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Frame Rail Fabrication by RWDPLZ
Started on: 01-31-2012 08:10 PM
Replies: 11 (4190 views)
Last post by: ltlfrari on 02-01-2012 04:01 PM
RWDPLZ
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Report this Post01-31-2012 08:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Using rubyredfiero's thread and blueprint found here:

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...060811-2-068409.html

I set out to build a new pair of frame rails so I could get my car driveable again. Both rails are rotted out and in need of replacement. Here's how I built the frame rail:

First, the car. Driver's side isn't NEARLY as bad as the passenger side. This is what a Michigan daily driver looks like after 28 years:

[pic somehow deleted?]

Starting with a 2" square tubing 4ft long, 14 gauge steel (couldn't get 16 gauge locally), spent about 45 minutes removing all the mill scale from the outside of the rail, so the paint will stick to it, and there is a nice clean metal surface to draw on, and weld to later. Used a cup-type wire wheel in a grinder.



Next, I started transfering the measurements from the blueprint to the rail. Starting on the top, measuring over 19", drawing a straight line using a rafter angle square, to make sure the line is perpendicular to the piece, drawing the lines on all four sides, and using a small protractor to get the angles correct, which turned out to be 9, 11, 5, and 25 degrees, respectively





Then, using a cutting wheel in the grinder to cut inside the area to be removed, following the lines to remove the pieces.



All pieces cut out and removed



Next, I tack welded the pieces together.



Checked the angles against the blueprint using a level and angle finder



And by holding it up to the car to see how well it matches (what's left of) the current rail



Since the angles are all correct, I welded the seams, in my case, heat setting 3, speed 30, gas 32 scfh argon/co2 mix, with 0.030 wire



Closeup



Finally, I ground down the weld on that side, all looks good



Now just need to cut it to fit the car, and weld it in, and since this is going on the driver's side, add the notch for the filler neck. Total time to make the second rail was about 3 hours start to finish.

------------------

1984 Fiero SE

[This message has been edited by RWDPLZ (edited 10-17-2012).]

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Greenmeansgo
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Report this Post01-31-2012 08:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GreenmeansgoSend a Private Message to GreenmeansgoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Looks good, Ive been there. not easy

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post01-31-2012 09:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Nice photos. A heads-up: with that amount of rust on the rear, if I were you I would also check the upper front crossmember mounting brackets (the ones in the wheel wells) since they tend to rust as badly as the rear frame rails.

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ALJR
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Report this Post01-31-2012 09:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ALJRClick Here to Email ALJRSend a Private Message to ALJREdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Good Job!

I have said it a dozen times before; my welder quickly became my fav. shop tool

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Jfrost
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Report this Post01-31-2012 10:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JfrostSend a Private Message to JfrostEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Wish I knew how to weld so I could have done this. It would have saved a Fiero from the junkyard.

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ltlfrari
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Report this Post01-31-2012 11:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Nice job. What are the trunk corners like (assuming there's anything left!)?

When I did mine I dropped the tank. Welding next to the gas cap and half a tank of gas did not seem like a good idea

 
quote
Wish I knew how to weld so I could have done this. It would have saved a Fiero from the junkyard.


It's not that hard to learn the basics. Just take the time to practice running beads on on some scrap. Plenty of info on the web and your local tech school probably runs classes.
Welding thin stuff is the hardest, very easy to burn through, so start on thicker material until you get the hang of it.

------------------
Dave

www.ltlfrari.com

[This message has been edited by ltlfrari (edited 01-31-2012).]

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Stubby79
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Report this Post01-31-2012 11:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Stubby79Send a Private Message to Stubby79Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Nice work. I'm surprised 16ga would be strong enough...sounds almost flimsy. Its not though. Your 14 ga should be plenty tough enough. Going to spray some wax or something into them after to keep them from rusting?

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NullHead
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Report this Post02-01-2012 01:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NullHeadSend a Private Message to NullHeadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

It's killin' me how easy you make it look ... I just don't have time, tools or space to do it. My poor '85 is just settin' there waiting for someone to love it enough to weld 'er up.

You're Fiero is getting well deserved love! Looks great.

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RWDPLZ
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Report this Post02-01-2012 08:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:

Nice photos. A heads-up: with that amount of rust on the rear, if I were you I would also check the upper front crossmember mounting brackets (the ones in the wheel wells) since they tend to rust as badly as the rear frame rails.


Yep, also rotten.

 
quote
Originally posted by JFrost:
Wish I knew how to weld so I could have done this. It would have saved a Fiero from the junkyard.


I just started welding, I practiced on some pieces I cut off the end of the first rail

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/120123.html

 
quote
Originally posted by ltlfrari:
What are the trunk corners like (assuming there's anything left!)


The trunk corners need to be completely rebuilt, too. rubyredfiero also has a thread on replacing those:

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...070315-2-068398.html

 
quote
Originally posted by Stubby79:
Nice work. I'm surprised 16ga would be strong enough...sounds almost flimsy.


If you wanna see flimsy, check out the lower rails, 20 gauge! Difficult to weld without blowing holes in it, even with 0.023 wire.


 
quote
Originally posted by Stubby79:
Going to spray some wax or something into them after to keep them from rusting?


I'd love to hear suggestions on rustproofing the insides of the rails, haven't found anything yet on how to do it or what to use.

Thanks for all the kind words!

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fiero17
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Report this Post02-01-2012 09:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fiero17Send a Private Message to fiero17Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

you could get it oil sprayed. i got mine done here in ohio in the fall. trying to stop the rust (well the little it has) and to prevent it from coming up.

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brownc00
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Report this Post02-01-2012 02:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for brownc00Click Here to Email brownc00Send a Private Message to brownc00Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Nice work! Your welding is much improved since your original posts asking for feedback. Show us some updates as you progress!

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ltlfrari
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Report this Post02-01-2012 04:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Gor rustproofing, I got some spay galvanizing paint in a can from Eastwoods (I think), stuffed the nozzle up the end of the tube (and between the cuts before I welded it) and let loose.

------------------
Dave

www.ltlfrari.com

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