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Steven cash

Hit a tree head on front drivers frame is bent

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My ram 2500 hit a tree head on at about 35mph. Everyone is ok and now it's time to fix the truck. All of the damage is in the driver's side front end. I got the inner and outer finder off, removed the trashed condenser, trans cooler, intercooler, and radiator. I can now see the extent of damage. The drivers side frame rail is bent and as you can see in the picture the bend gets very close to the steering gear box. There are frame alignment shops around me but I'm worried that this may not be possible to be bent back and not have any negative impact on the steering as the steerimg gear box alingment may be thrown off. I probably won't know till I get it into a shop for sure but I'd like some opinions. I will post a picture of the passenger side frame rail that is not bent for comparison.

20180921_172407.jpg

Here is the unbent passenger side frame rail. 

20180921_172424.jpg

20180921_182931.jpg

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Man I guess having big bumpers wouldn't do much good, if frame bends that easily

Edited by Dieselfuture
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Me too. Hopefully scabing on a new frame piece would not require removal of the engine. It would certainly require removal of the gear box which isn't significant. 

@Dieselfuture, my point EXACTLY. I have been saying that for years. Frames are MENT to bend in collisions. My dad's 2010 E-250 has a ribed frame with slits cut in it to bend during a collision. It sucks but the more the vehicle crumbles the less impact you take. That is,  until the engine is in your lap.... but the bumpers sure look cool. 

Also, the radiator got mashed into the fan. You can see where the pulley is contacting a bolt on the gear case. The dark one covered in oil, not the clean rusy one. I'm hoping this is the extent of damage to the engine. I'm gonna pull off the water pump look it over, probably pull the gear case cover off too. 

20180921_185934.jpg

Edited by Steven cash
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Personally. I would just replace the fan pulley assembly. I'm going to bet the bearing took damage from the impact. As for the gear case, I'm going to bet it just fine other than it needs to be re-sealed and the crank seal replaced. The water pump I kind of doubt even got hit. I would take the belt off and the fan pulley and then fire it up. See if it runs and shake out any bug. Beyond that, it would be to fix the frame and body and get back to driving that truck.

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Thanks for the advice. I'll hook up the batteries the moment this hurricane weather clears up. I'm gonna replace every gasket I can while the front end is apart. Thoughts on a felpro gasket kit? How difficult will the oil pan gasket be to replace, do I need to lift the engine?

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On ‎9‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 5:24 PM, Steven cash said:

My ram 2500 hit a tree head on at about 35mph. Everyone is ok and now it's time to fix the truck. All of the damage is in the driver's side front end. I got the inner and outer finder off, removed the trashed condenser, trans cooler, intercooler, and radiator. I can now see the extent of damage. The drivers side frame rail is bent and as you can see in the picture the bend gets very close to the steering gear box. There are frame alignment shops around me but I'm worried that this may not be possible to be bent back and not have any negative impact on the steering as the steerimg gear box alingment may be thrown off. I probably won't know till I get it into a shop for sure but I'd like some opinions. I will post a picture of the passenger side frame rail that is not bent for comparison.

Here is the unbent passenger side frame rail. 

 

I don't know if I got the pictures out of the way but in my early days living in Semmes AL I knew an older man and he was the original Dodge Man. He worked out in the elements and had trucks every where. I was driving a 1971 D200(?) with a hopped up 360 automatic. He was delighted that I was a welder with a portable rig. I would take his frames that were damaged and cut one side or both depending back to a point that was not damaged. He always came up with a frame for me to use, some were good and some damaged in areas I didn't need so it worked out. If you ever owned an older Dodge the frame was weak at the power steering where it bolted through the frame. I would repair the cracks the cut another frame about 4" to 6" further on each side. Then remove the flanges on top and bottom making an insert that fell right in place on the bolt holes. It basically doubled the strength in that area. On your truck I would get a frame that was good in the front and cut both sides back measuring from the rear. SCRIBE the cut line, and if you are dong this and can't cut on the SCRIBE line so when your done you can still see half of it then get a 6" grinder with a .045 blade ((Metabo) blades are hard to beat) and cut it by hand but on the line. You can raise your truck up using stands and but a wood block under your pan and use another bottle jack to support it. Make sure the welds to be are beveled to get 100% penetration or as much to 100% that you can or a friend that welds can. Grind the inside, top, and bottom to reinforce if necessary. Don't give up on this until you have done everything possible to fix. The other way would to get a complete frame from a yard or junk truck and transfer all your parts to it. I know it's a big job either way but if I'm not mistaken you just got your truck running good and this misfortune happens. At least no one was hurt. My last job in Illinois I was working out of a fab tent cutting lifting lugs for the Air Ducts to be lifted in place. The steel plate was 1.250 to 1.500 inches thick. Some were 3 or 4 feet tall and 5 or 6 feet long. Had to fit inside of beams so it was critical to be precise. I scribed every line cut and would split the scribe line when done. I also made a circle cutter for all the radius edges. We had a huge magnetic drill and hole cutters to cut the holes for the shackle pins to go through. They didn't want to use a torch ( oxygen and acetylene) that would heat the metal up. We had 2 hole on the biggest lifting lug that had to be 2.500 inches. My supervisor asked me if I could cut them with the torch because there was not bits that big and they didn't want to send them out for any delays. So I cut them and used a end grinder with a flapper. They were pretty much perfect, the engineers were impressed that they found a bit so big. All of the lugs I made fit like a glove and not one had to be reworked. All the others that were made had to be reworked, not a single one fit like it should. It's not that I'm special or anything but I was trained by craftsmen who knew how to cut and fit and use a pencil and paper to figure the math. What ever you decide to do is great, just take your time and if you can't see the line you are cutting then stop and reposition, the same goes for the welding. one more thing, if you torch it off and don't feel comfortable with a scribe line then scribe it anyway and cut 3/16" from the line and grind to it. It needs to be this good so you don't throw off the front end. Sorry for being so long winded.    

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Would it make sense to stiffen things up before hand, I know it won't absorb shock as good but if it saves work later. And I'm talking if you had a heavy duty bumper on, so maybe bumper would take on the impact and frame be ok

:shrug:

I had a mud truck with heavy bumper and I could mow down trees 6" in diameter pretty easy and just make a trail, never had problems doing it, except one time I ripped my brake line off.

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I am agreeing with the other guys, get someone to look at it.  It is quite possibly fixable.  (I would)

 

Do keep in mind, your vacuum pump coupling may have died.  I can't explain it, but frequently front end collisions will damage this.  So don't sweat it if the power steering seems to fail real soon.  It is just the coupling.  Do a reseal on the vacuum pump and replace what is damaged.  If you have questions look up fixinrams.com  (Gould gear) super nice gentleman to talk to and knows those parts in and out.

 

Yes to fix the oil pan you have to lift the motor a few inches.  I don't think anyone has successfully done it without lifting.  (we have seen pictures where someone cut the cross member, but I really don't suggest that.)

 

Good Luck!

 

Hag

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