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Author Topic: How do you repair a frame that's rusted....missing  (Read 634 times)

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Offline xonknor

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How do you repair a frame that's rusted....missing
« on: May 07, 2018, 08:38:52 PM »
I just bought a '79 Pinto and after inspection noticed that the frame was pretty much gone on the passengers side. Rusted out totally. Can one repair this by welding new material in? Or can you buy a new frame rail?
Thanks xonknor

Offline DBSS1234

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Re: How do you repair a frame that's rusted....missing
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 10:29:50 AM »
Having restored several very rusty vintage Mustangs over the years I can say, yes it can be fixed BUT. You need to make sure the new part is welded to good metal and has good welds securing it. You will need to have repair panels made by a local sheet metal shop of fab them yourself since Pinto repair panels are not available (you can also use rust free used panels if you can find some). If you have the panels made or you make them yourself use metal the same thickness or a little thicker than stock, do not go lighter we are talking frame here! Any areas where you butt weld be sure to include a "backing plate" behind the weld. Also take as many measurements as you can before you cut out the rusted metal and use these measurements to locate the new metal. Not fun but doable.  ;)

Offline Wittsend

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Re: How do you repair a frame that's rusted....missing
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2018, 11:24:36 AM »
I made my own floor raplacement panel but thankfully I didn't have to replace the rail too.  If after you have removed the rail you can flatten it (may require cutting on formed corners) you can make a template on cardboard. You may be forced to only make something "similar" but I'd think if you follow the general principles you should be OK. As with all mods, "Do at your own risk."


Below is an image of the replacement panel. I put dimples in to strengthen the flat metal. I simply used a larger socket on the bottom and a smaller one up top. If you notice some are missing. Ahh..., yea, when it all slips, you smash your finger..., you say "enough is enough." None of it is pretty, but it is all under carpet. The two parallel rows are where the floor was plug welded to the frame rail.