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 Post subject: Subframe rotting out?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:24 pm 
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This is just a general question but somewhat directed upwards the 90's bonnevilles.
If the subframe rots out is the car all done or is it fixable.

At first I was thinking you could probably swap a new subframe but if the mounting holes are all rotted then the car is pretty much done, right?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:34 pm 
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If the subframe is rotted, you can replace it. If the mounting points in the body are rotted out, then you're done. Part it out and crush the rest.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:57 pm 
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ok I was just wondering because I have seen multiple listings with 90's Bonneville's for sale that say the cradle dropped on one side but it is still driveable but not far or stuff to that affect. I would assume at that point your all done

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:06 am 
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Yes, I have also witnessed a few 92-99 Bonneviiles/LeSabres for sale here in Wisconsin where the cradle has come corroded loose. It's too bad really, that salt is just nasty. That's why I've got the 97 SLE Parked for the winter, stays nice and clean that way. Helps to get the car oil sprayed as well.

While I stroll through the local salvage yard, I see numerous 92-99 H body cars that have good engines and transmissions, as written on the car. So looking at these I wonder, why did someone junk that nice Bonneville? Well it's because either the cradle rusted loose or even the brake lines rusted out etc.

The drivetrain outlasts the car itself in many cases.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:05 am 
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We've seen a couple 2000+ around here, if I recall correctly, that have some pretty bad subframe rust through as well.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:30 am 
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If it weren't for the Salt the body would last way way way longer... Our Fl cars need paint after soo many years, but no body rot...lol


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:37 am 
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I know we use salt a LOT here in Ohio... but how much salt do you guys use up in MN/WI to make subframes rot? I've never seen a subframe rotted here in the junkyards... mount points yes, rear suspension mounts yes, japanese truck frames yes, but not the subframes. The subframe in contrast to the mounts on the body is thick.

EDIT - Just took these.... this is a '87 Ciera that's been in salty NE Ohio all it's life. It has 88k on it. I know salt rots cars out... but like I said, I've never seen a rotted subframe.

http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss20 ... 0aac88.jpg
http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss20 ... f8eb35.jpg

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Last edited by Bonneville92V688 on Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:33 am 
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Well, technically, it is not the subframe that rusts out, it is the body that the subframe bolts into that fails. While almost anything can be fixed with enough time and money, when they have gotten this bad, it is rarely worth the effort. Here is an H-body Buick that parked on the street one block from me. Only the two front bolts remain attached. The scary part is that this car was being driven like this!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:39 am 
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Check to see if the washers are still there. One of mine rotted and fell under the car. I replaced it relatively quickly and the subframe never dropped. The unibody was/is still in pretty good shape.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:45 pm 
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redmetrix wrote:
Yes, I have also witnessed a few 92-99 Bonneviiles/LeSabres for sale here in Wisconsin where the cradle has come corroded loose. It's too bad really, that salt is just nasty. That's why I've got the 97 SLE Parked for the winter, stays nice and clean that way. Helps to get the car oil sprayed as well.

While I stroll through the local salvage yard, I see numerous 92-99 H body cars that have good engines and transmissions, as written on the car. So looking at these I wonder, why did someone junk that nice Bonneville? Well it's because either the cradle rusted loose or even the brake lines rusted out etc.

The drivetrain outlasts the car itself in many cases.


I couldn't agree more!

Up here in Northern MN, that's exactly the way it is. I've had at least 2 friends in MN/WI that have had to junk their '92-'96 LeSabres in the last year due to structural rust, although they were good, reliable cars. I'm starting to see '97+ Park Avenues with the same issue as well. If you ever find a H-body 'parts car' for sale in MN/WI, and there's no accident damage, and the drivetrain is good, it's the most common culprit.

Brake lines on the H-bodies are very susceptible to rust out in our area too. My '91 Olds 88 has 115k, and they were already rusted out 5 years ago, according to a family member! Same issue with my fiance's '91 Park Avenue (3 yrs ago - she had to run it into a curb to avoid an accident!), and several friends as well. It seems to be one of the most common issues with these cars as they get older.

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Last edited by Hotwheels on Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:06 am 
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I just got my 2000 bonne and had to change the tranny in it, but dropping the H-frame was necessary to do this, and that part is still pretty clean. All the bolts came out pretty easily but the spacers for them were a lil rusty. Im guessing it was a southern car, especially seen as the people that bought the car before me only drove it a week before the car took a dump on them. But i wonder how long the car will last up here in NY with all the salt we use.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:44 am 
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quicksilver wrote:
I just got my 2000 bonne and had to change the tranny in it, but dropping the H-frame was necessary to do this, and that part is still pretty clean. All the bolts came out pretty easily but the spacers for them were a lil rusty. Im guessing it was a southern car, especially seen as the people that bought the car before me only drove it a week before the car took a dump on them. But i wonder how long the car will last up here in NY with all the salt we use.


A few people have referred to Krown rust control, but haven't mentioned much about it. If you don't already know, it is one of the most effective anticorrosion treatments. I had it done on my 92 Grand Marquis for the first 5 years I owned it. I got it a 5 years old, so it was treated from 6-10 years of age. I stopped because where I was living it was not convenient to let it drip oil for a month.

