Author Topic: Frame Horn Damage Decisions  (Read 410 times)

Calamity

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Frame Horn Damage Decisions
« on: March 11, 2018, 07:11:52 AM »
As I have been diving into various things on my newly acquired 79 Formula, I have been discovering various things that need to be corrected. As I have gone I have used the motto of *shrug* "While I am here I might as well". Yesterday I was cleaning up some of the dirt and grime around the underside of the car and noticed a tiny hole. It also looks like there might be some sort of crease on the outside of the frame.

Now, here comes decision time. Body panels seemed to line up pretty well when the car was assembled and I had not problems with disassembly. The decision I need some input on is A: Do I have someone weld up the hole and call it good to go, or B: Replace the entire sub frame. The is the only little bit of damage that I was able to see. The frame does have some pitting but I never intended to make this a concourse level or trophy winning car. Just something to kind of tinker with.
 
I am capable of doing the work myself, but the downside is the amount of space I have. I am working in an east coast one car garage and space is a little tight.

I have attached pictures for reference.

29138638_10215151954894266_1516510033_n by Bryce C, on Flickr

Frame 2 by Bryce C, on Flickr

Utilizing the info from this thread: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=60309.msg552951#msg552951, the A measurement is around 37" 7/8's.

Ford5of5

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Re: Frame Horn Damage Decisions
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2018, 10:28:15 AM »
OMG! Are you working in one of those silly, little brick garages built in the 20's? The one's that are only big enough for a Model T to open one door? Several of my customers have them and they're used as storage sheds. I'm in Massachusetts, we got a bunch of them.

Be very careful with the "while I'm here" mentality. My '79 build in my sig below demonstrates where that kind of thinking goes. LOL! I just wanted to fix a transmission leak.

As for the frame, they're cheap enough to replace. I've seen them run around $150 in the Boston area. You may need to fix the mounting holes but that's easy. Depending on your car, a whole new suspension and body mounts may be well worth the effort and cost. I'd have to take a look at my frame, but going by pics that crease shouldn't be there. There could be differences in frames that I'm unaware of, someone will chime in to let us know. As for the horns, at least make sure there's still plenty of meat for the sway bar mounts.

Calamity

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Re: Frame Horn Damage Decisions
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2018, 11:02:18 AM »
OMG! Are you working in one of those silly, little brick garages built in the 20's? The one's that are only big enough for a Model T to open one door? Several of my customers have them and they're used as storage sheds. I'm in Massachusetts, we got a bunch of them.

Be very careful with the "while I'm here" mentality. My '79 build in my sig below demonstrates where that kind of thinking goes. LOL! I just wanted to fix a transmission leak.

As for the frame, they're cheap enough to replace. I've seen them run around $150 in the Boston area. You may need to fix the mounting holes but that's easy. Depending on your car, a whole new suspension and body mounts may be well worth the effort and cost. I'd have to take a look at my frame, but going by pics that crease shouldn't be there. There could be differences in frames that I'm unaware of, someone will chime in to let us know. As for the horns, at least make sure there's still plenty of meat for the sway bar mounts.

Don't think it is from the 20's but it is definitely small. The Firebird barley fits with the nose on. Ideally, I would like to replace the frame. Downside is space. Might need to rearrange some things and see where I stand. Another thing is the lack of a truck and help. Have a Jeep so could do a trailer, but I am not originally from here so do not know to many people willing to lend a hand to get the old on to a yard and the new one into the garage. Definitely a no go on the crease and the swaybar mount is solid.

Think it was hit from the passenger side towards the driver, then bent back, hence the crease and small hole, and why the measurement is kinda close.

I don't see any frames around my area but do see some on Ebay that are not priced to bad. Again, downside to all of this is space.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2018, 11:04:25 AM by Calamity »

Ford5of5

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Re: Frame Horn Damage Decisions
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2018, 11:58:08 AM »
Do you know the condition of the body mount holes? These are often in need of repair. Leave it until spring, start by gathering parts and upgrades you're interested in. Then you can prep, paint and build the subframe outside when the weather gets better. Invest in a collapsible canopy, around $99. They're great for working in the sun or light rain. Do you have a basement you can work in? You do paint and some assembly. The subframe by itself can be moved around by one person.

