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Attempting to Rebuild my 1983 Fleet After it Flew off on the Freeway

rebuild fleet crash bent frame

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#1 Desheezy

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 03:44 PM

As some of you know, my Fleet flew off my truck 9 days after purchase. The seller "secured" it with two ratchet straps in the rear, to two U-bolts that were anchored into weak, old wood. I asked if he was SURE that it was secure, because even I (total load-securing-rookie) thought it was risky.
 
He assured me it was SAFE... he kept saying that it was fine and they'd just traveled for a year like that. I was so naive. I've learned A LOT since!
 
Here are some photos of the accident. I have a LOT to update you on, and I'll slowly add photos.
 
4wheelupsidedown
After 1
After 2
Underneath the bed
Front

Edited by Desheezy, 18 October 2019 - 05:36 PM.

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#2 craig333

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 03:54 PM

I had heard of this somewhere. Yikes. I hope the repairs aren't too bad. I'm just about to head out (finally got a three day weekend) and I think I'll double check the tie downs before I leave!


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Craig KK6AUI _________________________ 2004 2500 CTD 4X4 FWC HAWK 1960 CJ5

#3 Desheezy

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 03:58 PM

I had heard of this somewhere. Yikes. I hope the repairs aren't too bad. I'm just about to head out (finally got a three day weekend) and I think I'll double check the tie downs before I leave!

 

Have fun, and make sure they're not anchored into old wood!


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#4 Desheezy

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 05:02 PM

So, I've done all the gutting and am really STUCK in the one corner beneath the bed on the driver's side. It's the part that suffered the structural damage. I'll post all other photos later, but for now I'm going to post what I've done here and would reaaaally appreciate any suggestions!

 

I have been trying my hardest to do what I can without having to take it into the shop, since I had to replace the floor boards and do some other repairs. It was also pretty difficult to wedge my truck into this exact spot in the yard, so I'm really not trying to back in and take ol' Flipper in and out until it's done or almost done.

 

I used JB Weld's strongest epoxy, used 90* angles on all corners, mending plates and some reinforcement wood on the interior rails. So far it seems pretty solid. This area would be holding up my weight, and I don't see it going anywhere. But thoughts and suggestions are welcome!

 

I think that the vertical tubes are solid, but my concern is the horizontal roof frame. It's slightly bent, and a couple people have told me that it shouldn't go anywhere. But, I don't know enough about aluminum framing to feel confident in it.

 

Bent Roof
driver's side frame
Frame After
Interior roof support
Interior Roof Support

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#5 Ghettofab75

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 09:23 PM

Is the front overhang still bent down?  That would be my biggest concern.  If that upper horizontal is still bent, then nothing is going to fit right or "look" right in the end.  You might be able to use some chains and a bottle jack to pull it the opposite direction.

 

Short of that, it might just be better to cut out the bent affected area and weld in new channel.  You might be able to buy a remnant from FWC or ATC for that.  If it was me, I'd weld it, but I have access to the tools so I understand that might not be an option for you.  My second choice would be talking to a weld shop and possibly doing all the fitup myself, then have them weld it.  I'm not a fan of JB welding things, there are better construction or autobody adhesives out there.  Not trying to criticize, just giving my honest 2 cents worth.

 

I am curious though as the accident.  Did it litterally catch a gust of wind and fly out?  If so that's impressive!  I wouldn't think something that weighs this much would be able to catch that much wind.

 

Kevin


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#6 Desheezy

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 05:44 AM

Is the front overhang still bent down?  That would be my biggest concern.  If that upper horizontal is still bent, then nothing is going to fit right or "look" right in the end.  You might be able to use some chains and a bottle jack to pull it the opposite direction.

 

Short of that, it might just be better to cut out the bent affected area and weld in new channel.  You might be able to buy a remnant from FWC or ATC for that.  If it was me, I'd weld it, but I have access to the tools so I understand that might not be an option for you.  My second choice would be talking to a weld shop and possibly doing all the fitup myself, then have them weld it.  I'm not a fan of JB welding things, there are better construction or autobody adhesives out there.  Not trying to criticize, just giving my honest 2 cents worth.

 

I am curious though as the accident.  Did it litterally catch a gust of wind and fly out?  If so that's impressive!  I wouldn't think something that weighs this much would be able to catch that much wind.

 

Kevin

 

If it wasn't going to be such a pain to load it up and take it to the shop, and then get it back into that same tight space space, I'd do it. But, I'm really trying to avoid that. I might finish everything else up and see how it feels, and if I'm not confident in it, I'll take it in.

 

I JB welded, then put mending plates and 90* angles at every corner, on top of the epoxy, then put epoxy over the screws to the gussets. And also added those two support beams to the interior side rails. It feels pretty stable.

 

I was only going 60mph in the slow lane, and I think the wind coming from the front eventually caused the anchor to weaken and flipped it upside down. It probably would have been find had I had a ratchet in each corner


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#7 Beach

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 02:54 PM

Since welding appears to not be an option, I would make gusset plates and pop rivet them in place. JB weld products for the most part will crack when flexed. I would use 5200 in conjunction with the gussets, it bonds extremely well and will remain flexible. Rough up all contact areas with 80-120 grit clean with a solvent before applying. Cut an L shaped gusset to support the overhang and go with 3/16. Disclaimer: these suggestions are not as good as removing damaged sections and re welding.


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#8 knoxswift

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 03:38 PM

Since welding appears to not be an option, I would make gusset plates and pop rivet them in place. JB weld products for the most part will crack when flexed. I would use 5200 in conjunction with the gussets, it bonds extremely well and will remain flexible. Rough up all contact areas with 80-120 grit clean with a solvent before applying. Cut an L shaped gusset to support the overhang and go with 3/16. Disclaimer: these suggestions are not as good as removing damaged sections and re welding.

X2 JB weld is not going to handle the flex.
the bent square pipe needs to be replaced.


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#9 jimjxsn

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 01:01 AM

I made a solar panel frame using this type corner bracket pop-riveted and was amazed at the strength.  I bought them on Amazon.

 

20191021_185300-L.jpg


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~Jim
2000 Tundra AC- 2000 FWC Ranger

2017 Tundra DC - 2017 ATC Panther






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