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Unread 01-28-2010   #1 (permalink)
orange5.0lx is offline Apprentice

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Default 1988 Mustang LX Frame Rail Rust.

hey guys, ive had my 88 LX for about 2 years now, well last summer i noticed the passenger side front frame rail was starting to rot out, previous owner covered it in POR-15 to stop the spreading. I know its POR-15 cause the old owner was my neighbour. I got a deal on the car and i love it to death, so im not saying i got ripped off. Thats the only rust spot on the entire car, not bad for being a canadian car.

Below are some pics of the rust. There are no holes on the shock tower, looks like its just concentrated on the main frame rail.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4.../stang2064.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4.../stang2065.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4.../stang2066.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4.../stang2067.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4.../stang2072.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4.../stang2071.jpg

judging by the damage shown, should i be worried ?? i dont really wanna pull the motor this year. LIke i said the rust is right on the main part of the frame rail, hasnt spread to the shock tower. What concerns me is the metal looks like its peeling off in chunks, its been like that since i bought it and hasnt got any worse....i put about 600 miles on the car through the summer, and it never seens rain, also it sits in a heated barn every winter.

should i be worried ?? does it look really bad ??? car steers straight and everything, no strange noises or anything.

what do you guys think?? should i be thinkin about getting another stang ?? or another shell. or is it not as bad as im thinkin and can conmtinue to enjoy it for a few more years then fix it when i start the restoration on it ??

need some opinions from fellow 5.0 owners, and also people who may have similar damage on there car.

thank you in advance, and yes the car was orignally red. and the passneger side in the only bad side..drivers side is almost MINT!


also :: picture of the car to show what i mean by the only bad spot on it is the frame, car is beautiful shape for the 1300 i paid for it (had a dead clutch), otherwise i bought it for 1300 exactly how its shown in the pics, rims and all.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...8/IMG_1528.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4.../stang2137.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4.../stang2093.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4.../stang2088.jpg


again thank you in advance for any responses or advice.
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Unread 01-28-2010   #2 (permalink)
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im gonna tell you, once you have rust its almost impossible to get rid of it. It may not look like its spreading as far as radius, but it is eating deeper and deeper into the frame rail. I had a spot on my floor pan that had a big concentration of rust in the toe section. If it was my car i would pull the motor, and replace the frame rail. Seeing as these are not full frame cars i wouldnt want to take the chance of screwing up the structural integrity. It sounds like to me that the rust does in fact bother you though, and you should take whatever measure you see fit to put yourself at ease. good luck with it though.
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Unread 01-28-2010   #3 (permalink)
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forgot to say nice car btw...one more thing, these guys are getting harder to come by, and most any car that is 20+ years old is gonna have rust, it just comes with the territory.
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Unread 01-28-2010   #4 (permalink)
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yea it does bother me, and i dont wanna screw this car up at all....soo i may just fix it, pull it outta storage early and get it done, i have a buddy of mine also a 5.0L owner willing to help me pull the engine.
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Unread 01-28-2010   #5 (permalink)
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yea it does bother me, and i dont wanna screw this car up at all....soo i may just fix it, pull it outta storage early and get it done, i have a buddy of mine also a 5.0L owner willing to help me pull the engine.

is this spot common on 5.0ls ? or is my car part of a rare problem ?
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Unread 01-28-2010   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orange5.0lx View Post
yea it does bother me, and i dont wanna screw this car up at all....soo i may just fix it, pull it outta storage early and get it done, i have a buddy of mine also a 5.0L owner willing to help me pull the engine.

is this spot common on 5.0ls ? or is my car part of a rare problem ?
Dude, the lower strut tower is a common place on all foxes. If you can wack it with a hammer without making a concentrated dent then it is structurally fine. If you want to get rid of the rust as it is now, you need to gain access to the area with the rust. If you have enough room to get a wire brush or sander (Recommended use of a sandblaster to remove rust!) or something then you may just be able to take the header off. If you have time to work on the car, then I would suggest maybe pulling the engine and painting the whole engine bay while your at it. Get a blaster (soda or sand) and get to work. If it turns out that the rust has eaten a hole in the lower strut tower or even the frame rail, DO NOT GO REPLACE THE ENTIRE FRAME RAIL!!! Just patch it up with 1/8" or 1/4" (or whatever thickness they used for the frame) steel.

