Regardless of how new and sophisticated a truck is, its frame will always be susceptible to rusting after a certain point. Fortunately, corrosion can be repaired if the correct tools and processes are utilized. According to HotCars.com, pickup trucks such as Chevy Colorados, certain Nissan Frontiers, and Mitsubishi L200s are all models that are at significant risk of rusting for several different reasons. Therefore, you should be especially cautious if you own any of these models.
Steps To Repair A Rusted Truck Frame
It can often be extremely difficult to fix rust alone, so it’s imperative to seek professional assistance. There are eight major steps to remember when seeking to repair a rusted truck frame.
Evaluate The Rust Damage
Before you begin any actual repair work, it’s important to assess the amount or severity of the rust damage on your truck. This will allow you to more adequately estimate how much you will need to spend on your repair job (e.g. $75 vs. a few hundred dollars).
Remove Pieces Welded To The Frame
Rusting can often lead to extraneous pieces becoming attached to a truck’s frame, so be sure to remove these. For this step, a grinder, cutting torch, and/or cut-off wheel are highly effective. After utilizing these tools, make sure to sandblast the frame in order to make cracks and other similar issues more visible.
Remove The Rusted or Broken Face Of The Frame
The grinder, as well as a hacksaw, can help you complete this step. The process of removing damaged metal pieces will allow you to perform work on the frame’s inner surface, which is typically more challenging to clean and repair.
Re-Align The Frame & Weld In Repair Pieces Inside Of The Frame
If you work on the inside of your truck’s frame, repairs will be hidden from view when completed. You can also add items such as gussets (brackets) to strengthen the angle of the frame, as well as a nut to match any cap screws you may be using as part of your repair project.
Weld Repair Piece On Bottom Rail
Construct a repair piece for the frame’s bottom rail and weld it. When you reach this step, be sure to verify that the frame horn is in the correct position.
Template & Cut Patch
An X-Acto knife is essential to this step. Cut the cardboard template until you are certain you have reached a perfect fit to replace the trimmed-out region. Check for a perfect fit multiple times if necessary.
Weld In The Patch
Attach the patch using a MIG (metal inert gas) welder to add an extra layer of reinforcement. This process involves the use of electricity to melt and fuse together metal parts. It is often recommended to use protective equipment such as gloves and a visor when MIG welding, as it involves using relatively dangerous tools.
Cosmetic Work & Finish Paint
The last step in this process involves making minor, last-minute repairs, and adjustments. You can use tools such as sand and filler for these final touch-ups. After all cosmetic work has been completed, all you need to finalize your project and make your truck look elegant again is a fresh coat of paint.
Ultimately, it’s important to regularly inspect your truck for rust, especially during seasons of extreme temperatures (i.e. the winter and summertime). Both humidity and salt on icy roads can lead to corrosion. Rainwater can also cause the metal to oxidize, so be sure to leave your car in a dry area whenever possible during the rainy months each year.
Speak To An Experienced Custom Auto Body Shop
Reach out to the experts at Robs Customs & Restorations in Manassas, Virginia for more information about the process of repairing a rusted truck frame. We have experience working with all types of trucks, including classic, antique and vintage trucks. We can perform both frame straightening and alignment, as well as rust repair, which we complete thanks to the use of a wire brush and a grinding wheel.
Robs’ team also performs full restorations, which include interior work (seats, dashboard, glove box, etc.). We are dedicated to ensuring that your truck is comfortable to ride in no matter where you choose to drive it.
We also provide custom paint jobs and four different types of engine swaps: LS, fuel-injected, Hemi, and Coyote. We can also offer you an estimate so that you never have to spend beyond your budget. Call Robs Customs & Restorations today at (703)-552-5001 or contact us online to learn more about our services.