Project: Frame Restoration Short Cuts
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Author/Photographer:Terry Beever | Editor: Phil Hansford November 24, 2001

Terry considers what he is about to do!

So you've got a frame that is looking like its been floating in The Great Salt Lake? Or, it's just starting to get some serious Rust spots? Whatever your reason for looking into stabilizing the rust on your frame, here is How I did it and what I learned not to do.

Step One: Assemble your supplies.
To get started, buy some rust stabilizer. "Eastwood Corroless" rust stabilizer works well - they have a total frame restoration kit that includes frame paint. If you're going to paint over the rust stabilizer you'll need to sand the whole frame. I initially intended to paint over the stabilizer but later decided it wasn't worth sanding the entire frame again. Two - 16 ounce cans are enough to do the whole frame and you will have some left over for touch-ups.

You have to take EVERYTHING off the frame!

Now take your body off of the frame.
Well, maybe you have a body lift that will give you some limited access to complete this job. If not, this is a good time to pop in a body lift, since you will be lifting the body away from the vehicle. Now is also a good time to remove anything attached to the frame that might be in your way - engine, transmission, brake/fuel lines, and fuel canister.

Start scraping!
Now that you have access to your rust encrusted frame, pressure wash loose grime, then scrape loose rust. If you have access to a sandblaster, use It! I chose to sand my whole frame by hand, which took way too long. The Stabilizer adheres great to sanded rust but not very well to glossy areas unless fully sanded. Finally, wash all of the to-be-painted areas with a good TSP/soap mixture to remove all hiding grease and grime.

Now you're ready to paint.
Get a few different brushes. Sponge works well but will deteriorate quickly, so get a few of them. Put down a drop cloth and paint everything. This paint is very hard to get off, so wear gloves and clothes you don't like. It also gets very tacky after just a few seconds, so move fast and glob it on everywhere. Let first coat cure for a few days and then apply a fresh coat. If you really are serious, wait another few days and apply a third coat.

process.jpg final_back.jpg final_side.jpg
In the process of painting The finished product! The frame is now good as new!

Now that you've sealed the deal, kick back, stare at your fully rust-protected frame and enjoy a cold one. But don't get too happy. Now you have to put everything back together!

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