How bad is this?

More of an art than a science - discuss metalworking and welding here.

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Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:16 pm

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:24 pm
Ok, so these photos are from underneath my 03 Ford Expedition. Obviously this is not good, and has to be addressed, but exactly how much trouble is this spot in? I don't know what caused this but I noticed it today while underneath doing oil. there has been rust developing in the area for some time, but I guess I didn't quite realize how extensive it had become. It still drives and shifts perfect even at 250k. I plan to still drive this another 2 or 3 years probably getting to 300k. I am not in the position to buy a new truck, no do I really want to as I trust this one mechanically.


I don't have any welding skills, someone would have to fix this for me. There is no rust and no damage on the passenger side. How much should getting this fixed run? And is this a "it needs to fixed but still sound?" or "The trans is about to fall out"? There is no rust on the top of the frame or along most of the weld.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:55 pm
That is pretty rusted and definitely weakened.
The thing with rust is that there is always way more than what you see on the surface.
Personally, I think it will hold up for another year or two but eventually it will begin to fail.

Take it to a welder and ask about scabbing on some reinforcement steel just to get you by.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:18 am
The way I look at it is that if there is a crack, then there must be a reason for it, and that is usually stress. The problem with cracks is that the bigger the crack, the more susceptible it is to stress, so the faster it will grow. Sometimes only the edge or flange is under stress, but in your case the whole trans mount is holding a lot of weight as the truck bounces down the road over pot holes and who knows what else. In addition to that is the torque of the engine, which probably explains why it is only one side.

You gave us very good pictures and when I click on them to enlarge it shows the cracks are already extensive. As far as how long it will last, I think it would depend on how much stress it is subjected to. If it brakes lose, it will be a mess to clean up, I would do it now.

Jim had a good idea, its not necessary to go to a body shop, just find a good welder that you trust and he can handle it.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:39 am
that there looks like the typical rust/salt belt ford left side transmission crossmember conendrum. ive seen a few of these(and heard quite a few others) of different rwd framed fords and always the left side.
3 i had in my garage(2 f250's and an expedition) we did some scabbin and weldin to took care of it.

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