I would hear it when going over speed-bumps or hitting potholes, anything that...
I would hear it when going over speed-bumps or hitting potholes, anything that made the bed move towards or away from the frame. I figured a leaf spring had lost its insulator and was squeaking, no big deal. Just use some J.B Weld and a plastic disk to break the metal-to-metal contact. I would eventually have to buy a kit that would do the job better, but a plastic disk would work for a few days - - until I got paid, anyway.
I took a knee by the passenger side rear wheel and was looking at the leaf springs. All insulators were in place. Drivers side looked the same. Then it hit me. Glaringly obvious. Shock was approximately fifteen degrees off-axis. Half the mount was still on the bed, half was attached to the shock that was rubbing in an odd place. The squeak was coming from a busted shock mount, rusted through.
I bought a 4.5" Black and Decker grinder/sander and set about to get the remaining shock housing off of the truck. Had to grind out three bolts and punch them out of the frame. Then I used the grinder to cut up several pieces of a twin-sized bed frame. Any good, thick metal will work. There was not much left to the original shock mount after I had sanded away the rust. I also used the grinder to get rid of any thin, flexible, sub-par metal remaining on the mount.
I bent pieces of metal and welded them to the small portion of mount that had not rusted away. Like I said, I was using twin-size bed frame angle-iron. Tough stuff. If it were not for the bench-mounted vise,it would not have been possible to get much done. Looking at the mount from the passenger side as a template was the easiest way to see how best to restore the drivers side.
The twin-sized bedframe was very difficult to bend, what we did was grind the corner off, so there were two individual flat pieces. We left these individual strips very long in length, often three or four foot long. Insert a small amount of it into the vice and pull down on the rest of it like a handle. This proved to be the quickest and easiest way to put the right bend to the metal. Of course we perfected the bends with a small ball-peen hammer and larger three pound mallet.
It took us most of the first day to get every thing ready. Removing the shock, grinding bolt heads off, punching the bolts from frame, sanding/grinding mount down to good metal, determining which filler metal would be best/quickest/easiest. The next day was spent welding.
We used a cheap 75amp arc welder with a 6018 rod and things went very smoothly. It was the perfect setup for such thick, heavy metal. Piece by piece went on with small tack welds, to hold the pieces in place, and the mount went together perfectly. Since then I have hauled an 860 pound Plymouth neon in the bed as well as various other trips to the scrapyard. I have deliberately hit speed-bumps much harder than I should have-- trying to break the mount-- to no avail. It is rock-steady and will probably outlast the rest of the vehicle.
Total project cost: $35 grinder (which I needed anyway), $10 sanding pads/wire brush, and a small tube of welding rods for about $20( and I still have about half). All - in - all, a good decision to re-fabricate instead of buying another mount. Now I have additional tools and supplies for future projects.
on Jun 02, 2010 | Motorcycles