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Old 02-24-2020, 09:37 AM   #1
Pete2125
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Default Front Frame Crossmember

SO... My radiator was leaking and I started to take it out to get re-cored. After I took the shroud off I found that the front frame crossmember was cracked where the front spring and crank bracket mount. There is actually a chunk of the steel missing... Anyone have any suggestions on where I could get my hands on a new crossmemeber? 1930 Fordor Briggs Town Sedan.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-24-2020, 09:53 AM   #2
Steve Plucker
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

Try Bert's Model A Center in Englewood, CO. 303-293-3673...For starters.

Specify down to the "A" what you want (no cracks, no bent tabs....).

There was only one front cross member used in 1930-31 so you should have no problem.

I wonder if the last person new about the "missing chunk"? Hmmmmmm?????

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Old 02-24-2020, 09:53 AM   #3
Farrell In Vancouver
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

This happens quite often after years of service the metal just gives up.
This is when you can use what the Hot Rodders don't want, left over running gears and frames.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:03 AM   #4
whirnot
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

A competent weldor can repair these. I repaired one of mine 8 years ago and it's fine.
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

Repair if you can. Agreed a good welder can do that. TIG would be
Preferred as MIG is more brittle. Do it in the frame if at all possible
Replacing is a pretty good project...lots of rivets to get out and put back
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:35 AM   #6
Pete2125
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

Thanks, for everyones advise so far. I would have welded it but like I said there is a large chunk of steel missing. I do mean missing, gone, vanished. Probably 2"x2" and the missing piece has a radius on it so it would be difficult to fabricate. If that's the road I have to go down, I will but I would just rather get a new one that is good and re-rivet it in.
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:51 AM   #7
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

They can be welded but replacement is best if you can find one that's not cracked .
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:59 PM   #8
Russ B
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

I replaced mine a number of years ago as the original had been welded competently, but it had additional cracks. My replacement also had cracks I found once the side rails were removed. These were easy enough for me to weld up with no concerns. I was able to do the riveting by myself for the most part, but one or two additional folks assisting would have made the job go much faster and easier.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:32 PM   #9
jw hash
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

a good welder can fix even if part of the cross member is missing.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:15 AM   #10
rotorwrench
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

Cold rolled steel of the same gauge thickness can be formed to act as a patch. Hot rolled is too hard. Back in the day folks would use 6011 rod and an ark welder after V-ing the edges to be welded. It fills good and it's not too hard. The part can be normalized to relieve stresses. Shot peening would be a bit too obvious.

These things still show up on flea-pay in decent condition. Just make sure it has the depressed radiator mounts characteristic of the taller radiator of 1930/31.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 02-25-2020 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 02-25-2020, 03:48 PM   #11
Pete2125
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

Great information! Thanks, everyone!
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:29 PM   #12
CabrioletDon
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

Hi, Pete...
I'm in the early stages of replacing the front cross member on my '30 Cabriolet, and it does require a lot of work to put in a new one. I am restoring my car, so I didn't have lots of stuff completed, but I've spent a lot of time basically stripping my car back to a bare frame, tomorrow I will hopefully begin engine/transmission removal and pulling the front wheels and tires, brakes, front axle and wishbone. Once everything is off, labeled and stored, I'll start on drilling out the remaining rivets. Unfortunately, I have no choice as a previous owner installed a 28-29 cross member in my mid-30 frame, and it was causing all sorts of issues as I was fitting body components. I will also have to deal with rivet holes that have been mis-drilled or hogged out, so I will have a bunch of measuring, welding and repairing to get the holes restored before I get to the riveting process, which is quite a job in itself. After purchasing what I was told was a '30 cross member, I've now found that what I bought was a 28-29, so I ended up spending quite a bit for a NOS cross member on eBay to at least get control over one part of the process. I'm not detailing this stuff to keep you from replacing the front cross member if that's what you ultimately want to do--but if your existing cross member could be saved by a professional welder and a new piece of 1/8" steel, it would certainly be less work and expense than replacing--that's my view, and take it for what it's worth (which is probably not much)! Regards!
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:39 PM   #13
Pete2125
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

Thanks CabrioletDon. Yes its a lot of work. We did it on my dads coupe a few years ago but we had a new one that he had bought 40 years ago. Unfortunaly I'm not so luck to have one laying around... I've attached a pic of my damaged one and a pic of the car my dad and I restored. When they are done its worth all the work trust me. One day, my car will be like my Dad's.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Crossmember 1.jpg (125.9 KB, 103 views)
File Type: jpg Crossmember 2.jpg (129.0 KB, 93 views)
File Type: jpg Dads Ford 1.jpg (133.0 KB, 79 views)
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:20 PM   #14
CWPASADENA
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
Cold rolled steel of the same gauge thickness can be formed to act as a patch. Hot rolled is too hard.

I think you may have it backwards.


Hot rolled steel is softer and can be formed easier than cold rolled.


Cold rolled has a lot of internal stress due to the rolling process and is hard. If cold rolled steel is annealed, it will be soft but then it is no longer cold rolled.


Chris W.

Last edited by CWPASADENA; 02-25-2020 at 10:22 PM. Reason: CLARIFICATION
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:54 PM   #15
Fred K OR
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

I have replaced both of my front frame crossmembers on both of my A's. But mine are only drivers so I did not rivet them back in. I used bolts. I also was able to buy replacement ones on eBay but like mentioned above, Bert's in Denver may be a good place to find a good one. Good luck.
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Old 02-26-2020, 11:59 AM   #16
rotorwrench
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWPASADENA View Post
I think you may have it backwards.
Cold rolled has a lot of internal stress due to the rolling process and is hard. If cold rolled steel is annealed, it will be soft but then it is no longer cold rolled.
Cold Rolled is kind of a misnomer since it is hot formed before it's cold formed. We are also referring to sheet metal and not formed structural components. Draw quality steel is what is used for forming stuff like a cross member or a frame rail. The carbon content is not all that high in sheet metal.

The major difference is the size and finish. Hot rolled has a rough finish and tends to shrink when you heat it for forming. Either one can be hot worked if forming to fit as a patch. Both would be welded and then stress relieved. The cold rolled will keep its size and finish better plus be a bit more ductile after the stress relief. It would be the closest thing to what piece broke out of there on the original part.

My guess is that the member cracked in service so it was welded. It likely wasn't stress relieved so it failed again at the welds. They likely reinforced it with some flat stock welded on the next time and finally the whole patch and part of the member all broke out. I've seen a lot of stuff like this on old farm vehicles that were overloaded and road hard.
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Old 02-26-2020, 09:38 PM   #17
Fred K OR
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

When I purchased my 29 std coupe, it had a real "farmer fix" on the front cross member. It had a piece of angle iron welded to the front of the cross member with the angle going under the front spring. This was done to hold the front spring in place. To get the front axel off I had to take my torch and cut the angle iron off the front cross member. Needless to say, I had to replace the front cross member. BTW not knocking farmer fixes, I have done a number of them over the years.
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Old 02-27-2020, 11:23 AM   #18
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Front Frame Crossmember

I've seen front model A crossmembers patched with a short front spring leaf turned upside down and welded in place over the cracked center area .
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