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I've recently picked up a nice low mileage 2001 TJ that has not been driven in the Michigan winters (so I was told) and I'm going over it getting it ready to flat tow behind the Motorhome.

The inside of the frame rails had alot of dirt and sand inside the center section and there is considerable rust also which I've cleaned out with compressed air and shop vac as best as I can. I've ordered the Eastwood rust encapsulater product and will spray the inside of the frame to hopefully stop the rust from getting any worse.

I've been reading that the 6 bolts that hold the transmission/transfer case skid plate up can be a problem to get out due to the threaded inserts in the frame breaking loose and spinning due to the rusting conditions and I can see with my flex scope camera that there is considerable rust on the inserts and threads of the bolts. So I was thinking about removing the bolts one at a time to clean them up and put some anti-seize on the threads in case I need to remove the skid plate in the future.

I've had alot of success applying heat to rusty nuts and bolts prior to removing to prevent breaking and was thinking of drilling a small hole in the frame rail at each of the insert locations so I can stick the tip of my oxy/acetylene torch in there to pre-spray some Kroil on the threads and then heat the inserts before removing the bolts but was wondering if these small holes would compromise the frames strength in this area?

Anyone tried this before?
 

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Opps.... Accidently posted this in the JK forum. Mods can you please move it to the TJ forum or tell me how to delete it and re-post in the TJ forum.
 
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