Working on restoring a '20 Center Door, I noticed the frame front cross member is bolted to the rails. I believe these were riveted on from the factory.
I also believe this car has been in more than one collision as evidenced by the driver's side fender being bent, a later passenger's side fender replacement, a newer looking front cross member being bolted in instead of riveted, and holes in the oil pan that have been brazed up.
I am sure the esteemed members of the forum will have a good answer for this question.
Thank you all for the education I am receiving through this forum.
The front cross member is riveted, and is not a job for an inexperienced person.
Thank you for your reply. Sounds like you have experience in this area. I appreciate your advice.
Steve Jelf, you should put a link to this thread on your vehicle blog with your other great instructions!
When I got my '14, the front crossmember was bolted in place. The alignment was good, so I removed one bolt at a time and replaced it with a rivet. Larry is right; it's a tough job, but I learned that it can be done by someone who has basic mechanic's and some basic machinist's skills. The "secret" is SOLID BUCKING of the rivet head while you head the shank and form the other head. Any looseness or 'give' and you are just wasting your time, heat, and rivets.
I have just recently learned (because I saw and handled one--long after doing my '14) that Stevens made a fantastic rivet bucker for all the rivets in the front crossmember; but, lacking this amazing tool, I made a substitute by using a dimpled head 3/4" bolt and nut: put the bolt head under the frame channel rivets and back off the nut until it's good and tight, then heat the rivet end and proceed. Heavy C-clamps will work to hold the buck in areas that you can't use the nut. Whatever you do, don't start heating until you are POSITIVE that the rivet is SOLIDLY bucked. Once it is, the rest of the job isn't bad.
Sorry; that should read "heat the shank" not "head the shank."
Well, actually you do both, in rivet lingo. Heat the shank then head it with the riveting tool.
Bump to get rid of the spam
Thank you to Mark, R.V., David, and Chadwick. Mark, I searched for riveting the front cross member and that thread did not come up in the results. Thanks for posting that link. Now I know exactly what needs to be done, the tools necessary, and the skills to do the job. R.V. thanks for your input. Sounds like great advice coinciding with what I know about rivets.
I appreciate all the input from everyone. There are a lot of knowledgeable people here. Thanks for sharing.