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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've recently replaced both front frame rails on my 67 fastback. There aren't a lot of options available to the community for good replacements, so the Taiwanese welded rails are generally what you'll end up with. I should start by saying the LH one was near perfect. Nothing wrong with it at all except the "crush sleaves" in the steering box holes is too narrow and the rail will deform when those bolts are torqued - I'll have to address this with some fabrication before bolting the box in. In general though, they look really nice - well tooled, nice spot welds, nice looking sway bar brackets, threaded inserts. The RH one is plagued with problems - they can be fixed, it's just good to be aware they are there so they can be addressed. I wanted to point out this experience so that others could be informed of what's out there and what needs to be done to them.

Firstly, the outside panel was welded on so that it was 1/4" too narrow at the rear where it slides into the frame rail extension. I added arrows to this photo to show the side of the panel that is welded in the wrong spot.
20190902_145319 by 7T02S, on Flickr

This shows where the panel is supposed to be:
20190902_145309 by 7T02S, on Flickr

The solution is to cut all the spot welds on the bottom of the rail up to the strut rod cutout. Once I did this, the panel popped into the right spot all by itself. My conclusion is there is a tool at the factory used for welding these and it pushes the parts into the wrong spot, then welded. I say this because that inside panel was under tension and had to have been held in the wrong spot before the lower spot weld were completed - at least that's my hunch. This photo shows how far the panel needs to move and you can see that the spot welds are way off.
20190902_152854 by 7T02S, on Flickr

In order to get that panel in the right spot, you'll need to clamp on the frame rail extension to keep in in the right spot:
20190902_153602 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Here it is after the flange is welded back up. You can see the outer panel's flange has moved quite a ways. I think the factory just lines up the outside edge of that flange, resulting in the misplacement.
20191003_174755 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Well, unfortunately, that was only problem one. After many hours spent trying to align this rail in my car, I finally realized the RH rail had a bow in it, not in one direction, but two. It's bowed inward (towards the engine) and bowed upward. If the rail is aligned to the firewall and the radiator support, it causes the shock tower to be lifted and moved inward. Since the export brace positions the top, the inward movement at the bottom of the shock tower cause a rotation to the shock tower. This will result in the engine having less room and to be off center. It will also move the suspension UCA mount inward a bit. This can be seen by using straight edges:

The dimension at the arrows here is 0.141".
20191201_165239 by 7T02S, on Flickr
20191201_165340 by 7T02S, on Flickr

You can see a steel rule in the middle of the span. This is around 3/32". If you're going to have an FE between the shock towers, every little bit of space is going to help, so this wasn't acceptable to me.
20191201_165831 by 7T02S, on Flickr
20191201_165824 by 7T02S, on Flickr

3/32" might not sound like much but it certainly caused a headache. If one chooses to align the rail by two point (two points make a straight line), such as the firewall and the shock tower, it causes the third point to shift (because of the bow). Here you can see the result - the rail is shifted 3/16" outward at the radiator support:
20191201_161915 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I don't have a good photo of it, but since I chose to pre-weld the frame rail extension on the the frame rail, the bow in the rail cause huge problems with aligning the extension to the correct spot under the floor pan, further compounding how much of an issue 3/32" can make.

I order the frame rails in 2017, I believe - long before I needed them. I decided to order a new one from a different vendor. Maybe I would get a different brand or possibly made by a different Taiwanese plant. This is how the new one showed up. This is same type of box the two came in previously, two years prior. Same words, same font, same holes from being packaged in a single wall box with zero padding inside. It's a 40ish pound part thrown loosely into a box. Pretty obvious the holes are going to happen. NOTE both rails (two years apart) are the version with the two big holes in the inner panel across from the bumper thread inserts. I've seen that there's a version listed on the internet that doesn't have the holes but was out of stock at the time I ordered this one (I'm trying to keep vendor names out of this thread. I didn't order this recent part from the vendor I noticed had the non-hole version listed, fyi.)
20191206_110902 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I can add photos if people want but the new part is bowed and welded EXACTLY like the one I took photo of above. I can only assume the tool this is stamped on is incorrect. This is further proven by the fact that the LH frame rail is straight as an arrow and is welded together at the right dimensions. Why couldn't they have made the tooling like the LH side?? Oh well.

