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frame rust problems...solutions?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by thenrie, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. Sep 1, 2007 at 8:36 PM
    #1
    thenrie

    thenrie [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Stafford, VA
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    2000 Tacoma, SR5, TRD, 2.7L (LEV), 4wd, 5sp m
    Magnaflow cat and cat-back exhaust, AFE Stage 2 cold-air intake system, 2.5" lift via Skyjacker leaf packs, Bilstein 5100s.
    I just bought a 97 Tacoma in Pittsburgh, not being familiar with rust (being from the southwest) I didn't discover the frame rot until the pickup was mine. Now I need to do something.

    The only long-term solution I can see is to replace the rear frame section with a new clip. The front half of the frame appears sound, but the rear portion, just forward of the spring perches, is pretty well gone. I am aware now that this is a typical problem with Toys in the northeast. That being the case, does anyone know of anyplace that makes a rear frame clip for the Tacos? If not, has anyone tried fabricating a rear frame clip? Know of any fab shops in the Pittsburgh area that could do such a job?

    I have read that a new frame runs about $5K. I could make a dozen for that amount. Hey...
     
  2. Sep 2, 2007 at 4:31 AM
    #2
    TheMaster

    TheMaster Born to Ride

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    Bug shield, window visors, skid plate, rust proofing, tonneau cover, paint & upholstery protection, side step bars, navigation system.
    That's terrible. If you bought from a dealer or even an individual, go back and demand your money back or for the repairs. Don't you'll have disclosure laws? You've been cheated. Don't take it laying down. :mad:
     
  3. Sep 2, 2007 at 6:24 AM
    #3
    thenrie

    thenrie [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Stafford, VA
    Vehicle:
    2000 Tacoma, SR5, TRD, 2.7L (LEV), 4wd, 5sp m
    Magnaflow cat and cat-back exhaust, AFE Stage 2 cold-air intake system, 2.5" lift via Skyjacker leaf packs, Bilstein 5100s.
    Well, don't think I haven't thought about it, but I had my chance to look the truck over and didn't catch it. I was aware of the problem with Tacomas here, but didn't know exactly where on the frame the problems occur. I didn't find the rust-out until after I had paid for the pickup and taken it home. Since I bought it from an individual, I would probably end up in a real battle trying to get the individual to return the money. Besides, I'm not sure he knew about it either. Not completely sure what I'm going to do at this point. Feel sort of stupid having missed it and would almost rather eat the money than stir up a fight.

    I figure that if I can replace the rear half of the frame for around $1000, I will have done ok. I can do most of the work, but the fabrication of the frame clip will be the difficult part. I'm hoping that if I can make a pattern I can get a fab shop to make the rails for me, then I can do the rest. I expect that while I'm at it, I may go ahead and upgrade the suspension and some other bolt-on type stuff, so it may not end up all that bad.
     
  4. Sep 2, 2007 at 9:04 AM
    #4
    TheMaster

    TheMaster Born to Ride

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    Bug shield, window visors, skid plate, rust proofing, tonneau cover, paint & upholstery protection, side step bars, navigation system.
    I would try to recover even 50% from the previous owner. Pleading ignorance is not good enough.

    We had another member who had frame rot earlier this year. I don't know what he did. Check this link out. http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/technical-chat/559-rusted-frame-1999-tacoma.html

    I "efin" hate it when people visit this forum when their dick is on fire seeking help and never to return or have the courtesy to let us know how it was resolved.
     
  5. Sep 2, 2007 at 7:37 PM
    #5
    thenrie

    thenrie [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Stafford, VA
    Vehicle:
    2000 Tacoma, SR5, TRD, 2.7L (LEV), 4wd, 5sp m
    Magnaflow cat and cat-back exhaust, AFE Stage 2 cold-air intake system, 2.5" lift via Skyjacker leaf packs, Bilstein 5100s.
    I took your advice to heart. I checked my account and found the check had not cleared. We had not yet transferred the title, because my DL is in process of being transferred from Puerto Rico to Pennsylvania (PR takes up to 2 weeks to get a DL check back to PA), and PA requires a PA DL to purchase a vehicle to be licensed in PA. So I took the pickup and title and he kept the check, we made out a handwritten bill of sale, and I was to call him when my DL came and we would do the title transfer then. What a hassle, but it saved my bacon this time.

