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Old 08-18-2014, 11:53 PM   #1
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Frame rust

I have an 04 with 63k miles on it, I have a good amount of surface rust on my frame, I live in the Chicagoland area so salt is a witch, I am planning on power washing the undercarriage every week or two when salt is on the road. There is no frame rot anywhere yet and I was just wondering how long I have till this may become a problem and if there is anything I can do to prevent the frame from rusting out besides sanding and painting

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Old 08-19-2014, 12:57 AM   #2
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Everyone one will have their own method and opinion but here's me .02

Drill drain holes!!!! I drilled 4 1/2 inch holes. Right near the Lower Control Arms, 2 on each frame rail. There are some people that worry about structural integrity of the frame after drilling holes, but it's a boxed frame, making it very strong.

If you want, you could do something like POR15 or Rust Bullet on the outside, and use Eastwood internal frame coating on the inside of the frame.

I also highly recommend Fluid Film for the winter months. Spraying it on liberally on the whole underside of the vehicle. It kills rust, as well as creates a barrier between the metal and any fluid (including salty water) that comes in contact. Also works great for helping mud wash off after wheeling if you mess with that.

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Old 08-19-2014, 01:01 AM   #3
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Everyone one will have their own method and opinion but here's me .02 Drill drain holes!!!! I drilled 4 1/2 inch holes. Right near the Lower Control Arms, 2 on each frame rail. There are some people that worry about structural integrity of the frame after drilling holes, but it's a boxed frame, making it very strong. If you want, you could do something like POR15 or Rust Bullet on the outside, and use Eastwood internal frame coating on the inside of the frame. I also highly recommend Fluid Film for the winter months. Spraying it on liberally on the whole underside of the vehicle. It kills rust, as well as creates a barrier between the metal and any fluid (including salty water) that comes in contact. Also works great for helping mud wash off after wheeling if you mess with that.
thank you! I appreciate your help!
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:32 PM   #4
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Anyone else have any suggestions?
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:39 PM   #5
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have you dropped the skid yet? looks decently bad in that area

clean the inside of the frame by raising the front end and running a garden hose from front to rear, let it run until rust stops coming out. then let it dry and apply eastwoods internal frame coating. then apply a rust converter to the outside. stop it before it gets worse

they do love to paint the streets white in the winter time
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:59 PM   #6
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Thanks for idea man
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:13 PM   #7
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I did exactly what BET said previously. My 97 had minimal rust on the frame and I wanted to keep it that way. Drilling drain holes is a necessity! I was power washing my frame and prepping it for Por15 and Eastwood internal frame coating. Without drain holes water stays in there for days/weeks depending on climate.

First thing I did before anything was vacuum out the frame to get any flakes of rust out. How did I do that? I took some clear plastic hose (home depot etc..) that was small enough to get through the frame holes and connected the other end to a vaccum (used some adapters and duct tape). I then sent the clear hose up and down the frame sucking up any flakes of rust. You would be surprised what comes out. Remember these frames rust from the inside out, so don't be surprised when you see flakes of rust come out. There will be some.


Then I drilled holes by the lower control arms near the rear and flushed out anything that was left.

Here's a video of the water coming out of my frame when I drilled the holes. This is water that just sits in the frame with nowhere to go without drains.



I then let it dry for a couple of days and did POR15 on the outside and Eastwood internal frame coating on the inside.

After shots:

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Old 08-19-2014, 08:19 PM   #8
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These guys have about the best info out there to take care of the undercarriage and frame. Everyone likes POR15, but there are other makes like EASTWOODS. Definitely drop that skid too!!!!
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:10 PM   #9
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I just drilled holes this last weekend. I had flushed the frame from the various side holes as I couldn't get enough suction to remove much with small tubing adapted to my vacuum. Not enough suction. So I could feel some fine rust particles inside the side holes, mainly at the back. I pulled some out with a magnetic retrieval tool, but wanted to speed up the process. As the only factory holes on the bottom are WAY forward and WAY back, where you couldn't get water going downhill unless you stood the Jeep on end, I drilled a hole in each frame bottom, back of the skidplate, centered between the two narrow openings on the sides, which I would guess are used during vehicle assembly at the factory. Now water can drain out even if the vehicle is level. When I flushed it after the 1/2" holes were done I got out the fine sand-like rust. Next step is the Easrwood Internal Frame Coating and chassis paint on the outside. I am also thinking about plugging all the side holes as the only purpose seems to be to let in water, mud, salt, etc. If I can't find plugs I may use something like silicone caulk or Shoe Goo.
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:02 AM   #10
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I am planning on using chassis saver on mine this fall. But the flushing idea never came to mind. Thanks! Drilling holes in the frame tho??
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:23 AM   #11
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Thanks for the ideas and input guys, I appreciate it! It gonna help a lot when I have the time to tackle this
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:10 PM   #12
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I am planning on using chassis saver on mine this fall. But the flushing idea never came to mind. Thanks! Drilling holes in the frame tho??
Its a boxed frame, I wouldn't worry at all. I see plenty of guys running around on rotted frames that don't just fold in half, if their frame can be rotted, I can make some holes!
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Old 08-21-2014, 01:00 PM   #13
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Its a boxed frame, I wouldn't worry at all. I see plenty of guys running around on rotted frames that don't just fold in half, if their frame can be rotted, I can make some holes!
so are you saying that even if a wrangler did have a spot with frame rot it would still be safe to drive?
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Old 08-21-2014, 01:14 PM   #14
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so are you saying that even if a wrangler did have a spot with frame rot it would still be safe to drive?
For the most part yes, it should definitely be patched and the rest of the frame should be treated if the rust is that bad.

