View Full Version : XJ "Frame" Damage Help

March 12th, 2013, 07:41
I just picked up a 96 XJ Sport from a kids father after it sat for a year in his front yard. Dirt cheap with a 4.5" RC lift, slip yoke, 33x12.5x15 Goodyears on DC1's & a rebuilt 4.0 35,000 miles ago. The kid "Backed into a tree last winter", but I suspect it was at about 40mph. The Passenger Frame Rail has buckled behind the axle, next to the gas tank, between the axle and the leaf shackle causing the rear quarterpanel to be about 3-5" shorter. It also "ripped" the frame rail 3/4 of the way through.

The body is square, except for the section that is beat up. Otherwise it is in good shape. Some dumb kid mistakes on the lighting and air intake, but easy fixes.

I've been to a few local body shops to get it pulled straight and they are all worried about welding to the "High Tensile Steel" and liabilities. Nobody wants to touch it.

I've got a few guys who will do the welds but I want to be able to shut my hatch so I need it pulled.

Here is my plan:

1. Drill the smallest hole I can in the "Frame Rail".
2. Attach a chain.
3. Attach chain to sturdy tree.
4. Drive away....
5. Repeat if necessary.
6. Have buddy weld in a few pieces of steel.
7. Wheel until something else breaks.

I could use any thoughts or ideas on how to proceed. It's my first XJ and I have to say.... I love it. The wife can't jump high enough to get into it and my daughters all fit in the back! Almost perfect. This is a basic mudder through the Pine Barrens in Jersey that goes camping and on the occasional trip to work. Just want it NOT to break on the trail.

Thanks, Shawn

mako my day
March 12th, 2013, 08:02
Items 1-4 should work perfect. But please video tape this process for our amusement.

Lot's of us stitch weld to the "frame" with great results.

And Welcome!

March 12th, 2013, 08:11
lol.... Video will be supplied. I just hope that I'm not setting myself up for your amusement. If I rip that section of Frame Rail off while doing steps 1-4 is there going to be further ramifications?

Like I said, the rear leaf shackle is attached in that part...

March 12th, 2013, 08:27
I dunno that I would "drive away." Especially not very fast. :scared:

I've seen straightening done with winches and hi-lifts, and with a sort of modified blacksmithing - lots of heat and BFH. You'd need to get the gas tank out of there for that, though. Just MHO, but I'd think slow pulls would be less likely to damage something else/further.

Pics? So we can see just how bad it is?

March 12th, 2013, 08:36
cut off damaged "frame rail" and replace with square steel tube?

March 12th, 2013, 08:36
I'm working on the pics. Unfortunatly, I'm not sure how. And at work I'm limited on where I can surf. I'll have pics tonight.

I just picked up a 4000lb Cable Winch Puller at a yard sale. New in box for $5. Was thinking about that too....

From what I can see dropping the Gas Tank is just a few nuts and some fuel lines, right? Is it worth the effort?

March 12th, 2013, 08:44
post some pics up of it, i can get you in touch with a well known fabricator who lives in south jersey if your looking to have someone else do the job, he might be able too

March 13th, 2013, 05:42
Hope this works...

March 13th, 2013, 05:42

March 13th, 2013, 07:06
I can't open the pic or the tinypic link at work. Are they working?

March 16th, 2013, 07:21
The tiny pic worked

March 16th, 2013, 07:24
How to post photos

March 21st, 2013, 23:29
OK. Had a bearing sieze up in my rear 8.25. Pleasantly surprised that it IS a 29spline in my 96 sport. Finally dome good news. Need an axle if anyone is close to NJ. Mine is shot. Kids b-day this weekend so $ is tight. Let me know if anyone has an old one plz.

Replacing all seals, bearings & u-joints tomorrow. If time allows I'll be taking video of my half jazzed attempt at straightening the frame before Monday. I'll post a link to YouTube when I edit it down.

Wish me luck. Gonna try the cable winch first. Then when I get mad, tree.

Any last min advice?

March 21st, 2013, 23:29
Dbl post. Sorry