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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this really goes back to last year (2016). I was going to install Maximum Motorsports full length subframe connectors on my '92 LX but noticed a problem. :eek: My subframe's frame rails on my car are dented up pretty good. Got a carfax report from my work, found out it was ditched (hit a ditch) by the original owner in 1993. :shakehead Nothing is out of measurement with the frame/structure of the car, everything measures out perfectly. Anyways when I test fitted the connectors, there is a gap big enough to where I can fit a finger between the connector and frame on both sides. I've also had a body shop guy at my work take a look at it to see what he would say. He said that it did look rough and that a stud welder and slide hammer could do the trick of helping straighten the frame back out so the gap between the frame and connectors would be minimal to none. He told me he could do it, after doing work to another tech's vehicle, but never got around to either of our vehicles. I finally broke down and decided to ask on the forums here to see who has dealt with this problem before and how did you go about fixing it? Figured I'd ask for other opinions before going to the stud welder/slide hammer route. I have pictures, from my old phone, of my situation attached. Any input and help is appreciated!
 

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Can you jack it up to close the gap at all?

Even if you can't, I don't think I would worry about it. Looks like there's still plenty of length that you could weld up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Appreciate the response Patrick! As a response to your question, "Can you jack it up to close the gap at all?" I did try jacking it up more, but it wont close the gap. It makes good contact on the front, but as for the center and rear portion it doesn't seem to make enough contact for a good strong weld. (At least according to the instructions, as it mentions a maximum gap limit.) That's why I was concerned with it, and was wondering if the gap should be and could be minimized and what other ways would be recommended to doing it.
 

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the easiest way is definitely weld on stud puller with slide hammer, sorry to say. If you only have a couple bad spots idk if I would worry too much about it.. if your going to run MM's Torque arm setup than I would do the stud/slide hammer to them to get as much weld contact as you can.

Harbor freight stud welders aren't that good just a heads up... see if you can kick the guy $20 and use it for a night (make sure he gives you a box of studs), it wont take terribly long, just work the edges to the middle. If you don't have a lift this would be a PIA due to slide hammer length and you probably wont be able to do it
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the easiest way is definitely weld on stud puller with slide hammer, sorry to say. If you only have a couple bad spots idk if I would worry too much about it.. if your going to run MM's Torque arm setup than I would do the stud/slide hammer to them to get as much weld contact as you can.

Harbor freight stud welders aren't that good just a heads up... see if you can kick the guy $20 and use it for a night (make sure he gives you a box of studs), it wont take terribly long, just work the edges to the middle. If you don't have a lift this would be a PIA due to slide hammer length and you probably wont be able to do it
Thanks for the advice nightrain vandy!
There are a bit more than a "few" bad spots, nothing majorly terrible. Just enough that putting forth some work could fix it. But in regards to using a weld on stud puller with a slide hammer, I'd rather use that than some other methods I've heard of such as:
Cutting off the actual bottom of the subframe, straightening it and welding it back on
Or cutting up the floor from the inside of the car just to smack the dents back down.
Those are a no no for me! Ha! Unless I was installing through-floor style connectors, I don't want to do any kind of cutting. For a torque arm, I tossed around the idea of installing a MM Torque Arm but, I do not have a definite yes or no.

As for weld on stud pullers with a slide hammer, I was looking into this one from Summit Racing:
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/mgc-jo1000
Eastwood has the same one but around $60 more, which I'd rather get the better deal through Summit Racing. Thoughts or comments on this choice are appreciated. And I do have access to a drive on lift at my work. So if ramps in the driveway do not provide enough room, I should be able to do it at my work. Thanks again
 

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remember with the idea of cutting and rewelding that you are going to try and straighten a piece that isn't and weld it again to a place that isn't going to be straight so you will have to sand, sand, sand, grind, grind to make that piece refit. I would NOT do that. Those pieces are not ment to be section'd like that. The crush in a crash will be different after doing that.....well it will be with subframe connectors as well so guess it doesn't matter.

Another idea is to put the bars up, weld them in the few spots that line up or sit flush nice. Then take some plate and weld it to side of bar and side of rail (do a plug weld or two in both rail pieces and connector).

Stud welder you found should be fine... the problem with cheaper ones is they don't get hot enough for studs to stick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I totally agree with the whole cutting thing. Like I said, "That's a no no for me..." I would create a huge headache for myself in doing something like that.

Another idea is to put the bars up, weld them in the few spots that line up or sit flush nice. Then take some plate and weld it to side of bar and side of rail (do a plug weld or two in both rail pieces and connector).
That actually doesn't sound like a bad idea. I never really thought of that. I think that will be something I'll consider as a backup plan.

