TTORA Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. Been quite a while since I have been on this forum, but I'm looking for some honest feedback about the welds/repair that were done on my frame.

I was having issues with the frame rusting out at the forward spring mount location, mainly on the drivers side. In what I feel was a mistake on my part, I opted to purchase the 'Auto-rust/Saf-T-Cap' sleeves and have them welded on over the bad areas on both sides as well as new forward mounts that I purchased from the local dealership.
The result is just not what I expected at all. For one, the weld shop re-welded the forward mounts in the wrong area...about an inch too far back. On top of this, the fitment, and the welds of the sleeves themselves seem (to me) to be sloppy and lacking. I think part of the issue is the caps/sleeves are a half-assed way of taking care of this issue, and aren't as tailored as I had expected, but the other part is that I can't believe the weld shop welded the mounts as far out of whack as they did. The fitment of the sleeves and the location of the forward mounts has the driveline slip-joint extended too much, the shackles are half articulated, and the truck is sitting so ass high right now it's ridiculous. ( I know there is a lack of weight currently, but the bed and tank aren't that heavy.) If the forward mounts are moved the approximate inch that they are supposed to be, my thought is that the truck will sit even higher. I feel I need to remove these sleeves.

What I am hoping for as far as posting this is just some feedback and guidance as a I have a lot of respect for the members and experience of this forum. Ironically I had toyed with the idea of purchasing a Miller 211 and doing this work myself, but my father-in-law recommended these guys and I figured they would do a better job, and faster than I would. ( I was wrong on at least the speed account...they took 2 weeks to weld the sleeves and the forward mounts on...and I delivered the truck to them after I removed the bed and tank for their ease of welding.)

I know I can remove the forward mounts and reweld. But I'm not satisfied with the rest of the job. Can I remove the sleeves without causing more damage? I plan to buy the welder that I should have bought in the first place and my hope would be to re-do the job, fitting peices properly, as opposed to the sleeves which I think are just too rudimentary in their fit. I've bought a second taco and just want to fix my girl that I neglected for sometime. I'm really attached to her.

I have more pics but am only able to upload 5 at a time. Let me know if more pics or details are helpful. Also, I'm no longer in Nevada City, CA, but back east in PA. For some reason I can't seem to update my location.

Thanks for any help you guys can give.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
I've never heard of this but found their Auto-rust/Saf-T-Cap website

Seems like not too bad a price for the material although from your pix it looks like the welder wasn't too interested in doing a clean repair. From the problems you're describing now I almost wonder if you wouldn't be better off just chopping off the rear frame and building something better out of tube.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your solution idea. In your experience though, would removing the sleeves be an issue? For what I paid these 'pros' I could have bought a welder that I could use for anything under the sun. The weld shop has offered to move the mounts, but I really don't want them to touch the truck again. Rather than make a stink about this, I'd rather take this on the chin, and straighten this out myself, of which, I knew deep down I should have done in the first place. I know I am capable of this. I just need some solid advice before I proceed. For instance, the best way to remove those sleeves...

I had thought the same thing about the sleeves at first as well...seemed like a decent idea...one of those "what could go wrong, or not be up to snuff" sort of things. Well, I think I definitely had the sunshine blinders on, and my head embedded to my shoulders, performing a self-administered colonoscopy.

In doing web searches, there wasn't really any feedback from others, so I took a chance on the stuff. Now that the sleeves were fitted, I could see that they just didn't fit as well as possible. I wouldn't use them again, but in hindsight a better use of them would be to cut the things into the three pieces (side, bottom, side) and make sure the sides followed the frame exactly, trimming and bending as needed, and then tack them in place before fully welding them. I don't think they are matching the frame's contour. Really though, for the cost of them, I'd probably not use them again at all. I think making plates from sheet would be better honestly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,795 Posts
I am abut ready to the same repair myself, however making my own sleeves. My thoughts: do the welds look a bit boggery, yes, will they hold, probibly, will you be able to take them off and fix it? Doubt it without it looking a whole lot worse!! It looks like they may have moved the spring hangars up on the frame a bit and they moved back a touch. The way to fix this is to get some mounts from ruffstuff or make your own and try to get them back into the same spot but that may not even work. Pics of the shackles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
I like what you said about it may have been better to take those sleeves apart before installing. I'd bet there's enough variations between model years that this isn't a one size fits all fix, especially from a company that seems to make a lot of these sleeves for many types of vehicles, not just Toyotas.

