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Old 03-01-2013, 11:40 PM
ngoma ngoma is offline
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Default 740 Front Crossmember Cracks

The earlier 740 crossmember is prone to stress fractures that can become catastrophic. Check yours soon! The front crossmember is shaped like an inverted hat cross-section. Look closely at the areas on either side of the oil pan, where the side upper "wing" makes a 90* bend downward to run underneath the oil pan in the center. Between the oil pan and the mounting bolts for the steering rack. On mine, the right side bend developed a crack that was displaced and getting worse. The left side had a crack that had not displaced but had started to "Y" in two new directions.

I drilled some 1/8" holes at the extreme ends of the cracks, in an effort to halt the cracks growth until I could get them welded up. It helped.

Right side crack, from below. Oil pan is to the left, steering rack mounting bolt at the right margin

rbefore.jpg


Right side crack, from below, shows displacement
rbeforedispl1.jpg

Right side crack, from above
rbeforetopclose.jpg

Right side crack, after grinding out a small valley along the crack, preparing to accept weld
rbeforetopprep.jpg

Right side crack, after welding, bottom side
rafter1.jpg

Top side weld(very tight access!)


Left side, before welding



Left side, before welding, closeup


Left side crack, prepping for weld



Left side crack, welded


After welding, I cleaned up the burnt paint flakes and sprayed some fresh paint for protection, but on this car, the leaking oil would have provided its own protection soon enough!

If these cracks were much worse, I would have probably wanted to weld some gussets in place.

Originally I had thought these cracks resulted from the diesel engine's extra weight and vibration, but apparently the earlier gasser 740s develop these cracks also. Probably from rough roads or freeway expansion joints.
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1985 744 gle d24t
1985 745 gle d24t

Last edited by ngoma; 09-30-2017 at 09:50 PM. Reason: Fixed broken photobucks link
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2013, 01:49 PM
745 TurboGreasel 745 TurboGreasel is offline
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Check at your lower control arm pivots on the frame too, that's where mine were worst. Look by the xmember to car mount bolts too.
I used a later frame that is a much better design

details; http://www.brickboard.com/RWD/index.htm?id=957777
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:24 AM
v8volvo v8volvo is offline
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FWIW, model year 1986 appears to have been the changeover point to the newer crossmember design. 1983-1985 700 series diesels will be affected by this problem, probably on "not if, but when" basis....

For diesel owners looking for replacement crossmembers, 1989-1991 740 and 940 GLE models having the 16-valve B234F gasoline 4-cylinder are the only other models that use a welded-on lower mount bracket on the left side like the diesel models have, and they were manufactured after the change to the updated crossmember design, IOW, they use the same desirable crossmember that the diesels only got for their final model year in 1986. In cases where an original crossmember is too far gone to be repaired by welding as detailed above, this may be the easiest way to find a replacement.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:22 PM
ngoma ngoma is offline
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Default More...

I recently bought another 740 D24T, the lichen-covered white wagon. Took advantage of good weather today to inspect the front X-member, which is quite a bit worse, almost a candidate for replacement but we will see what my welder friend says.

Left side was worse on this one, cracked in several different planes, and along 90* (factory) welds. I was not impressed with these factory welds.

Left side, I could wiggle the upper left portion easily with my finger!


Closeup


Front side, from below looking up.


Right side, engine mount extension


Under the grime, shows the extent of the crack


We'll see how well the welder tip can get into some of these places! Maybe time for some gussets as well.
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Last edited by ngoma; 06-02-2013 at 11:13 PM. Reason: Fixed broken photo link
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:41 PM
745 TurboGreasel 745 TurboGreasel is offline
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Just change it out, it doesn't take long, and you are no longer stuck with the flawed design.

I knew mine was bed when my front tires would leave black streaks from toe in in reverse.

Last edited by 745 TurboGreasel; 03-03-2013 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:38 PM
v8volvo v8volvo is offline
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Wow! That one is pretty far gone. Never knew they could get that bad. Surprising it did not have symptoms already like those 745TG described on his, I imagine those parts were moving around a good bit. Almost every pre-'86 one I have looked at had at least a little bit of a crack forming on at least one side, but never saw one fail so completely as this. Wonder what caused it to be so especially bad in this car?

I agree, looks like a replacement candidate, especially with the bolt holes elongated in addition to the disintegrating of the x-member...
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:31 PM
casioqv casioqv is offline
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I was able to get a clean 16v crossmember shipped straight to my door for $150 by using uneedapart.com. It's a bolt in replacement with an upgraded design.

The original pre-87 crossmember is a defective design. The later model added significantly more metal boxing in the area which cracks.
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  #8  
Old 04-14-2013, 10:03 PM
ngoma ngoma is offline
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casioqv, how did you order it? Meaning how were you able to get the correct part, the 16v xmember with the mount pedestal? Simple as telling them it had to come from a 16v car?
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:22 AM
ngoma ngoma is offline
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Received my "new" improved crossmember and installed it yesterday.

Photos from preparation to install.

Top view:


R side view:


L side view:


R/R took better part of a day, wasted a lot of time dragging the cherrypicker around, and managed to ruin the steering rack input shaft seal (leaks now, with radial loads on input shaft) so am bummed about that, especially after renewing the rubber accordion boots.
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Last edited by ngoma; 09-07-2013 at 11:38 AM. Reason: changed "axial" load to "radial" load.
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  #10  
Old 06-01-2013, 11:23 AM
ngoma ngoma is offline
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Here are pics of the crack areas in the old one, maybe they can guide you to specific areas to inspect on yours.

Top view of left rear steering rack mount area:


Bottom view of (same) left rear steering rack mount area. Notice the amount of easy to produce movement along multiple planes (cracks + broken welds) :


L side motor mount pedestal is above this same area:


Note broken weld:


Moving on to the right side, less overall cracking here, shows top side over steering rack rear mounting hole:


Elongated L side LCA hole (this may have been caused to a previous lack of proper final bolt torquing after a repair?):


Finally, faint hints of the beginnings of a crack at the LR mounting hole. These are where member 745 Turbo Greasel had major issues. Exceptionally dangerous here because this area is near impossible to perceive while everything is mounted up:


Get out there and inspect yours!
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1985 744 gle d24t
1985 745 gle d24t

Last edited by ngoma; 06-02-2013 at 11:09 PM. Reason: Got my L and R sides mixed up; still dyslexic!
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