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78 dodge d150 cracked frame at the steering box

Rude Robert

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Thanks again I hate sounding stupid lol, but I have the truck on the side yard on concrete and its blocking my atv trailer lol. So if it doesn't move neither does that trailer, hehe. Well that isn't the only reason, I don't want the steering to fall apart on me now either. I had the 318 rebuild and if I have to end up tossing the truck due to this frame issue, I will have to pull the engine and trans and store it somewhere and the wife would not be happy with that. I have number 5 grandkid on the way too, so once we get the call, we are going to drive 1300 miles to Texas to visit. I really appreciate all the help to my questions thanks.
 

Rude Robert

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The wheel is off I took another picture, now I'm off to buy some metal plate before they close
 

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richard d woolsey

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the pitman arm is what they call a non wear item. splined at gear box and just a hole in center link end. doubt they sell that at parts house. just loosen rag joint at box and leave hooked up to steering linkage.
 

Rude Robert

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Okay thanks again I was looking at the pressure lines I am going to take them out so the box can swing. I found that I have a 32mm just in case lol
 

Rude Robert

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I hope that this the way to do it hehehe cause if not it's too late 🤔wasn't hard yet
 

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Rude Robert

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I'm going to stop fir now mom is coming over for dinner. Tomorrow I'll start welding up the cracks, thank you for your suggestions and help
 

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Rude Robert

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I still thinking about that one. I can weld inside the frame for sure but I will have more room in the fender well. I was thinking about putting the 1/8 steel plate inside and then bolting it down ever so slowly and hammer or work the metal to make it cure to the form of the frame. The outside matches the inside of course. I have that part from dodge connection to put inside the frame as well and it is formed to match the frame contours.
 

Rude Robert

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I believe that the first picture is the front where the steering box goes and the next 2 pictures shows the back side penetration which I think is okay. It was tight in the fender well
 

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Rude Robert

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The part came in tonight here is a picture of it. You can see how they made it to fit all the contours as I call it. I am still thinking about how to make it work if I put a plate in between the box and frame
 

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volaredon

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you need that brace, AND to weld a plate to the opposite side of frame vs where gearbox mounts even if tougher access..... AND drill the ends of the crack (about a 3/16" bit will be big enough) , AND weld up the crack itself incl filling the holes drilled. The reason for drilling the holes is to stop the crack, since cracks usually will not follow a radius.
 

Rude Robert

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Volaredo just curious about why you are not liking the flux core? I can hook up a bottle and use mig wire but this welds really good in windy conditions. Thank you for your suggestions by the way. I was thinking about making a plate like what I found on you tube that they made about 3/4 to the end of their video except I have 1/8 plate not 3/16 like what they have. I have been trying to figure out how to make all those bends just to find this video seems like I'm not too far off. If you all don't mind please watch were they were welding up the plate. I usually try and go to bed about 7pm cali time as I get up at2am to start my 12 hour shift. I'd be happy to hear what you think about that plate that they made, I only have 1/8 though thx
 

volaredon

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1/8 is definitely better than nothing, and along with welding the cracks, will be stronger than original. I am not sure how big of a welder you have, I wouldn't do the job with a typical homeowner duty 110 powered MIG, Ive welded with flux core before, but most of what I see in flux core is meant for a person in the home garage making those birdhouses out of old license plates and is barely adequate for something like that. if you have (what I'll call) "industrial duty" equipment with at least 0.035 wire you'll probably do alright with flux core. If I had to work outside, I'd probably stick weld that with a 7018, which, too, is a flux coated electrode. It isn't the flux that bothers me so much....
If I could get at least the front 1/2 of the truck thru my garage door and out of the wind (you haven't seen my garage!) I would consider pulling out the MIG (I have a big mig here at home, 220v powered Miller) and doing the job with that.
be sure you clean the parent metal GOOD on both sides, (wire brush, needle scaler if need be, ideal would be to blast it but not always practical) and that the plate used, goes at least 1" past the outside edges of all mounting holes. and go from the other side of frame and re-drill the steering box mounting holes/ With only an 1/8-3/16" plate you can probably get away with the original steering box mount bolts.
 

7mopar

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1/8 is definitely better than nothing, and along with welding the cracks, will be stronger than original. I am not sure how big of a welder you have, I wouldn't do the job with a typical homeowner duty 110 powered MIG, Ive welded with flux core before, but most of what I see in flux core is meant for a person in the home garage making those birdhouses out of old license plates and is barely adequate for something like that. if you have (what I'll call) "industrial duty" equipment with at least 0.035 wire you'll probably do alright with flux core. If I had to work outside, I'd probably stick weld that with a 7018, which, too, is a flux coated electrode. It isn't the flux that bothers me so much....
If I could get at least the front 1/2 of the truck thru my garage door and out of the wind (you haven't seen my garage!) I would consider pulling out the MIG (I have a big mig here at home, 220v powered Miller) and doing the job with that.
be sure you clean the parent metal GOOD on both sides, (wire brush, needle scaler if need be, ideal would be to blast it but not always practical) and that the plate used, goes at least 1" past the outside edges of all mounting holes. and go from the other side of frame and re-drill the steering box mounting holes/ With only an 1/8-3/16" plate you can probably get away with the original steering box mount bolts.
I think if you would look at the pictures posted the welding has already been done. The penetration looks good. I would have drilled the ends of cracks but this can still be done. No big deal. Steel std.'s call for 1-1/2 inches edge clearance from centerline of hole for this size fastener if I remember right. Even though most weld that plate in there is really no need to with the torsion brace installed. What causes this crack is the twisting of the frame rail. Hitting curbs, turning the wheels into the stop and what I call stupid drive usually cause this crack and frame twisting. I have seen the drivers frame rail bent so bad that the passenger side front wheel would over center on left turns and lock the steering. That then bends the heck out of things when one tries to go back to center or turn right. I have three son. They have had two wheel and four wheel drives. I think I have repaired my share of this.
 

volaredon

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I've done frame repair before myself, never this exact problem on these exact trucks but I have seen more than a few of them in boneyards because of this exact thing. I wouldn't junk a truck for it myself, but that's because I have the equipment and know how to fix. I too have owned several 72 to 93 Dodge trucks, some of them I have beat the snot out of, lucky I have never had that happen to one of mine.
 
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