Boxing in Ranger Frame

punkassslacker

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I have a 94 Ranger frame that I'm going to box in with dimpled 1/8" mild steel flat bar. As far as the stock cross members go, do you guys recommend boxing and notching out spaces for the cross members or cutting them out and putting in new cross members? Does anyone have any tips or trick for working with the odd shaped channel used on the Ranger frame? I'm just making cardboard templates, tracing it on the flat bar and cutting out with a plasma.
 

Kritter

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You better be a good welder because that can ruin the frame if done wrong. What do you plan on doing with the truck that you fell the need to box the whole thing?

Kris
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punkassslacker

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At first I was only going to box in the section of the frame that flexes ( the part right behind the cab) but then I said if im going to do that I might as well make the damn thing bullet proof. When I was looking at the pictures of the Lucas Truck that Camburg is building, I noticed that they boxed the whole thing and dimpled it. It should add a lot of strength and gives it that bitchn' race truck look, with the dimple. Why do you think it is to much? The truck is going to be raced in street legal pre-runner class.
 

WeldnFab

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In my opinion, boxing your frame is a good idea, But be careful because just like what kritter said you can really screw up the frame by doing it wrong....make sure you do it in small sections and only tack and lay small beads in sections too at first.

Build it right the first time......then the second, third and fourth...etc.
 

fishd00d

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Gotta love Toyota's boxed frame is stock :)

Go Big Or Go Home
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robert_encinas

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thier really is no need to box in the rangers frame. they are pretty strong already.if you insist on boxing it in i would use chromoly plate instead of mild steel, for weight reasons. their has to be some flex somewhere, or you will end up with a cracked or broken(destroyed) frame.go to a race and check out the race trucks they dont box in the frames.
 

Kritter

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I agree Ours isnt boxed and it handles awesome.

Kris
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ntsqd

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You can pick up some section modulus by boxing in the frame rails. I would choose a plate thickness that is the same as the rails themselves. I would also choose an alloy that is the same, or as close as is possible to the same, as the rails themselves. Mild steel they ain't.

I think you would be strength, money, time, and weight ahead if you design and build a cage that turns the frame into a properly trussed structure and leave the rails un-boxed or gusseted, except for where a load can only come into it on the top flange.

TS

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punkassslacker

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I got my steel just a few minutes ago so I guess im going for it. I had already thought about stiching the plate on and not welding it solid. I had wanted to use chromoly however its a lot more expensive and I don't have a TIG. I know you can MIG it but you should preheat it first. If I had the time and money I would use chromoly like you guys recommened. I'll save the chromoly for my next truck in a couple years.
 

Jerry Zaiden

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I do not understand why most race trucks do not plate in the frame. Ranger frames are very weak when not plated in. The frame is like you spine; it is the back bone of the truck. So why not plate it in. Just makes it stronger. Have you ever worked with a ranger frame with no cab on it. Flimsy as hell. We chose to use .125" thick 4130. We did not dimple it just cut out big holes for weight savings. Look at the Mike smith built trucks. BOXED FRAME. Why? STRONGER!
 

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Kritter

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Smith built trucks have 700 Hp Rangers have 250hp if youre lucky. Build it according to its intended use, prerunner and occasional 1400. I still say save the time and money and build a better cage. I dont think he plans on racing with the cab off the truck.

Kris
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Jerry Zaiden

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Kritter = your truck with out a boxed in plated frame = hit the wrong big hole in the desert and total your investment.
Pre-runner or race truck with boxed in frame = just that much stronger.
If you are going to build it, build it as strong as possible the first time. 15Lbs of steel is worth it to me.
 

punkassslacker

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Jerry, do you have any tips for boxing in the frame? I was thinking of cutting out the factory cross members and using tubing, what do you think about doing that? Also how big are the holes that you cut out and how far apart are they, also what did you use to cut them out with.
 

havahockey

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This might be an obvious thing, but if you are going to take out all the factory cross members don't take them all off at once. Take one out, put in the tubing, take out the next, etc. That way you don't run the risk of having the frame move on you.
 

ntsqd

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There aren't enough crossmembers in the frame, it's gonna move. The trick is to measure the width (top and bottom) b4 you cut the member out. Use what ever it takes to duplicate those dimesions b4 you weld the member back in.
I still say those 15-20 pounds are better spent elsewhere, especially in a comparitively low HP machine.

TS

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-- Bumpersticker seen in Lost Wages
 

havahockey

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I think its better to overbuild something for those unexcpected situations in the desert. I'd rather put 15-20 more pounds of steel on my truck and lose .5 hp then not and have my frame crack.
 

ntsqd

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I guess what I'm getting at is that with decently designed tube to frame junctions and a decent cage design you shouldn't need to box the frame. I'm not saying boxing the frame won't help to strengthen it, but in the added weight vs. added strength priotity list it would be a ways down on my own list.
The lighter everything is, the less stress there will be on the frame rails. I'm trying to promote thotful design instead of the "weld some 3/8" plate on it" kind of approach. I'm not saying that anyone suggested the latter approach, just that it is an easy thinking mode to slip into. I know just how easy it is for me.....

TS

"It only seems kinky the first time"
-- Bumpersticker seen in Lost Wages
 

Kritter

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OK well its your truck and you do what you want but I like to always look at things from a cost/benefit approach. Your benefit is not great if you are already building a good cage. Your cost is; money, weight, time, and possibility of screwing it up. Our truck is all chromoly, built by somebody who has been building race cars for 20 + years, the first time it was out it got wadded up in a ravine and you know what got ruined...the front part of the frame which is FACTORY BOXED...had to scrap the whole front half of the truck. Nothing happened to the rear half of the frame and it is unboxed but built right. I think for 7s we have the lightest truck in SCORE and BITD and thats because it was not over built, it was built for 7s...if we could only get a motor dialed in now! The only things that do break when they do are things that ARE over built...300M oversized spindle snouts and our motor.

Kris
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RacerX

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Jerry. When can we see the race ranger in action.? How long till it is done?
 

Kritter

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Last time I saw it, it was lookin good. Is the interior done?

Kris
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