    Anyway, I called the seller and told him about the rust I discovered, including a portion of the frame that crumbled under hand-pressure. He was as disappointed as I, said he didn't know, and I believe him. I told him the pickup was not going to work for me and asked if he had already deposited my check. He had, so I told him I would stop payment on the check and return the pickup to him. He agreed. In the end, I felt so bad about the whole thing that I left him with a full tank and $50 to pay for any fees he might be charged by the bank.

    I was lucky. He could have made things very problematic. It was nice to find out it was an honest mistake on both our parts and that the solution was as simple as returning the pickup.

    I am very disappointed, because I found the Tacoma to be an excellent pickup, and just what I wanted. It was in excellent shape, except for the frame and a little rust under the fender flares in the rear. With 139K miles it purrs like a kitten and gets 25mpg, and the 2.7 was strong. I am leaning toward getting another, but I think I'll look for one on ebay in AZ or NM.

    Thanks for the advice. It helped.:eek:
     
  6. Sep 3, 2007 at 7:27 AM
    #6
    TheMaster

    TheMaster Born to Ride

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    Bug shield, window visors, skid plate, rust proofing, tonneau cover, paint & upholstery protection, side step bars, navigation system.
    Aww, that brought a tear to my glass eye. ;) I'm happy for you.

    If you want to be a real nice guy, tell the owner you may consider buying it if the repairs are done in a timely manner. If the time frame suits you. Since you kind of know the rig already, it may save you time and money looking for another.

    Cheers!
     
  7. Sep 9, 2007 at 11:22 AM
    #7
    thenrie

    thenrie [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Stafford, VA
    Vehicle:
    2000 Tacoma, SR5, TRD, 2.7L (LEV), 4wd, 5sp m
    Magnaflow cat and cat-back exhaust, AFE Stage 2 cold-air intake system, 2.5" lift via Skyjacker leaf packs, Bilstein 5100s.
    I just bought a '00 Tacoma yesterday. 120K miles, SR5, TRD, 4wd, 2.7L, 5sp man, no body damage or rust, solid frame. Only thing is that the kid put a glass-pack muffler on it, so it's loud inside and out. I'll have to change that. Otherwise, sweet pickup. I'm pleased.

    Now I'm looking for suggestions as to how I might prevent the frame from rusting out prematurely, like Tacos habitually do here in the northern states. They get sold up here for parts because of rusted-out frames by the time they're 10-12 years old.

    I'm also looking for suggestions for ways to improve on the 20-22 mpg highway this 4 banger is supposed to be good for. I know one guy that routinely gets 25mpg highway on his 97 with just Sure-Fire spark plugs, a high-flow airfilter, and a "tornado" insert in the intake between the air filter and the manifold. Can this engine be chipped?

    By the way, while I had the rusted out 97, I contacted a place called Budbuilt (budbuilt.com) that is developing replacement frames for 85-92s and says he can get rear frame clips for later models for $3-500. He is developing frames for the earlier models and willl offer them painted, hot-dip galvanized, or bare. Good stuff.
     
  8. Sep 9, 2007 at 11:44 AM
    #8
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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    Activator III brake controller, Extang Fulltilt toneau, Factory bed mat, Extra D-rings in the bed, 2ndary air filter removed, Garmin Ique GPS, Eco-2, AFE Pro Dry-s filter, USASPEC PA12-toy, Pioneer 3-way speakers, SG II on Blendmount, Gulf States Alarm added.
    Check out this thread for mileage info. 007tacoma and I are in the process of running a test on this device and will report our findings in the relatively near future. http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/2714-better-gas-mileage.html

    Running your tire pressure somewhere between the toyota specs and the max pressure on the sidewall will help mileage a little bit, synthetic oil should be good for anther MPG increase or so. Also a high flow drop in air filter should help a bit as well, though I would go with the dry type over the K&N oiled type. See this thread http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/2816-k-n-air-filter-prerunner-v6.html
     
  9. Sep 9, 2007 at 8:07 PM
    #9
    TheMaster

    TheMaster Born to Ride

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    Bug shield, window visors, skid plate, rust proofing, tonneau cover, paint & upholstery protection, side step bars, navigation system.
    This is news to me. We use road salt like crazy and I'm yet to hear of frame rot over here. Google "galvanic action" and "sacrificial anode" and see if this process helps. Keep us posted.
     
