Don't Replace That Rusted Frame, Repair It!

Entropy is a cruel fact of the universe. Sooner or later everything disintegrates, devolves, or falls apart. If you happen to have an older Jeep, or Ford, Chevy, or Toyota pickup in your driveway, one glance underneath the bodywork probably confirms this cruelty. Rust is the one thing all drivers of vintage or modern classic trucks fear the most, and it is a particularly savage kind of entropy. If left to fester, it can be a death sentence for your rig.

In fact, if those oxides of iron have penetrated deeply and injuriously enough, you may find yourself contemplating a complete replacement of your truck’s frame. This is the hail mary of all restoration projects, and a hugely difficult and wildly expensive undertaking. But if you love your vehicle enough, this drastic step might be on your radar despite those obstacles. The question is - is it worth it? For some older, or more rare trucks it might be, but for the majority of us, looking into localized frame repair might be the more sensible, accessible, and affordable solution.

Why Choose Frame Repair?

Rust hits your truck hard on several fronts: (1) it looks terrible, (2), it depletes the resale value of your rig, and (3) it undermines the integrity of your frame and body panels, which can lead to gaping holes and structural failures. This is obviously a safety issue, especially for those of us that push our rigs hard off-road, or as tow vehicles. Rust can be painfully obvious, or it can lurk quietly under the surface of paint, undercoatings, or cosmetic panels. Thankfully, many frames can be safely and effectively repaired with carefully engineered frame sections, rather than making the big leap to complete frame replacement.


Not only does frame repair reduce the cost and complexity of restoring your truck by an order of magnitude, tackling localized rust issues means preserving the overall originality of your vehicle by leaving the remainder of your frame intact. Why throw the baby out with the bathwater when only certain areas of your frame are affected by the tin worm? Repairing specific sections can also prevent rust from creeping into the clean areas of your frame by cutting out the cancer before it spreads. Additionally, replacement frames can have subtle differences in manufacturing that don’t replicate the original perfectly, making reassembly of your vehicle a headache, often requiring extra fabrication or modifications.

A skilled welder can graft in frame repair sections with little evidence to suggest a fix has been done, keeping the clean look of your truck in place while eliminating damaged areas. And, even though paying a welder can be expensive, the costs will still undercut the many hours of labor involved in removing and reinstalling the entire body, both axles, as well as the engine and drivetrain that frame replacement entails. Shop rates for this kind of work can be astronomical, and can take many months, if not years, to complete. You also need considerable physical space to take on a complete frame replacement - two vehicle’s worth, at least - which can be in short supply if you only have a single-car garage, for example.


Furthermore, you can save even more costs if you are an experienced fabricator or welder yourself. And if you don’t know how to weld, simple frame repair projects are the perfect opportunity to learn how! Adding another skill to your repertoire is always a great idea, and many local community colleges have affordable welding courses open to the public. There are now also many low-cost, yet high-quality welders on the market that are beginner-friendly but still produce excellent results.         

Frame Repair Sections: The Rust Buster Difference

Frame repair can seem like a daunting process, but Rust Buster makes it easy. With our extensive catalog of both small and large repair sections for domestic and import brands - and both vintage and modern models - we have the repair section that’s perfect for your rig. Rust Buster has been building these parts since 1982, and our frame sections are meticulously engineered and guaranteed to fit.


From CJ-5 Jeeps to mid-2000s Tacomas, we understand the strengths and weaknesses of the factory frames, and design our repair sections to match. Made from cold-rolled steel, we use the latest CAD technology to model each repair section before it is laser cut, formed and finish-welded. Our repair sections will help to keep your truck on the road for years to come.

Rust Buster’s deep knowledge base is also unrivaled in the industry, and our proprietary step-by-step instructions and library of YouTube videos make frame repair straightforward for the professional and rookie alike. Our US-based customer support team is always there to help as you throw yourself into your repair or restoration project. You can rest assured that we stand behind every repair section we ship. 

Rust Buster Repair Sections for Jeeps

Few automotive brands inspire as much loyalty as Jeep. For the Jeep enthusiast, it’s not unusual to go the extra mile to repair, restore, or simply keep their beloved 4x4s turning their wheels both off-road and on. Often, these vehicles are handed down through the generations as family heirlooms, and Rust Buster has been preserving Jeeps for decades with our bespoke frame repair sections.


Older Jeeps, going back to the 1970s, are particularly in jeopardy for developing debilitating rust troubles, but even modern classic Wranglers up through the JK-generation can pick up the red menace (especially if you live in more humid areas of the country, or in states where they salt the roads in the winter). There were many small, but significant changes to Jeep frames over the years, and Rust Buster repair sections are designed to account for all them, so a perfect fit is guaranteed.

Rust Buster Repair Sections for Ford and GM Pickups

Sadly, many domestic trucks, especially Fords, Chevys, and GMCs are vulnerable to rust issues - this is especially true for Ford Rangers from the late 1990s and GM K-Series pickups from the same era. But this also goes for Chevy and GMC 1500 and 2500 trucks hailing from the 1980s and 1990s, as well as Ford F-150s from the mid-2010s.


These rigs are the workhorses of the truck world, and millions of them are still on the road with engines that continue to hum along and with plenty of life left, save for those disintegrating frames. You can keep that old faithful Ford or Chevy on the road with Rust Buster’s high quality frame repair sections that are designed to weld in perfectly every time.     

Rust Buster Repair Sections for Toyota Pickups

Among modern classic pickups, the Toyota Tacoma is puzzlingly the most susceptible to rig-killing rust problems. It’s rare to see an example of the Big T’s mid-size pickup without at least some rust, particularly the models from 1995 through 2010, and even well into the 20-teens. In fact, Toyota’s frames rusted so quickly and so completely that the company was offering complete frame replacements under warranty for many years. You may have seen dramatic pictures floating around the internet of taco-ed Tacos - the pain is real.


But now, many of these trucks are no longer eligible for warranty frame replacement, and complete frames are extremely expensive, if you can find one. Rust Buster’s comprehensive lineup of frame repair sections for the Tacoma, from front frame stiffeners to entire center sections, will keep the rot at bay for at least a while, and your valuable Toyota on the trails for many more years.

Frame Repair Questions?

Planning on a minor or major frame repair for your rig? Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or ideas - we’re here to help.



Author: Stephan Edwards

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