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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:38 pm 
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I have a 76 LUV 4X4 I will be converting to 2WD. I have heard if you take out the front differential you will need to install a cross member in it's place. I know that on some motorcycles the engine can be a stressed member of the frame. Can the engine in the LUV with it's motor mounts to the frame count as a stressed member also?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:01 am 
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Just my .02. All the 2wd LUVS came factory with a cross member. If they weren't necessary, they wouldn't come with one. The manufacturer would save several dollars times how many were sold in profit...

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:57 am 
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X2. If you're going to go through the trouble, you might as well do it right. Cutting down a piece of scrap metal and securing it doesn't take very much effort and is worth the piece of mind.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:53 am 
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I don't see why the motor couldn't take the stress but, the rubber in the motor mounts are a different story.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:45 pm 
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So let's say you make your motor a stressed member of your frame, like you're talking about. Which part of your 'frame' is the weakest point now? Can you say for sure?

Putting aside the the fact that the motor mounts are not designed for anything but downward and slight lateral loads(slight in terms of stresses your frame routinely sees), there are a few reasons the motor couldn't take it either. For an engine to be a stressed member of the frame, the whole block is beefed up. That engine has three times as much extra metal running between each mount than would be necessary on a motor designed to 'sit' and resist it's own weight in an impact.

For example, imagine a cross section between any two mounts of a stressed member engine, and you'll see big chords of cast metal running through the block from mount to mount. All of that engine's cavities, channels, etc, are designed around those. Stressed member engines are made in that order - "Frame-ness" first; "Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow" second. Think about that - a 'stressed member engine' is divergent enough from your everyday automobile engine that the 'working' parts must be redesigned to allow it to perform like a frame when it's subjected to a worst-case-scenario impact. We're talking like an order of magnitude difference in the scale of force applied. And perhaps more importantly, perhaps 10 different kinds of force. Kinds the engine 'structure' was never meant to experience.

Your hacked solution may drive just fine and run for 20 years, I'll give you that. But down the road, when you get into your first 5mph fender bender from an odd angle and your frame contorts (extra, since you didn't bother with a crossmember) and tugs on those engine mounts, the shock will find the weakest, most brittle part of your engine-frame hybrid. That part is the wall of the block, next to the mount, and now you're getting oil all over the road.

Even if you disagree, and decide the motor can take it, the mounts certainly can't. And by the time you're redesigning and beefing up your mounts to deal with the frame deformation that you're trying to avoid, you might as well just put a bloody cross member in and save yourself the potential for finding out the hard way that these little isuzu blocks won't handle frame-scale stresses.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:19 pm 
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:econfused 76's never came in 4wd. :econfused

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:03 pm 
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This going to be a up and coming subject . There are several 4 x 4 s around here , but 2wds are hard to come by . Converting a clean 4 x 4 is apealing .


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:42 pm 
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I did/am doing a 4x4 to 2wd v6 conversion. And on everyones advice am going to weld in a crossmember pretty much where the stock front axle was. Moved slightly for oil pan clearance

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:21 pm 
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If you dont do this everyday , sourcing a good local chassis/race car guy to build you the needed crossmembers is the way i would go


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:30 pm 
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I will install the crossmember after I remove the front Diff. I think I will make it removable and the same goes for the tranny X member. I was looking for a 2WD but found a real straight 4WD for a good price. I know that 76's did not come with 4WD and I just found a VIN # on a X member with a different VIN # than the truck body. So I guess I have a body swap truck.


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