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willysmjeeps.com :: View topic - Crossmember reinforcing strap - welded in place or no?
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Crossmember reinforcing strap - welded in place or no?
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Ivoryring
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Location: Hopkinton, NH

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:58 pm    Post subject: Crossmember reinforcing strap - welded in place or no? Reply with quote

On the crossmember that supports the transmission and transfer case, inside the frame where the crossmember bolts up there is reinforcing strap on each side. Is this strap welded in place or is mine just stuck and I need to put some elbow grease into it to get it out?

I'm replacing the transmission, so while it's out I've pulled the crossmember to deal with rust and repaint it. I'd like to also tackle the frame - but that strap is annoying. On mine, the edges are lifted a bit and collecting the red devil, so I want to deal with that.
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Tundra (really my name, not my truck)

1952 Willys Overland Model MD (M38A1) #MD25713
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
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wesk
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The transmission crossmember is only bolted to the frame on the M38 50-52.








The only thing attaching the tranny crossmember to the frame are those four bolts labeled "D".
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php


Last edited by wesk on Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ivoryring
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got the crossmember itself off - what I'm looking for is information on the reinforcement strap inside the frame for it.

Picture here before I got the crossmember off - with green arrows, showing how the ends are lifted up (rear end is more obvious)


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wesk
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That did not come from Willys on an M38. That is what we usually refer to as a "BUBBA MOD". Did that jeep have a V-8 engine in before you got it?
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php


Last edited by wesk on Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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jnissen
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to not agree. I think that is part of the original frame. I can go look at mine later today but I recall seeing it there. There are pics like this to show its OEM as well. The original appears to be sandwiched with the crossmember bolts but I know when we were sandblasting our frame the things did not magically hold in place. I bet they are tacked in there with weld. Let me look tonight and I can tell you.

[/img]


Last edited by jnissen on Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ivoryring
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, no v8 originally - however plenty of 'helpful modifications' before I got it.

I'm confused however why you say this is a Bubba Mod... see this pic you posted on a question about body mount cushions, on the driver side under your label 2 - isn't that the same strap?



I have that on both sides - in the pic I posed of the passenger side, the strap is flipped 180 degrees compared to the driver side, you can see the two punch holes that are on the rearward side. On the driver side those two holes line up with the bracket that holds the shared shaft for brake and clutch arms. On the passenger side the holes don't line up with anything.

This pic from your m38a1 frame gallery seems to show the reinforcing straps on the inside of the frame on both ends of the crossmember (in the vicinity of the top of the curved yellow line labelled 'Boxed frame rails'):

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Ivoryring
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jnissen wrote:
I tend to not agree. I think that is part of the original frame. I can go look at mine later today but I recall seeing it there. There are pics like this to show its OEM as well. The original appears to be riveted in place with additional holes for through bolts.


I'll look again, but I don't recall seeing rivets - but the passenger side definitely didn't just fall out when I removed the crossmember bolts - that's why I figured I'd stop and get some learning.

jnissen - did you have any rust between that plate and the frame? If so - and if it was riveted in place - how did you handle it?
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jnissen
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't recall the reinforcement lifting on ours. That is likely from years of corrosion. I think your right that both sides have that with one flipped for the brake/clutch pivot bracket.

When we sandblasteed the frame it was more or less flush. It's covered with fresh paint now but let me see if I can see any weld. I'd be a bit surprised if it were not welded. Loose metal like that in an assembly line is not a good thing. I will post pics if I can get home with some decent light!

I don't think it's early production vs late and it may in fact even be common with the CJ5? I know the CJ frames do not have the boxing up front or out back and a few other things like battery mount, gun mount, etc...
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Ivoryring
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder what the best solution is to handling the rust in this case. I don't see any way to clean out the existing rust and protect it from more rust in the future without removing that strap.

It's a digression from the original reason I asked - but in other areas of the frame there are bubba mods that I need to decide how to handle (extra boxing closing off sections from a C to full rectangle - and in one spot what looks like a nice thick bit that was welded in and then torch cut out later leaving a sharp piece behind) - but they don't present this type of challenge because I believe I can get inside despite the awkward angles and use sandpaper and/or file and clean them out and repaint them.
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wesk
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your post indicates you have a M38. I am assuming your question is about your M38. My M38A1 frame photos only show a strap welded to the frame of M38A1's. I have an M38 and did not see that same strap. I also had an M38A1 that did have that strap. To be perfectly honest your strap is bent up and away from your frame rails at the outboard ends and the M38A1 chassis photos you are posting show it clearly flat and welded to the rail.

MY BAD. I SAW THE 1952 AND DIDN'T NOTICE YOU HAD AN MD NOT AN MC. I HAVE A HABIT OF ASSUMING 52'S ARE M38'S AND I SHOULD KNOW BETTER. aLL 52'S ARE NOT JUST M38'S!

Here's my M38 frame:


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45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php


Last edited by wesk on Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mike_B
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just went out and looked at my 1953 A1 and the plates are spot welded on. It looks like the spot welds are about 2" apart making a zig-zag pattern from end to end...rough count looks like 12 and they are large, maybe 1/2" in diameter.

Mike B Smile
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jnissen
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree the reinforcements are spot welded and on both sides of the M38A1 frame rails. Here is a close up of the spot weld area from the bottom looking up. My inner frame rail has a bit of dirt and muck already on it and the weld marks are harder to see from up top.



I'd probably try to break the reinforcements free. If they wont budge you may be forced to drill out these massive spot welds. I'd be a bit hesitant to do that as these are large spots to drill (~1/2"). You would have a large plug weld repair area. Don't know what is worse - the rust potentially trapped in there or leaving it so you don't weaken the rail by drilling.

Lesser repair would be blast it clean and blow out as much muck from between the two, apply rust converter and weld it back down either with a manageable spot welder or tacks around the periphery with MIG or TIG. Your likely the only one who is going to look under there to see how it was repaired!
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Ivoryring
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given that the ends of the strap are lifted up, and what I can see of rust under there, I don't think blasting is going to get to the corrosion between the plates. This frame is hardly pristine, and I'm more interested in function than perfection, so I think I'm going to do whatever it takes to get the reinforcement out and then reweld it in place. I was reading on another forum a discussion about boxing vs strapping CJ5 frames and they specifically mentioned that heavy trucks that are strapped (with welded extra layer on the bottom side of the frame rail) tend to rust out faster than ones that are not. I'm not planning on driving this in the salt season here in New England, but I am planning on driving it in the water, so it will get exposed.

Also: Clarified my signature. Just because I know it's an M38A1 doesn't mean everyone will spot that; and if someone as experienced as Wes misses it, then it's fair to assume anyone could.
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wesk
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even with spot welds that large a quality air chisel with a blade that is kept sharpened can cut thru them.

That frame could easily handle any punishment a 72HP M38A1 could dish out without that strap. My money says that became a trouble spot during military air drops of M38 jeeps when those two bolts would get ripped out from the impact of a very hard landing and the weight of the eng/tranny. So the Army insisted Willys beef up the frame where those two bolts were pulling thru with new model jeep M38A1 in 1952. Then I will guess that Willys thought it was a good idea and when the CJ5 enterred production in 1955 they used the strap there too.
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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Mike_B
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you don't mind distroying the plates, you could angle grind the welds from the top side being careful not to cut to deep and save the actual frame from damage. Then make new plates if you want them...

Mike B Smile
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