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Unread 05-25-2005, 03:44 PM   #1
DZLCJ7
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Homemade Jeep Frame

I know frame building is pretty tricky. But a jeep frame seems pretty straight forward. In my case I have a CJ7 and I want to have a stronger frame as well as one that doesn't look like swiss cheese. I can't bring myself to spending $1500+ on a new frame from matkin or 4wd hardware. I figure that if I take my time I could build a CJ frame using 2"x5" rectangluar stock. Do you think this could be successful or would it be a big waste of time and money? Any of your thoughts would be appreciated.
-Thanks

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1981 CJ7 w/ IH Dana 44s f/r, 3.07 gears, NV4500, 3.9L 4BT CTD, Dana 300, 31" Procomp MTs, 3" of lift, soon to get D60/14Bolt & 37s
1984 CJ7
1991 YJ
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Unread 05-25-2005, 05:26 PM   #2
duke_350
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ive made them before using 2x4 3/16 wall square tubing. the hardest part is finding a nice level welding table or a frame jig. i ended up using a home made jig to use. before you do any welding make sure you know what you are doing and your welder can handle full penetration of the thickness of the material you chose to use.
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Unread 05-25-2005, 07:40 PM   #3
BESRK
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I'm gonna do this later on in the Fall. Plan is to use 2"x4"x3/16" wall. Since it's a frame for Big Lime, it'll be pretty much trail only stuff so I'm not too concerned about getting it exactly square/plumb. Pirate has a few good threads about frames.
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'80 CJ5 w/AMC360, T176, D44 w/Detroit 4.56, RE 4" YJ lift and 35s..

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Unread 05-26-2005, 09:27 AM   #4
DZLCJ7
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I tried doing searches for threads regarding frames but didn't come up with much. I'm not sure if anyone can bring some light to this. I think im gonna go for it and see how well it turns out. I want it to be as perfect as possible since its gonna be used on road as often as off road. I will probably just use a flat welding table. But what does a jig entail, how is it work or is used?
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1981 CJ7 w/ IH Dana 44s f/r, 3.07 gears, NV4500, 3.9L 4BT CTD, Dana 300, 31" Procomp MTs, 3" of lift, soon to get D60/14Bolt & 37s
1984 CJ7
1991 YJ
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Unread 05-26-2005, 11:18 AM   #5
duke_350
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you can make a jig by simply drilling holes in your table. a jig is just a device that will hold the frame for you as you weld it up and make sure all your angles are where they are supposed to be.
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Unread 06-01-2005, 08:49 AM   #6
DZLCJ7
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I've kept thinking about this and was wondering if butt welds would be strong enough for the frame or would I have to get fancy and do "inverse fish mouth" cuts in order to make it strong, as in when I cut the peices to weld the frame would they have to look like this > instead of this l in order make it strong and well built?

-Matt
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1981 CJ7 w/ IH Dana 44s f/r, 3.07 gears, NV4500, 3.9L 4BT CTD, Dana 300, 31" Procomp MTs, 3" of lift, soon to get D60/14Bolt & 37s
1984 CJ7
1991 YJ
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Unread 06-01-2005, 05:21 PM   #7
BESRK
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I butt welded my entire rear half of the Jeep frame (from about the door opening back).. almost 4 years ago. Still going strong with no cracks. I've recently swapped in a much heavier drivetrain (lots of unsprung weight) and that is why I'm going to revamp my entire frame. I'll probably but weld again and then scab over the joints with plates <>
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'80 CJ5 w/AMC360, T176, D44 w/Detroit 4.56, RE 4" YJ lift and 35s..

Ground Pounder Fab


Lower 2

Guardrail

Down Schoolbus

Slickrock Tellico

Save

Crozet

More Crozet
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Unread 06-02-2005, 09:36 PM   #8
sentinal02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DZLCJ7
I've kept thinking about this and was wondering if butt welds would be strong enough for the frame or would I have to get fancy and do "inverse fish mouth" cuts in order to make it strong, as in when I cut the peices to weld the frame would they have to look like this > instead of this l in order make it strong and well built?