I'm no fabricator so what I say needs a grain of salt. If it's the look of the welds you could take a grinder to it. Might not hurt to get a second opinion from a welder on how well the first shop put it together. If it's not a safety thing I'd try to make the best of it.

As Slander said you may need new spring hangers. Or at least different shackles if something is binding somewhere. Putting the bed and gas tank back on might make the ass high'ness a little less. It's not a huge amount of weight but I'd bet it'd make the rear sit a little lower. And then you can get a better idea of ride quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies guys.

The welds definitely look bush-league... if that were my only concern I think I'd just make friends with it. I'd have to get over the aesthetics of it. My problem with the sleeves is the fitment. They aren't nesting tight to the frame. There's about a 3/8 differential of plane in some areas. Which means there's 1/4 of weld filler making the bond. Also, they don't really match the linear 'plane' of the frame, if I'm saying that right. Not sure if the pics I put up are showing that. When I get home I'll post more.

I've given this some thought, and in my understanding those fitment 'holidays' are causing the problems with the tail sitting way higher than before the work, and the shackles being articulated to different points from one side to the other (the shackles are articulated mainly because the welder didn't reference where to put the forward mounts back on.)

This is why I want to remove the whole shooting match. Just take it all back off and do it again, correctly, myself. What I'm not sure of is if I can remove the sleeves. Is the frame going to be weakened by doing that? I figure it will look like ass until I fab up and install better plates, but that's no biggie. It looked like ass before too. And it looks like ass now:D

I have a pair of new forward mounts from Toyota on the ready, so that's good. What is irritating about this whole thing is that I could have bought a welder for the money I paid for this work. And I stripped the truck down and delivered it to these guys, ready for them to do their thing. They did their thing alright, over the space of two weeks, and like they put the new kid on the job. I wouldn't have even accepted the work myself, but my father in law, really just trying to be helpful, went and got the truck flat bedded back and paid the bill up front for me while I was still at work. I think he was really excited to help me put it back together. Hence why I've just felt sorta stuck on dealing with these guys on this. I haven't wanted to hurt my father in laws feelings and also haven't wanted to get in an uncomfortable situation with the guys he recommended me to. It's just awkward, and so I'd rather just humbly 'correct' everything.

Thanks so much for the feedback guys. If there are any other members you think could answer my questions about if I'm ok to remove the sleeves etc, could you put the word out that I could use some insight.

(I do own a grinder, and am good with my hands. I work as a craftsman, woodworking, custom metal roofing etc. (soldering sheet metal and such) so I know I can do this with some practice. I should have just bought the welder, practiced for a couple weeks, and got to it. Hindsight is twenty/twenty. Oh well :doh:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,795 Posts
Anythings possible, its going to be a bitch to remove those plates. Good thing is they only welded around the perimeter. If it was me, i would fix the spring mount issues and write it off as a lesson learned. Those booger welds are going to be rusty anyway, and if anyone critiques them you can just headbutt them lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Anythings possible, its going to be a bitch to remove those plates. Good thing is they only welded around the perimeter. If it was me, i would fix the spring mount issues and write it off as a lesson learned.
I know what you mean. Tedious, extremely careful work. But as long as I'm not going to do more damage to the frame in removal, then I think I'm going to take em back off. They don't sit the same from one side to the other, they look like shit, they're effecting the stance of the truck, etc. etc. etc. and there's just too much wrong. There's more wrong than right, really. Actually, there's nothing right about the whole job those idiots did. :rolleyes:

I've got some work ahead of me, for sure, but I'll keep posting back once I get started. Hopefully figure out how to post more pictures. The site says I'm at my limit, but I only have 5 in storage.

It's been nice being back at the forum and reading posts.

Thanks both of you guys for chiming in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
There's an article in this month's (Jan 2016) issue of Four Wheeler magazine where they try the Safe-T Cap method. They hype up how wonderful the repair is but the thing is they took their Tacoma to the shop that invented this product so of course thopse guys knew the proper way to install it. Article is basically a paid advertisement. :2cents:
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
About this Discussion
8 Replies
3 Participants
mattsonmj
TTORA Forum
TTORA forum is the best Toyota off-road club around. We are nation wide with chapters in most states. Come in and discuss Tacoma, 4Runner, Highlander, & TRD models.
Full Forum Listing
Top