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Old 03-20-2007, 11:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Why didn't I address this while I had the tranny out?

I'm going to be installing a set of Maier sub frame connectors shortly and last night I decided to do a test fit only to find out that the frame rails are deformed (buldging out)enough that the U shape bracket of the SFC will not fit.

I need to squeeze the lower section of the sides of the frame box inward to their original dimension. What are my options beside a BFH ? Is the frame rail material thin enough that I could use a large bench vise mounted to a floor jack and squeeze the area inward?

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Old 03-20-2007, 11:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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How much are we needing? My father in law has a set of clamps that has a turnbuckle style mechanism that will pull metal together, but it only has about a 1 1/2 inch travel. It's a woodworking set that he modified.

Kind of the opposite of a porta power.
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Is the frame rail material thin enough
You'd be surprised at how easily you can move that metal. I re-shaped the front ones on the 66 Coupe project of mine. Looked like the car went over a curb at one time... :p
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmayna
Is the frame rail material thin enough that I could use a large bench vise mounted to a floor jack and squeeze the area inward?
I think that would work!

Mine were so bad I replaced them, which now I wish I had just tried to straighten.

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Old 03-20-2007, 12:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So would a large massive C clamp work as well? I haven't measured the difference but I think we're look to move each wall inward about 1/2". I could attempt with the C clamp and have a 1/4" piece of metal between the clamp and the rail to distribute the load.

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Old 03-20-2007, 12:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Craig,

I used a couple of pieces of oak flooring and a couple of C-Clamps to get the bulk of it back in line.

I still would up finishing with the BFH for final adjustment!
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Old 03-20-2007, 12:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Craig,

I had the same problem with my Maier subframes fitting the frame rails. I just used a few persuasive blows with sledge hammer to get the rails back into shape. The frame rail metal isn't that thick/tough. I guess that's why they dent so easily in the first place!
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Old 03-20-2007, 06:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The others are right, they move pretty easily. One tip I can offer is for the deep dents. Drill the deepest part of the dent and run a sheet metal screw into it. Rig up a pry bar and apply firm downward tension to the screw while tapping on the "bulged" part of the rail. It's amazing how flat and straight you can get the rails to look. Weld up the holes when you are done and no one will ever know your P.O. used the rails to jack up the car.

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Old 03-20-2007, 09:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Craig,
I do have a Porta-Power that we could use to move stubborn metal. Let me know when you're thinking about doing this and I could bring my MIG welder also and finish the job.

Vic
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Tonight I got out my big C clamp and a couple pieces of 3/8" plates on each side of the frame rail. Squeezed them plates together and it moved so easily. The rail material is as limp as Midlife's.....well You know......

Can't believe how soft that metal really is. No wonder these car's underbellies look so rough.

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Old 03-20-2007, 09:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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C-clamps to squeeze em' in. In areas where the rail was badly dented I scabbed on plates and welded them to the originals. Look is original but much more strong.
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