Jeep Wrangler Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of JUNE's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, new to Jeeps and new to this site.

I've wanted a Jeep for most of my adult life with desperation that led me to make a terrible choice.

I bought a 1997 Jeep TJ from a dude on craigslist, without getting it inspected first. I took it to my mechanic who told me it will never take a sticker cause the frame was rusted through, that the guy before me had filled it with foam and spray painted over it to make it look nice.

Heartbroken and without a Jeep, I'm not sure what to do.

I have a small budget. Is it worth it to do a frame replacement on the Jeep I already have, or sell and wait for another opportunity?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
826 Posts
Depends...i would guess it's bad just based on the location but maybe some frame patches can be utilized to save some $'s. Your most likely to take a nice $ hit if you try and sell. When the son bought his tj we just looked for the one with the cleanest frame and went from there. Probably looked at 2 dozen or so before we found one that wasn't $15k- we figured we could deal with any other issues.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
If you can post pics of the damage we can get a better idea of if it can be patched or not. Is it a 6 cylinder or 4? Does it run and drive well? What state are you in?

ANYTHING IS FIXABLE!

Can you do the work by yourself? Labor is the killer. If you can this is not too bad.

See if you can find a solid one with engine/trans problems, or even missing engine and trans, then do a swap.

They made a heck of a lot of TJ's, IF your frame is not repairable it is certainly replaceable.

We just need more info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
787 Posts
have you thought about parting it out? Parts may be worth more than the whole jeep. I have seen good full doors go for $800 plus and crappy doors bring $500 or more. I just sold a window frame for $150. There are several Jeep recycle yards, you could check a frame price. Davy's Jeeps and Ray's Wranglers are 2 that I know. both are in the northern part of the country. I thinks Ray is in Penn. Don't know where Davy is. Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Davy's jeeps has frames for 1500.00 plus shipping and another option is safe T cap replacement sections.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,235 Posts
If you have a small budget, owning a older jeep isn't a good choice, ever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
591 Posts
First off, I'm sorry for your misfortune. Terrible feeling, I'm sure. But, as someone posted, anything is 'fixable.' In your case, that could mean a frame swap or safe-t-caps.

If you can please post some photos, that'll help us advise you the best course of action. You'll also need to figure out, on your end, if theJeep is worth keeping or taking the loss. Some examples of keeping may be:
Shot frame, but everything else is good to go. That means a solid tub, motor, trans and transfer case. But being on a small budget, maybe parting it out can put you back in the green.

You've got options, but you'll need to really figure out what exactly you're working with.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,321 Posts
if this purchase is recent u may have legal recourse against the seller for attempting to hide damages,
u can sell a vehicle with holes rotted into the frame , but intentionally hiding them is a different story
"as is" may not include intentionally hidden structural damage
maybe worth a phone call to an attorney
 

·
Jeeper
Joined
·
5,096 Posts
Im sorry you got taken like that. I dont know your mechanical ability level but as time consuming as it is a frame swap is doable,ask me how I know. If the rest of the Jeep is in good shape it may be worth it to do a swap.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,357 Posts
Some where on here is a build thread of a fellow who did a frame swap on an LJ in his two car garage by himself. It was an interesting read and had a lot of photos, which are probably gone now thanks to Photobucket. It can be done, but as 1jeeplvr said it is time consuming which is why paying someone else to do it is expensive. If you have some one else do it, be sure tey have the equipment and space to do it and that you have the right to come by periodically and see where they are. Not all shops are trustworthy. There is also a thread on here about a Jeep owner who paid for the frame and then the shop decided they couldn't do it. Get a signed contract listing prices and parts.
 

·
Jeeper
Joined
·
5,096 Posts
Heres a few pics I have of my frame & swap I did





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
That's odd how the TJ's frame rusts out in the same location. I too went to look at a TJ on CL that was listed for $4k. It was in decent shape outside of both fenders being rusted out on top. Actually drove well too. I got it back & started my usual over & under & saw the frame just about gone forward of the left rear wheel. I mean maybe a good 1" or so of metal left. I still made him an offer of which was less than half his asking price telling him its going to hurt somebody if its not fixed. He shot me down, & never did change the add to reflect the damage. Thought about flagging the guy as a warning. I did recently find on EBay they sell those frame kits to replace that bad section, but of course the labor will be the killer. Id lean more towards a frame replacement (swap) if it were me. A lot of work, but it can be done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Interesting how the JK's have holes in the bottom. They clearly learned their lesson but won't help those of us with TJs.

I've replaced my about 6 years ago. I put 3/4" holes in the bottom near the control arms and haven't had an issue yet. I flush the frame every time I was the Jeep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,026 Posts
Yes it can be saved. You just have to decide on how much $$$ you want to spend to save it. I would be at that guys front door if he had pulled the foam trick on me. That's a new one...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
591 Posts
Somehow, my original message, in this same spot was a 'pocket post' Chris, any chance you please delete this for me?

Thank you


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
I'm original owner of my TJ. My frame was to rusted for any kit to work. So I hunted a frame down from CO and shipped it to NJ. (They don't use road salt in CO.). Frame will cost you under $2k ... it's just a lot of work, plus when you start replacing the frame ... wait till you see what else is wrong.

Some say it is better to just sell the Jeep for parts. I couldn't do it with my Jeep though ... (see my avatar for the replacement frame).

Doc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,321 Posts
i'd think a TJ could handle a small hole right next to the welds on the CA's brackets, bottom center of frame, maybe a 3/8 no more than 1/2" hole just to allow water and some debris to escape, boxed frame and cross weld in this area assure your not weakening the frame structure.
we all have holes in bottom of our frames already for belly plate mounts. if this was a structural issue we'd all be busting apart at the middle. the bolts and its non accessibility to easily clean is what weaken that area not the holes themselves
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top