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Frame rotted through.. how do I fix

Discussion in '3rd Gen 4Runners (1996-2002)' started by Rustbox, Aug 31, 2021.

  1. Aug 31, 2021 at 7:33 PM
    #1
    Rustbox

    Rustbox [OP] New Member

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    99E5431A-1BC7-4175-AD27-91E81AD4B838.jpg Recently bought this 2000 Toyota 4Runner sr5 4x4 , unfortunately didn’t notice the insane rot and rust that’s going on inside the frame. I can stick my fingers in the holes in the sides of the frame and feel tons of little metal flakes big as a potato chip but thick as a quarter, which are just pieces of my frame rotting off and landing in the bottom. In the pics you can see where it’s rotted through right in front of the transmission crossmember.. yeah .. and a little bit on the drivers side as well , I bought safe-T-caps and Eastwood internal frame spray which is suppose to work on rust , but how do I get all of those other little chunks out without having to gut the frame entirely? And hell no I’m not doing a frame swap in my driveway. Thanks for any responses guys !! I like this thing I wanna see if I can save it

    41E5ADFC-89EB-4F37-B946-48BD16B61E33.jpg
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  2. Aug 31, 2021 at 7:52 PM
    #2
    SlvrSlug

    SlvrSlug Slightly bent.

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    Welcome to the forum.
     
    Rustbox[OP] likes this.
  3. Sep 1, 2021 at 2:44 AM
    #3
    Toy4X4

    Toy4X4 New Member

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    Welcome from Wisconsin! Rust, the enemy.
     
  4. Sep 3, 2021 at 1:05 PM
    #4
    mousemeat

    mousemeat New Member

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    welcome to the forum....r-r-r-rust ,not!
     
  5. Sep 4, 2021 at 12:42 PM
    #5
    negusm

    negusm New Member

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    I'm sorry. But from those pictures she is too far gone for rust inhibitors/protectors. Every place you see a problem, there are 3 more hiding. She needs to go to a welding shop and get sections of frame replaced. I see at least one weld about to give out too.
     
  6. Sep 4, 2021 at 12:48 PM
    #6
    4Runner170V

    4Runner170V New Member

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    I agree with above. Rust through is just too late for any treatment. The section need to be replaced. When that replacement for all rust through section is done, please make sure to do corrosion protection treatment such as wax, undercoat. Since there will be rust all over now other than replacement section, you must treat with corrosion protection wax through out the outside and inside of the frame, wheel well, inside of the bumper, even inside front fender.
     
  7. Sep 4, 2021 at 4:58 PM
    #7
    Rustbox

    Rustbox [OP] New Member

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    Yeah that’s the plan , to cut out the rust w an angle grinder and use those safe-T-caps which are cnc cut and welded metal pieces that fit over your frame you weld them in place. The internal rust prevention is for the rest of the frame that isn’t rusted through yet but has surface rust. But idk about that transmission crossmember that most likely needs to be redone entirely. Might go w that Trailgear crossmember since I wanna do links front and rear. I’m just trying to get your guys opinions and possibly any advice you guys got, thank you!
     
  8. Sep 5, 2021 at 12:05 AM
    #8
    negusm

    negusm New Member

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    Yeah, you needed to explain a bit further like that. I didn't know what safe-T-caps were.

    What you propose sounds like a potentially adequate fix.

    For the bits and pieces inside the frame rail? Probably not much you can do. If you however use something like a fluid film inside with an applicator wand, you may gunk it up enough that it will slow down the rust. https://www.amazon.com/Fluid-Film-F...gid=pla-902599407585&ref=&adgrpid=96944448914

    You will need to inspect it every year of course and don't be alarmed if it just gets worse anyways. It's a game you will ultimately lose, but if you can slow it, you may get by for several seasons.

    My son took his rust free 2010 Mazda5 from NC to Mass for school and we had it Fluid Filmed up there. I've heard good things about that stuff. It's not a hard coating which can trap moisture. I would recommend that over anything that you paint on.

    Eastwood stuff is usually good. But if it says you need to start with clean metal..I'd probably not use it.
     
  9. Sep 7, 2021 at 8:53 AM
    #9
    mousemeat

    mousemeat New Member

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    damn, that frame/underneath is terminal. it's a goner. I wouldn't trust my life to it. vehicle is d.o.a.
     
