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Unread 06-05-2013, 07:43 PM   #1
TonyPgh
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Irwin, Pa./USA
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Rear Frame rail..."scary"

Here's some photos of my right rear frame. I would like to know who inspected this vehicle the guy just sold me last week. The stickers are only two months old. It didn't rot out that fast.....Is this dangerous?
Looks like they screwed some metal over the rear frame rail. This scared me when I saw it.





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Unread 06-05-2013, 07:59 PM   #2
dmill89
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That looks like thin metal held on with sheet metal screws, not good. The proper way to repair this would be either with thick plates welded on or better yet cut out and replace the bad section (weld in a "new" rail section). I'd probably pull the screws and see what's underneath.

As for inspection this is probably a legal repair, but certainly not a good one. The PA inspection regulations (see below) only specify that the frame be in "solid" condition (which is open to interpretation by the shop) and that repairs are not made with tape, tar paper or cloth, or in a "temporary manner" (again open to interpretation by the shop). So sheet metal is likely legal so long as the frame is not rusted so bad that it has no structural integrity.
Quote:
From PA inspection procedures subchapter "E"

(5) Inspect the vehicle frame and REJECT
IF
one or more of the following apply:
(i) The vehicle frame is not in solid
condition.
(ii) The repairs are made with tape, tar
paper or cloth, or are made in another
temporary
manner.
(iii) The frame components are missing,
cracked, rotted, or broken or are in
deteriorated or dangerous condition.
(iv) Body mounts do not hold as required.
(v) A body mount is broken, cracked,
deteriorated or missing.
(vi) The difference in the body floor and
the top of the frame rail exceeds
4 inches.
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Unread 06-05-2013, 08:01 PM   #3
TonyPgh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post
That looks like thin metal held on with sheet metal screws, not good. The proper way to repair this would be either with thick plates welded on or better yet cut out and replace the bad section (weld in a "new" rail section). I'd probable pull the screws and see what's underneath.
i have to drive my daughter to school tomorrow. I am afraid to put her in it.
I will tear it apart tomorrow. I am sick! I can't believe someone put fresh inspection stickers on it.
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Unread 06-05-2013, 10:44 PM   #4
cdn_xj
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Not to be an ***, but did you not inspect it yourself before buying it?
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INSTALLED:
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Unread 06-06-2013, 08:16 AM   #5
TonyPgh
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Yes I honestly did. He had it hidden with some filler and paint. It looked good!
I chipped it away, and found the surprise.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 03:10 PM   #6
dmill89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyPgh View Post
Yes I honestly did. He had it hidden with some filler and paint. It looked good!
I chipped it away, and found the surprise.
That definitely explains why it passed inspection. Like I said above there is enough leeway in the regulations that a shop may have passed this, though a "good" shop likely wouldn't. But if it was hidden well enough the shop didn't notice it was repaired, it could have been "repaired" with cardboard and duct-tape and still passed inspection.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 06:48 PM   #7
cbenez1
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Believe it or not this is fairly common on later XJ's. I just sold my 99 which had the same problem. The difference was I told the guy about it before he paid me? Not sure why the rail rots on these. Yours is a little lower than mine was. My problem was more over the axle. Don't panic it's not going to collapse on you. Chances are it won't be an issue but being near the spring mount you may want to take it to a trusted mechanic and have it patched/welded the correct way.
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Unread 06-07-2013, 12:19 AM   #8
Mike934
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Happy to be in the scrotching deset of California, 104 today, no salt on the roads ever! Currently a cool 92 degrees with 23% humidity
honestly pull it apart check it out. If it ain't to bad I would look into HD offroad frame stiffeners. And then make some more "plates" to stiffen up/fix your issue. 1/8 is plenty fine. I opted for his middle stiffeners and made my own front & rear. Luckily we have a plasma. Ill never ever do my own again to much work, hassle, fitment ect. I would buy my whole set next go around and then add to them or around them.
I plated front & rear on the outside of the ral as well as bottom to help stiffen things and help rot or bending ect.
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Unread 06-07-2013, 04:52 AM   #9
cdn_xj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyPgh View Post
Yes I honestly did. He had it hidden with some filler and paint. It looked good!
I chipped it away, and found the surprise.
Oh that sucks dude.,
__________________
'99 XJ Sport 4-dr
4.0 HO - AW4 - NP231 - D30, 4.10, Open - ChrysCo 8.25 29-Spline, 4.10, OEM Trac-Loc

