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Old 10-18-2011, 10:33 AM   #1
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Unhappy TJ Frame issue

Hi all!

I usually don't post since anything I need help on I can usually search this forum and find what I'm looking for but the other day I got some dreaded news about my TJ....

My Uncle just recently replaced my clutch (throwout bearing went bad) in his shop since he didn't have time at home so I could help out, but after he replaced the kit, he told me to consider looking for another car since the frame is starting to rot out... He wasn't sure how long it would last.

Is this normal for TJs? Mine is a 2000 4.0L sport, only one previous owner who babied it and me (who took her for some trail rides but nothing aggressive). I also took care of her as much as I could. I love this Jeep! I got her at 50K and she's lasted to 120K so far. Just seems too soon for a frame to start rotting out. If I do end up replacing it, I would like to do it myself instead of a shop.

What would you guys recommend? Are TJ frames common (I'm from the CT area)? How big of a hassle is it to replace? Anyone have first-hand experience replacing one?

Thanks guys for any insight! I paid off my Jeep a year ago and would like to keep it forever, eventually making it a summer season off-road beast!

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Old 10-18-2011, 10:36 AM   #2
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That doesnt sound normal. No offense to your uncle, I would take it to another source to verify.

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Old 10-18-2011, 10:39 AM   #3
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I think it sounds normal. I looked at close to 20 Jeeps in person over the past few months Jeep shopping. I found ONE without frame rot, which I bought. This weekend I am stripping as much as the frame as I can and undercoating for this winter. Next summer I am going to take as many parts as I can off and get the spots I cant get too right now (between the skids and frame).

Because I was getting discouraged jeep shopping I looked into rust repair, there is a shop outside of Providence RI that specializes in Jeep frame repair I believe... A google search should find them.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:42 AM   #4
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When you get the jeep back take a look for yourself. Take a screw driver or something and tap around listening for hollow spots. Take some pics and post them up. Depending on how bad it is, it will probably last a while longer. In the mean time start looking for a new frame. Used, perfectly acceptable frames can be had for around 1k.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:51 AM   #5
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Because I was getting discouraged jeep shopping I looked into rust repair, there is a shop outside of Providence RI that specializes in Jeep frame repair I believe... A google search should find them.
Sweet sounds like a ray of hope. I will have to get a quote from them. You wouldn't have any hints of a name to narrow my search down would ya?
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:57 AM   #6
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If you DO end up with another frame, or can strip down your old frame and get the tub off it...I had a YJ rebuilt on another frame-and friend and I sandblasted the replacement frame completely-then a coat of the metal primer and 2 coats of POR. Only had to be reinforced in 1 place where it had been bent or hit-so that was fixed first. So the rebuild started with a completely rust free and coated frame. Sold it a couple months ago, and there was still NO rust anywhere on the frame after 4 years!
Well worth the extra time and effort...
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:00 AM   #7
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When you get the jeep back take a look for yourself. Take a screw driver or something and tap around listening for hollow spots. Take some pics and post them up. Depending on how bad it is, it will probably last a while longer. In the mean time start looking for a new frame. Used, perfectly acceptable frames can be had for around 1k.
Yea I'll see if I can do that this weekend, I just got my Jeep back not too long ago, and just taking a quick look underneath didn't show any obvious signs of rot but he also had the skid plate under the tranny removed so he might of seen more than what was on the outside.
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:05 AM   #8
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The frame on my 98 is starting to get pretty patchy. I've repaired a large hole in the rear, and I'm starting to show a hole in the front that I'll be trying to patch before I sell it in the spring.

