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Engine cradle rust damage - cause for concern? by Cunnive
Started on: 07-09-2021 02:53 PM
Replies: 16 (332 views)
Last post by: zkhennings on 10-18-2021 01:35 PM
Cunnive
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Report this Post07-09-2021 02:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CunniveSend a Private Message to CunniveEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just wanted to get some thoughts on this. It is the only spot on the engine cradle where this is happening and when I push on it firmly in the weak spots, it moves a little. I was wondering if I should do anything here? What do yall experts suggest?

Thanks!

[This message has been edited by Cunnive (edited 07-09-2021).]

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Boozeman
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Report this Post07-09-2021 04:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BoozemanClick Here to Email BoozemanSend a Private Message to BoozemanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Personally, I'd say it's a cause for concern. If it were me, I'd either cut the rusty area out and weld in a new piece of steel, or at least clean the area up with a wire wheel and weld a steel plate over it. That's not going to get any better on its own.

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Matthew_Fiero
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Report this Post07-09-2021 04:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Matthew_FieroClick Here to Email Matthew_FieroSend a Private Message to Matthew_FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Boozeman:

Personally, I'd say it's a cause for concern. If it were me, I'd either cut the rusty area out and weld in a new piece of steel, or at least clean the area up with a wire wheel and weld a steel plate over it. That's not going to get any better on its own.



Agreed. This needs to be repaired. If you don't have access or skills for grinding/welding I would recommend trying to find someone locally. The longer you wait the worse it will likely get.

Matthew_Fiero
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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post07-09-2021 04:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
x 2. I would grind that spot clean and mig weld a plate over it. The steel used on blank plates for a 4" electric box seems to be strong enough. Just sand away the coating and weld.

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" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Spintech/Hedman Exhaust, P-log Manifold, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, Champion Radiator, S10 Brake Booster, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
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Cunnive
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Report this Post07-09-2021 07:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CunniveSend a Private Message to CunniveEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Ok thanks for the info! I'll definitely get this fixed!

Do I need to worry about the steel plate being too thick once it's welded on?
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theogre
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Report this Post07-09-2021 07:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yes is a problem.

Above "fixes" likely won't fix the cradle or worse, make it weaker and fail w/o warning.

Most times Rust holes in one spot isn't the only area w/ big problems. Other areas are likely rusted inside making metal Very Thin and just didn't make holes, yet.
Any shop in states w/ high road salt can tell you this too and most won't touch that cradle or maybe whole car after inspection.

Better find a good cradle then "repair" a spot.

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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post07-09-2021 08:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

Yes is a problem.

Above "fixes" likely won't fix the cradle or worse, make it weaker and fail w/o warning.

Most times Rust holes in one spot isn't the only area w/ big problems. Other areas are likely rusted inside making metal Very Thin and just didn't make holes, yet.
Any shop in states w/ high road salt can tell you this too and most won't touch that cradle or maybe whole car after inspection.

Better find a good cradle then "repair" a spot.



Fieros are all over 30 years old. Quality cradles are getting harder to find, especially in the Eastern USA where road salt is used in winter. I won't disagree with buying another, but my method is to tap along the cradle with a hammer. If the cradle dents easily then the metal is very thin there and needs a fix. If it dents in more than one area then its probably scrap. I've fixed/ welded cradles that have lasted years so it appears that a lasting fix will depend on overall cradle condition.

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" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Spintech/Hedman Exhaust, P-log Manifold, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, Champion Radiator, S10 Brake Booster, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
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Skybax
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Report this Post07-09-2021 11:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SkybaxSend a Private Message to SkybaxEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If its only that isolated area I would repair it, if it is rusted similarly in other areas I would scrap it and find another cradle.
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Cunnive
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Report this Post10-11-2021 09:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CunniveSend a Private Message to CunniveEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So I patched the previous issue I mentioned but after removing the front bushings, I found this. I want you to know that there are no other holes and the metal around this is fairly solid. I used a heavy chisel and smacked around and nothing dented or broke. There is 100% no rot here but I will say that the metal here is pretty thin. I personally want to save this engine cradle if I can so if there is anything yall recommend I do, please let me know!

Thanks!

LEFT BUSHING


RIGHT BUSHING 1 of 2



RIGHT BUSHING 2 of 2

[This message has been edited by Cunnive (edited 10-11-2021).]

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buddycraigg
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Report this Post10-11-2021 10:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for buddycraiggClick Here to Email buddycraiggSend a Private Message to buddycraiggEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
OMG!
What year is your car?
The 84 was a little different.
You need to find a new K member.
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Wichita
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Report this Post10-11-2021 11:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WichitaClick Here to Email WichitaSend a Private Message to WichitaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You can get replacement bushings for it. Rodney actually has heavy duty ones. I have those installed, even though my originals were just fine.

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Cunnive
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Report this Post10-12-2021 01:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CunniveSend a Private Message to CunniveEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post


It's an 86.

I have the fierostore poly bushings already, just gotta get the frame good to go first.

So is this something I can have patched or do I need to do something else?
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ltlfrari
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Report this Post10-12-2021 10:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That is the sleeve to the rubber bushing. If you get new rubber bushings, they will have those sleeves on them as part of the bushing so you will need to remove the old sleeves from the cradle.
If going poly, you generally leave the sleeve in as it holds the poly bushing.

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Report this Post10-12-2021 01:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Like mentioned above, those are just the sleeves for the bushings. If you're using OE replacement bushings, they come with the sleeves built in.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-12-2021).]

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Cunnive
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Report this Post10-12-2021 02:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CunniveSend a Private Message to CunniveEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ok thanks! Sounds like i'm not in any danger of leaving it the way it is, although I think I will try to weld those holes shut to give it some strength.

Do we know of any business that sells the bushing sleeves alone? It seems like Rodney sells them with his own bushings and not separately.

[This message has been edited by Cunnive (edited 10-12-2021).]

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82-T/A [At Work]
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Report this Post10-12-2021 04:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 82-T/A [At Work]Send a Private Message to 82-T/A [At Work]Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
What does the rest of the frame / body look like. Is it in worse shape?

My advice, call the Fiero Factory and get a new K-member shipped to you. Much easier than trying to fix it since you don't all know what else is wrong.

If you already have a mig welder and plenty of stock, then probably not worth it... but for all the time and effort, you can just buy a rust-free replacement.

I see you're in Tampa (I am too). I assume that car came from up north?
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zkhennings
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Report this Post10-18-2021 01:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I am finding some rust in my cradle too, same spot, even on the same side. I would replace those rusted sleeves, as mentioned here, if you order new rubber bushings for those, they will come with the new sleeve installed. You can use a chisel and hammer to cave in the old sleeve and they will slide right out. I have aluminum cradle bushings already but have ordered a new set that include thicker steel weld in sleeves from Rodney Dickman. I see no issue structurally with welding in new metal if you know what you are doing or hire a welder to do it. I wonder if the fact that those areas are angled facing up and then the opening is exposed allows water to collect there as compared to other areas on the cradle. I am considering welding mine shut where they are open at the front, or at least capping them with something to stop as much water from collecting there.

It is possible it is a side effect of battery acid from the battery dripping down into it, the whole area under the battery and all the way down the frame rail has rust on it, and the rest of my Fiero is almost entirely rust free. It would explain why we both primarily see rust on the passenger side. I recently bought an AGM battery which may prevent any further damage from occurring. Just a thought.
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