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Bill Hanlon

Is frame repairable

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After seeing pictures in replacing frame thread I crawled under and started tapping my heavily undercoated frame.  At end behind rear wheel I found a soft spot.  When I dug into it further about 13” of the bottom rail is gone.  This is located in the box frame just before the rear shackle of the leaf spring. Will a plate welded over this provide enough structural support picture below.   

Thanks 

Bill

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Edited by Bill Hanlon

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The frame is two sections, the upper c-shape usually called a hat and the bottom plate. The plate is 1/8" thick X 4" wide steel plate and readily available. 

The way I repaired mine that had several sections of the bottom plate rusted through but not much damage to the hat was to clean everything off the frame to metal and rust to evaluate the extent of the damage. Because the hat and bottom are welded together at the edge where they meet, I just cut across the plate and ground off the welds to remove the rusted pieces. Any minor damage to the hat section I repaired with 1/8 inch steel. I cleaned out the open areas of the frame and treated it with weld through primer before I welded the frame back together. 

Also before I welded the plates back I cleaned the frame in both directions inside as far as I could and used a kitchen brush to treat that area with POR-15. After welding the frame back together I treated the repaired sections inside with POR-15 as best I could.

It will get a little messy cleaning and grinding but you'll have a solid frame in the end.

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Yes, it's definitely repairable...by yourself if your handy with a mig welder, or by a professional body shop if the job is one that you wouldn't feel comfortable attempting.

As mentioned above, any good steel supplier can sell you a length (usually 10') of 1/8"X4" mild steel flat plate...which is basically what Studebaker used.

I've done this exact job myself several times, and have had good results!.....Carefully inspect the upper section of frame for rot....if you find any, that same 4" flat plate (trimmed down) can be pieced in.....Good luck with this!.....Ed:)

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In the 80's when I owned a body shop we repaired many rusted out frames on the "old" cars, that were failing in some areas. This was in the Detroit area and rust was a normal thing for us to fix. Your frame photos don't look too bad and something that would be a fairly easy fix. 

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Hi Stacey- I started the thread that Bill was quoting. One of my specific questions - hitherto unanswered by anyone- was what kind of welding procedure and/or rods should we use when weldinga a Studebaker frame. Can you elucidate on that score please?

 

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Thank you all for your input. I now have a new additional spring project that was not on the radar. From the above it seems to be addressable with some flat on your back “dirty” work. I will do the prep and will need to find a welder for the remainder.  Again I appreciate all of your input. 

Bill

 

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We used to grind all the crud away till we found solid metal to work with. Used a plazma cutter to cut the bad frame out leaving solid frame to weld to. Wire brushed clean and I forget the steel gage thickness now, but it was compareable to the thickness of the frame we were working on. Had a metal brake to bend any thing we needed to bend to fit the cut out areas. Used weld through primer on anything being welded in. Used our stick welder back then, long before mig was ever around. Ground down all the welded area and back then sprayed  Dupont Imron two part epoxy paint on all the areas we worked on. Then sprayed a rust proofing like Ziebart through a long hose into the boxed frame to stop or at least give some life to the repaired frame. I did a lot of foreign cars back then and the Datsun and Fiat were know rust buckets and the frames rotted before the bodys did. We kept many of them running for years by patching the rot. I thinking now that my biggest customers were Mercedes and and Jags too.

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