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Old 12-27-2017, 09:05 AM
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1989 Jeep Wrangler - Frame Repair Guidance

Hey guys, so I am finally at the point of my restoration that will put Yeep in a new class, the frame repair. I took my Jeep to the AutoRust Technicians in Cranston, RI, the home of the Safe T Cap. They put it up on a lift and said it isn't that bad, probably one of the better ones they have seen. They gave me a list of things that I need to repair and a list of three different categories. Job 1: Left Front Frame / Steering Box (8-12 Hours of Labor); Job 2: Floor Pans and Floor Brace (12 Hours of Labor), Body Mounts (3 Hours of Labor); Job 3: Rear Shock Mounts (8 Hours of Labors). In parts it only comes out to around $368, which isn't bad at all but the labor is what kills me, $115 an hour. The labor alone costs $3795. Undercoating the frame is at a reduced rate of $700, figures since I would be spending enough money . Is it worth doing? Will it hold the value after I do it? I don't plan on selling it at all but if I had to would I be able to get my money back? I am about $4,000 in it rn and I payed $3,000 for it when I bought it. What would you guys do? Is this over priced? I just need as much advice as possible because I want to make a good decision before emptying my pockets lol. Let me know guys and thank you as always!

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Old 12-27-2017, 09:22 AM   #2
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1989 Jeep Wrangler - Frame Repair Guidance

Personally I wouldn’t spend that much!!! I got a rust free 4.0 with 92k, 1992 for $3500. Take all the good components that you want, if any, and part it out. If you want to restore it, go for it. I know I will never get back what I put into mine and I’m ok with that.


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Old 12-27-2017, 09:39 AM   #3
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For that kind of money, I'd seriously consider a new frame.
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Old 12-27-2017, 10:11 AM   #4
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Not no, but HAIL NO!!!!
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Old 12-27-2017, 11:56 AM   #5
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I'd take the Yeep to a local body shop and see how much they'd charge to do the same repair.
For what the Auto Rust Technicians plan on charging, I'd expect an absolute first class job. If all you're trying to do is make the Yeep into a safe-to-drive vehicle and not a show restoration, you may not need that type of repair.

Ask around your area, there may be a welder that does work at home or a bodyman that does side work that can do the same or similar job a whole lot cheaper.
I'm a retired bodyman and I have a welder. If someone brought a job like that to me, I'd charge $50.00 per hr. and do the job at my leisure. It might take me a couple weeks, but it'd be done right.

Google "auto undercoat" in your area. $700.00 seems like a lot for undercoating. There may be a Ziebart franchise near you or some similar that can do the job cheaper.

A quick add up of the ART bid comes close to $5K.
Quadratec has NEW frames for $2400.00. I'd give their sales department a call and see what comes with a new frame. Qtec also gives a discount to forum members. Ask about that too.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 12-27-2017, 12:35 PM   #6
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Some time back there was talk on here of a place in Az. that sold used straight rust free frames and I think around $600.00 plus shipping. I have heard of them costing about $400.00 down south from junk yards.
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Old 12-27-2017, 12:47 PM   #7
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I would think that $3795. is about all an 89 that had rust repair done would be worth, unless it had a Lot of Real Nice Add Ons. If your looking at having $8,000. in it then I think you should Rethink this, Big Time! Way too much money unless it's in Great Shape, lifted, tires, engine and all running gear gone through, everything.
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Old 12-27-2017, 06:57 PM
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Thank you to everybody for the advice! I really appreciate it! Jeeps in NE go for much more with a good frame due to the rarity of a frame being solid. @Luckymac your points were amazing and I really appreciate it and plan on doing everything you said. @Nubby55 I heard of that website before, I'll check it out! @steves92 I wish I lived in California!!! Jeeps seem nice and healthy out there!
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Old 12-27-2017, 10:36 PM   #9
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I spent around 800 in parts from safety cap...me and a buddy cut it out and burnt it in in a afternoon...I had the frame on jacks stands at that point....i wanted to keep as much as my original jeep there for personal reasons...cost me a handle of Crown...wire and the electric bill...lol...if it was me I would either keep the tub or the frame...repair one and swap the other whatever was most economical. Good Luck!
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Old 12-28-2017, 09:27 AM   #10
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I went to the Throttle Down website. This is the same frame that Quadratec sells. The $2,400.00 is the base price and then there's several add-ons. Still, not a bad price for a NEW frame.
Nubby55 mentions a place in Arizona that has good used frames. If I was interested in a used frame I'd search Phoenix AZ salvage yards for the place that Nubby55 refers to.

