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Boxed or Hard-facing the Chassis...       #: 890
 Moderated by: NoPower, Mike69, MaDMaXX
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 Posted: Wed May 30th, 2018 06:16 am
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While on the back property at times, I seem to be able to get the overhang of the Flip-Pac to knock on the roof some.. It's not a constant tap but when it does make contact, its def solid in sound which has had me poking under the chassis the last couple days in between other tasks or jobs coming in.

So far it seems as though:

- There is nothing wrong with any of the pucks from the body lift..
- The rear suspension isn't sagging
- The hangars seem to be intact
- Weight isn't an issue; the Flip-Pac weighs less than 300lbs


Additional information:
- I obviously don't jump the truck or run it hard offroad in similar scenarios of the truck leaving the ground
- West truck - So there's no rust issues to lead me astray
- Once when out on a fishing day trip with some buddies I had noticed the way i was parked on a weird angle that the body line was moved almost 2.5" with the bed being lower than the cab character line.

Which I am not gonna lie is making me paranoid in some aspects that there is a frame issue somehow like perhaps a crack or something else. Maybe I have a cross member loose or twisted somehow?

I plan on getting under the truck better this weekend and I am going to scour the entire bottom of the truck starting from the rear of the cab back and then forward again on the opposite frame rail in search of any possible cracks. To which I'll have welded to repair but as I near getting the 94 4x4 frame stripped down  the thoughts of hard facing the outside of the frame and Or Boxing in the majority of the frame since it will be an entire body and engine swap and a frame up "like" restoration. I could do this after I strip the entire frame down and before it gets sent out for painting.

Thoughts on the two ideas of frame strengthening methods? Pro's, Con's of either? Any reference material i should absorb myself into available? I will need to add this into planning and budgets as well as the educational aspects.



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Roman courtier during the reign of Nero.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." - Thomas Paine


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 Posted: Wed May 30th, 2018 01:28 pm
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Ranger frames flex like mad
Bed is hard mounted to frame, body is on rubber pucks

To reduce the cab/bed flex remove the rubber replace with urethane or solid.

You can fully box a ranger frame that will help a great deal as will additional crossmembers. I am not sure about hard coating or heat treating, all I have dealt with is boxing the C channels with new steel.

The 02+ Explorer sport had a fully boxed frame from the factory, nice eh? If I ever rebuild another truck (IE wreck my BII) I will start with one of these.



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 Posted: Wed May 30th, 2018 04:46 pm
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As 410C has stated the bed is solid mounted to the frame and if there is contact between the Cab and the Bed Apperatice, it is because the frame has twisted.

And yes, do the Ranger Frame ever twist !

Remove the bed and take a look at the frame, thinking cracks here, but maybe just flexing.

If it is flexing then what about boxing just from the Cab Back, I think Ford skimped on the frame in the rear of the Rangers more than the front but I am guessing here.

AND although you may know this, keep the welding ground close to the area you are welding and disconnect the battery.



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 Posted: Thu May 31st, 2018 02:31 am
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410customs wrote:
Ranger frames flex like mad
Bed is hard mounted to frame, body is on rubber pucks

To reduce the cab/bed flex remove the rubber replace with urethane or solid.

You can fully box a ranger frame that will help a great deal as will additional crossmembers. I am not sure about hard coating or heat treating, all I have dealt with is boxing the C channels with new steel.

The 02+ Explorer sport had a fully boxed frame from the factory, nice eh? If I ever rebuild another truck (IE wreck my BII) I will start with one of these.

Already done the 2" BL so its technically all solid mount now.. Boxing in the frame is certainly an idea for sure. Hard-Facing is where they take a 3/16-1/4 plate steel and bolt then weld the seams to the face of the frame adding to the rigidity of the frame, obviously not nearly as much as a boxed in frame but 30-40% over nothing is better but i think for the work involved.. boxing would be the way to go and MAYBE in some areas hard facing too.

And sadly the explorer went the way of the Unibody in 2011... which makes me wonder why they went from C cheannel, to boxed, to Unibody?