Jeep needs to issue a frame recall like toyota did on there pickups a few years ago...
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:21 AM   #9
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Sweet sounds like a ray of hope. I will have to get a quote from them. You wouldn't have any hints of a name to narrow my search down would ya?
I think this is them. I never had to call them because I didn't need to. I read about them somewhere else on this forum (I think they ship frame sections or something) and I noticed they were in New England:

Auto Rust Technicians - since 1977
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:22 AM   #10
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TJ Frame Issues

I just finished having a frame swap done on my 2001 with 110k miles on it. Like NHRubicon I had the frame prepped, primered, and coated before the swap. Also had the underside of tub done the same way while it was off. The frame ran $700 and was off a rollover. Carefully checked for damage and rust to make sure I was getting a solid frame. Good Luck!
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:42 AM   #11
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I used a couple of the Auto Rust tech's rails for the center skid area. Made it an easy job, cut out old, slide in new and weld up!
My 2001 has 70,000 miles and after a little jump over some train tracks the skid and transmission where hanging on by two bolts! The other four bolts ripped out of the frame. When I removed the skid the frame was rotted around all six holes, I'm lucky two held on!
Before the train tracks I did look at it and it looked like surface rust between the skid and frame. Now I check my frame with a hammer!!
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:43 AM   #12
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they sell kits to repair bad spots in the frame as well, depending on where the trouble is. The front part leading out the bumper is usually the first to go... you can get weld in kits to replace the bad sections. First and foremost, check it for yourself to determine what is rotted through -vs- what might just be rusty.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LucaBrasi View Post
I think this is them. I never had to call them because I didn't need to. I read about them somewhere else on this forum (I think they ship frame sections or something) and I noticed they were in New England:

Auto Rust Technicians - since 1977
Wow never seen these before, being from the northeast this stuff might come in handy. My left rear upper control arm mount is rotted out and I was going to get the Currie bracket kit to beef it up a little but this is way better.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:52 AM   #14
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1 For sale

There is 1 for sale on the site. $750

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f14/jee...ee-120705.html
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:47 AM   #15
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Well that seals the deal! Gonna get mine under coated. Have 130k miles of MN winters on it and the rust is minimal. Not sure why some experiences vary so much.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:56 PM   #16
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WE, my wife and I just replaced the frame on her 97 wrangler sport. It was rotted real bad on the inside by the rear control arms, and cracked by the round hole just in front of the rear tire. Our project pretty well snowball into a complete rebuild of everything but the motor trans and transfer case. Everything else is new or rebuilt. We had our new frame and new body tub sand blasted and zinc coated (metalizing process) before por 15 and then we top coated the whole body with Raptor bed liner. This thing should be around long after im gone. Atleast the body and frame. It was a project but we have great satisfaction of knowing it was all done right, and we have a better understanding of how all things TJ work. Buy a service manual before you start. And if you have computer access in you garage that would be a bonus too. Keep this forum in your favorites. All answers can be found here.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:52 PM   #17
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Same rot spot

Tom
you hit the nail on the head for me - just picked up a 97 TJ with that same spot by rear control arm, There is a factory hole that has rotted out bigger.
do they have a kit to repair that or should I just weld some plates on it ?
Dont know how I missed it until I got it home and really started looking around it. Hope its fixable

thanks
P. Scott
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:38 PM   #18
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I also have the same rust issue near the rear control arm. Thinking about welding some plate on and coating inside the frame with eastwood internal frame coating, and hope for the best.
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:06 PM   #19
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I am noticing a trend on the east coast, look how many of you are from the north east.... Maybe you guys have some weird atlantic salt water in the air stream???

None of my 4 jeeps i've owned have had rust issues.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:23 PM   #20
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I am noticing a trend on the east coast, look how many of you are from the north east.... Maybe you guys have some weird atlantic salt water in the air stream???

None of my 4 jeeps i've owned have had rust issues.
East Coast Jeepers

After snowstorms,especially if you are driving right after they salt the roads.

Put aside money just for car washes...I think those last couple of snow storms of 2010-2011.I spent close to $100+ for car washes and not including the self service wash.The salt has no mercy....NONE!
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:51 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Northwest4x4
I am noticing a trend on the east coast, look how many of you are from the north east.... Maybe you guys have some weird atlantic salt water in the air stream???

