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Old 08-11-2016, 11:56 PM #1
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Durk's 3rd Gen 4Runner DIY Frame swap and more



This is where my rear control arm bracket is supposed to be. This rust out was totally stealth; from the outside it didn't look that bad. It rusted from the inside out and I didn't know I had a problem until the control arm fell off.

I took it to two local welders and they didn't want to touch it. I don't think this frame can be saved. The other side is almost as bad. There is no metal on top of the bracket there either. A screw driver punches right through.

I can part it out and start over and get myself a whole different truck.

But I'm leaning towards doing a back yard frame swap with a used frame from a junkyard. I have a backup car so I can take my time. Has anyone done it?
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My Backyard Frame Swap

Last edited by TheDurk; 11-14-2016 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:22 AM #2
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Find another fab shop, keep looking, seen way worse fixed before. Maybe an Offroad shop

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Old 08-12-2016, 12:56 AM #3
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Don't see the pic! Whish my friend wasn't selling his house he has a garage with lift and every tool you can imagine. I'd ask him to weld new metal for you. But he's losing the garage
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:58 AM #4
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Ouch. I am no frame expert, so put little weight in my opinion... I would definitely say THAT frame has had it! Especially since you said that it was looking ok from the outside but then rusted out from the inside... I think there is no telling where the next hole will spring up. I would have no confidence driving on that frame, even after the visible spots are fixed up really well.
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Old 08-12-2016, 01:04 AM #5
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Old 08-12-2016, 08:12 AM #6
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I think it all depends on how much work you want to do. The reason a welding shop doesn't want to mess with it is due to the work involved. That's a pretty big section, but it's repairable. The only thing I'd be concerned about is how the rest of the frame it. If the rest of the frame is good I'd fix it.

I bet you'd save money by doing it yourself. Even if you have to buy the welder. If you need pointers let me know since I've already repaired mine, and I have more to do this fall.
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:10 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDurk View Post


This is where my rear control arm bracket is supposed to be. This rust out was totally stealth; from the outside it didn't look that bad. It rusted from the inside out and I didn't know I had a problem until the control arm fell off.

I took it to two local welders and they didn't want to touch it. I don't think this frame can be saved. The other side is almost as bad. There is no metal on top of the bracket there either. A screw driver punches right through.

I can part it out and start over and get myself a whole different truck.

But I'm leaning towards doing a back yard frame swap with a used frame from a junkyard. I have a backup car so I can take my time. Has anyone done it?
I repaired worse, on old Jeeps. But the end result didn't look like an original frame. And after spending 3 days cutting grinding and welding. We took it on a trail and the steering box fell off, with a big chunk of frame. Fixed that too, but my friend sold it after that.

I've done a few frame swaps, always on Chevy trucks/suv type. The first one I did was an 87! That was awful because they didn't build things the way they do today, so pesky things like wiring harness were a major hassle. Today you can disconnect from the firewall and be done. The ability to lift the body is all the difference in the world. A two post lift makes it a cakewalk, doing it with jacks and slings and your brother in law's high lift is just stupid.

I say go for it anyway, but if you sell and replace, don't change your avatar.


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Old 08-12-2016, 10:32 AM #8
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if you can find a frame to swap, i would blast and re-coat everything you can and then try to coat the inside with fluid film or something similar before swapping.

I've had to weld a couple sections on my frame. A buddy of mine with a beautiful sport had the bracket bust off the frame. A shop welded new C-channel over the frame and remounted the bracket to the new metal. People think that welding on the frame is the worst thing ever. It can be done with a 110 welder, grinder, wire brush and some clean steel and hold up for years.

As long as the shop is trusted and takes their time, or if you do it yourself, I think it can be fixed.
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:41 PM #9
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How come I can't see the pic?
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:54 PM #10
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Where in jersey are you? I'm just over the border in NY. I had a guy repair my frame in March.
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Edit, nevermind, tree fell on it.
Let's try this again with a newer runner
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Old 08-12-2016, 01:00 PM #11
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Well, I don't weld, but I do wrench. I just got back from my local junker and he has a 2002 with a decent frame--solid in all the places mine is dust and just surface rust in spots. It was was junked in 2012 so it has only ten years on the road. It wasn't a collision--the body is intact, but nobody knows exactly why it was junked. Fine with me. Got it for $500 plus $100 delivery. Arriving by the end of day.

I spent a late night researching this and I believe I can do this in my yard with jackstands and an engine crane, all of which I have--I think. One guy has a vid of how he did a Taco. I love this truck too much to do anything less.

POR15 plus prep stuff and Eastwood Internal Frame Coat is on the way. Going to do LBJs, UBJs, both TREs, fuel pump, muffler and tailpipe at the same time. Shocks and springs are relatively new. Cats still look solid. Only the front '99 talls are original, but they seem fine with the new Trekmasters on them. Maybe bedliner the underbody while the frame is out. I'll have a new truck under there when I'm done.

I have the time and a backup car--POS '08 Hyundai Accent that is family reserve car, but it runs. So watch this space for a Backyard 3rd Gen 4Runner DIY Frame Swap thread. May take a while but I'll have my truck back. She's been a faithful DD, moving truck and adventure ride since 1999 and she deserves it.
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'97 HiLux SW4 5spd 4WD(Japan model bought in Brazil assembled in Argentina, very close to a 3.0 4Runner/Surf)
'71 FordWillys Jeep CJ5 (with straight six Ford Maverick 3.0 liter engine--lives in the mountains north of Sao Paulo Brazil)
My Backyard Frame Swap

Last edited by TheDurk; 08-12-2016 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 08-12-2016, 01:12 PM #12
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there was a guy over at YT who did a frame swap with the donor frame coming from another YT member who had either a 2002 or 2001, can't remember exactly.
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Old 08-12-2016, 01:41 PM #13
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please for the love of all things holy document the crap out of this!

We will all be thankful
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Old 08-12-2016, 01:46 PM #14
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Frame rot aside, I think this is the first question I've ever seen @TheDurk ask in my few years as a member here.
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Old 08-12-2016, 01:53 PM #15
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Yes please document this ( but seriously why can't I see the pic of your frame ?) if you do frame swap. Wire wheel the whole frame. Get por15 metal prep and marine cleaner. And lay the por15. Then like monstaliner it. Eastwood internal frame costing inside.
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