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Old 05-18-2017, 03:30 PM   #1
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Drilling/Welding frame forbidden?

Ok so I am looking down the road for placement of my tanks and generators. Then I noticed this sticker on the frame on my bus. My question is two fold, are they serious or is this one of those stickers like don't place an extension ladder in frozen cow manure (yep it actually happened and they sued the ladder company). Or will serious structural failure occur if I do?

If I can't drill or weld to the frame what are my options for hanging my tanks and generator?
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:48 PM   #2
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You can drill if you want without out any major problems other than burning through drill bit but having a spray bottle with some oil to keep the bit cool will help and they also make a drilling paste that you dip your bit into that is good stuff.
The welding is what is most frowned on but can be done with the proper procedures to keep the temper of the steel intact.
I hung my tanks using beam clamps. They are more of a commercial construction item but can be used for a wide variety of hanging,anchoring to the frame.
Good luck
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:50 PM   #3
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You can drill if you want without out any major problems other than burning through drill bit but having a spray bottle with some oil to keep the bit cool will help and they also make a drilling paste that you dip your bit into that is good stuff.
The welding is what is most frowned on but can be done with the proper procedures to keep the temper of the steel intact.
I hung my tanks using beam clamps. They are more of a commercial construction item but can be used for a wide variety of hanging,anchoring to the frame.
Good luck
beam clamps like for red iron in building construction?
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:32 PM   #4
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Yes sir you got it.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:47 PM   #5
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I believe Nat once cautioned about drilling the frame, I believe you need to stay a good inch or more from the radius & not in the flanges.
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:15 PM   #6
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Yes sir he did.
That's why I recommended beam clamps that are an attachment method that is not drilled or welde
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:25 PM   #7
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i've had an existing hole nearby every time that i have worked off of. i have a skilled fabricator friend and he makes things hang where you'd wish they were if only there was a hole there.

in between the axles, drilling a hole is asking for failure.

much less risk out board from the axles. they weld on and drill holes in frames for trailer hitches and bumpers.

still clamps or working off existing holes is your best bet.

good luck
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:50 PM   #8
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the decal says no drilling of the flanges and no welding of the siderails.

Therefore you can weld on the flanges and drill thru the siderails.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:11 PM   #9
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the decal says no drilling of the flanges and no welding of the siderails.

Therefore you can weld on the flanges and drill thru the siderails.
Correct.
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:10 PM   #10
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not my bus but one i ran across.

this looks like a repaired frame and bumper. i see welds and holes.

i wouldn't recommend doing this, but its been done.

i wouldn't drill a hole to mount a tank

fwiw

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Old 05-18-2017, 09:18 PM   #11
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not my bus but one i ran across.

this looks like a repaired frame and bumper. i see welds and holes.

i wouldn't recommend doing this, but its been done.

i wouldn't drill a hole to mount a tank

fwiw

Yes but that's at the end of the frame, I wouldn't do that anywhere between front & rear axles
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:20 PM   #12
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It's generally considered ok to weld near the end of the frame for hitches and such. It doesn't have the same stresses on it based on location.
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:43 AM   #13
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As others have said, just don't drill into the flanges, but you're safe to drill through the web, so long as you don't turn it into swiss cheese.

And, as Robin mentioned, the ends of the frame are seeing nearly no moment, so the flanges could be drilled there. I drilled into the top flanges at the back of my bus in order to mount my hitch receiver. But I'd NEVER drill through a flange between or too close to the axles.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:15 AM   #14
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Mine has been cut and beaver tailed aft of the rear axle mounting to allow better enter for the car into the back of the bus.

I will be working on it this weekend and I will get some pics. Also get some pics if we get a car loaded into it.
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Old 05-25-2017, 04:05 PM   #15
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drilling the frame

am i understanding yall correctly ? Yall are saying that 6 or 8, 1/2 inch holes drilled through the frame will compromise the structural integrity ?
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Old 05-25-2017, 04:40 PM   #16
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That's what the engineers say. Some people drill the frame anyway without any catastrophic failures. Others hang things from the floor structure.
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Old 05-25-2017, 05:20 PM   #17
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Only if you are drilling all of them within a few inches of each other because you are basically cutting the steel out and several holes on the same axis/line or whatever you want to call it is cutting the steel into.
If you do muck up a hole and want piece of mind then put a bolt,nut and lock washer in it to stay.
Not saying it is a fix for a lot of muck ups?
For working with light guage metal structures an engineer approved method is if you drill a hole with a screw and then have to move whatever is to fill the old holes back with the same size/type screw that drilled the hole.
Only other thing I can say is don't drill a 1/2" hole for a 1/4" bolt?
If you drill a 3/8" hole then you need to use a 3/8" bolt. Because it fills the void in the structural steel that you just created.
And yes the bus frame is structural steel.
There are many ways to use the hole already in the frame and in my case I framed and hung my tanks from the bottom of the body ribs under the bus instead of the frame.
I bolted UniStrut from the back to the front to accommodate any tanks,storage,battery boxes or anything else I want to add later and they do sell UniStrut in 20' length.
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Old 05-29-2017, 05:45 PM   #18
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That's ok


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Old 05-29-2017, 08:02 PM   #19
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Nothing but a hot bucked rivet will ever "fill" a hole in a way that transmits the load across the opening. Because they swell up to completely fill the opening as they are bucked, they act as part of the load bearing member. A screw or bolt will never adequately fill the void.
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:02 PM   #20
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In 1999 we drilled the frame of my freightliner 18wheeler tractor to hang a third fuel tank.
No problems whatsoever with the frame after the mount.

In 2011, I drilled the frame of another tractor to hang an APU unit.
Again no problems.

I also have drilled the "flange" on several trucks to mount catwalks, generators, pumps, and 5th wheel plates and such without problem.

Consult a truck shop for best practices, but based on experience I will re-affirm what others have said about keeping holes to a minimum and staggered, and not drilling too close to the transition or edges, as being okay to do.
YMMV
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