'64 f100 - Do I need to straighten my frame? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:52 AM
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'64 f100 - Do I need to straighten my frame?

I'm working on a 1964 F100 styleside. The truck was hit on the passenger side, near the front bumper, at what looks like a 90 degree impact.
I'm going to be replacing the front suspension with an independent front end from No Limit Engineering (independent front, similar to Mustang II) and will be installing a new cross member, motor mounts, and tranny mount.
My cross measuring and drawing it up on CAD, it shows that the frame center line is off 0.28" toward the driver's side at the front axle.

Do I need to have the front end of the frame straightened?

I'm not worried about the driveline center line too much, and with careful measuring I think I can get the front cross member square with the rest of the frame. I guess my concern is with the appearance of "dog walking" and the fact that the driver's side tire will be .28" closer to the fender lip.

I don't think I can nudge the installation of the new front cross member toward the passenger side any to compensate, because the notch I'll have to cut in each frame rail is only 1/8" deep.

Suggestions?

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Old 03-17-2011, 12:08 PM
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frame work

heat the frame rail on the flat where it is bent,get it red hot then take water soaked rags and cool the heated aria,this will pull the frame rail that is on the hit side.do this with the cross member removed. you may need to do this in several arias.the other rail heat the frame flanges and cool as previous rail. be sure to cool both rails at once.install crosmember after you have straightened the rails. cliff
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:47 PM
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Annealing?

Thanks Cliff.

A couple of items:

1. Will the process you describe anneal the frame? I'm no metallurgist, but doesn't the process you describe make the steel brittle? Or do body shops do this all the time and it is no big deal?

2. The front cross member is extremely stout. Thick four inch square tubing welded to the frame with big 45 degree brackets - also welded. Removing and replacing it would be a seeerious undertaking.

I've read that some people will get a car trailer, chain the frame to it, and use a jack to move the frame as needed.

I was really hoping some body and frame guy would tell me that in their professional experience, the bend wasn't enough to worry about.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:57 PM
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frame work

the heat and cool will not weaken the metal,in fact have used the process on heavey equipment.if you undo cross member 1 side only,the rail wil come to wher you want it,then straiten the other rail.other wise you have i strt pulling on the other which will be under tention and go back on a minor bump. the key is get 1 straight first.cliff
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:23 PM
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Get the frame as straight, square and true to the centerline as you can. I get mine to less than an 1/8" on the diagonal between the front suspension centerline and the rear supension centerline. If you don't get things square, centered and level to start with you will be fighting it on the whole rest of the construction process. Spend the time and make it right.

Andy
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:13 AM
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Thanks

Thank you guys for the advice - I'll give it a shot and repost details when I'm successful.
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