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Murph

Major structural rust problem! HELP!

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Driving home this avo in the zed, some little wanker on a bike rode out in front of me. I hit the brakes suddenly and the car swerved hard right and locked what I think was the front right wheel.

Now the car pulls to the right reasonably heavily and when I apply the brakes it pulls very hard to the right and you get sorta shhh shhh shhh shhh shhh scrubbing sound from the front right wheel.

Anyhow, I've just had a look under there expecting a problem with the suspension or brakes and found something much much worse. The chassis rail on the right hard side where the radius rod connects to it, has totally seperated from the body!

It's all quite rusted and is displaced about 6mm or so from where it should be.

Looking down at the chassis rail in the engine bay it's quite buckled. The reason I had never seen the rust before is because the car has a fresh layer of tar sound deadening (by the previous owner). Now I know why. :mad:

What can be done? Can it be cut out and replaced? How many limbs am I going to have to cut off to pay for it?

:cry:

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:tapemouth :tapemouth :tapemouth :mad: :mad: :sleepy: :ermm: :ermm: :mad:

Never had to do anything like that, but I can tell you now it won't be cheap mate...

:cry:

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If the right side rail is rusted so badly that it separated, you've got a ton of problems. If it has rusted to that extent, you better check the inner fender and firewall area as well. You should be able to buy new frame rails to replace the rusted one, but you'll end up having to patch the T/C rod mount back in if the plate that holds it on the inside of the rail is rusted and compromised.

If one rail is that bad, you might as well go ahead and replace both frame rails. It's not going to be cheap, there's quite a bit of labor involved if you have someone else do it for you.:disappoin

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sounds like some of the cars I come across here in jersey. As I have posted before, it's time to take the plates off the car, cancel the insurance and get to work.

Gathering from what you described that tc rod bracket ties into the firewall, inner fender well, and frame rail. The frame rail kits are available and beleive it or not aren;t that difficult to install IF the firewall and inner fender well aren't swiss cheese. Generally something like this gurantees other problems and you won;t know until you get the undercoating off to fully see.

I suggest going over the whole car with a scraper and a screwdriver. start scraping off the flaky undercoating that comes off easily. The with the screwdriver, start poking. It can be scary to be poking solid metal and then all of a sudden the scredriver goes through. Putting the car on stands (under the front crossmember) remove the wheels and start on where the inner fender well ties into the frame rail and firewall/toe board and work your way around the front of the car. This will give you a good assessment of how bad the cancer has spread.

I have one of the cases in my garage currently.

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Where are the frame rails available from? I have the beginning of the problem he had and I might as well take care of the whole thing. I'm already replacing damn near everything but the roof, what's a little extra. Thank God I can weld.

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Just jacked up my 73 to rob the transmission, and the frame rail is now through the passenger floor pan.::dead:

Rust like I've never seen...

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Glad I'm not the only one. Pity I can't weld and I have no money to pay someone else to do it atm. :(

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I've just spent the past hour scraping away at the sound deadeder. Basically there's a 50cm long section of the chassis rail that has broken away from the rest of the rail and body at both ends. This section goes from the front of the radius rod braket back to the bottom front of the drivers foot well (RH drive).

Under the whole foot well area it's all dented as if it's taken some big blows under the car, or been dropped on it's guts in that section. The chassis rail behind the break isn't rusted at all but rather than being flat on the bottom it is concave.

Under the foot well there is some rust and a fair few holes, but they don't appear to be rust holes. I may be wrong, but it looks like holes that have been gouged there, then they have rusted.

They've put an extra sheet of metal in the footwell under the carpet so you don't notice all the holes.

Also, i dug a chuck of rust out of the rear crack in the rail, and this chuck of rust/metal has a whole bunch of what looks like 1-2cm long bits of wire coming out of it. A few of them have little blobs of metal on the end. Any idea what the hell they are?

So my guess is it's been crashed in some way, maybe run up a gutter as that would cause the radius rod to put alot of force on the chassis rail right there. After the crash it's probably just had a dodgy repair done and all the damage sprayed over with tar.

Or maybe the crash caused it to crack there, then the crack has rusted, been sprayed over, then my hard braking yesterday finally broke it.

Any ideas?

*I'm trying to get my hands on a digi cam asap as ours is getting fixed.

**On a positive note, i haven't found any rust anywhere else under the car. :)

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The little bits of wire with blobs on the end come from someones unsuccessful attemt it would seem at mig welding. From what you've described someone has found the rust, tried to fix it, discovered more and more then given up and sold the car.

The good news is that nearly everything on these cars can be repaired, it's just a matter of time and money. Photos will help everyone give you better answers if you can post some.

Alan.

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My current thought is that it isn't rust that's caused the problem. It looks more like it's been crash damaged, then rusted around the sections that have broken.

Then of course someone has done a dodgy repair then sprayed over it.

Under the foot well, the holes there don't look like rust holes. It looks like the holes have been gouged into the metal, then it's rusted a bit around those edges. Go just a mm or two back from the edge and it's good metal.

