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Frame "rails"  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 12-06-2013 08:38 pm
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Ricardo
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Joined: 03-13-2005
Location: Miami, Florida USA
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Hi guys.
 I'm in the process of totally rebuilding my JH and just found out that the "rails" under the floor pans are rusted; not too bad ...YET.. but heading in that direction.
 Has anyone replace them before?
 If so, What with and how?
 Any and all help wil be totally appreciated.
 Thanks in advance for your help.
 From the southern part of the sunshine state:
                      Ricardo

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 Posted: 12-07-2013 01:27 am
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Art DeKneef
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What's not too bad rusted? Surface rust, some pitting, major pitting, crumbling rust?

The rails I have seen generally have some surface rust and might be a little rustier where they have been scraped to the metal by something. But so far, never enough to need replacing. However all of them have dents or have been bent to some degree.

Are the rails completely cleaned of dirt, undercoating and paint so you have a good look at the metal?

Depending on where they are rusted you can cut out the rusted area and weld in new. Are the floor pans in good shape? Expect to spend some time drilling out a lot of spot welds.

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 Posted: 12-07-2013 01:51 am
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Ricardo
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the floor pans where made out of aluminum a while back by the PO and riveted to the rails, but the rails are rusting, not just surface rust and ....How do you cut just one section and weld another one in?  Isn't better and simpler to install a new, slightly oversize channel or "u" shaped piece on top of the original one?  I mean, I REALLY DON'T KNOW that is why I'm asking for help from you guys that have done everything to the JH, I wish I knew what you guys have forgotten about the topic.
   Hope to hear from you soon.
   Ricardo

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 Posted: 12-07-2013 05:50 pm
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Brett Gibson JH5 20497
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Well lets see if it was my car and they were too rusty to use I would, get the car up in the air securly, run metal or 2X4's along the center tunnel and outer rockers so the car would not flex or bend. (Both side of the tunnel) measure the old channels off, lip, depth, width, figure just were I wanted them to reconnect to the front and rear suspension rails, and how, probably welding. Then call around and find a sheetmetal fabricator that would be willing to make them, maybe even go one step up on the thickness of the material, probably even go slightly larger so that the new one would just fit over the front and rear mount points. Cut the floor and channel out one side at a time and then weld the new one in.

Just make sure that when welding the new ones in the metal is grinded clean so you get a good weld penetration.

Brett

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 Posted: 12-07-2013 07:23 pm
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Art DeKneef
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Ricardo,

What Brett said. You can install a new, larger size channel over the existing. You need to make sure you eradicate all the rust and protect the metal, the channel is securely welded on both ends and the floor pans are structurally connected. If you don't take care of the rust, once the new channel is on you will not be able to see what is happening behind it.

Here are my concerns. This is based on what you have said and we have no pictures to look at. Whatever you decide to do, take a lot of pictures and measurements.

1. Where exactly are they rusting and how bad are the rails? The best thing to do is to replace the rails with new ones. Support the car real good, grind out the rivets over the rail, grind out the welds holding the rails to the front and rear mounting points and take to a good sheet metal place and have them make you a new one. Then repeat on the other side. Like Brett said, one side at a time.

2. Another concern is the aluminum floor over the steel rail riveted on. From what I remember a rivet alone does not equal a spot weld in strength. How many rivets are there? Original spot welds were about every inch and a half or so. Also, if the aluminum and steel are touching each other, eventually they will react to each other. Especially where you are at.

3. If you do not have the skills or tools to do this you will need to have it done by someone else. Doing what you want is certainly in the realm of the home mechanic. It just takes time, patience and tools. And a good source of information and knowledge. Like this list.

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 Posted: 12-09-2013 08:39 pm
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Ricardo
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Thanks guys, you have no idea what your help means to me.
 The rivets in the Floor Pans are about one inch apart, I'm almost to the point of removing the aluminum ones and install the right ones the way they're were designed

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