01 We started off by removing the cab, bed, engine, trans, driveshaft, rearend, and frontend. Anything that is attached to the frame needs to be removed.
02 Next, RJ Plent from Deuces Wild started removing the rusty areas so that we could secure the frame on a frame table. You don’t need to use a frame table to complete this job, but it sure does make things go faster because you don’t have to wait for the frame to cool off while welding.
03 The next step was placing the frame on the frame table that Coachcraft let us borrow. We gave the frame a 1-degree rake down toward the front and leveled it side to side.
04 Next, (RJ left and John right) a torch and air hammer were used to make short work of those pesky rivets that are everywhere.
05 Since we are making our own crossbracing, also known as K-member/ X-member, we no longer needed this factory crossmember.
06 We then used 2x1⁄4-inch-thick steel strap to truss the inside of my stock framerail. This would hopefully help stiffen the chassis for autocross, but I don’t know that it was worth the extra effort. You can get away with just boxing your stock frame and it would likely be more than strong enough.
07 We then made boxing plates for the framerails out of 6-inch-wide 10-gauge cold rolled steel. The plates have to be cut down to match the frame and I like to place the boxing plate on the inside of the rail.
08 We marked the inner boxing plates to match the 2x1⁄4-inch truss we installed on the inside of the framerails. RJ is drilling into the boxing plate with a rotor broach so that we can tie the frame, truss, and boxing plate all together.
09 After drilling the frame we could then weld and tie everything together by filling the drilled holes with weld.
10 It is a good idea to install the engine and transmission that you will be using so that you will not run into clearance issues.
11 The exhaust was also installed to make sure the new K-member/X-member would not be in the way of the exhaust.
12 John, RJ, and I are mocking 2-inch Luan strips on the frame to see where we can add an X-member/K-member. The Luan is easy to cut with scissors and test fit onto the frame before cutting any metal.
13 We used 2x1-inch 0.120-wall steel to make our center section. Now you have to take into consideration that we only have so much room on the frames to work with. So making a perfect X-member or K-member that will work around the transmission, exhaust, and suspension parts is almost impossible.
14 Now that we had a template on one side it was easy to cut both driver and passenger sides. We copied the front bracing and tacked in the rear section of the X-member/K-member.
15 We cut the square tubing so that it would slip over the CPP crossmember thus giving me more area to weld. The placement of the tubing is also important because it also helps support the CPP trailing arms and crossmember.