Can You Weld Rusted Car Frame (All You Must Know)

Recently, I’ve seen many people asking, “Can you weld a rusted car frame.” I know how challenging it is to perform such a task unless you have the right tools and proper knowledge. 

So today, I’ll walk you through the easiest steps to weld a car frame and more information. 

Why Does Car Frame Get Rusted

There might be several reasons behind a rusted car frame. For instance, it occurs when the frame of your car gets into contact with water for an extended period.

And it gets rusted way early in case you aren’t well aware of the maintenance and care of your vehicle.

Rust Prevention Basics

Let’s get to know about the basics of rust prevention to keep the issue at bay from your car:

  • Washing Your Car after Long-Driving

There might be some locations near the ocean. So, there is a high chance that your car will get into contact with road salts, which stick with your vehicle and eventually turn it rusty.

Keeping your car clean after a long drive will eliminate rust build-up.

  • Avoid Keeping Puddles during a Drive

Most of us make the mistake of keeping tiny bodies of water. During a drive, it tends to splash over the car frame. So avoid keeping it as it may contain water and other corrosive substances.

  • Applying Undercoating after a Certain Period

The title says it all! Undercoating after every 2-3 years can turn your car’s frame more capable of withstanding rust, corrosion, and such things. Undercoating is prone to wear down within a couple of years.

So re-coating the surface is probably the best idea to prevent rusting issues.

What Can I Do About A Rusty Car Frame?

You only need to do about your rusty car frame to get rid of the rust as soon as possible. For this, there are multiple solutions to do so.

For instance, some experts suggest eliminating the rust by applying a protective coating, while others technically rely on welding the frame to hide those areas.

What to Do Before Welding on a Vehicle Frame: Requirements before Welding On Rust

Before you jump right into the welding steps, you need to be well-prepared by keeping a few things in mind. For instance, each weld joint should be thoroughly cleaned using a wire brush or stuff like that, eliminating grease, oil, wax layers, paint, etc.

Along with keeping the surface tidy, collect all the safety dresses required for safe welding.

What is Welding Type Good for Welding Rusty Car Frame?

Generally, there are multiple options to try out regarding welding methods. MIG, Stick, and TIG welding are some of the common choices to go with. Let me describe their characteristics, allowing you to know which type of good for welding rusty car frames:

  • MIG Welding

For autobody, MIG welding, aka Metal Inert Gas welding, is by far the best option. Compared to other choices, Mig welding is relatively faster and easier to learn as you can do the whole task using a single hand only.

Speaking of versatility, it works ideally on different types of metals, including stainless steel, sheet metal, alloy steel and so on. You’ll generally use filler material and shielding gas to weld a car frame.

  • Stick Welding

Unlike the MIG, stick welding is free from the necessity of using a shielding gas to weld a car frame. As a result, beginners find it so easy and cost-effective for their welding requirements.

Nonetheless, it produces excessive debris and makes a huge mess during a car frame weld.

  • TIG Welding

TIG welding, also known as Tungsten Inert Gas, is relatively precise and clean. That said, it’s harder to learn than Stick and MIG. Additionally, equipment costs may seriously hurt your wallet, especially if you’re tight on cash.

But yes, it’s equally true that TIG welding is a better alternative to MIG in welding a car frame, thanks to its efficacy.

How to Weld a Rusted Car Frame: Step-by-Step Guide

welding rusted car frame
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Now that you know which welding method is suitable for car frame welding and what you need to have before welding, it’s time to jump right into the step-by-step guideline –

  • Step-1: Use a Wire Brush Wheel to Remove the Rust

After exposing your vehicle frame, let’s address the rust thoroughly. Feel free to take assistance from a specific wire brush wheel to remove loose rust. Before you start doing it, put on safety goggles and a face mask so that rust particles won’t harm you.

A wire brush wheel plays a key role in removing most rust. However, eliminating stubborn spots won’t be possible with just the brush. For this, I’d suggest following up with 80 and 400-grit sandpaper, smoothening the surface as much as possible.

  • Step-2: Wash the Frame

Let’s take help from household ingredients, such as water and soap, to wash off the frame. Afterward, rinse the car frame off and allow it to get completely dry.

  • Step-3: Spot Treat (Weld)

Once it gets dry, start observing those rusty spots to sand them off. A few marks may appear severe. To get rid of them, take a wire mesh, fill it with filler, and start sanding. Next, wait for a couple of minutes so that the body filler turns adequately dry.

Note: This step is applicable only for tiny holes. In this case, driving your car won’t be safe, especially if you notice large cracks. I’d suggest welding it or replacing it for a severely damaged or cracked frame entirely. 

  • Step-4: Apply Primer

After completing all mentioned above, you must wash the frame once again to take off any existing dust from the filler. Wait till it becomes dry. Next, apply a primer; two coats are preferable. Have patience after using the first coat so that it turns dry.

Once you’ve also applied the second coating, make sure to get it dry, and Voila, it’s done! Now you only need to reassemble your car by incorporating the frame back.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q):

1. How much does it cost to fix frame rust?

Paying around 2000 to 5000 dollars is necessary to fix a car frame, only if you need to eliminate rust and corrosion. So in case of replacement, the cost may be up to 10000 dollars.

2. Is it worth fixing the rust on a car?

As there is a risk behind driving a car with weakened structures, some people don’t find it worth fixing rust. But if you do the task properly by following my guideline and using top-quality components, there is nothing wrong.

3. Is it safe to weld on a vehicle?

Yes, it’s 100% safe welding on a vehicle unless you apply the cheap equipment and filler materials during a weld.

4. Should I disconnect the car battery when welding?

It would help if you disconnected the car battery when you weld. Each system should be turned off during the process so you won’t get unexpected electrical damage.

Last Words

Now you better know, “can you weld a rusted car frame.” Don’t miss a single step I’ve shown above while welding a rusted car. And make sure to apply double primer coating after removing rust to keep the surface of your car tidy and glossy.

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