As a bodyman, I've changed several frames in my career. It's a MAJOR job. I'd have to be really fond of a vehicle to want to change a frame. I don't think it's something most home mechanics are prepared to do.
With vehicles as old as our YJs are, there's a bunch of little parts that'll break because of being old plastic or rusty metal. Many of them are no longer stocked, so the person changing a frame will have to get creative. Just a little more PITA to go along with the bigger PITA of changing a frame.

OP states he'll try to find a more economical repair shop. I think that's his best bet.
He states he's into the Yeep for $4K. It isn't clear if that includes the $3K purchase price.
He's wondering if he sells the Yeep, can he get his money out of it. At $4k, he might take a hit. At $7K, he'll get clobbered.
These things aren't practical vehicles for everyday transportation. They're toys that we have as hobbies. None of us seem to have any good sense about the money we put into them. If LightsOutLacy55 has the budget, he's probably better off to proceed with the frame repair as long as the rest of the vehicle is in reasonably good condition. If the rest of the vehicle is "rough", he's probably better off to cut his losses and get what he can for it, then find one in better condition.

In a different thread on this forum about rusty frames, one poster suggested that the OP in that thread buy a welder and learn to weld. I think it would take a gifted individual to make a successful repair on a rusty frame as his first project. Welding new metal onto new metal requires skill and practice. Welding new metal onto rusty metal requires even greater care and preparation. Not what I'd recommend for a novice.

Good luck, L.M.
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1987 YJ-4.2L-Standard Shift- Re-manufactured Carter Carb-2" body Lift-31X10.5X15 BFG KOs-190K Miles No back seat.
HEI distributor with computer and all related relays and wiring removed.
12K Badlands winch with dual batteries.
Warn front bumper. Matching imitation Warn bumper on the rear.
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Old 12-29-2017, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckymac View Post
I went to the Throttle Down website. This is the same frame that Quadratec sells. The $2,400.00 is the base price and then there's several add-ons. Still, not a bad price for a NEW frame.
Nubby55 mentions a place in Arizona that has good used frames. If I was interested in a used frame I'd search Phoenix AZ salvage yards for the place that Nubby55 refers to.

As a bodyman, I've changed several frames in my career. It's a MAJOR job. I'd have to be really fond of a vehicle to want to change a frame. I don't think it's something most home mechanics are prepared to do.
With vehicles as old as our YJs are, there's a bunch of little parts that'll break because of being old plastic or rusty metal. Many of them are no longer stocked, so the person changing a frame will have to get creative. Just a little more PITA to go along with the bigger PITA of changing a frame.

OP states he'll try to find a more economical repair shop. I think that's his best bet.
He states he's into the Yeep for $4K. It isn't clear if that includes the $3K purchase price.
He's wondering if he sells the Yeep, can he get his money out of it. At $4k, he might take a hit. At $7K, he'll get clobbered.
These things aren't practical vehicles for everyday transportation. They're toys that we have as hobbies. None of us seem to have any good sense about the money we put into them. If LightsOutLacy55 has the budget, he's probably better off to proceed with the frame repair as long as the rest of the vehicle is in reasonably good condition. If the rest of the vehicle is "rough", he's probably better off to cut his losses and get what he can for it, then find one in better condition.

In a different thread on this forum about rusty frames, one poster suggested that the OP in that thread buy a welder and learn to weld. I think it would take a gifted individual to make a successful repair on a rusty frame as his first project. Welding new metal onto new metal requires skill and practice. Welding new metal onto rusty metal requires even greater care and preparation. Not what I'd recommend for a novice.

Good luck, L.M.
The 4K does include the 3K that I payed for the vehicle. The vehicle is in overall good-great shape. The man I bought it from did bodywork to the whole tub and it's spotless (new paint job too). It is in great shape besides the PITA frame. @Luckymac I really appreicate the help you're giving me. I've talked to a couple of my buddies and they said they could do everything besides the stupid front left near the steering box, which seems to be the hardest part because of all the things needing to be removed.
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Old 12-29-2017, 05:12 PM   #12
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At $4K, you're in good shape (financially). I'd get done what your buddies can help you with and then address the Left front (drivers side) frame horn.

