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2004 GMC pickup frame rust - what to do.


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2004 GMC Canyon, 200,000 miles, good little truck, normal maintenance over the years.

Found rust on frame, poked my finger right through the frame rail, other side seems OK, but it’s not going to pass Pennsylvania inspection. 
 

Probably fixable if the bed is pulled off but at 200,000 miles is it worth the effort/cost?

I-5 engine, FWD, automatic, clean interior, no sign of body rust.

- and I have 2 other vehicles, ‘05 GMC Envoy 130,000 miles, 2006 VW GTI 145,000 miles 

Don’t need 3 vehicles 

073FB46B-3344-4885-8ABF-F44ED49D0A4B.jpeg

DD68BD57-CA19-40BE-BB71-B7E2E1B79F53.jpeg

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nice truck

see if you can get frame rail patch kits

I gota do our 1997 jeep on both sides in the back

really fun wen the back axle starts floating 

hit the gas and the back end goes one way

hit the breaks and it goes the other

Mike

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2 hours ago, Dave Downs said:

2004 GMC Canyon, 200,000 miles, good little truck, normal maintenance over the years.

Found rust on frame, poked my finger right through the frame rail, other side seems OK, but it’s not going to pass Pennsylvania inspection. 
 

Probably fixable if the bed is pulled off but at 200,000 miles is it worth the effort/cost?

I-5 engine, FWD, automatic, clean interior, no sign of body rust.

- and I have 2 other vehicles, ‘05 GMC Envoy 130,000 miles, 2006 VW GTI 145,000 miles 

Don’t need 3 vehicles 

073FB46B-3344-4885-8ABF-F44ED49D0A4B.jpeg

DD68BD57-CA19-40BE-BB71-B7E2E1B79F53.jpeg

  The dealers and car lots want sky high money for trucks that might pass inspection twice before they go for scrap.  I just looked at a "Southern" truck 2003 GMC Sierra 4WD with 258,000 miles and the lot wants 5,900 firm.  I certainly would not call it a nice truck or anything close to it.  I understand that they need to be firm with people but I thought the attitude was rather stinky.  I'm thinking for the time being to see what farm estate sales are coming in terms of trucks and let the general appearance of things there tell me what to expect on a truck.  Some trucks can look nice but not have an oil change in 30,000 miles.  

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21 minutes ago, E160BHM said:

At least save the front plate!   😀😀

That plate was given to me by the head of sales for the local Cat dealer back in 2008 when I was project manager on an airport runway rebuilding and we had Cat’s biggest paver on a demo.

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1 minute ago, Dave Downs said:

That plate was given to me by the head of sales for the local Cat dealer back in 2008 when I was project manager on an airport runway rebuilding and we had Cat’s biggest paver on a demo.

Pavers were always fun to spec and order.   Lots of options, starting with wheels or tracks all the way down to right or left hand threads on the screed adjusting screws (an operator preference thing).

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3 hours ago, Dave Downs said:

2004 GMC Canyon, 200,000 miles, good little truck, normal maintenance over the years.

Found rust on frame, poked my finger right through the frame rail, other side seems OK, but it’s not going to pass Pennsylvania inspection. 
 

Probably fixable if the bed is pulled off but at 200,000 miles is it worth the effort/cost?

I-5 engine, FWD, automatic, clean interior, no sign of body rust.

- and I have 2 other vehicles, ‘05 GMC Envoy 130,000 miles, 2006 VW GTI 145,000 miles 

Don’t need 3 vehicles 

073FB46B-3344-4885-8ABF-F44ED49D0A4B.jpeg

DD68BD57-CA19-40BE-BB71-B7E2E1B79F53.jpeg

Looks like results fracking waste on the roads over the course of its life.
Will you pass inspection if you weld new sections ? That’s a shame ! Don’t how to advise ,check pa. Inspection before you try to repair . No way is that truck going to pass inspection is it ?

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Body looks really good yet.  Depends how ambitious  you are.  It doesn't take much to get the bed off.  I had the bed off my 2500 to replace the cross member.  I think it is 4 large bolts  and the wiring harness just unplugs.

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I have an 03 Nissan Frontier that failed VA inspection for frame rust. 231,000 and I'm going to fix it. Very little cost compared to buying something else to drive in the winter.  Does your whole frame look that way, or just the back end?  Mine is only rusted between the spring hangers in the back, and not as severely. But, the body on yours is a whole lot nicer.

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Need more pics.  Pull the bed off, make cardboard templates, cut over sized patch panels for both sides and then join those panels together with some strap steel, at convenient locations.  I only spent a few hours doing a rough and dirty patch job on a neighbors Dakota once (same spot as yours) and he ran it for 2-3 years after that.  (I did a real quick job….he didn’t think the motor was going to run much longer at the time) 

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Thanks for all the replies. I’m going to get under it in a day or two and see what the rest of the frame looks like. Pulling the cap and bed is not that much work (if the bolts aren’t rusted also) but my welder doesn’t want to work on it - he’s concerned about liability.

If I could put $3500 in my pocket as it sits I think I’d be happy.

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12 hours ago, nepoweshiekfarmalls said:

Find a nice frame out of Texas and body swap.

I have done 3 S10s . one for a V8 swap and 2 times on daily drivers. ITS lot of work but if you can do it yourself I think its worth it before you start make sure the cab mounts and radiator support are good. if not you may want to pass ( I wouldn't LOL) 

Before you change the body I would suggest new brake and fuel lines and probably change the fuel pump while you are there. this could lead to another 135,000 care free miles.

 

one thing to consider first which I have no clue about is the life expectancy of that 5 cyl. if they are a pos send the truck down the road

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The rest of the truck looks immaculate.  With the current cost of things I would look seriously into fixing it. A rust free frame from down south would be a nice option if nobody wants to weld it. 

Tho as you say if you don't need it pass it on to someone willing to fix it and fix it right.

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The severity of the rust that we can see in just that one picture leads me to believe that all of the fasteners that would need to be removed in order to do a frame swap are probably not in the best condition either and for that reason alone would deter me from wanting to take anything apart, if the rest of the frame is good for a while yet and safe, I don’t see why welding a patch right on it where it is I would not be the best way to go. Box and fuel tank removal if needed, to do so properly 

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48 minutes ago, stronger800 said:

Used car dealers around here would Spray about seven cans of two dollar under coating over top of the entire frame to hide that, and send it to a wholesale auction, or sell it off their own lot

Exactly what some would do here too.  Mostly send  it to the big auction and let the next guy sell it.

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I can certainly understand why a person business would not want to undertake the frame repair.

I have always been leery when seeing cars and pickups being licensed and 'inspected' after under going suspension modifications being allowed on the road. And you know that the majority of these modifications are done in someone's driveway, or under the local shade tree, and who knows the quality of the mounting hardware, the ability of the 'welder', how much of the installation was "third world rigged" by someone following the instructions out of his favorite hot rod or off road magazine.

Remember that these UN-trained individuals are doing the work, on much thinner material, that a truck or frame shop would do all the time, as part of lengthening/shortening, or strengthening a frame to meet the requirements of the truck's owner.

I would have somewhat less concern, IF the installation were required to signed off by a registered professional engineer, at the owner's expense of course, to ensure that the modifications done by some "high school Harry" are "fit for purpose'.

On the same note, since the frame rot, IS the fault of the road salt used by the state, they should be responsible for at least some of the repair/replacement cost of making the vehicle road worthy again.  

 

 

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