1999 Tacoma-rust repair...fixing bodges!

  1. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    Hey, all

    so my buddy has a truck that is near and dear to him. its a 1999 Toyota Tacoma v6 4x4. its in great shape because he has kept up on the frame rot repair and other issues that have cropped up. These little trucks are known for frame rot, but also, like most pick ups, suffer from a few other areas to watch for. Namely, the fender arches and bed floor where that meets with the inner fenders.

    I was just going to touch up the fender flares...thats how this whole things started.
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    I noticed that previous repairs done 2 years ago by a professional body shop had begun to fail. I was going to take the bed off anyway...but now it was not an option....

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    Boy, its nice having the lift. I didnt have to worry about scratching the cab, or pulling favors from neighbors...it just lifted it straight up...no fuss...

    Then I started looking at a few suspect areas..This one, I decided to tackle first:

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    it looks bad enought, but the surface just above the rot through is actually the bed liner!...they had filled the (then) smaller hole with bondo and smeared it all over the bed liner and onto the metal surrounding the holes. This of course, made things much worse and the holes grew from roughly 6-10" long to over 24" long! arrrgghhhh.

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    I had to cut through the 3/4" thick Rhino liner product to expose the damage...that Rhino liner is tough stuff! what a mess.

    and the results:

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    the big pieces are the rubberized bed coating (Rhino Lining) you can see the bondo still stuck to the bottom of it.......(grooves in it)

    Heres where it gets a little nuts. I cut out part of the floor from my old Dakota bed and believe it or not, it actually fits the Tacoma!...(for the most part) Now I really have to finish the Dakota!

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    First piece held in place with a couple of magnets:

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    second piece:

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    The gap you see is because there are two layers of metal. The inner fender lies on top of the floor piece....So that will be next...

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    they really made this much worse.....but hid things pretty well...for a while. nutjobs.

    thanks for looking....

    JP
     
  2. wacky7791

    wacky7791 Member

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    QLD australia
    looks like what the rest of the world call a hilux? lucky to have an american truck bed have the same shape as a jap one
     
  3. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    Yep, a Hilux...These little trucks are great...but do have their issues on the frames and beds....

    JP
     
  4. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    I was able to weld in the bed floor pieces....a few pin holes to fill in....

    The template for the inner fender piece is done...gotta find some good metal for that now...(a little low on supplies!)

    [​IMG]

    thanks for lookin

    JP
     
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  5. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    1,971
    Location:
    london
    Looking good JP....looks like you've started another project :laughing:

    I keep looking at my second Figaro on the drive....need to get motivated to get on with it I think!
     
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  6. octo0072000

    octo0072000 Member

    Messages:
    5,245
    Location:
    south yorks

    Looks like water has got under the bed liner at some time to cause that only needs a pinhole or two over a few years to rot it out
     
  7. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    Hi, PD2!...yeah, this one I have to finish quickly as the truck gets used quite often....my buddy is on a vacation for a week or two, then will be using his sons car while I finish up the truck!

    Octo, there is a seam underneath too that Im sure caused the initial rot...the rhino liner is 3/4" thick and I could not find any tears or areas where moisture appeared to have come from above. (until I had to cut into it of course!) but, sure enough, water finds a way in!.....

    JP
     
  8. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    A lot of figuring out how to source some odd brackets for this truck today. I can find most of the items I need, but (cant believe I'm going with a design that caused the rust in the first place, albeit after 18 years or so)......I need the central inner to outer fender brackets that support the wheel arches...I may have to make them up myself, perhaps improving on the design if I can figure out how to do that.....
    but they did eventually trap enough dirt and road salt mist to rot the fenders....

    anyway, I did get the inner fender patch in place

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    and welded in...pretty happy with the results.

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    One thing I learned, though cant believe I didnt already know this...is to oversize the patch a small amount, and trim the older metal (if possible) so the piece fits. I have been trimming the new piece all this time, which only leads to a greater chance of hitting thin spots in the older metal, or more rust...

    actually, I learned two things....and began pushing the welds with less torch angle. This helps with thin metal and overcuts from the grinder, and especially on places where there are gaps. Sometimes, though, the weld bead can get too big. re-angling the torch back toward the last bead tends to smooth it out a bit. coming straight down on the bead, overlapping by half helps with not blowing through as well....

    of course, just when you think you have found a new way to weld, you realize there is no one way to do it...and the combination of techniques is the key...push, pull, angle, no angle, more wire speed, less, more amps.....you know....

