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Old 02-23-2014, 08:44 PM   #1
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I hate rust

So last week I get about a block from my house and the Jeep starts feeling like I'm driving on ice. The back end kept sliding out and heard this thunk occasionally. Turn around and get back home to find this:

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Of course it takes a pretty bad frame for the control arm mount to fall off, so I moved on to the skid plate:

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What really sucks is the skid plate had fallen off the passenger side before I even owned it. The PO did a band aid repair by drilling 3 holes in the top of the frame and running 4.5" bolts. I didn't catch the 3 nuts on the top of the frame rail that shouldn't have been there. The driver's side had 1 of the nuts still in place and the other 2 bolts just spun. A pry bar and a hammer was all that was needed to get the skid to drop.

Looks like I'll be ordering some Autorust Safe-T caps this week. So far found nothing but good things about their kits, and that's a lot easier than a frame swap

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Old 02-23-2014, 08:51 PM   #2
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You need to treat the rust or it will just keep going!

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Old 02-23-2014, 10:28 PM   #3
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Good time to por15 the outside and spray the inside with something.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:37 PM   #4
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If the entire frame is that bad, then you only have two options, complete frame replacement, or part out your Wrangler!
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:17 PM   #5
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After being away for a bit on vacation, I started work on getting my Jeep back on the road. I bought the Autorust kits for the center sections of the frame and the rear control arm.

The bad parts of the frame have been cut out, and I got far enough to run some small beads on the control arm mount.
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I still have a few sections of frame to clean up before I can tack the skid plate sections in place. I figure I'll need to jack the body up a little bit so I have enough room to fully weld the Autorust patches. With any luck I'll have it back on the road this weekend.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:11 PM   #6
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looks like your doing some nice welding and metal work. I would not be able to live with it, i would have dug into the bigger job of replacing the frame. I have not welded since I was in High School. LOL - nice job.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:25 PM   #7
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Ouch! My Jeep does not need to see this.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:39 PM   #8
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looks like your doing some nice welding and metal work. I would not be able to live with it, i would have dug into the bigger job of replacing the frame. I have not welded since I was in High School. LOL - nice job.
I agree with this, i would feel better about having a new, real frame under me. I almost feel it would be easier replacing it then trying to weld one back together.
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:43 AM   #9
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I agree with this, i would feel better about having a new, real frame under me. I almost feel it would be easier replacing it then trying to weld one back together.
I asked this question, AR has pretty solid frame sections which include CA mounts. Looking into it (and posting with 1 response) seems a complete swap is a lot of work ?

A work colleague is going through the same thing. Problem, he does not weld or have the experience to fix it himself.
Originally quoted $4K but they can back with over 8k. Pretty much a complete restore including steering/pump brakes and some other stuff,
I think he's only going to have them chop the rear section off and replace it for the 4k

Good job OP. Being able to weld/fab yourself is huge. Considering the prices in seeing for this.
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:11 AM   #10
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Nice work. I've been there done that 2yrs ago.



Then a year later I did a complete restoration on the rest of the Jeep. This pic shows how much of the frame I repaired.


For those advising a replacement frame think about this, if you live in an area that rusts frames like that the odds of finding one worth swapping is slim to none.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:04 AM   #11
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Nice work. I've been there done that 2yrs ago.

...

For those advising a replacement frame think about this, if you live in an area that rusts frames like that the odds of finding one worth swapping is slim to none.
When I was searching for anyone's experience with the Autorust kits I saw a few of your posts and they were one of the reasons I figured I could save my Jeep. It's my DD so I've been sharing a car with my wife for almost a month now, and I like it too much to part it out.

I considered a frame swap, but quickly threw that idea out. It's a lot more work and I couldn't find any good TJ frames unless I wanted to spend $2500 to get a new one from a place like Quadratec. The top of my frame is solid, 3/16" thick. The Autorust stuff is 1/8", so welded right I end up with at least 1/4" of metal holding those patches on. Even welded poorly, there is going to be way more metal holding everything together than what's been there.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:03 AM   #12
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What do you guys recommend for treating the frame for future rust when I cut the bad spots out and install the safe t caps.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:16 PM   #13
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Got maybe 80% of the welding done. The control arm piece is done, and I got the outsides of both center skid sections done. The inside is a huge pain to weld. I'm on my back and cant see the weld puddle, so I think I'm going to use a ton of overlapping spot welds since I can't run a straight bead for more than 1/4". Should be plenty strong enough, especially since the skid was held in place with less metal than I have now.


