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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #9
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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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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Discussion Starter #11
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.
thanks a bunch RETRO, and sounds like I need some 1 and a 1/4 and 1 and a 1/8 and 1 inch tubing!
any clue on wall thickness though??

I am still planning to cut a few sections out, due to from last memory they were too far gone to just clamshell repair them
as for bending things, since this atv isn't a High mile used machine, as long as its SORT of straight, I doublet anyone there would notice LOL
so I will do my best to make things work, more worried about being safe than it maybe having a pull to left or tight.
I WON"T have to unbolt things, to get on either, so drill holes mounting being off any,
shouldn;t be an issue, or hoping not?

I have lots of drills and taps too, pipe bender< I MIGHT be able to borrow if really need it too, but hoping not to have to? I ain;t aiming for perfect here or pretty on the eye's, just solid framing! LOL
 

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No idea on the wall thickness. I imagine it is a very light and cheap grade though. Just look at the messes they made trying to gusset it up at the factory.... freakin' morons. :)

Have you considered taking the stock skid plate off and fabbing/welding on a full length sheet that would tie all of those rotten tubes together? You could clamshell pieces over the top of the rotten sections and weld those new pieces onto your newly fabbed skid plate. Maybe... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No idea on the wall thickness. I imagine it is a very light and cheap grade though. Just look at the messes they made trying to gusset it up at the factory.... freakin' morons. :)

Have you considered taking the stock skid plate off and fabbing/welding on a full length sheet that would tie all of those rotten tubes together? You could clamshell pieces over the top of the rotten sections and weld those new pieces onto your newly fabbed skid plate. Maybe... :)
OK thanks again, I was just trying to get as close to the same wall thick tube as I could, if I knew how thick the OEM stuff was, as it lasted this long, so, would think, like tubing coated well should last as long or longer?

plan to coat it all with por 15!

as for the skid plate idea, well it has a 3./8 inch thick plow mount that attached to the framing with 4 u bolts (Stainless steel ones)
that plow mount is almost the whole length of the under side, so it acts as a heavy duty skid plate as it
NOT looking to weld it on, just don't think that is a good option if you ever need to get at anything under there, so like having the option to just drop the plate at will
DID think about welding some nuts to new framing and ditching the U bolts !
Most of the places where its rusty a skid plate wouldn;t really cover any how, its at the front section starting at(if memory is good) where the OEM bash plate on front is, and then down towards where it levels off on the bottom of frame, and then on the tail section, a few inches before where it slopes back upwards, and then the one cross brace, , like where the oil temp sensor is at, there is a flat one and then a round tube one, and the round tube one was failing(also where plow u bolts attach too)
MY guess is these spots are the ,most common, as water drains into the frame thru the holes for venting and draining, and then dirt and ?? clog them up, water backs up in there and stays wet longer than else where and , then rusts out!
problem is, it also I think is where stress is at if you ride aggressively, all the more so the front section, and your hitting logs or landing off a rock/or jump
as I said, guys at camp tend to ride SLOW but once in a while a kid, or a adult reliving some days of there youth after some cold beverages, LOL
and that is what I am hoping welding will beef things up and save a possible crash!
some of the guys at camp ain't light weights no more HAHA!
a few go 6"6 and close to 400 lbs, and most are ex races ,and they have drunk flash backs at times ! thinking there still able to do what they once did!
LOTS of first aid kits at camp!, and local air rescue knows where to land there now too , from all the pick up's over the yrs! HAHA!
 

