View Full Version : Dodge Power Wagon Frame Repair
03-24-2009, 09:36 PM
First Post here, and a question about how best to approach a frame repair that I am working on in the restoration of my 1958 W300M Dodge Power Wagon. The frames on these are kind of unusual, as they are a "double" frame, basically a frame within a frame. At some point in the past a battery leaked on the top of one of the frame rails and caused some decent corrosion. The top of the frame rail has not cracked, but definitely is a bit thin in about a 3 inch long area. It was also a bit warped (after some hammering, it's now straight) The web of the frame rail is OK. I was thinking about welding a strip of steel along the top of the damaged rail to reinforce the thinned out area, but wanted to get some expert opinion on whether that is a good idea, or if there are better options that I might consider. I was thinking about welding the strip along the outside of the rail, and using some plug welds on the top of the rail.
Here are a couple pics that show the thinned area, and the strip I'm thinking of reinforcing the area with.
03-25-2009, 06:08 AM
No expert but plenty of opinion !
Hard to see what's damaged since you covered it up - 3" long area ?
By your description I'd say cut out the bad area and replace with good steel.
Also consider boxing frame, that area both sides.
03-25-2009, 08:54 AM
If the rest of the frame top flange is sound,I would go with Chucks idea.Your repair would look more professional and look factory to the average person.Good fit up of the repair is important.Try to cut out the damage with straight cuts and cut the new piece 1/8" smaller so you will have full penetration welds.Grind the area down to clean metal.be sure the weld beads finish above the frame surface so when you grind them downyou can't tell where the edges of the welds are.I would grind down to 1/16" and then use a 50 grit grinding disc to blend every thing in.Ive done a couple Toyota 4x4 box frames that looked like swiss cheese after I knocked all the loose chunks of rust off.Both are still on the road today! good luck and send a picture when your done.:D
03-26-2009, 01:22 AM
Thank you for the advice. I agree that the pics that I attached in the first post were not very informative. Here are some better ones that show the damage to the rail, and the "thin" spot. You can see that the top of the rail is pitted , but is only really thin is a small area.
One concern that I have with cutting out the offending section and welding in a new one is the double frame. I don't think the "inside" frame is damaged, so I'd have to be pretty careful cutting out the section of "outside" frame without damaging the inside frame. Would you recommend cutting out the bad section at an angle to the rail and web (kind of like a diamond shaped fish plate?) or just straight cuts?
The thin area:
03-27-2009, 01:05 PM
If you use an air die grinder with a cut off wheel you might cut the outer frame out.You will feel it hit the frame under neath so stop when it goes thru.you could also cut both out and weld in a piece of 3/16 flat bar.I would make straight cuts whatever you do.
03-27-2009, 04:20 PM
Is there any possibility that it might be best off left as is? Depending on where its located along the frame, and whether anything is attached nearby causing a concentration of stress. The top rail I would think would be in some instances, the least stress part of the frame. I'm just suggesting that if the job is difficult to do and evaluate, it might, might, be best off left alone.
03-27-2009, 04:24 PM
Is there any possibility that it might be best off left as is? I was thinking the same thing. Run it.
If it's going to be a driver it looks like it will be fine, and if it's supposed to be a show-quality resto patching a plate on top of the frame isn't going to fly either.
10-18-2009, 04:19 AM
by chance does your power wagon have the 237 chrysler flathead engine that could have came with it?