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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys. Im buying a 159 soon and heard that rusty subframe are a bit of a pain on these. The problem is you can't see them when buying a car and unless the seller has a ramp I'm pretty much stuffed.
So what are the options when it comes to fixing them? Grind out the rust and re-weld it all and paint it?
Buy one from somewhere and fit a new/refurbished one?

Many thanks :)
 

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I think your options will depend on how bad it actually is.

I would guess that the problem is blown out of proportion a bit and in most cases you would get away with cleaning up and painting, or a small amount of welding.

Of course there is likely to be the odd bad apple which is worse, but until you actually get the undertray off you are not going to know for sure.
 

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Not sure about 159s, but late 156 and 147s suffer from this. It is possible (probable) that the undertray will be missing so you may get a reasonable view if you're willing to get your head on the ground and take a torch. On the 147, the rust occurs in the widest part of the subframe - at each end of the frame near the wheel. Reach under and see if you can feel any flaking.

If it does go, it can be welded, but this is likely only a short term fix. Sherburn Motor Spares were selling Powder coated subframes a few months ago, might be worth investigating if you need one.
 

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The subframe can be rusty, but it is made of thick steel. Mine has a lot of rust, but the construction is not weaker. I agree with Symon, the problem is a bit blown out of its proportion.
 

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Hi guys. Im buying a 159 soon and heard that rusty subframe are a bit of a pain on these. The problem is you can't see them when buying a car and unless the seller has a ramp I'm pretty much stuffed.
So what are the options when it comes to fixing them? Grind out the rust and re-weld it all and paint it?
Buy one from somewhere and fit a new/refurbished one?

Many thanks :)
Insist on having one you are interested in buying on rams or lift. The seller is interested in selling so he'll find a solution - like his mechanic or yours.:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wonder what I could do. Maybe take it for a test drive and get it taken to a garage on the drive or something. Cheers guys :)
 

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Maybe if you park with the front overhanging a kerb or something you may have enough room to get underneath and have a look?

Something like one of those long telescopic mirrors and a torch would come in useful as well.

Might also be worth finding out the MOT history as well if you can.
 

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You can't see the areas where they rust badly if the the undertray is still on. If it has rusted, the only long term solution is to get it completely off so you can get to to all sides and get it blasted.

Having said that, it is less expensive to get it replaced with a refurbished one than you may think. Autolusso changed mine over and they had several in stock when I was there last.

The other alternative, although I don't recommend it, is to just leave the undertray on at mot time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You can't see the areas where they rust badly if the the undertray is still on. If it has rusted, the only long term solution is to get it completely off so you can get to to all sides and get it blasted.

Having said that, it is less expensive to get it replaced with a refurbished one than you may think. Autolusso changed mine over and they had several in stock when I was there last.

The other alternative, although I don't recommend it, is to just leave the undertray on at mot time!

Well I have decided that I am having the car anyway now haha. I can't keep spending months and months being picky I'll never end up with one.

So the plan basically is to get it. Then if it needs doing then it needs doing :) I wanna try and make this car super neat and clean. And hopefully keep it and use it quite a long time.
 

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The steel might be thick but its probably very mild and poor quality. They are just powder coated black from the factory so after 5-6 years or so the coating flakes off and they start rusting, its the same problem you get with TVR chassis. Its not just the subframe but also the bracketery attached to it for the bumper, airbox etc.

Most of them are at the age where you can prevent this and ensure the cars longevity (as the rest of the cars body is solid), just spend a weekend rubbing the coating off, applying rust preventer, then waxoiling, you might as well do the rear arms and rear subframe while your at it, job jobbed.
 

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If it was my car I would get the frame removed, blasted repaired is necessary and then painted with etch primer followed by black 2 pack paint.

I really don't like Powdercoating as once it chips the water gets in and rust gets in very quickly.

I did have the issue with the chassis on my TVR going rusty, the car was only 4 or 5 years old before the chassis outriggers under the sills started to rust.
 

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Well I have decided that I am having the car anyway now haha. I can't keep spending months and months being picky I'll never end up with one.

So the plan basically is to get it. Then if it needs doing then it needs doing :) I wanna try and make this car super neat and clean. And hopefully keep it and use it quite a long time.

Buy it. Set aside one day. Go to Halfords. Drop £30 buying some Kurust, paint brush, wire brush, sanding paper & some waxoyl underseal spray. Go home. Jack up the car. Using your wirebrush / sand paper / flat head screwdriver and start chipping / sanding away the rust on the entire front sub-frame. Then once most rust is off, apply Kurust. Now wait, move onto the rear of the car and do the same to the rear suspension arms. Once finished on the rear, go back to the front and spray with waxoyl over the entire area. Now once done, do the same with the rear.

All in all, you could be done in 3-6 hours depending on tea breaks.

Good peace of mind and something that can and should be done by yourself, do it if you care about your car.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah it will get done :D

I'll try and rent a ramp I know there are some self serve garages around where I live that I could take it to. Lift it up and get working on it :) Will give it a good inspection and tidy up under there :)
 

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A Ramp and being inside would actually make this job as close to pleasant as is possible. Just don't get any kurust on your clothes / hands and maybe get a facemask for the rust particles.
 

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The best product I've ever come across for this kind of job is a company called buzz weld, there products was originally designed to help prevent oil rigs rusting, the range is very good too, we will only use there rang on chassis repairs and prevention, look them up on Facebook, message them telling what you want todo, he will advise what product to use, the range is very well priced and will probably be cheaper than most overs on the market
 
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