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Discussion Starter #1




Started hearing some rattling in the right rear about two weeks ago and at the time found that my shock was just shot. I figured I'd milk it along and order some new ones and replace them here soon. On the way home tonight, mid corner at about 45 mph, something snapped and the rear of the car lurched hard, almost like the lug nuts had come loose. I eased it home and raised it up to find the gnarly scene above. Seems to be isolated to the right side only, only minor rust on driver's side and NO cracking at all. This right side is gone. Nothing left, and structurally, I don't think there's enough to weld to safely, as it's all pretty thin and the cracks seem to extend.

Anyone else seen or heard of this happening? With the age, mileage and now this, I'm starting to think it's time to let it go. I love these cars, but it's starting to add up.
 

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You may need to redo the pictures - I can't pull them up now.

But I gather, the right side rear is shot?

I'd look for a clean roller and move your stuff over. That's one of the zones that kills these bodies.

RwP
 

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The part that is missing is part of the car's structure. She's pretty much toast, that's a real doozie to try and fix, really probably not worth the effort.
 

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Yah, that unibody is toast.

Rust free roller and swap your good parts over.

(This is why I'm not fond of the idea of SCP's coilovers - no telling HOW many of the unibodies are approaching this due to rust and corrosion in the rear.)

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's what I had feared too. I'm no body man, but I know my way around metal, and I've seen this kind of stuff before and it never welded up right, or at least, it never lasted.

I don't have the shop to be able to move things over, so I think I'll just have to sell it and move on, which sucks, because this is totally going to kill any value that it had before.

Another true Sport bites the dust.....
 

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Sucks man. Best bet on finding a rust free body is to come out here to the South West (CA, NM, NV, AZ) where everything is still clean.
 

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...and keep it away from the salt! Holy crap.
 

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It's a Sport? JJJJ springs?

There's folks that'll pay good money for them.

Too bad you need SOMETHING for it to roll off ...

RwP
 

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Yeouch...I hope that isn't in the near future for one of mine....started seeing rust around that area. :(

At least these cars aren't too hard to find for cheap...for now anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm considering building some braces in the truck to fix this now. I've had it up for sale for nearly a month with only a handful off hits and no offers. I know it won't be ideal, but I've seen plenty of guys built bracing for these birds for stability between the towers. I'm thinking of just getting some 3" heavy steel U channel, secure it to the floor and something solid underneath, build it up with some X braces, and weld new shock mounts to it that way.

I can't stand to scrap this car, in fact, I refuse to do so. So if it's not going to go to someone else to drive it and keep it (or parts of it) alive, then I'm gonna get redneck on it and keep it alive.
 

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How did the repair go? Would like to see some pictures if you completed it and wouldn't mind. I have the same problem but on the drivers side and much worse. I have used L channel in the inner fender well and on the top inside the trunk for a remedy. It's only bolted together. Like you I'm not sure I would trust what is left to be welded. It has been this way for about 1.5 years. The car handles normally but I have drove cautiously ever since. The only side effect I have noticed is additional noise when driving. Your thought of getting redneck on it does work so long as you don't forget to take everyone else's safety in mind.
 

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I wish I could, if it were even a possibility. I live in the salty midwest on nasty county roads. Salt is my worst enemy for this and my 79 Bronco...what's left of her.
Uhhh...DD the bronco during snowy/salty weather, keep the birds off the road during said period? Just a thought. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
slamdstorm, I haven't been able to tackle it quite yet. With winter approaching I've had to focus on getting the tractor ready to dig my butt out and get the house winterized. I'm glad you replied though, because you brought up a point that I had missed in my planning of the repair, and that was noise. My plan at this point was to try to tie in my new substructure to the IRS rear subframe, though I haven't been under it yet to see what my possible tie in points might be. I intend to do it with bolts so as to be able to tweak the design later on if needed, or if service is required under the car that would require it's removal. I'll have to be sure to use some poly bushings in the mount points to ensure that it doesn't rattle around.

In the end, I'll post my plans on here soon and show you all what I have in mind. Hopefully some of our suspension gurus will help me work out the kinks for not only my situation, but all those wanting to firm up the rear ends of these big birds.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Black Cat, I share your thought line. I actually just bought a 93 Ranger to fill in as my daily driver while the bird is out of commission. I say bought, but traded some things for it is more accurate. Either way, it'll be my snow driver until it gets deep enough for the Bronco. That beast likes gas way too much to drive everyday. It gets saved for the really deep Indiana snows.
 
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