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Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

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  • Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    This week's project was to repair the attachment point for the steering rack on the sub-frame of my friend's 2010 Ford Flex, which he plans on keeping a few more years. I was surprised that it rusted completely though in eight years. My friend does lives one mile out on a dirt road, so dirt and calcium chloride that they put on the road to keep down dust, probably contributed to it. The following picture shows the rusted through steering rack attachment point on the sub-frame.

    1. Rusted rack attachment point
    Click image for larger version

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    Miller Thunderbolt
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Lincoln LE 31 MP
    Lincoln 210 MP
    Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
    16" DuAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport

  • #2
    In the following picture you can see a schematic of our approach. We manufactured a steel cup, which will serve as the new attachment point for the rack on the sub-frame. The steel cup is bolted to the sub-frame. The steel cup is fillet welded on both sides to a plate, which is in turn welded to the sub-Frame.

    2. Schematic.
    Click image for larger version

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    Miller Thunderbolt
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Lincoln LE 31 MP
    Lincoln 210 MP
    Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
    16" DuAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport

    Comment


    • #3
      We manufactured a steel cup in the lathe. Notice the 1-1/2" drill bit. A 7-1/2 HP lathe has little respect for steel.

      3. Making steel cap
      Click image for larger version

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      Miller Thunderbolt
      Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
      Miller Dynasty 200DX
      Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
      Lincoln LE 31 MP
      Lincoln 210 MP
      Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
      16" DuAll Saw
      15" Drill Press
      7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
      20 Ton Arbor Press
      Bridgeport

      Comment


      • #4
        We made radial cuts in the plate and formed it to the shock tower. Next we bolted the steel cup to the sub frame. We held the plate in place and tack welded it to the steel cup. Finally we removed the plate/cup assembly and welded it out on both sides in a vise. Click image for larger version

Name:	4. Welding steel cap to plate.JPG
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        4. Welding steel cap to plate
        Miller Thunderbolt
        Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
        Miller Dynasty 200DX
        Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
        Lincoln LE 31 MP
        Lincoln 210 MP
        Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
        16" DuAll Saw
        15" Drill Press
        7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
        20 Ton Arbor Press
        Bridgeport

        Comment


        • #5
          We re-assembled the cup/plate assembly to the sub-frame. Then we welded the assembly to the sub-frame. The last step was to weld up the radial saw cuts.

          5. Plate welded in place

          Don

          Click image for larger version  Name:	image_36564.jpg Views:	1 Size:	64.7 KB ID:	591933
          Miller Thunderbolt
          Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
          Miller Dynasty 200DX
          Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
          Lincoln LE 31 MP
          Lincoln 210 MP
          Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
          16" DuAll Saw
          15" Drill Press
          7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
          20 Ton Arbor Press
          Bridgeport

          Comment


          • #6
            Looks good. What process did you use? It looks clean. Like maybe pulse-mig.

            I built some cups like that out of DOM tubing and then welded a plate on the end to cap the cup. Seeing what you did does make me want to find a lathe.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MasterKwan View Post
              Looks good. What process did you use? It looks clean. Like maybe pulse-mig.

              I built some cups like that out of DOM tubing and then welded a plate on the end to cap the cup. Seeing what you did does make me want to find a lathe.
              I welded the cup to the plate using short circuit MIG using .035" wire on the SP-250 welder.
              I just welded it continuously tracing small "U" shapes.

              For welding the plate to the sub-frame I short circuit MIG welded it using the LE31MP welder, because I keep .025" wire in it.
              I manually pulsed by pushing the trigger and waiting until the puddle cooled off slightly and then advancing slightly and repeating the process.

              -Don
              Miller Thunderbolt
              Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
              Miller Dynasty 200DX
              Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
              Lincoln LE 31 MP
              Lincoln 210 MP
              Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
              16" DuAll Saw
              15" Drill Press
              7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
              20 Ton Arbor Press
              Bridgeport

              Comment


              • #8
                You always do such a good job of taking pictures. I definitely suck at it.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                  You always do such a good job of taking pictures. I definitely suck at it.
                  Grasshopper, you must see as the camera does...
                  Richard

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