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Old 01-26-2012, 06:03 PM
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Boxing Question (again)

I have read most of the posts about boxing the frame and have consulted also with the guys at Speedway Motors. I would like the opinion/suggestion of someone who has been there and done that. It seems that every situation I have read about, has a little different twist to it. First the basic information. The frame measures out at .1500 and my chart says that is gauge 9. From my welding experience, I know I want to come as close to the same thickness to make life easier, but I doubt if my local supplier is going to be able to come up with gauge 9 metal. Anyway, I expect him to say you have your choice between something like 3/16 or 1/8 and if I get lucky perhaps gauge 10. One other fact, is that a high performance motor is not going in this truck (4.3 V6). So, should I try to go a little lighter metal or a little heavier?
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:47 PM
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I think 1/8' will be just fine for your build, maybe a length of 3/16" where and if your motor mounts weld to the frame. Because of the torque of this 507" Cadillac I used a 3/16 plate over the original "TCI" chassis boxed section, drilled 6-3/8" holes for plug welding along with tig welding the perimeter....VERY strong.........have fun.
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Last edited by 327NUT; 01-26-2012 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:49 PM
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When your doing your boxing, plan it out a bit so that you can hide the brake and gas lines within the frame, as well as installing a conduit for the wiring to the rear.

1/8" would appear to be satisfactory, with 3/16" where motor & trans mounts, suspension mounts would require the extra rigidity. Tucking the boxing plates inside the frame is better than than tacking to the outside edges, stronger edges and better appearance.
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:40 AM
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comments and questions

Speedway said that for this application, I only need to box from the back of the cab, where a cross member is located, to the front. I ran a conduit inside both sides... This motor is one of the first produced (1985) so it has a mechanical fuel pump.... that pump is located on the passenger side... If I use neoprene hose, for a gas line, I wanted it fully enclosed for protection. A friend of mine suggested brake line on the outside of the boxing metal, but, that comes way to close to the exhaust manifold. I could shield it, but..... still too close. I could also run a brake line before boxing, inside.... the rail. If that breaks, I have plan B (neoprene) run inside the conduit again. The drivers side conduit will be used for all electrical even though there is NOT that much electrical. I do plan on running some more conduit to the back of the truck too, probably only on one side.... not much runs to the back of this truck either.... Question: How long of pieces did you box in at a time? In other words, I will start at the back of the cab, work forward to where the motor mounts will be located, switch to 3/16" which is a good idea.... and then finish to the front with 1/8..... Also, one of the replies showed the motor mount welded in.... I like that idea.... Where did you get that motor mount? or did you make it your self? My 4.3 has the motor mounts, but, they are NOT the same as the usual Chevy mount on SBC motors... I think they are the same mounting holes but the width where the bolt goes through is wider... I could washer them up real good.... or just find a pair of regular mounts... but I do like that motor mount welded to the frame in the pictures... Want to know how ridiculous things can get? Yesterday at Fleet Farm, they were selling a roll of 3/8" neoprene hose, 25 feet for $25..... a packaged amount of two feet was selling for $6...... do the math. Thanks for all your help and suggestions.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:18 AM
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If you're thinking about using brake line for fuel, don't- it's not big enough. You can buy steel fuel line in bulk or by the length, even w/flares and fittings already done. Use at least 5/16" and 3/8" would be even better. Or put BOTH inside the frame in case you want to run an EFI, or a pump or regulator w/a return line to the tank later on.

I would not use rubber hose inside the frame. Or outside it for that matter, except to connect the fuel pump to the frame-mounted hard line so the engine can move w/o fatiguing the hard line. Rubber fuel lines are just too easily damaged and a run of it front to back is asking for trouble, IMHO (NHRA allows a total of just 12" of rubber hose for the entire fuel system). The fuel today is hell on rubber. An option to rubber hose is a stainless steel or kevlar braided fuel line that is fuel resistant, but be prepared for sticker shock- especially when compared to steel fuel line.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:39 AM
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I boxed my deuce frame rails in three sections from just in front of the gas tank mounting to the front suspension crossmember with 1/8". I'm running a Chrysler hemi with a 4 speed and that gave it plenty of strength, especially with the extra cross-members I used.







I did run the wiring to the front through the frame rails but since its a coupe I ran the rear wiring inside the body. Brake lines are all run outside the frame rails for ease of maintenance as is the fuel line. I used 3/8" aluminum fuel line combined with flexible line where needed for vibration isolation.