I had a whole section (between the skid and frame) that was pretty rotted, so I had a buddy of mine who's going to school for welding tackle the job of cutting out the bad and welding in the new with me. He said they weren't the prettiest MIG welds he's done, but they were strong.
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:00 PM   #15
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For the most part yes, it should definitely be patched and the rest of the frame should be treated if the rust is that bad. I had a whole section (between the skid and frame) that was pretty rotted, so I had a buddy of mine who's going to school for welding tackle the job of cutting out the bad and welding in the new with me. He said they weren't the prettiest MIG welds he's done, but they were strong.
those look good man! I just sanded and primed my frame earlier today, I'm going to paint it tomorrow
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:41 PM   #16
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Oh man,my frame was coated on the outside,doesnt look to bad...but now im nervous about taking the skid off hoping it is fine.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:27 PM   #17
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Oh man,my frame was coated on the outside,doesnt look to bad...but now im nervous about taking the skid off hoping it is fine.
I could definitely see there was some nasty rust under there, give it a look, if it doesn't look that bad then you shouldn't have much of an issue. Mine was so bad one of the bolts just spun in the nutsert inside the frame because it was completely rotted.
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:23 AM   #18
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I could definitely see there was some nasty rust under there, give it a look, if it doesn't look that bad then you shouldn't have much of an issue. Mine was so bad one of the bolts just spun in the nutsert inside the frame because it was completely rotted.
Ill be taking a look today or tomorrow,weather permitting.My yj was rotted there so i know the feeling.
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:35 AM   #19
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Man, My TJ is rusted like that too.
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:45 AM   #20
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:47 AM   #21
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I just drilled holes this last weekend. I had flushed the frame from the various side holes as I couldn't get enough suction to remove much with small tubing adapted to my vacuum. Not enough suction. So I could feel some fine rust particles inside the side holes, mainly at the back. I pulled some out with a magnetic retrieval tool, but wanted to speed up the process. As the only factory holes on the bottom are WAY forward and WAY back, where you couldn't get water going downhill unless you stood the Jeep on end, I drilled a hole in each frame bottom, back of the skidplate, centered between the two narrow openings on the sides, which I would guess are used during vehicle assembly at the factory. Now water can drain out even if the vehicle is level. When I flushed it after the 1/2" holes were done I got out the fine sand-like rust. Next step is the Easrwood Internal Frame Coating and chassis paint on the outside. I am also thinking about plugging all the side holes as the only purpose seems to be to let in water, mud, salt, etc. If I can't find plugs I may use something like silicone caulk or Shoe Goo.
Got any pictures of your new holes? My mechanic gave me high praise for the condition my TJ is in (I've had it for four months, I can't take credit for that) but I'd definitely like to minimize future rusting too. Here our winters are so long and aggressive we sand and gravel our roads rather than salting them so that should help too, but I'd like to do everything I can
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:51 PM   #22
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I have a new Wrangler JK but live in the rustbelt, and having previously owned a YJ for 12+ years that developed massive rust, I did some rust proofing/preventative measures this week. Time will tell how well it works but I did a ton of research, bought what I thought was the best stuff, did the prep work, and will someday follow-up with photos here showing how everything looks years later.

I purchased a quart of POS 15 along with Marine Clean and Metal Ready kits (they had spray attachments). I also purchased 3 cans of Eastwood Internal Frame Coating (they came with spray extension tubes). I also purchased 3 cans of Rust-Oleum Hammered metal finish spray (black). Day 1 - I sprayed the Internal Frame Coating into all the nooks and crannies of the frame. The vehicle was already really clean, otherwise I would have cleaned off all the rust and rinsed out the frame/let dry before doing this. The Eastwood product was really simple to apply. It's green, the extension tubes that come with each can are perfect, and although I bought 3 cans to do a 2 dr JK, I could have easily gotten by with 2. The green drips out the drain and air holes were predictably ugly/annoying looking which is why I did this before POR 15... I knew I'd have green blotches to cover up later on. Day 2, I washed everything off and then used Marine Clean and then followed with about 30 minutes of spraying Metal Ready on everything I was going to apply POR 15. I rinsed off the Metal Ready and I then allowed the vehicle to dry all day and over night (so it would be bone dry per POR 15's directions).

Day 3 Equipped with a respirator, long rubber gloves and goggles (and long sleeves with a t-shirt I didn't care about), I used four 3 inch foam brushes to paint on the POR 15 in each of the wheel wells, the frame, the front, rear and undercarriage components. Super simple/easy to apply but even messier than I had expected. I am now wearing some black POR 15 on my hands, arms, and even a drip on my neck that I suspect won't be gone for at least a week - I'm not worried as I'm a painter by trade and frequently wear paint home in the evenings. I am super thankful I painted the POR 15 and Eastwood frame coating in a public parking area vs my own driveway or garage... drips will happen, they did for me. On Day three about 1 hour after doing the POR 15, it was dry enough that I put a top coat of Hammered metal finish spray on everything. I still have half a can left of the POR 15 and will store it for the future.

Further research revealed that before Winter hits I ought to use a temporary spray on product like Fluid Film to ensure no rust forms in areas I didn't hit with POR 15 or the Internal Frame Coating. I will get some of that and apply it a little closer to the winter months.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:27 PM   #23
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This is a detailed post regarding how to remove rust and big flakes from the interior of frame.

How to remove rust from inside the frame of jeep wrangler

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