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98whitelightnin

Small cracks in the frame

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Is this the same truck you pull with? Hope I don't have you confused with someone else. If it is the truck you pull with, I'm going to go with extreme frame flex, from pulling.

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I dunno.. I know they're hairline, but it'd still make me nervous...

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I'd better start lookin' at mine. If I had any hairlines I'd reinforce the frame in those areas. Thanks for sharing this with pics.

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I'd better start lookin' at mine. If I had any hailines I'd reinforce the frame in those areas. Thanks for sharing this with pics.

Yes thanks very much!

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Yes it is, its only been hooked 4 times though. Im gonna look at other trucks at the next pull and see if they have any. Should I try to fix it?

about the only thing you can do is drill the ends of the cracks, so they don't spread.

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Drill the end, fuse together, you must then patch. (stopping the existing crack helps, but the chances your weld by itself will be as strong as the base is slim, so you need to build a strong "bridge" over the broken area.) It is a great idea to look at other trucks to see if they are starting to have similar problems, to see if your patch needs to cover a longer area.Think about how you make your patch and try to avoid putting welds perpendicular. Fish mouth the patch so the welds are at a 30 to 45 degree (you get significantly more shear surface for a given height.)If you possibly can, have someone laser out (or water jet) (or just shear) the patches for you (torch systems sometimes add too much heat) and have them formed to the shape you need on a press brake. (This will make the angle or EL shape)My frame was cracking where the steering box is trying to tear itself out of the frame rail....that is where I thought this was headed.GL Hag

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That doesn't look like an easy place. I am going to roll under mine at lunch and try and peek there to see what is going on.Hag

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I saw a couple heavy duty trucks frames get extended to carry longer water tanks. They just used a side plate drilled and bolted on the side of the old and new frame joined together. Called a 'sister' frame or gusset along side. It was just bolted in several places either side of the joint.Wouldn't that work to strengthen the frame in the cracked areas? Instead of welding? I really don't know but perhaps side plates on each side would be better. :2cents:

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I saw a couple heavy duty trucks frames get extended to carry longer water tanks. They just used a side plate drilled and bolted on the side of the old and new frame joined together. Called a 'sister' frame or gusset along side. It was just bolted in several places either side of the joint. Wouldn't that work to strengthen the frame in the cracked areas? Instead of welding? I really don't know but perhaps side plates on each side would be better. :2cents:

On the class 7 and 8 hwy trucks, the frames are clearly marked "No flame or heat" or something like that. They are heat treated and will lose their temper.
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dam, i have had some heavy loads on my 99 and nothing like that, but being that these trucks are about 14 years old now this can happen, as the frame and all the metals weaken with age.

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Although, we all stress our trucks pulling trailers, they are rolling loads with all four tires firmly planted on the ground.There will be some minor frame flex till the load is rolling, but then it relaxes. This can over time cause stress cracks.However in sled pulling, the frame never relaxes until the pull is over. The torque of the engine will try and flip the truck over. Ladder bars in the back help dilute the frame flex where they mount to the frame, but do nothing for the front 2/3rds of the frame.When you look at truck pulls or drag races, you will see the left front tire lift off the ground, in varing amounts depending on the amount of traction and torque amounts the vehical is experianing. I called the pulling into play because 98 is using his truck for something that puts extreme flex into parts that were not designed for that amount of torsional load. Ergo lots of possibilities for cracks, and easy to diagnose as the likely culprit. Even if not the root cause it is surely an accellerent.

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I'm under mine working on trans stuff so I looked. My 97 is boxed until it reaches the fuel tank. From the Galaxy S3

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