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ST guys and BODY guys, i need help with this !!!

Discussion in '2001-2005 Explorer Sport Trac' started by LONO100, July 25, 2011.

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    1. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      hey all, over the weekend, i got stuck pretty bad on the side of a mountain and needed to get pulled out. we found some really kind people up there that helped get us out, but being in the precarious position that we were in, my tow hooks bent at the frame where they are bolted to. a small piece of my bumber has been crumpled by this, but i think if i can bend the frame back to where it was, i can pop that part of the bumper back out, and repaint it. my main concern is that i am going on another trip this weekend and may need my trusty tow hooks to get me out of another jam, what is the best way i can go about straightening out my tow hooks!? there are pictures below that i hope will help. anyone bend there hooks this way before? what is the best way i can get these straight before i go on my next trip. any suggestions or advice would be awesome. thanks guys.

      [​IMG]

      here's a look at it from farther out.
      [​IMG]

      i would really like to get these fixed by this weekend for my next trip. even if i could bend these back, would the frame of where the hooks are bolted to be weaker? can i still use them for pulling if i can get it straight? thanks again guys.

      p.s. if it helps, i can take more pictures and post them if it will give anyone a better idea of whats going on here.
       
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    3. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      Yeah, I had the same thing happen when I was pulling stumps a few years back. I got 5 of the six stumps out by myself when old old landlord showed up so I had him hook up the chains for me so I didn't have to keep getting in/ out of the truck.

      Long story short he crossed the chains when he hooked them up and I had both get pulled inward and ripped the stamp welds off the frame. I have yet to fix them because I installed the body lift soon after that.

      I'd look around and see if you can have a weld shop or someone you know that welds heat up the metal, bend it back in place and weld all the way around the mounting bracket.

      Their not gonna hold up on another pull, atleast the passenger side isn't.

      here's a picture of my frontend, you can see how the front bumper cover "teeth" are crooked. Like your's is now.

      [​IMG]
       
    4. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      thanks for the advice. so even if i were able to bend the stamp back to shape, it wouldnt be able to take another pull? i dont have too much knowledge on welding, so what exactly should i be asking when i find someone to bend it back? what should i be looking for to make sure they do it properly? how much should i be looking to spend to get it done? thanks again rebel, you seem to have massive ST knowledge bro!
       
    5. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      It shouldn't cost anymore than around $75-150 to heat and bend the brackets abck against the frame and weld them back on solid.

      Or cut the stamp welds completely off and weld them back on the frame solid.

      You'll need to remove the front bumper cover to do this.

      I've learn everything I know about ST's from the ST site and here over the last six years that I've owned my ST.

      When you go to the weld shop tell them you need the brackets welded all the way around the bracket mount with a solid bead.
       
    6. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      thanks rebel, next step is finding a good welder. my old buddy that used to do all my welding moved to texas so i been stranded lately on that front.
       
    7. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      if i cant get the tow hooks back on and ready for service, and i end up getting stuck and need a pull from the front, where would be a good place to wrap the tow strap? i noticed you dont have tow hooks on your rig, have you been in a situation where you needed to get pulled from the front of your truck? where would be a good point to tow strap in case i need to before i get my tow hooks back on?
       
    8. Clusterpup

      Clusterpup Well-Known Member

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      I asked myself that same question because I didnt have tow hooks. I now have tow hooks :D
       
    9. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      I have a Trucker's Recovery tow chain with hook, it goes right into the chain down points on the front frame horns. I haven't needed to be dragged out of anywhere but last winter I draggied plenty of people out of snow drifts including a tow truck that was hooked to a truck. You don't wanna yank when pulling someone out, just pull on chain/ strap until slack is out and give it more gas gradually, never yank. That's what happened to your tow hooks I can tell, and the strap was hooked to the wrong hook for the direction he pulled you out.
       
    10. interscope8

      interscope8 Well-Known Member

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      Are those stock tow hooks!? They look awfully puny.

      These are the ones that were on mine off the lot...
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
      There is a comparison with my thumb.
       
    11. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      rebel - well, the way i was stuck put us in a postion where i we had to pull me out in a very awkward position. my truck was stuck in very loose sand with the front of the car pointed upward on a very steep and narrow trail. the guy pulling me out, couldnt get enought traction trying to pull me bumper to bumper because he was having to pull while in reverse going uphill. after high lift jacking, and many boulders, we still couldnt get it out. so he backed down the hill, and had to pull me out from a perpendicular angle if that makes sense. he wasnt yanking, but once the truck dislodged itself, the momentum of the guy pulling me going backward down hill once i got loose is what caused the jerk that bent where the tow hook was bolted.

      scope - i think it might just be the angle of the pictures, but my tow hooks are over 8 inches long. they are pretty damn huge. the actual tow hooks and bolts look completely unaffected, its the frame stamps that bent. i actually wish it was the hooks that bent, seems like a way easier fix than what i have to do now.
       
    12. interscope8

      interscope8 Well-Known Member

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      Mine look like they are all molded out of the same piece of metal... idk, no way for me to get a good comparison unless you come to IN :) haha.

      anyways, back to the topic at hand...
      If you're going out again this weekend and these arent fixed, couldn't you wrap some heavy duty chain around the towing points on the frame and secure it, effectively making a towing loop on the front end... just an idea.
       
    13. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      thanks scope, thats what i think im giong to have to do. i have chains, and tow straps, but i think im going to have to get some hooks, or those "d" shaped pieces. thanks gain everyone, i found a weld shop in my city and im going to swing by it and see if they can fix what i wrecked without wreckign my wallet.
       
    14. interscope8

      interscope8 Well-Known Member

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      Good luck and have fun!! My trac still hasnt been off road :(
       

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