Subframe rot = car is done? Why? - Maintenance and Repair Forum

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Subframe rot = car is done? Why?
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 6:59 PM
This morning I went to service the front brakes on our '03 Cavalier, and found the following (see attached) ....


I showed this picture to a body shop manager, who told me to see a particular mechanical shop in town, where I was told, "That car's done." To my discredit, I failed to press the mechanic for details past, "Nope, that's not repairable".

I feel like I'm missing something. The subframe (engine cradle?) is just held onto the unibody with a bunch of bolts, similarly (I think) to a Mustang K member, which guys swap out all the time for the fun of it. So why is terminal rust-through on a bolt on part a death sentence for the whole car?
Attachments
IMG_20180626_093821098_1200px.jpg (1322k)


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2003 Cavalier, base with auto/tilt/CD/AC (wife's) -- 2012 Mazda5 Touring with audio package (mine)

Re: Subframe rot = car is done? Why?
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 3:49 AM
That is not done, find another car with that section good , cut it out and weld it in. Seen worse when I lived in NY.

Doug in P.R.


92 Pontiac Sunbird LE, 2.0, AT, Red / Black with Grey 148K miles. Hurricane Maria Surviver! ( It takes a licking and keeps on ticking ! ).....in Salinas, Puerto Rico!




Re: Subframe rot = car is done? Why?
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 8:58 AM
Get a new subframe, and pray the bolts come out of the body.




Re: Subframe rot = car is done? Why?
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 12:56 PM
Good discussion.

That's some classic stage 4 corrosion right there in that pic.

Are new subframes for Generation 3 J-bodies still available and if so then where?

thanks,

99ln2
Re: Subframe rot = car is done? Why?
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 5:50 PM
Thanks for the replies - I'm glad to hear I'm not completely crazy! I've seen '03-'05 subframes on eBay starting around $200 for used and allegedly rust-free, and IIRC about $350 for what were said to be new. I did manage to turn a couple of the body bolts pretty easily with just a 18" breaker bar, too.

Here's the bad news: we felt we should make a decision quickly with this, and after thinking it over we decided we're not up for rebuilding the whole front of a daily driven car at this time. We liked the thing well enough that even a pretty substantial investment wouldn't have been wrong, but Mrs. 1987cp had promised herself when she bought the thing as a certified used vehicle in '04 that once it needed really serious repair, she was done. Still feels a little lame, abandoning a car that still runs and shifts strong and might have been one of the latest-built cars without extraneous nonsense like RFID keys. :-(

Now our driveway looks like this:
Attachments
IMG_20180627_194132656_1200px.jpg (1494k)


_________________________________________________________________________________
2003 Cavalier, base with auto/tilt/CD/AC (wife's) -- 2012 Mazda5 Touring with audio package (mine)
Re: Subframe rot = car is done? Why?
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 6:11 PM
I guess your going to abandon us here and join the Mazda forums.

Good luck with your wife's new ride.

Hopefully the Cavalier lives on or it's metal as a new fridge.

Doug in P.R.



92 Pontiac Sunbird LE, 2.0, AT, Red / Black with Grey 148K miles. Hurricane Maria Surviver! ( It takes a licking and keeps on ticking ! ).....in Salinas, Puerto Rico!




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