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This sucks guys.

I feel like such an idiot. When I bought this truck from the dealership I work for, I noticed a rusty spot near the downpipe. I used this as leverage for a lower price, which I got. I immediately took scotch brite and an angle grinder and cleaned up the area which turned out great. I treated it with por-15 in hopes that it wouldn’t come back at least til I paid it off.

I crawled under there to do my oil change and was met with this:

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It looks like the por-15 was never there. I’m not an automotive newb. I know what to look for when it comes to buying a used vehicle. I feel like such a fool for not thinking this through. I love the FJ VERY much. I’m exploring options as we speak, including an email to toyota corporate. I’ll keep this updated with my endeavors.
 

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Ouch!
The photos of the trailer hitch and rear bumper look sort of "normal" for a late stage, rust belt FJ (the accessory bumper hitches were never particularly well coated in the first place).

But, your 1st photo, of the frame near the front suspension, that looks like full perforation of the main frame rail.

Where has this truck been used? (which state/ road salt/rust-wise), and how many miles. How long ago did you buy it / inspect its frame, before finding this?

I am sorry that this has happened to you.
 

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Ouch!
The photos of the trailer hitch and rear bumper look sort of "normal" for a late stage, rust belt FJ (the accessory bumper hitches were never particularly well coated in the first place).

But, your 1st photo, of the frame near the front suspension, that looks like full perforation of the main frame rail.

Where has this truck been used? (which state/ road salt/rust-wise), and how many miles. How long ago did you buy it / inspect its frame, before finding this?

I am sorry that this has happened to you.
im in the process of looking through the vehicles history. From what I’ve seen so far it’s been here in Tennessee it’s whole life. And it’s been almost a year since I bought it. I work for Toyota so I’m 110% aware of the rust issues some of these trucks have. We’ve had some come through that we’re just absolutely wasted and weren’t fit to even be called a motor vehicle anymore. I’m not sure what could be causing such terrible rust issues.
 

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I would find a talented welder who is a real craftsman to patch the holes then wire wheel the frame and paint. After that fluid film the inside of the frame rails then coat the exterior with some cosmoline. Living in Pennsylvania I wouldn't lose a night of sleep over it. We're lucky enough to have sufficient holes for water drain from unlike the old pickups.
 

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I would find a talented welder who is a real craftsman to patch the holes then wire wheel the frame and paint. After that fluid film the inside of the frame rails then coat the exterior with some cosmoline. Living in Pennsylvania I wouldn't lose a night of sleep over it. We're lucky enough to have sufficient holes for water drain from unlike the old pickups.
My dad is a welder by trade. If I can’t get toyota to do anything about this we’re going to take matters into our own hands by doing just that. I’ll be damned if I won’t enjoy this FJ for 300k+ miles!
 

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My rust is minor compared to many I have seen. I went online and looked at POR and other options and have tried a few with average to poor results. I have used a product for over 20 years as a paint sealant (Rejex) for my vehicles. I also use it on my windshield, during rain and bugs I often do not need my wipers at all due to the flat windshield on an FJ. The product is easy to work with and does not leave a film. The down side is after an application it takes about 8 hours to cure and can not be in the sun. They have a product that appears to be highly rated (aren't they all) for preventing / sealing rust that is not accessible. I just purchased a can (Rejex) CorrosionX HD but have not tried it yet. It also appears to protect electronics. The company is small and deals with marine and the aircraft industry. It may be worth a try?

Here is something I did in the form of a quick fix.

At the back bumper I replaced the (rusted) bolts on the inside and outside flooring/bumper with stainless steel screws for a much better look and lower profile. You can also purchase them in black stainless steel to match the bumper.

Regards, Andy

<>< <>< <>< <*((^(((><
 

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Toyota will due nothing for you. There is a Facebook group that is documenting these FJ's with holes in the frame to bring a class action suit to have these frames replaced.I'm not a member of this group but I do like checking up on them. I would check your gas tank straps as what I have gathered the NTSB seems to be interested in these failures.
Rust Never Sleeps - Neil Young.
 

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Some of the rust shown in your photos is just superficial, but the severe corrosion and complete penetration of the frame rail (1st photo) is catastrophic. Welding little patches over the rusted-out areas will NOT restore structural integrity.

Get an inexpensive little USB 'endoscope' camera from Amazon or eBay, and look INSIDE your frame rails to see the full extent of the rot.

Sorry, but this vehicle either needs a new frame, or to be parted out. Tragic, because the topside of the vehicle looks quite nice after your intensive detailing work.
 

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I hate to hear about the rust problems up north in the snow belt. What amazes me is that no one even wants to look at my 2012 TT with 38000 miles and absolutely no rust because it had a quarter panel and a small door replaced. Yet vehicles with rusty frames are sold regularly. Amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This FJ actually has been southern it’s whole life. I had my suspicions about it being in the north for some time, but I was wrong.

and yeah that’s strange. People are so afraid of wrecked or cosmetically repaired vehicles.
 

