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moozieman

Fabricating New Frame Rails?

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My 1977 280z appears to have been jacked up via the frame rail because it's all bent up. Looking to save some money on the replacement. Is it possible to fabricate my own frame rails and just cut out the damaged parts? I dont have much metal experience, but it seems like I could just use a metal brake and bend some sheet metal into the correct shape. Frame rails arent a particularly complicated shape.

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It can be done, but there are also mountings on the frame rails-you would need some good material, and a big heavy brake to bend it with and a jig to put(and hold) everything in the right place for welding-depending on what part of the rails you need to replace..  I didn't see the  need to reinvent the whole nine yards I  bought  a set from Charley Osborne at  Zed Findings and spent the time getting ready for them cleaning up what was there, working out how to put them in the right place and practicing my welding..     Those I bought are outwardly indistinguishable from factory parts. 

If you diy-be sure to post everything!

Edited by hls30.com
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3 minutes ago, hls30.com said:

It can be done, but there are also mountings on the frame rails-you would need some good material, and a big heavy brake to bend it with and a jig to put(and hold) everything in the right place for welding-depending on what part of the rails you need to replace..  I didn't see the  need to reinvent the whole nine yards I  bought  a set from Charley Osborne at  Zed Findingsspent the time getting ready for them cleaning up what was there, working out how to put them in the right place and practicing my welding..     Those I bought are outwardly indistinguishable from factory parts. 

If you diy-be sure to post everything!

What kinds of things are mounted? What gauge steel is used on the factory ones?

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That is kind of the point...Charley has already found all of that out, and made a stronger rail that looks right.  But to answer your question, the frame rails have harnes mounts, brake line mounts, Tension compression rod mounts, sway bar mounts, and more... and some of those mounts must be in the right location, or the car will have issues.  I don't remember the gauge of steel in the factory or CHarleys version, but while his look right cosmetically, they are thicker and stronger.

 

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 If you're talking about just the frame rails under the floor pans and not the ones in the engine bay it would be relatively easy to fab. your own. I bought my floor pan rails from ZedFindings and would do it again. Reasonably priced and excellent quality.

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Are you talking about the engine bay rails or the ones under the floor? Post up some pics so we can see what the damage is. Dented up frame rails under the floor are so common I don't think I'd even bother fixing them unless they're really bad if they aren't rusted out. 

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The 280Z floor pan frame rails have a compound curve that is hard to duplicate.
4895b88a1c2f889f87ca47dcbd5c6b34.jpg

The passenger side is on a bend in the floor.

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