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Help with 1989 Bronco II frame repair!


danisev

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Hello!

My B2 had some frame rust that made a hole near/on the coil bucket on the passenger side. I suspect a leak in the AC system had something to do with it, because this hole is right under a valve on an AC hose and this hole in the frame developed from a darker looking spot over time.

I did not think anything of it and figured it would dry up but it did not and I should have at the very least washed it before it ate away at the frame. I am just guessing this is what happened.

Has anybody seen this before? Could the AC system be the cause of the corrosion?

My plan is to find a scrap piece of frame that I can use. I would take the coil bucket off and cut the hole out on my truck. Then, cut the scrap piece to fit and weld it in. I am looking for advice on how to best do this as well as how to aquire this frame piece.

Would I be limited to only 1989 Bronco II 4WD frames for my specific model, or would Ranger frames and Bronco frames from other years both work?

Any advice on where to cut the frame?

I was thinking of putting diamond shaped fishplates on the back on the "patch" for force distribution. The front part facing out to the street sits flush with the coil bucket and I would not think there would be room for anything but ground down welds there.

How strong can I expect something like this to be?

Thanks for the help!
 

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bobbywalter

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likely battery goo.


put new metal in.
 

tw205

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That spring bucket is rusted between it and the frame. That hole looks like part of a crack. It will eventually come apart causing serious failure. Get a new bucket. Remove the old one. Weld new steel on the frame and install the new bucket.
 

danisev

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Yeah, battery goo sounds right.

When you say weld new steel in, do you think my idea of using a piece of frame from another truck would work, or should I just get some plate steel?

The reason I wanted to weld a piece of matching frame is because the top part is curved. I mean the vertical portion of the frame and the top part have a rounded edge. I am not sure how a patch would work. Should I try to match the curve at the top or just go for a 90 degree angle?

I was thinking of reusing the buckets but you are likely right and I will try to find new ones. I wanted to get the dual shock setup from James Duff, so maybe I can end up doing that. First things first, and I need to fix the frame.
 

tw205

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Hard to see extent of damage until you get the bucket off. Someone here just did the same on their rig. I believe they used a mobile welding service and new plate was used.
Link to sister site.
 
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danisev

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Thanks, I will look through that.

I have never done frame repair myself and I while I would like to try it, my Bronco and I would benefit from good advice.

My first step would be pulling the truck into my garage and taking the engine out, as well as taking apart the front and coil bucket for access to the frame amd getting a good look at what I am up against.
 

franklin2

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I think one of the most important things to be careful of is to put as small a piece of frame in as possible. The reason I say this, when you cut the old out, you want it to still sort of hold everything in it's place and keep everything aligned. I would not cut a huge chunk out and then the frame goes wacky and gets twisted or sags.

You can cut as much out as you need on the side of the frame, but be careful of the top lip and the bottom lip. All the strength of the frame is in the top and bottom of the "C".
 

Roert42

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Normally you would fishplate both vertical joints. I would think you could bolt the replacement coil buck over a fishplate without it effecting anything.
If you make the patch long enough you could lay it out where they are clear if the new bucket.

I did something similar in the back where the leaf hanger bolts, I made sure to lay everything out so none of the bolt holes overlapped with the welds and was fine.
 

bobbywalter

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Yeah, battery goo sounds right.

When you say weld new steel in, do you think my idea of using a piece of frame from another truck would work, or should I just get some plate steel?

The reason I wanted to weld a piece of matching frame is because the top part is curved. I mean the vertical portion of the frame and the top part have a rounded edge. I am not sure how a patch would work. Should I try to match the curve at the top or just go for a 90 degree angle?

I was thinking of reusing the buckets but you are likely right and I will try to find new ones. I wanted to get the dual shock setup from James Duff, so maybe I can end up doing that. First things first, and I need to fix the frame.
just some 10 gauge
 

danisev

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I think one of the most important things to be careful of is to put as small a piece of frame in as possible. The reason I say this, when you cut the old out, you want it to still sort of hold everything in it's place and keep everything aligned. I would not cut a huge chunk out and then the frame goes wacky and gets twisted or sags.

