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Unread 05-19-2013, 10:34 PM   #1
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1979 CJ7 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lyndhurst Ohio
Posts: 546
Possible Bent Frame... Concerns??

Hey everyone, I am rebuilding my 1979 CJ7 and might have a bent frame.... The inside of the frame about a foot and a half behind the engine mount on the passenger side is dented in and it looks like right behind the engine mount on the outside of the frame also on the passenger side is bulged out a little bit. I was wondering what the concerns with a bent frame are and what I could do to find out for sure if its actually bent out of shape or if the dent was from a big rock and the lump is normal?? I really dont have the time or money to take it to a shop and get it looked at and was wondering if I could take a slide hammer to the dent and a sledge to the bulge to get them worked out? I will post up some pictures tomorrow of the problem areas. Thank you in advance for any information you can provide!

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Unread 05-20-2013, 01:04 AM   #2
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1977 CJ5 
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If your rebuilding the jeep. Id look into frame patch panels. Their meant for rust but could be used to repair a messed up section. Also if i had my jeep apart id build a new better frame. JP magazine had a project on a cj5 last year they built a frame for. Its easier and cheaper than you might think.
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Unread 05-20-2013, 10:47 AM   #3
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1979 CJ7 
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Thanks for the response! Here are a few pics of the situation... I didnt get the best pics of it unfortunately (I'm no photographer... ha). I used a straight edge so that you can see the dents and the last pic is of the bulge. The bulge is not terrible, and the dents I can pull out, but I need to know what the concerns are with driving a Jeep with a possible bent frame. It tracks down the road wayyy better than our 2001 cherokee.

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Unread 05-20-2013, 12:19 PM   #4
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1977 CJ7 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: , Northern Arizona
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Does the frame measure straight? Is it like it's been straightened after a wreck?

If I was doing a "frame off" I'd seriously consider fixing/replacing it now before everything goes back on.
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Unread 05-20-2013, 12:33 PM   #5
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
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I believe this is the image referenced above and here is a link to the article. I'm seriously leaning towards this when I tear into my 75 CJ5.

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Unread 05-20-2013, 12:48 PM   #6
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1978 CJ5 
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Location: Beach City, Ohio
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Check out the pic I put on NEO's site. It gives the measurements and a view from above and such. This may help you know if things are out of whack.

If you could save for a while, a TDK frame is the way to go - new, stronger, can have it galvanized for rust protection...

Or watch CL for a 'new' frame...

1978 CJ5 258/T177/D300, '86 D30/D44 WT axles, 'glass tub windshield frame, and fenders, 31x10.5 BFG A/T, TDK galv'd frame - DD and weekend toy

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Unread 05-20-2013, 04:01 PM   #7
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1979 CJ7 
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Thanks for the replies guys! I will have to check the measurements and go from there I suppose. While I suppose at this point it is a frame off, I am doing it on a budget and would much rather make it work for the next 5 years or so until I have the funds to do a real frame off restoration and actually replace the frame. What are the safety problems with a frame that is bent? More specifically to a frame that is bent as minor as mine is (if it is...). I appreciate all comments!!
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Unread 05-20-2013, 04:26 PM   #8
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Tire wear is the biggest possible issue. A good frame shop can straighten a simple bend like that if it's really bent.
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Unread 05-20-2013, 04:30 PM   #9
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1978 CJ7 
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If it's straight and level, don't worry about it. Looks like a dent more than a bent frame. Measurements will tell the tale.
The inner frame rail is very thin. You can take a hammer and put a dent in it like you have.
78 CJ7 258 TH400/Dana18 SOA/stock YJ springs 35" General Grabbers.
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Unread 05-20-2013, 07:08 PM   #10
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1984 CJ7 
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Location: Rockton, PA
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I got a "new" frame, and when I started sandblasting it, uncovered a big dent that was hidden by bondo. The frame rail still seemed straight, and nothing was cracked, so I didn't worry too much about it. But I took some diagonal measurements, and found it had a diamond to it, which meant it was out of square, plus it was twisted a bit. I took it to a collision shop to get it straightened on a state of the art laser guided frame table. Only cost $129 to get it straight. Plus, they didn't say anything about the dent. I asked them if there were any other issues with the frame before I started building on it, and got a thumbs up.....
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