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Thread: Frame rust repair - how much is too much?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    8

    Default Frame rust repair - how much is too much?

    I have surface rust on my frame. I have flakes inside the frame that I'm going to try and get out and then coat with Anti-Rust. I have one hole about 2" square that I just found.

    Some day I'd like to take the frame off the car and have it dipped and coated.

    How much metal can I lose before the frame can't be used? Should I stop now? Sell the car? Or maybe remove the undercoating and try to have it coated now before the eventual (distant future) frame off?

    How do I know if this is good money going down the drain?

    (It's a 68 A body convertible.)

    Thanks for any advice!
    Adam
    1968 Pontiac LeMans Convertible
    (Go Topless! )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    Posts
    218

    Default

    Hard question to answer, this is one of those questions best answered by taking to a pro or after many decades of experience restoring cars. Generally surface rust is not a problem and should be just cleaned up and forgotten. A 2" inch hole from rust however must be fixed by welding in new metal, concern is by the time you have that 2" hole what else is rusty.

    Might be best to open up that 2" hole a few inches and take a look-see inside before welding up the hole. Or one of those cool cams that EW sells to poke around inside and see how bad the rust is.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    8

    Default

    I just spent an hour under there pulling out any flakes and chunks I could. That passenger side torque box now has a decent 2" hole. I pulled out some large chunks, one 2" x 4"! the metal just inside of that hole is also rusted.

    I'll take it to a body shop and see who can confidentally do the work. I know I'll eventually be doing the body as the floors and bottoms of the fenders are rusted (repaired a while ago on a fair restoration). The car looks GREAT at 10' now and is 100% complete and #'s matching. I'd like to enjoy it for a while without taking it all apart. I just want to prevent further damage and also keep the car safe.
    Adam
    1968 Pontiac LeMans Convertible
    (Go Topless! )

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    655
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    Default

    Adam,
    I agree with mikeyr in that since you found a 2" hole, what other rust damage is present. The frame is the major structural component of the car and for saftey's sake, inspect that frame thoroughly or have a good shop do it
    for you. Any rust holes or stress cracks can be welded although if the damage is too extensive, you can contact one of the excellent Pontiac parts vendors for frame section replacements. Another alternative is to go through a copy of Hemmings and purchase a used frame from one of the many reputable Western US vintage car salvage yards. They are quite reliable and will ship the frame at a modest cost.
    Enjoy your 68 Ragtop and see it through. The results will be rewarding and you will have great stories to tell when you are done.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    8

    Default

    thanks for the comments.

    I'll have it checked out. I had two people check it out when I bought it and both said it wasn't that bad. I just don't want it to get worse. When I eventually redo the body, I'll be doing a floor and various other body work. I don't plan on starting that for several years though. I just need to know the frame is safe and sound - literally. l And I wanted to get a feel for how much frame repair is possible.

    You and others have all said that most anything is fixable and that sounds like the case here.

    THANKS for the replies!
    Adam
    1968 Pontiac LeMans Convertible
    (Go Topless! )

  6. #6

    Default

    Here is a dandy, I should haved brushed it up. Blew the bottom rivets off and out, then slid a new bent plate behind the hanger, plug welded where the original rivets were. I agree if there is rust on your car to that extent it isnt the only spot.
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