Replacing the steering box mount frame area isn't any more difficult than the rest of the frame areas, it just requires a bit more thought and attention. If you have the Safety Cap part or Auto Rust part handy when the rest of the rust is being addressed, your buddies will be able to see how it fits. If you get all the bolted on items out of the way for your buddies, they might agree to do the Left front frame horn also.
Start now by spraying all the parts that have to be out of the way with PB Blaster, Kroil or WD40.
I'd much rather have to remove the steering box and bumper than the gas tank. As far as the gas tank goes, is your fuel pump in the gas tank or mounted elsewhere? Plan on using new hardware when re-installing the gas tank. Plus, use Anti-Seize on everything during reassembly.

With the frame supported on equal height jackstands placed under each side beneath the cowl (just behind the front spring main eye bracket) and ahead of the rear axle (just ahead of the rear spring main eye bracket), then, you and/or your buddies can measure to the floor on the opposite side to get the height for the side you're working on.
Harbor Freight has 3T jackstands on sale right now. Go online to their website for a coupon and look for the "special" ad for the 3T jackstands. The 6T jackstands make things even easier because they hold the vehicle higher off the floor, but they aren't on sale.
BTW, it goes without saying the floor needs to be relatively level and flat.

Some things to think about before starting the job:
Make sure to check all the parts for proper placement. Hold them up as close as you can to be sure that you got the proper part. Don't throw anything away until the job is done.
You'll want some kind of rust preventative to spray or brush on wherever the new parts are welded on, both inside and outside the frame rails. Rustolium has paint with the primer already in it.
A wire brush on a hand grinder is handy for removing slag and welding dust before painting and/or rustproofing. Be sure to use EYE PROTECTION!!
Soak all nuts & bolts with penetrating oil at least once a day for a week or so.
For the rear, you'll want to have the bumper off, the body bolts off, the spring shackles off and the gas tank out. For the body bolts, drill a 1/8" hole in the body mount and use the straw from the can of penetrating oil to shoot a stream of oil onto the top of the cage nut (also called a blind nut or a captive nut or on occasion called a nut plate) inside the body mount.

I don't know which body mounts need to be replaced, but you'll want to have whatever seats & carpeting removed also.
The more assistance you can provide to your welder buddies, the better job they'll be able to give you.

If I think of anything else, I'll add it in later, or perhaps another poster can add his or her thoughts and advice.

This is more than a day or two project. With part time help from your buddies it could take weeks or more. You'll need a place to work out of the weather that you can lay Yeep up for the duration of the repair. Plus, you'll need power for the welder (220V.?) and lights. Heat would be nice but not really necessary for welding.

Good Luck, L.M.
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.................................................. ........................
1987 YJ-4.2L-Standard Shift- Re-manufactured Carter Carb-2" body Lift-31X10.5X15 BFG KOs-190K Miles No back seat.
HEI distributor with computer and all related relays and wiring removed.
12K Badlands winch with dual batteries.
Warn front bumper. Matching imitation Warn bumper on the rear.
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Old 12-29-2017, 06:58 PM   #13
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I don't know the names of these places because as a norm we don't have Rust down here like You-guys do in the rust belt, But there is some place that sells frame sections, that I read about on here in the Tech Sect., that looks alot better repair than the Caps do, to me {an old X pipe fitter} search this site and you should find them under frame repair, someone on here replaced the rear and the left front frame and it looked like a first class job when done and you cut out the rusty metal and weld to the good parts, just me but that's the way I would do this kind of job and Not plate over the rusty parts. Best to Ya!
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:16 PM   #14
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I'm realy not trying to be a Smart Azz, but you did say you got this from a Body Man, Have you really checked everything on this jeep out? I've read some of your other post and you seem to be a little new to old cars and the things seller will do make $$$ on a used car, You did say the seller was a Body Man, and a good one can hide all kinds of things with Bon-Doe and some Spray Paint, make very sure you have a good Tube before you spend a lot of money just to have Rust holes come back in a few years. I Really Do Mean Good Luck!

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