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Winter is coming…Check your frame (long)!

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by phillytaco, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. Nov 6, 2007 at 10:24 AM

    phillytaco [OP] Member

    Apr 17, 2007
    A few weekends ago I washing my truck... a 97’ RC V6 with 165k that I’ve owned for about 6 months which came from central NY, I'm in Southeastern PA... anyway, while cleaning the wheels noticed a series of flaked paint area’s on the rear frame in the wheel well area.

    I put my mind at ease by convincing myself it is a 10 y/o truck so of course it’ll have some rust on the frame… but then I was reminded of a post I read on this forum some months back about a member’s bad luck with purchasing a truck that had frame rot (don’t recall who posted that but thank you)… anyway I delved further.

    It turns out I had a potential problem on my hands from the cab back. About 75% of the drivers side rail was rusting away and about 60-65% on the passenger side… I equate the variation to the exhaust running down the passenger side and that the heat omitted might prevent moisture from sticking around. Anyway I made a call to POR-15 and this weekend I took care of the issue.

    I decided not to photograph the process and put a write up together because seriously, how exciting is it to watch someone; scrape, grind, clean, metal prep and paint… along with the occasional 12 oz beverage breaks BUT I just wanted to pass along my experience to those out there in the rust belt or who have purchased trucks from the rust belt to check your frame.

    Take Care,
  2. Nov 8, 2007 at 11:54 AM

    thenrie Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    Stafford, VA
    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.
    That post was mine, although there have been a couple others more recently. I have read that Toyota took care of the problem from 2000 on. I was able to return the '97 with the bad frame and ended up with a 2000. I immediately had it rustproofed and undercoated.

    The frame on that '97 was rusted so badly that on the driver's side I actually crushed the inside of the frame rail with my bare hand. I have to tell you I don't think POR-15 is going to solve the problem. POR-15 may be able to stop it from rusting further (or maybe not), but it certainly won't strengthen the frame enough to replace the metal already lost. I would recommend you either have a rear clip welded in, or at least have your frame reinforced with metal. As bad as the one I had was, I was afraid of losing the whole rear end on a good speed bump!

    The only way to cure the problem, and not just put it off a while, is to have the bed removed, cut off the rear portion of your frame, and have a rust-free frame clip welded in its place. Once rust has started, it just keeps eating away. Some say chemical treatment can stop the rust, but I'm still not a believer, except in the case of light surface rust. Frame cancer is a whole different animal.

    Another option would be to purchase a new frame from Toyota, They run about $1800, as I recall, and just trade everything over. Then throw that rusted frame far away.
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