Scrambler82 wrote:
As 410C has stated the bed is solid mounted to the frame and if there is contact between the Cab and the Bed Apperatice, it is because the frame has twisted.

And yes, do the Ranger Frame ever twist !

Remove the bed and take a look at the frame, thinking cracks here, but maybe just flexing.

If it is flexing then what about boxing just from the Cab Back, I think Ford skimped on the frame in the rear of the Rangers more than the front but I am guessing here.

AND although you may know this, keep the welding ground close to the area you are welding and disconnect the battery.

Ive been told with the bed removed and the two rear most cross members removed, you can literally see the twist in the frame by hand according to the guys over at Ruffstuff Fabrication. I want the suspension to flex not so much the body. But I certainly need to check for cracks.. so weird!



____________________
"Be never first, never last and never noticed." - Unknown

"The slave is held most securely when he is held by the chains of his own will and of his own fears, and when he is locked down by his own slavish desires for a comfortable life." - Michael Bunker

"Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur. Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur" - ~ attributed to Petronius (Gaius Petronius Arbiter (ca. 27–66 AD))
Roman courtier during the reign of Nero.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." - Thomas Paine


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 Posted: Thu May 31st, 2018 02:53 am
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Here's an idea, BIG IDEA, buy a new frame from Throttle Down Fab, they have a stretched Bronco Frame, add body and bed mounts and you have an incredible Ranger with solid axle and the room  for the axles to move on the frame.  

Dream-On... I know, sorry... got carried away !

I have never seen a Ranger frame striped out as you stated, so interesting with the twisting.

I guessing here but to do it right, do you have to support the frame, then level it, before welding on plate ?

Also, I thought I heard or read a while back that the Ford Frames were some how hardened and welding on the frame removes the strength of the hardening, any ideas  about that ?



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Ltr,
2003 EDGE, Std Cab, Steppie, E4 Red, 5sp, 4x
5" SuperLift, 33" x 12.50 x 15"
Hurst Shifter
Mod'd Backrack to fit Steppie
Front and Rear Bumpers by Custom 4x4 Fabrication, OK; now Mike Welding and Fabrication.
Working on more Mods, just need more time, longer days would work !
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 Posted: Thu May 31st, 2018 03:57 am
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Scrambler82 wrote:
Here's an idea, BIG IDEA, buy a new frame from Throttle Down Fab, they have a stretched Bronco Frame, add body and bed mounts and you have an incredible Ranger with solid axle and the room  for the axles to move on the frame.  

Dream-On... I know, sorry... got carried away !

I have never seen a Ranger frame striped out as you stated, so interesting with the twisting.

I guessing here but to do it right, do you have to support the frame, then level it, before welding on plate ?

Also, I thought I heard or read a while back that the Ford Frames were some how hardened and welding on the frame removes the strength of the hardening, any ideas  about that ?

SAS doesn't work for my needs and despite SAS being the almighty get down on your knees and pray to thing to do. SAS has all of its own issues still. Just like as you move up in DANA components. There are the typical weaknesses found in the Dana35 setup, others in the 44, still yet others in 60, 70 ect.. not to mention the weight penalties as you go up in axle sizes. From ALL the rhetoric I've read about Dana components, not only for the Dollar but the reality factors a turned beam(s) Dana 35 with Dana 44 knuckles makes the Dan 35 nearly indestructible given the usefulness. Now coupled with a strengthened frame, a proper mid-travel suspension with just enough flex to keep the wheels on the ground when needed, or at least 3 of them. lol I'm confident I could triple the abilities of what I can and do now. Especially adding in the 4WD.

Interesting article to feed on: 5 Reasons Why Your Solid Axle Rig Is Obsolete 

As an overlanding rig configuration.. my truck makes for a damn good camel if you will and not including that 290lb Flip-Pac, I still carry full gear in recovery (minus a winch), Food, extra water, tools, clothing (weather dependent), a lock down of rifles and ammo, food or ways to catch/process it, kitchen setup.. many items multiple uses to save on weight to begin with. So weight is a key factor for me to consider too.
 
