All Big Six Build thread, f350 4x4 Dually

Relates to all big sixes

BigBlue94

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yesterday i got with sky mfg. they have a kit to turn the pivot shackle to the rear of the front spring, so i got that coming and now i have the unpleasant task of knocking out rivets.... a lot of rivets.
also the rear of the frame gets the GM springs. there will be a lot of rivet knocking going on.
i am NOT looking forward to this. at least its out in the open air to get at.
frame bolts will go into the dressed up rivet holes.
Sky has been selling the reverse shackle kit for years. Its a great product. I looked at the one that uses the longer super duty springs for my F250 solid axle swap. Probably will go with the OBS (92-97) kit and the pair of rear bronco springs I have.
 

sdiesel

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rivets: thank you. seems there are a dozen methods and ive only asked 3 people! never easy to do. there will be report back as ill try each method


sky: RSK arrived tonite. purchased yesterday , fantastic service , but the wrong kit or much of it is; wont fit the frame horns on an 88 frame.
likely it was my mis commmunication, or assumptions. this is my second attempt to get the right kit, with remarkably little progress, im beginning to suspect there is a pattern here.

the only way i can see the frame stiffeners fitting on this kit is if i remove the boxed front spring hangers or i need turn these around perhaps, and the brackets that fit over the frame are too narrow unless rivet heads are removed.
i did not find instructions in the packaging, ill revisit this tomorrow but it appears the boxed hangers have to come out- oh joy.

edit: i found the install instructions on line on the website of the mfgr.
all is coming into focus now. its an unwieldy and cumbersome job made more difficult by the lack of paper documentation. so much more difficult to refer to a phone or laptop during the struggle with hard metal parts in a drafty garage:
an added layer of complexity.
but once the instructions are read and understood the task is only bothersome.
if the cab were on the pickup i would not even attempt this swap.
indeed i bought this only because the frame is free standing and all is accessible.

the frame horn box " fillers" though well built except the press metal brake coined the corners creating cracks, that are not of any great import, but does show a degree of sloppiness, are cumbersome and awkward.
each has its own design, leaving me to guess which horn they go on, untill i was able to access the intsructions.

i would venture a guess that the entire horn should be properly boxed and the spring hanger " crossmember"then be installed.
or the inner panel of the hanger crossmember mimic the contour of the frame horn and itself be welded in. these are major " carpings" of an expensive and complicated undertaking, and i for one, feel could have been better thought out.

everything i did today went wrong or got thrown into disarray. what a mess. start over tomorrow.

the day after " tomorrow". back to fight the kit into position in the rain.
tiday we complete the front axle and get it into position. in that way we can move the mess out of the never ending rain and into the garage.

even with my bellyaching about the front suspension kit, im eyeing their rear suspension spring swap using my currently - owned 64" GMC SPrings over the 2" longer late model ford rear springs
this due to the simplicity of the hanger design and i do not have to use the gmc hanger or remove it from its frame .
 

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sdiesel

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it appears the RSK kit i did receive is appropriate for the early truck frame from what i can gather from various sources.
on this day of thanks, i have the thankless task of driving to farm to get the torch.
then on to festivities.
the torch provides me the heat for removing rivets.
red head steer gear.
install after the rains, and after cleaning out the boxed frame channel where the bolts pass through. there is a glob of dirt and ps fluid congealed that i missed with the pressure washer
 

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BigBlue94

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Rivets: I take a grinder and cutoff wheel and cut a cross or x on the rivet head all the way through. Then chisel the bits off with ease. But yes, many ways to skin the same cat...
 

bubba22349

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I also grind the rivet heads off then I drill the center of the rivet out (about half or more of its diameter) that seems to loosen up the rivets so that they drive out a little easier., still it's not a fun job! Good luck
 

Bronctopia

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Sdiesel, my method sounds like a hybrid of yours and bigblue.
I grind a cross on the rivet with a cutoff wheel on the grinder, then whack the quartered head off with airchisel.
Torch shank and punch through with point bit in the air hammer.
If you have bed/cab off, and enough flat frame to work with, the deluxe easy method is a mag-drill.
 

sdiesel

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just a frame. and, misfortune of misfortunes, i have made the discovery that my front frame rails are bent. im wide by about 5/8".
the problem is that i do not know which rail or both are off, so i cannot mount my rsk kit.

im scratching my head ( banging it sometimes) to find a way to know which or both horns are misligned.
it may be a trip to the frame jig at body shop setting this project back 3 weeks sigh.
ive tried a variety of measuring methods and still come up short on getting a lock on which horn is bent and which way....
 

Shorty

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two parrallel lines determined by known good points on the rear (box mounts, cab mounts) extended to the front would help determine how far out the front is maybe?
 