  10. Sep 7, 2021 at 6:13 PM
    #10
    Rustbox

    Rustbox [OP] New Member

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    Yeaaaah that’s what I’m thinking too.. she’s a goner. I have it listed on the marketplace at the moment I’m going to just try and get rid of it.. how much would a used frame be for one of these things from a scrapyard anyone know? I tried looking online and couldn’t find anything for this old of a truck. Plus the previous owner used a rubberized undercoating which just hides the rust so this thing is fucked top to bottom
     
  11. Mar 16, 2022 at 5:17 AM
    #11
    Overland WT

    Overland WT Grumpy Old Guy

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    Many with many more to go
    At minimum, that trans crossmember is dangerously toast. I'd fine the guy who sold it and punch him in the throat for not disclosing it AND I'd really re-educate myself on buying used vehicles and what to look for. You got F'd on this.
     
  12. Mar 16, 2022 at 9:38 AM
    #12
    LandCruiser

    LandCruiser I have Toyotas

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    That is a literal death trap. Short of replacing the entire frame, it’s a loss.
     
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  13. Mar 16, 2022 at 12:15 PM
    #13
    SlvrSlug

    SlvrSlug Slightly bent.

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    I don’t know if this helps but here it is.

    D1D1634D-2C83-49B4-8F2E-50B1D77D81FD.jpg
     
    wdsteven likes this.
  14. Mar 17, 2022 at 11:52 AM
    #14
    PhantomTweak

    PhantomTweak New Member

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    None. Bone Stock. EXCEPT: Brushguard, tow hitch, both welded to the frame. It's good to have friends and a fully equipped garage!
    Just curious, if I may ask, what the two prices indicate?

    Obviously, given a choice, I'd go with the lower one, but what do the higher ones indicate? I don't need them at all. No rust on any of my vehicles' frames, I'm just curious.

    Thanks!
    Pat☺
     
  15. Mar 17, 2022 at 11:55 AM
    #15
    iamincrediboy

    iamincrediboy New Member

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    The part numbers seem to dictate R and L for passenger and driver I'd assume. So i bet they sell each side individually or both together for that section of frame.
     
  16. Mar 17, 2022 at 12:57 PM
    #16
    mac1usa

    mac1usa New Member

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    I remember the car nut care guy mentioning a whole frame on 5th Gen was around $7k no idea what the labor would be
     
  17. Mar 19, 2022 at 9:56 AM
    #17
    Ahdofu

    Ahdofu New Member

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    I am sorry for the bad luck but that frame is too far gone in my opinion. If the rust through spots are this obvious, there must be a lot of areas that are rusted but are not so visible.
     
  18. Jan 4, 2023 at 8:41 PM
    #18
    nutsaboutsoccer

    nutsaboutsoccer New Member

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    I have a totally rust-free 1999 Limited 4wd 4Runner for sale. It's a California/Texas vehicle and needs nothing. Not cheap though!
     
  19. Jan 5, 2023 at 6:09 AM
    #19
    mousemeat

    mousemeat New Member

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    either replace the frame...or purchase another vehicle, more 'rust' free...and cherry pick parts from it...and sell off the rest
     
  20. Jan 16, 2023 at 8:44 AM
    #20
    Hugho

    Hugho New Member

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    Your frame is toast . The design that makes these frames so strong.......closed box frame as opposed to C channel is what kills them They rust at low points and where the cross members are welded, suspension members etc. It is terminally damaged and one day it will fail catastrophically. If you live in an inspection state it will fail and be taken off the road I would expect. You can slow the deterioration is you move to arizona and do a whole helluva amount of work and expense but I would cut my losses and either sell it as a parts car or part it out. It depends upon the condition of the rest of the car. I wouldn't let my wife or daughter drive it.
     
  21. Jan 16, 2023 at 10:44 AM
    #21
    Daddykool

    Daddykool Photography enthusiast

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    My two cents - my 2001 became dangerous to drive in a matter of days at around 265k four years ago. Rear control arm bracket separated, and the thing pitched left/right like a fish. Very unnerving final drive to trade it on my wife’s used Rav4. And nope, I didn’t even have to tell the dealership. They knew where to look.
     
  22. Jan 16, 2023 at 4:53 PM
    #22
    TN_TRAIL

    TN_TRAIL New Member

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    oh the list....!
    Or, replace Frame, and pat yourself on the back at not having a "new" car note WITH the added benefit of all the wonderful nanny state :censored: stuff disabling your otherwise solid transportation. Sanity is priceless.
     
  23. Jan 16, 2023 at 5:12 PM
    #23
    redsoxx1918

    redsoxx1918 New Member

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    Yup. Scrap it. Not sure how you buy a 23 year old vehicle and don't crawl underneath.
     
