Any suggestions on fixing this rust?

Hopper

Member
Dec 28, 2018
78
Georgia
76927

Ok I bought this Jeep a about a month ago for a 2nd vehicle. I should of investigated a little more on how to inspect the frame for rust. I have a ton of scale inside the frame and found this small rust through front driver side on frame were body mounts to it.
I went around the frame with a small hammer and a screw driver to find more rust through. This was all I found on the frame.
Any suggestions for a remedy I really love this Jeep and would like to keep it repaired for light trail riding in North Ga Mnts.
 

jodomcfrodo

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Feb 24, 2016
1,278
Evanston, IL, United States
Inside of the frame is shot. Looks very similar to my old frame. You can either weld in repair sections or swap the entire frame. Make sure the body of the Jeep isn't rusted out before you do anything.
 
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Hopper

Hopper

Member
Dec 28, 2018
78
Georgia
Inside of the frame is shot. Looks very similar to my old frame. You can either weld in repair sections or swap the entire frame. Make sure the body of the Jeep isn't rusted out before you do anything.
You said your old frame. Did you swap frames or ditch the Jeep?
 

jodomcfrodo

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Feb 24, 2016
1,278
Evanston, IL, United States
You said your old frame. Did you swap frames or ditch the Jeep?
Had a shop swap frames for me. Should be picking it up from them within a few weeks.
Swapping frames doesn't make much sense financially unless you can do all the work yourself. If you were to swap frames yourself, I'd expect $1000 - $1700 to buy a frame. From there you have to decide what you want to replace on the Jeep while you're in there.

Weld in caps are the most popular way to fix frame rust. They will get your Jeep drive-able and will last a fairly long time. I'm personally not a fan of them. I think it is a half-assed way to fix the problem if you plan on keeping the Jeep forever. But that being said many people use them and have no issues.

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Hopper

Hopper

Member
Dec 28, 2018
78
Georgia
Had a shop swap frames for me. Should be picking it up from them within a few weeks.
Swapping frames doesn't make much sense financially unless you can do all the work yourself. If you were to swap frames yourself, I'd expect $1000 - $1700 to buy a frame. From there you have to decide what you want to replace on the Jeep while you're in there.

Weld in caps are the most popular way to fix frame rust. They will get your Jeep drive-able and will last a fairly long time. I'm personally not a fan of them. I think it is a half-assed way to fix the problem if you plan on keeping the Jeep forever. But that being said many people use them and have no issues.

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Thanks for the info. Hope your swap turns out nice. Looks like I got some discussion to make.
 

bromel

TJ Enthusiast
I used Safe T Caps for my TJ. I don't think it was half-assed; it was a realistic solution. If the entire frame is rusted, then, yes, a frame swap is the logical option. But a frame swap is time-intensive and expensive and simply not realistic for many people. Moreover, any frame you'll be buying for $1500 is used, and might be rusting in the exact same way as your old frame.

If the frame is otherwise fine except for the classic rot spots, Safe T Caps are a good option that can be permanent as long as the work is done properly. That means grinding and cutting out all—and I mean ALL—rust from the frame before welding the caps on. If done improperly, then it is certainly is a half-assed solution.
 
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Hopper

Hopper

Member
Dec 28, 2018
78
Georgia
I used Safe T Caps for my TJ. I don't think it was half-assed; it was a realistic solution. If the entire frame is rusted, then, yes, a frame swap is the logical option. But a frame swap is time-intensive and expensive and simply not realistic for many people. Moreover, any frame you'll be buying for $1500 is used, and might be rusting in the exact same way as your old frame.

If the frame is otherwise fine except for the classic rot spots, Safe T Caps are a good option that can be permanent as long as the work is done properly. That means grinding and cutting out all—and I mean ALL—rust from the frame before welding the caps on. If done improperly, then it is certainly is a half-assed solution.
Thanks! Been looking at my frame and it appears the middle section is in bad shape. The front and rear sections are surprisingly in good shape. I think I will be farming this out and looking at finding a good shop for this. Thanks to both of yall for your insight!!
 

bromel

TJ Enthusiast
I recommend calling Auto Rust Technicians in Cranston, RI—they are the makers of Safe T Caps. Ask them for a shop recommendation in your area. There are a lot of yahoos out there who will do the work for you but do a half-assed job. They can help you find a reputable welder who understands the process.

I do a lot of work myself, but I wanted this done right, so I had Auto Rust themselves do the work for me. They were expensive, but they sandblasted every speck of rust off the undercarriage, including the tub and axels, undercoated the bare metal, and welded in the replacement sections on the frame.
 
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jodomcfrodo

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Feb 24, 2016
1,278
Evanston, IL, United States
I would keep in mind that your safety-capped Jeep will be worth pennies on the dollar when you go to resell it considering your location. Up north, safety capped Jeeps take a small hit in value because a lot of Jeeps have repaired frames. In the rust free south, a safety-capped frame will heavily diminish the value of your Jeep considering how many rust free examples there are down there.

If I were in your situation, I would either sell the Jeep as is with the warning that it needs frame repair or I would frame swap it. If you plan to keep the Jeep forever, I would invest the money in frame swapping it. If you plan to sell it at some point in the future, I wouldn't go through the hassle of repairing the rust; I'd just sell it as is right now. I would not want a Jeep I plan to keep in the long term to have safety caps, especially if I was considering modifying it.
 

Daryl

Bumblebee
Supporting Member
Apr 29, 2018
812
California, USA
If the rest of the Jeep is rust free, I’d swap the frame. If not, cut your losses and sell it. Buy a Jeep from the West or South.
 

billiebob

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Oct 31, 2015
3,567
Kootenays, BC, Canada
Frame swap is only worthwhile if you are getting a new frame, built in a better quality of steel. I don't think anyone builds that.

