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Old October 5th, 2018, 07:48 AM   #1
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Default 96 Silverado frame rot - Update 1/14

Took my 96 1500 to go pickup another 96 1500 to fix it up; towed the other truck just fine and no issues there.

Noticed about 2/3 of the way back home that the back of my truck was squatting horrible, but the cab was still level. So shit. Took a look at it after I got back home, and found a 2-3" rust hole in the frame right above the rear axle on the pass side, and the same place on the driver's axle is paper thin. Just a quick look last night, it looks like most of the rear frame is rotted, can see where it buckled from towing the other truck.

Where can I get some frame pieces/reinforcement pieces from? Just wanted to look for actual replace/reinforce pieces before I make my own. I plan on getting some C channel and welding it on to any good metal left, if not, then looks like i'm making a new rear frame. Not sure how bad the rust is going towards the front yet.

I've had this truck for just over 10 years, and i plan on keeping it a lot longer. So i don't really care about resale. Just wanna make it safe-er.
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Old October 5th, 2018, 07:56 AM   #2
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I often wonder about that truck when I see it in your signature. 22 years of Michigan salt is hard on a vehicle. It is my favorite body style, so I can understand why you want to keep her going.
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Old October 5th, 2018, 08:01 AM   #3
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Yep....part of the problem is, for the past about 6 years it's been doing mostly sitting in my grandpa's driveway. And I only drove it every once in a while. Was in the garage over the winter, but sitting out in the rain and heat, and moisture like that did not help the rot, my lack of cab corners can attest to that lol

The truck I just picked up was a cousins, he sold it to me cheap, Basically the same truck. ext cab, 1996, 4x4...etc. Thought about swapping over my parts to the new truck. But there's a ton of little shit to change. axles (mine are 4.11s), steering, shocks, little stuff in cab, headers...etc. Plus, I wanna fix up the other truck (hopefully) and sell it.
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Old October 5th, 2018, 08:26 AM   #4
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Make some paper templates and mail them to me. I can trace and cut them and send back.
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Old October 5th, 2018, 08:42 AM   #5
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Make some paper templates and mail them to me. I can trace and cut them and send back.
That's a good idea!
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Old October 5th, 2018, 11:41 AM   #6
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Make some paper templates and mail them to me. I can trace and cut them and send back.
That'd be aweseome! Not in a rush on it, gotta take the bed off so I can see what's how much is actually FUBAR'd, then i'll make some templates
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Old October 5th, 2018, 11:56 AM   #7
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That'd be aweseome! Not in a rush on it, gotta take the bed off so I can see what's how much is actually FUBAR'd, then i'll make some templates
Sounds good!

Or if its just simple shapes just draw me some chicken scratch on paper with dimensions and text me some pics.

231-903-1380.
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Old January 14th, 2019, 07:41 AM   #8
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Update.

Finally got some time to get the bed off (and garage cleaned) and pulled the truck into the garage to get a look at the damage.

It's not good.

Not sure what the best option is. I mulled over just getting rid of the truck; but i want to keep it. i don't care about resale or anything. First truck I bought myself, and i've done a lot of work to it over the years. So I'm gonna keep doing work to it, and keeping it.

I figure either, buy a good frame (but I don't have the means or space to do a full frame swap); but a good frame and cut the back off and splice it to mine, or build new frame right over the old stuff, cutting out the shit spots as I go to help keep it aliged as much as possible, and using the old locations for the holes for the mounts.

For my skill, the last idea is probably the easiest. I don't know of anyone around my area that I would be able to take it here and have them do the work on it as a side job kinda thing. Anyone willing to do some frame work for me??? I can trailer it just about most places in the state
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Old January 14th, 2019, 07:55 AM   #9
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Is your frame one piece front to back, or is it riveted and welded together just behind the cab?

If it's riveted & welded and it's good from there forward, it might be easiest to source that section from down south and swap it in. My neighbor bought a wrecked duramax and replaced the rear frame section using that method. Test fit it, tacked it, and took to frame shop and they tweaked it in for him for relatively cheap. He did the final paint and assembly and ended up with a really nice truck for a lot less than retail.
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Old January 14th, 2019, 07:56 AM   #10
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That old girl needs some TLC.
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Old January 14th, 2019, 07:59 AM   #11
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Is your frame one piece front to back, or is it riveted and welded together just behind the cab?