INSTALLED:
5.5" home brew lift (BB + JKS ACOS/bastard packs + 1.5" Boomerang Shackles) | RE DBs + Adjustable UCAs & LCAs | JKS BPEs & Quicker Discos | Kevin's Offroad Trackbar | 33x10.50-15 BFG ATs | 15x7 Type 058 Eagle Alloys | RuffStuff Specialties HD Diff Covers | AA SYE | Modified Tom Woods driveshaft | LeBaron hood vents | Redline Hood Lift | B&M Tranny cooler | Reese Class III Receiver | 62mm bored TB | Borla Cat-Back Exhaust | C4x4 Fab Rear bumper & tire carrier | ORO Licence Plate relocation Kit | Kelley's WIP HD wiring upgrade | ZJ rear disc brakes | Stainless Brake lines | ARB front Bullbar | Orvis Edition Rear Spoiler

TO BE INSTALLED:
JKS Mini Skids | Rock Lizard Corner Guards | AEV/Nth Degree Oil Pan Skid | TnT Customs Unibody Stiffeners, HD Belly Pan & U-Bolt Eliminators

PLANNED:
ARB Roof Rack | Warn 9000lbs Winch | Warn Manual Hub Upgrade | Rock lights | 231 Wide Chain Kit, 2Lo, 4:1 | Brown Dog Motor Mounts | Snorkel | Dual Batteries | OBA
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Unread 06-07-2013, 07:16 AM   #10
DNFJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post
That looks like thin metal held on with sheet metal screws, not good. The proper way to repair this would be either with thick plates welded on or better yet cut out and replace the bad section (weld in a "new" rail section). I'd probably pull the screws and see what's underneath.

As for inspection this is probably a legal repair, but certainly not a good one. The PA inspection regulations (see below) only specify that the frame be in "solid" condition (which is open to interpretation by the shop) and that repairs are not made with tape, tar paper or cloth, or in a "temporary manner" (again open to interpretation by the shop). So sheet metal is likely legal so long as the frame is not rusted so bad that it has no structural integrity.
Given that it's rotting upwards towards the front leaf perch, I don't see how any shop could have missed that.
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Unread 06-08-2013, 08:52 AM   #11
TonyPgh
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Thanks guys. I did see the off road stiffeners. They appear to be only the uni frame rails? Unless I am not realizing how far back and front they go. I seen them somewhere, can't remember now.
My drivers side is fine. Like new! Kind of odd.
The passenger side is crappy. The rear leaf area is fine.
The front where the leaf connects, I don't see that stud coming down like the drives side. Theres a bunch of crap shoved in it like putty or something. So I am sure I am going to have to repair where the leaf connects towards the front too. Maybe weld in a new brace.
I do like this Jeep. Although I have some work to do. It has a lot of power. The only thing I noticed is when you put it in 4WD, you have to slam it "the handle", hard back into 2wd, or it won't work.
I may pull the carpet and do the floor pans, and do it all the right way. I really like this Jeep! I see they sale a lot of stuff for them. I hope this don't end up to be an addiction...LOL
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Unread 06-08-2013, 09:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyPgh View Post
Thanks guys. I did see the off road stiffeners. They appear to be only the uni frame rails? Unless I am not realizing how far back and front they go. I seen them somewhere, can't remember now.
My drivers side is fine. Like new! Kind of odd.
The passenger side is crappy. The rear leaf area is fine.
The front where the leaf connects, I don't see that stud coming down like the drives side. Theres a bunch of crap shoved in it like putty or something. So I am sure I am going to have to repair where the leaf connects towards the front too. Maybe weld in a new brace.
I do like this Jeep. Although I have some work to do. It has a lot of power. The only thing I noticed is when you put it in 4WD, you have to slam it "the handle", hard back into 2wd, or it won't work.
I may pull the carpet and do the floor pans, and do it all the right way. I really like this Jeep! I see they sale a lot of stuff for them. I hope this don't end up to be an addiction...LOL
If you want any help, I'm willing to for a case of beer, given that I live so close. Plus if you're going to be welding I could use the experience (since I haven't bought my welder yet )

http://hdoffroadengineering.myshopif...ame-stiffeners
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Unread 06-08-2013, 09:58 AM   #13
Mike934
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNFJ View Post
If you want any help, I'm willing to for a case of beer, given that I live so close. Plus if you're going to be welding I could use the experience (since I haven't bought my welder yet )

http://hdoffroadengineering.myshopif...ame-stiffeners

Add to those plates in the rear. I added a 18" or so long section on the bottom of the rail where it bends up ward. I braced that, as well as a 12-14" section on the inside. I used 1/8th.

