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Old 12-17-2019, 04:09 PM   #1
adam22
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Default Subframe Rust

Took the 06 in for the clunk that the forum has me thinking is struts and sway bar links. Previous shop suggested those, but didn't have the parts so I went without at the time. Tried a new shop today and they would not work on my car due to rust.

I've searched and see this is somewhat of a common issue for northern cars. I tried to take a few pictures. I'm unsure if this is as bad as they made it to be. Not sure how much I believe because they did not attribute the clunk to the suspension and instead blamed it on exhaust and the frame issues.

I don't want to chase bad money but if this isn't horrendous, everything else is in fairly decent order and it would be worth fixing the front end. I'm at 180k miles for what it's worth.

I tried to get a few pictures. I don't have a jack handy but can probably try from a different angle if these don't give enough info.



What's the consensus on how bad this is?
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Old 12-17-2019, 04:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam22 View Post
Took the 06 in for the clunk that the forum has me thinking is struts and sway bar links. Previous shop suggested those, but didn't have the parts so I went without at the time. Tried a new shop today and they would not work on my car due to rust.
SC... Interesting, I posted pictures of my undercarriage in a nearby post,

Oscillating thudding Right Rear

The last place I had mine in discounted the rust & said there was still a lot of metal holding it together as the trailing arms are double layered steel, & the floorboards & cradle were still OK , he suggested to start spraying the undercarriage with transmission fluid or Krown though for winters to buy it some time.

I know its hard to rationalize these repairs, I don't want to put several grand into it as these shops will want to, just to have the seats fall through the floorboards.
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:16 PM   #3
adam22
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bismarck318 View Post
SC... Interesting, I posted pictures of my undercarriage in a nearby post,

Oscillating thudding Right Rear

The last place I had mine in discounted the rust & said there was still a lot of metal holding it together as the trailing arms are double layered steel, & the floorboards & cradle were still OK , he suggested to start spraying the undercarriage with transmission fluid or Krown though for winters to buy it some time.

I know its hard to rationalize these repairs, I don't want to put several grand into it as these shops will want to, just to have the seats fall through the floorboards.
I'll take a look at your post. I'm originally from NJ so the car spent 11 winters there. I've had it about 5. I mentally wrestled to convince myself to pay $1k on suspension (I've had rusted brake lines, two wheel bearings, the DRLs stop working, sticky locks, etc this year so starting to not be worth the trouble). Original clutch and shift cables as well so bad luck will have those go after whatever I fix.

Anyway I was good with the suspension since I felt like I had some life left. Refusal to work on it came as a surprise. They didn't offer to tackle the frame and felt other repairs were not worth it.
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Old 12-18-2019, 05:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

Doesn't look that bad to me, but I can understand their hesitation to work on it. Removing bolts will probably be hell, plus if any of them snap due to corrosion, they're looking at wasted time to remove it and order new bolts.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

I hit the junkyards monthly in mn. After looking at 100ís of MN vues I canít explain why some look great with almost no rust and many look like yours. They have rust prone suspension bits. Thatís life
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Old 02-17-2020, 12:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

If it were me, I'd wire wheel the rust and spray some sort of rust reformer and paint on it to try to slow it down. Then I'd just live with the clunk you are hearing unless a shop tells you its a safety issue.

I say this because last year I spent about $1000 have a shop install new struts, control arms etc on my 1998 Saturn. When I was done, the new struts (Monroe Quickstuts) made more noise than the old ones. Then late in the year another car hit mine and totaled it.

Given the rust and the mileage, I'd just drive it into the ground over the next few years and not dump much money into it.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

Quote:
Originally Posted by craftsman70 View Post
If it were me, I'd wire wheel the rust and spray some sort of rust reformer and paint on it to try to slow it down. Then I'd just live with the clunk you are hearing unless a shop tells you its a safety issue.

Given the rust and the mileage, I'd just drive it into the ground over the next few years and not dump much money into it.
I kind of agree, mine got to the point where I just want to keep it running a while longer, no mechanic can figure out the rhythmical rear knocking, yet none will admit its beyond repair as they want the work & go after low hanging fruit. This vehicle is still costing me more per mile in repairs than any vehicle I had, bearings only lasting a 5K & < 2 years, WTF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavell View Post
I hit the junkyards monthly in mn. After looking at 100ís of MN vues I canít explain why some look great with almost no rust and many look like yours. They have rust prone suspension bits. Thatís life
Perhaps what chemistry is used on it locally? I know my area uses very aggressive deicing materials, go another 50 miles they may just use plain salt.