Safety caps, when done correctly will give at least as good a result as a frame swap. We do it all the time on tug boats. Cut out the rust, weld in new steel. Everybody does it with rusted bodies, cut out the rust, weld in new steel.

As stated there is no down side to Safety Caps built fix the common frame rust areas. The key is proper prep.
 

JEEPCJTJ

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
I think the Safety Caps will fix your TJ just fine, if done right.

If you ever go to sell it, I'm not even sure you really have to point out the Safety Caps as long as what's there remains solid. If, at that point in time, it's ready to fall apart again you should either say something or sell for parts only.
 

bromel

TJ Enthusiast
Yeah, I've never understood the Safe T Cap hate. They are an excellent long-term solution if done correctly. The majority of TJ frames only rot out under the skid plate and at the rear control arm mounts. It does not make economic sense replacing the entire frame unless the rust is very severe, in which case the tub is probably shot too. Sure, if you have the money, a frame swap is the most elegant solution—but it's no better practically speaking than a professionally capped frame.
 
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Hopper

Hopper

Member
Dec 28, 2018
78
Georgia
Actually not finding alot of T
I recommend calling Auto Rust Technicians in Cranston, RI—they are the makers of Safe T Caps. Ask them for a shop recommendation in your area. There are a lot of yahoos out there who will do the work for you but do a half-assed job. They can help you find a reputable welder who understands the process.

I do a lot of work myself, but I wanted this done right, so I had Auto Rust themselves do the work for me. They were expensive, but they sandblasted every speck of rust off the undercarriage, including the tub and axels, undercoated the bare metal, and welded in the replacement sections on the frame.
Thanks, just curious what kinda expensive we talking??
 

jodomcfrodo

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Feb 24, 2016
1,278
Evanston, IL, United States
Frame swap is only worthwhile if you are getting a new frame, built in a better quality of steel. I don't think anyone builds that.

Safety caps, when done correctly will give at least as good a result as a frame swap. We do it all the time on tug boats. Cut out the rust, weld in new steel. Everybody does it with rusted bodies, cut out the rust, weld in new steel.

As stated there is no down side to Safety Caps built fix the common frame rust areas. The key is proper prep.
The real problem with TJ frames isn’t the quality of steel but rather the design that traps salt and water inside the frame. My new frame is internally powder coated. Even then, I need to constantly wash and protect the inside. No matter what steel (reasonable choice for a TJ frame) you have, you are going to have rot if you don’t care for it.


I think the Safety Caps will fix your TJ just fine, if done right.

If you ever go to sell it, I'm not even sure you really have to point out the Safety Caps as long as what's there remains solid. If, at that point in time, it's ready to fall apart again you should either say something or sell for parts only.
I would call the person who doesn’t point out safety caps when selling a Jeep dishonest. It takes away from the value of the Jeep. It should be made clear during the sale.


Yeah, I've never understood the Safe T Cap hate. They are an excellent long-term solution if done correctly. The majority of TJ frames only rot out under the skid plate and at the rear control arm mounts. It does not make economic sense replacing the entire frame unless the rust is very severe, in which case the tub is probably shot too. Sure, if you have the money, a frame swap is the most elegant solution—but it's no better practically speaking than a professionally capped frame.
There’s a reason a lot of shops won’t touch safety caps. My shop, one of the most respected jeep shops in the Midwest that deals with rust everyday, won’t even install them. They never have and they never will. They wouldn’t do it if I asked them too.

Safety caps also make it exceedingly hard to put some modifications on. I would bet installing a savvy mid arm or even a savvy tummy tuck would be complicated by safety caps. I was warned by a shop in New Jersey a few years back about caps. He said he had customers coming in with capped frames wanting long arms. Nothing quite fit right and required a lot of massaging to get it together.

Swapping frames is not as expensive as I’ve made it to be. You don’t need to get the frame powder coated, you don’t need to reseal the whole motor, etc... These additional costs make my frame swap more expensive. If you do the work yourself, frame swapping is cheaper than having a shop install caps.
 
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bromel

TJ Enthusiast
Actually not finding alot of T

Thanks, just curious what kinda expensive we talking??
If you need both rails replaced, including the control arm mounts, then you're probably looking at a $2,500 job, maybe more, maybe less, depending on who does the work. It makes most economic sense to do the work yourself, of course. You don't want to pay much more than $3,000 since, at a certain point, you might as well just do a frame swap.
 

bromel

TJ Enthusiast
There’s a reason a lot of shops won’t touch safety caps. My shop, one of the most respected jeep shops in the Midwest that deals with rust everyday, won’t even install them. They never have and they never will. They wouldn’t do it if I asked them too.

Safety caps also make it exceeding hard to put some modifications on. I would bet installing a savvy mid arm or even a savvy tummy tuck would be complicated by safety caps. I was warned by a shop in New Jersey a few years back about caps. He said he had customers coming in with capped frames wanting long arms. Nothing quite fit right and required a lot of massaging to get it together.

Swapping frames is not as expensive as I’ve made it to be. You don’t need to get the frame powder coated, you don’t need to reseal the whole motor, etc... These additional costs make my frame swap more expensive. If you do the work yourself, frame swapping is cheaper than having a shop install caps.
Oh, for sure, if you are doing your own work and don't mind a long project, doing your own frame swap is cheaper than paying a shop to do caps. It's just that many people don't have the time, ability, or space for that, whereas a DYI cap job can be done for under $1,000 over a weekend.

You make an interesting point about mods being more difficult with caps installed. The reputable shops around me seem to have no problem doing most lift kits, but I can see how the more extensive modifications could be problematic. I'll have to do more research about that. Luckily I keep my TJ mostly stock...
 
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