Frame rehabilitation for ~$500 on Black Betty


Fhenngreat

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I recently bought this 2000 XLT 4x4 for $100 with a bad frame last month. With inspection due the end of this month I needed to hustle to finish. The weather was sunny most of the days but brisk. Working from home helped this week as I could jump on it during lunch and immediately after.
$100 for the 1/8"x39"x48"
$200 for the welder (on sale for $179) and wire
$200 for misc items such as, cutoff wheels, flap disks, paint etc.

Progress so far... more pics to be added
 


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09fx4guy

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Sweet Jesus that is some rot. I give you credit for doing all of that work.

Do you have to rush for the inspection? I know NJ has postponed all motor vehicle inspections for a couple months for the coronavirus situation. Did NY do the same?
 

19Walt93

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That's what 20 years of neglect look like, you're a determined guy. I think I might have tried to find a used frame rather than tackle that one.
 

4.0blue98

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That makes my crusty 67 Pontiac look brand new...
 

scotts90ranger

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holy cow, you guys live in areas that make this happen on purpose? I think my rustiest vehicle in many years is my '97 Ranger (previous was the '91 Explorer, that was from Kentucky I think, still wasn't too bad) and it's just surface rust in a few areas...

That's quite the undertaking... a plasma cutter and wire welder make all sorts of things possible. I have that welder's two bigger brothers the 175 and 200 and they do pretty good on flux core. I just got the Chicago Electric inverter plasma cutter a couple weeks ago and it's a beast, the off brand one I got a year and a half ago wasn't so good...
 

19Walt93

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If you've never lived in road salt country you'll never appreciate what we're up against. When I started at the dealer in 1975 there were 4 mechanics in the shop sharing one lift. NH at the time did state inspections twice a year, we had a rule that if you got a 5 year old vehicle for inspection it had to go on the lift to inspect the frame for structural rot before you put a sticker on it. We were taking 5 year old cars off the road for frame rot. If the customer complained that there was a loud clunk when they stepped on the gas, it meant the frame was broken at the front corner behind the wheel and slamming against the floor. If they complained that the car pulled hard to one side when they stepped on it, the rear suspension link had ripped out of the rotted frame. Other than 6 year old Toyota trucks, almost nothing has structural frame rust until it's much older.
 

Shran

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That's impressive, good work on the repairs. We have road salt out here but they are a little more judicious about it and some counties don't apply much at all.

My old '96 Ranger came from Minnesota. Body was very nice but the rear spring hangers, shackles and gas tank straps were rotted off. Seen some newer trucks out here that are pretty bad too, oddly, the 1st and 2nd gen trucks don't seem to suffer from frame rust quite as bad.
 

09fx4guy

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Yeah, coming from NJ, they use so much salt and brine on the roads, whenever they even THINK it might snow, it is utterly ridiculous. They have to use it all, otherwise the budget will be cut for the next year.

I would honestly rather buy a truck from the high desert just for the frame / body. If you want to coat that frame with something, look into Rust Bullet. I coated the underside of my pickup bed and rear frame section. Just make sure you scuff the metal real good with a sanding block. If you wire wheel it, it will almost polish the metal and the coating will not adhere well.
 

Shran

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Pacific Northwest/California is the best source of rust free vehicles IMO. Very little to no road salt and it doesn't get hot enough there to sun bake the interior. That's the problem with vehicles from the southwest, it's so hot that any plastic/rubber materials just rot away to nothing in the sun. Seen some nasty stuff in Texas too, I was shocked when I was down there last, the humidity really affects anything that sits outside.
 

scotts90ranger

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shh, stuff is getting rare enough as it is out here :)
 

19Walt93

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We used to buy a lot of used parts from one particular supplier. He'd take his trailer to Arizona a couple times a year and come back with a load of gas tanks and pickup boxes that would sell out quickly. Buying a used gas tank in New England would compare to buying a used tooth brush, the Arizona tanks looked like dusty new parts, and being OEM, they fit way better than the aftermarket stuff did. One of my former techs was in South Carolina visiting relatives and the fuel pump on his Bronco crapped out. The Ford dealer was going to replace the pump for him, then backed his Bronco out of the shop a few minutes later. They wouldn't work on it because of "excessive rust". He bought the pump and changed it in their lot laying on his back. Rust sucks but I can't imagine leaving someone stranded because I didn't want to deal with it.
 


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