I have to admit, and let the arguments fall where they fall... But I've done quite a bit for just being 2WD for the last 3 years. I'm not out to break   but I also don't coddle my truck either between getting up in rocky places and 30" water crossings I may even be overly confident at times of the Rangers abilities as a 2WD owner but I have no idea how I see or read about so many issues with the axles, engines and the like. I mean things happen yes but I think I'm on record as saying before if I knew NOTHING about the Ford Ranger I'd swear by most forums I'd never buy one because of the issues people have with them and there only decent for swapping stereos in and adding LED lights wherever.. and in reality I know that its not true.

Me either but somewhere in the interweb I did come across a small vine like video showing it on a truck fab forum. I'll see if I can find it again. And from my guess is.. I've seen people box in a frame on a driveway with pre-cut template plates in many cases. I don't think its something as complicated as having multiple level tools and a frame straightener deck plate to build on. The main architecture is already there on 3 sides. your just closing it off. I am sure its not as simple as just laying metal across and tack welding into place and just buzz-boxing it all in. There is likely some method of planning needed and I will certainly go to that extent when I get to that point for sure.

As for the hardness and the welding.. I think its more about the welding on the frame has an effect on the hardness in how it is manufactured to stave off rust inhibition. I think if you go beyond a certain point it damages that natural (manufactured in) ability to resist corrosion is what it is at which point i'll be  taking in also those considerations as well. And good tip on the welding close to the negative clamp. Someone else, maybe it was you mentioned that in another thread so it kinda stuck in the back of my head already. lol



____________________
"Be never first, never last and never noticed." - Unknown

"The slave is held most securely when he is held by the chains of his own will and of his own fears, and when he is locked down by his own slavish desires for a comfortable life." - Michael Bunker

"Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur. Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur" - ~ attributed to Petronius (Gaius Petronius Arbiter (ca. 27–66 AD))
Roman courtier during the reign of Nero.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." - Thomas Paine


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 Posted: Thu May 31st, 2018 12:53 pm
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I could not agree more

the frame only needs boxing in a few sections to really fight the twist.

These frames are pretty damn tough I will be surprised if you find cracks in the frame, usually the body floor pans crack long before the frame does from regular off roading

I have welded to Ford truck frames with good results, never had any issues
Most boxing jobs are done with a plasma torch and some cardboard templates, you can work wonders. Fuel, brake lines and some wiring will need some re routing. 

solid engine mounts and good and a upgraded trans mount can help the truck feel more rigid.
2wd can go places, 4wd can go places but a fully locked 4wd will go FAR more places and finally get you into some real trouble. Its 90% driver anyways, for most obstacles A veteran with many hours behind the wheel of that particular rig will get you further up the trail then having two lockers and 37" tires with a newbie driving

Last edited on Thu May 31st, 2018 12:55 pm by 410customs



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 Posted: Thu May 31st, 2018 01:18 pm
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Here we are back in 2008 or 09 pulling the frame out from under a 92 sport so the frame could be boxed
My buddy Brett has been rebuilding his 94 Sport for years, he has owned the truck since new in 93. Its pretty cool truck now running a 4.0 SOHC engine and 5 speed from a 04 Edge using the 93 OHV computer.. The sohc never fit right with the TTB so hes redoing it with a 347 now, truck will be HP D44 SAS

I love these pics so figured I would share, it was an interesting day


Last edited on Thu May 31st, 2018 01:21 pm by 410customs



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By only boxing portion of the frame, do you open the frame to collecting mud and dirt behind the boxed areas ?

Is there a chart that states where the Plate go to do the best job ?


I guess that Sport Frame in the picture isn't boxed !



____________________
Ltr,
2003 EDGE, Std Cab, Steppie, E4 Red, 5sp, 4x
5" SuperLift, 33" x 12.50 x 15"
Hurst Shifter
Mod'd Backrack to fit Steppie
Front and Rear Bumpers by Custom 4x4 Fabrication, OK; now Mike Welding and Fabrication.
Working on more Mods, just need more time, longer days would work !
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 Posted: Thu May 31st, 2018 05:29 pm
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1992 no box lol
its like 2002+ sport and sport trac I believe



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 Posted: Thu May 31st, 2018 08:52 pm
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Scrambler82 wrote:
By only boxing portion of the frame, do you open the frame to collecting mud and dirt behind the boxed areas ?