You can get flat stock that's 2.5" wide to ate it easy. Drill or plasma some holes for plug welding and form em to the rail with c clamps. & a few hammers. I did it so well back there because any flex, even changing a tire, would cause the hatch to not shut right, make it not close at all really because the body twisting. Same for the front doors, they have rub marks where they shut, paint rubbed off from shutting them while flexing. I enjoy it much better now, ride seem to have gotten stiffener/more controlled I guess. No more creaks & groans from the rear. and now I can flex it like mad and shut every door & the hatch without issue!

Personally I would buy brains(hd offroad) whole kit..for 300 bucks its well worth the investment. I added to his rears, and the fronts as well. Welded 1/8 on the lower front frame horn & on inside the engine bay to help brace it up since my motor was out. D what you can before you wheel it and beat it, I found zero cracks in my frame & hope it stays that way.

On ya and con someone into helping you grind all that **** away from the frame rails. It sucked majorly. Had a nice chuck of melted rubber/undercoating land on my arm. I then got smart and wore pants & a sweat shirt in 100* heat to finish the job
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Unread 06-08-2013, 10:53 AM   #14
TonyPgh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNFJ View Post
If you want any help, I'm willing to for a case of beer, given that I live so close. Plus if you're going to be welding I could use the experience (since I haven't bought my welder yet )

http://hdoffroadengineering.myshopif...ame-stiffeners
Thanks for the offer. I appreciate that. I am going to have to get materials. I always keep Bottled Beer on hand, ice cold, then of course lots of swearing while I am working. I guess thats normal...LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike934 View Post
Add to those plates in the rear. I added a 18" or so long section on the bottom of the rail where it bends up ward. I braced that, as well as a 12-14" section on the inside. I used 1/8th.

You can get flat stock that's 2.5" wide to ate it easy. Drill or plasma some holes for plug welding and form em to the rail with c clamps. & a few hammers. I did it so well back there because any flex, even changing a tire, would cause the hatch to not shut right, make it not close at all really because the body twisting. Same for the front doors, they have rub marks where they shut, paint rubbed off from shutting them while flexing. I enjoy it much better now, ride seem to have gotten stiffener/more controlled I guess. No more creaks & groans from the rear. and now I can flex it like mad and shut every door & the hatch without issue!

Personally I would buy brains(hd offroad) whole kit..for 300 bucks its well worth the investment. I added to his rears, and the fronts as well. Welded 1/8 on the lower front frame horn & on inside the engine bay to help brace it up since my motor was out. D what you can before you wheel it and beat it, I found zero cracks in my frame & hope it stays that way.

On ya and con someone into helping you grind all that **** away from the frame rails. It sucked majorly. Had a nice chuck of melted rubber/undercoating land on my arm. I then got smart and wore pants & a sweat shirt in 100* heat to finish the job
Thanks for the tips. I want to do it right, so it will last a while. I know I got off to a bad start, but I really like this truck. Something about it.
I seen this kit, is this the one you meant?

http://hdoffroadengineering.myshopif...-stiffener-set
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Unread 06-09-2013, 03:51 PM   #15
Mike934
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Yup. I didn't do his full kit, but after making my own front & rear plates I can tell ya, never again! And we have a plasma. They aren't as pretty, nor are they uniform like his, overall my set will work & do its just, his are just nicer, fit better ect ect.

Anyway add to those! Once those are on get some 2-3" wide 1/8" flat stock. Make fish plates, those will connect where your stiffeners but up together. And make plates to go on the bottom side of the rail. As you can see the middles do the outside & inside which is 2 plains, the fornt & rear only do the outside. So I made my own for the bottoms in the front and rear. As well as in the inside. F the engine bay since my motors out. It was plated where the engine bolts to the frame and such.

Here's a fish plate. Ou can see there's a plug weld on the front stiffener, 1 on the middles stiffener and between them on the actually frame rail. That small area will become a weak point that will start to bend or crack. The fish plate helps prevent it. Again I did mine on the side and bottom of the rail to help as much as possible. It's a labor of love but your jeep will feel stiff and brand new. I love mine after plating it all, no more creaks and groans.
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