1966 Corvette frame question

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bill k
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1966 Corvette frame question

Post by bill k » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:51 pm

I know that there are many talented and knowledgeable people that provide information on this site--I would like to tap into some of that knowledge.
A few weeks ago I acquired a basket case 1966 Corvette. As I started examining everything on the car I found some minor rust through on one inner frame rail. The area is easily repaired. My question is, what is the metal thickness/gauge of the Corvette frame? Is the material standard A-36 steel or an alloy of some sort?
I will be doing the repair myself, and want to weld the new section in flush with the existing frame surface. My goal is an invisible repair.
My plan is to drill holes into good frame steel, then plug weld strips of steel on the frame interior around the opening. This will create a stop for the new steel. The "patch" will then be plug welded to the inner strip, then finished welded to the actual frame. Afterwards the welds will be finish ground smooth and painted.
Does this sound like a sound, strong, method of performing this repair? The welding will be done with my MIG using .035" thick wire.
Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions.

bill k
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Re: 1966 Corvette frame question

Post by bill k » Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:52 pm

I guess we have no frame modifiers on this site. You guys for the first time have let me down.

peejay
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Re: 1966 Corvette frame question

Post by peejay » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:24 am

It's been one day, on the weekend.

Personally, I think your plan is sound. I've never been a fan of structural butt welds, but your idea takes care of that.

bill k
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Re: 1966 Corvette frame question

Post by bill k » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:22 pm

Peejay, I know that the steel that is removed must be replaced, I feel that I am more than exceeding the minimum.
My main concern is the frame rail pulling during welding and causing distortion or twisting. I will take my time during welding
allowing adequate time for the area to cool down before moving on. I agree with you on butt welding, no good on a frame rail.
This car will only be a driver, something that I can have some fun with. Thank you for your response. This site has helped me build several dynamite engines in the past. Maybe that is the main strength of the people here that contribute to help others.

mk e
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Re: 1966 Corvette frame question

Post by mk e » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:33 am

I don't know the thickness you'll to dril a hole and measure. The rails are stamped so they are something soft, 1010 at most I'd guess but there is no harm in going stronger.

Take a look where the frame turns up in front of the rear wheels, they tend to crack there.

There is absolutely nothing to be scared about with butt joints in steel. If youre welding right you will get a bead on the inside that looks a lot like the bead on the outside and the weld zone is stronger than the base metal. I don't do it everyday day so I do a few practice welds before I go "live". On thinner stuff I bend the egdes in a little on both pieces which gives a nice place to lay a bead nd not have to worry about full penetration, you can do the same thing on the frame if you're in anyway concerned about the welds.
Mark
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TRN
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Re: 1966 Corvette frame question

Post by TRN » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:57 pm

Butt welds in frames seem a bit scary, but I watched my dad cut the frame of a Diamond T truck about 3' behind the cab, cut the rear section of frame from a wrecked Reo, line them up with string, and butt weld the frame. We hauled logs with that truck for about 10 years, then hauled hay over the Cascades for another 10 years. No cracks, nothing. Just worked.

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