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What do you guys recommend for treating the frame for future rust when I cut the bad spots out and install the safe t caps.
I'm using weld through primer for the sections of the patch and frame that overlap. Once I'm done welding the inside of the frame will be coated with Eastwood's internal frame stuff and after giving it a few months to be sure none of the welds are cracking the outside will get a coat of POR 15.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:19 PM   #14
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Got maybe 80% of the welding done. The control arm piece is done, and I got the outsides of both center skid sections done. The inside is a huge pain to weld. I'm on my back and cant see the weld puddle, so I think I'm going to use a ton of overlapping spot welds since I can't run a straight bead for more than 1/4". Should be plenty strong enough, especially since the skid was held in place with less metal than I have now.

I'm using weld through primer for the sections of the patch and frame that overlap. Once I'm done welding the inside of the frame will be coated with Eastwood's internal frame stuff and after giving it a few months to be sure none of the welds are cracking the outside will get a coat of POR 15.
Don't you have to put something over POR15? I thought it needed a top coat.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:49 PM   #15
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Nice work, that would never pass inspection here in Pa though.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:37 AM   #16
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My Jeep is back on the road! Got it back together yesterday and took it for a test drive. I was actually trying to hit all the potholes (not really that hard after this winter) and hoping nothing would fall off. The welds held just fine. The inside of the frame where I patched got coated this morning and Autorust adds drain areas to their kits so this repair won't be rusting from the inside out like the old frame.

Welding on your back sucks; I have so many small burn marks where slag managed to fall down my sleeves, and jeans aren't that great at protecting your legs from slag.

I'll be inspecting the welds every couple days for the next week and probably drive about 1000 miles before I POR 15 the outside. I want to be 100% sure this is welded solid before I cover anything up.
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:17 AM   #17
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If you have ever welded while laying on your back and had a hot spark go down your ear you really know what pain is (ask me how I know).
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:50 AM   #18
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Nice work, that would never pass inspection here in Pa though.

Why do you say that? I've seen more than one patched frame pass inspection here in PA. And not just from the lick'em and stick'em shops.
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:22 AM   #19
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Ouch, and I thought the rust on my '04 was bad....lol...guess this is good motivation to do something about my rust before I am in the same boat as you...

Thank you.
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:07 AM   #20
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I might have looked for an Arizona, or California super high mileage Jeep, and had it towed/trucked/driven to home. Then, just transferred the good parts, and motor/trans/transfer case. Selling the rest would be easy, as most of the body/attaching parts, would still be good from being a desert Jeep.
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:06 PM   #21
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Why do you say that? I've seen more than one patched frame pass inspection here in PA. And not just from the lick'em and stick'em shops.
Maybe it depends on where in Pa your at, but here I know for a fact a frame with that many patches would never pass at a reputable shop.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:41 AM   #22
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Sounds like a good job: Shouldn't have any problems as long as the frame is straight and the welds are solid. Safe-T cap makes a good product and the overlap from the length of each piece, over the gap created by cutting out the rust, makes the section as strong (if not stronger)then before the repair. Obviously the best test is to take it wheelin' and beat the crap out of it: flexing and twisting the frame as much as possible. If you have no issues there, well...there you go. Take some pics: Job well done!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetsFan978 View Post
My Jeep is back on the road! Got it back together yesterday and took it for a test drive. I was actually trying to hit all the potholes (not really that hard after this winter) and hoping nothing would fall off. The welds held just fine. The inside of the frame where I patched got coated this morning and Autorust adds drain areas to their kits so this repair won't be rusting from the inside out like the old frame.

Welding on your back sucks; I have so many small burn marks where slag managed to fall down my sleeves, and jeans aren't that great at protecting your legs from slag.

I'll be inspecting the welds every couple days for the next week and probably drive about 1000 miles before I POR 15 the outside. I want to be 100% sure this is welded solid before I cover anything up.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:40 AM   #23
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Maybe it depends on where in Pa your at, but here I know for a fact a frame with that many patches would never pass at a reputable shop.
I'm not sure what they would base failing it on. Assuming it was done properly. I'm not trying to be a smart ass, but to the best of my knowledge, there is nothing against frame patches...again, assuming that everything that it was attached to is solid. Really no different than replacing a section from a crashed vehicle.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:29 PM   #24
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A couple weeks ago I coated the repair area in POR 15. It's kind of nice to be able to drop the skid plate without worrying if it will go back on. Also finally fixed my leaky transmission pan when doing this.

The repair is holding well. I'm probably going to give the inside of the frame another coating in another week or two just to be sure I have it coated well.

Here's a couple of shots of what the final repair looks like. I know some areas around the body mounts aren't perfect, but the entire repair is lot stronger than what I was driving with before.

Control arm:
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Driver's side at skid plate:
I missed when drilling one hole for the side steps on the driver's side .
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:39 AM   #25
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Looks good! You gonna paint the rest of the frame? I'm doing a BB lift this weekend and am going to be wire-wheeling some surface rust off...probably start POR-15 coating as well....nice job!

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