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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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frame tubing?

OK guy's since there has been some posting of rusted out frames, I was wondering if anyone knew what size tubing is on MOST 4x4 atv's
as in what is the standard wall thickness of the tubing, I am guessing its mostly all 1 inch tube, but any clue as to what steel is used, and what wall thickness is on main framing, as to cross members,or is it all the same
Have a older atv at hunting camp, that has some rusted out sections, and thinking about trying to repair it, cutting out old tubing and replacing with new


BUT I am NOT at hunting camp to measure, and all places I would need to get any tubing at, are not up there either,
SO< anyone know what size
its a older 450 foreman

this way I can maybe grab things before heading up there, and saving me a trip or two ?

also might help others doing a like repair??
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 10:23 PM
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You can buy steel tubing in several grades, either seamless or with welded seam. If you are going to bend it on a tubing bender the seamless grade is required to prevent splitting. The better quality stuff is DOM (or chromemoly is even better), but I imagine a standard thinwall steel tubing is what Honda used on them.

I'll see if I can measure the tubing OD under a 450 frame tomorrow (with pics?) and get back with ya.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 04:21 AM
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another way to fix sections of the frame without cutting pieces out of the frame would be to strap it by slicing tubing in half and sandwich the bad sections , if you get tubing that is close to the same size , after cutting it in half length wise , you can trim some off the sides and put the piece in a vise and squeeze it to make it fit better
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 06:15 AM
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In the aircraft industry, it is all 4130 chrome/moly., now. They did use 1025 steel in the lower stress areas in the old days. If you are bending, .058 will not kink anything less will. You will have to sleeve for strength, inside or out.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 07:58 AM
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You can bet that Honda has used an 'odd' size for their frames . . . just like they do with bearings, shafts, etc.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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thanks guys
I am some what expecting to have more than one size tube on this frame, and odds are , like most things, NOT standard sizes,
BUT I have a very good metal shop near by that stocks a huge warehouse full of sizes and shapes of all sorts of metal!

I was thinking if I could find the ID of main frame, I could also maybe cut and stick in some solid round stock of like dia inside them place new tubing over that too at new joints, to beef things up
but might screw up any draining that there is on them?
it lasted this long , so any upgrades to frame should last a bunch longer, its a low mile hour machine, just rusty from being parked wet often(used to plow snow) and the darn road salt has I am sure added to the rusting out!, as it gets wet sucks salt inside frame and then eats as its parked!

I am thinking its a lot of 1 inch tube on main fame but not sure on ID

Fish as for splitting tube and sandwiching tube over bad spots, I have thought about this too, but thinking I maybe should cut the rusty section out, so it doesn't just keep going, as it seems to rust faster once started , than if I had a new clean cut edge(I could treat too, to try an curb growth of rust then too)

this ain't a BIG MUST do project, just something the recent treads I seen here with pic's
got me thinking about doing this repair while its still as good as it is, or then get rowdy and try jumping it and breaking it LOL
as the adult beverages some times turns the older guys into big kids and well, things break
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 04:54 PM
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MrBB Quote "
Fish as for splitting tube and sandwiching tube over bad spots, I have thought about this too, but thinking I maybe should cut the rusty section out, so it doesn't just keep going, as it seems to rust faster once started , than if I had a new clean cut edge(I could treat too, to try an curb growth of rust then too) MrBB Quote "

if it were me I would do a frame swop , I have done it before using a parts bike --------- I see PSN sells frames for a reasonable price , but the shipping would most likely be at last $150 and up and it a $500 frame ----- I see frames for sale and wanted on facebook a lot ----I am with MM that the tubing size is not a standard size , would think it is metric

you could treat the rusty metal with Rust-inhibitor before strapping the rust sections ------- me I would stay away from cutting sections out , think you might need to set up a jig if you were to cut sections out , so when it is put back together it doesn't get warped out of shape
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 05:01 PM
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2004 TRX450S or FM FRAME 50100-HN0-670
Ships in more than 2 business weeks List $2,407.32 Partzilla $2,328.95

checked Partzilla and they don't have one right now
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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thanks fish, sure is food for thought
I don 't think I am up to doing a full frame swap, as the atv isn;t mine, I am just trying to help the owner of it out(older guy) and make it last longer for him, and well, it also gets used by others in camp, kids too, so, keeping it safe is my goal, more than making it like new!
I know not much of a difference maybe, but
I can weld some things at a lower price than a swap will cost ME<

I wasn't think about the frame warping when welding, as way I planned to do so, was in small sections at a time, to keep heat down , and maybe it can be done without as much warping , or can maybe even brace things first and then do main sections that are bad, to keep things as straight as possible
Might also do more of the Half moon tube cuts, and welds on too
I will grab some stock next week, and HOPE get lucky on right size I guess too LOL
I am sure my metal shop can match anything I cut off and bring in if need be too, there a big shop,
https://www.nivertmetal.com/
so if metric, they should be able to get me some, if price isn't crazy that is!

Oh well, just some future plans and trying to have all needed or as much as possible before heading up to camp!
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 06:43 PM
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I measured the lower frame tubing on a 2000 Foreman 450 using digital calipers. I wasn't able to get any pics though, got too many parts stashed/stacked under it right now. :-)

The main tubes measure 1.26" OD powder coated, so you can safely call those two tubes 1.25" OD.

The cross-support tube that ties the main tubes together near the rear swingarm attachment areas measures 1.1262" OD powder coated, so call that 1.125".

The upright support tubes that attach to the mains where the lower main saddles begin to sweep up to form the front suspension/steering head attachment areas measures 1.013" OD coated so those are 1" OD uncoated.

There are motor mount brackets and bolt bosses welded onto/into those two main 1.25" lower saddle tubes, along with overlaid reinforcements welded on where those tubes begin to sweep up near the front and rear of the motor. So by the looks of it, I don't think you'd be very happy cutting sections out for replacement... You'd need a tubing bender with proper sized mandrels, plus a lot of fabbing & welding (and a supply of solid round and flat sheet steel stock, saw, drills, thread taps etc.) to rebuild those bottoms.

If I were in your shoes mrbb, I'd fix it using fishfiles clamshell repair methods.


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