Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Belleville, Illinois
Thanked 22 Times in 17 Posts
Re: Frame repair.
There probably is a source, but the bad news is that to do a proper job it's going to have to be separated from the body.
Those frames rust where metal is overlapped. Water wicks between the pieces and promotes rust. To properly repair it one should cut out the bad material and fit new to BUTT against the old, and preferrably on a diagonal, so that the final weld is longer than the cross section of the frame.
By making it a butt joint there is no gap between pieces. It can then be rustproofed inside, and be good for years. If you overlap a piece it's going to start rusting the first time it gets humid.
Because a butt joint requires careful fitup, you're going to have to get to the top and sides. As a bonus, you'll also be able to weld the top, so the final product will be as strong as new.
The good news is that the body probably doesn't have to come all the way off. If you take out the body mount bolts, drop the gas tank, and disconnect the rear wiring harness, you should be able to jack the back end up a foot or more. It will still be close work, but shouldn't be impossible. You'll want to round up a bunch of scissors jacks so that you can support the body on at least half of the body mount points. Or maybe you could even pick up the back with a big cherry picker or overhead hoist.
If you have everything on hand, it could be a good weekend project.
And by the way, it probably was pretty badly rusted before it was hit, and just crumpled because it was weak.