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  • Frame / Springs: Frame Rust

    On my 63 Cruiser I have been working my way forward on the frame and underside of the body, wire brushing, rust treatment, and paint/undercoating. I have found that the inside of the frame was filled with dried mud. I've gotten most of the dried mud out, but I would like to scrape/wire brush the inside before I shoot it with rust converter. I've measured the inside dimension as about 1 5/8" square. Any ideas on how I can do this?

    Thanks, Brian
    Last edited by brian6373; 01-01-2014, 08:59 PM.

  • #2
    If there was someway to run a heavy wire from one end to the other than pull though some heavy stranded cable. You could maybe put a small wire brush on one end and a drill on the other and pull it though while you run the drill and get some of it.

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    • #3
      Brian

      I'm not sure I have a mental picture of where you are on the frame. The 1 5/8" is also interesting as the bottom plate on the frame is almost 4" wide OD and probably 2 1/2"+ ID.

      With what I've found on Stude frames and the lack of info, I'd be somewhat concerned about the condition of the frame with it packed full of mud. That would suggest that it sat on the ground for sometime. If it were mine, I cut about a foot of the bottom plate out under the questionable area and see where I'm at. That would let me get inside to scrape it out and see the condition. I had to do that on my 74 Avanti and I'm glad I did. I had to replace a couple of small frame sections near the bottom plate and several feet of frame bottom plate.

      JMHO, Bob

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      • #4
        I replaced a lot of the bottom plate on the rear of my frame and double welded it. As the body was off the frame, it was the time to do it. Bob's suggestion is the right thing to do. Don't be shy about it. It's better to know what's under there.
        Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

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        • #5
          Hi Bob, as you know the frame cross section is an inverted "u" shape with a plate along the bottom to enclose it to form a square. The 1 5/8" square is the inside of the frame at the rear where it tapers down. The dimension increases going forward as it humps over the rear axel. I'm also wondering about the frame integrity do to internal rust. You cut out a section of the plate to see what the inside of the frame is like? I did an inspection of the inside of the frame using a boroscope. The inside bottom of the frame has about 1/4" of dried mud left after I got it cleaned out, sort of like a creek bottom. If I could get that last bit out I could take a look and see if the metal thickness has been compromised. All help and suggestions welcome!

          Thanks, Brian

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          • #6
            Frames can fill with mud from picking up dust plus road spray from wet roads. Easiest way to clean the inside of the frame rails? Pressure washer, without a doubt. There are usually enough holes that can get the wand in at intervals, but if not, a 1" hole made in the bottom plate with a hole saw wouldn't do any harm at all. Blast it with the pressure washer until the water runs clear, regardless of where you insert the wand. Blow most of the water out with compressed air, and then let it dry for a week or more. Hooking a small blower like a hair dryer (heat off) to the end of the frame rail and letting it run for a day could speed things up.

            To paint the inside of the frame rail (which Studebaker never did), get an "engine wash" gun for your air compressor. These are like a spray wand with a flexible suction pipe on them to suck up soap solution. Dilute some cheap rust paint down with paint thinner, and use the wash gun to blast it into the inside of the frame rails via all available openings. Did I say this is a real messy operation?

            Really, though, you are in California. Simply washing the existing mud out, and letting it dry should be enough, unless you plan on winter driving in the Rust Belt.
            Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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            • #7
              .....back when I was frame -offing my '64 ragtop, I had the bottom plate removed from both side rails and sand blasted all inside. Using the removed sections from the frame allowed for installing matched plates for new....best method. ,

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              • #8
                Thanks guys, While I was answering Bob, I got some more good suggestions. I may just cut out a section, if for no other reason to get a power washer in there.

                Thank you all, Brian

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                • #9
                  Certainly, cleaning the frame well is an important first step. However, I probably would not paint inside the frame. You can't sand blast the metal inside the frame. So the rust will still be there, and painting over rust may just create a nice environment for rust to continue. Maybe a rust converter paint, like POR 15 might work, but it would be hard to apply evenly.

                  What I like to do in cases like this is to shoot a rust preventative non-hardening oil type spray into the hard to reach areas. One that I have used is Lloyds AD2000. A corrosion inhibitor and lubricant, it comes in aerosol cans with a small, red tube that reaches into nooks and crannies. Spray lots in until it drips out. Then wipe up any excess that drips out. It's quick and easy to apply, and one can spray in more later on if desired.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by brian6373 View Post
                    Hi Bob, as you know the frame cross section is an inverted "u" shape with a plate along the bottom to enclose it to form a square. The 1 5/8" square is the inside of the frame at the rear where it tapers down. The dimension increases going forward as it humps over the rear axel. I'm also wondering about the frame integrity do to internal rust. You cut out a section of the plate to see what the inside of the frame is like? I did an inspection of the inside of the frame using a boroscope. The inside bottom of the frame has about 1/4" of dried mud left after I got it cleaned out, sort of like a creek bottom. If I could get that last bit out I could take a look and see if the metal thickness has been compromised. All help and suggestions welcome!

                    Thanks, Brian
                    Brian

                    That's much more clear now.

                    Considering you have a borescope and can see inside the frame, I'd do what GordR suggested to be sure the frame is indeed clean inside. You could spray the inside although that's not easy with POR15 or other rust treatments or just make up the tools you need to get inside the frame and spread the material.

                    I did this with my 74 Avanti frame to get to the areas I didn't cut the out the bottom.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    Bob

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                    • #11
                      Not too hard bringing these Stude frames back.......anything is fixable!
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        However you get the mud out of the frame, if your going to use a rust converter like POR!% you need to keep it rusty. Not big chunks of flakes rust but leave the surface rust. That is needed for adhesion for the rust converter to work. As far as applying it 3M makes a 3' long plastic rod that is used with their products. If you were able to get a used container that the 3M product comes in I would use that container to apply the POR15.
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