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Old 04-19-2022, 10:43 PM   #1
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A crack in my frame

During my post trip under-body inspection I discovered a crack in my frame, on the passenger side just to the rear of the front axle, down the middle of the folded section. So far in my research on how to repair, I've found numerous differing opinions. Anyone care to discuss any similar repairs you've done, successful or not. The crack is small and may have been there for a long time, but it needs fixing.
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Old 04-20-2022, 05:53 AM   #2
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The frame is 30ksi steel, so it's not really a problem to weld it. Even a flux-core wire would work fine. It it were mine, I'd probably drill a hole on the face of the frame, just beyond where the crack is visible, and also grind a v-groove into the crack, and just weld it up, continuing the weld bead on the other end of the crack to the factory weld-joint at the bottom of the frame rail. Looks like you might also have some corrosion going on at the factory weld joint?
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Old 04-20-2022, 07:07 AM   #3
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Arctictraveller, I'm curious coil leaf spring front suspension?
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Old 04-20-2022, 07:40 AM   #4
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I have not fixed any damage like this before, but there is an obvious stress riser due to a bending moment causing that crack. Effectively you need to distribute that load over a wider area so it doesn't concentrate and re-crack.

Welding the crack can help, but depending upon the width and depth of the buildup you might just push the crack to where that weld ends. I would be tempted to double up the steel with some simple plates maybe 3"-6" at most from the crack after doing a deep penetrating weld of the actual crack.

As Carringb suggests, you need a deep V grove to get a full penetrating weld.

BTW that picture looks more like a tree trunk than a frame.
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Old 04-20-2022, 08:41 AM   #5
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Broken frame? Van is totaled. I'll give you $1500 salvage value.
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Old 04-20-2022, 11:28 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rallypanam View Post
Broken frame? Van is totaled. I'll give you $1500 salvage value.
Thanks but I thought you swore off vans?
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Old 04-20-2022, 11:39 AM   #7
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The frame is 30ksi steel, so it's not really a problem to weld it. Even a flux-core wire would work fine. It it were mine, I'd probably drill a hole on the face of the frame, just beyond where the crack is visible, and also grind a v-groove into the crack, and just weld it up, continuing the weld bead on the other end of the crack to the factory weld-joint at the bottom of the frame rail. Looks like you might also have some corrosion going on at the factory weld joint?
What appears to be rust, is actually just a buildup of paint. I do like the idea of stop drilling the crack, I hadnít thought of that. I tried to mig weld it on the first go around, but I couldnít get any penetration, so I ground it all out, and I have been experimenting with stick welding. I have yet to try it on the frame, but my first go around with 6011 on a piece of scrap steel did not go well at all, my machine doesnít seem to like it. 7018 seems to work better, so Iíll probably give that a go today. Iím guessing this crack has been there for a while because a while ago I hammered the suspension darn hard when I hit a deep ditch at speed in front of a cattleguard. The worst part of the whole thing, is the fact that I hate overhead welding, I always end up burning the heck out of myself.
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Old 04-20-2022, 11:41 AM   #8
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Arctictraveller, I'm curious coil leaf spring front suspension?
Leaf springs
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Old 04-20-2022, 11:52 AM   #9
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I would be tempted to double up the steel with some simple plates maybe 3"-6" at most from the crack after doing a deep penetrating weld.

BTW that picture looks more like a tree trunk than a frame.
My plan after welding it is to keep a close eye on it. If it begins to crack again, I will definitely add some additional steel, but I donít have an easy way to fabricate any plates at this point. By the way, GVT first thought the photo was art and did this 😂
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Old 04-20-2022, 12:48 PM   #10
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Broken frame? Van is totaled. I'll give you $1500 salvage value.
I wouldn't give him that. Obviously he removed the lead. Says clearly to crimp and heat shrink to existing lead. If he let this happen there's no telling what else is hiding in the shadows. Some people just refuse to read the instructions.

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