Whatever they use in my locality actually will irritate or burn skin if not washed off.
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Old 02-22-2020, 02:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

Ha ha, local? MN uses LOTS of salt.
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Old 02-27-2020, 07:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

Yes, it depends on the locality of what is used & to what extent... people here are not about to slow it up a bit in a snow shower, thus Ohth DOT takes good care of us.

It's a bit more than just salt, although Morton Salt is in my back yard (and below my basement literately), we have been used as guena pigs for aggressive deicing chemistry. They also have used beet juice in the past though a rarity & less caustic. A few weekends ago I used the blue washer fluid at the gas station to clean off the brine residue around the door handles, however I smelled this horrible sulfuric odor which I discounted was coming off ones cat converter in the cold (not unusual) I noted this smell was everywhere on approaching the vehicle, later I noted my skin had burns on it from touching the door handles.

They have been using a brine "Treat" (or Treet") with Radium 226 and Radium 228 in it, they apply this in the anticipation of any precipitation near the freezing mark.

Living in close proximity to an expressway, this substance has been leeching into my basement walls, & up into my garage floor for years now.... as I see what it did to the undercarriage on the Vue, and the concrete in my garage floor, which has never had a salty car parked on it.

My bearings that had been replaced in the winter I have noted do not have a long life, (< 2 years) suspect brine on the chassis possibly getting on the new part & going to work.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg brine deicing road.jpg (73.9 KB, 15 views)
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File Type: jpg Let's go, Mr. Galilkanolkus. - Copy.jpg (78.4 KB, 12 views)
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

Did you fix it? I'm fixing mine right now.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

I've finished repairing mine, here's what I learned.

The mount cups (Thats what I call them) rust from the inside out, if you see any rust on the outside, that means they are completely rusted through. use a screwdriver or pick and start digging. Be prepared to be alarmed.

Here is an article (with photos) on how I repaired mine.

http://www.1999southwind.com/toad-20...#ENGINE_CRADLE

..
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Old 08-06-2020, 01:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

Quote:
Originally Posted by waiter21 View Post
I've finished repairing mine, here's what I learned.

The mount cups (Thats what I call them) rust from the inside out, if you see any rust on the outside, that means they are completely rusted through. use a screwdriver or pick and start digging. Be prepared to be alarmed.

Here is an article (with photos) on how I repaired mine.

http://www.1999southwind.com/toad-20...#ENGINE_CRADLE

..
Nice Website Waiter21, I book marked it in case I have your problems in the future, actually I probably need to go over mine thoroughly, I hope you continue to add to your story.
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Old 09-06-2020, 09:12 AM   #13
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

Quote:
Originally Posted by waiter21 View Post
I've finished repairing mine, here's what I learned.

The mount cups (Thats what I call them) rust from the inside out, if you see any rust on the outside, that means they are completely rusted through. use a screwdriver or pick and start digging. Be prepared to be alarmed.

Here is an article (with photos) on how I repaired mine.

http://www.1999southwind.com/toad-20...#ENGINE_CRADLE

..
Props to you for an awesome write-up and repair...unfortunately for me, the front cradle mounts on my wife's '05 Vue decided to let go in the middle of last winter (Jan 2019), and having neither the equipment or skills to effect such a repair, we had no choice but to junk it.

In addition, none of body shops or welders in my local area (Central NJ) wanted anything to do with such a repair, citing (understandable) safety and liability concerns.

'Twas a horrible shame, parting ways with my Vue...as long as you could accept the fact that (a) you'd have to replace those infernal sway bar links every 2 years, and (b) live with the body squeaks during the winter, the Vue otherwise was a reliable vehicle (I had the Honda V-6 model).

BUT, as a warning to Vue owners, there's a symptom that's a dead giveaway when the mounts let go: when driving at any speed, the Vue feels like it's "dragging" or underpowered, as if you were pulling a heavy trailer...due to the suspension geometry, when those front mounts separate, it causes the wheels to toe-in dramatically-so much so that it's visible to the naked eye when looking at the front of the vehicle from 20-30 feet away.

