Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

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georgevalparaiso
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Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby georgevalparaiso » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:57 pm

Hello, I drive a 1996 Chevy Beretta with 170,000 miles. I took it in for new tires. The guy at the shop showed me some rust under both door sills. I knew it was there because I have seen flakes of rusted metal occasionally, but he was able to break off large pieces. He explained that these were structural sections of the car and the frame will fail soon. Is he right? If so, is there anything that can be done about this? The car runs fine and looks great. I want to keep this car.



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Re: Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby 3X00-Modified » Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:31 pm

This is about as bad as a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer... Unfortunately with the description you gave of large pieces of metal coming out then unfortunately the rocker area is probably very compromised. Can it be fixed? Well sure it can BUT you better know a metal fabricator and have a lot of money because right now there are no replacement parts that would fix the rusted area's. All of that sheet-metal would have to be cut and sectioned in from another good car, OR you would have to have it all hand fabricated to replicate what was there. Welcome to the world of the most impossible car to restore.
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Re: Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby GTZfan » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:43 am

"the world of the most impossible car to restore" not sure if I should laugh or cry right now...

Well, sound like serious damage. If you upload some pictures we will have a look.
Also check other knows areas as rear spring perch, rear crossmember around exhaust, rear shock towers and firewall.
Generally, if the body visibly rusts from the outside (eg. fenders), its way worse beneith.
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georgevalparaiso (Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:32 pm)
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Re: Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby georgevalparaiso » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:33 pm

Well, this is sad news. Just replaced the intake manifold gaskets, and radiator. I had no idea this was going on underneath. It still drives fine and handles great. I know the fuel filler neck is rusted through and was told the brake lines need to be replaced soon also due to rust. There is rust on the surface around the cross member and the shock towers, but was told those areas are still OK. Can somebody tell me why the rocker panel area is so important on this car and what will happen if it completely fails? I still see Berettas on the road - many with surface rust showing on the body panels whereas my car has none. I will upload some pictures too.



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Re: Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby 3X00-Modified » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:12 pm

It's never really a matter of what's going to fail since I haven't seen any that have broken apart in that area while driving. The worst part about it is you can almost never stop it so it will continue to get worse and near impossible to fix the problem areas.

Everyone brings up the rockers because it's just a very common area and the repair in that area is extremely hard to accomplish... Never mind that there are no sheet metal parts available to repair that area.
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Re: Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby georgevalparaiso » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:25 am

OK thanks. Is it possible to add a link to this site? I would like to make a quick video.



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Re: Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby ifixalot » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:14 am

As sure as death & taxes, your car is going to rust.
As things rust away, problems will develop. You can fix those problems
but eventually you'll throw in the towel. I'm surprised at some of the
rust buckets I see on the road that are still going. I never saw a car
break in half. Maybe you can get under it and clean off as much scale
as you can and paint drain oil to help slow it down.
I knew a guy had a 57 Chevy. Just a six banger daily driver.
One day the seat broke loose because the floor rotted away.
He fixed that and drove some more. One day he found his flashlight in the
street. It fell through a hole in the floor. Then one day he got T-boned
by someone who blew a stop sign at low speed. That ended it.
I think the car was 20 years old by then.
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Re: Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby 3X00-Modified » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:12 pm

georgevalparaiso wrote:OK thanks. Is it possible to add a link to this site? I would like to make a quick video.


Break up the link so put spaces where the dots are and I'll edit the post to be correct.
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Re: Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby georgevalparaiso » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:37 pm

OK I will, thanks. Still need to make the video - this weekend sometime.



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Re: Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby georgevalparaiso » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:29 pm

Alright, here is a short video I made today. I included views of the front and rear frame sections too which aside from surface rust, still seem solid. The worst by far are the areas along both doors. So here is what I need to know - this car needs some work ( fuel filler neck, rear shocks, rusted brake lines, and tires) Do I go ahead with the repairs? Engine is fine - head gasket, intake manifold gaskets, heater core, radiator, serpentine belt, and all hoses have been changed within the last 5 years. Compression test fine. Transmission - running fine and well maintained. I would appreciate and input. Car still handles fine - even at 65mph. Thanks. https://youtu.be/DG4IEsLeSyg



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Re: Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby GTZfan » Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:16 am

Nice to see you bought the car and held on to it over time.
Just watched the vid, it belongs to the more advancedly rusted Berettas I have come accross. Honestly speaking, I would not touch this car anymore and do any repairs. Sadly it would be major work and $ to repair all that rust, much more to be expected than you have alraedy discovered. Your best choice would be finding a rust-free shell to swap over parts or simply another Beretta.

But then again, I have never seen a Beretta breaking in half by itself. However, you would be in trouble if you were involved in a crash.
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Re: Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby 1988GTU » Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:56 am

1000 daily driver. Having no real patch parts readily availabled defaults it as such. Stringing in new lines and replacing common wear parts is no big deal.

Finding a clean car that could use the remaining good parts to bolt on is likely best for that cars fate.
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Re: Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby Alpinestar10 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:52 am

3X00-Modified wrote:Everyone brings up the rockers because it's just a very common area and the repair in that area is extremely hard to accomplish... Never mind that there are no sheet metal parts available to repair that area.

Are you talking about the actual rocker panel or where is transitions down from the door hinge pillar? The rocker panel is available aftermarket new.. Where it curves down from the pillar isn't though. But that piece is still available nos if someone bought them and had a company 3d scan them as I read the rocker panels were done by googling..
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Re: Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby woody90gtz » Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:40 pm

Looks pretty similar to my 95 when I put it down.
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Re: Help! Frame rust - can it be fixed?

Postby Alpinestar10 » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:56 pm

http://www.v6z24.com/jbodyforum/winter- ... gress.html here's a little idea on what it would take to replace them different car but closest to a Beretta you'll find someone replacing rockers on.
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