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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 1:37 pm
Posts: 16
I am looking at an otherwise acceptable 1993 XFI. It has the standard rust problem where the lower control arm for the front suspension attaches to the frame. It is not gone but I see a hole in it. It is such a common problem I was wondering if there is a fix that most people agree is acceptable.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:59 pm 
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Well the correct way would be to source the subframe pieces from a rust free car and remove the spot welds and weld them onto your car.

If you can do that your still going to need a welder and some metal working skills to cut out the rust and weld in new metal.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:47 pm
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Location: San Francisco Bay Area
I have had to deal with rust in this location on two of my 1995 geo metros. Its not an easy task to fix.... and even after I fixed it, the frame still rusted apart several years later. Here are some pics if you're interested in seeing the process. This location on the frame is tricky because you have to cut pieces of metal to fit into curved surfaces and the metal is really thin so if your heat is too high you'll blast right through it. Make sure to give the metal time to cool between tacks.
You have to remove as much of the rust as possible while still leaving metal in key places to tack weld to. There is really no way to get all of the rust as shown on my car here.
The Driver's side
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Then you cut small pieces of sheet metal to fit and just tack each one a few times so its in place.
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The passenger's side had the same problem
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After I tacked the metal in I filled in the cracks with metal putty. Looking back I think I should have just laid a bead instead.
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Finally paint everything with a few coats of rustolium.
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There was also rust under the radiator
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:50 am
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I had that problem as well, really tricky to get all of it. I used a wire brush and anything that could fit in there to scrape everything I could reach, after that I used some rust modificator to bind the remaining rust a bit, then welded it shut. Also what I did was drill a hole from the inside of the passenger compartment straight in that chamber and used a paint gun with a long nozzle to spray paint inside there. If anything, it will help to prevent rusting at least a little bit.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:16 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Minnesota
Interesting that when I first bought my Metro, I knew that was a trouble spot so after I popped the hood, that is the first place I looked and it appeared quite solid! Anyway, I had the engine/trans out for work (head rebuild, 2nd gear synchro) and while I was waiting for parts, I figured that I should just reinforce that area now while it is solid and not broken. So, what little rust that I could see, I started knocking loose with a ball peen hammer. Every single time I hit the frame, a hole appeared. Hole hole hole hole. It was literally the primer that was all that was there.

Suzuki could've solved this problem easily by drilling some drain holes in the bottom of the entire contraption, so make sure you do that.

Anyways, I ended up welding up gusset plates all over--you weld part of it in place, and pound the metal into the contours that you need. It was a tough job since welding rusty metal isn't exactly a fun thing to do. Some holes still exist, but I use those to spread grease or used engine oil all over to help prevent rust. I try to make an effort to do this whenever I am underneath the car for whatever other work that needs to be done.


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