-Matt
Like BESRK said, for the most part butt welds (done right of course) should be strong enough, but it can't hurt to add some additional plating just to be sure. I added this:



on top of this just to be sure things would hold for a long time to come.


everything else is built off the frame so you want it to be as strong as possible. much easier to add strength now than later after you find you should have done it in the first place.
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RIP: '88 YJ 2.5L Ax-5 NP231
Posi-Loked. Herculined. Optima yellow top. 1" Shackle, 2" BDS. Cragar 397's Aussie front.

92 YJ 4.0L Ax-15 231
5" springs, 1" shackle 31's or 35's depending on my mood
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Unread 06-02-2005, 09:52 PM   #9
bigjeep913
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hey sentinal02, what kind of welder where you using when you did that in that the pics?
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Unread 06-02-2005, 10:00 PM   #10
sentinal02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjeep913
hey sentinal02, what kind of welder where you using when you did that in that the pics?
little craftsman mig with .030 flux core. my first big welding project so the welds aren't the prettiest. held up fine so far though and that's all that matters. balancing on two wheels at PAP:



full details on the repair are here:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showt...t=frame+repair
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RIP: '88 YJ 2.5L Ax-5 NP231
Posi-Loked. Herculined. Optima yellow top. 1" Shackle, 2" BDS. Cragar 397's Aussie front.

92 YJ 4.0L Ax-15 231
5" springs, 1" shackle 31's or 35's depending on my mood
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Unread 06-04-2005, 07:11 AM   #11
DZLCJ7
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Thanks for the pics sentinel, those help alot. The weld looks pretty darn good for your first time using it. I've only stick welded before, don't know how good I would be with a mig.

-Matt
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1981 CJ7 w/ IH Dana 44s f/r, 3.07 gears, NV4500, 3.9L 4BT CTD, Dana 300, 31" Procomp MTs, 3" of lift, soon to get D60/14Bolt & 37s
1984 CJ7
1991 YJ
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Unread 06-01-2012, 11:55 PM   #12
JLITTY
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hate to bring this old thread up, but holy smokes do those welds look like poop.
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Unread 06-02-2012, 04:24 PM   #13
BESRK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLITTY View Post
hate to bring this old thread up, but holy smokes do those welds look like poop.

...............
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'80 CJ5 w/AMC360, T176, D44 w/Detroit 4.56, RE 4" YJ lift and 35s..

Ground Pounder Fab


Lower 2

Guardrail

Down Schoolbus

Slickrock Tellico

Save

Crozet

More Crozet
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Unread 06-02-2012, 05:51 PM   #14
JLITTY
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Hope I didn't come off like a jerk, wasn't intentional. Im was just searching for some threads on frames and came across this one. Was really surprised that he didn't get any comments on the bad welds. I was a boilermaker (till my shop closed) , so I feel somewhat qualified to say something. And yes not every weld I make is perfect, Ive had bad days. But on those days I stop, or grind out the bad welds and redo. Ive seen some pretty funky welds hold up tho.When I bought my willys, I cut the back half of the frame off to redo it and what a sight that was, the PO had welded another jeep frame to the existing one. There was half penetration, porosity, undercut, cold lap, you name it, was even some wire in there , but it held up . Ill get some pics up if I can find the piece of frame I cut off. Anyway It might hold , it might not. But your frame is the backbone of your whole jeep. Why have any doubt? 50/50 Isnt a safe bet imo.
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Unread 06-03-2012, 11:30 AM   #15
Copperhead89
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The rear section of my YJ frame was rust rot city, so I chopped it off and rebuilt it using 4 X 2-1/2 x 1/8 wall tubing. The remainder of the frame was sandblasted. The factory frame thickness is 1/8, so I didn't see a reason to go any heavier. Welding the ladder bar crossmember, 2X2 square body mount crossmember, and the 4X1-1/2 rear bumper crossmember added lots of rigidity to the frame rails.

I took careful measurements, and made a CAD drawing.





Here it is, after all of the frame mods and paint:
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