Coil Bucket & Shock Mount torn off frame - advice/suggestions? (1 Viewer)

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Nov 9, 2018
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ABQ, NM, USA
I've been MIA from club events/activities for quite awhile due to serious health issues, but I've been able to take a few family/solo trips.

Unfortunately, this week I was in southern CO and started hearing a noise. I finally tracked it down, and to my shock, realized that I had managed to tear the upper coil bucket and shock mounting plate completely off the supporting cross member in front, almost entirely off the frame itself, and in the process tore sections of the frame itself. The coil/shock mount tore the frame at the factory weld from front to back, and is beginning to tear apart the frame at the top inside corner near the mount.

I have contacted my insurance provider (St. Farm) and am waiting for a call back. I found a frame guy (A1 frame repair) willing to look at it, as well as an off road shop (coincidentally named A One Equipment). Most standard body shops (Quanz, Car Crafters, etc) don't want any part of it. I also have a call out to a certified mobile welder, and am waiting on a call back.

I figured I would post some pictures here and see if any of you have any thoughts on the repair, any references for a welder, or a reference to a frame repair shop you trust. Please chime in if you can help, thanks!

EDIT > For reference, this is a 2001 4Runner Sport Edition, fully built, rear suspension is OME 2861 coils, 80 series OE shocks, custom links upper/lower, custom panhard drop/lift brackets. I believe the contributing factors are the 4Runner being very heavy to begin with due to armor/mods, normally carrying a heavy load in the cargo area, in addition to stiff coils/shocks, and the weight of a CBI rear with tire swingout.

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Joined
Nov 12, 2018
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NM
Bet that was a bit of a shocker! (Sorry...)
Upgrade time, if that happened to me, I'd pull the body off, patch the frame, and fab a shock hoop for some juicy rear coilovers.
But that may be a bit more involved than you want.
Haven't really heard of that happening in the rear, seen it on the forums for the front a few times.
I've also seen links pull off cars with thinner frames, but I never thought that our frames were thin enough for that.
 
Joined
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I'd love to go nuts and beef up the entire rear suspension, but realistically that is not going to happen. Life is far too complicated for me at this point to allow for that kind of project. This will be a repair and nothing more.

I have already ordered a replacement coil bucket/shock mounting plate.... in my case Toyota part no. 51302-35010 (Left). If it were the P/S it'd be 51301-35030 (Right), just FYI. That way, I have the option to cut out the old mount, repair the frame, and weld in a fresh mount, rather than working with what is there currently.
 

Mauser

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If it were mine I would pull the springs, get everything back into place, weld the tears and add as much extra steel as I could to beef it up.
 
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Dang, Nick. Wish I could pop over and help or at least provide a recommendation for a welder. Chris would've been it but he is long gone.

Crossing my fingers you find someone.
 
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If it were mine I would pull the springs, get everything back into place, weld the tears and add as much extra steel as I could to beef it up.

That's pretty much the plan. However, I don't have a lot of time on my hands and while I can I would prefer to spend time outdoors rather than in the garage. That's partly why I'm thinking I'll outsource the work. My welder is a Hobart 140 mig machine with 75/25 argon/CO2 gas in the bottle. I've welded dozens of feet worth of 3/16" with it, always with proper joint/surface prep. I think with this though, I'd be more comfortable with a hotter machine laying the welds, again leading me to outsource the work. I have a few leads and will be busy following up next week... if it takes too long I'll just buy a second rig... can't miss out on October. Thanks for your thoughts.

Dang, Nick. Wish I could pop over and help or at least provide a recommendation for a welder. Chris would've been it but he is long gone.

Crossing my fingers you find someone.

Thanks, Tom. Chasing down a few leads currently and have a good feeling I can find an experienced welder with the time to do the work. If not, I'll grab another 4wd, ride out the season, and hopefully have the energy to fix it myself in December.
 
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Thanks, Tom. Chasing down a few leads currently and have a good feeling I can find an experienced welder with the time to do the work. If not, I'll grab another 4wd, ride out the season, and hopefully have the energy to fix it myself in December.


After thinking about it, unless those leads pan out, that GX sounds like a gooder idea. Pretty capable with minor work (if any at all). Lots of interior room too. Would love to hang with you in October. We're looking at Columbus Day weekend. Will be in touch to see about planning something.
 

Mauser

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That's pretty much the plan. However, I don't have a lot of time on my hands and while I can I would prefer to spend time outdoors rather than in the garage. That's partly why I'm thinking I'll outsource the work. My welder is a Hobart 140 mig machine with 75/25 argon/CO2 gas in the bottle. I've welded dozens of feet worth of 3/16" with it, always with proper joint/surface prep. I think with this though, I'd be more comfortable with a hotter machine laying the welds, again leading me to outsource the work. I have a few leads and will be busy following up next week... if it takes too long I'll just buy a second rig... can't miss out on October. Thanks for your thoughts.



Thanks, Tom. Chasing down a few leads currently and have a good feeling I can find an experienced welder with the time to do the work. If not, I'll grab another 4wd, ride out the season, and hopefully have the energy to fix it myself in December.

If you have a hard time finding someone to get the work done quick enough to get you back on the road let me know. I have the equipment and welding experience to do most projects, I am not real busy right now, give a heck of a discount to HDC members, and will honestly tell you if I can do the job correctly or not.
 

alia176

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I second @Mauser as he has become our club's go to welder.