Thoughts...

For 98+ Rangers, both coil and T-bar, the frame rails are factory boxed from the front bumper back to just beyond the transmission crossmember. So it is already partially boxed. From what I've seen with these years, the problems with rust perforation and frame component failure are far more prevalent in the rear unboxed section. 

Unless you can guarantee that a boxed frame is absolutely watertight (not likely!), it would make sense to provide drainage paths to minimize water/salt/mud accumulation. Rust begets more rust, especially if it's in an area that is slow to dry - like the inside of a boxed frame would likely be. 

IMO, any used frame that is a candidate for boxing should be thoroughly de-rusted, cleaned and painted before adding the plates. The outside could be painted after welding is complete. 

That just leaves the internal welding paths unprotected. Eastwood.com sells an internal aerosol frame spray which can be applied using its 24" flexible spray tube inserted through existing frame holes. Reviews are mixed and it is reputed to be a messy process. I haven't used it myself but it seems like it might be a good idea.  However, I don't know how the average owner could judge its effectiveness unless you actually cut a treated frame apart ten years later and inspected it. :ermm:

Last edited on Fri Jun 1st, 2018 02:12 am by V8 Level II



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410customs wrote:
Here we are back in 2008 or 09 pulling the frame out from under a 92 sport so the frame could be boxed
My buddy Brett has been rebuilding his 94 Sport for years, he has owned the truck since new in 93. Its pretty cool truck now running a 4.0 SOHC engine and 5 speed from a 04 Edge using the 93 OHV computer.. The sohc never fit right with the TTB so hes redoing it with a 347 now, truck will be HP D44 SAS

I love these pics so figured I would share, it was an interesting day



THAT ^^^ Looks like it was scary fun.. lol


Scrambler82 wrote:
By only boxing portion of the frame, do you open the frame to collecting mud and dirt behind the boxed areas ?

Is there a chart that states where the Plate go to do the best job ?


I guess that Sport Frame in the picture isn't boxed !

My idea's have been to either use existing frame holes as there are a few I've noted and either add in a couple if necessary. I'll also snatch a pic or two tomorrow afternoon and add to this but in the front frame rails as @V8 Level II mentions the front is slightly boxed in on the 93-94' and where the bumper supporting bolts go. I have noted that the accordian'd crumple zone is capped off but it is NOT solid. If I recall, it seems as though the top was left extended during manufacturing, folded downward to create an end plate of sorts and then the way its in place makes it look like the corners were left docked to provide drainage or at the very least air to enter into the cavity which I am positive here in the desert (West side of the world), the frame in ambient warm air all day tends to have the same effect as direct sunlight drying your driveway after washing your car on it. Once the  water source is gone, things start to dry very quickly.

Its suggested that 6-inch-wide 10-gauge cold rolled steel, in I assume whatever feesable lengths would be best cost effective wise. The plates would still have to be cut down to match the frame itself and I've read it would be best to weld it into the inside of the frame itself. Which lends the further thoughts of even if I purchase the metal in say 4' length's. I would assume something such as a frame would be welded on both sides. Someone correct me if I am wrong. That being said the slow process of allowing the metal to be worked and cooled off plus whatever the duty cycle of the welder used is. I have a feeling although worth it, this project will be taking on some time on the Time clock.

I found this article interesting read and helpful so far in thoughts DIY Frame Mods and I'll be likely researching the   out of this topic alone.. so much to think about on top of other things. I don't mind putting the time and effort in as well.. I don't think I could go wrong as far as value in it.., there is a dual purpose in the learning/working aspects of it all too and like tools, unless a truck was wiped out in total loss; but both trucks will be done the same and fully documented as well.


@V8 Level II I wanted to go over your post too but ran out of time and will do so shortly, you bring up some good points, some already in thought...