Scares me to think I drove that thing 1500km home on the highway.

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Nope....not them. It's further forward than that and they are irregular in shape.

I'm borrowing the work digi cam tomorrow morning. I'lll have pics posted by lunch time.

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Originally posted by Alfadog

The holes in the floorpan could be your drainage holes... are they like these holes: http://www.classiczcars.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=2991&papass=&sort=1&thecat=998

No not those huge gaping holes at the front, the round ones in the middle of the floor.

Get some pics :)

I wish my floorboards looked like that. Mine has a 1 foot round hole in it.....something like Fred Flintstone would drive.

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Pics time...

http://users.bigpond.net.au/oceanz/z/zrooted/

1. This is the first thing I saw. Not happy Jan. You can see where I've been scraping back the deadener in all the shots. Note that there is metal under the deadener, it's only rusted on the broken edges.

2. Behind the rear break. Notice how smashed up the floor and chassis rail are. Also the gouges in the floor.

3. Looking from under the car at one of the gouges.

4. The front break. On the right side is the radius rod bracket. The actual break is just under the front of the bracket, however you can see how displaced it is. (15-20mm)

5. A good overview of the broken section looking from the side of the car.

6. Close up of the rear break. Note all the bog used to make it look flat, and that once you scrape of the surface rust there is metal.

A few new observations.

-The radius rod is slightly bent

-There are a few tiny rust holes in the footwell area. Only a few mm across.

-There appears there may be a few gouges on the other side of the car too.

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All I can say is OUCH!!!:cross-eye

It looks bad, but it looks repairable..

If you notice the reinforcement panel just above the T?C rod mount in the inner fender itself, it is a common rust area. I've seen many cars with this panel rusted completely through to the engine compartment so that is not a real issue.

It does look like the car at one time or anohter might have had some damage, either by a garage lift, running up on a curb.. hard to tell what may have caused the cave-in of the frame rail.

Looks like at the very least you'll need to replace the under floor frame rail and then have someone cut you a panel to replace the reinforcement panel in the inner fender. With that in place they could then re-weld the seam to mount the T/C pocket.

Most of what I see can be repaired fairly easily with some patch panels and welding.

However before you do anything, you'll need to remove the undercoating and search for any more rust. You might end up finding some in the floor pans themselves as the rust may have gone from the frame rail into the floor pan. Once you have the undercoating removed, you'll be able to get a better asessment of the rust damage as a whole.

It isn't going to be cheap, but at least it's in an area that is fairly easy to fix and replacement parts are available... however, where you are, I don't know what the prices or availability of those replacement panels will be. Here in the US, MSA has most everything you'd need....

Also, if you are doing this side, you might better do the other side at the same time and see what might be hidden under the coating on that side as well. If you have seams that are compromised on one side like this one at the frame, inner fneder, T/C mount they could possibly in the same shape on the other side.....

:disappoin

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I'm just about the head out and continue to scrape the deadener off.

Here's a pic of the blob of metal/rust with the wires coming out of it.

post-3769-14150792550967_thumb.jpg

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Looks like what Alan said, someone with little or no experience with a mig welder was trying to weld up a hole and only succeeded in sticking the wire....:stupid:

Better safe than sorry, you really need to find what else might be hidin gunder the undercoating... Only then will you know for sure how much you are going to have to repair/replace...:disappoin

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If it's any consolation, my car broke down today 40km from home, and still does not work.

:love: the z..............:(

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2Many is right on the money, it is all repairable. Frame rail might be hard to get in oz, but any sheet metal worker could bend you up a floor pan and most likely the frame rail as well. I don't know how much you can do yourself as far as the repairs go, but anything you can do that someone doesn't saves you precious dollars. The only thing I would really stress to you is to remove the rest of the sound deadener for quite some distance arround both frame rails, and if possible check all the floor from the inside too. Anything that you think looks suspect try to push a screwdriver through it. Good luck with it and if there is anything you find in Melbourne parts wise that you need send me a message and i'll see what I can do to help you out with getting it up there.

Alan.

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Thanks for the offer there. Might just take you up on that. :)

I wont be able to do the actual fabrication and welding part of the repairs, but I'll be trying to do everything else myself. I'm pretty busy at uni atm so don't have too much time to work on it.

I'm also looking into the legal side of things atm, both the previous owner and also the workshop that gave it a roadworthy.

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I hate to take advantage of someone else's troubles but my car has the same problem about to occur. Now that I know how much trouble it is to fix I am not go to take the car out of the garage until I get somebody with a spot welder over here to fix it.

Sorry about your luck.

Frankenstein Z

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Now that I'm taking it back to bare metal under the car, should I be putting something on there to stop it rusting?

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Is POR available in ozz? Eastwood also has a simular product if there stuff is available to you. www.eastwoodcompany.com I cannot find the e-mail address for POR . epoxy primer and paint may be the next best option and then undercoat to protect from rock and sand chips. :classic: the best to you and yours .

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