  10. Sep 9, 2007 at 11:03 PM
    #10
    thenrie

    thenrie [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Stafford, VA
    Vehicle:
    2000 Tacoma, SR5, TRD, 2.7L (LEV), 4wd, 5sp m
    Magnaflow cat and cat-back exhaust, AFE Stage 2 cold-air intake system, 2.5" lift via Skyjacker leaf packs, Bilstein 5100s.
    I'm really surprised you haven't had some other people talking about this. The '97 I bought (then returned) was so bad that I actually crushed the inner wall of the frame with my bare hand. The critical places are about 8-10 inches forward of the front perches of the rear springs, on both frame rails. My theory is that water and road salt sling up into the openings in the frame and up into the open frame above the rear wheels and runs into the boxed portion of the frame ahead of the spring perches, and just sits there with no way to drain and no way to get flushed out. I think the salt, with no way to be flushed out, concentrates as the water evaporates, which would make a super caustic solution each time more saltwater was introduced. The frames I have looked at are obviously rusted out from the inside. I was hoping somebody or some shop had developed a way to prevent this.

    I'm thinking of drilling a 1/2" hole in the bottom of the frame in that area to allow the inside of the frame to be flushed out and drained. I am also thinking about pumping POR15 into the frame with a hand pump, but I'm not certain what effect that would have if there is already rust started. Maybe even something as simple as spraying rustoleum on the inside of the frame would help delay the corrosion.

    Some folks I have talked to here have said they get the vehicle undercoated and there are various methods and materials with which to do that, but the rust seems to come from the inside, so I doubt the undercoating really has much effect.

    I'll keep you posted on what I find out. I'd like to figure out a preventative treatment as soon as possible.
     
  11. Sep 27, 2007 at 6:28 AM
    #11
    thenrie

    thenrie [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Stafford, VA
    Vehicle:
    2000 Tacoma, SR5, TRD, 2.7L (LEV), 4wd, 5sp m
    Magnaflow cat and cat-back exhaust, AFE Stage 2 cold-air intake system, 2.5" lift via Skyjacker leaf packs, Bilstein 5100s.
    Just to update on my '00. I found that on the '00, Toyota apparently attempted to solve the rust problem by drilling a hole about 3/8" diameter in the bottom of the frame right where the bad rust was occurring. I think the problem was that moisture saturated with road salt was getting inside the frame and settling in that area with no place to drain. Then the water evaporates and the salt remains, then more comes in and the process repeats. The salt concentration becomes extreme, causing extremely destructive and fast corrosion. Anyway, Toyota now puts a hole in the bottom of the frame where the salt saturated moisture can drain out. It also allows fresh water from rain to wash out the salt the rest of the year.

    As a protective measure, I took my pickup to a place called Ziebart here in Pittsburgh (Wexford, actually) and had it rust-proofed and undercoated. They take off the tail lights and spray a rust proofer up inside the fender wells, where rust tends to start around the rear wheel arches, and all up under the frame and body. The undercoat seals it all and even quiets road and exhaust noise a bit. Cost me $300. I think it will be money in the bank, from what I have seen on other Tacos in the area.
     
  12. Sep 27, 2007 at 7:31 AM
    #12
    TheMaster

    TheMaster Born to Ride

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    2007 DC TRD Sport
    Bug shield, window visors, skid plate, rust proofing, tonneau cover, paint & upholstery protection, side step bars, navigation system.
    Dont you have to do it yearly to maintain warranty?
     
  13. Sep 27, 2007 at 11:02 AM
    #13
    350TacoZilla

    350TacoZilla Well-Known Member

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    2.7L 3RZ,K&N filter, 4" deck plate mod,flowmaster 40 series,3" suspension lift, hybrid 52"chevy/toyota rear springs.
    i still have the stock frame from tacozilla rear of frame should be fine...just twisted up in front at motor mounts...your welcome to it from scrap price LOL
     
  14. Sep 27, 2007 at 3:24 PM
    #14
    350TacoZilla

    350TacoZilla Well-Known Member

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    or you could just sell it to me.... i always need another taco LOL
     
  15. Sep 28, 2007 at 5:23 AM
    #15
    thenrie

    thenrie [OP] Well-Known Member

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    2000 Tacoma, SR5, TRD, 2.7L (LEV), 4wd, 5sp m
    Magnaflow cat and cat-back exhaust, AFE Stage 2 cold-air intake system, 2.5" lift via Skyjacker leaf packs, Bilstein 5100s.
    They didn't say anything about warranty. I'll have to check into that. By the look of the stuff, I doubt it will have to be reapplied more than every 2-3 years, if at all.
     
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