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95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4th gen pickups and 3rd gen 4Runners

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Old 08-05-2011, 04:26 PM   #1
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4Runner Frame Rusted Through...Now What?

Well driving home last night and heard a loud crunch. Luckily I was just around the corner from the house. Once I crawled underneath this is what I found!! Yes the frame is completely rusted through and deteriorated!!

Talked with the local Toyota dealer and to no surprise Toyota will not help on our 4Runners. Drivability is dangerous at best. I'm at a loss on what to do other than pony up for a new truck. Any advice is appreciated and please take a look underneath your truck for a good inspection!

1997 4Runner SR5 3.4L 202k miles
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:30 PM   #2
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holy cow!! and on a rig that new? wow, thats strange. depending on how extensive the rust is, you can either get it professionally patched, or if its to bad, its time for a frame swap.
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1986 22r 4x4

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Old 08-05-2011, 04:38 PM   #3
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If I still have mine on the road, that is repairable.
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:26 PM   #4
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If I still have mine on the road, that is repairable.
^^ second the notion. Find someone who can weld, find some time. Possibly add some beer to the equation. If beer isn't available offer money. If you end up paying money shake your head after your sober acquaintance has left. You could have had a less than sober friend who would have worked for the heck of it.
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:35 PM   #5
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If you end up having someone weld it, make sure you tell them to drop the gas tank before they do anything.
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:32 PM   #6
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What year Tacoma's were covered by the frame recall? I find it strange that they cover Tacomas and not 4Runners of the same generation.
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:34 PM   #7
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uhmmm. with something like a frame, i'd save the beer for after its all done. ciggerattes are fine though
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1985 pickup 4x4 22re (g.i.junk)

1988 pickup 4x4, 3vz (3.alotfasterthenmy22re), 5spd, 35x12.50 mudder's, Dual 55W off-road lights, custom flatbed,
cobra 19 ultra 3, 5.29's, 30 spline axles, F.R.O.R twin stick kit, O.D. Green paintjob, dual jerry cans, I.S.R mod

1988 Xtra Cab SR5- 3vz, Auto, completly stock, ONLY 129,xxx.....runs great, but sat underwater.

1986 22r 4x4

1985 4runner....nothin but the frame!

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Gijunk, you are the official winner of "Ugliest truck on YotaTech!" Congrats!
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:51 PM   #8
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What year Tacoma's were covered by the frame recall? I find it strange that they cover Tacomas and not 4Runners of the same generation.
95.5-04 Tacomas are covered.

The Tacoma frames were produced by Dana Corp. And Dana messed up the manufacturing process which is what makes them rust.

The 4Runner frames were made by Toyota, over in Japan, where the 4Runners are manufactured.

I think Toyota is going to have to see a lot more big issues with the 4Runner frames in order to even look into some sort of recall or buyback for them.

The issue the op has looks more like poor care of the frame rather than the frame just sucking. If you live near an ocean, or live where they use salt on the roads, you know damn well whatever car you drive is gonna have something rust and fall off, eventually.

You can't just throw your hands in the air, cry about it, and then say "Toyota didn't help me." Its a 15 year old vehicle.

Metal rusts. Metal becomes brittle and fragile over time. Welcome to relaity.

Find a good frame shop that can do the repair. It's not that big of a deal.



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Old 08-05-2011, 11:49 PM   #9
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Ah the rusty lower control arm mounts. That is where they are all rusting out. Mine rusted out on the passenger side, but only just started to go. I had a local welder put some thick plate along the frame. I am in Wilmington also. Let me know if you need his contact info.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:28 PM   #10
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As an update I removed the gas tank and had plates welded to the frame. It was late by the time I got the gas tank back in and had to leave out of town for work. Long story short it was a learning experience for me as I didn't realize the wires for the fuel pump could be accessed from the passenger seat floor on the drivers side. Needless to say by the time I found it the wires had already pulled from the connector. Can anyone help and provide info on the order the wires plug into the connector?

Rjaudi. Thanks for the offer but I have recently moved to Oklahoma.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:12 PM   #11
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Did you coat the frame and new plates in anything? I'm looking to tidy up the underside of my runner to prevent something like this so looking for some suggestions on coatings.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:07 AM   #12
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some people use phosphoric acid based rust removal products to clean it off. or some grind the rust off. replace with metal sheets or weld. then you would coat it with epoxy primer.
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:08 AM   #13
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As an update I removed the gas tank and had plates welded to the frame. It was late by the time I got the gas tank back in and had to leave out of town for work. Long story short it was a learning experience for me as I didn't realize the wires for the fuel pump could be accessed from the passenger seat floor on the drivers side. Needless to say by the time I found it the wires had already pulled from the connector. Can anyone help and provide info on the order the wires plug into the connector?

Rjaudi. Thanks for the offer but I have recently moved to Oklahoma.
should be able to find wiring diagrams etc using the FSM link in my sig.

OKlahoma? I feel for you
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:17 PM   #14
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File a complaint here @ NHTSA and get a campaign started.
Apparently Toyota is not going to step up and fix the issues unless they have enough complaints and the government feels that there are enough incidents to pose as a safety concern.

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

Look on the Left hand column and click "File a Complaint"

My best recommendation to determine if your frame is actually rusting from the inside out is to probe inside the access holes (both sides) that are found along the frame rail and/or run a compressed air line inside to see if any big chunks of rust come flying out.
My frame looked totally fine until I further examined it. Major scaling on the inside. Outside looks perfect. Well, it seems that the inside rotted so bad that my inner frame rail on the passenger side near the rear track arm had almost rotted through. It is soft like a sponge, but yet the factory Toyota frame paint held it together. Poking it with my finger and it all crumbled
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:37 AM   #15
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97 4Runner Frame Rust

I own a 1997 4Runner. The vehicle has serious frame rust. I'd hate to lose the vehicle due to this problem because otherwise, it's in fine shape; I haven't had to spend much money on it over the past few years.

So then, my question: Is it possible to fix the existing frame, or is it possible to have the frame replaced? Is this a matter Toyota dealers will attempt to do, or do I need to contact an auto body shop?

I know I can do the footwork myself. I'm looking to save time in this regard.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:05 PM   #16
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I say your truck just wanted an upgrade see if you cant get your buddy with the welder to do something with those LCA mounts so they dont hang down so much
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:15 PM   #17
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Wink

I see problems like this all the time most often in the vehicles that go to places like jiffy lube to change their oil.

If you live in the salt belt or near the ocean at least get under your trucks at least every oil change and look at things .

this liquid brine is brutal it destroys brake and fuel lines long before the frame. So if your frame looks bad your lines are gonna fail soon .:jessica: I have switched to a copper/nickel line that is alledged to not corrode

This rust can be caught long before it gets this bad. I have enough other work rebuilding buckets and repairing horse trailers.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:15 PM
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