____________________
"Be never first, never last and never noticed." - Unknown

"The slave is held most securely when he is held by the chains of his own will and of his own fears, and when he is locked down by his own slavish desires for a comfortable life." - Michael Bunker

"Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur. Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur" - ~ attributed to Petronius (Gaius Petronius Arbiter (ca. 27–66 AD))
Roman courtier during the reign of Nero.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." - Thomas Paine


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 Posted: Fri Jun 1st, 2018 06:25 am
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Another boat load of information. It seems mostly mannered for commercial truck frames but I'm sure the principle matter is the same, just smaller numbers. I thought it was worth sharing further anyhow for the technical aspects and weenies.

Truck Frame Modifucations 



V8 Level II wrote:
Scrambler82 wrote:

By only boxing portion of the frame, do you open the frame to collecting mud and dirt behind the boxed areas ?

Thoughts...

For 98+ Rangers, both coil and T-bar, the frame rails are factory boxed from the front bumper back to just beyond the transmission crossmember. So it is already partially boxed. From what I've seen with these years, the problems with rust perforation and frame component failure are far more prevalent in the rear unboxed section. 

Unless you can guarantee that a boxed frame is absolutely watertight (not likely!), it would make sense to provide drainage paths to minimize water/salt/mud accumulation. Rust begets more rust, especially if it's in an area that is slow to dry - like the inside of a boxed frame would likely be. 

IMO, any used frame that is a candidate for boxing should be thoroughly de-rusted, cleaned and painted before adding the plates. The outside could be painted after welding is complete. 

That just leaves the internal welding paths unprotected. Eastwood.com sells an internal aerosol frame spray which can be applied using its 24" flexible spray tube inserted through existing frame holes. Reviews are mixed and it is reputed to be a messy process. I haven't used it myself but it seems like it might be a good idea.  However, I don't know how the average owner could judge its effectiveness unless you actually cut a treated frame apart ten years later and inspected it. :ermm:


What year did they add the bolt in rear section of the frame or portion of it?

Precisely the rust issue is less here in the West but it exist. As much as I would LOVE to just set my wallet on fire and build a custom frame but modifying one for my needs is the best i'll be able to do... [for now]. On the Eastwood internal rust inhibitor, that above article mentions it near the end. I used to do rustproofing at Auto-1 and Auto Ameristar way back in the day. Popular back in the outlying Detroit areas. So I wonder how different it is from what was used back then? It is a bit messy but not that bad. But it was really effective especially when you came back for a respray at the 6yr and 10yr additionally. Its basically a fog that sprays in all the cavities and was applied to the underside of the vehicles and inner wheel well areas. Then after it sat up for a bit, it was generally what we called "blacked out" with a sound deadening material applied in a same manner and man that   worked great. I would put it on thick too.



____________________
"Be never first, never last and never noticed." - Unknown

"The slave is held most securely when he is held by the chains of his own will and of his own fears, and when he is locked down by his own slavish desires for a comfortable life." - Michael Bunker

"Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur. Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur" - ~ attributed to Petronius (Gaius Petronius Arbiter (ca. 27–66 AD))
Roman courtier during the reign of Nero.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." - Thomas Paine


~ Undrstm8ed Truckumentry Write Up Pg.

~ Undrstm8ed Trailermentry Write Up Pg.
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 Posted: Fri Jun 1st, 2018 01:57 pm
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I am not sure I have ever seen a RBV frame that was boxed be completely enclosed, it is mostly boxed but there are still openings for lines to run, water to drain, etc. Even factory boxed frames are not 100% enclosed, the goal is just to add rigidity and stop the twisting, that can be done by boxing sections and adding some cross members IMO

Magnet paints chassis black is similar to POR 15 but a little cheaper and it dries hard and has UV protection



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 Posted: Sat Jun 2nd, 2018 08:32 am
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Undrstm8ed
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Dont mind the wetness from the Power steering box, its getting rebuilt soon as I can tear it down and out after the parts come in. BUT, what I wanted to show is that in the 93-94 possibly all the way to 97. The boxed in frame portion not only goes only as far as the front axle or springs...




