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Old 01-29-2012, 12:28 AM   #1
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Default New owner with bad news - Frame rot!

I should have paid closer attention. Ice storms and snow cover made me reluctant to crawl around under this vehicle on initial inspection but now that I've made it home I have a very bad discovery. There is a terrible section of frame rot at the front drivers side frame. It has me freaking out pretty bad.

This was a private sale but purchased from a mechanic who was selling the vehicle for a relative. The only other issue I've found so far is a bad oil pressure sensor (it always reads 128psi). I have not gone over the frame with a magnifying glass but this area of the frame is far, far and away the worst sign of damage. There is no external body rust on the car and just a quarter size spot inside the passenger door frame.

For reference this is a 1998 park ave ultra with 118k.

Normally, as a private purchase, I would just eat the cost. But since this came from a mechanic who knew the vehicle I feel like they deserve a phone call and an opportunity to help make this right. How can you miss this? I'm surprised it didn't break on the way home.

I have a gearhead friend who suggested welding reinforcements around the frame or finding a piece of C-Channel and welding it around the frame. The location of the rot makes it a fairly good place to attempt this kind of repair.

How would a professional repair this? Any idea what it would cost?

http://www.uploadhouse.com/viewfile.php?id=15499863
http://www.uploadhouse.com/viewfile.php?id=15499862
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:40 AM   #2
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The basics are the bad rusted parts have to be cut out and new steel welded in place.
It is difficult to see the reverse side but if it has gone all the way through (both sides) it is major.
You can go to a frame shop and have them further inspect the damage and give a quote.
I had a worse section on my olds ( rear driver'* side) and I had it repaired for around $500 done properly and rust protected.
If you live in a salt region this proves that upon initial purchase of a new vehicle, that undercoating is a valuable, worthy investment. If your car is not undercoated and you dont do frequent under body washes to remove the salt, stuff will get eaten away sooner that you will like.
Talking of which my newly purchased 97 Pk Ave with 82 k miles passed inspections, but was noted under body has some surface rust appearing so a good solid cleaning is recommended like yesterday.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:12 AM   #3
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Another $500 is going to sink me

Guess I better start getting estimates......
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:44 PM   #4
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*update*

I found a local mechanic who does work on the side and did the repair for a fair price IMO. PM me if you must know exactly how much. I was told the damage was worse than expected and required more metal once he got inside everything to determine the extent of the repair. I'll take photos later while replacing the oil pressure switch so everyone can see a before and after image.
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:09 PM   #5
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thanks for the update..Ive never seen one rust right there..
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:15 AM   #6
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Here'* what I've got. I changed the oil pressure switch today and pulled a muscle in my neck doing so. I'm having trouble keeping my head up straight to sit at the computer but am going to have an even harder time explaining myself when I call in sick for work! Calling in on super bowl sunday is asking for punishment and I am NOT a football fan!





This repair cost less than half what the pro auto body shops were estimating. Pretty satisfactory to my eye. It ought to out last the rest of the vehicle, eh?
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:02 AM   #7
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Yup! Looks a lot more solid and strong again. A case a beer as a bonus for the craftsman!
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:08 PM   #8
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It would not have been very difficult to swap the complete subframe, but it looks like it was repaired very nicely.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:41 PM   #9
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very nice!
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