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Old 10-22-2020, 05:05 PM   #1
excalibur
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Default installing a front crossmember

I will be installing a front crossmember on my 29 roadster pickup. Does anyone have any suggestions on what and what not to do? I am hoping to use rivets and get it to look like it should.
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Old 10-22-2020, 05:15 PM   #2
CabrioletDon
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Default Re: installing a front crossmember

Hi, Excalibur...I just got done replacing the front cross member in my 30 Cabriolet, and can send you some suggestions, some resources and some photos of tools I made and purchased if you'd like. It's not a difficult process, but the 14th rivet was a lot easier than the first 2 or 3, it's a process that takes a while to learn, and mistakes are a big pain as they involve drilling/shaving/removing the bad rivet and starting again. It is possible to make them look just like the originals, and they do a superior job of joining and adding strength to the frame and cross member. Shoot me a PM if you'd like to know more, and I'll be happy to help. --Don
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Old 10-22-2020, 10:14 PM   #3
Russ/40
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Default Re: installing a front crossmember

I'd like to add the importance of the 6 rivets on the top of the frame. They must be low profile, or you will have a interference issue with the front fenders.
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Old 10-22-2020, 11:14 PM   #4
Brentwood Bob
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Default Re: installing a front crossmember

And easier with a couple of helpers. And on a bare frame.
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Old 10-23-2020, 01:42 AM   #5
RandyinUtah
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Default Re: installing a front crossmember

I suggest you heat the rivets before trying to set them. They should not be peen cold.
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Old 10-23-2020, 07:49 AM   #6
Oldbluoval
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Default Re: installing a front crossmember

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To me the big thing is to get a good buck (To back up head). It should be heavy enough to not bounce and hold up tight. Also the proper length is important; I let the rivet protrude the diameter of the rivet. I peen them cold and red; either works, as stated above it is imperative that the rivets flush on top rail.
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:10 AM   #7
Bob Bidonde
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Default Re: installing a front crossmember

The most important aspect of riveting is to get a complete hole fill. You also need to make sure that there is no space between the layers of metal when you buck rivets. Otherwise, the rivets have not structural value.
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:30 AM   #8
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: installing a front crossmember

To add to what everyone else has said;

As Bob said, the holes must be ". If someone has drilled the rivets out to install bolts, the hole will need to be welded closed, then redrilled with a ⁵⁄₆₄ drill and reamed to ".

Next, an air hammer will not set a rivet. It must be a rivet gun. We use a 3X rivet gun.

Use the smallest torch tip or an induction heater to concentrate the heat to the rivet instead of surrounding structural metal. Heating the surrounding metal only expands that metal too and you do not get a strong compression in the hole.

Make sure you measure the crossmember location using triangulation. Check that the frame is square prior to measuring the crossmember.
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Old 10-24-2020, 05:56 AM   #9
excalibur
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Default Re: installing a front crossmember

Thank you everyone for the helpful information. I am still a ways away from installing. Mac's has a rivet kit for the front crossmember that I probably will purchase. I still am in the process of removing the body and then the engine and trans.
I may be back for more information.
Thanks again.
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Old 10-24-2020, 02:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: installing a front crossmember

Excalibur, i have a method for making the countersink rivets if the kit does not include them. Send me a PM if interested.
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