None of my 4 jeeps i've owned have had rust issues.
I live in washington state. Maybe my jeep came from the east coast.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:40 PM   #22
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Tom
you hit the nail on the head for me - just picked up a 97 TJ with that same spot by rear control arm, There is a factory hole that has rotted out bigger.
do they have a kit to repair that or should I just weld some plates on it ?
Dont know how I missed it until I got it home and really started looking around it. Hope its fixable
I have the exact same spot rotting out, seems to be the most common spot. I decided mine was not too terrible so I used the Currie rear upper control arm bracket braces:
Currie Enterprises CJ Axle Parts

AutoRust does make a repair piece:
Rear Trailing Arm Mounts Frame Repair - Left Side (ART-124-L) [ART-124-L] - $179.95 : Safe-T-Cap Frame Repair Kits by Auto Rust Technicians, we make it easy to make it safe

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East Coast Jeepers

After snowstorms,especially if you are driving right after they salt the roads.

Put aside money just for car washes...I think those last couple of snow storms of 2010-2011.I spent close to $100+ for car washes and not including the self service wash.The salt has no mercy....NONE!
Great advice! Although up here in Maine they use liquid calcium on the roads as well and its the worst stuff ever. Hard to keep the rust under control.
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:40 PM   #23
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I think this is them. I never had to call them because I didn't need to. I read about them somewhere else on this forum (I think they ship frame sections or something) and I noticed they were in New England:

Auto Rust Technicians - since 1977
These guys repaired the frame on my FJ landcruiser and it came out very nicely...they also did a friends 67 mustang and it too was well done.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:28 PM   #24
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I didnt do any research on repair plates or panels. I figured if it was bad there then there would be other problem areas also. We got lucky and found a very nice frame about an hour from us. $500 plus it came with the budget boost blocks too. Just this weekend both of our jeeps were oil sprayed to get ready for the salt season. My wife did the oil spraying while I was out splitting firewood. She loves working on our Jeeps!
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:57 AM   #25
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This is a problem with jeeps and salt. When you coat the underside, it helps, but the frame rots from the inside. There are some threads that talk about how to coat the inside of the frame which is the main problem.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:04 PM   #26
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I think this is them. I never had to call them because I didn't need to. I read about them somewhere else on this forum (I think they ship frame sections or something) and I noticed they were in New England:

Auto Rust Technicians - since 1977
Does anyone know of a similar place closer to the midwest?
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:28 PM   #27
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Exclamation Class action

This seems to be a major problem with the TJ. A normally used vehicle frame should not rot in 10 years or less.I was watching Motorweek recently and Jeep is replacing control arm mounts for rot at no charge.Years ago a friend of mine had a mid 70's Mercedes convertible, cars were falling apart due to rust they fixed them for free almost 20 years later.Mabey we need a lawyer to look into this for us.I think we only need 3 people but the more the merrier.I love my 2000 TJ with alittle over 100k and the same rotted frame issue after clutch repair.Lets do something!!!
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:55 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by slider
This seems to be a major problem with the TJ. A normally used vehicle frame should not rot in 10 years or less.I was watching Motorweek recently and Jeep is replacing control arm mounts for rot at no charge.Years ago a friend of mine had a mid 70's Mercedes convertible, cars were falling apart due to rust they fixed them for free almost 20 years later.Mabey we need a lawyer to look into this for us.I think we only need 3 people but the more the merrier.I love my 2000 TJ with alittle over 100k and the same rotted frame issue after clutch repair.Lets do something!!!
I like the way you think. Toyota made good on the frames of the old Tacoma's. Either they were bought back or they installed new frames underneath, depending on the year of course. How come JEEP can't do that!!
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Old 11-09-2011, 02:16 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slider
This seems to be a major problem with the TJ. A normally used vehicle frame should not rot in 10 years or less.I was watching Motorweek recently and Jeep is replacing control arm mounts for rot at no charge.Years ago a friend of mine had a mid 70's Mercedes convertible, cars were falling apart due to rust they fixed them for free almost 20 years later.Mabey we need a lawyer to look into this for us.I think we only need 3 people but the more the merrier.I love my 2000 TJ with alittle over 100k and the same rotted frame issue after clutch repair.Lets do something!!!
Im in!
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:48 PM   #30
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Found a new frame for 300$. Thinking about swapping this spring. Not sure of its worth it.

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