So how does one fix the bow? With hydraulic power! I really didn't know if this would completely destroy the rail but I needed to find out. I set up a "press" in my shop by using the huge overhead beam, a 4x4, some wood blocks and a huge hydraulic cylinder. In order to get the bow out, one has to plastically deform the beam by bending further than just straight. I had to deflect the frame rail by probably 3/8" of an inch in each direction for it to take a set straight. The good thing is this is mild steel and this won't cause a problem. Also, no spot welds popped or appeared to be damaged. I'm going to stitch weld seams just in case though. DISCLAIMER leave this step to a professional if you choose to do it. Notice I had the 4x4 and cylinder strapped to a beam so that they wouldn't fly away if misaligned while loaded. I was also wearing a face shield just in case.
20191214_143206 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20191214_150913 by 7T02S, on Flickr

To throw it out there too, I ordered some USA made pieces. They turned out to be stamped and press braked and were decently looking parts. The good part is the inner rail stamped piece was perfectly straight. The bad part is the two parts didn't really fit together. There is no theaded insert at the engine crossmember. The crush sleeve at the idler arm holes only created a line contact on one side of the holes which would need to be fixed. There was a huge wrinkle on the inner rail preventing the parts from coming together. There was also a huge flare in the lower flange preventing the part from being aligned with the outer panel. Also, both flanges on top of both pieces weren't straight down the bend line causing a huge misalignment. One of the two holes that is used to align to the shock tower was way out of place. Also, the flange welded onto the out piece is about 6" too long and will interfere with the frame rail extension. Once I realized how much work is was going to take to weld these two parts together, I decided to try the "hydraulic press" on the Taiwanese part instead, which worked out nicely.
20191214_102950 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20191214_103518 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20191214_103628 by 7T02S, on Flickr


Anyways, I hope this review will help others in deciding what to purchase and being aware of what work may need to be done. My suggestion after all of this is to buy the Taiwanese part and hire a professional with a press to straighten it.

Cheers
 

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I have run into most of those issues on my 66 as I have had to replace everything forward of the firewall. Also the seam on the outside is not spot welded well. They put the welds half on the metal and if you pull them apart by hand at the firewall side you can pop the spot welds off. So yeah seam welding everything is almost mandatory.

Nothing wrong with bending it into place. Easier if you have access to a forklift or tractor for weight and hydraulics.

If I were to do another where I had to replace the entire front end I would buy the aftermarket chassis and go from there eliminating the hassle of many crap parts and getting them into a place that works and not mess with the stock suspension and steering. (sorry I don't like the stock system at all)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also the seam on the outside is not spot welded well. They put the welds half on the metal and if you pull them apart by hand at the firewall side you can pop the spot welds off.
Interesting. I actually think the spot welds that came in my rails looked pretty substantial. Now you're making me wonder. Regardless, I've already seam welded about half the length of each but I was already planning on doing the full length for peace of mind.

If I were to do another where I had to replace the entire front end I would buy the aftermarket chassis and go from there eliminating the hassle of many crap parts and getting them into a place that works
Are you taking about a dynacorn shell or one of the rolling chassis that rolls under the unibody?
 

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Interesting. I actually think the spot welds that came in my rails looked pretty substantial. Now you're making me wonder. Regardless, I've already seam welded about half the length of each but I was already planning on doing the full length for peace of mind.

I would at least do a few .5 to inch long ones spaced along it. One of mine the flat outside piece was bent in a little and pulling it apart to bend it back the spot weld popped right off without much pressure so it didn't have much penetration.

Are you taking about a dynacorn shell or one of the rolling chassis that rolls under the unibody?

The TCP front clip. There is still a chance I might go with the MII derived suspension as it's cheaper to install when you start from nothing and you get the benefit of a better looking engine compartment and more room.

I have been toying with the idea of a 1JZ drivetrain... They aren't hard to get and not too badly priced. usually around 2K for engine and trans and Auto versions are available. (LOMLs airport car is a stick and will be the last one allowed on the property)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The TCP front clip. There is still a chance I might go with the MII derived suspension as it's cheaper to install when you start from nothing and you get the benefit of a better looking engine compartment and more room.
I might have considered something like that but my car is a rare Competition Handling Package car, so I decided to keep the shock towers.

A turbocharged JZ would be pretty cool and would be pretty light.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You didn't say who you purchased them from.
The Taiwanese frame rails are the ones every vendor gets, from what I can tell. For that reason, I didn't think it made sense to say who I purchased them from. I purchased the first one from one vendor in 2017 and the second one this month (2019) from a different vendor. Same exact part. Same exact issues. For that, I believe it's not any one vendor's fault. That said, hopefully someday the manufacturer will be convinced to remake the tooling for the RH rail. That would be nice. Like I said, they already make a really nice LH rail, so it's certainly not beyond them. They just need to fix their welding alignment process and tool used for the inner stamping.
 

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You didn't say who you purchased them from.

Does Rick @69bossnine have anything insights?
I'm having a tough time diving straight into the deep end on this, because while all packaging from Taiwan tends to have the same basic content and information printed on it, the content and detail of the wording/print on the box shown in this thread differs in many ways from what we keep in-stock.

