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Old 11-06-2011, 09:22 AM   #1
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Default Frame Repair

The other day, I was underneath my rig and noticed a hole rusted through the frame. I belive it has progressively getting worse. I was feeling around, and the area around the hole, and even farther down the frame is feeling soft. Is there any kind of patch to fix the hole? How much of an issue is this to structural integrity? I am planning on buying tires this week, and would rather not spend $500 if my rig is going to fall apart on me in a month or two. I will try to get some pictures later today.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:25 AM   #2
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when you say frame, correct me if i am wrong, are you talking about the Main Frame rail? or your floor pan? if you are talking about your main frame rail, i had the same issue, i tried to fix it everyday possible but it was far too gone and so weak. when i get to my other computer i can post pics.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:37 AM   #3
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I had a similar issue with my '97 TJ a lil over 2 years ago; the TJ is different from an XJ (among other ways lol) because it has a seperate body on frame; I wound up hoisting the body from my TJ, rolled the frame out from under, bought another frame from Craigslist, transferred the whole entire drivetrain to the new frame and rolled it back under and bolted the body to its new frame;
while I had it off I POR 15d the whole new frame (it was a 99 frame that had been stored in a garage for a while) and found a full gallon can of Dupli Color Truck bed coating on the shelf in my garage and coated every square inch of the underside of my TJ tub while I had it setting on sawhorses..... hopefully I get another 10 years from it now.

Theres a company out East (CT or RI I believe) called AutoRust Tech that makes what they call "SAF-T-CAPS" for rusted out unibody sections on older rear wheel drive Mopars; they fit and follow the frame exactly like a "Sleeve" that goes past teh common bad spots, you weld them on. You might want to check with them and see if they make a similar thing for an XJ; the XJ is a pretty flat frame not alot of bends etc, unless youre talking over the axle. so it would not be hard to make something like I am talking about for one.
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:03 AM   #4
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It depends on the location and size of the rust hole mostly. Any rust hole should be repaired as soon as possible. It may be noteworthy to mention that I found a rusthole on the frame where the forward part of the leaf spring attaches. I started cutting...ended up with a one foot long hole in my frame on 2 of the three walls of it (frame is probably 60% compromised in that area). I keep forgetting to repair it but i've been out a few times and wheeled the **** out of it. To my utter amazement there is no damage visible. Of course I will be repairing this...when I have the time and I remember.
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:30 AM   #5
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Well, the photos I tried to upload failed. But I'd say the hole is about 8in long and maybe an inch tall, right where the frame rail bends to go over thr rear axle.
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:11 PM   #6
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If you can't weld (you need to really be able to weld for this), and have no fab skills, you really should bring it to an autobody shop that can handle this type of repair.The unit-body is not near as thick as a regular frame for one making it harder to weld right, And a whole bunch of other obvious things.good luck.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:19 PM   #7
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What kind of material should I use as a patch, and can I just weld it on over the hole, or do I have to cut out around it?
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:13 PM   #8
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The proper way would be to recess it in,but If you want to go over it just make sure you go past any thin areas.As far as thickness use at least the same or thicker,I don't know off hand the exact thickness of the unit-body.Use a mild steel plate.g/l
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:21 PM   #9
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I had to rebuild the rear frame rail forn infront of the hole for the fuel hoses to the back do to rust making it crack.

I went down both sides tieing into the rear cross metal, and to the good part of that rail, with 3/16'' plate, I also went across the bottom and welded 3/16 plate tieing it all together, ontop of that I tied it into the structure I put in across where the rear floor area was, which was also 3/16''

You can pick my rig off the ground by that fuel filler hole now and swing it around and its not going anywhere.

without a welder, there is no fix for it. There might be picks in my bumper build or my floor build, if I havent exceeded my photobucket bandwidth AGAIN this month.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:55 PM   #10
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cut out that cancer and weld in some healthy flesh!!! and make it beefy, you dont want to be the one who thought it wouldnt happen cause this guys was ok. no disrespect but, you never know.
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