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Old 01-24-2023, 07:42 PM #1
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Frame Rust Repair

I need to have some repair work done on my rusty frame (Gen3). I have found frame repair kits, but who is best suited to do the repair? Dealership, body shop, just a general welder or mechanic?

I don't know how to weld, so that isnt an issue - appreciate your thoughts.
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Old 01-24-2023, 07:50 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st8rox View Post
I need to have some repair work done on my rusty frame (Gen3). I have found frame repair kits, but who is best suited to do the repair? Dealership, body shop, just a general welder or mechanic?

I don't know how to weld, so that isnt an issue - appreciate your thoughts.
Call around and ask shops if they do frame repair.Prices can wary, generally dealer are expensive. Cutting, shaping and welding requires some skill but buying prť made frame pieces from 4-Runner 1996-2002 3rd Gen Archives - autorust.com and having a moderately experienced welder or diy welder can accomplish.
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Old 01-24-2023, 09:51 PM #3
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Pre-formed frame repair pieces is the way to go... autorust or safe-t-cap, located in Rhode Island, make the easiest to use frame repair items. I just had my 06 4Runner done, from the front control arms on both sides, all the way out back, to include the rear bumper reinforcemnt brace. Now, not every area needed repair, but having sections done all together, greatly reduced the time and cost of the repair. the person I chose has significant experience welding, and is a full mechanical repair shop. My friend who owns his own collision repair shop, did not want to touch the job (too much time and shop space would be needed). It included removing the fuel tank, brake lines and complete rear differential with suspension. Well worth the time, money and effort needed to bring the 4Runner back to "Better than New" status.

Frame Repair - Toyota 4Runner Forum - Largest 4Runner Forum
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Old 01-25-2023, 01:27 AM #4
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I just had Safe-T-Caps welded in along several spots in my 3rd gen frame. As mentioned above, no collision repair shop or body shop wanted to touch it for liability reasons. One even told me it was illegal to repair frames with patches.

I went to the Auto Rust website and looked up certified installers in my state. There were two. I called them both and went with the shop I was more comfortable with.

I paid about 40% more for the parts then I would have by ordering them myself online, but they told me they were only allowed to charge up to a specific hourly labor rate by Safe-T-Cap that was lower than their normal shop labor rate, so it was a wash compared to me buying parts and just paying labor.

I pretty much had the entire driver's side done for good measure and two spots on the passenger side, including the inner spot where the trailing arm meets the frame by the exhaust pipe.

I paid just north of $2k for everything but consider it money well spent to have a solid frame to build on. I certainly do not have the tools or skill set to do that type of thing myself.
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Old 01-29-2023, 05:25 PM #5
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thank you!
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Old 01-29-2023, 09:53 PM #6
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The Auto Rust website doesnít appear to show certified dealers in my area and Iím trying to find a welder to weld my rear upper control arm bracket back to my frame. I have the replacement bracket but having trouble finding anyone willing to do the work.
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Old Yesterday, 09:35 AM #7
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@brillo_76 might be a good source to ask these questions, as he's all about doing his own frame repairs. He might have a lot of good insight on this subject, even if you aren't doing it yourself.
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Old Yesterday, 11:04 AM #8
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It might be worthwhile to expand your search to include auto restoration shops as well. A lot of folks don't want to mess with rusty frames these days, but a complete auto restoration shop might be more willing to do some dirty work.
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Old Yesterday, 01:17 PM #9
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Originally Posted by MCgrease08 View Post
I just had Safe-T-Caps welded in along several spots in my 3rd gen frame. As mentioned above, no collision repair shop or body shop wanted to touch it for liability reasons. One even told me it was illegal to repair frames with patches.

I went to the Auto Rust website and looked up certified installers in my state. There were two. I called them both and went with the shop I was more comfortable with.

I paid about 40% more for the parts then I would have by ordering them myself online, but they told me they were only allowed to charge up to a specific hourly labor rate by Safe-T-Cap that was lower than their normal shop labor rate, so it was a wash compared to me buying parts and just paying labor.

I pretty much had the entire driver's side done for good measure and two spots on the passenger side, including the inner spot where the trailing arm meets the frame by the exhaust pipe.

I paid just north of $2k for everything but consider it money well spent to have a solid frame to build on. I certainly do not have the tools or skill set to do that type of thing myself.
I am not aware of states making it illegal to repair frames especially in the rust belt. I guess its possible.
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Old Yesterday, 01:23 PM #10
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The pre made pieces do make it easier. I have actually done repairs both ways.

Its best to cut out the rotted steal clean everything as good as you can then coat the steel with rust inhibitors when fixing. Then when all completed make sure you coat all the welds and metal with paint and or sealant to stop the oxidation process. :-)
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Old Yesterday, 02:13 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brillo_76 View Post
I am not aware of states making it illegal to repair frames especially in the rust belt. I guess its possible.
This was a collision repair shop, so I think the guy was essentially saying there would be liability issues if they agreed to do the work and I got in a wreck and sued them later on. Not really sure. I just don't think they wanted to fool with me and he was trying to brush me off more than anything.

There are no vehicle inspections in my state (Indiana) so I have no idea how a law like that would be enforced if someone DIYed the work themselves.
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