All I know is that I want to get these stinkin' subframe connectors on before I end up seriously twisting the unibody and stressing the floor pan.
 

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The plate thing I did with mine and I have had no issues at all with it. I have jacked the car up on the unsupported (no plate) portion and have noticed no issues or it moving at all. Now would I feel the most confident putting a tq arm setup on it.. probably not but honestly I don't really think its needed to have fun or go fast. These cars handle well enough for me and hook up fine with good shocks, springs, LCA's, and of course tires. You can tell on like driveways or hill to flat spots that the connectors are working instead of car flexing.

I say jack them up there clean off the rails and weld them babys in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sounds like that way works pretty good. Do you happen to have any pictures of how it would look? Just to give me a better idea.

I've already installed some LCA's, Springs, Shocks, Struts, and gonna slap on some new wheels and tires on as well. I was also gonna go with some new upper control arms eventually. I like what Team Z offers for the uppers, which is the reason I haven't made a decision on the torque arm. But even with all that, I still feel the flex in the center of the car. Which is why as soon as the weather warms up and stays warm here in Ohio, I plan on installing them. I put the install off long enough! Haha
 

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I don't have any photos since they were on an old phone but idea is the same as the ones that are already on the bars you have in pictures, you just add a few more.

Ya I know what you mean weather wise... I think we have plenty of time before it gets decent again (Wisconsin).
 

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What I'm seeing is that you need to adjust the bend angle of the SFC. The crushed part is not even that bad. When I read the title I thought to myself wow they must be really bad.... but when I look at the pic you have your finger at the crushed spot; yet the entire length of that section is off parallel. The MM instructions mention this, that you may need to adjust the angle before welding. I would definitely do that rather than forcing it and welding it in place with pretension on it. Mine was crushed about the exact same as yours and the whole thing sat flush except at the crush spot it was about 1/8" off so we added a 1/8" shim plate in there and welded it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A bit more detail of my problem

I was thinking that too about changing the bend angle, but after continuing to look at it, I'm not 100% sure if that will fix my problem. I'm going to attach a few more pictures, a few repeats that are highlighted and 2 others. Sorry that the pictures are not the best quality, but it's what I got.
 

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Mine were mucked up from the previous owner jacking it up with what I suspect with a small "crank" style jack...

Not as bad as yours and I just cut the bottoms out and welded in thicker stronger plates, you would never know by looking at it except I slightly modified it to mount my custom connectors, but without a doubt, I could have straitened and reinstalled what I cut out.

My disclaimer, I am a licenced mechanic tq welder with a shop full of tools. I will try to post pics...

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey MecGen, do you have any pictures? I may not be for the whole cutting out, and welding in new stuff but I'm definitely interested in how you did the process.
 

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Hey MecGen, do you have any pictures? I may not be for the whole cutting out, and welding in new stuff but I'm definitely interested in how you did the process.
What I did was cut out the bottom and fabricated a slightly thicker piece that slips tight inside the frame channel. If you decide to cut into the frame you will see just how thin the channel is

IMG_0405.jpg

Subframe03.jpg

before
 

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This was done for my custom made connector, wich one day I will get around to installing, but in the mean time it a great solid jack point. I used some Por15 etch and paint

Subframe01.jpg

Subframe02.jpg

Subframe05.jpg

Subframe06.jpg
 

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The last thing I thought I should mention if you decide to go this route. I welded the patch in 2 place on the bottom joint of course and I used a die grinder to cut slots to make a second weld higher going through the two pieces

Hope it works out for you

subframeDraw.jpg

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow, yeah I was noticing that they looked thin, but not that thin. That's some really good looking work MecGen.

Whatever route I decide to go, with the ones mentioned to consider, hopefully it all does work out. Whenever I start doing the install, maybe I'll snap a few pictures while in the process and post some results up. Not sure of when that will be exactly, but I'm planning on doing it sooner than later. In a month, 2 or 3?

Thank you for the advice :grin2:
 

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I was thinking of either welding flat plate or C channel on top. But those pics gave me another idea, cut it out like that and weld in a small boxed section like through the floor SFC where they slip inside, but through the bottom.
 

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I was thinking of either welding flat plate or C channel on top. But those pics gave me another idea, cut it out like that and weld in a small boxed section like through the floor SFC where they slip inside, but through the bottom.
If I follow you correctly I was looking at the same thing, actually thinking slipping my frame connectors inside the floor frame, but on my SN95 the factory frame chanel have different widths an hieghts complicating things, also its not completely empty, the frame channels have reinforcement inside...can't see it being anymore complicated then adding through floor connectors

If you do it, post pics
 
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