I could not agree more with you that it's a SERIOUS safety issue-if those rear bolts let go at ANY speed, the whole engine/tranny assembly is dropping to the pavement and stopping while the body continues forward, and that whole mass is gonna rip right through the firewall and floorboard-forget about damage, you're gonna sustain devastating injuries or worse.

It hurts to ditch an otherwise good vehicle simply because of a lousy design.
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Old 09-06-2020, 09:58 AM   #14
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

Before doing anything, also look carefully at the cradle. mine was rusted out, it did the symptoms as you described. I found a good rust free cradle in a Texas junkyard.

As for the front cradle mounts. If someone wanted to invest in it (I wouldn't), they could re-produce the front mount cups as an exact duplicate of the originals.

The originals could be cut off (they are spot welded on) , and the new cups welded on. Body shops would probably be more acceptable to that type of repair as it matches the original and they do frame work all the time.
...
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Old 09-07-2020, 09:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

Just some friendly advice. I do my own rust proofing using a brand called fluid film..it comes in different size bottles I just use the spray can that you can buy from most part stores..itís about $12-$15 a can. Two weeks ago I did 6 cans which is a little overkill. Underneath my Vue looks practically brand new. I found the best time to apply is when itís warm which helps bake it to the metal. I always rinse underneath during winter at the car wash just using the spray no pressure. It really sticks and is no mess.i apply it any where I can on my vue, 13 years old and counting. Trust me the salt and brine mix here is very bad too. Give it a try youíll be pleased
Good luck
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Old 10-01-2020, 09:55 AM   #16
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

The Vues around here get dangerously rusted frames, so I drove my current one back from Florida. Interior was rough, but low mileage and zero rust made it worth it.
Now I just have to find some nice front seats
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Old 10-05-2020, 01:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoggman View Post
Just some friendly advice. I do my own rust proofing using a brand called fluid film..it comes in different size bottles I just use the spray can that you can buy from most part stores..it’s about $12-$15 a can. Two weeks ago I did 6 cans which is a little overkill. Underneath my Vue looks practically brand new. I found the best time to apply is when it’s warm which helps bake it to the metal. I always rinse underneath during winter at the car wash just using the spray no pressure. It really sticks and is no mess.i apply it any where I can on my vue, 13 years old and counting. Trust me the salt and brine mix here is very bad too. Give it a try you’ll be pleased
Good luck
Steven
Another good method is spraying used motor oil around and in the frame with a spray wand. Its an old trick and it can keep a car remarkably rust free.
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Old 10-06-2020, 08:46 PM   #18
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

Quote:
Originally Posted by SL2 Ride View Post
The Vues around here get dangerously rusted frames, so I drove my current one back from Florida. Interior was rough, but low mileage and zero rust made it worth it.
Now I just have to find some nice front seats
Actually at some point I may have one of them....

No one actually believes the incredibly aggressive & caustic deicing chemistry methods used here on the Angry White Planet Ohth.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SL2 Ride View Post
Another good method is spraying used motor oil around and in the frame with a spray wand. Its an old trick and it can keep a car remarkably rust free.
Some on this board had called me environmentally irresponsible for suggesting this method, I wish I would had been doing this earlier along with the prior owner in Geauga County. I use Synthetic transmission fluid left over from an exchange, but too much rust absorbs the oil like a sponge.
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Last edited by Bismarck318; 10-06-2020 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 10-07-2020, 07:12 AM   #19
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

On the Vue, the front engine cradle attach points rust from the inside out. So if you see rust on the outside, unfortunately, your done. Take a screwdriver and poke around. Be prepared to panic as to what you'll discover.

OH YAH - The actual engine cradle itself also has rust issues. I replaced mine a couple years ago. I found a rust free one from a 2008 in Texas.
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Last edited by waiter21; 10-07-2020 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 10-07-2020, 08:19 AM   #20
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Default Re: Subframe Rust

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bismarck318 View Post
Actually at some point I may have one of them....

No one actually believes the incredibly aggressive & caustic deicing chemistry methods used here on the Angry White Planet Ohth.




Some on this board had called me environmentally irresponsible for suggesting this method, I wish I would had been doing this earlier along with the prior owner in Geauga County. I use Synthetic transmission fluid left over from an exchange, but too much rust absorbs the oil like a sponge.
I know your pain, I live in cuyahoga county.
The guy who told me about the used motor oil trick, used to drive his car down the dustiest dirt road he could find, and it would cling to the oil and keep it from dripping.
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