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  #1  
Old 07-19-2015, 07:42 PM
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Reinforce a tube frame

I have a frame made out of 2" X 3" 0.120 wall rectangular tube. After I put the engine mounts in it yesterday, I stood on one side and jumped up and down. The frame DID flex. Since the frame is almost done, I wanted to beef it up. My idea is to plate the sides with a piece of 3/16" X 3 flat.

My question is, do I have to weld it solid on the top and bottom, or can I weld 3" and then skip 3". Also should I plug weld the center. If I should, what spacing and hole size.

I put a diamond shaped piece of 3/16" X 3" on the inside of the frame to reinforce the motor mount crossmember, and I did plug weld it. I drilled 1/2" holes for the plug welds on it. 3 under the crossmember, and one at each end. The diamond was 18" long. This crossmember is also going to be a place to mount the diagonal upper links of the 4 link suspension. Next to the frame is where the mounts will go. From there to the center of the axle.

Thanks, Dave
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2015, 09:17 PM
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You don't have to fully weld it, but if you don't, water will get between the two layers and rust it out. Once the rust starts, it does not take much before it had enough force to pop the two pieces apart.

Steve
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2015, 10:22 PM
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Thanks Scrambled. That makes sense.
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Old 07-20-2015, 03:01 AM
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alwaysFlOoReD alwaysFlOoReD is offline
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I'd be more inclined to used a cage to beef up the frame. End points where the suspension connects to the frame. Triangulation and nodes are best.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:23 AM
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What are you building? Some flex may be acceptable, maybe even desirable, depends on the application. A cage of some sort would be the best, even if it's only as high as the firewall. Do you have all the cross members in? Is the frame flexing up and down or twisting? To strengthen rectangular tubing for vertical load, the top and bottom need to be beefed up. Like an "I" beam.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:18 PM
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Deaner, I am building a dune buggy/street toy. It is something that I have always wanted to build. I have a drag racer friend that said I should make it out of 2" X 3" .120" wall tubing. Those guys worry about weight. I should have made it out of 3/16 wall. I am ready to weld the 3" by 3/16 plates on both sides with a 5/8 plug weld every foot. I have the scale ground off and am all clamped up, but it is too hot right now. I am in the house, (with the a/c running) watching tv.

The engine is not light, it is a 396 chevy. I got the rod ends for the front 4 link, and will start on them when I have the frame done.

The flex was 3/8 of an inch. The cage will stiffen it some more like was mentioned. I am basically fixing my screw up. I have the engine crossmember welded in, and the bolt in trans crossmember in. There will be one more in back of the trans for the rear 4 link. (triangulated)

Thanks for the feedback guys.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:26 PM
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Always floored, What is a node? I will have a cage. I am making it out of 1 1/2" hand rail tubing. It is .120 wall stuff. I made a tubing bender to bend it, and it works awesome. It is sort of copied from a Eastwood bender that I saw on U-Tube. I need to get me a notcher when I get that far. Or make one, I am CHEEP. This thing is keeping me broke as it is. LOL

Thanks Dave
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  #8  
Old 07-21-2015, 08:53 PM
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The side plates won't do as much as plating the top and bottom of the tube. The top and bottom cords of the material is where the vertical strength comes from and the distance that those are apart is far more critical then their thickness. For instance, if you go with 2x4x.120" material it would be much stronger and lighter then 2x3x.187 (3/16") material because the strength of the tube increases by the square of it's height. 3 x 3 = 9 but 4 x 4 = 16, or nearly double for only an inch taller material. If you are adding a full cage I would not bother with the side plates, it is just material that adds weight without much strength increase, the cage itself will do MUCH more for the strength.

Jaysin
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:44 PM
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alwaysFlOoReD alwaysFlOoReD is offline
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Nodes are where the tube meets. Like an "X" or "*". You want to avoid deadend tubes where it intersects in the middle of a run, like a "T". There are others here much more knowledgable than me, all I know comes from reading.
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:11 AM
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Dune buggy/street toy, love it. Your 2x3 is plenty, no screw-up. Just add your cage with lots of triangulation, limited dead tubes. 1 1/2 x .120 is heavy, plenty strong. I use a lot of 1 3/4 x .095.
Is it front engine, rear wheel drive?
Got any pics? We love pics!
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  #11  
Old 07-22-2015, 11:58 PM
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Deaner, I do have some pics. I am just not smart enough to get them from my computer to this forum. It is a mid engine rear wheel drive. It is OLD school, kind of like me.:roll eyes: I have a Mac computer, so if someone could be so kind as to tell me (in regular words because I do not speak computer very well) how to put them on this site, I will do it.

My next job is the front 4 links and assorted brackets. It is fairly easy on this machine to triangulate the top links, so no pan hard bar. I will read up more on how to build a roll cage when I get further along. I have never done one.

When I get the front links on I am going to put it on a trailer and take it to my drive-line guy for a 12" driveline. I may have to move the rear axle back, I just do not know. He told me to keep the driveline angle to 20 degrees, and with the output yoke at 8 degrees and the diff tipped up 8 degrees I am exactly at 20 degrees at full droop. After I get that unknown taken care of I will do the rear 4 links.

Dave
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:04 AM
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Jaysin, I guess I should have come to this forum BEFORE I started the frame. Oh well, I think that it will work. I will build a stout cage.

Dave
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:27 PM
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I am going to try to post my pictures. I have no idea what I am doing!?!?

Grrrr-----this is sooooo frustrating!!! Would somebody please take pity on me and tell me how to do it.
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quadman View Post
I am going to try to post my pictures. I have no idea what I am doing!?!?

Grrrr-----this is sooooo frustrating!!! Would somebody please take pity on me and tell me how to do it.
Host them on 'photo bucket' then paste the links that you will get there into your post here...

E
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