But the front end caps are manufactured as such..



Plenty of "air" flow if you ask me. but the rears will also get boxed in better if i get this new 94 4x4 frame/truck tomorrow I want tomorrow.

On another note, I hopefully will confirm this tomorrow cause I've yet to see the explanation in fact, only heard of it in theory about the front engine cross member not having the hump in it necessary for the Dana 35. If I am correct the rear side of this engine cross member in the 2WD doesnt have the room for the Dana 35 to move because of the back of the cross member as I'll show you the 2WD here.



.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 13th, 2018 02:12 am
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Eddie Money
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You are adding 4WD to a 2WD if I'm following right. Which is interesting on it's own. 

There seems to be a trend in offroading to disconnect or remove anti sway bars to allow more flex. Dodge even has a electric unit now.

But you are stiffening your frame. Does the 2WD frame need to be beefed up to accept the 4WD? Any concerns of over stiffening? I know stiffer suspension helps handling on roads. Im sure you drive in to town but I had the impression you drove on private roads a majority of the time. Probably arent a lot rock crawling to do in the desert so this probably isn't an issue for you but I was curious.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 13th, 2018 03:38 am
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VelociRanger
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If you plan on boxing the frame yourself, here's a tip...dont run a continuous bead down one side. I mean, you can get away with doing maybe 6" at a time, stopping, moving down 6" and starting again, repeat...then going back in to fill in the gaps...if that makes sense lol. If you do it all in one go you will more than likely warp the frame by adding so much heat into it. Of course, from what I've gathered you're an educated and well versed man, so I'm sure you already knew this. But, just in case ya didn't or someone watching this thread didnt....there ya Go lol!

Last edited on Thu Sep 13th, 2018 03:39 am by VelociRanger



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 Posted: Thu Sep 13th, 2018 06:22 am
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VelociRanger wrote:
If you plan on boxing the frame yourself, here's a tip...dont run a continuous bead down one side. I mean, you can get away with doing maybe 6" at a time, stopping, moving down 6" and starting again, repeat...then going back in to fill in the gaps...if that makes sense lol. If you do it all in one go you will more than likely warp the frame by adding so much heat into it. Of course, from what I've gathered you're an educated and well versed man, so I'm sure you already knew this. But, just in case ya didn't or someone watching this thread didnt....there ya Go lol!
Ha, yes and or switch sides. Quite versed in seam welding for track-cars.. well the application of it any how, I had someone working for me that did the actual work and had the initial know how.

And I didnt add it into my other thread but here is my 94 4x4 frame near stripped down and just the flexing of the entire frame and axles by pressing up and down on the front sway bar 3-4" while teetering on a jack stand.. Theres some specifics to my project build that I am addressing concerns of in a methodical way of my madness. I am sure the C-frame as argued from one perspective has its Pro's and Con's as does a boxed in ladder frame.



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"Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur. Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur" - ~ attributed to Petronius (Gaius Petronius Arbiter (ca. 27–66 AD))
Roman courtier during the reign of Nero.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." - Thomas Paine


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 Posted: Thu Sep 13th, 2018 08:37 am
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Chris

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I'll start by saying that I have absolutely NO experience with modding Ranger frames (we call them chassis in the UK :))

But, the fact Ford went to boxed frames and then unibody suggests to me that the boxing didn't really solve the problem and looking at that frame flexing I would say that boxing the side channels won't make a big difference as the cross members are offering little resistance to the movement.

Is it possible to add some extra, deeper cross members to tie the two sides together better?

I would also be inclined to strengthen the side C sections by bolting in matching C sections that fit inside the existing sides if that is possible, since that will help take the compression / tension loads in the horizontal sections and avoid issues with welds introducing weak spots.

If you can get it, Dinitrol is an excellent box section anti rust treatment  as it is very liquid and creeps into joints - I have cut open a rocker treated from new with Dinitrol and it was totally rust free after 30 years of British weather!