Personally, I would be a little worried about the hole in the horn. I think it could be repaired. It looks to me like a rot hole that's beginning to turn into a crack from the pics.

Calamity

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Re: Frame Horn Damage Decisions
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2018, 03:28:59 PM »
Do you know the condition of the body mount holes? These are often in need of repair. Leave it until spring, start by gathering parts and upgrades you're interested in. Then you can prep, paint and build the subframe outside when the weather gets better. Invest in a collapsible canopy, around $99. They're great for working in the sun or light rain. Do you have a basement you can work in? You do paint and some assembly. The subframe by itself can be moved around by one person.

Personally, I would be a little worried about the hole in the horn. I think it could be repaired. It looks to me like a rot hole that's beginning to turn into a crack from the pics.

I have not checked those but I have heard the stories. Think I am going to go the route you stated. To continue with what I was originally doing, stack parts like bushings and ball joints, and then throw it all together when I find a frame. Maybe have someone fix the whole and drive it until I find a frame. Decisions decisions.

Re: Frame Horn Damage Decisions
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2018, 03:28:59 PM »

cyber104

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Re: Frame Horn Damage Decisions
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2018, 11:06:19 AM »
I have a sub frame that is in MUCH better shape than yours but it has a VERY slight crease in it and one lower control arm mount could use a double-check by a welder.  Not rusty.  It has been on my car for years without issue.

It's free to a good home if you'll pay shipping - I had one brought from Wisconsin to North Carolina for $100.

firebirdparts

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Re: Frame Horn Damage Decisions
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 06:50:08 AM »
That looks unusually bad to me.  It could work, but they are easy to get. I would just get another one.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 06:53:58 AM by firebirdparts »
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Calamity

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Re: Frame Horn Damage Decisions
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2018, 10:02:11 AM »
That looks unusually bad to me.  It could work, but they are easy to get. I would just get another one.

Yea, the plan is to source another. Roadkiller has one for sale but I would need to find someone to repair a portion of it. If you have any leads, please let me know!

I have a sub frame that is in MUCH better shape than yours but it has a VERY slight crease in it and one lower control arm mount could use a double-check by a welder.  Not rusty.  It has been on my car for years without issue.

It's free to a good home if you'll pay shipping - I had one brought from Wisconsin to North Carolina for $100.

Have any pictures of it and were are you located?

Also, were is everyone looking when they source these? Doesn't seem to be a whole lot around my area.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 03:34:46 PM by Calamity »

cyber104

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Re: Frame Horn Damage Decisions
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2018, 11:52:49 AM »
I'll get you some pictures.  I'm offering it up for free.  Don't buy one that then needs repair.  Take mine - it's free and could probably be used "as is" if you weren't too picky.  If you are picky it can certainly be made perfect easily and at least you could use the extra money you would save getting it for free to repair it.

I'm just trying to help a forum member - certainly I could sell it for profit but that's not in the spirit of sharing lol.

I'm in North Carolina.  You can easily get it to where you are for at most $300 using uShip.com

In fact - if someone were to give me some basic measurements I'd be glad to measure it for you to see how "square" it is.  I just don't have any fancy measuring devices so it would need to be something I could do with string or a tape measure.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 11:57:07 AM by cyber104 »

Calamity

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Re: Frame Horn Damage Decisions
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2018, 03:38:55 AM »
I'll get you some pictures.  I'm offering it up for free.  Don't buy one that then needs repair.  Take mine - it's free and could probably be used "as is" if you weren't too picky.  If you are picky it can certainly be made perfect easily and at least you could use the extra money you would save getting it for free to repair it.

I'm just trying to help a forum member - certainly I could sell it for profit but that's not in the spirit of sharing lol.

I'm in North Carolina.  You can easily get it to where you are for at most $300 using uShip.com

In fact - if someone were to give me some basic measurements I'd be glad to measure it for you to see how "square" it is.  I just don't have any fancy measuring devices so it would need to be something I could do with string or a tape measure.

Ok! Actually planning to go to NC next month, might be able to swing through with a trailer and pick it up dependent on your location. There is one for sale up in Baltimore that still on the car that I am trying to go look at also. Just looking at all of the options around me.

Re: Frame Horn Damage Decisions
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2018, 03:38:55 AM »
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