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pickncrew 04-04-2012 03:48 PM

Contemplating a Tub Swap - Help Me Decide
I didn't pay a whole lot for my 2002 TJ to begin with, but I am tempted to do a tub swap rather than pay someone to patch this up:

- Rust hole under passenger door.

- Rust hole under driver door.

- Big hole on right rear where rollbar meets (due to fender liner which is now removed). :facepalm:

- Small hole on left rear where rollbar meets.

- Right side body mount on tub has rust holes.

I've been all up and down the frame and cannot find any rust-through, I see no reason to replace the frame but if I took the tub off I could give it the attention it needs. I can get a nice, no rust tub with rollbar & complete dash for $400. I have a garage and tractor big enough to lift the tubs.

What would you do?

lee indy 04-04-2012 03:56 PM

patch will be the most cost effective. you can puy replacement panels weld in and repaint alot easier than a tube off swap

Hammond_Egger 04-04-2012 10:09 PM

100% do the tub swap..if you plan on keeping the jeep and you love it!

I would not mess with the rusty tub..all the time and $ you put into in and you will not be able to get rid of all the rust...
Do it right ONCE, and do it right the FIRST time.

While you are at it, replace all your brake know they will be next to go :)

Kevbz 04-04-2012 10:23 PM

I have the exact rust issues you described. I check daily for a straight tub in the 3-4 hundred range and with out a doubt once I find it will swap vs. Patch.

Nice thing is that you can prep the tub, and prep the frame separate, then it's all bolts

pickncrew 04-05-2012 08:06 AM

Thanks for the responses... PLEASE keep them coming as I need to decide by this weekend.

Lee - Initially I thought the tub swap might cost less than patching. With patching I'd be paying someone to do the work and with the tub swap the cost would be $400 for the tub and then is all my own labor. Of course the costs will add up because I will want or need to replace other things plus paint costs so in the end tub swap will costs more but I think I'd end up with a better Jeep.

Hammond/Kevbz - I seem to agree with your line of thinking here. Before I put the replacement tub on I can properly rustproof it plus the frame and get more years out of this TJ.

Kevbz 04-05-2012 09:59 AM

i have rot along the rockers, driver pan is non exsistant, rust along the wheelwell and rear floor seam, driver rear rollbar has no floor around it at all, some bubbles here and there. I just the time you have someone get the sheet metal, weld it in, patch new to old, etc you bill will skyrocket. If you find a tub for 400..then sit on it and do some prep work...maybe absorb the cost a bit, then pull the old one off (not a lot there on the firewall or underneath to deal with). set them side by side and start to remove the dash (about the only technical on the jeep, everything else is seats and bolts) and take notes as they come out and go back in (the only thing that sucks is you have to get it all out before you start to install it back in, so remembering every little thing will take some time and pictures).

once the dash is swapped over you can walk around the inside of the frame...clean paint prep what ever needs to be done. maybe brake lines, they are right there and i know mine are nasty. but then you set it back on.

so far you are 400 into it and what ever you spend on prep and new parts to replace since you have it apart. Much easier to swallow IMO than a big bill from a auto body shop.

if you have the storage space you could get the tub and stockpile replacement parts for as long as need be.

i envy you, i need to do this so bad, but can not find a tub worth what they are asking, and close enough to not have the gas cost out price it.

Ibuildembig 04-05-2012 10:19 AM

doubt you will find a good tub for that much honestly.....a good tub will bring 800-1000 down here

pickncrew 04-05-2012 01:49 PM

btw, the tub includes the rollbar and full dash, steering column heater etc.

NHrubicon 04-05-2012 01:55 PM

Sounds like you have a good deal on the tub-just double check where YOU already have rust and make sure the 'new' tub isn't doing the same thing.
If you do the tub swap, definitely take the time and do the frame over. We did a tub swap on a YJ and while the frame was exposed (and engine removed, etc.-we also had to swap frame) we sandblasted the frame end to end, primed and POR'd it, then installed all new brake and fuel lines. The time was worth it-it will never rust out again!
Wanted to take the 'new' tub and bedline it but didn't get the time.

pickncrew 04-07-2012 07:51 AM

I've decided to patch, paint & sell! Then buy something from rust-free Arizona. That will probably be most cost effective. If this TJ was already built or was a Rubi I could see doing the tub swap but I still have the stock 3.07 axles and no lift etc. Thanks for your inputs...

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