So, after talking with Mhatlen and seeing that he too thought this and had actually made a fix on his truck, I got motivated and started outside. I wanted a few things out of my fix.
1) A bolt-in application with minimal modification to the frame
2) Semi-easy to duplicate/modify to work for many years
3) Of course, I want it to get rid of the problem
So first off, here's a pic of underneath my truck. 2005 F350 4x4 6.0L Auto CCLB
Don't mind the oil spots....at this time I had already been spraying some penetrating oil. As you can see, it's a big blank space without any support. I was first going to build a support right in the middle here, but there are a lot of products that people use that fit in this big blank spot so nicely. Air compressors, aftermarket fuel/water separators, extra battery trays for trailer haulers.....some people actually already have this space full so that was out. So I decided that I'd try to just reinforce the crossmember that's in front of the fuel tank. This probably won't work for anybody that has a bigger aftermarket fuel tank, but I figure there's less people that do a bigger underbody and they just do a transfer tank in the bed.
I'm making this out of 2" OD 0.25 wall DOM tubing and some 1/4" steel plate. Not the best saw to cut DOM with, but it works
Two 6" long pieces with a 45 degree cut on each end.
After cutting, they get beveled with a grinder for better penetration and more strength when they're welded together.
The steel plate, drilled to the pattern on the frame....ish (found that out later :doh).
Ok, here's where I got really into doing this and forgot to take some pictures. I'll go out and take some more when my camera charges up, but for now here's some with some steps skipped. There's a bunch of small holes in the framerails right in front of the fuel tank. I took 4 of those holes and drilled them out to 1/2". On the drivers side, there's some fuel/electrical lines so you gotta be careful, on the passenger side, just the exhaust hanger. I unbolted the exhaust hanger and trimmed the steel plate to fit the bend in the frame, then transferred the pattern to the other plate. The nice thing is you only have to do one side, then just make a mirrored version for the other side of the frame.
Here's a pic of the holes in the framerail. These holes are already there, I used a reamer bit to open them up to 1/2" and used grade 8 hardware to hold it together
With the plate in, I want the tube to be angled up and towards the rear. This should
let the crossmember work on both the horizontal axis and the vertical axis. Towards the front would work just fine too, but going towards the rear was easier because the carrier bearing was in the way.
I did the other side too, but that's one of the things I forgot to take a pic of.
This is where I ended up today.....
I'm waiting on some more DOM tubing and some gas for my MIG welder....in case you were wondering why the tack welds looked like crap
Also, you can see where my holes "missed" and I had to drill new ones. This will be fixed as well.