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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is my first post btw. Being in the Midwest it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that my 81 cj 5 frame is rotten. So a good cj frame around here is pure gold. I looked for about 6 months and this one popped up for about a 3rd the price of any other and only an hour away. Needless to say I didn't waist any time obtaining this one. Now it's Far from perfect however it's a million times better than the one it's replacing but I have a few concerns and want some advice on it. My biggest concern Is under the sway bar mounts mainly on the driver side was hiding some repairs pass side seems to be in better shape. it appears to have patches welded into it. It also looks to have been straightened at some point as well. I took the best pics I could but it wasn't easy taking pics of the inside of a boxed frame so forgive me.
Bicycle part Rim Composite material Close-up Metal

Water Wood Landscape Metal Slope

As you can see the gap where the inner and outer rail meet have been welded (some of the welding isn't the best but I've seen worse). I think Whoever did this knew what they where doing to an extent.
Water Wood Gas Auto part Metal

Automotive tire Wood Automotive wheel system Gas Auto part

Automotive lighting Helmet Gas Auto part Jewellery

The front cross member I noticed when I bought it was cut open. I assumed to access the nuts inside the frame. I hope the pictures show the pieces of metal I was talking about.
Wood Tints and shades Formation Road surface Bedrock


Food Staple food Ingredient Wood Cuisine

Looking in from the side If you look closely you can see the two separate pieces
Water Bedrock Landscape Rock Metal

Behind the front crossmember you can see the cracks.

Onto the pass side The 2 things concerning me
Automotive tire Wood Bumper Motor vehicle Automotive lighting

Wood Snout Art Circle Close-up


When this frame had a tub and a drive train it had a sbc swap (the motor wasn't part of the deal) I don't know what was factory but I plan on putting my 258 in it. I was thinking about welding up the cracks and getting or making a frame stiffener kit and calling that good I plan on trailing it so it doesn't have to be perfect but I don't want it to break immediately. Btw this frame is allegedly an 81 same year as my old frame and my tub but it has an extra crossmember that my old frame dosent have.

What do you think about these repairs and what else should i do to further repair this?
 

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Y’all think you’ve seen bad frames…come to the east coast lol.

In all fairness, it looks solid (metal wise)
 
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Don't know what you paid for it, but there are some good resources for sections you can install to your frame, and even complete frames built to factory specs. The problems I see in your frame are where it got butchered and patched. I don't think this frame is very good, so I would keep looking. You will really appreciate a better quality more original configuration when it comes to hanging brake lines, etc. And a compromised frame is very dangerous when you put stress on the frame climbing a hill, crossing a creek, and running at freeway speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The frame it was replacing

Wood Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hand tool Tool

Automotive tire Wood Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Pollution


In the pics below you can the crack that runs all the way up to the top of the rail on both sides it was literally 3 inches away from being in 2 not that that was a major concern considering the rest of it

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Motor vehicle

Automotive tire Wood Gas Pipeline transport Engineering


Now for comparison this is the new frame

Tire Automotive tire Tread Wood Motor vehicle

This is one of the only rusted out parts on this frame and yes I've looked so you can why I prefer this one over the other. Both of these were being driven down the road and off road in this condition.

Btw to state the obvious none of the repairs or welding in the pics were done by me. And yes my barn is messy but I'm trying to do better about keeping it clean.
 

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I am more excited now, about my 84 CJ7 "parts rig," realizing now that the rusted-out body mount holes on the rear cross frame member are very minor compared with what some folks have to deal with. I would like to find a fabrication guru who knows the science of welding and do whatever is necessary before remount of the engine and tub to the frame. My knowledge of welding is extremely limited, and
dates back to 1974 when I built a small bench top tool holder in a high school metal shop class. I am a complete novice when it comes to welding, but I have many years accumulated knowledge of structural repairs and tower foundations that influences me to overbuild and prevent/mitigate rust. I found a decent source for MADE IN USA frame and body parts: Jeep Replacement Chassis Frame & Rails – CARiD.com
 

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This is my first post btw. Being in the Midwest it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that my 81 cj 5 frame is rotten. So a good cj frame around here is pure gold. I looked for about 6 months and this one popped up for about a 3rd the price of any other and only an hour away. Needless to say I didn't waist any time obtaining this one. Now it's Far from perfect however it's a million times better than the one it's replacing but I have a few concerns and want some advice on it. My biggest concern Is under the sway bar mounts mainly on the driver side was hiding some repairs pass side seems to be in better shape. it appears to have patches welded into it. It also looks to have been straightened at some point as well. I took the best pics I could but it wasn't easy taking pics of the inside of a boxed frame so forgive me.
View attachment 4149693
View attachment 4149694
As you can see the gap where the inner and outer rail meet have been welded (some of the welding isn't the best but I've seen worse). I think Whoever did this knew what they where doing to an extent. View attachment 4149696
View attachment 4149697
View attachment 4149695
The front cross member I noticed when I bought it was cut open. I assumed to access the nuts inside the frame. I hope the pictures show the pieces of metal I was talking about. View attachment 4149698

View attachment 4149699
Looking in from the side If you look closely you can see the two separate pieces View attachment 4149701
Behind the front crossmember you can see the cracks.

Onto the pass side The 2 things concerning me View attachment 4149705
View attachment 4149706

When this frame had a tub and a drive train it had a sbc swap (the motor wasn't part of the deal) I don't know what was factory but I plan on putting my 258 in it. I was thinking about welding up the cracks and getting or making a frame stiffener kit and calling that good I plan on trailing it so it doesn't have to be perfect but I don't want it to break immediately. Btw this frame is allegedly an 81 same year as my old frame and my tub but it has an extra crossmember that my old frame dosent have.

What do you think about these repairs and what else should i do to further repair this?
That frame is junk. Keep looking - you WILL find better. This one isn't even worth the scrap iron. nIf you are going to the process of building a Jeep - why would you use this one as your "building block"? Your finished Jeep won't be any better than what you put into it - and you're starting out with trash on this frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That frame is junk. Keep looking - you WILL find better. This one isn't even worth the scrap iron. nIf you are going to the process of building a Jeep - why would you use this one as your "building block"? Your finished Jeep won't be any better than what you put into it - and you're starting out with trash on this frame.
I bought it knowing it had a few flaws like that spot of rust, the front cross member being cut open, and the spring hangers being welded on non of those seemed like a huge deal but When I bought it the sway bar brackets were still on it and it almost completely covered this hackary up or at least the true extent of it i wouldn't of bought it had i known
. My goal would be a tdk frame but i don't have $5k to throw at a frame. Before I bought this I saw a junkyard I think in Arizona that sells them for about 2k in good shape I thought that was too expensive as well but I might be looking into that now and of course I'm constantly searching marketplace, ebay, and sometimes Craigslist.
 

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Rust never sleeps, you will chase it forever on a flakey rust frame that has been poorly "repaired".
I've seen lots of frames for sale listed as solid or good, that on closer inspection, were unsafe junk.
 

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CJ5 frames don’t grow on trees lol
 
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