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Old 03-23-2016, 05:18 PM
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Too far gone?

1997 wrangler, runs great and price is great for my area, $3000. BUT.....check out the pic. Thinking a safe t cap might work. Other side is bad too....but not nearly as bad. Rest of frame looks great, not even surface rust. Opinions

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Old 03-23-2016, 05:43 PM   #2
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What does $3K get you besides a project? Maybe $500 if it runs. I've never seen rust like that on any vehicle in the west. Check NV. Good luck.

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Old 03-23-2016, 05:47 PM
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Welcome to the northeast....this is what we deal with from the salt.
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Old 03-23-2016, 05:52 PM   #4
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$3000 for that? I wouldn't.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:10 PM   #5
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In my neck of the woods (se va) that's a parts jeep. We don't get rust like that, even on our beach junk.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:22 PM
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Up here it's a common problem. I had two wranglers lost to the rust when I was younger. Now there is a company in Rhode Island who makes a piece that replaces all of that rust, but my question is if it will work in this situation....or if it is too far gone.
I'm sure I can get the guy down in price to $2000, parts to fix would be around $400 plus labor (which I have no idea what the cost is but I would guess maybe $1000.)
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:46 PM   #7
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What you can't see will kill you.

Are you able to get a camera inside the rest of the frame? At least run a magnet through the holes, see what you pick up. With that spot being that bad, I'd be really concerned about hidden inside rot.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:54 PM
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Good idea, i will see if I can grab a camera at an electronics shop and make sure that everything else is okay. It amazes me how good the rest of the frame looks and feels. It was parked on a hill with the rear end down hill, maybe that is what caused it only there.
The good thing is, it looks like the Safe t Caps will get well past the rust, so even if the rust is worse on the inside then on the outside, hopefully it will be cut out when the caps are installed.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:31 PM   #9
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I learned the "rust from the inside out" the hard way. Mine didn't even have surface rust when I bought it. By the time surface rust did show up, I was picking my transfer case skid plate up out of my driveway. Had the frame replaced with new tube from control arm to control arm, and a year later, a SAF-T-CAP same spot as you are looking at. That SAF-T-CAP is a great way to save a Jeep, but you've got to have something there left to weld too. Whatever Jeep you get, Eastwood Internal Frame Coating for the inside, some type of undercoating and/or POR15 for the outside, and coat both with Fluid Film.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:58 PM   #10
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WHY do jeeps rust so bad? I've never seen anything like it on other vehicles. Tons of fun but what at the factory is done differently that causes this type of rust on jeeps?
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:02 PM   #11
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Wow,thats bad and makes me believe thats not the only spot.Have you tried to unbolt the skid plate? Prob rotted there also
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:17 PM
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I did not unbolt the skid plate but inspected it pretty thoroughly, looks good.
But back to my original question, as I know the rust looks terrible. Does anyone have any experience with the SAFE T CAP, and is this exactly what they are made for? I think I will contact the company as well.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:26 PM   #13
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Hard to say what you are getting into and how far the rust/rot goes. I live up here too and its unbelievable how bad the rust situation is. JMHO but $3000 is allot for a vehicle that wont pass inspection and has that much rot. Talk him down as much as possible. Not many people would want to tackle that job so it should be a good bargaining chip.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:33 PM
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Absolutely, I was thinking maybe $2000 would be worth it if the repair would work. Interested to hear what the company thinks about it.
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:45 AM   #15
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Its worth it if you get it for 1000$ and then put a new frame under it. That thing is toasted.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:35 AM   #16
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Its worth it if you get it for 1000$ and then put a new frame under it. That thing is toasted.
I would agree, you may want to start looking at different Jeeps...
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:33 PM   #17
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I wouldn't even bother with repairing that frame. Replace it. I live on the east coast of Canada in one of the most corrosive areas in North America and work in an offroad shop, have for manyyears. I'll be quite honest with you in that's one of the worst TJ frame holes I've seen. Something I have seen on only a few YJs even.
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:44 PM   #18
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:48 PM   #19
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X2 to what everyone else is advising. No offense but that frame looked like a POS and I don't mean "point of sale." If it's bad there, my bet is it's bad throughout. Also lift up the carpeting and see what lurks under there on the tub.
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:55 PM
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X2 to what everyone else is advising. No offense but that frame looked like a POS and I don't mean "point of sale." If it's bad there, my bet is it's bad throughout. Also lift up the carpeting and see what lurks under there on the tub.

No carpeting in the jeep and no repair work on the tub...perfect shape. PO pulled the carpet to rhino line it and never got around to it. I hear what you all are saying but I hate to pass up what seems great besides for that one really bad spot. Was hoping that it was repairable for a grand or so and end up with a fine running machine.
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:04 PM   #21
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That's good news on the tub, but it still makes me wonder why that one spot is so far gone -- the control arm mount looks like it's ready to give way anytime. Your $3k investment can end up being an $8-10k investment fairly quickly if you buy it and find other areas on the frame (hidden areas!) that resemble that spot. Have you considered taking it to a body shop for the rust and to a mechanic to checking out the engine, drivetrain, brakes, etc.? I would before open my wallet.
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:38 PM   #22
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if you buy that I would plan on buying a frame and swapping out frames. If it is that bad where the rear control arms bolt up I'm sure they rest of it is a disaster.
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:09 PM   #23
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If that is the one bad spot and you check the rest of the frame out and look ok. you can buy steel and repair it. I just got a 2002 tj with bad spot in frame whent to albany steel made up repair panel for frame. If you can weld you can fix it not a hard job i saved $$ and did it for lest then 150.00. so now on to lift

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