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Old 01-27-2012, 03:16 PM
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That's a good looking chassis.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:43 PM
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whut he said ^!
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:41 AM
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boxing frame

I have found that when boxing a frame, it is needed to be boxed the full length (between both main cross members, Ft. & R) Otherwise the frame will break at the ends of the boxing... I also step inside the frame at least 1/4" so as to be able to weld, with no grinding required, much easier and stronger... Anywhere you want to bolt or weld another cross member, I add a short length of 1/4" material that can be tapped (if bolting) all the way through to hold that new cross member. I have found also that when using conduit for wires, all the movement (vibration) tends to wear through the covering of the wire, (in a shop, the walls do not move) over time, and will short out, so if I want to pull wires into conduit, I first pull the wires inside a rubber 'fuel type' hose, then that whole assembly gets pulled into the conduit.
But then again after many years of driving the same T Bucket, I now would just use the rubber fuel hose to hold the wire, but clamp it to the outside of the frame... To hard to replace when mounted to the inside of the frame after boxed... and it is not that hard to shield the hose where heat (or rocks) is, or could be a problem... Maintenance should be your #1 concern.
IMHO - BTDT Thanks, Ted Brown Chassis

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Old 02-01-2012, 10:11 AM
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Professor, Ted's advice above is on the money.

You have to remember that the act of boxing a frame makes it FAR stronger than the original. I don't see the point of doing just half the frame, because what you are trying to do is to stiffen and strengthen the frame to be able to absorb all that torque which is generated at the front of the frame (at engine mount location) and is delivered at the back of the frame (spring/shock/bars etc.) location.

So trying to stop half way back will generate a weak spot where you stop the boxing - exactly as Ted says. It may, or may not, crack there, but do you really want to take that chance?

I know you will do the right thing.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:12 AM
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here is a tip for pulling wires through hose, conduit, or whatever


use your wire feed welder, to push some welding wire through the hose/conduit,
(by just holding the tip in the end of the hose/conduit, and pull the trigger, also turn up the wire speed and turn off gas)

then when the wire comes out the other end, stop and cut it off

attach a butt connector (with the outer covering striped off if its a tight fit) to the welding wire and the new electrical wires you want put in the hose/conduit

next use the welding wire to pull the electrical wires back through the hose/conduit


and you are done, no trying to push bendy wires like spaghetti
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matts37chev
here is a tip for pulling wires through hose, conduit, or whatever


use your wire feed welder, to push some welding wire through the hose/conduit,
(by just holding the tip in the end of the hose/conduit, and pull the trigger, also turn up the wire speed and turn off gas)

then when the wire comes out the other end, stop and cut it off

attach a butt connector (with the outer covering striped off if its a tight fit) to the welding wire and the new electrical wires you want put in the hose/conduit

next use the welding wire to pull the electrical wires back through the hose/conduit


and you are done, no trying to push bendy wires like spaghetti
Sounds like a good idea...the electrical guys sometimes use high pressure air and a small bobbin like gizmo with thread on it to go through long conduit.
Another thing I did here when running power out to my shed (through a 1" plastic water line) was to push a single length of 14/2 type wire through.

Same idea as yours really, as I didn't have a mig welder at the time.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:26 AM
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Pulling wires

That is a great idea, using the mig wire, I would bend the end of the wire back around so as to not have a sharp end to that wire to get caught on the inside of the hose... Then tie the soft wire and the mig hard wire together and cover with smooth Elect, tape, then put it back through, pretty much the same as a regular wire puller tape used for shop conduit... If you have one of those type pullers, that works also... You mentioned 'IF' the frame would crack or break at the ends of the boxing, it 'WILL' crack & break given some good use and miles on the road. I have fixed many with that problem. but the cracks are hard to see when all covered up with the body... BTDT
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:56 PM
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Mig Welder

I am considering buying a MIG welder to use on an early ford project. Will a wire feed welder be a good choice for boxing the frame as well as body patches? I understand some jobs require a gas bottle while others need wire with flux. As you can tell, I do not know much about this at all, but want to learn. What suggestions do you have for the unit I should purchase for what I have mentioned?
Thanks
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusty duck
I am considering buying a MIG welder to use on an early ford project. Will a wire feed welder be a good choice for boxing the frame as well as body patches? I understand some jobs require a gas bottle while others need wire with flux. As you can tell, I do not know much about this at all, but want to learn. What suggestions do you have for the unit I should purchase for what I have mentioned?
Thanks
I myself, would most likely buy another mig that uses gas bottles, but if you are somewhere you can not get good bottle service, then maybe your choice may be better, flux wire??? I do use the mig for panel patching also, but I am out of the late model loop, as I am retired now... That is my thought about this, gas- CO2 or a mix works great for me...
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