Cracked frame rail

I needed to change the clutch release bearing and install the ultra rare engine block heater in my car. I figured it would be a nice medium time frame and work load project for the winter. I found a complete circumferential crack/break in the lower right frame bottom square tube about an inch aft of the motor mount. It’s probably been there for years, but I need to replace the rails now. Who has the most reasonable price of a set of rails, including shipping to Alaska?? I have sent an inquiry to Efabs, and am waiting for a reply. I hear good things about their rails. Thanks!

Stating that the Etype Fabs frames are very good doesn’t do them justice…as has been mentioned before, they are expensive but they are works of art, and are stronger than the originals, slightly heavier too but they can be repaired in the event of damage.

I know someone who’s frames broke and he had to replace. The cost of the frames is the least of your worries regarding cost. The labor and other jobs you can or should (want) to do while the front of the car is apart will likely cost you more but will also add value commensurate to the outlay for sure IMHO… Think of all the fun you can have detailing while it’s all apart :wink:


Other sources are Robey and SNG. Both of them manufacture frames.

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I can tell you that I had some issues with a Robey frame I received 20 years ago. The holes in a front pad didn’t line up with the picture frame, even off the car. It was resolvable thankfully by welding up and redrilling a hole, but it was pretty annoying for a $1000 part. If it was me, I’d be buying the Fabs parts. Irrespective of the condition of the other frame I’d replace it anyway because of the different material he uses. There should be no reason to replace the p-frame and bonnet frame if they’re straight.

Don’t try and get fancy changing frames with the engine in place. It just isn’t worth it. You’re looking at a full front end tear down unfortunately. Figure 8-12 months because you’ll find plenty of while I’m here stuff to do.

I bought mine from Uryk about four years ago. Precipitated my overdue engine and gearbox rebuilds. They arrived from England in a reinforced cardboard box which advised that the contents weighed just 9 kilos. At some time in the past my old frames had been rested on jackstands which creased the tube walls on both sides, also had some internal rust. Dimensionally perfect. As good as everyone else’s experience. Paul

Currently my bonnet is off the car, and the engine is out. I already have the engine block heater installed in the block, and a new pilot bushing installed in the crank. I have the right frame rail all completely ‘exposed’, and while I was tidying up the frame, I noticed the crack/break. It was one of those ‘one step forward, two steps back’ moment. I anticipate removing and replacing the rails as not too bad to do, but the torsion bar/rear front suspension mount as a bit of a PITA to deal with.

It’s more intimidating than it is in actuality. If you’re satisfied with the ride height, get a paint pen and make clear index marks on the bars and receivers and control arms. Split the ball joints and let them hang down. Remove the two rear and one front bolt. Raise the arms parallel with the ground and tap the bars back to disengage. Don’t mix up the bars! Try and work pretty quickly at that point as they’ll start to unwind. Skip the book setup procedure and just use your index marks for reassembly.

Examine all your captive nuts for the frames. If any are stripped now is the time to fix them with TimeCerts.

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Thanks Erica…I was hoping it would kind of go like setting up the shims in the rear hub carriers…A lot more scary to consider than when you actually get into the project. I will get a paint pen for sure, as that is the one thing that I want to save (ride height that is currently set up). I will be doing one side at a time, so as not to mix up the bars.

See my summary here.

For a man of your abilities the torsion bars should not present any problems. Marking them with a pen or Dremel is a good plan.

Have an excellent festive season my friend and send our regards to your family. Hope to see you out her again soon.

Thank you Andrew! Have a Merry Christmas! I hate to brag, but we are having temps around -15C, with beautiful stars at night and the promise of the Aurora. The X-type is a wonderful Winter car, especially with seat warmers!

Also, upon reinstallation, use NoSeez on all the subframe bolts.

Too late now! Wish I had known of this discussion earlier. What is the link to look at EFabs rails? Google has no answer for me…

If you’ve already bought the Robey ones, just test the geometry now before it’s too late.

any opinions/price on E Fabs 5 sp gearbox.?

Sorry to hear, Tom. It looked like it was going to be an easy and straightforward project, too. Let us know how you progress. And of course Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Bob, It actually is fairly straightforward, just not easy at all. I Don’t have shipwright’s at all, but I can see where this would be an easy opportunity to go deep down some rabbit holes! It is turning out to be a good investment in time spent on a project during the winter. We have been having quite a few weeks of sub-zero fahrenheit temps. I wouldn’t have been doing much else otherwise.

Andrew, it turns out that the rubber bushings seem to be in good shape, so I only had to take out the bolts on the suspension bits that mount to the frame rail, then take the three bolts that locate the torsion bar (small long one at the front and two ones at the reaction plate), then tap the bar forward enough to clear the back of the lower frame rail. It doesn’t go totally out of the front lower A-arm, and when putting the torsion bar rear pair of bolts back in, I am able to use a small hydraulic jack with a short piece of half-inch iron plumbing pipe C-clamped to it, wedged across to the other side frame rail to fairly easily press the torsion bar back to the correct alignment to replace the two rear bolts. Much less drama than I anticipated.