Out With the Old, In With the New
Building a new cross member
Taking apart cars is fun, but what I really like to do is build new things. This was the beginning of a new phase in the project. Instead of just taking stuff apart, I would start building up some new things.
The centre cross member was badly rusted out and needed to be replaced. I thought that this would be a good place to start my fabrication because it was smaller part but still had some angles involved. I wanted to build one that followed the belly of the frame so that I could use it to secure belly pans. This would also be where I will mount one end of my fuel tanks in the future. I started off by designing the whole thing on paper. You can check out some of those pics and math in the design section.
The cross member was made from a single length of 2" square tubing cut and bent to the proper angles. Once bent and welded, I added extra steel at all the bends. Then I built the end plates and gussets. All the gussets were first cut out of cardboard to figure out the right shape and size and then were traced on to plate steel and cut out with an angle grinder. I cut holes in the end plates to allow for more weld surface to the frame. Everything is built with 1/8" material and welded with my 120V flux-core welder. You can check out the welder and my other tools in the tools section. I still have to weld the underside of the end plates, but that will wait until the frame is flipped over so that I can do a proper job.
I'm not sure if this part is stronger then the original, but I know it's stronger then the rusted out one I removed.