John Deere Gator Forums banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my 6x4 for a good 11 years, ever since I started buying and refurbishing these old workhorses. In its previous life it was a snowplow and salter, thus a LOT of rust. I did a half-a$$ job of patching it up, but recently I began to notice some flexing in the frame when going over rough terrain. The final straw came the other day, when I felt the steering wheel flexing back and forth in my hands. I could push and pull on the wheel and flex the entire front end by a good 15-20 degrees. My beloved Gator was fixing to literally break in half. Luckily, I was close enough to the shop that I was able to limp her in before the inevitable happened.
At this point, the logical thing to do is part her out and move on. However, the mechanics in this thing have been rock solid and I was committed to saving her.
So here's what I had to start with. To be fair, I covered this in 22ga. sheet metal years ago, more for looks than function. I told you it was a half-a$$ patch job.

Green Motor vehicle Automotive tire Road surface Asphalt


Once the Swiss Cheese is removed, it doesn't get any better. Mice have apparently found the tunnel to be a great home, along with all the mud and crap that gets picked up along the way. Through all this, I still can't find the point of failure.



Green Motor vehicle Grass Gas Automotive tire


Ah, there it is, both sides of the tunnel are completely fractured and the bottom is rusted through in several areas. There is approximately 3-4 inches of rusty metal connecting the front of the machine to the back, seriously. You can see the break in the side of the tunnel on the drivers side just to the right of the shock cord. Same thing on the passenger side.
Motor vehicle Green Automotive exterior Vehicle Gas


With the rust cut out back to solid metal, I can finally start the repair with fresh steel. I had to jack the front into alignment with the back before I could continue. I have a stock of 11 ga. that's perfect for the job. I patched the sides with fresh steel on the outside and welded the crack on the inside. Please, no comments on the weld job. One of my criteria was to be able to do all my welding from above.

Green Automotive tire Motor vehicle Gas Automotive wheel system


That's it for the day. hope to finish up on Monday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, so finally got around to welding this thing up. The stuff you see at the bottom of the box is, wait for it...driveway crack sealer. It sticks like crazy, is durable and flexible and it's cheap. IMO, it works better than POR15 as long as appearance isn't an issue.
Just for added rigidity, I welded in a transverse 2x2x1/4 angle (not shown) between the control arm attachments, the point of fracture.

Motor vehicle Green Automotive tire Wood Gas


Finally covered up and ready for paint. Lots of plug welds, way better than attempting to weld from the bottom.

Motor vehicle Green Hood Automotive tire Mode of transport


All told, I probably have over 20 hours into this project, most of which is simply removing rusted metal and getting back to solid metal. Would I do it again? Probably, but only because I have an attachment to this machine. Otherwise, best to find a replacement frame.
Here are the remnants.
Road surface Pollution Asphalt Grass Soil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,746 Posts
Thanks for sharing. Hope you get many hours of use from it.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top