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Mechanic removed counterweight, claims it's non-essential. Offered to weld it back in.

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by MyExplorer03v8Lim, September 22, 2016.

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  1. MyExplorer03v8Lim

    MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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    Hi All,

    So I recently had some major drive train work done to my explorer, which required the mechanic to take the transmission most of the way out.

    Well, there's a counterweight that runs perpendicular to the frame right under the bell housing. It connects the left and right sides of the frame, and apparently it's there to dampen vibrations or reduce harmonic resonance. Well to be honest, I'm not entirely sure what it's there for, and I have no idea what it's called. What I do know is that it was in the way. Like... right in the way.

    The part is basically a big steel tube, maybe 2.5-3" diam, filled with cement. Well the mechanic tried and tried, but decided it was quick to sawzall it out of there, than to continue beating on the bolts. When I discovered the remaining stumps I decided to give him a call. He admitted what he did, but wanted to convince me that the part is not essential, and that the problems it solves are very overly dramatized.

    I wasn't having it, so I told him I'd really rather have him put it back the way it was. He offered to weld it back in place, since I assume he doesn't want to waste any more time on the bolts. But this solution doesn't sit right with me. Before it was cut, that cement filling was a solid unit, as was the steel jacket. Now if he welds it, the steel will be complete (depending on the quality of his welds) but the cement will still be disconnected from the frame.

    I have to think that a big heavy piece that's meant soley to absorb vibrations should be as solid as possible.

    Should I push the mechanic to replace with a new piece? Should I allow him to weld? Or should I say **** it and thank him for the increased fuel economy by weight savings?
     
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  3. zerodevil

    zerodevil Well-Known Member

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    bar under the bell housing? that is a frame cross member, not a counter weight. it also did NOT need to be removed to remove the transmission from the vehicle. I have had the transmission out of my 3rd gen on three occasions and have NEVER removed that bar. This "mechanic" is a hack, i would DEMAND he returned the vehicle to its original condition. Automotive manufactures are cheap they do not often go around wasting money and materials installing "non essential" equipment on cars.
     
  4. RIV Customz

    RIV Customz New Member

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    Have him replace it. The only way he will get a clean weld is by butting the two pieces together so he doesn't have to worry about his filler material touching the cement, thus, avoiding putting porosity in the weld. The problem with this is that the weld will only be on the surface of the metal... Not a strong weld. Something that absorbs vibration needs a full penetration weld which means the two pieces need to be spaced apart with a slight gap so the filler material can get in between both edges of the steel for some real fusion of the metal. This means his filler material will touch the cement, cause porosity in the weld, and leave it prone to cracking... Not good for a part that absorbs vibration. He could get a good weld if he ground out some of the cement on both pieces away from the surfaces to be welded but now your changing the weight of the piece. Obviously the mechanic wants to save a dollar. If you allow him to weld it, how will you guarantee he uses the correct filler material rather than whatever he may have handy? As a welder, I don't let anyone weld on my trucks because it's one of those things people can do a crappy job knowing that most people don't know what the correct way to weld is. And I didn't learn to weld in my garage. I was a master welder for the navy when I was a sailor and I abide by the same weld requirements now as I did then.
     
  5. RIV Customz

    RIV Customz New Member

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    Other things to consider that I didn't mention in my previous post:
    1. This weight that he cut probably has a part number. Would you allow him to cut anything else with a part number and then fuse it back together? I hope not.
    2. It is transparent that you feel uneasy about it which means if you let him weld it your uneasiness will always be in the back of your head. Fix it right and you'll feel right.
    3. This dude isn't your friend so don't be timid about telling him what you want. It isn't acceptable to break one part to fix another.
    4. If you let him weld it, have him document it on your paperwork, take pictures, etc. to save your butt in the event that you have a problem down the road (the welds fail, the tube detaches from your explorer while driving on the freeway and slams into the car behind you).
     
  6. TechGuru

    TechGuru Well-Known Member

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    The only way to fix this to make this vehicle road worthy again is to REPLACE it with a new part from Ford or one from a salvage yard.

    There are reasons many states do not allow you to just weld a frame back together then return to the road after a major wreck. This is essentially the same thing. A major section of "frame" has been cut, you can't just weld it back together, it will need to be replaced. Don't drive it until it has been replaced, if you get into a accident (especially a rollover) with it like that and the insurance company finds out you were driving it like that they may refuse to pay out. Having extra weight that low to the ground may be there to help prevent roll overs actually.
     
    Last edited: September 23, 2016
  7. RIV Customz

    RIV Customz New Member

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    100% agree with TechGuru.
    Hey, for sh*ts and giggles, start a poll. I'll bet most of us will vote for the recommendation to replace.
     
  8. Turdle

    Turdle Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Is this the part he cut? If not, please post a picture of the cut off piece. Without knowing exactly this is all speculation. I don't see how your truck could drive around at all under it's own power, without a transmission cross member.



    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: September 23, 2016
  9. drdoom

    drdoom Well-Known Member

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    Hack work. Replace.
     
  10. Joe in NY

    Joe in NY Active Member

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    What's got me is that you said it is filled with cement... What part are we talking about here ?
     
  11. 96firephoenix

    96firephoenix Active Member

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    I would be suspect of all the work you actually wanted him to do, if he was willing to cut this piece out of the way, what else did he take a short cut on? I'd be ok with someone cutting the bolts out and replacing them, or if they were pressed studs even, but cutting a part and not wanting to replace it? Hell No.
     
  12. lincolnshibuya

    lincolnshibuya Active Member

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  13. EXPLORER04

    EXPLORER04 Active Member

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    Probably the front crossmember
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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  15. lincolnshibuya

    lincolnshibuya Active Member

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    it seems it's more of like a skid plate for protection, maybe the mechanic is right but I think it's designed to protect the trans just in case (doesn't really affect how it runs or really necessary..)
     
  16. toypaseo

    toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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    He removed it, and never told you.

    He'll be angry he has to repair it. Good chances he'll do a subpar job.

    Find a highly qualified welder to put it on, and send the hack mechanic the bill.
     
  17. boominXplorer

    boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    So I won't be as quick to jump the gun on the guy because it's probably just a dampaner. The one in question is bolted to the exhaust hanger and looks like a 8"x2" pipe with caps. It's in the way if your messing with the transmission and usually there is no easy way to get it off. I have removed the dampaners on a few of my trucks with no Ill effects.
     
  18. imp

    imp Well-Known Member

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    Troll.
     
  19. turborich

    turborich Active Member

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    I would be absolutely furious! Make him replace it with a new or used OEM part. No welding! Sounds like this guy is a total hack.
     
  20. MyExplorer03v8Lim

    MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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    I cannot find a part number anywhere. This Is the exact part.
     
  21. EXPLORER04

    EXPLORER04 Active Member

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    3L2Z-5B112-AA
     
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