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Help for ugly frame rails


Guest Anonymous

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Guest Anonymous

I had my 02 on the lift and noticed my frame rails show terrible marks from improvident use as a quick jacking point and who knows what. They are not rusted, but they just look awful. The alignment and front suspension are fine, the car tracks well, the tires wear evenly, and the body panels fit well too - but the rails looked so banged up, most people might conclude the rails are bent and the car went over several cliffs and was dragged over railroad tracks and never saw a smooth road in the lower 48.

My initial thought is to clean them as they are and weld some heavier plate to better absorb future abuse, something like mini skid plates. As much as I would like to tie them up with a truss or cross member, it would seem unnecessary not only because of no rust, but a future hindrance to engine/trans/driveline access.

Anyone use the skidplate idea or alternative restorative measures?

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this sounds like you need to revisit the old adage:

if it ain't broke,....

you love your 02 soooo much you want only the best for it, but the cure is more harmful than the blemish you describe.

just don't look down there. yes, it happens. unless you can actually verify that they are rusting out, don't mess with them.

Former owner of 2570440 & 2760440
Current owner of 6 non-op 02's

& 1 special alfa

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Years ago I had some u-shaped plate welded around the back 1/2 of the frame rails - cheap fix for banged up, slightly rusted originals. Do drill a hole or 2 for water to escape, and try to avoid allowing brake fluid to run down inside the left one. It's easy to lift the car on the improved rails.

Bill in MT

1969 and 1970 2002s

1988 735i

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I actually did just such a thing about 2 weekends ago. My drivers side frame rail was looking very beat up, and the hole in it had started to rust into a bigger hole. So i cut out a section about 8-10 inches long and welded in new metal there and kept one of the walls that was still fine. For the most part the metal didn't look too rusty, but it seemed thinner than it should so perhaps it had rusted and then been treated a while ago. Anyway it took a long time, mostly to cut and shape the metal to put back in and I didn't have all the proper tools, but I'm happy with how it turned out and it helps me sleep easier at night. But maybe I am crazy.

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