Rust repair ideas? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-29-2020, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
Ravenbar
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Rust repair ideas?

Getting to the point of needing to do some rust repair on Thumper.


Going with the Spadano Enterprises ROCKer sliders for the rocker replacement. I also need to fix this section between the rocker and frame rail just in front of the rear tires. Haven't found any write ups on anyone fixing this area. As you can see from the pictures, if left unchecked, my rear suspension points will be rotted out next. And no, the one side hasn't got deep into the control arm mount yet. just surface rust with a few pits.


My initial thoughts are to form a similar replacement panel out of 12ga or 14ga, The problem is the area not pictures where it goes up into wheel well is going to be a real pain to form and isn't rusted at all from what I can see on the outside, so I'll likely put a seam in and keep that part.

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post #2 of 17 Old 07-30-2020, 05:42 PM
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I'm having a hard time figuring out where we are looking at. I have one WJ that rusted out in front of the rear control arms and it was beyond my abilities.
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-31-2020, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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I'm having a hard time figuring out where we are looking at. I have one WJ that rusted out in front of the rear control arms and it was beyond my abilities.

under the jeep just in front of the rear tires.
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-01-2020, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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The part in question is the section circled in yellow
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-01-2020, 03:15 PM
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i rip out all useless stuff. spray with good rust killer,first.

then try to do something to fix the worst. not really much but slow it down,or a major work,,,
sad. i love my wj...

99wj, 150,000 miles
00xj ,189,000 miles
10hummer3,76,000 miles
98xj, 133,000 miles
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-01-2020, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 2oldjeeps View Post
i rip out all useless stuff. spray with good rust killer,first.

then try to do something to fix the worst. not really much but slow it down,or a major work,,,
sad. i love my wj...

Plan is to replace the rotted rockers with the Spadano Enterprises ROCKer Sliders, and then do a full replacement of the rotted support section in the back. Not 100% sure how to approach that as I haven't seen anyone write about doing it.


This level of rust is typical in the NorthEast, where the state literally puts salt down on bare roads with no storms in the forcast. Only way to avoid it is to not drive in the winter, and I'm not rich so still need to go to work.

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post #7 of 17 Old 08-02-2020, 07:16 AM
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I have plans to make rock sliders out of 3" square tubing welded to the unibody frame part and what is left of the rockers. When the time comes I may be able to incorporate one of the legs into that area you are asking about. One of my jeeps has that area wrapped in thin sheet metal. It was probably to get it inspected but it probably doesn't so anything other than hide the massive rust underneath. I think it will be a tough spot to fabricate.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-24-2020, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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I've ordered the rockers, so that parts taken care of.


My real concern is of the structural intent of that section. If it is to brace the rear of the rocker to the uniframe, then I don't really care. If it is a lateral brace of the lower control arm mount outward to the rock, I'd be much more concerned. current intention in replacing the rotted metal is to stop it from spreading onto the uniframe/rear lower control arm mounts, which in my experience is what kills WJ's.

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post #9 of 17 Old 09-29-2020, 10:26 AM
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These are scary AF when they really get going in that area. One let loose on me only a month after we gave it a thorough look and thought it was OK. Picture taken from the passenger side of the vehicle, right rear wheel would be to our left and we're looking forward toward the front of the vehicle. Don't know why the stupid thing is tilted left 90.

My next step was swearing off buying anything from the rust belt ever again, I trailered home a nearly rust free WJ from only a few hours south and transplanted my entire powertrain into it.
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-29-2020, 11:04 AM
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These are scary AF when they really get going in that area. One let loose on me only a month after we gave it a thorough look and thought it was OK. Picture taken from the passenger side of the vehicle, right rear wheel would be to our left and we're looking forward toward the front of the vehicle. Don't know why the stupid thing is tilted left 90.

My next step was swearing off buying anything from the rust belt ever again, I trailered home a nearly rust free WJ from only a few hours south and transplanted my entire powertrain into it.
Holy moly and I thought my WJ was bad... Also an explanation as to why I don’t see a lot of WJs on the road when I road trip up here.
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post #11 of 17 Old 09-30-2020, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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These are scary AF when they really get going in that area. One let loose on me only a month after we gave it a thorough look and thought it was OK. Picture taken from the passenger side of the vehicle, right rear wheel would be to our left and we're looking forward toward the front of the vehicle. Don't know why the stupid thing is tilted left 90.

My next step was swearing off buying anything from the rust belt ever again, I trailered home a nearly rust free WJ from only a few hours south and transplanted my entire powertrain into it.

That's that I'm trying to avoid. Putting my hand in the rust holes in these parts, I feel little rust on the framerail, and poking my finger up into the frame rail through other holes, I feel no rust on the interior, so planning on stopping it before it happens. I can't figure out why someone hasn't come out with a slip over and weld on repair panel for that section of the frame. I've parted or 2, and major rust or cracks in that area are why they were off the road.

