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elukas 03-11-2004 11:15 AM

Is this frame damage hopeless?
Well, I've went back and forth between a number of plans for getting new projects over the past few months, but in the end, nothing has panned out. Back to square one.

This is my 72 Oldsmobile Cutlass. It's engine threw a rod and toasted the entire rocket 350. I pulled it, built a new engine putting out a bunch more power, and only after all that, did I discover the frame damage the car had.

Can anyone help? Is this fixable with any kind of extra tying together of the frame along with patching?

This first pic is the body so you can see why I desperately want to make this work, and then I'll post a few pics of the frame damage. It's hood is set on by just one hinge, it has no engine, and a bad frame, but other than that, it's not too bad, huh?

To sum it up: I'd be willing to put a basically stock chevy or olds 350 in if it meant I could use this car without swapping the frame. The afr 383 can wait for another project when I have more cash.

elukas 03-11-2004 11:15 AM

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the car

elukas 03-11-2004 11:17 AM

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The damage is in basically 3 spots. This is the worst of it which was hiding under the AC hump.

elukas 03-11-2004 11:17 AM

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Closeup of the AC hump crack from hell

elukas 03-11-2004 11:18 AM

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Spot #2. Yes, there's more!

This is right behind or in front of the rear driver's side wheel.

elukas 03-11-2004 11:20 AM

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One more bad spot :(

Looks pretty hopeless, huh? I've never had a car with frame damage, all I know is no one wants to touch em with a 10 foot pole. Probably a reason! You know, not wanting to drive a death trap and all. Wimps. Just kidding. 03-11-2004 11:25 AM

Yes that crack can be fixed with a weld, then a cover plate welded over to strengthen up the area. In Michigan that would be a "PRIME" resto project! How is the car in the frame area behind the rear wheels. Mich cars are usually gone along with both sides of the trunk.

Busted Knuckles 03-11-2004 12:09 PM

I think the only reason nobody wants to touch it because of liability issues. If you talked someone into welding it up for you, you could sue him later if something went wrong. OTOH, if you welded and reinforced it yourself, it would probably work fine. And when/if you sold it, you wouldn't know anything about no stinking frame damage. Just say something like, "I dunno, I bought it that way, you mean its not supposed to look like that?" Its a little thing called caveat emptor, which means, buyer beware.

46_stvblt 03-11-2004 12:23 PM

One thing I know for sure, you can't weld rust. You will have to grind back to solid clean metal then add plate steel and weld it up. Especially time consuming if its difficult to get at. It can be done..Just take your time and try not to cut too much out at one time.....This would be a big liability for someone to take on but as others have said you could do it yourself.......GlennK

Kevin45 03-11-2004 02:07 PM

Personally I'd get another frame. Not that hard of a swap and could be done in a weekend if the other frame had the running gear on it. What is bad is what you cannot see. It looks like the metal is thin along with being cracked. I wouldn't want to put time into it just to have it go bad somewhere else a few miles down the road. The car looks to be in decent shape so it would be worth sticking a frame under. You will also have less time invoolved by swapping one out. The safety factor is the biggest plus.


Jag Daddy 03-11-2004 02:52 PM

You might want to look out west for a frame, CA. and AZ might have a rust free one that could be shipped to you for less than the repair of this one. I have seen them box weld a frame for a vette that was severly rusted out. When they were done it was stronger than original. Nice car I'd try and keep it going. Think of it this way better to find out now then to find out at 80 mph!


Thom Laybourne 03-11-2004 04:17 PM

Any good body shop will have a spreader to push that frame back into place. Yes, they might have you sign a release. As the spreader opens, the break gap will close almost to original. They would weld it and add a patch plate.

The other rust, looks like pictures of the TOE board area? Basically panel rust? Yes, you will have to remove everything forward of the firewall. Should be done anyway to check for other hidden problems. Something caused that and it was not normal driving. Once open you will get a better idea of what you are facing. Cost only time. Take lots of pictures as you take it apart.

hr41pearl :cool:

Nice car, worth the effort.

Robinson Robin 03-11-2004 04:33 PM

That doesn't look to bad I wouldn't hesitate to weld it up I've had many a car that had much worse frame damage than that when I first got it.

55mole 03-12-2004 06:57 AM

According to your pics , the "split" that appears to be on top of the frame, by the A/C, could be repaired, depending upon the wall thickness of the area that is to be welded .
Pic # 37 on the other hand appears to be a major problem . It looks like that pc is beyond repair , w/the exception of cutting that section out & replacing it . When the metal flakes as shown in the pic , it is impossible to weld to .
If I was going to restore the car , I would put another frame under it .
It just seems to be to much going on with the frame to try to salvage it . 55mole

EBlack36 03-12-2004 10:47 AM

If the frame is in this shape, what is the shape of the under body, I.E. floor boards, trunk, etc. From what I see the car has serious frame issues but items that can be taken care of with a frame swap.

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