Fixing a crack
by Ken "bartamos" Law
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      Stress -- it'll kill anything -- people as well as trucks. Dealing with it is easy -- for us, just slowing down, exercising, prioritizing and eating right can help. For our trucks, it's even easier! Don't let stress cracks get in your way -- here's Dr. Easywrench's ace internist, Ken Law, with a prescription for ....

Fixing stress cracks and tears !

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       A stress crack! Yuck ... yuck. But not the end of the world.

       Here is a typical stress or fatigue crack found in our older truck bodies and frames. In this case, it's a 1956 GMC Carryall passenger door. Fear not ... it can be repaired!

       Drill a 1/8 inch diameter hole or smaller at the end of the crack and all branch cracks. This will stop the chance of continuation.

       Groove out the crack. If you can't get behind it very well, as in this case, just leave a little metal if you can. A die grinder works good here.

       Weld with adjoining spots. This particular area has a lot of bends and corners, so you could bead it. I never take a chance on warpage. Go slow and wait for each spot to cool. The sanded area above the crack is for the ground clamp. If you can't sand / wirebrush well for both jaws of the clamp, make sure the cable jaw is on the "good ground." You don't want to try and ground thru the pivot and spring.

      Smooth with your favorite method. This was done with a Mig 135, twenty gauge brand wire (.030 Dia), 25/75 Gas on about 19 gauge metal.

Ken Law
1956 GMC Carryall 4 X 4
Bolter # 6873

       Be sure to check out our extensive Forums discussions -- from General Truck talk, Electrical Bay, Big Bolts, Panels and Burbs, Engine and Driveline, Paint and Body, Interiors, Tool Chest -- The Stovebolt Collective can help in your quest and walk you through the mire and magic of working with old iron. ~~ Editor.  

v. April 2007

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