You can cut as much out as you need on the side of the frame, but be careful of the top lip and the bottom lip. All the strength of the frame is in the top and bottom of the "C".
I was planning on putting the frame on extra jackstands to support it, around the area I am going to be working on on either side. Anbody have any experience with something like this? Would the frame be supported on both sides and keep from twisting and warping?

I did want to cut part of the top out but I will get a better look when I get there. I am pretty sure the top rail has rusted through and wanted to replace it.

Once it gets welded and if everything goes well, would there still be an issue of the frame failing since I cut away the top or the "C?"

Normally you would fishplate both vertical joints. I would think you could bolt the replacement coil buck over a fishplate without it effecting anything.
If you make the patch long enough you could lay it out where they are clear if the new bucket.

I did something similar in the back where the leaf hanger bolts, I made sure to lay everything out so none of the bolt holes overlapped with the welds and was fine.
Do you fishplate both sides of the vertical joints? Should I worry about the top flat part or that should be OK with everything else?

I was just worried that the fishplates on the outside would interfere with the coil bucket since they would be a fraction of an inch off the frame.
 

danisev

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Hard to see extent of damage until you get the bucket off. Someone here just did the same on their rig. I believe they used a mobile welding service and new plate was used.
Link to sister site.
That is a good link but I wish there was more information!

I am not against hiring a welder, but I would like to do all the preperation for his job myself and save some money this way. Also, it would not hurt to have advice on where to cut and weld and compare that to what the welder would think.

When I get the Bronco in my garage and coil bucket off, I can post the pictures and hope to get some responses from you guys here about it.

I am waiting on the garage space to free up when my brother fixes his Subaru soon.
 

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I fixed some holes in the frame behind the coil bucket on my low buck race truck by plating the outside of the frame. This is on the passenger side. Frames and frontends have lots of leeway for slightly off measurements [from the factory] and can be compensated for when doing the alignment.
I'm not exactly sure where in the build thread the repair is shown. Probably fairly early in the thread.
 

Roert42

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Do you fishplate both sides of the vertical joints? Should I worry about the top flat part or that should be OK with everything else?

I was just worried that the fishplates on the outside would interfere with the coil bucket since they would be a fraction of an inch off the frame.
The spring is going to flex at an angle as the suspension pivots to go up and down anyway. An extra 1/8" or so cant hurt anything.

Yes, you should fishplate both sides of the vertical joints. I attached a PDF, it's Fords factory manual for frame modification/ Welding. It's indented for people lengthen medium and heavy duty truck frames, but the principal for layout out the joint is the same.


Here is a picture of one of the patched i made.

1696545088877.png
 

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danisev

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just some 10 gauge
Does the metal have to match the metal of the frame?

I heard you need to find out what your frame is made out of and then get some kind of corresponding metal as well as rod or wire for welding.
 

bobbywalter

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1988
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V8
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4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
Does the metal have to match the metal of the frame?

I heard you need to find out what your frame is made out of and then get some kind of corresponding metal as well as rod or wire for welding.

potentially. for sure you always need to inspect it if your whooping the hell out of it off roading or have a 600 hp engine and it leaves on the back wheels at the drag strip...


the later frames are garbage compared to the 80's stuff.. we knew some basic differences in the steel at one point....i just dont remember. there was a difference ..in hot and cold rolled ect. k member vs brackets vs buckets ect...


its just various forms of mild and is very weldable. my frame has broke over the years from abuse after clearancing it for long tubes and transfer cases ect back in 95...i made right angle cuts in a hurry...and did not get back to beefing it up before i got too rowdy with it.

we battery welded with 6010 and jumper cables some bar stock into it so i could make it home. then we eventually got around to fixing it "right" about 200 thousand miles later...

those bars and that emergency repair is still in there....


over the years it has proven to be a non issue.

we weld the hell out of them with 10 ga or more for roll cages and suspension and chassis mounts ect ect...mostly just mild mig wire or .035 fluxcore ....even gas welding.

my rails are highly clearanced and i have a v8 diesel rattling the crap out of it.... my frame is at this time in fact broken...in an unmolested area....when i get done adding 10 ga to it...it wont break there anymore. but i am sure it will fail somewhere else when i am ripping on it with 42 inch tires and crash into something.
 

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