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Thread: Frame rust

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    Aspen and Volare Junior Member Jansen5's Avatar
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    Frame rust

    I want to know if a little frame rot is dangerous in my car, so far itís a small hole about the size of a cigarette lighter . I have to picture but since itís a unibody design I was wondering if itís detrimental to the structural integrity of the car

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    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    A little bit isn't dangerous. All depends, of course, on where the rust hole is. Keep n mind, 99% of the time a rust hole you see will be 3 or 4 times bigger when you go to repair it. Most sheet metal rusts from the inside out. It's like a 1/4 panel that looks fine, and within a year is full of holes. It's rusting from behind and shows up quick. My '96 Dakota did that. One fall there was one rust hole in a rocker and one bedside had a rust bubble under the paint over the wheel opening. By next spring, the rockers were basically gone and the wheel openings on the bed were a ragged rusty mess. Right front fender did a similar thing also, all in 6 months time.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

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    Super Moderator 77rr2x4s's Avatar
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    Usually when you see a rust hole from the outside, the inside rusted area is much worse. So yes it could be a issue depending where the hole it located.

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    Aspen and Volare Administrator Rattle Trap's Avatar
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    Dangerous territory to tell anybody whether structural rot is still "ok". But I'll share my personal experience. By the time there's a hole in the outside of a front rail, the inside has already thinned out considerably in a much larger area. So there's more than meets the eye. But although I wouldn't call it safe, I've driven them with a line of rust on the side of a rail missing as long as laying my hand into it sideways out of necessity when I was younger. Of course back then we weren't beating them up going 70 mph on these Ohio roads either, with the national 55 law. But it's a pretty stout platform too. However serous you judge it to be, you should look into getting it welded up as quickly as possible to eliminate the issue spreading.
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    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    What you guys said (better than I did) is pretty much what i was going for. I could have worded it better though.

    Some of the cars we get in the shop have major structural rust but aren't really unsafe to drive. Unibody cars require "creative lift pad setting" (because the lift points,,,,,,,,,,,aren't anymore) The again, we also see ones where I wouldn't trust it to go around the block. Like when the suspension mounting areas are rotted away, or the front cradle is half missing, or a front control arm is hanging together by a thread. Ones like those normally end up leaving on a flatbed that says "Auto Salvage" on the side. Then there's the trucks you can't lift on a frame hoist because the lift pads collapse the rails under the weight. I know cars and trucks rust in other states but until you've seen the average 15 (or even 10 in some cases) year old Wisconsin vehicle, you haven't seen rust.
    Last edited by aspen79; 08-14-2021 at 01:17 PM.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

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    Super Moderator 77rr2x4s's Avatar
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    Between the three of us I think he got the point.

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    Aspen and Volare Senior Member 77blue on blue's Avatar
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    I decided this was to far on one of mineClick image for larger version. 

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    1977 Dodge Aspen Sport Coupe, 1980 Aspen R/T clone, 1979 Volare Wagon Premier, 1972 D300 Camper Special Crew Cab, 1993 Plymouth Sundance Duster, 1990 W150, 1986 Ramcharger

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    Aspen and Volare Administrator Rattle Trap's Avatar
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