Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Truck frame restoration questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    6,655

    Truck frame restoration questions

    I find myself at a point where I need to remediate the frame of my 2009 GMC Denali.
    A week, or so back I happened to climb underneath it and found out that the receiver hitch was rusted through, and that the hoist that lowers the spare tire would not work.
    I replaced the hitch, and cut the spare tire hoist apart to free up the spare, which is now in the bed of the truck awaiting the spare hoist assembly.
    I've knocked most of the gross rust scale off with a pneumatic chisel, and wire wheel, from the cab back, and I intend to pull the bed this week, so that I can really get at it.

    I've looked a countless you tube videos, on application of undercoatings. It seems that POR 15, Chassis Saver by Magnetic paint, and Eastwood, are the dominant players in the DIY'r game. Fluid film is out there also, but I don't quite understand their product application. Right now I'm leaning towards Eastwood, or Chassis saver, and applying an aluminum oxide coating, followed by a second, black chassis coating, and then a top coat.
    My question is, has anyone done their own truck frame,what "system" did you use, and how has it held up?
    I do have the tools, car lift, and compressor, (5HP, 60 gallon, 17CFM@90psi.) to do the work, so any tips, tricks, or lessons learned, would be appreciated.
    Another question is what type, and grit, media blaster did anyone find worked well.
    Thank you
    Mike
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    5,062
    Never done a vehicle frame. We don't get much salt on the road here, and none of our vehicles go on a salted road when they do.

    I don't know how far this guy is from you, but it was the first on a list that Google found for: "dustless blasting griswold ct." http://joesdustlessblasting.com/

    The only other way I'd be in for doing it myself would be with an attachment that works on a pressure washer. I don't have one yet, but have been looking at them. There are youtube videos of people using them that look pretty promising.

    I lined a fuel tank on a tractor with a POR product, and was very impressed with it. Never any complaints from Eastwood stuff either though, so I expect any of them should be okay.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
    Posts
    4,010
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    Never done a vehicle frame. We don't get much salt on the road here, and none of our vehicles go on a salted road when they do.

    I don't know how far this guy is from you, but it was the first on a list that Google found for: "dustless blasting griswold ct." http://joesdustlessblasting.com/

    The only other way I'd be in for doing it myself would be with an attachment that works on a pressure washer. I don't have one yet, but have been looking at them. There are youtube videos of people using them that look pretty promising.

    I lined a fuel tank on a tractor with a POR product, and was very impressed with it. Never any complaints from Eastwood stuff either though, so I expect any of them should be okay.
    I have the pressure washer sand injector and tried blasting trailer rims the paint and rust did come off but they rusted right back up before they were even dry.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    The old pueblo in el norte.
    Posts
    683
    The last time I did it, I used nylon abrasive wheels and cups in angle and die grinders. But, that was on an 80" wheelbase CJ5. On that project I used POR15. It worked ok, and lasted until I gave up on that platform and built a tube chassis. Were I to do it again, and actually be 'restoring' it (there was a lot of modification on the 5, before it went to a tube chassis).. I'd have the thing dipped, then after I fixed it, I'd have it powder coated.
    ~mike

    scope creep

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    6,655
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    Never done a vehicle frame. We don't get much salt on the road here, and none of our vehicles go on a salted road when they do.

    I don't know how far this guy is from you, but it was the first on a list that Google found for: "dustless blasting griswold ct." http://joesdustlessblasting.com/

    The only other way I'd be in for doing it myself would be with an attachment that works on a pressure washer. I don't have one yet, but have been looking at them. There are youtube videos of people using them that look pretty promising.

    I lined a fuel tank on a tractor with a POR product, and was very impressed with it. Never any complaints from Eastwood stuff either though, so I expect any of them should be okay.
    That's an impressive blaster! The one video quotes it as 210cfm, at 130psi, and requiring 300lbs. of spent glass to strip a vehicle.
    I'll definitely hit it with a pressure washer first, but eventually it will come down to some tedious stripping and descaling.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Vancouver Canada
    Posts
    327
    Mike, I'm wondering if it's not a possibility to get either an aftermarket chassis, or get one from a sunbelt wrecking yard and just swap it out.
    I've had the same issue with a lovely Buick coupe and it just wasn't worth it to repair it - by the time the rust was off, there was nothing left to weld the patches on to.
    Young enough to remember doing it;
    Old enough to wish I could do it again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Tennessee
    Posts
    63
    A few years back when I lived in NE PA I had a Pathfinder that finally failed PA's yearly inspection due to frame rusting - it was given its 12-month death sentence. Luckily it met a large doe that totaled it providing a better financial outcome.