BigBlue94

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First thing is to take measurements in an x from one corner to the opposite. That will tell you how far off square it is.
 

bubba22349

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X3 using some factory drilled holes in the frame. I measure the front section of frame at about the firewall area or under the cab, then do the rear section the same way and then last also from the rear corner all to the way to oposite front. corner. This should show you the area were the damage is they say it should be no more than an 1/8 inch differance per side for good tracking / handeling, I shoot for 1 / 16 inch or less. If the damage is from a front or rear hit if and you have use of a good porta power you should be able to get it back in alignment. If the frame took a side hit it is a little harder to straighten but since yours is compleately disassembled it should still be doable. You could pull some carpenter type nylon string lines spaced the same distance at each end from front to back on each side to see where that distance changes then that's were its bent from a side hit. If you have a way to tie down the frame when your pulling or pushing like a sold pole or steel beams that's good too. Best of luck
 

THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER

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explain further, if you please. a laser is easy to come by,
do i triangulate off the rear- most end of the frame?
Yes, what Shorty, Big Blue and bubba said. Also don't rule out the possibility that the rails are running close to parallel to each other but one is bent upwards - or downwards.

I once built a frame made out of rectangular steel tubing without using a chassis jig. After it was done I discovered one frame rail was warped upwards 5/16 of an inch. This bothered me so I took it to a body shop and put it on their chassis jig. I held my breath as they had to jack the diagonally opposite corners 5 inches! out of flat to recover the 5/16".
 

sdiesel

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rivet removal.
the rosebud, an air chisel and a bit of pressure... and we have liftoff.
the marks on the frame are due to an unsteady hand, with the other holding a camera, a bit with cutting edge in the middle of the chisel rather than flush with one side. and the bit was too wide. last is when heating the rivet, heattill the red is all the way to the base of the rivet, against the frame.
on this kit they suggest we use a dremel to open the holes as the new brackets do not match the holes in the frame.
why they dont is anyone's guess. so the instructions say open the hole on the frame into an oval to pass a 1/2" bolt thru.
this is dumb.
and sloppy.
and lo ts of other words that are not pleasant.
the better solution is to punch the new brackets closer to the factory holes. its not that hard.
then ream to 1/2".
now to get a precise fit ill have to over bore the holes so there is no variance between the hole on the bracket and that of the frame then with frame bolts, i tighten them with force.
 

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sdiesel

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further on the RSK FRom SKY.
if you can avoid this kit do so. unless u have a ton of determination and time.
the bracket holes do not line up with frame holes to the degree that one wonders if the effort to re bore the holes is worth it.
the holes that do line up leave a space on the bottom where the new hanger wraps around the underside of the frame, a silly oversight.
poor measurements or sloppy engineering.
this job cannot be properly accomplished with the cab on the frame. i just dont see it. certainly i would never attempt it.im unsure it can be properly accomplished with a bare frame.
twice now ive contemplated wadding the whole exercise up and buying a new truck: selling the parts and buying a GM. A real junker right from the factory! at least there is a warranty!!!

last, so far this morning, i see the bolts they send with the kit are not the proper bolts to attach parts to the frame. they are ACE hardware variety grade 8 full thread bolts .
frame bolts are mandatory here without exception.
im unsure now if i will continue with this kit.
it really is, so far, a laborious waste of time and money.
when in civil const. we had a term for this " kid fix", jack parts together so the driver will have something to drive to the movies on Saturday.
if it " de-engineers "by sunday who's to worry?
it got him through.
the internet is full of balony, and some of it is directed at this pathetic attempt re engineering
what fords engineers got right only after they got it wrong, in the eighties after they got it right in the seventies. then fixed in the 2000's what they got wrong in the eighties.

one has to wonder what were they thinking in Dearborn, whats in the water, ( we know some of that answer),

does any one object to me simply welding these brackets to the frame?
what say you?

stitch weld on the side leave flanges alone?
 

sixtseventwo4d

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I would not weld them to the frame unless this is just going to be a temporary "field fix". You can introduce weaknesses and crack prone areas. Have you considered proper sized reamer and match up all the holes?
 

sdiesel

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its permanent. reaming to match holes would require two of the holes be 3/4 " or so.
frame is mile steel. channel. eric will be here in the afternoon to check up on my progress . it will go under consideration as a permanent fix.

he has a mag drill to do the bottom flange holes.
which should not have to be done if the mfgr in this case SKY , had matched the holes up properly to the rivets that i just popped out.
i wonder if i could use bolts on bottom holes.1/2" or greater, rosette weld the upper holes drill the flange holes with half inch bolts. better, rosette weld those too. would that be strong enuf? then i could avoid stich welding.except at very limited areas around the mount
 

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sdiesel

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new plan. eric looks at it , stands up says " ill take it ( the new spring hanger) to work weld up the holes , bring it back and we mark it at the proper spot and ill punch it out. clean and perfect , like it should have been".

well ok, thinks i. who am i to disagree?

so that is the solution. we bore holes on the bottom flange for the bottom bolts , i get a 1/2" reamer and 12 frame bolts and were off!
 
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