  24. Jan 16, 2023 at 7:40 PM
    #24
    jdeck

    jdeck New Member

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    I’m hopping in with my own (hope that’s ok) b/c y’all are worrying me. I had mine welded in 2016. It sat from 2019-2022. My 16 year old is getting ready to drive in 10 days and her dad passed in ‘21 so I’m trying to navigate this all best I can and would appreciate advice.
    I had an ‘00 w 345k miles I owned for 14 years, but my older son totaled it and then I bought this ‘99.
    Anyhow last fall, I took this one to a frame shop and they told me it was fine “could weld areas Im concerned with if I wanted but just looks worse than is. Other welds look good”. Is what I was told. But when I see the pictures from the original post above, his look a lot better than mine and y’all are saying it’s a goner?!? I’m worried now!
    Since frame shop said good, I’ve since invested in bulbs, getting HVAC to work, new plugs, new steering rack, power steering pressure line and return, new swaybar links, tire rod ends, swaybar bushings, and alternator belt. And a new windshield.
    Was going to buy tires tomorrow. Video won’t upload

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  25. Jan 17, 2023 at 1:40 AM
    #25
    01 4runner

    01 4runner New Member

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    I might be the wrong person to ask I have a 01 4runner and live in Iowa mine has over 300000 miles mine rusted out at same place by trans cross member and like 3 other places including the rear bar that holds my rear trailing arms that got a piece of cromaly pipe in it and a bunch of plate steel to fix frame and where the rear lower trailing arm mounts a decent welder and angle grinder is all u need
     
  26. Jan 17, 2023 at 7:06 AM
    #26
    Hugho

    Hugho New Member

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    Man some of the most amazing pictures I have seen! I feel for these guys. I made the same mistake a few years back and failed to look under because it was a raging snowstorm and the guy had no garage. Of course he was a crook but I was a chump. I paid the price which was way low and I soon found out why. I parted it out and hauled it to the dump and broke even. The only way to avoid mistakes is to gain experience. The only way to gain experience is to make mistakes! Famous saying. Another one by the BB Player Ted Williams: "Life is hard but it's a lot harder if you're stupid." I'm not so stupid now. I just saw an ad for a nice 4 runner a few days ago with Texas plates. I was burning rubber to go get it! These cars are really great but everyone knows it but if they have rust they need to be scrapped before they hurt somebody. You guys who think you can drive this junk need to be responsible for other people besides yourself who might be injured or killed if the frame collapses. Junk the darn things and cut your losses and do the world a favor.
     
  27. Jan 17, 2023 at 9:17 AM
    #27
    mac1usa

    mac1usa New Member

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    Yes it’s a darn shame all these frames. I bought my 4R aware of these issues but I am blessed that it’s an extra vehicle for me just to use on nice weather days and will not see planned rain and will not see snow. Even though it will get little use I still had the frame sprayed fluid film and did the same on hitch, exposed wheel wells and the even nuts near front wheel wells. I have seen many rusty after just a few Michigan winters on dealer lots. For anyone that can use another non full frame vehicle during winter ther might help you keep your 4R longer. I know it’s crazy and should not be the case though
     
  28. Jan 17, 2023 at 11:43 AM
    #28
    Lunar8Rock9

    Lunar8Rock9 New Member

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    This is a specific process - but I used to work for a Toyota dealer (in DFW area) for nearly 20 years up until right before COVID hit.
    Our service did more than several "Frame Swap's" on vehicle(s) that were from the North East region of the US, where Rust is a major problem due to the winter conditions and salt preventatives.
    I know there were numerous steps you had to fall in line with (which I am unable to verify those specifics), but it is worth a call to see if your vehicle would / could qualify. May not, but worst they can say is "NO".
     
  29. Jan 17, 2023 at 1:13 PM
    #29
    01 4runner

    01 4runner New Member

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    Scrap here is $80 a ton I'd buy it I should rephrase that someone who knows how to weld and fabricate should do it plan on driving mine till the wheels fall off then weld them back on I'll get a bumper sticker that says honk if anything falls off
     
  30. Jan 18, 2023 at 5:33 AM
    #30
    jdeck

    jdeck New Member

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    @Lunar8Rock9
    Would I just call any Toyota dealership and say that I want to find out about a frame swap? I’m in southwest Ohio and I called performance Toyota about this a year or so ago twice and no one ever got back with me. Thought I might be barking up the wrong tree. And to clarify, do you mean they traded it out at no charge to the owner? I know you can’t verify exactly what items are needed, but what types of things are in the process if you can elaborate at all?
     

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