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Hamster 05-19-2013 06:17 PM

Reinforcement plates for TJ frame rust? pics...
So my TJ has a couple of frame rust spots just in front of both rear wheels. The metal around the holes is maybe half as thick as the rest of the frame. I hammered all around and no soft spots yet. The rest of the frame is solid and clean so I would prefer not to do a total frame swap just yet.

I was thinking of cleaning out the frame and treating it with one of the chassis saver treatments. Question is, could a reinforcement plate be welded on the outside to help strengthen the thin spots in the frame? pics...

Driver side:

Passenger side:

The rest of the frame is clean like this:

flynhi4u 05-20-2013 08:15 AM

Looks like you caught it just in time. That really is not bad as I have seen them much worse. No expert but I don't think you are to the point that you need to start welding on the frame yet. What I would do is clean the frame and undercarriage with a pressure washer, drill drain holes in the bottom of the frame to let out all the water you put in it with the pressure washer. After the inside of the frame has completely dried, might take the better part of week depending on how much water is still trapped in it and how humid it is, take a long blow tool attached to your air compressor and blow out the inside of the frame. I have read where some people also use a shop vac with a hose attached that will go in the access hole of the frame. You want to get as much of the rust flakes out as you can. Eastwood sells a product to treat and coat the inside of boxed frames. It uses a nozzle that sprays in a circular pattern so it coats all four side of the inside frame area. The treat and paint the outside of the frame with something like Por 15. If you get proactive about it now and stay on top of it keeping the salt and mud washed out of it the frame should last you many more years. This is assuming that it is not so rusted on the inside of the frame and it just has not broken through to the outside yet, but from the pics you posted I did not see evidence of that.
We should all send Chrysler a big thank you for not doing a better job of treating the frames when they built our jeeps!!!
I was at Menard's Saturday and saw a YJ pulling a single axel trailer with a large load of laminated flooring on it. I checked out the jeep as I walked past it and like most I dropped down to peek under it and check out the frame. The frame was so rotted on the right side that the transfer skid plate was hanging down with about an inch of air gap between it and the frame. I would say with the load he was pulling the condition of that frame there was a real safety issue with it!

Sam in IN

Hamster 05-20-2013 01:52 PM

Thanks for the reply. It was driven a couple of years here in minnesota, but is now a strictly summer vehicle so I hope I can save it. Wish i hadn't driven it at all in winter but it was my only vehicle at the time.

The inside of those holes have the usual rust flakes, and the bottom inch inside the frame by the skid plate where the water sat is rusty, but the rest of the frame still has the cheap black paint inside, so I don't think it's too bad yet, I'm just concerned about the structural integrity of the frame at that bend on each side.

Was thinking of an oval reinforcement plate with additionaly welded holes on each end kinda like this super awesome ms paint drawing:

flynhi4u 05-20-2013 03:42 PM

Like I said it does not look bad enough to go to that extreme but up to you. Personally speaking, if I was going to build that plate I would extend it up and down to the frame edges as it would be stronger tieing into the radiused edges. But again, I think welding on your frame from the pics u posted might be a be premature un unneeded at this time.

Hamster 05-20-2013 04:20 PM

Yea maybe I should just clean and treat it and keep an eye on it before I go weld butchering it. thanks for your input.

flynhi4u 05-20-2013 04:39 PM

It has been my experience that welded repairs to boxed structures are very hard to keep from rusting internally and patches over existing steel leave a air gap between the two pieces that unless 100% air tight will start to rust and u can't see it because it is between two layers of steel. I think proper cleaning, treatment, and coating is a better way to go if u catch it early enough like u did.

TJ4Jim 05-20-2013 05:13 PM

If you want to be proactive pick up a needle scaler HF has them pretty cheap and go at the rust areas to remove any scale. Then like others said coat it with POR 15 or something similar.

davidzimagery 05-20-2013 09:50 PM

I've seen worse...mine. Started out having a body shop do a frame repair. After a closer check on the hoist, it was beyond a patch job. They found a good used frame and it's in the process of being installed. The rest of the Jeep is in good shape, and I had just gotten a new soft top and half doors. Not cheap, but it's a Jeep!

kyjeep 05-21-2013 12:10 AM

I just put a frame under mine last month. If I'd have caught it when it was like yours I could have gotten many more years out of it. Just do the Eastwood and POR thing and you'll be good.

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