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Old 07-26-2005, 01:52 PM
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new project feasability

as i posted elsewhere, my frame on my Comanche is gone. i have found one other Comanche in Ontario, for 2200. i would have to add about another 500 to get it up to par with my old one, swapping parts and such. anyway, i was wondering if it is possible and legal to build me own frame for my truck. the cab end is unibody, the box is frame. Also, how would i go about building a frame? what tools are required? i have a 220v welder, and know how to weld. what would be better, box or tube? any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-26-2005, 02:15 PM
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I do not know about the law in Canada......

Here, in the south........It is legal.

Depending on how good a welder and fabricator you are.......if might be cheaper and safer to buy that frame and go ride...

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Old 07-26-2005, 04:08 PM
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i doubt it would be cheaper to buy one, as it would be a one-off, safety is a prime concern, but i feel that with my dads expertise added to the equation, its worth a shot, assuming its cheaper to build one then buy. i'll call the dmv about this to figure legalities, thought it was.
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Old 07-26-2005, 07:24 PM
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i couldn't find anything in the highway traffic act that sais i can't do this. they just want me to have lights. as long as its safe, i'm good.
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Old 07-26-2005, 08:00 PM
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I heard that in Canada (at least Quebec) you need to have the frame professionnaly welded and have a proof that it was welded at a registrated place. I am not sure if it is true but I think it would be a good idea to have it inspected after it is made for safety reason. The best way to know would be to go see your insurance company and maybe a police station to know the laws regarding frame building.
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Old 07-27-2005, 10:07 PM
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thanks, i didn't know about that, the traffic act said nothing, and the mechanincs i talked to said as long as its solid. i'll hunt around some more, thanks.
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:07 AM
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The MJ Comanche is unique in that it is essentially a unit body. The front half is the same as an XJ Cherokee cut off. The rear rails are deep boxed sheet metal welded to the cab unit as extensions of the torque boxes, IIRC. Not telling you this MJ_lover, but everyone else.

I'd approach this by first cutting the rear rails off flush with the back of the cab, or if the rail is in good condition close up maybe about a foot back. IIRC the rails are about 3" wide and 10" tall in that area. That should give plenty room to jam a 3"x4" piece of square tubing inside the remainder of the rail under the cab. The tubing is much thicker (1/8", 11 gauge) than the 18 gauge factory rails, so they don't have to be as tall, but height is up to you. 3"x6" might look better. If the tubing will go in far enough (say 2') you could even drill sideways and run 2-3 3/8" bolts through instead of welding the frame on, just use some 1/8" steel reinforcement plates on each side of the factory rail and make sure the tubing fits snuggly side to side. Then it's just a matter of cutting and welding to get the right kick-up in the back. Bolting on would be better since you don't heat stress the thinner metal on the body. Just box in the bottom of the original rails to blend in with the new and drill a couple drain holes in the bottom. Don't forget to paint inside the cut off rails good too.

One thing you probably didn't know, is that the concept came out of AMC around 1970! They even made a prototype pickup based on a Gremlin "cab" back in 72 or 73. The proto was actually a 1971 SC/360 Hornet body cut and welded up with a Gremlin front clip but different grille. Used the same "uni-frame" rails as the MJ. It was to be a Jeep mini truck (that's why the utilitarian looking Gremlin front end) to compete with Toyotas and such. It was ditched because the Hornet/Gremlin was selling so well execs didn't want to add something that would take away production capacity, and it would take several years to develop a 4x4 system. A Jeep truck without 4x4 capability wasn't seen as a good idea. The proto is still in existence, but an early owner put a 73 Hornet front clip on it. As an El Camino type vehicle it looks great! Has a real separate bed instead of one piece. The rest is history -- Jeep dug up the old proto drawings and adapted the concept to the XJ Cherokee body.
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