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Infamous 64 "Frame Rot" repair thread. How to!

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64fairlame
Junior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 27
Infamous 64 "Frame Rot" repair thread. How to!

After searching for a while on finding "fix" instructions for the famous "64 front frame rail rot" repair....I've come up empty handed. The only thing I found was the Crites pieces and a few people who said they did it with the pieces and it worked! Some said the pieces sucked, and they made their own.

I'm going to photo document here my repair. I'm going to replace both front rails and the crossmember. The frame rail pieces look great, and they go back far enough for the sway bar mounts. The cross piece? not so hot. Its squared off, not rounded like OEM. You don't see it, so its not a big deal to me. Also a quick test fit; the crosspiece does not fit with aorund the ends of the frame pieces, so tweaking will be required.

I'm going to try and leave the tops of the OEM framerail in place, and cut away the sides and lower piece. I'd like to keep the inner fender/frame rail looking original. Once cut away, I'll cut the Crites piece to match. I will also install double plates, plug welded to hold things in place for a final alignment. I'm going to take lots of measurements, and use the swaybar mount holes and the LCA mounting holes to help with alignment prior to final welding. All welds will be gas shielded, MIG welded.

Here is what I'm starting with. Nice eh? the rest of the car is nearly perfect with 57K miles on it.

Post Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:27 pm 
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64fairlame
Junior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 27

Update 9/11;

Since I plan on detailing the engine compartment at the same time as doing the repair, the following items are now removed:

Front bumper, filler, headlight mount assys (rad. support is stripped bare), radiator (to be replaced), fan, generator, waterpump, fuel pump, air cleaners and pre-heater assy, shock tower struts, crank pulley. Essentially, the everything is cleared away from the rad support, back to the timing cover. That should give me enough room to work aournd the frame rails with no issues. The gas tank is drained, the fuel line is blown back with compressed air. I will also seal up and heat wrap the steel fuel line to make sure I dont' have any unwanted "flare ups" lol.
The hood is also removed, just so I can clean and paint th eunderside.

This repair is being done on a lift, so getting under the car is optimal. Doing it on jackstands would be somewhat more difficult, but do-able.

Post Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:34 pm 
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1320lane
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 270
Location: Central Oklahoma

I think mygirls63 did this on this site.
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'63 Fairlane 2-dr post. Race car since at least '67. In the process of turning it into a proto-clone Nostalgia Super Stock car with FE power and three pedals.

Post Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:50 pm 
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64fairlame
Junior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 27

quote:
Originally posted by 1320lane:
I think mygirls63 did this on this site.


I searched out and found that thread. He removed the entire rail back under the shock tower. I'm not going to do it that way. I'm going to TRY and keep the top half of the existing frame rail. That should keep the alignment task easier.

Post Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:26 am 
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64fairlame
Junior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 27

here is what it looks like with the rotted center support and lower part of the frame rail removed. I took several measurements from the engine mounting crossmember to the sway bar mount holes and LCA bracket holes.



I then cut up the crites piece, and slip it up into the existing rail, which is rock solid.




there will be plug welds in the overlap area, on the inner and outer sides. They a continuous bead all around the lap joint. The crites piece was actually slightly smaller than the stock framerail, so it slid up inside easily.

Post Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:43 pm 
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64fairlame
Junior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 27





Here's mostly the drivers side, cut and welded in. lap and plug welded into place.

Next I have to make sure the angle of the mounting flange in the same on both sides, then weld in the lower rad support. The pass. side seems to be on a much steeper angle. I was probably bent in shipping...I'll have to massage it to match the drivers side. I don't think that is all too critical though.

Post Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:22 pm 
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64fairlame
Junior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 27
more progress.

Installed the lower support today. It needed some hammer tuning, but fit pretty well. Welding to what was left of the rotted rad support was "iffy", but its very solid and should work fine. ITs all hidden behind th bumper anyway.

The sway bar is getting new links and the LCA struts new rubbers. Everything that came off is getting blasted and painted too.

Now off to detailing the engine bay!



Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:10 pm 
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mygirls63
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Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 416
Location: Kansas

Do you have the sway bar link kits and bushings for the control arms?

I purchased a Kantor kit and did not use these items. If you need them, I will make you a nice deal.
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1963 Fairlane Mini tub 10pt cage New 408" C4 Canfield 195CC heads Comp solid roller Victor Jr. 9" w/4.11? gears Moser spool & 35 spline axles. www.marksullense85carburetors.com

Post Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:25 pm 
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64fairlame
Junior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 27

HI; I happen to have some swaybar links lying around...so I'm set there. The LCA bushing were virtually identical to some Mopar ones I had....so I used them. But thanks for the offer.

Here's a view of the front with some satin black on it.
Also, the before and after of the repair!

Not a tough one...but time consuming with all the measuring that needed to be done. I also shot the engine and interior of the engine bay for good measure.



Post Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:34 pm 
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64fairlame
Junior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 27

getting it all back together now...

Post Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:22 pm 
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64fairlame
Junior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 27

new water pump, new fuel pump, new cap / rotor / wires / plugs. Cleaned everything I could. satin blacked the engine bay too. One or two little tweaks, and she should be done. The heater box went back in with no issues. The lighting check went fine (all electrical A-O-K!).



Before engine pict:

Post Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:38 pm 
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