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Thread: Front frame rust

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Jun 2017

    Posts:    3

    Front frame rust

    Hello,
    I continue to work on 3587, which had been up on blocks since before 1993 up until I bought it two years ago. I had the fuel injection system rebuilt by Hervey, and bought a new fuel pump plus a ton of other pieces parts. I was working on connecting up the cooling system, from the new water pump to the radiator, installing new silicon hoses along the way so I could perform a pressure test before burying the VOD again. I jacked up the front for the first time and really had a chance to inspect some rust that I knew was up there and it's pretty bad. I had thought I would just replace the front frame extension (crumple tube) but the crossmember is also toast. Looks like the PO tried to cure rust with some lighter gray paint at some point in the early '90s. The rest of the frame is in surprisingly good condition. What do you all think? How would I go about repairing this?

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  2. #2
    Senior Member vwdmc16's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  sacramento

    Posts:    1,370

    My VIN:    1768

    Club(s):   (NCDMC) (DCUK)

    Looks pretty deep. You won't know how deep until you cut into it.

    Doing it properly would mean pulling the frame and getting it blasted or dipped then cutting out and replacing every bad panel. Quite the time and money consuming process. Unless you are really determined to do it yourself and keep that frame, it's probably best to buy a good used frame or new stainless one.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Parzival's Avatar
    Join Date:  Apr 2018

    Location:  Florida

    Posts:    212

    If the rest is good then maybe weld in reinforcement for the crossmember, and then replace the front frame extension.

    My first Delorean had all kinds of frame repairs way worse then what you're dealing with... it worked... at-least for the level of car that it was. If your car is in other wise really good condition it might be worth pulling the body and just getting it all done in the best fashion from the start. then you have nothing to worry about, and you'll have a really solid car.

  4. #4
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jul 2011

    Location:  Florida: Pinellas County

    Posts:    1,808

    My VIN:    5003

    Club(s):   (DCF)

    Been there, done that. Unfortunately it looks like this car was either winter driven or left out in the elements for a while, or both! It also appears that someone went over it with POR-15 or similar which is failing. If the rest of the frame is good, you can try finding a front section of frame to graft on, at least this is what I did (see below). It was a PITA to do while keeping everything aligned. If the rest of the frame has trouble spots (my guess is you have trouble spots on the rails and cradle as well) I'd suggest finding a good used replacement, they do come up from time to time and then you won't have to keep chasing rust and wasting time. You can try to cut out and patch what you can in the car but when that fails you'll end up removing the frame anyway. Then you can cut and patch more but you'll still have rust eating away at the inside parts of the frame that you cannot reach. You can see more photos of the fate of my frame in my album.


    Last edited by dn010; 04-23-2019 at 10:55 AM.
    -----Dan B.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Josh's Avatar
    Join Date:  Mar 2013

    Location:  SK, Canada

    Posts:    1,895

    My VIN:    11408

    Club(s):   (TXDMC)

    Pulling and stripping the frame would be a good first step.

    I would start keeping an eye out for used frames.

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