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DirkR

How to patch a chassis rail, cross member, back plate?

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Hi Guys,

Here I am again. I've cleaned my chassis and found a few small holes in two cross members, a hole in a chassis rail and one in the back plate. My 1st Question now is: Does it matter how I cut the bad metal out and how do I replace it? I've read I need 2 mm steel plate. Best way is to make the repair flush I suppose. 2nd question is: does it makes sense to open up the chassis rails by cutting out the front plate off the dumb irons and also cutting a piece out of the back plate (where there's a hole on one side) to be able to clean (with the help of a stovepipe cleaning brush) and inspect the inside of the chassis rail? I have a few pictures of the holes (taken with the chassis upside down) ...

Thanks for your advice & many greetings, dirk

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With the chassis in that state, and particularly the rear cross member rotted at the end of the main chassis rail, I would have no hesitation in 'squaring the hole' (something you will want to do anyway in an attempt to find decent metal to weld to.

But then, I wouldn't go straight to a flue brush, I'd go to a cheap USB drain inspection camera, and a modern torch with either a SMD or COB light source. Typically powered by one or two AA cells, or three AAA cells. Also buy one of those long flexible drain clearing 'snakes' made of closely coiled wire.

Tape the camera near the end of the snake, taping the lead to the snake evey half metre or so. Tape the torch just behind the camera head. Plug the USB camera into a tablet or laptop, switch on the torch, poke the camera in the chassis rail, and proceed as far as you can, while watching the screen. After a couple of minutes, pause for thought, how you can improve your viewing technique (camera positioning), and how you can record what you are seeing.

'Cutting the front plate off the dumb irons' isn't as easy as it seems, or it shouldn't be. Just behind the holes through which the front bumper is mounted should be a vertical anti-crush plate. Yours may still exist, but in more rotten chassis this plate will have crumbled to dust, or it will do when poked with a finger.

Good Luck

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Thank you David, that's already a good suggestion! Maybe one of my sons have such a small camera I could use... I'll keep you posted of what I find...

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