do this, rivet the back brace to the cross member before you put them on the frame together. Put everything together loosely with bolts, then tighten all the bolts. Then replace the bolts one at a time with rivets.
that looks like the correct way to fix it !!
Will -- If you decide to weld it or have it welded, use some kind of strong clamp to get things back where they belong. The outside-to-outside measurement of the frame rails should be 23". If they are not at that size, the radiator won't fit right.
Whether you weld or replace, rather than guess what s right by "closing up the crack", better to get the correct measurement between the radiator mounting holes.
The number 21.5" comes to mind but someone here can confirm that or give the correct measurement.
Hopefully closing the crack and the correct measurement will coincide.
Bud -- That is correct. Placing the frame rails at 23" outside-to-outside will also place the radiator mounting holes at 21-1/2" center-to-center.
I believe this problem started about two years ago. A little over two years ago the radiator bracket from my brand new Burgs radiator broke off for what seemed for no reason. I noticed that when reinstalling it that the holes didn't want to line up right. That should had been the first red flag but I didn't see anything out of place. Then a few months later during my Ohio / Kentucky trip the front end started wander all over the road so I replaced all the steering components thinking it was just worn parts with Apco caps and this seemed to help for a while. Yet another red flag that I didn't see. Last spring the bottom of my radiator popped a hole from rubbing on the mount. Thus the reason for the washers. Although another good red flag I just didnt see anything wrong and this time I really looked things over but still missed it. Do guy remember me mentioning that my left front fender rod was hitting the tire when I made a hard left or bump? Yup, Yet another red flag and I had looked the car over real well and this time I was thinking busted frame somewhere but still did not see anything out of place.
I think Im going to try and find a good cross member and replace it. The one thats in is more than likely stretched and it won't be all that hard to put in a new one which will solve any further problems with the current cross member. It will be added to the wall of worn parts.
Moral of this story is If the car is acting funny there's always a reason. It just took me over two years to find the reason.