If it's riveted & welded and it's good from there forward, it might be easiest to source that section from down south and swap it in. My neighbor bought a wrecked duramax and replaced the rear frame section using that method. Test fit it, tacked it, and took to frame shop and they tweaked it in for him for relatively cheap. He did the final paint and assembly and ended up with a really nice truck for a lot less than retail.
It's all one piece frame. All the rust laying on the floor was just from me hitting the rails with a small ball-peen hammer

Shit just fell off like ice on a 45 degree day. Punched a couple more holes too, just how rotted that rear frame section was. I did the same to the front of the frame, and other than looking like garbage nothing budged. No holes, no soft spots. Just needs a good flap disc and some paint.

I don't get why the rear rotted out so horribly. The truck sat for a while, but it sat on an asphalt driveway and in my garage. The only difference was, I swapped the bed like 8 years ago; and when I did I cleaned off the rear rails and painted everything with POR-15. Which is supposed to stop rust and prevent it. Apparently not.
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Old January 14th, 2019, 12:26 PM   #12
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That old girl needs some TLC.
Yep.

Pretty much the whole rear frame is toast. Not sure it's even worth trying to weld anything to it.

either full frame swap or replace the rear section.

Both are pretty well out of my ability to do. But Either way, looks like I need to find a frame and go from there.
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Old January 15th, 2019, 07:28 AM   #13
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Well, frame is junk. Took another look last night and found more rust holes; and soft spots along the whole frame. Had a guy come over and look it over and he said the same thing. Said he's got a shop, hoist and everything to do the frame swap.

Junk. So in the market for a whole frame. Then after that I can address the rotting cab corners and non-existant rocker panels!
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Old January 16th, 2019, 10:06 AM   #14
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You still have your brothers old truck? Or is it not the Same thing?
The one spot you need to look at as well on a replacement frame is where it bends up for the front suspension. I see them crack right at the kick up for the front control arms.
Good Luck with it and If you want I would glad keep an eye open for what you arer needing down here.
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Old January 16th, 2019, 10:25 AM   #15
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You still have your brothers old truck? Or is it not the Same thing?
The one spot you need to look at as well on a replacement frame is where it bends up for the front suspension. I see them crack right at the kick up for the front control arms.
Good Luck with it and If you want I would glad keep an eye open for what you arer needing down here.
It was almost the same truck lol

I had thought about swapping my parts over to it but decided not to....dumb.
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Old April 14th, 2019, 08:48 PM   #16
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i have a 95 or 6 ill look at it after snow stops and see if its good for your needs was planning on stripping it anyway
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Old April 15th, 2019, 07:31 AM   #17
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i have a 95 or 6 ill look at it after snow stops and see if its good for your needs was planning on stripping it anyway
@why , appreciate it, but I actually already found a parts truck. Well, my buddy found the truck but were parting it out and stripping it to the frame. 140k, and a very, very clean looking frame. Very little crusty rust; clean enough that all the body mount bolts came right out and only one bed bolt stripped the head haha
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Old April 15th, 2019, 07:52 AM   #18
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@why , appreciate it, but I actually already found a parts truck. Well, my buddy found the truck but were parting it out and stripping it to the frame. 140k, and a very, very clean looking frame. Very little crusty rust; clean enough that all the body mount bolts came right out and only one bed bolt stripped the head haha
That is clean!

Glad you were able to find one.
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Old April 15th, 2019, 10:32 AM   #19
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That is clean!

Glad you were able to find one.
For sure!

Actually, so far, only the one bolt for the bed was rusted enough to not be able to get with a socket. Everything else has came right out, including all the fender bolts.

Have all the body except the cab off it. Cab is unbolted and ready to come off though. All the motor mounts, trans...etc all came out no problem. I'll take some pics of it and post them up. very impressed with the truck.

I'll be posting up some parts for sale too. Most of it is getting scrapped, we're keeping some parts and some will be sold
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Old April 15th, 2019, 02:47 PM   #20
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