Loose Front Crossmember in an F-150

Hi -- forgot to x-post here, not much activity in the trucks group:
I've got an opportunity to pick up a 1990 F-150 Extended Cab 4x4, and the rivet in the crossmember behind the steering box has
come loose, allowing for a visible amount of lateral movement when someone moves the steering wheel side-to-side.
A cursory look has ruled out any major cracks at box mounting points, and the web has provided a fair amount of material regarding this fix. It'll certainly be tightened up by punching this rivet out and replacing with an oversize bolt, that's familiar territory to me......but is that all I can do? Surely that single rivet can't keep all the movement in check.....anybody's experience in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks -- Jon
Just for reference:
http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/520094/original/steeringcrack.jpg
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On Sun, 10 Feb 2008 23:11:32 -0800 (PST), Jon

Loose rivits were a known occurance on that vintage. The OEM rivits in my 90 and 93 were both replaced under warranty with hardened bolts. You may also consider replacing the strut (radius arm) bracket rivits with bolts if it still has rivits there. BTW, those need to be damn good bolts and tight. There was a TSB on the subject. Sorry, I no longer have it.
Lugnut
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wrote:

Where are the strut brackets? (what is a radius arm)? I have a 1990 F150 standard pickup, I guess I'll have to check on these, if this is a common problem. It's always good to know about problems that are common to certain makes and models.
By the way, why not just weld them??????
One other thing, someone in this thread mentioned a truck group. Where is that?
Thanks
F.D.
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On Tue, 12 Feb 2008 01:24:53 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

Radius arms for front axles attach to outboard sides of frame. The strut bushings also seem to have a life much shorter than expected. It can become very noisy on rough roads and may dart or pull to one side or the other when the brakes are applied. The right side is much more likely to deteriorate because of it's close proximity to the cat which tends to cook it. I was rather pleasantly surprised by the improvement in driving quality after I replaced a set that should have been OK with the polyurathane bushings. I have no problem doing this kind of repair my self with a collection of air tools and equipment I have assembled over the years. Strut bushing replacement is not a bad job at all if you have a good set of tall jack stands, a good floor jack and a good air impact wrench with a couple of sockets. At my age, air power is a necessity to do some of these things. In my younger days, I used testosterone instead of air.
Lugnut
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......... someone in this thread mentioned a truck group. Where is that? _______________________________________
alt.trucks.ford
______________________________________
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Thanks for the info and opinions -- the photo link is related to the aforementioned TSB. The amount of twisting movement visible at the swaybar bushing (1/4-3/8") had me crawling all over the truck, trying to see what was permitting the movement.
Sure enough...a crack has propagated along a factory weld at the leading vertical edge of the crossmember/frame junction...so it's the chicken/egg affair, whether a loosened rivet was a symptom or the cause of the problem.
Jon
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