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Rust on frame rail- how much is unsafe?

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by shep28, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. shep28

    shep28 Member
    Messages: 84

    I have a 99' 2500. Just got done replacing every single brake line under the truck and trans lines and power steering pump lines. I also changed the brake shoes, replaced all the drum springs, changed tranny fluid, adjusted bands, new tranny gasket, and adjusted throttle linkage.

    I have frame rust. Each year I treat the frame, still comes back. Along the left side of the frame rail beside the fuel tank I have surface rust/ flake. My question is how much is unsafe. There are no holes. Pretty crusty though.

    I can weld. Have a hobart 180 mig and a lincoln stick. Thinking about welding some plate along the frame rail to strengthen it. thoughts?

    My hope is to get at least three more years out of her. I only plow my drive and my folks a few miles away and then she sits the rest of the year.

    Thoughts...
     
  2. DAFFMOBILEWASH

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,596

    The majority of the time the horns on the front near the bumper will rot out or the bottom of the C channel near the rear section will be the areas of concern. I wouldn't worry about the sides of the frame too much just keep an eye on the inner frame where the dirt and debris will collect and kill the tortional strength of the frame.

    I would spray the underside with some good quality annual oil based rustproofing to help keep the rust at bay. Before you park it in the spring drive it around when the salt is gone and spring showers are around. This will flush the salt from the bottom. Wash it really good and coat it again with the oil guard....
     
  3. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    I use my truck a little more than you, about 4000-5000 miles a year, and it's a 2006 GM but the same cancer is growing, no flakes yet, but nasty looking. Also just dumped a bunch of time and money into similar parts, including exhaust manifolds. In my boat, I want more than three years, so Monday I'm taking it to get the chassis sandblasted and painted by a very reputable local place. It'll be a $1500 investment, but the idea will be I can still pass inspection for years to come. Otherwise, I'd be approaching the flaky crust stage within a few years, and not be able to get inspection. If you truly want only three years (like you want to buy another truck for sure then), spraying and other undercoating measures will get you there. In my case, I can't justify another truck for many years, so the investment in sandblasting is well worth it.
     
  4. shep28

    shep28 Member
    Messages: 84

    I also have a 2006 vortec max crew and it also has rust. I also have a 1999 saturn and it has zero rust. I never wash the saturn in winter. What is wrong with my pick ups??????????????????????????????????????????????????
     
  5. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,439

    This much
    ..............

    broke.jpg
     
  6. shep28

    shep28 Member
    Messages: 84

    Seems like the salt spreader was the cause of the issue there. What is the bed load rating of that truck?
     
  7. shep28

    shep28 Member
    Messages: 84

    How would you tow that away?
     
  8. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,439

    It was a mixture of a lot of things. Rust didn't help. That truck weighs 15-16k loaded.
     
  9. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,439

    Took the plow off, tow truck driver straightened it out with the wheel lift, then flatbed'd it. It bent back easily, was pretty weak at that point. It was straightened out, plated and plowing that night actually.
     
  10. shep28

    shep28 Member
    Messages: 84

    What! Welded and back plowing that night? Driveshaft damaged? What kind of plate did they use? size
     
  11. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,439

    No driveshaft damage. Didn't even come out. Brake lines were fine too. They blew out moving it this summer though lol. 5/8 plate. Diamond shape welded over the cracks. I've got the bed off now getting it ready for a flatbed. I'll try and remember to get a pic of how scaly the frame is. Sad thing is, this truck came from TX in 08 and was spotless.
     
  12. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,439

    A different situation and it may have never happened. Half full spreader....all in the rear. Plow up front. Went over the crest of a hill and snap! It split at the forward 2 bed bolts on top of the frame.
     
  13. snowpro44

    snowpro44 Member
    Messages: 45

    i think you need i invest in a bigger truck..holy%%%% !!!ive never seen a ford do that..
     
  14. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,439

    Ohhh Ford frames crack. Everyone bashes GM frames, but I've obviously seen Fords do worse. I have 2 twins and both had misc frame patches in them when I bought them (04's in 08)..........from TX so rust obv wasn't an issue then. I've also seen plenty of Ford tow trucks crack frames as well. Ford sales commercials claim that Ford frames are tough..........real world use shows otherwise. As it does for their junk front ends.

    One of my prior Dodge frames cracked too. Right near the same spot, but the Dodge was a cab chassis dually, and it split where the double wall started. I caught that before it split all the way down. I don't think that truck was ever overloaded. Not by much at least.

    My Fords don't surprise me with the load abuse they take.....so I give them credit for holding as good as they do. I've added another spreader this year to one more truck with a similar set of routes. That should allow me to load the others a little less. 3 tons+ is asking a lot from a pickup......regardless of how HD the truck may be........and these are the stoutest F350's I've ever seen. The frame issue actually happened while my buddy still owned the truck. We bought the pair out of TX and I recently bought his back. Its pretty crusty and probably doesn't have many plow years left I hate to say.............

    With what we paid for them then, they've probably 10x'd the investment since. So yes, it's about time for an upgrade lol.
     
  15. NYH1

    NYH1 Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    Does any type of undercoating help against frame and undercarriage rot in any of you guys opinion? Like professional undercoating from day one in a brand new truck?

    Thanks, NYH1.
     
  16. 07PSDCREW

    07PSDCREW Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    Fluid film every year. A friends 03 F250 looks like a dirty showroom truck underneath. It's crazy. My 07's backing plates rotted out in 4 years and his are original and mint!
     
  17. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I think undercoating rust is just encapsulating it and potentially causing acceleration of the rust. Either sandblast and coat it or deep penetration of oil applied and reapplied. It needs to penetrate to the good metal in order to be effective. Recently sandblasted some 1/2" thick I-beams on a factory rooftop (not subjected to salt). The scale was so thick that it had to be beaten off before blasting. After it was done, I could almost fit my finger through some of the holes near the center of the beams, where there were many pin holes. If that sounds crazy, you should see some of the I-beams under the bridges we all drive on, that the salt water leaches onto...down right disturbing.
     
  18. NYH1

    NYH1 Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    Cool, thanks!

    NYH1.
     
  19. NYH1

    NYH1 Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    coldcoffee, I was asking about undercoating a "new" truck to keep it from rusting, not one that's already rusted out.

    NYH1.
     
  20. NYH1

    NYH1 Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    Isn't the GVWR on a truck like that between 10K and 11.5K?

    NYH1.