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Old 07-10-2008, 08:08 PM
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Used Super Duty - Hitch Welded to Frame?

In looking at an otherwise nice 2001 F250 PSD SuperDuty at a Ford Dealership...I see the previous owner decided to purchase an expensive truck and then make a "homemade" gooseneck hitch. Why??? Who knows. The peace of mind from purchasing a quality and proven hitch to bolt onto a chassis is the only way to go if you're taking the risk of towing on public roadways.

Anyhow...it appears the hitch, albeit decent looking, has been welded to the frame. Basically they laid a piece of flat stock atop the frame rail and welded a cross member to that stock. Then welded the flat stock to the frame. Its welded on each end of the stock, along the side, right where the frame vertical web makes its curve to the top flat section flange. About 2" of weld each end, each side of the truck. Nice welds however.

Could a person simply remove the bed (for proper access and finishing) and take a sawzall or wheel and carefully cut through the weld and remove this? Then grind the remainder of the weld flush and gone?

Does anybody think the frame could have suffered untold damage or stress that would result in future failure? Or can the SD frames take this?

I seem to remember the upfitters guide on a F550 cab chassis saying not to weld except rear of the rear spring mounts. Even then you had to unplug the ECM and ABS modules...and disconnect the batteries and ground next to the weld area.

Any future problems could prove costly or "cost impossible" I think. Obviously a new frame is one of those over the top fixes. Thanks!!
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:17 PM
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I don't think a saw zaw will cut through that metal. But I maybe wrong. What I would do is not worry about the frame area. If you want that hitch gone, I would take a cutting torch and cut the hitch off and leave the part welded to the frame intact.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:23 PM
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If you really want it gone, you could remove the bed as you say for better access and do the cutting with a sawzall or cutting disk in a grinder or even a torch. The frame between the rear leaf hangers doesn't really carry a lot of load. I am a structural engineer, and the welds you mention wouldn't scare me much.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:33 PM
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i weld on my truck all the time, i never disconect anything. Id be alot that a sawzall would prove useless for this. torch the weld, or grind it. but id just take the ball out and call it a day. plus you get to leave your bed in.
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:35 PM
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I'm fairly certain I can sawzall with the proper blade. But either way a thin disk air wheel is fine too. Whichever works. Be sure that I do not intend to cut into the original frame at all.

Basically I'm cutting through the weld just above the "parent" metal of the frame. So when I'm done grinding, the filler metal (from the weld wire or stick process) would still be present in the frame material. I'm thinking about grinding it smooth then painting so you can never tell it was on there.

I'm a civil engineer...and took several advanced classes 10 years ago (or so) on mechanics of materials. But this is the real world. And I have used the AWS manual for welding specs on several jobs were we needed structural steel installed. Plus I've welded and been around alot of welding. But I'll claim to be no expert in this area. I do know welding is really alot more complicated than some believe if you want it to be "exact" or "proper". I'm guessing this job was not looked into much...cause if it was...they wouldn't have done it considering the other better alternatives and ease of doing so.

I'm just not familiar with the SDuty frame material, nor what rods were used, whether it was preheated etc. It might be a cruddy weld afterall. I just don't know if the frame material was altered drastically from the heat of welding.

I know some trucks like the 03 up rams definately say NO NO NO welding for strength purposes.

I'm not really scared of the end result I'd get. But I'm worried about what I don't know on truck frames. I see alot of semi's in traffic that have decals ont he frames saying "NO WELD".

I'm thinking that portion of the frame area would usually see tension...which is bad for stress crack formation. But any loads would probably be small and not create any stress cracks unless I was hauling heavy. But one never knows what they'll be hauling.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:11 PM
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It will deffinately have an aspect for frame flex if you were off-roading the truck. I would still just cut the hitch off flush with the frame and not worry about what is welded to the frame. But that is me. Also if you cut it flush with the frame it is easier then trying to cut or grind through the weld.
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:30 PM
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I would just do as bigcountrysg said, cut it off and leave the plate on the frame and cut the rest off.
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Old 07-11-2008, 01:16 AM
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my truck has the same sort of set-up 1/2 plate about 8 inches wide and angle iron running the length of the plate on each side on the bottom. Who ever did it sure laid down some weld. I don't even think twice about pulling my 30ft gooseneck. I say leave it if its not in the way.
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Old 07-11-2008, 01:32 AM
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If you are that worried about it then why dont you find another truck?? The reason someone would build their own is because they can. All of our ranch trucks have the gooseneck plates welded in and belive me when I say they tow heavy and have never had any problems.
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil View Post
In looking at an otherwise nice 2001 F250 PSD SuperDuty at a Ford Dealership...I see the previous owner decided to purchase an expensive truck and then make a "homemade" gooseneck hitch. Why??? Who knows. The peace of mind from purchasing a quality and proven hitch to bolt onto a chassis is the only way to go if you're taking the risk of towing on public roadways.

Anyhow...it appears the hitch, albeit decent looking, has been welded to the frame. Basically they laid a piece of flat stock atop the frame rail and welded a cross member to that stock. Then welded the flat stock to the frame. Its welded on each end of the stock, along the side, right where the frame vertical web makes its curve to the top flat section flange. About 2" of weld each end, each side of the truck. Nice welds however.

Could a person simply remove the bed (for proper access and finishing) and take a sawzall or wheel and carefully cut through the weld and remove this? Then grind the remainder of the weld flush and gone?

Does anybody think the frame could have suffered untold damage or stress that would result in future failure? Or can the SD frames take this?

I seem to remember the upfitters guide on a F550 cab chassis saying not to weld except rear of the rear spring mounts. Even then you had to unplug the ECM and ABS modules...and disconnect the batteries and ground next to the weld area.

Any future problems could prove costly or "cost impossible" I think. Obviously a new frame is one of those over the top fixes. Thanks!!
The tough part about what you are trying to determine is you dont know what type of weld stick the operator was using or whether the cooling process was correct.
With a sawzall and lots of lube...I'll bet you can cut it!
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