I'm puzzled as to why this happened. I realize that the 4runner has lots of mods and weight but all that contributes to a compression load. I don't see Nick doing Baja style of driving, as in not catching air but he does like to spool up that supercharger I'm sure ;) This looks like a "tear", meaning that the actual steel ripped apart and that takes some serious force. It's easy enough to repair, just throw bunch of steel at it but still, I'm puzzled as to why this happened and how do we know it won't happen again but somewhere else? Nick, keep looking on the 'net to see if anyone else had this same issue. It could be a metallurgical thing, as in that part of the frame had sub-par steel? Just thinking out loud....

Also, could you please take some far away pics, if possible, so that we can get a broader view of the affected areas?
 
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Thought crossed my mind and did a quick search for T4R frame reinforcement plates. Came up blank.

This is common with the 1st Gen Tacomas but more due to the fact the rear portion of the frame is not fully boxed. You're probably well tied into the community to know what is available but throwing the thought out there to see if it sticks.
 
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After thinking about it, unless those leads pan out, that GX sounds like a gooder idea. Pretty capable with minor work (if any at all). Lots of interior room too. Would love to hang with you in October. We're looking at Columbus Day weekend. Will be in touch to see about planning something.

The GX didn't work out. I made an offer, but the seller and I were about $1K apart. I might give it a week and circle back with another counter. I'm still watching craigs like a hawk for something that will work.

If you have a hard time finding someone to get the work done quick enough to get you back on the road let me know. I have the equipment and welding experience to do most projects, I am not real busy right now, give a heck of a discount to HDC members, and will honestly tell you if I can do the job correctly or not.

I genuinely appreciate your offer and will consider it an option. I'll start a conversation via PM to get more details if my current leads don't pan out. Sitting around this week is driving me crazy... the 4Runner got washed/detailed yesterday to make it easier on whoever does the work. It's a lot easier to work under a rig when it's not dropping dirt clods and cow poo in your eyes.

I second Mauser as he has become our club's go to welder.

I'm puzzled as to why this happened. I realize that the 4runner has lots of mods and weight but all that contributes to a compression load. I don't see Nick doing Baja style of driving, as in not catching air but he does like to spool up that supercharger I'm sure ;) This looks like a "tear", meaning that the actual steel ripped apart and that takes some serious force. It's easy enough to repair, just throw bunch of steel at it but still, I'm puzzled as to why this happened and how do we know it won't happen again but somewhere else? Nick, keep looking on the 'net to see if anyone else had this same issue. It could be a metallurgical thing, as in that part of the frame had sub-par steel? Just thinking out loud....

Also, could you please take some far away pics, if possible, so that we can get a broader view of the affected areas?

This 4Runner has never had all four wheels off the ground, except on a lift/stands. I drive fairly fast compared to average Joe on dirt roads, but nothing excessive, and have been on the 4Runner forums (T4R) since 2008 and have never seen a post about this type of failure. This vehicle also has ZERO rust. It's odd to me, too.

I was sitting in the garage staring at it yesterday, and the only change I have made to the rear end recently was to add the panhard lift/drop brackets. I thought to myself that maybe there was a big enough change in the arc that the axle moves within to alter the compression forces on the coil so that they occur more heavily on the inboard side, and those forces went into the upper bucket/mount? The actual tear is along a factory weld, so the strength would have changed in that area from the heat of the weld... the rest is just broken welds.

I'll try to get some better pics next time I have it out of the garage.

Thought crossed my mind and did a quick search for T4R frame reinforcement plates. Came up blank.

This is common with the 1st Gen Tacomas but more due to the fact the rear portion of the frame is not fully boxed. You're probably well tied into the community to know what is available but throwing the thought out there to see if it sticks.

The only thing I have found is this:


But it's plating the outboard section of frame, which is fully intact.
 
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You'd be doing me a favor by taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts, so I fully welcome a visit. I'll PM you my contact information.
 
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+1 for @Mauser as a recommendation, he definitely can weld

I would be interested to see this too. It makes sense it failed at the weld obviously, but if there wasn't a singular incident (or series of incidents) you can point to, that makes it much more curious.
 
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+1 for Mauser as a recommendation, he definitely can weld

I would be interested to see this too. It makes sense it failed at the weld obviously, but if there wasn't a singular incident (or series of incidents) you can point to, that makes it much more curious.

Thanks for the recommendation. He came by to have a look at it last week and we're working out some details.

You could call 10 years of regular, heavy off road use a series of incidents I guess. But again, no jumps, and no recent wheeling that has been exceptionally tough. When it failed I was hitting it pretty hard on a rough washboard road (FR250 up to Platoro lake), but if you've been on that road you know a car can do it, albeit slowly.
 
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I wanted to follow up on this thread. We got the rig to Virgil's place a few weeks back and I went over to help where I could.

We had the rear end out within a few hours and Virgil went to town. Things didn't look quite as horrible after we got it all apart, so we decided to pull the existing structure back into alignment and make it good as new. Once we got to work we forgot about taking pictures and I only snapped a couple of the finished product before we put humpty dumpty back together. I'm convinced that Virgil has skin made of sheet metal after watching him do upside down welds while getting showered with slag for two hours.

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We managed to start only one small fire when we got too hot near some wiring loom. The loom got crispy, but the wires survived.

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I cross threaded the top mounting nut on the shock, so that needs to be replaced, but otherwise it's back on the road.

I cannot express enough thanks to @Mauser and @Dumpolina for their help with this. I simply could not have done it without you guys, THANK YOU!
 

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