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Hat Channel

Discussion in 'Early CJ-5 and CJ-6 Tech' started by colojeepguy, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Aug 12, 2019
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    So, my hat channels aren't rusty like most Jeeps get, but the passenger side one has cracked in half. Any ideas how to repair this, short of pulling the body off the frame and totally replacing it?

    20190812_120838.jpg 20190812_120824.jpg
     
  2. Aug 12, 2019
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

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    Not unknown, I'd just weld a patch over it.
     
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  3. Aug 12, 2019
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Resident Taco Maker 2019 Sponsor

    Cottonwood, Ca
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    Post Rubicon, my passenger side hat channel looks exactly the same..... I was going to wire wheel it up and make a patch out of 1/8" flat stock and "strap" the bottom. Stitch weld 1" lengths every 3 or 4 inches.
     
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  4. Aug 12, 2019
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor Sponsor

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    Chassis flex will do that! MIG that back together, and add (weld) a sheetmetal plate formed over it.
    -Donny
     
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  5. Aug 12, 2019
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member Sponsor

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    I wonder if there would be any reason to worry about the wood in there catching on fire if welding on that crack.
     
  6. Aug 12, 2019
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

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    Otherwise I found some rectangular channel that slipped over the stock hat channels and worked well as a band aid.
     
  7. Aug 12, 2019
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    I'm concerned about this...

    Do you remember where you got it?
     
  8. Aug 12, 2019
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member Sponsor

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    Doug - you could bend some up to fit. It shouldn't be too hard... and no, do not weld on the wood support. I've caught them on fire with a cut off wheel before, and then you will be in a bigger fix.
     
  9. Aug 12, 2019
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    The Crack is very close to one of the mounts, which I assume has wood in it. I don't know how to fix this without causing a fire...
     
  10. Aug 12, 2019
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

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    Give the wood a good soaking before welding & keep a squirt bottle handy.
     
  11. Aug 12, 2019
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member Sponsor

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    Can you tell that the body flexes?
     
  12. Aug 12, 2019
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    No but it makes creaky popping noises when going down a steep hill.
     
  13. Aug 12, 2019
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member Sponsor

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    I think best thing would be first determine the condition of the wood that's in there.
     
  14. Aug 12, 2019
    scott milliner

    scott milliner Master Fabricator

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    I had the same area problems. I welded a patch over the top. As for the wood in the cannels. After replacing my hat channels with new. There is no wood in that area.
     
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  15. Aug 12, 2019
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member Sponsor

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    That would certainly make for less to worry about then.
     
  16. Aug 13, 2019
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

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    I like the idea of soaking the wood for welding if it is not removed.

    Made some new sections of hat channel for patches on the sheet metal brake.
    The order of the bends is important without a pan brake.
    I made the first ones out of poster board numbering them to get the order of the bends.
    Where the wood is in the hat channel, I cut the steel and pulled out the wooden block. Ended up replacing that part, though. Though about replacing it with
    engineered deck material so it wouldn't collect water and rot.
    Ended up cutting a piece of pipe as a spacer for the bolt hole with large washers for support. Haven't finished it up yet.
    Planning on welding up the pipe to the floor board and hat channel, and patching up the hat channel.

    Of course, I have the body off. Just hoping the bolt holes line up when I re-install it on the chassis.
    If not, the hat channel may have an extension on it making it wider.

    The hat channel that goes out to the side of the body gets less tall, so I will cut the hat channel with horizontal
    slits and made it fit then weld it up.

    Just have to wait long enough between welds to keep from warping the steel.

    Sand blasted the center support over the trans, added in steel where it was missing, used weld thru primer and covered it with 18ga.
    steel, bending it as I went and welded it in. After a lot of grinding it looks OK and will be strong.

    Dave
     
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  17. Aug 13, 2019
    Rick Whitson

    Rick Whitson Detroit Area Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Something else to consider is to make templates out cardboard, cut them out of 14-16 gage steel, drill holes every half inch, screw every other hole to the hat channel with sheet metal screws to pull it all tight together plug weld the holes without screws, remove the screws and plug weld where the screws were. Make sure to clean the paint and rust off before you start so the rust and dirt will not cause the weld to blow out. If it is not clean before you weld it will not weld right. Not easy to fix, but can be done. Good Luck
     
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  18. Aug 13, 2019
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

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    I think it was just 1" x 2" channel that I got at my normal steel supplier.

    Then again, it's been a few years..;)
     
  19. Aug 13, 2019
    dane71

    dane71 Member 2019 Sponsor

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    For a while ive been thinking of using the sandwhiched style body mounts (like 76+) that work in tension/compression instead if just compression. I dunno how common this is but im gonna have to consider it more...

    Edit: well what i did see in your picture is already set up that way, so nevermind maybe.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  20. Aug 13, 2019
    scott milliner

    scott milliner Master Fabricator

    Seattle Wa.
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    If you do weld the floor. Take everything out of the under seat tool box.
     

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