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Discussion Starter #1
did some searching and all I found was some vague Badass type comments about the weak '80 frame. Is there gonna be a problem getting jiggy with a stick welder and some scrap metal to get it beefier? How much of a problem is this "swiss" frame?
81 bronk if your still alive out there have you had to mod anything in relation to frame weakness?
 

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Bryan wtf-is-his-last-name (Tom, aka locopony knows how to get ahold of him) did that sometime last year, and added some beef to his frame, IIRC

Myself, I see no problem in boxing the frame, and filling the holes
 

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Discussion Starter #3
when you say fill the holes, Im just thinking about planting big ass pieces of 1/4" steel plate down as much of the length inside and outside the frame rails, basically where ever I can fit it, that should work dont you think?
 

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davids78bronco said:
Bryan wtf-is-his-last-name (Tom, aka locopony knows how to get ahold of him) did that sometime last year, and added some beef to his frame, IIRC

Myself, I see no problem in boxing the frame, and filling the holes
Kale... he didnt beef up his frame.. he swapped in a 92 frame..
 

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hmm, I thought he boxed in sections of his frame :shrug Not the first time I was wrong

DSS - you can certainly add plate steel wherever you like, but since you're going to want to move all the wires, fuel and brake lines to do it anyway, I would box it in as well as filling in all the holes
 

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DeepSeaSnake said:
when you say fill the holes, Im just thinking about planting big ass pieces of 1/4" steel plate down as much of the length inside and outside the frame rails, basically where ever I can fit it, that should work dont you think?
Do it (altho .250 is probably overkill)
 

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also think about the weight, the bronco is already a heavy sum-a-b!tch, think about how much 1/4" steel weighs. a lesser thickness would be plenty, do 1/8 in sections you think will have major stress, and in others use even smaller plate, that way you save some of the weight factor, just my .023456789 cents

wes
 

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Discussion Starter #9
how should I fill the holes though? plate on one side then a circle cut out to fill the hole? 1/8" sounds good, I mean I'm not building one completely from scratch Im just beefing up so I guess I could see 1/4" being a bit overkill
 

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You can use 1/4" or 3/16" square patches, and fill in the hole from the other side, but that looks terrible to have little squares all over the frame. If you're able, get yourself a block of copper, or brass, and use that behind each, and weld the holes shut. The block won't stick to the frame, nor will it get welded to the frame, leaving a nice clean fill that can be ground down, and smoothed over

Or, you can run with your idea, and get a bunch of circular plugs, weld those in, and grind those down
 

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How big are those holes? Could you just hole saw plate to the appropriate size? I'd use 3/16", that's more or less what the frame is. Then again, I'm not certain how much strength you're gonna add just filling the holes. I'd plate a couple places and call it good.

Are we aware of actual failures anyway? You might just be wasting your time
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Are we aware of actual failures anyway? You might just be wasting your time
that is exactly what Im wondering as well, I have never heard any horror stories just alot of shit talkin
 

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Back in 80 we bought two new F-250's for use on our farm. They had sequential serial numbers. One had the "swiss cheese" frame and the other was solid. When asked about it, Ford's reply was that the frames with holes were for EPA/Milage testing (lighter weight) but were made of a higher grade of steel and were just as strong as the solid frames. We accepted the answer with some skepticism but didn't have any problems with "holey frame" and that truck weighed out a 10,500 lbs ready for work (Flatbed, fuel tanks, boxes, hydrolics, tools, air compressor, headache rack, 460 swap, etc, etc,......of course it did need new custom springs. It was used pretty hard during its life and held up fine. Just my experiance with Ford's swiss cheese frames. I wouldn't be too concerned unless you start seeing some cracking or fatigue.
 

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adding a stip to the outside is'n't going to add much strength to the frane as a whole.
Sure it will prevent cracking, or band-aid over curent cracks.
But for premium strength you should box it.

Boxing the frame in areas will help reduce the over all load the frame see's, which will do the same as plating it (reduce cracking)
AND it will prevent twisting and keep the frame square at joints. I've heard of frames twisting ALOT when rock sliders or side steps are added. Plateing the frame won't stop the twisting very much.

Of cource the only experence I have is playing with legos as a kid, which teachs people more about artechutechure than college (except college teaches you how to spell :( ;) )
 

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OTOH you guys should see the frame cracks in the '97 F350 Nathan got for parts.......numerous cracks in the rear. It was a field truck, oil & gas and those guys BEAT on those things. Also apparently they mount the utility beds straight to the frame, no bushings or anything.

It had cracked both sides where the rear shock mounts are riveted to the frame, and was starting to crack where the stop bracket for the overload leaf was mounted.
 

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If you are worried about it then just box it. Don't worry about the holes. If you box it it'll be alot stronger than stock. In fact to cut some weight out you could probably drill some holes in the stuff you use to box it as well. I'd move the fuel lines ect out of the way first but try to route them through the frame again. They'd be plenty protected for sure. :)
 

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My friend has a '81 f-150 and his frame cracked so he had 1/4" steel brackets welded for support and man is it tough. I almost though about getting the frame rails on my bronco stitched up with some thick steel. Ill try to get pics of his frame when i see his truck next
 

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A friend and I wheel virtually identical Bronco's except one is an '80 with the swiss cheese frame and the other is an '81 with the solid frame. They're both getting torn apart an equal amount :shocked
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ryan, I was planning on it anyway, I should have mentioned it but I've been assumeing along with the SAS I'll box it all up.

hwy to hell, Id love to see those pics if you can get em
 
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