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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My TJ has a rust issue inside the frame. Outside is okay per poking and prodding with metal tools, inside is flaking a LOT and has some sediment. Seems to go from aft of front fenders/firewall back to the upper curve at the rear control arm mounts.

I talked to one place that helped with rear strut pin replacement adapters a while back and they told me they did some stuff like that. Took it in for a consultation and they freaked out and told me to sell it like it was plague-ridden. I'll be honest, I lost a lot of faith in them for that. It's not that bad. Yes, it needs some work, but nothing eating through. Just some bubbling. I'm concerned about a few areas though:

1) Frames might be able to clean it all out and spray some stuff inside to halt the corrosion, but worst case it's going to need some cutting and replacing. I can't weld. That means I need outside help.

2) Transfer case skid plate getting a little rust here and there, I'm thinking it's not too bad but noticable near the 6 bolts. I'm afraid to even attempt removing the bolts becausue I'm certain the nutcerts will just spin.

3) passenger floorpan: the "grooves" that divert water? One of them was eaten away, but not overly rusted. Just worn out over the years. Assuming a new floorpan is required, but again (see above) I can't weld.Maybe even just a small chunk replacement, not even 10 inches long and 2 wide.

4) I'm concerned long-term about the rear upper strut mount steel. It wouldn't take bolts very well because it's rusted, and even with the adapters in place I would like to scour or treat it to prevent that cancer from going elsewhere. Can't get to it except for....

5) Gas tank skid plate is a bit rough. Rusted with some left and right side sections clearly flaked away, but mostly intact. Would like to replace and would give access to the strut upper mounts area to clean them (see #4)


I have a laundry list of stuff I'm going to do to this TJ. I'm partially through it but have a long way to go. It includes a lot of steps that require rust work to be done first. I want to sound dampen the floor under the carpets, for example, and I have to do that before I replace the carpets, and do that before I put in my tuffy console, and some other steps as well.

I just... for the life of me... have had a hell of a time finding any kind of shops or places that do this kind of work around town. I'm willing to drive a bit. I've got some alternate transport so I can leave it for a while, but not forever. Several places I checked with were too uncoordinated or interested to help (solo shops way down south, etc) and the bigger ones only do JK stuff or (as recently) freak out and panic at the sight of rust.

Jeep rust repairs are so common they're a given. They're a dime a dozen on the Internet. Talk to any old Jeep owner and they've had some rust or frame work done (so it seems) but for the life of me I need some tips, leads, or guidance on where you all would go.

Long threat, so: TL & DR: Need suggestions on shops that can do moderate rust repairs in Denver area.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I welded caps on a buddy’s Tacoma that he bought with rusted frame rails. I used a small threaded rod, used locknuts and some square chain (4.5”) lengths bolted to the rod. I put the rod in the drill and used that to clean the inside of the rails. Use hearing protection!!!!
I used an air compressor to blow the rails out. We drenched the frame rails with a rust stopper. Getting the caps on, square, lined up and then welding them in place, some of the beads were welded using a mirror because I couldn’t get my helmet in there! This was a crap ton of work... I was shocked that he bought the truck knowing that the frame was rusted through.

You mentioned losing respect for the shop... these are professionals that told you to dump the Jeep ASAP. They could have told you they could fix it and charged you a lot of money more money than the Jeep May be worth! My take is they were honest with you and you don’t like their answer...something to seriously think about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sinister6, I understand what you mean. I've seen a lot of really bad TJs that were treated with giant holes in the frames and panels, and even browsed a few with a much worse condition when I was shopping for mine. I even helped my sister get a nearly pristine 4-banger (she ended up needing something else, though) so I know what the good side of the spectrum looks like. At least, I know a little of it. Mine is closer to the "good" side than the "terrible" side, but it does need work. I am going to add a post in a moment with some pics I took and uploaded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
First, an establishing shot. 1999 TJ I6, manual 5 speed. Body overall is good with some corrosion I'm taking care of.


I mentioned the xfer case skid plate and the frame rails. Heres's a show showing some of the spotting rust on the skid plate and the driver side railes. Two bolts (one front, one back) on the sidestep spun in place and wouldn't come out. I tried to take that off just a couple weeks ago for rust treatment purposes.



Looking at the skid plate you can see the majority of it's in good condition and what worries me is the area near the bolts. Worse on driver side (seen below) but I think treatable if I were to scour it off and POR-15 it. I would want to do between the frame and the plate, however, and that's where my concern is about those nutcerts.



Overall shot of the front end: Looks pretty good. Not much rust. What is there is some surface stuff on the control arms and the frame arches. Minor stuff that could be scoured off and treated. Much of the other stuff starts behind the firewall.



Driver side looking up at the floor pans. The body looks good and some growing rust on the floor pan itself, but looks to be surface level or treatable (to my eyes, at least, pleast let me know what you think). Floor pan inside is still clean looking and solid under the carpet with exception of that drain plug which needs to go.



Below is a trouble spot and why I'm pushing to find some help fixing this... Driver side aft of the tub before the control arm mount and heading up the curve of the frame. You can see heavy flaking in this spot (and this is the worst externally). Moderate to serious rust on the control arm mount but no holes eaten through and responds like solid metal when rapped on with metal tools. Possibly treatable or at the very least replaced with a safet cap.



Pic immediately aft of that, looking at inspection hold further up. Some more flaking but improves greatly the further you go. I didn't get a good shot of it, but my rear upper shock mount areas are rusted as well. Tub itself looks like a lot of buildup but no flaking rust or holes or anything.



I suspect some splashing or minor offroading by a previous owner. Gas tank skid plate is seen below. It's quite rusted on one side, missing some material but still with enough to hold the tank up for now. Also note that the rust doesn't seem to be spreading very far from that. It does, however, go up and connect near the upper shock mounts which are also rusty, but the frame in that area isn't so bad.



The issue with the passenger side is somewhat concerning frame rust and the rear and mid body mount points. The frame rust is not as bad flaking as the driver side in terms of flaking, but as heavy in terms of quantity from forward control arm mounts to rear control arm mounts. Blue arrow indicates the "groove" in the floor pan that corroded away. You're seeing a carpet padding there. The one just forward of it is metal. Mid-door body mount is cracking. Forward body mount ahead of this is in good shape.



Another angle showing how the skid plate rust is just right by those bolts and the area under the sidestep mounts I removed a couple weeks ago. Metal on the tub is overall good outside of the small area right around those two body mounts. Floorpan overall seems solid enough. I can push on it and it feels solid enough. It's just worn through right were that water collected. This TJ has a minor leak on passenger door seal when it rains and I suspect that over time led to this problem. The forward inspection ports even look decent on this side (better than driver side).



And finally, a trio of images from driver side rear inspection port right at the rear control arm mount. There's some sediment in there that I think is mostly some rusted flakes with some old dirt or something that never got out because there are no drain holes drilled into the frame. It's kind of built up a bit. I tried to get a shot of 1) the buildup inside, 2) me fishing some out, and 3) the nature of the flakes I fished out to give an idea of what it's like inside. I'm going to put those all in a row below:







There you go. That's the current situation and what I want to fix. I've seen way worse on how-tos, on youtube channels, in used-car lots (looking for this guy). I just don't want it to get worse. I know it needs some work, and I want to give it that, but like I said I can't weld.

I really do think the shop I mentioned over-reacted in a big way. Based on what I see vs what they said, that's why I wasn't happy with the news. Not that the news was bad.

Let me know what you all think. Biggest problem areas are internal flaking and the passenger side body mount boxes, IMO. Those are my top priority but I want to get the floor pan repaired also so I can sound dampen.
 
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