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In those conditions your biggest challenge may be getting good, consistent welds on the thin, rotting tubing sections then. If thats the case, you might find it easier to weld up if you buy a slightly thicker wall tubing than was stock... So when you find that you are burning through the thin rusted tubing you can move most of your molten puddle onto the thicker tubing edge where heat will be carried away from the puddle faster, mitigating burn throughs temporarily until you again reach a least-rotted steel section that allows good penetration with a full puddle. Its frustrating welding on rotted steel no matter what though... you'll be rummaging through your trick-bag for help soon as ya get started on it I imagine.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In those conditions your biggest challenge may be getting good, consistent welds on the thin, rotting tubing sections then. If thats the case, you might find it easier to weld up if you buy a slightly thicker wall tubing than was stock... So when you find that you are burning through the thin rusted tubing you can move most of your molten puddle onto the thicker tubing edge where heat will be carried away from the puddle faster, mitigating burn throughs temporarily until you again reach a least-rotted steel section that allows good penetration with a full puddle. Its frustrating welding on rotted steel no matter what though... you'll be rummaging through your trick-bag for help soon as ya get started on it I imagine.
yes, and why I was trying to find out wall thickness to match new stuff better, yet not go too thick
and also why I want to cut out some sections, to get to more solid tubing, to weld onto!

or as I said, maybe insert a solid steel rod into the old tubing and weld that in a good section and place new tubing over that, or just leave it as support, and skip adding new tubing to it, as one inch solid steel rod, inserted into things, might work just as good as new tubing?
minus I will loose any draining, as it will plug that up LOL
, can maybe just add a hole in tubing before and after rod inside tube though to allow things to drain?
I have some idea's here, will see how it goes when I get there

next week will stop and grab some tubing, and then maybe later in month get to camp and tinker!

as I said, this ain';t no MUST do project, I am not looking for a huge job,if it ends up one, I will walk away and leave it for the owner to have finished
they have way deeper pockets than I do, I just have more time LOL!
 

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Quote " MrBB I will walk away and leave it for the owner to have finished
they have way deeper pockets than I do, I just have more time LOL!
I always called that Champaign taste with a RootBeer pocket book " Quote MrBB

...that reminds me of " Champaign taste with a RootBeer pocket book ", kinda of like " trying to make chicken salad when all you got is chicken chit " , but I have found that with enough of seasoning anything is eatable and there is always 99 ways to skin a possum


the reason I was mentioned a jig isn't so much warping when welding , it is more of a push pull thing , I have many of frames now , sometimes when you cut the frame tube will separate at the cut and there will be a 3/16 gap , other times the frame tubes push together so tight that the thin band saw blade won't come out , and if you try to pry the tubes apart they have a lot of pressure pushing them together ---so when the piece is cut out , I could see as much as a 1/4 inch difference in before and after ---from see people bend frames , I know it doesn't take much to really effect the ride and make the bike unridable , a friend bought a 500 that was in wreck , I seen the frame and you could not see any problem , it pulled so bad that you were constantly fight it to gestraight and turn to the left was nearly impossible , as it was a constant right , he changed a-arms , then the swing arm , never did get it to ride right , after swopping frames it is ok now
 

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Quote " MrBB I will walk away and leave it for the owner to have finished
they have way deeper pockets than I do, I just have more time LOL!
I always called that Champaign taste with a RootBeer pocket book " Quote MrBB

...that reminds me of " Champaign taste with a RootBeer pocket book ", kinda of like " trying to make chicken salad when all you got is chicken chit " , but I have found that with enough of seasoning anything is eatable and there is always 99 ways to skin a possum


the reason I was mentioned a jig isn't so much warping when welding , it is more of a push pull thing , I have many of frames now , sometimes when you cut the frame tube will separate at the cut and there will be a 3/16 gap , other times the frame tubes push together so tight that the thin band saw blade won't come out , and if you try to pry the tubes apart they have a lot of pressure pushing them together ---so when the piece is cut out , I could see as much as a 1/4 inch difference in before and after ---from see people bend frames , I know it doesn't take much to really effect the ride and make the bike unridable , a friend bought a 500 that was in wreck , I seen the frame and you could not see any problem , it pulled so bad that you were constantly fight it to gestraight and turn to the left was nearly impossible , as it was a constant right , he changed a-arms , then the swing arm , never did get it to ride right , after swopping frames it is ok now
thanks for the more detailed info
and like I said, I can always brace things before cutting anything out, if I recall things right the sections I am looking to cut out, were so thin and almost gone already, I don;t think there is any pressure on the area's or they would have bend in already LOl
but before doing any cutting out, I will make sure if, iffy, to brace things to prevent them from moving during or after a cut!
 
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