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Why is Toyota incapable of making truck frames that don't rot prematurely?
Have they ever done the right thing on their own? Was there lawsuits involved with the Tacoma and Tundra frame replacements?
Unbelievable.
Join that FB group and upload some pictures. I'm kinda amazed this doesn't get discussed more around here.
 

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It's not my intention to nag, but what I could offer is an advice to the rest: Have the entire chassis, i.e., metal parts and frame painted/rustproof cured. It's an investment if you intend to keep your beast until the bitter end.
I was working in a very remote island for about 3 years and I had it sent to a garage shop to rust proof it every year for obvious reasons - Ocean spray all over the place. In addition to this, I had to haul my boat and put it into the water with my beast partially submerged in salt water. Just imagine what that could do to the moving parts underneath. It's been 4 years now and I never had it coated since I left that tiny island nation- I am happy to say that with the rustproofing coat, my under chassis is still intact. It paid off.
 

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"Why is Toyota incapable of making truck frames that don't rot prematurely?"

The thing is, we all agree with your sentiment, that we want our truck frames to last forever, but the trucks (with the exception of a few exceptions) did last 100,000 miles, and 10 years without anything more than surface rust. So, by the way of looking at it from an OEM's point of view is this: the sales price of a new vehicle would be raised X$ to add, say, full galvanizing to the frame before paint, but that would make the product less marketable, reducing its sales volume by X%. The FJ was cancelled because its sales, after the 1st year, were too small to justify, as it is.

It is a balancing act which is never going to be able to satisfy everyone.

We are the outliers who are eager to make our vehicle last forever, if possible.


Added complications: to make the things that coat our car parts less dangerous to the workers doing it, and to the environment, the chemistry has been changed a lot over the years, raising new issues that then need new countermeasures. So, a classic FJ40 that went forever on its original frame vs. an FJ Cruiser who's frame was covered in rust after 10 years, part of that is the whole industry struggling to deal with evolving chemistry.

On top of that, the Big 3 truck frames and suspensions all went straight to red rust within the first year, for a very, very many years. So that makes the challenge to Toyota management to decide the best way to make their own frames a pretty complicated picture: "do we take the high road, and over-achieve our competitors in a way that won't be apparent to most of our customers, and even to the ones who will care, not until they are pretty old, or do we match our competitors for price and performance?"

Note that the Tacoma recall was not due to any of those things, it was because a supplier was not following the agreed procedure, and was instead producing improperly coated frames. Unfortunately, it took a long time for everyone to catch it. It is easy to get our FJ surface rust mixed up with that story, but it did have a very different cause and those frames rusted out way, way worse than ours do.
 

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Oh, man, I WISH there was an option box we could check when ordering a car, like requesting AC or a Sunroof, that would say, "maximum rust protection $1000" because I would check it, and I would never buy a used car without it.

Then, every single plated part would be zinc nickel plated (1000 hrs salt spray compared with the normal zinc chromate 176~240 hours salt spray), and every single underbody part would have a zinc flash after welding, before the e-coat to make it so none of the welds would rust like they do, and then a top coat over the e-coat to protect it from reflected UV light. Finally, an entire extra coating of body wax would be applied to all internal cavities.

Probably $1000 is way low, though, for not just the material cost, and the extra processing steps, but also for the gigantic logistics challenge of having 2 of everything added to the shop floor.

Still, it is what I do when I restore a car.

Sadly, my dream is a non-starter, because the benefit of these things would rarely be evident until after it is at least 10 years old, and then, would only have been worth it in Northern climates. The vast majority of new cars are scrapped within those 10 years.
 

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Great discussions in here guys! I checked the inside of my frame from as many points as I could with a scope. What I saw was actually very surprising. I do not have pictures but I’ll explain for you.

In the radiator support area there wasn’t much to be talked about. Nowhere inside had any significant rust to speak of, and no rot anywhere.

In the front part of the actual frame there weren’t any bad spots besides the one shown above. And even around there it seems as though the rot hole is just as big as it looks and no bigger. For the sake of science I took my BFH and gave the frame some good wallops in some infected areas to just see if it’d break through, and it didn’t break though at all unless struck directly upon the rot.

everywhere else from the cross ember back wasn’t that bad aside from the rear support where the tow package is. It wasn’t as bad as the spot near the exhaust but it could be unless taken care of. which comes to my next point.


Toyota basically told me to kick rocks in regards to my issues, which is what I expected. What I am going to do, is cut out the main rot in the frame near the exhaust, and while there’s a big hole there, pump it full of some kind of rust treatment product (still looking for something suitable, if you know of something please tell), and then weld a plate back in. NOW, that’s just temporary.

while I bide my time with that quick fix, I will be shopping for a used frame in my local scrap yards to put underneath the FJ. My family owns a huge junkyard here, and the owner (my cousin) said he could get ahold of a great frame for around $650. The frame will be extensively gone through by me personally and treated with the best products that I can get my hands on.

I’ll keep you guys updated.
 

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"some kind of rust treatment product (still looking for something suitable, if you know of something please tell)"

if you do a search in this forum on rust treatment you'll find tons of threads filled with the same advice over and over, follow it
 
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