In order to figure out how bad the frame was,
everything was removed. This included all suspension
components, brake lines, fuel lines, clips, etc. What was
left was the bare frame, covered in a layer of grease, grime,
dirt, you name it.
After a lot of elbow grease the frame was
clean. I thought about media blasting it, but after
initial cleanup I decided against that. The news was
mixed: the T-Shirt area was in good shape, however the two
front nosepieces were dented and would require work. The
worse part was the bar where the differential hangs from and
also is used to hold the top part of the rear springs.
It is common for TR6's to suffer from failure
of the studs that hold the differential. There are four of
them, and as the differential rocks back and forth in it's
rubber mounts the studs weaken. In my frame, two of the
four studs had actually broken off and cracks started to
develop. The top bar in the area of the spring perches was
cracked and it would have been unsafe to leave it in place.
Every seam on the frame was TIG welded and
reinforced. The frame was leveled and trued. In
addition, several reinforcements were made:
Plates were made to fit where the lower
"A" arms are bolted to the frame.
Two large plates were made to fit where
the rear control arms bolt to the frame. These plates
fit on the inside of the frame and provide some extra bite
for the bolts that hold the control arms.
Several gussets were made and TIG welded
to the frame to give it some strength.
The rear differential was a problem.
This was one of the most challenging aspects of the restoration.
This is addressed in a separate section.
After all work was complete, the frame was
painted in several coats of black paint. I strongly
disagree with the use of powder coating because it will not flex
with the frame. Small cracks develop, moisture gets
in and the frame rots from within. Not good. So, I
used several layers of black paint, letting it dry well before
applying the next layer.
The links on the right show pictures of the