The process involves spraying an oil that contains corrosion inhibitors underneath the car, inside door panels, etc. The only problem with the treatment is it will drip for a couple of weeks, even up to a month. If you live in a condo where they don't like oil drips, you may have to park it on the street for that time. I would say that the frame on my 92 with 350000km looks like an 8 year old car at this time. There is some rusting now, because I didn't keep up the treatments for the last 8 years.

I am considering trying to find a guy who will do this in Vancouver. It's not a popular treatment out here, but down east there are more places that do this. If you start spraying your car now, your car will probably not die of rust, and will probably last until it's 20 years or more old as long as you do basic maintenance (and do your UIM/LIM).


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:17 pm 
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^ I just got the GXP Krown'ed for the first time two weeks ago. :)

The underbody was extremely clean before this, and should be for a long time to come!

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Last edited by repinS on Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:23 pm 
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Bonneville92V688 wrote:
I know we use salt a LOT here in Ohio... but how much salt do you guys use up in MN/WI to make subframes rot? I've never seen a subframe rotted here in the junkyards... mount points yes, rear suspension mounts yes, japanese truck frames yes, but not the subframes. The subframe in contrast to the mounts on the body is thick.

EDIT - Just took these.... this is a '87 Ciera that's been in salty NE Ohio all it's life. It has 88k on it. I know salt rots cars out... but like I said, I've never seen a rotted subframe.

http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss20 ... 0aac88.jpg
http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss20 ... f8eb35.jpg


I'll take pics off the under side of my 87 now thats alot of rust, Also regular car washes keep this from happening.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:14 am 
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enslow wrote:
A few people have referred to Krown rust control, but haven't mentioned much about it. If you don't already know, it is one of the most effective anticorrosion treatments. I had it done on my 92 Grand Marquis for the first 5 years I owned it. I got it a 5 years old, so it was treated from 6-10 years of age. I stopped because where I was living it was not convenient to let it drip oil for a month.

The process involves spraying an oil that contains corrosion inhibitors underneath the car, inside door panels, etc. The only problem with the treatment is it will drip for a couple of weeks, even up to a month. If you live in a condo where they don't like oil drips, you may have to park it on the street for that time. I would say that the frame on my 92 with 350000km looks like an 8 year old car at this time. There is some rusting now, because I didn't keep up the treatments for the last 8 years.

I am considering trying to find a guy who will do this in Vancouver. It's not a popular treatment out here, but down east there are more places that do this. If you start spraying your car now, your car will probably not die of rust, and will probably last until it's 20 years or more old as long as you do basic maintenance (and do your UIM/LIM).


I actually do work for a guy with a body shop and he just had a brand new ford 3/4 ton in. Did a whole paint job on it and even spray coated the frame with a rust inhibitor, it looked pretty nice afterward. I wonder if the same concept could be applied to the underside of these cars.

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1995 Jeep Cherokee Country- 200,XXX miles and running strong. 4.0L paired with a 5 speed manual. 4.5" long arm lift with 32" tires and regeared to make up for power. Best of all, shes a fire engine red!

2000 Bonneville SSEi- 145,XXX miles, bonestock for the time (don't hold your breath, it might be a long while)

Typos courtesy of LG Optimus G- yes, I do most of my trolling with my phone. Don't judge me.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:53 am 
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quicksilver wrote:
I actually do work for a guy with a body shop and he just had a brand new ford 3/4 ton in. Did a whole paint job on it and even spray coated the frame with a rust inhibitor, it looked pretty nice afterward. I wonder if the same concept could be applied to the underside of these cars.


If he sprayed with a "paint" or "tar" of some sort, it will typically miss parts that are difficult to spray. Also, if a stone chips the coating, it will be exposed and will rust again. I like the Krown treatment because the oil flows where the spray can't reach.

I saw this in my wife's Lesabre which was undercoated by the previous owner. Brake lines are rusting badly because the spray didn't cover them completely. Also, they didn't spray the outer side of the rockers, and they have perforated in a couple of places.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:57 pm 
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Other than the oil spray maybe something like "Hammerite" rust paint/stopper would work good to paint on the subframe mounting points and the brake lines.

For the rusting brake lines about how much is it to get them replaced at a shop and would it be better to replace with rubber?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:01 pm 
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89OldsRocket wrote:
...
For the rusting brake lines about how much is it to get them replaced at a shop and would it be better to replace with rubber?

No, rubber hose that you could afford to use cannot stand the pressures that can occur in the brake line - greater than 3000 psi. Steel is needed. The special rubber hoses used in parts of the brake system (to connect to the caliper for example) are built to take the pressure, but are very expensive, and eventually wear out.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:47 pm 
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Did GM use a cheap form of stainless steel for brake lines? I don't have the same amount of rusting on my Ford and it's 19 years old now.

Furthermore, does anyone know some one who does the Krown treatment in the Vancouver area?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:21 pm 
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Pretty sure they're just steel, enslow.

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