    I'm still learning...so any comments are welcome!

    JP
     
  9. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    1,971
    Location:
    london
    I got to the same point on the Figaro floor repairs.....it was easier to make the repair piece slightly larger as you have said and then just "let it into" the existing panel. I found a 1mm slit disc is perfect for the letting in...I'd tack as I went initially until the old metal was out of the way.

    Looking very good so far I think :thumbup:....been a while since I did any welding so I really need to get back into the garage!
     
  10. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    I know what you mean, PD2....I had not welded for a while, and found that I was a bit rusty at first, but also, strangely, was able to be more efficient here and there...(who knows?)

    Some new parts arrived today. The gas tank skid plate is made from heavy plate steel...heavier than needed, but wow....is it impressive!....and the repair patches came in too....now I can tackle those...

    I will need to make some new fender opening support brackets...and they are a little complicated...but I think I have an idea of how to make a "less prone to rusting" bracket from some tubing and gusset plates. ( been watching Binky too much!)

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    thanks for looking

    JP
     
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  11. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    work continues on the Tacoma....Satisfied for now with the inner fender and floor, I decided to tackle the outer fender. the previous repair WAS done with SOME metal...but I don't know why they would waste time welding onto rust, and putting more than 1/8" of bondo all over the place. why not cut back to clean metal?.....I guess I didnt know much better a few years ago, but I don't run a body shop! They should know better.....Especially when told by the owner to "do it right, please"....

    too bad..the paint work is pretty good, the body work was shaped nicely, too...its just so unfortunate that it all had to be ruined by crappy "metalwork"

    rant over....Heres the first pic. you can see the rust that was separating the bondo from the metal and causing bubbles in several places....

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    And what the old repair looked like from the backside. There is a bracket that bolts or welds to the fender lip here, which, as I said before, was the cause of the rot in the first place. I'm still trying to come up with a better designed bracket that will not cause the same rust to come back later....

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    And the first test fitting. I oversized the repair section a bit. glad I did....it gave me options. I realized here that I had to locate the holes in the fender lip exactly as the fender flare bolts on under there. so I had to make some careful markings and be sure I didnt loose the alignment. In hindsight....I would have made a flat template for the fender lip with the location of the holes...but this sufficed.....

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    I just clamped the fender flare onto the new piece and then put everything in place and marked the bed for final trimming...it worked!

    and the final piece in place and trimmed for welding. it was a good place to leave it for tonight.

    [​IMG]

    JP
     
  12. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    Making some progress on the Tacoma...

    repair panel is trimmed to size for welding, now to clean the edges.

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    When cutting the rusty section out, the panel on either side of the cut shifted quite a bit...as there is some tension there. Getting a measurement based on something would be a small challenge...I used the bed to frame bolt holes, took measurements from the other side and shimmed the back of the panel so it all went back into the proper location. glad I didnt cut both sides at once without measuring!

    so its all even steven and ready to go....(you can see the board at the bottom of the pic....)

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    working tomorrow, so it will have to wait til Friday....getting there though...

    thanks for looking

    JP
     
  13. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    1,971
    Location:
    london
    Great work JP....am really liking that lift....wish I had one of those :thumbup:
     
  14. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    I really scrimped and saved for a long time to buy that one....very happy with it so far.

    JP
     
  15. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    Hey, all

    I made some good progress today and got one repair panel welded in. Its just tacked in several places in the picture, but since then, I'm nearly done with the first round of welding. I did manage to get the panels to line up really well as I went...I also really took my time with each tack's placement. I waited until I was sure I was lined up with each one before squeezing that trigger.....

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    thanks for looking

    JP
     
  16. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    So I got some time in on the Tacoma this afternoon. The rear differential locker/unlocker has not worked in a while, so I put that on the bench to see why...sometimes its just an electrical connection and in need of grease....in our case...well, take a look what was INSIDE the housing!

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    the whole thing was filled with gravel!...I did find a small hole in the backside of the housing, but how this much dirt and gravel got in the housing is amazing!

    here is the hole with housing fragments I found inside...not sure how this happened, but there is evidence of someone being in there before me.

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    I cleaned up the mounting point on the rear differential and got some paint on there.....I was happy to get the electrical connections off without breaking them...

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    Then I started on the gas tank skid plate. Heres the old one out...not much left of it.....

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    of course the gas tank hanger strap was toast as well...so I'm actually glad we decided to replace the skid plate...

