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Unread 09-14-2011, 07:54 AM   #1
97TJSPRT
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weak frame in the 97 tj's

we all know 97 was an unfortunate year for the wrangler as far as frames go. i know that just before the rear wheel wells the frames are prone to rot, i re-enforced the drivers side a few months ago and now i noticed theres an 8 inch crack in the frame on the same spot but now on the passenger side. i have a guy that i use for welding and im going to have him fix this side now too. QUESTION IS: are there any other prone weak spots in the 97's frame that i should get re-enforced while im at it? thanks!

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Unread 09-14-2011, 07:57 AM   #2
LilyBayXJ
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I never knew '97 frames were weaker than the rest...

I'm sure glad I've got the XJ to drive in the winter. A '97 with zero frame rot it a pretty rare thing here in Maine.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 08:19 AM   #3
97TJSPRT
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from what i hear its from the whole "first year of the new model defects" type of situation
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Unread 09-14-2011, 08:30 AM   #4
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97TJSPRT View Post
from what i hear its from the whole "first year of the new model defects" type of situation
You're a much better man than I if you can tell the difference between the 97 year frame and any of the rest.

I've cut sections out of all the year models to outboard shocks and they are all the same thickness, weld the same, grind the same and cut the same.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 08:31 AM   #5
3fifty
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All TJ frames are the same.
They never did correct it. The only problem areas are the ones that are neglected.

This is my 2000 shortly after buying it. These are just a few shots. The frame was in pretty bad shape.
Thats to be expected though when the P.O. lives in a Northern state as well as plays in mud then does not wash the frame out.

Rear passenger control arm


Cross member was ripped out. (viewing the bottom of the frame)


Inside
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Unread 09-14-2011, 08:33 AM   #6
Jerry Bransford
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The '97 TJ (as I owned for 15 years) had no weaker frame than any other TJ. It did in fact have a stronger frame than its YJ predecessor.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 08:35 AM   #7
freeskier93
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There's nothing wrong with 97 frames. Mine is in pristine condition, zero rust, zero cracking.

And I've done nothing to my frame. I haven't drilled any additional drain holes, it's still just the factory coating, and I'm bad about spraying the inside out. Same goes for under my tub. All the factory coatings have worked very well in protecting the metal.

Might have something to do though with what Colorado puts down in the winter, I think it's mag chloride.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 08:45 AM   #8
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I would have to agree 97 frames are the same as later year models, but if you live in the snow and rust belt Magnesium chloride is the destructor. This stuff is worse than sea water.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 12:34 PM   #9
97TJSPRT
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always heard 97s had a weak frame and was never really able to dispute it (bought my jeep from a guy that let it sit in upstate NY for about 5 years occasionally driving it in the winter - (when all the salt was down of corse ) so i just assumed the acusations against the 97s were true. if thats the case ill assume the only two weak points are the spots just before the wheel wells by the rear control arms just like all the others?
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Unread 09-14-2011, 02:01 PM   #10
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97TJSPRT View Post
always heard 97s had a weak frame and was never really able to dispute it (bought my jeep from a guy that let it sit in upstate NY for about 5 years occasionally driving it in the winter - (when all the salt was down of corse ) so i just assumed the acusations against the 97s were true. if thats the case ill assume the only two weak points are the spots just before the wheel wells by the rear control arms just like all the others?
Those only become weak spots when rust ruins that area. Until then, they are no more likely to fail than any other part of the frame.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 02:38 PM   #11
LJameson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3fifty View Post
All TJ frames are the same.
They never did correct it. The only problem areas are the ones that are neglected.

This is my 2000 shortly after buying it. These are just a few shots. The frame was in pretty bad shape.
Thats to be expected though when the P.O. lives in a Northern state as well as plays in mud then does not wash the frame out.

Rear passenger control arm


Cross member was ripped out. (viewing the bottom of the frame)


Inside
There's a lot I don't like about california, and a lot I do. This, makes my "do" list bigger.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 04:11 PM   #12
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All frames are weak if you are too lazy to wash 'em out after wheeling or driving on salted roads.
I added drain holes at the lowest spots in my frame and am perfectly happy making the compromise of slight weakening due to the hole in exchange for being able to get my frame clean and dry inside.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 08:29 PM   #13
97TJSPRT
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they already are rotted bought em that way. like i said sat upstate in NY for 5+ years. the drivers side already went and got reinforced and now the passenger side has about an 8" crack from that hole in the frame to the control arm. ill see if i can upload a pic from my phone
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Unread 09-14-2011, 08:58 PM   #14
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Don't know if it will work with the phone but here's a try
2011-09-12-16.35.21.jpg  
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Unread 09-14-2011, 09:00 PM   #15
97TJSPRT
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not sure why its so big but theres the crack. not half as bad as the otherside was --- i stuck my finger straight thru when i was poking around the last time.
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