Chevy Truck Frames Breaking at front axle mount

Honest Auto

Junior Member
Location
Plymouth
We have seen 2 Chev's this year with the exact same problem. The upper front Axle mount busts off the frame rail. This is the Steel bracket that is on the drivers side frame rail inboard side, and the top front differential (axle) mounting "tab" slides into this bracket with a thru-bolt used to connect the two.

The first truck was an early 2000's 2500HD with a Duramax, the second is a 2003 2500HD with a 6.0.

Both trucks are plow trucks, the Duramax was originally brought in for an oil leak, the oil filter was semi-crushed. Upon inspection, when in REVERSE, the diff assy would rotate down and the pinion hit the filter. Now obviously the diff is not to rotate. and the broken bracket was revealed.

The second truck came in for a left front CV shaft that had separated itself at the inner joint, and upon inspection, revealed a broken or cracked right side axle housing tube. Further inspection revealed the bracket torn away from the frame Identical to the truck we fixed earlier this winter.

I am wondering If I am the only shop that has seen this, as I have goggled this, and came up with nothing. It is fairly clear what is causing this in my opinion. High traction on front tires in reverse operation with high torque applied. (what happens when backing up put of a pile of snow with a snow plow hanging on the front.)

I successfully repaired the first truck in about 4-5 hours by re-welding the bracket to the frame, and adding several plug welds that the factory did not do. Plan on doing the same to this one. the only other option is a new frame, which is not an option.
 

B&B

PlowSite Fanatic
No you're certainly not alone, yes it happens. I've mentioned it here on several occasions to add a gusset to the upper diff mount as a preemptive measure to prevent it from happening in the first place.
 

dfd9

PlowSite.com Addict
B&B;1634026 said:
Nice thing aboot it- even with a broken diff mount they'll still start, run, and drive off when you leave the restaurant.

Any chance these gussets can be ordered off the 'net?

Say from some guy in PA that has a bazillion posts here?
 

Yaz

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
NH
Well add another truck to the frame bracket cracking list. my front axle mount cracked off the frame rail two weeks ago and was welded. Today no banging noise like before but noticed a leak after plowing a bit. Upon inspection we found it broke again and this time my passenger side axial tube was severely leaking with a twisted stress crack. I love this truck but i'm a bit discouraged with the first repair from a reputable welding shop. Hopefully this will be fixed tomorrow payup. Do you guys think this cracked bracket had anything to do with the tube cracking or it it just stress for the boat load of snow we have had in the last few weeks. I think my trouble is the diesel pushes snow back so effortlessly but the huge torque & all around studded snows might be causing tremendous stress on the drivetrain especially pushing back these mounds of crazy snow we have gotten recently.

Any constructive advise I should give my welder without being a jerk to the guy.
 
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Yaz

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
NH
Cracked front axle tube and differential bracket breaking off frame

I stopped in the shop to check out the work so far and we're waiting for a new axle tube. i noticed the first weld cracked just above the first weld. My brother said metal heating during welding makes the steal brittle.

Any advise on a permanent gusset idea in the bracket to share with my welder would be appreciated. I want the truck stronger then new!
 

Jakedaawg

Senior Member
Location
N. Mi
Out of curiosity, were there Timbrens installed on these trucks? I have had two chevy's do this, both shortly after installing Timbrens.
 

Yaz

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
NH
Yes I have had timbrens since 2005.

So far the repair is holding strong. My welder (Manns welding) made a 1/4" think L plate the goes up inside and swings under the frame to get a good strong weld on the the indide, front edge and bottom and can't twist. The only way to reweld the top like the factory is to pull the motor, so this plate was made to make it as strong on the bottom and side as possible.
 

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