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Old 03-27-2023, 09:48 AM   #21
Jeff M
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: CA
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Default Re: Removing center crossmember

Originally Posted by Brentwood Bob View Post
Would a right angle drill fit?
I actually tried that but itís still too tight of a fit.
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Old 03-27-2023, 10:11 AM   #22
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Default Re: Removing center crossmember

Sometimes a person has to drill the buck tail and not the head. I center on the buck tail as best I can and then drill down until approximately at the rail level. Use a good cold chisel to cut the buck tail off. Center up on the shank that is left as best as is possible and then drill down through the rail and part way through the cross member but staying mostly centered in the rivet shank. See if it will drive out but don't bend the flange metal of the cross member. Avoid drilling all the way through unless you have to. The frame may have to be flipped over to remove rivets that secure to the bottom flange of the rail.

Rivets expand to fill the hole as they are driven. With 17/64" holes as original, that's quit a bit of expansion. If a hole is well centered but the shank remnants are still in the bore then use a 17/64" bit or an appropriate sized rat tail file to aid in removing the remnants. Some can be stubborn SOBs. The less holes that have to be welded up and redrilled the better.

Rivets were the best way to put these frames together. Riveting allows for the tightest form of security between two metal structures. There is no need for close tolerance fit since they fill the hole tightly and last for many years of use and abuse. Folks put the Model As through hades and back but most rivets held up. Only the front cross members ended up with security problems due to big cracks forming where the front spring seats. Folks would either chicken scratch weld the member up or they would cut it out and bolt in another member. Many of the frame I've come across have bolted in front cross members since they had no way to rivet them and likely didn't care how well it was secured as long as it would get them down the road again. Bolts would only work well if the were reamed to fit a close tolerance and very well secured but rivets are stronger than most bolts of grade 5 or less. When the bolt gets loose, it is a matter of time before the frame would crack or the bolt would shear.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 03-27-2023 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 03-27-2023, 10:17 AM   #23
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Default Re: Removing center crossmember

The rivets are too close to the frame rail to be drilled from inside. Grind the bottom flat and center punch. Go up progressively in drill size and then a good hammer and drift. When I reinstalled mine, I drilled all the holes for 1/4" bolts with posi-lock nuts, You don't see them once everything is back together.
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