  8. #8
    Assuming the frame etc is still structurally sound:

    Get as much chunky rust off as you can.
    Go to Harbor Freight. Get a $10 angle grinder, a 4-1/2" AND a 7" sanding disk backer for it, some 24 grit disks, and a few different wire brushes. They have a set of 5 brushes for cheap.
    Go to Home Depot or Lowes, and get a gallon of Kleen Strip Metal Prep, says "makes paint stick" on the bottle. It's pretty much just 20% phosphoric acid. Also get one of their 'chemical resistant' spray bottles for the acid, and grab a half dozen cheapie paint brushes.
    Go online, search 'bluewater coal tar epoxy', and buy some. A gallon kit cover's like 125 sq feet so one should be enough.

    grind as much of the rest of the rust off and away with the sanding disks and wire wheels.
    fill the spray bottle with the phosphoric acid, grab a brush, spray the bare metal with acid and brush it in good. After it's had time to drip off a bit, wipe off the excess with a shop rag.
    your rust will mostly dissolve, what doesn't will chemically change, and the metal will go gray to black. The metal is now temporarily pickled and will resist flash rusting for 2 days.
    Open the coal tar epoxy and the resin, pour half of each into a container and mix them up real good. Save the other half for a second coat. You can roll or brush it on, brush should be fine for what you're doing. Between 6 and 20 hours later, put on a second coat. When dry a day or two later, paint it.

    you DON'T need expensive rust proofers or converters, phosphoric acid does the same thing. In the absence of moisture, like under the truck, it'll avoid flash rust indefinitely.
    Coal tar epoxy, it's literally coal tar with 50/50 epoxy resin mixed in. It's what they rustproof battleships, and those 200' diameter sewage treatment plant stirring ponds with. It will outlast the rest of the truck

    --we have a SkipperLiner houseboat, whose steel hull was half eaten live by stray current corrosion, repairing the damage is how I've come to learn the best/cheapest ways to deal with a rusted steel mess.
    Last edited by Kev Williams; 08-04-2020 at 12:27 PM.
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    4,792
    Buy a cheap tarp and box of chip brushes while at harbor freight. the trap goes down then the truck drives onto it to contain the goop that drips off.
    Bil lD

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    6,655
    Thank you for the feedback folks.

    Aaron
    The chassis and frame aren't that far gone yet. I was whacking everything with a hammer, and took a pneumatic chisel to the frame, and cross members, and they were good.Plenty of metal integrity left, it's just at a point that something has to be done.

    Don
    I had one of the 2001 Toyota Tacoma's that the frame rusted out on. I had mine professionally undercoated when I bought it, which just delayed the issue by about 5 years. In 2015, I took it into Toyota and they "condemned" the frame. They also weren't going to replace it either. They sent a notice to the DMV, which in turn sent me a notice. Bottom line, I got rid of it. It had 340,000 miles on it. My previous Toyota had 310,000. I liked those trucks.

    Kevin
    I'll look into the "marine" products. I had thought to do that, as Defender Marine Supply is only 4 miles from work.

    Bill
    That's a definite with the tarp!!
    Just the hour I spent with a pneumatic chisel/hammer, and wire wheels knocked a ton of debris down. It makes a big mess just stripping the rust and stuff off.
    I need to look harder for my flip up face shield. Regular old safety glasses are worthless when all that debris is raining down in your face.
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 08-05-2020 at 6:31 PM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Highland MI
    Posts
    3,991
    Blog Entries
    11
    What about the inside of the frame? My '84 CJ7 has likely seen a lot more sand and mud than your vehicle. (A Denali SUV or pickup?) But when I did a frame off install of a 5.3 motor, I wire brushed and lightly sandblasted the exterior of the frame and cleaned 11 pounds of sand and rust from the inside of the frame. Mostly using compressed air to move it to the access holes. Others have spun a small chain on the end of a rod inside the frame to knock off rust. Coating the inside is a more difficult task, I was just happy to get the goo out so it wouldn't just sit there, wet, and keep rusting the frame from the inside out. In retrospect I should have just replaced the frame as it took a lot of welding and plating to get it structurally sound. As it will never see salted roads again, I just painted it with a chassis paint I got from NAPA, followed by a brushed on coat of Rustoleum.
    IMG_0443.jpg
    Last edited by Ole Anderson; 08-07-2020 at 9:42 AM.
    NOW you tell me...

  12. #12
    you can rig up a shutz gun to spray inside the frame first. I dipped and sandblasted. If its something worthwhile dipping will do work inside that nothing else will do. If its going on roads again with sale and crap id spray inside the frame with fluid film



    img513A.jpg img599A.jpg

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    6,655
    Ole and Warren

    Yes, the inside of the frame will also get coated. Getting the debris out may prove to be problematic, but I have a number of option at my disposal. Compressed air being one of them.

    Warren
    I don't know about "dipping" the frame. That's a new term for me.
    How did you rig the Shutz gun to get the frame internally?
    I've seen Eastwood's applicator hose for frame internals, that may be able to be attached to a gun??

    It's a big job, and I'd like to keep use of the truck while I'm doing it to the extent possible, but that might prove to be a big pain.
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 08-08-2020 at 2:18 PM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •