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Unread 07-15-2014, 09:12 PM   #1
SadlyStock
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TJ frame rust HELP!!

So... I bought a 1998 tj sport.. im new to jeeps.. and didn't realize how rusty the frame was and that jeeps had this big of frame issues. now its my problem. By the rear control arm brackets there are large holes (started as slight hole till I knocked the loose rust off) and the rear upper arm brackets seem like they are on there way break off in the near future. I did some research and dropped the skid pan to check the rust on the frame rails there and those seem solid.... sooo where do I go from here...

Are there after market tj frames? I found a company that makes just the back half for crawlers but no whole frames.

Will a yj frame work?

Do I Fab a frame from the back of the skid pan to the rear?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. ill try and get pictures up in the next couple days but I cant promise.

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Unread 07-15-2014, 09:37 PM   #2
rdock31
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If you have the ability to weld well, do it yourself. If not look for a replacement. To do a YJ frame will take quite a bit of work.
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Unread 07-15-2014, 09:57 PM   #3
The_'ster
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Your options are:

1) Weld in Safe-T-Cap patch rails from Auto Rust Technicians. Expect the patch rails to cost $500-$1000 and a welding shop labor.

2) Find a clean rust free used frame from down south and swap frames. Prices vary from $500-$1500 depending on condition.

3) Aftermarket TJ frame from Throttle Down Kustoms in Montana. About $3800 + $1000 shipping.

4) Buy a new 2004 TJ frame, part number 68002765AA, from your local jeep dealer and modify the steering mount and skid mounts for your '98. Costs vary between $2300-$3000 depending on dealer pricing.

Regardless of what option you choose, none of them are cheap or easy. Sorry, rust sucks.
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Unread 07-16-2014, 01:58 AM   #4
bigchevy87
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The 'ster hit it on the nail my buddy does frame swaps on jeep and get them from TN and ships them up. having someone weld it could cost $1000 just in labor if its bad and a lot of spots, so go with option 2
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Unread 07-17-2014, 08:43 PM   #5
SadlyStock
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I found a "slightly used no rust frame" on craigslist for 500$ should be going to see it/ buy it Saturday. I guess we will see. hopefully it is as nice as the man says it is. he says it is from a 2001. The 2001 frame is the same as the 98 correct? also, if anyone has any input, how do I make sure I am looking t the right thing when I go to purchase it. meaning how do I know its a 2001 instead of a 2003 or 4 when ive been told jeep changed the frame. How do I make sure I am getting the correct thing. should I be worried about weather it is a 2.5 or a 4.0 frame? im not worried about welding mounts but will every thing else work out?

Thanks for all the good info so far!
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Unread 07-17-2014, 08:50 PM   #6
26679cj5
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I bought mine for $450 from a junkyard, bit if you can get away with the safety caps then do it, even if it's pricey. The amount of time and labor that goes into a frame swap can really add up.
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Unread 07-18-2014, 05:48 AM   #7
rikkards
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I think the easiest way is look at where the steering box mounts. They changed it for the later years to a daimler model so the holes are not the same. Also I believe the holes for the transfer case skid is different spaced as well. I had to replace my upper rear control arms earlier this year. I would have gone with #1 but fundage was all tied up in axle swaps and my lowers are ok. If I have to fix them again I will probably go with the Safe-T-Cap. I don't have the room or time to invest in doing a frame swap. But if I did, I think I would be looking at doing a stretch
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Unread 07-18-2014, 06:34 AM   #8
The_'ster
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The 2.5 and 4.0 frames have the motor mounts in different locations. The '03 and up steering mounts have one bolt hole about 1/2" off, and the center skid plate mountings changed. There is no real way of verifying what year the frame is visually without getting out a tape measure and checking. The design of the center skid plate changed, so if the new frame skid plate looks exactly like yours it's a safe bet the frames will match. Take a small mirror and a flashlight to inspect inside the frame since that is where the rust starts.

I went with option #4, since I only need to change the steering mount to make it work, and have an aftermarket skid compatible with both. During the frame swap I plan to weld new torque boxes in the bottom of the tub, repaint the motor, reseal the transmission, new super short SYE in T case, new driveshafts, new brake lines, and new fuel pump.
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Unread 07-18-2014, 12:45 PM   #9
SadlyStock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_'ster View Post
The 2.5 and 4.0 frames have the motor mounts in different locations. The '03 and up steering mounts have one bolt hole about 1/2" off, and the center skid plate mountings changed. There is no real way of verifying what year the frame is visually without getting out a tape measure and checking. The design of the center skid plate changed, so if the new frame skid plate looks exactly like yours it's a safe bet the frames will match. Take a small mirror and a flashlight to inspect inside the frame since that is where the rust starts.

I went with option #4, since I only need to change the steering mount to make it work, and have an aftermarket skid compatible with both. During the frame swap I plan to weld new torque boxes in the bottom of the tub, repaint the motor, reseal the transmission, new super short SYE in T case, new driveshafts, new brake lines, and new fuel pump.
I'll be taking one of those flexible wand cameras with me to look at the inside of the frame. A hammer will also accompany me allong with a tape measure
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Unread 07-19-2014, 01:58 PM   #10
SadlyStock
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Bought the frame. It was very clean but as I was looking at it I realized it was bent. The owner came down on the price a bunch... So I bought it taking the chance. so hopefully I can get it straightened out with a frame rack.
Also Turns out it is a 2004 frame so I will have to modify the steering a bit. The skid pan came with it.
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Unread 07-19-2014, 05:40 PM   #11
frenchy206
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Cool. Once the frame is straightened, clean the frame and apply and interior frame coating. This will keep the frame rust free for a long time.
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Unread 07-20-2014, 11:37 AM   #12
SadlyStock
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Originally Posted by frenchy206 View Post
Cool. Once the frame is straightened, clean the frame and apply and interior frame coating. This will keep the frame rust free for a long time.
I am planning on seeing if the guy that is going to straighten it can also paint it for me since it will already be in his shop.

So since its a newer frame could I just use a newer style steering box ? With all of my old linkage?

Mine is leaking anyway so I figured I'd look into it
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Unread 07-20-2014, 12:41 PM   #13
The_'ster
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Have him paint it, then coat it inside and out with an eastwood chassis saver coating.

The older steering boxes are regarded as more durable than the later mercedes box they used, and would also require new ps lines I think. The fix is to hole saw the welds for the bolt sleeve that is out of place for your old steering box, cut a new hole in the frame for the sleeve, bolt the steering box in place and tack weld the sleeve, then remove the steering box and fully weld it. Body shop should be able to do that for you if you bring in your steering box.
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Unread 07-20-2014, 05:16 PM   #14
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I think one of the reasons for the older steering boxes is not that they are more durable but that you cane more cheaply replace with the Durango than with the newer model which is more limited and more expensive for options.
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Unread 07-21-2014, 06:41 AM   #15
Ironhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rikkards View Post
I think one of the reasons for the older steering boxes is not that they are more durable but that you cane more cheaply replace with the Durango than with the newer model which is more limited and more expensive for options.
Plus the Durango box isn't really much of an upgrade
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