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post #12 of 17 Old 09-30-2020, 08:29 PM
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ill say it again,love my 99 wj. ill give 5000 cash for a lo rust lo mile 99 - 04 limited wj


where are they??

99wj, 150,000 miles
00xj ,189,000 miles
10hummer3,76,000 miles
98xj, 133,000 miles
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post #13 of 17 Old 10-01-2020, 07:54 AM
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That's that I'm trying to avoid. Putting my hand in the rust holes in these parts, I feel little rust on the framerail, and poking my finger up into the frame rail through other holes, I feel no rust on the interior, so planning on stopping it before it happens. I can't figure out why someone hasn't come out with a slip over and weld on repair panel for that section of the frame. I've parted or 2, and major rust or cracks in that area are why they were off the road.
I hear you. It does seem like a weld-on part should be made but by the time these get real sketch the whole rail is often compromised. I bet nobody wants the liability of producing these and then getting sued when someone welds onto a vehicle that's badly compromised and gets hurt in an accident.

I don't know how to determine if it's safe or not. That one I posted a picture of really did appear to be safe from the *outside* a month before it let go. Obviously there was severe compromise on the inside where we couldn't see it. Then I also think what happens is that once all factory or any other protective coating is gone and the rust really starts, it goes fast with the salt water from the road. At this point the only thing I consider safe is when there is no more than very light spotty surface rust.

The WJ I drive in the winter has had a liberal application of either Fluid Film or Wool Wax *inside* the rail as far along the rail as I can get, right from front to rear of the vehicle. I do this with the Kellsport undercoat spray gun and short and long wands with different patterns fed into the rail at different locations along it. The greasy stuff is still leaching out from behind the frame rail in the spring. I am not associated with Fluid Film, Wool Wax or Kellsport, just posting here what's worked for me, I'm sure there are other good solutions also. Three winters since I picked my winter '99 WJ up from southeast Philly and there is no visible deterioration of this area, it still has factory paint everywhere. The rockers were already starting to rot when I bought this back in 2017 but even that hasn't advanced much with the Fluid Film.
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post #14 of 17 Old 10-01-2020, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by 2oldjeeps View Post
ill say it again,love my 99 wj. ill give 5000 cash for a lo rust lo mile 99 - 04 limited wj


where are they??
OK so. After this all happened I started looking on craigslist in the general Philadelphia area in 2017. I have a buddy down there who had told me that the 20 year old vehicles down there look better than the 10 year old vehicles up here. I'm in central NY state, closest cities are Utica and Syracuse, to give you an idea.

I found the first WJ in south Jersey, in a little suburb of Camden called Cinnaminson. It was being sold supposedly with a bad head gasket. $1000, 188k miles. We got this thing up on the car trailer and once I got a good look at it I decided it would not be driven in the winter. It's that clean. Most of the bottom of this vehicle literally has no rust at all, just clean factory paint. There is only the slightest spotty surface rust on the area under the rear seat, and there are a couple of half dollar size holes in the driver side rocker near the seam. Got it home and despite having the famous issues with the PCM, found no evidence of any kind of head gasket problem. Once the PCM was sorted out and numerous other small issues, we've put probably another 50k miles on it. It's garaged in the winter. All the little bits have been replaced on it that were broken or worn and driving it very much feels like driving them when they were new (yes we bought one new all those years ago)

So, since my original goal was to try to find a WJ for the winter, I kept looking in that area for something "just crappy enough" that it would be safe but not nice enough I'd feel bad about driving it in the winter. This time it came from Eddystone, PA. Rockers had good sized holes on the bottom edge but otherwise clean factory paint everywhere else on the unibody. This one did get a donor powertrain and front axle and is the one I've soaked the hell out of with Fluid Film every fall. $500 and 219k miles. I've put probably north of 50k on this one too.

I'll get pictures of the bottom of both of them later if I think of it. There were ~1.5 million of these made. You just have to look outside of the area where there is salt on the roads 6 months out of the year and be willing to turn wrenches. I'd much rather swap a motor than try to fix rust.

EDIT: Just noticed where you said "lo mile". Yeah, that's gonna be a lot harder to find in 2020.
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post #15 of 17 Old 10-01-2020, 02:38 PM
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I hear you. It does seem like a weld-on part should be made but by the time these get real sketch the whole rail is often compromised. I bet nobody wants the liability of producing these and then getting sued when someone welds onto a vehicle that's badly compromised and gets hurt in an accident.
Safe-T-Cap makes just about every piece for a Wrangler so I think the problem is probably the lack of demand. Yes, many WJs need frame pieces but the value of the vehicle doesn't make for a big enough market. Wranglers on the other hand seem to command big money on the used market in comparison so plenty of people are willing to pay to have them repaired.

You can form up the pieces needed and weld them to your new rocker panels if they are beefy enough. Looking at those pictures makes me want to (and not want to) take a closer look at that area on my WJ.

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