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Old 07-05-2010, 08:02 AM   #1
SkinnyG
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Default Mini-Notching made easy

Perform these modifications at your own risk. This is what I did, and I lived to tell the tale. You might not be so lucky.

This is the first one I've done. I'm by no means pro, I just have a plasma cutter and a welder and I'm not afraid to use either.


1. Pull the box off. One big plug at the rear, and two plugs right at the back for license plate lights. Two guys can do this.

2. Remove the crossmember above the axle. I couldn't figure out how to remove it without splitting the entire frame, so I just cut it out.


3. Locate, mark and cut notches. I used 1/4" pipe because I had pipe, and because a curve disperses the stresses in the frame better than a square notch. The factory frame is sorta-boxed, so you'll have two layers to cut through in places.

I cut 2" out of the frame. Cutting more gives you more travel, but weakens the frame. Balance.


4. Tack and weld. Try to keep the heat down - the frame will shrink on the bottom side, and start pulling box down at the back (you see it in the really big step notched Hardbodies).

Fit is everything.

You cannot weld air.

You cannot weld dirt.

TIG and rusty Nissan metal is not fun at all. Hard stuff to clean. I'd sandblast it if I had one. Truck wouldn't fit in my sandblasting cabinet.


5. I welded up the inside as well, because why not.


6. Cutting a notch weakens the frame. Boxing the frame puts the strength back. I used 3/16" flat.


7. I built a new crossmember forward enough to clear the axle housing (I was getting some contact on bumps). 1.5" square tube fits nicely on the frontside (cab side) of the fuel tank mount, but you will have to weld the gas tank bracket instead of bolt it.


8. New extension to keep the load-sensing proportioning valve. I like to think it's important. Brake line bracket get welded to the extension (not shown). I raised the extended end slightly for more clearance.


9. Muffler hangar brackets were welded to the crossmember.


10. Four coats of black anti-rust paint were applied to all bare metal.

Box was re-installed using new hardware and bushings. Heat shield for exhaust will need massaging to clear crossmember. Taillight wiring loom (clips cut from frame at notch section) will need to be zap-strapped up and out the way.

Bam! Bask in the joy of no more axle-frame hammering sadness.

Thoughts: Welding the notches in with the box attached might reduce the warpage to the frame, but it would be a major pain in the ass. Easier if the axle et al were removed. Removing the box was easier.

Last edited by SkinnyG; 07-05-2010 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:17 AM   #2
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Nice write up,I'll probably use this for reference when I do my mitsu,I vote sticky Lol
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:21 PM   #3
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nice work!
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:30 AM   #4
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nice welds!
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:38 AM   #5
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nice work plan on doing the same with my nissan 720
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:42 PM   #6
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I am goin to bite u notch my Axle loves to slap my frame underload and exhaust
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:40 AM   #7
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Clean work...nice welds & some easy to understand do's & dont's.

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Old 12-30-2010, 06:44 AM   #8
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what did you do with all the emissions stuff in the back? thats what iw as told it was anyways? and brake lines? i was planning on making a step notch and notching mine because my bump stops hold my frame up from the rear axle but i have to run all new lines for brakes and emissions. i have a 95 single cab 3" blocks mono leafed and torsioned in the front.

i ask about the emissions because i live in cali. however where my mom is moving its a smog free zone in cali but i want to keep emissions just to be on the safe side.

thanks.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:06 AM   #9
SkinnyG
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I did not remove any emission control devices; there were none in the back, I believe the charcoal canister is up front in mine. Keeping it is good for your fuel economy.

Brakes lines are un-touched (not even cracked open), though a flex line bracket was re-located.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:35 PM   #10
Starboychad
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I am going to start on this today. But I have a question....Is it necessary to build a new crossmember? Or did you just do that because you were having problems with it?
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