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Unread 01-28-2010   #7 (permalink)
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Use 14 gauge steel if your going to repair the frame rail.
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Unread 01-28-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Use 14 gauge steel if your going to repair the frame rail.
Is it seriously only 14 guage (1/16")? That's a shocker to me. I would use 8 gauge (1/8"). The thicker the better. unless you are going for weight savings, lol.

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Unread 01-29-2010   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SM90Stanger View Post
Is it seriously only 14 guage (1/16")? That's a shocker to me. I would use 8 gauge (1/8"). The thicker the better. unless you are going for weight savings, lol.


Steve

Steve,


Thicker doesn't necessarily always mean better: there are times that using the the same thickness of material (or close to that thickness) is the best way to go especially when it comes to welding up things.

The inner fenders of the engine bay are 14 gauge the strut tower are 12 gauge; I know thats from welding up my engine bay .
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Unread 01-29-2010   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ALMOST STK View Post
Steve,


Thicker doesn't necessarily always mean better: there are times that using the the same thickness of material (or close to that thickness) is the best way to go especially when it comes to welding up things.

The inner fenders of the engine bay are 14 gauge the strut tower are 12 gauge; I know thats from welding up my engine bay .

I never thought about welding with the same thicknesses... good point. I think it looked like the bottom of the strut tower was the main victim of the rust... it is kinda hard to tell with the extreme close-ups though.

ALMOST STK, Did you weld up all the unnecessary "bolt hole" in the inner fender? There are 100's! I am planning on that right away.

Steve (just to change it up, lol)
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Unread 01-29-2010   #11 (permalink)
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Yes I did weld up just about every hole on the inner fenders and in the engine bay about 10 yrs ago. I also hid the wires, vacuum lines and brake lines to try to clean things up under the hood.

If you plan on doing any of that this might be of some help?
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Unread 01-29-2010   #12 (permalink)
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good luck man...just wanted to say that that orange looks freakin awesome!!
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Unread 01-29-2010   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ALMOST STK View Post
Yes I did weld up just about every hole on the inner fenders and in the engine bay about 10 yrs ago. I also hid the wires, vacuum lines and brake lines to try to clean things up under the hood.

If you plan on doing any of that this might be of some help?
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Wow, way to go man. I actually don't mind the harness too much to spend that much time moving wires around. I am not making a full on show car like yours. But wow, yours looks absolutely amazing.

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Unread 01-29-2010   #14 (permalink)
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Wow, way to go man. I actually don't mind the harness too much to spend that much time moving wires around. I am not making a full on show car like yours. But wow, yours looks absolutely amazing.

Steve
Thank you for the complements but believe me it's no show car and I can say that because I've never taken my car to a show , it's a weekend car and an occasional daily drive, the car has over 185,000 miles on it.

orange5.0lx
I have no intentions of Hi Jacking your thread I'm just answering a few questions is all, please except my apology for my rudeness.
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Unread 07-17-2011   #15 (permalink)
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Default Rusted front frame rails 79-93

I am new to the forum but have been interested in mustangs for a long time. My son and I had purchased a 84 gt-350 to fix up with the engine out we noticed that the right frame rail was bad.. We are in the process in reconstructing a replica frame rail with the help of a friend that has a computer control plasma cutter.. We are putting in every hole, making the inter supports to weld in, the top piece from shock tower to the radiator support, sway bar bracket, and the piece inside the shock tower for the k-member bolts. Should be just like the original. 8 pieces total. My question is: Are there any difference in the frame rails from 79-93 and would there be a demand for these if I would offer them for sale?
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