Rear-frame cross member replacement
I just spent the afternoon ripping off the rear frame cross member off my 1976 CJ-5 304 that was seriously damaged by what appears to be backing into a tree or some immovable object. What it looks like is the tree nicely ripped the metal from the 2 rivets holding on the bottom. The 2 top ones were in place.
So, with the trusty sawzall and grinding wheel, I got off the old rear frame member, snapped a couple of bolts that the bumper mounts were held on by, and then drilled out the rest of the rivets.
I got a new rear frame cross member from 4WD Hardware and am getting ready to put it on, but I am troubled.
The question I have is this. Since this was riveted in place, and 2 of them were barely holding it on, and on top of this I had easily snapped the bumper mounting bolts (2 of the 4), the question is simply, is the rear frame cross member essentially held on with bolts?
I mean, I would imagine it would be better to weld it in place, but from what I counted, there are 12 places it would be held on by bolts. The 4 rivet that would be replaced by bolts, and the 8 places where the bumper mounts would go through. So, the question is, are the bolts enough to hold it in place or does welding really make it all the better? I guess that flexing the frame and such depending on the application might require one over the other, just thought I would throw this out there for discussion. How much stronger were the stock rivets then what grade 5/8 bolts would be today?