I'd hate to send our supplier/manufacturer down a rabbit hole on such an issue, unless I can be certain that there is truly only one manufacturer, one set of tooling and assembly-fixtures, and so-forth. Especially since we've had no returns or complaints to-date.

Not that I'm questioning the OP's report, because he very much appears to know precisely what he's doing..
739792
739793
739794


So I'm going to email our supplier and quiz them as to whether they're aware of any competing toolings.

Rick
NPD
 

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FWIW, I have installed the TCP full length front clip in my 70 Mach 1. The subframe is strong and very well instructed. My decision to go this route was based upon a damaged PS front frame rail and the need to fit a Coyote to the car. If there is a downside to the TCP product, it is cost. The front clip with suspension, shocks, and brakes, you are in the neighborhood of $7- 8K for the front of the vehicle. For those considering going this route, the installation is well documented in my build thread.
 

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The Taiwanese frame rails are the ones every vendor gets, from what I can tell. For that reason, I didn't think it made sense to say who I purchased them from. I purchased the first one from one vendor in 2017 and the second one this month (2019) from a different vendor. Same exact part. Same exact issues. For that, I believe it's not any one vendor's fault. That said, hopefully someday the manufacturer will be convinced to remake the tooling for the RH rail. That would be nice. Like I said, they already make a really nice LH rail, so it's certainly not beyond them. They just need to fix their welding alignment process and tool used for the inner stamping.
If you don't call out the vendor then this never get corrected.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you don't call out the vendor then this never get corrected.
To each their own. Even though I didn't specify any vendors, NPD already swooped in and decided to research the Taiwanese tooling for the good of the community. Rick even messaged me about what he found out and it sounds like it might result in a good thing. I think that's what separate good vendors from amazing vendors. They didn't have to do this at all but they did.

Sometimes just posting reviews, good or bad, can result in action. No need to call anyone out.
 

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To each their own. Even though I didn't specify any vendors, NPD already swooped in and decided to research the Taiwanese tooling for the good of the community. Rick even messaged me about what he found out and it sounds like it might result in a good thing. I think that's what separate good vendors from amazing vendors. They didn't have to do this at all but they did.

Sometimes just posting reviews, good or bad, can result in action. No need to call anyone out.
Perhaps but at this point no one knows what to buy. The only safe bet is NPD. Not that it's a bad thing.
 

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Ok I have been working on my rails today as well. Had to do the usual removal of spot weld at the rad support end because the inner and outer flanges are not even before welding so the frame is to tall for the rad support.
That is a one spot weld deal and then use a persuader to even out the rest so it's all the same height.

Here is where I tried bending the floppy piece out a little to only have 2 spot welds break off.



As to the issues with yours.... On my pass frame rail it has a slight bend but it is flat from the front to 10" in front of the firewall. My rail was also too narrow at the firewall end but from the idler arm mount forward it was good. Yes I used a 3" mic to measure it as it was all I had that would work. Oh and the crush sleeve for the idler arm is an easy 1/4" or more too short as well before spreading the pieces apart. I have a repair plan as I didn't want to take it all apart...







And here are the welds to repair where those two broken spot welds were. No I am not a real welder so don't complain about my welds... I can tig better than I can weld anything else as I have always had a hard time seeing the puddle on stick and mig. I plan to do short seam welds around the frame rails because the spot welds came apart too easily for me to trust them.




My rails were from another vendor and from what I remember looked identical to those in the pic. Sadly I finally tossed them a few weeks ago.


If you need someone to go over to Taiwan to inspect production and fix issues let me know I'd be happy to go...
 

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Very interesting stuff....I'm just thinking that when they did the tooling they used a donor ca to build their production. They probably copied one car with one bend in it....and every single one comes off the production line. Also Ford was notorious for variation between cars. So perhaps it was fine for that partiular car and then copied during the reverse engineering process?
 

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Could you share how you positioned those jack stands? I have to do frame rail work and am contemplating jack stands at pinch welds.
 

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Could you share how you positioned those jack stands? I have to do frame rail work and am contemplating jack stands at pinch welds.

Nothing special. Just some left over cedar I ran through the planer to get them all even to use as cribbing and some left over boards on top for a flat spot. Had to do the cribbing to get the car high enough and to keep the stands as low as possible to reduce movement of the stands.
My floor is incredibly flat and level which is amazing considering the previous owners that had it built... I have only a couple thin shims in the v of the jack stand.

Really nothing special. I had started to build a stand from 2" square tube but didn't finish is as this works for now. The body doesn't weigh very much and you can easily lift the front off the jack stands. There is a little more weight in the rear though.
 
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