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    Then I was able to get some paint on the new skid plate after cleaning it up....This thing is really heavy duty....

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    and a lick of paint on the cleaned ( took ages, very fiddly) diff locker shield

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    and thats about it...it was nice to take a break from welding...but now I'm excited to get back on that part of the project.

    thanks for looking...

    JP
     
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  17. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    Got a fair amount done on the Tacoma today.....

    outer patch just about done with the welding....

    [​IMG]

    And I did get started on prepping the frame for paint and undercoating....I wire wheeled what I could reach and primed the surface in those areas...I do have access to a sand blaster, so will be getting the inside of the frame rails with that....

    [​IMG]

    I knew one of the crossmembers was a bit toasty...but upon closer inspection, decided it had to come out....which was not easy. The bodges here were frustrating. They had removed the bed before...and from there, you can simply unbolt the crossmember. They did not...They just welded onto it and then welded it to the frame rails for strength instead of fixing the or replacing the part. arrrggghhh. this of course, made the job much harder, and the part is now toast. curse word!

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    the lower "ears" are completely gone which gave structural strength to the frame rail. Now, of course, there is a crack in one of the rails that I have to fix.

    here is the space where the crossmember fits...pretty nasty in there. You can make out the crack just above the small bracket...

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    Heres where I had to cut and reshape the bolt which they had run weld around for some reason.

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    I dropped the tank so I could cut the crossmember out, and touched up any rusty areas...

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    and finally, I'm happy with the results of figuring out how to make my own version of the inner bracket. This bracket also holds up part of the plastic fender liner. There will be a "backbone" sort of brace to support the bolt hole arms. Ive been binge watching Binky and the bracket happy Nick...which gave me some great ideas....and though my efforts are Neanderthal in comparison, I think it will work out great. I have kept the bendy part away from the fender side wall (no more rust?), and where it bends further to match the angle of the liner in the pic (lower left on bracket) , Ill run a screw or plastic fastener to hold it all together. this will secure the liner, outer fender panel to the inner fender panel and hopefully not cause any further rust!

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    all in all a good day...I'm beat!...time for dinner and a nice beverage!

    thanks for looking

    JP
     
  18. slim_boy_fat

    slim_boy_fat Forum Supporter

    Coming along nicely, and at least you appear to have plenty of access room to address the problems. :thumbup:
     
  19. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    Yeah, I am very lucky to have that lift slim,

    Today I got the DS wheel arch cut out which took a little figuring on just where to cut... The area behind the fuel filler door was pretty toasty so I decided to replace that feature as it was molded into the repair panel. What was not included was the bracketry behind that area to give it all some added strength. The brackets, all but one, were too rusty to save, and I cannot find replacements, so Ill have to make them...ahh well...its all good practice, even if it is time consuming!

    heres the DS arch cut out...
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    and trial fitting the fuel door, housing, and home spun brackets (out of sight on the back side of the panel) Happy to say, It all fits and the door closes perfectly.!
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    here you can see the "CAD files" I created to make the support pieces behind the opening. The top of the photo shows the old support. this was made, I think, for ease of production as well as simplicity...everything lines up and must go in the right place when the bracket is used.(this bracket was spot welded to the original panel)...My CAD pieces fit the contours of the new panel and I was careful to mark the hole centers correctly. With the right stainless hardware, all should be fine.

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    I seem to have lost a couple of photos, but was able to get a good section of the rear frame painted as well as the gas tank.

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    Thats about it for now. Next, I'm going to get the DS panel fitted dry for now, as I still have to make those brackets behind it (that attach to the inner fender) before putting the panel in place. It will be very hard to weld them in otherwise....

    thanks for looking

    JP
     
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  20. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    Found the pics that I actually DIDNT loose...back of the fuel filler door brackets. the one on the left gets a 90 degree bracket that attaches to one more bracket on the inner fender...I'm thinking Ill also tack these in place so they wont move around during installation or come loose in future....

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    and some more new parts: diff locker actuator, fuel tank strap (from Toyota, no less. guess how much?!), new bolts and washers, Also present are the paper templates/old rusty fuel filler bracket. (rust trap?), aaaannnnd, Didnt notice it before in the pic, the bracket that goes on the inner fender is sitting under the fuel tank strap....

    [​IMG]

    I do have to move the truck soon to weld the frame...but the gas tank is out...hmmm...poor planning!....Maybe a short welding session with the welder outside on an extension cord wont be so bad....[​IMG]


    thanks for looking...

    JP
     
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