‘04 Frame Rot

Cat385B

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I have a ‘04 Chevy 2500 crew cab shortbox.
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The truck is a 4x4 LS with the 6.0 and an auto. Cloth interior with all the options except the Bose stereo, navigation, and OnStar. It has 110,000 miles on it. No issues with it.
 

Cat385B

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The truck is in good condition when viewed from above.
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Cat385B

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Not so much underneath...
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The bottom of the body panels are holding up fine:


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olcowhand

Daniel In KY
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Former co-worker's 03 Chevy had the cross tube that the rear shocks bolt to completely disintegrate. Literally crumbled. The main frame was a close 2nd in rot.
 

Cat385B

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So I am going to be trying out some different methods of rust repair. First up:
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This is a rust converter. Pressure wash, scrape off the loose stuff, and apply by soaking into paper hand towels. Flatten them out for surface contact, and then cover with plastic so the product doesn’t evaporate before it begins to work.
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I found this at a local store, I only got a quart. I have read mixed reviews on it. I will try something else when I run out, depending on how it does.

I plan on doing the entire underside one way or another and then prime and paint under there. I will need to replace the brake lines, I’m surprised the rears are holding together.
 

Cat385B

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I did do a little online research into a different truck first. Used the ‘Build Your Vehicle’ feature on the Big 3’s websites. I landed around $43-48,000 for what I want. 4x4, gas regular cab 3/4 ton with box delete or a single rear wheel one ton cab and chassis.
That’s a coin toss right there. I only need a 3/4 ton. The box delete only gives you back $400. For a box that costs $2,000. Fine, stick it in the shed. But a flatbed for a truck frame is more expensive than one for a cab and chassis.
But a one ton is for farmers or contractors. If you don’t farm or have a business,yearly license fees for a one ton are nearly double the $.
Sure wish they still made a 3/4 ton cab and chassis, but those got ixnayed two years ago.
 

Cat385B

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The end goal is to remove the box and build a flatbed.
I have stockpiled enough c-channnel to go around the perimeter. I have one piece long enough of larger stock for one main runner. I have enough square tube to do 1/4 of the crossmembers. So if I sold the box, the out of pocket cost wouldn’t be horrible.
I can re-use the tube hitch receiver and the trailer plug. I would need lights and flooring.

Has anyone had any experience with rumber? Boards made from shredded tires?

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MFDAC

Tractorologist
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Member
I sure don't see any "rot" Cat, surface rust is very evident for sure. Maybe I just can't see it. At least to me "rot" is holes developing. I think the measures you are taking are a good idea if you plan on keeping the truck. I'm guilty of keeping trucks for quite a long time, but never had any problems with frames rusting out. Bodies are a different story though---LOL!

DAC
 

diesel nut

Well-Known Member
Member
That's actually a rust remover not converter. Works great, I've used probably 20 gallons or so of it in the past 10-15 years. Let it do its work then run a wire brush over it while you rinse it of with water and it brings it down to bare steel. Only suggestion I have is due to the way your doing it you should probably see about soaking the paper towels at least once a day. After it starts working on the rust it slows down and eventually stops and turns black. A fresh dose of it and it'll start working again
 

Cvans

Tractorologist
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Cat is living in some of the worst environment there is for rust. I just hate driving my vehicles into eastern Minnesota in the winter. Get back home and they look like they've been sugar coated there is so much salt on them. Wisconsin and upper Michigan are the only places I've been that are worse. I hope you can beat your rust problem. We put a man on the moon decades ago but can't build a vehicle that won't rust apart.
I have an 05 Escalade with 94,000 and so far it looks good underneath. The exception is the spare wheel which is badly rusted. I'm surprised that someone hasn't come up with a shallow in ground tank that we could drive through that contained a rust converter or neutralizer of some sort.
 

Lily'sDad

GMC, They Said
Senior Member
My '03 Ford was the same way. One rear spring mount broke off; it was so rusted. One front caliper had to be replaced. Brake lines and so on.
 

Cat385B

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Noticeable improvement on the leaf springs, not much on the frame. Re-apply and cover after ham and bean soup.
 

dodge trucker

Tractorologist
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I've replaced alot of shackles and spring mounts (so far never on one of my trucks) in this area, for rot out.
That's not to say that I've not replaced springs on any of mine, I have/ just not because of rot out.
 

MFDAC

Tractorologist
Senior Member
Member
Cat is living in some of the worst environment there is for rust. I just hate driving my vehicles into eastern Minnesota in the winter. Get back home and they look like they've been sugar coated there is so much salt on them. Wisconsin and upper Michigan are the only places I've been that are worse. I hope you can beat your rust problem. We put a man on the moon decades ago but can't build a vehicle that won't rust apart.
I have an 05 Escalade with 94,000 and so far it looks good underneath. The exception is the spare wheel which is badly rusted. I'm surprised that someone hasn't come up with a shallow in ground tank that we could drive through that contained a rust converter or neutralizer of some sort.
Salt is bad out here too, does the same thing as you describe out there. The concrete where my wife parks is taking a beating from salt even. Sure wish people could drive decent enough where sanding and being careful would work! Now the city is claiming they have cut back on the salt due to salt pollution in Rapid Creek, but it sure isn't showing up. There's literally piles of salt in places after the snow has melted!

DAC
 

adamjd200

Tractorologist
Senior Member
Member
PA is bad for road salt too, if you can find a ten year old vehicle here without rust I can pretty guarantee it never left the garage in the winter.
Didn't used to be that way until recently, NY is bad for rust, lower part of the cab on my f250 is coated with bed liner, underside and frame will be done this summer, I'm just gonna paint the top of the flat bed as I want to be able to slide stuff on the bed.
 

Cat385B

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After the second soaking:
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Slight success. I need to do a better job of covering up the soaked towels to prevent it from drying out too quick. I think the second shellacking wasn’t sealed up the best.
It definitely does what it advertises,
 

bobcat2

Tractorologist
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Only reason I got rid of my '01 tundra 2 years ago was frame rot...recall didn't cover mine.
 

Shorty

Rusty Nut
Senior Member
PA is bad for road salt too, if you can find a ten year old vehicle here without rust I can pretty guarantee it never left the garage in the winter.

It's that brine they like to spray before every snow. But it works, pretreating the roads. And our vehicles suffer for it.
 

poncho62

Hangin' with the cool kids
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Member


I don't like the looks of this pic. It looks to me like the cab has dropped a bit. It may be that it came from the factory that way, but I would have a look at the cab mount.
 
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