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 Posted: Thu Sep 13th, 2018 01:40 pm
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I agree X members are worth more then boxing.
A combination of both is what we are after here.
It is pretty easy to add crossmembers where needed
A full belly pan skid plate that attached rigid to the frame would also help a great deal, as does a full A B and C pillar cage that attaches rigid to the frame.

I have been twisting my Bronco II up off road for 25 years, the frame bends and twists quite a bit. I have solid engine and urethane trans mount as well as urethane body mounts. No cracks yet, but I am sure after 350K miles the frame has probably seen better days. I would love to have a bare frame to build off of.
(that is why we were pulling the 92 sport frame so my friend Brett can build a frame off wheeler)
I would box much of it and add 3 additional x members or ladders to attach the two rails together. I would also go with solid body mounts, solid belly pan and solid mounted engine/cab/bed cage. That should be plenty overkill for a RBV.

I have not run sway bars on my BII for about 7 years now, soft springs and very stiff shocks make the suspension work



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 Posted: Fri Sep 14th, 2018 05:11 am
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Eddie Money wrote:
You are adding 4WD to a 2WD if I'm following right. Which is interesting on it's own. 

There seems to be a trend in offroading to disconnect or remove anti sway bars to allow more flex. Dodge even has a electric unit now.

But you are stiffening your frame. Does the 2WD frame need to be beefed up to accept the 4WD? Any concerns of over stiffening? I know stiffer suspension helps handling on roads. Im sure you drive in to town but I had the impression you drove on private roads a majority of the time. Probably arent a lot rock crawling to do in the desert so this probably isn't an issue for you but I was curious.

Sorry missed this - on the 93-97 with TTB (4x) and TIB (2wd) the two frames are incompatible due the forged front engine X-member having a arch or cutout if you will meant for the front differential. Non existent in the 2WD chassis. So the cab, bed w/Flip-pac (for now), will be transferred to the 4x4 frame I have now to work with. Then the 2WD frame will become host to the bed from the 94' Ranger (purple one if you're following at all my build thread by chance) and well thats a story and build page all its own.

So the video I added IS the 4x4 frame and demonstrate how much flex is in it stock. I do a fair share of city driving for now living in Vegas but I try to find every excuse I can to get out of town on a backroad and find something new. I did come across the very first Zinc mine in Nevada in the middle of nowhere on a mountain side at 1am in the morning.. lol And the desert provides everything from rock crawling to rock shelf's, silty sands and dunes, mountainous terrain, rock gardens, water crossings, snow, washes and flash floods, to drivers from Yemen to the Yucatan!


Chris wrote:
I'll start by saying that I have absolutely NO experience with modding Ranger frames (we call them chassis in the UK :))

But, the fact Ford went to boxed frames and then unibody suggests to me that the boxing didn't really solve the problem and looking at that frame flexing I would say that boxing the side channels won't make a big difference as the cross members are offering little resistance to the movement.

Is it possible to add some extra, deeper cross members to tie the two sides together better?

I would also be inclined to strengthen the side C sections by bolting in matching C sections that fit inside the existing sides if that is possible, since that will help take the compression / tension loads in the horizontal sections and avoid issues with welds introducing weak spots.

If you can get it, Dinitrol is an excellent box section anti rust treatment  as it is very liquid and creeps into joints - I have cut open a rocker treated from new with Dinitrol and it was totally rust free after 30 years of British weather!

I typically call them chassis as well but for some odd reason not enough people recognize such a term and so I've succumbed to the less than $8 word and been slinging around the $3 version.. Should of seen the looks on people when I was into the import scene and called it a bonnet and a boot.. utter confusion except by my 2 Irish and some German buddies!

The way it was explained to me back in the day (95') by engineers is exactly the arguments on why a C channel is "better" than a Boxed frame. They wanted the chassis to flex of all things to say. I know.. staggering right?! Boxing the frame as you and 410Customs stated is only a portion of the equation but it or the hard-facing is certainly needed. Creating whats termed as a "Boxed Ladder" frame is exactly what you're describing tho. X-members fitted into the frame the same size as the frame section its in itself. The stamped steel outrigging style just isn't enough and so you will see some great improvements here as well.

Back in the day, some friends from across the pond on the Pacific side of things got me away from building full cages in our FWD higher powered grocery go getters. See in Japan, if you're seen/caught with modifications to your engine, chassis, or suspension, you are heavily fined and many times your car is impounded. In fact in Japan, once the vehicle reaches 32k miles. You have 3 choices. You can buy another new car. You can re-cert the engine for I think it was an additional 18k miles Or you can replace the engine with a new reman engine. They don't have old or even "older" cars there except for historical or NON-opp collector status.

So what these young guys were doing was throwing their cars on rotisseries and filling the chassis's with liquid "Delrin" and as it cured and solidified it strengthened the chassis immensely and was virtually undetectable. We, the performance company I owned then, had some good results. Sad a divorce hacked that dream and company into matchsticks.


410customs wrote:
I agree X members are worth more then boxing.
A combination of both is what we are after here.
It is pretty easy to add crossmembers where needed
A full belly pan skid plate that attached rigid to the frame would also help a great deal, as does a full A B and C pillar cage that attaches rigid to the frame.

I have been twisting my Bronco II up off road for 25 years, the frame bends and twists quite a bit. I have solid engine and urethane trans mount as well as urethane body mounts. No cracks yet, but I am sure after 350K miles the frame has probably seen better days. I would love to have a bare frame to build off of.
(that is why we were pulling the 92 sport frame so my friend Brett can build a frame off wheeler)
I would box much of it and add 3 additional x members or ladders to attach the two rails together. I would also go with solid body mounts, solid belly pan and solid mounted engine/cab/bed cage. That should be plenty overkill for a RBV.

I have not run sway bars on my BII for about 7 years now, soft springs and very stiff shocks  make the suspension work

You are onto some of my design efforts for chassis bracing and skid plates for the 3rd Gen rangers because of the TIB/TTB setups and the lack of rigidness. May be worthy of some IED testing.. lol

Everything else mentioned is the basic idea, however, the cage if it was to get one will mostly be a external exoskeleton style one.

As for the sway bars.. Im actually adding a rear one because of the 290lb penalty of the Flip-Pac the lateral forces are felt and I think the rear sway will help. However, much like the front one. Both will be upgraded units and have manual disconnects for some assistance with the articulation aspects when needed. But for on road manners, I prefer them.

Thankfully I have a lot of help in this project and with its proposed use in a booth at the 2020 Expo West show.. As everything pulls a string and ties into other things.. all of the strings will be pulled closed at one time near the end and then dialing it in will be a notable effort. Lots of goals to be met.

All great insights and comments guys.. thanks



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"The slave is held most securely when he is held by the chains of his own will and of his own fears, and when he is locked down by his own slavish desires for a comfortable life." - Michael Bunker

"Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur. Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur" - ~ attributed to Petronius (Gaius Petronius Arbiter (ca. 27–66 AD))
Roman courtier during the reign of Nero.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." - Thomas Paine


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 Posted: Tue Oct 9th, 2018 04:08 am
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Eddie Money
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Found some more info on boxing. This is from project rolling thunder. A 4.6L DOHC swap into a mazda pick up.

Go to the -3:00 mark for unboxed chassis flex
https://www.powernationtv.com/episode/TK2010-10/towing-test-rolling-thunder-part-6

Go to the -11:30 mark for boxing the frame

https://www.powernationtv.com/episode/TK2010-16/rolling-thunder-part-8-drivetrain-install-chassis-improvements

Go to the -11:00 mark for a side by side comparison.

https://www.powernationtv.com/episode/TK2010-20/rolling-thunder-part-9-sheet-metal-transformation



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 Posted: Wed Oct 10th, 2018 01:15 am
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Excellent keep the info coming!!



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 Posted: Wed Oct 10th, 2018 02:03 am
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Eddie Money
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410customs wrote:
Excellent keep the info coming!!
When I originally read this thread I was clueless about frame stiffening and boxing. After I watched the videos and saw the side by side comparison. I get it. I like the speed holes too.



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