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Discussion Starter #1
Looks like the frame is rusted beyond repair. Toyota won't do anything about a 2006 tundra so I'm thinking of buying the frame and replacing it myself. I like my truck and I have it fitted w a nice fisher plow, studded snow tires and even a salt spreader.
When I look for a whole frame online, I see a price of $5,200 plus shipping. Ouch.

So now I have this bright idea of buying a salvage tundra from Texas or somewhere out West that has mechanical issues or hail damage or even water damage for under $1000, then ship it to upstate New York pay $2000 shipping and end up w an unrusted frame for under $3000 (plus some parts).
Is this a good idea?
 

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My first Tundra underwent frame replacement. All went well, and the truck was "good as new" after the dealer handed it back to me. If I recall correctly, the parts/materials list was 4-5 pages long.

Unless you can be satisfied that the used truck you buy comes from one of the desert areas in the southwest, I don't think you can be sure you won't be getting someone else's rust problem. The US Air Force has their aircraft "boneyard" facility near Tucson; one reason for that location is because, besides being in an arid climate, the local soil conditions really don't promote corrosion, as opposed to other geographic regions.

At least with a purchased frame, you're starting with a known quantity.

It's not just the frame itself you'll have to be concerned about. The depth and breadth of the corrosion problem will only become known as you tear your current truck apart. In my case, Toyota bucked up for new lower A-arms on the front suspension as the dealership destroyed the originals trying to get them off the old frame. All fluids were replaced. Other things not covered had to be replaced as well; the towing package wiring harness, for example. Can you be sure that body panels won't be damaged coming off that frame? I know the dealer that did my replacement lifted the cab off the frame in one piece after removing the engine. The bed also came off in one piece.

If it was me, and it's not, the only way I'd take on this work is if I was looking for a real science project or hobbyist rebuild. I can't see a DIY frame replacement as a money saver. I think I'd be in the market for a replacement truck and port over the plow and winter snow handling stuff to the replacement truck.

As Buckaroo suggested, there are YouTube vids of Tundra frame replacements; suggest you watch a few of those to see what the process is all about.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Ray. Frame will be changed in my fiend's shop, who has an excavating business and capable mechanics who maintain his machines. He thinks it takes two days for them to do it. Of course, he's not too eager to do it. It's a favor.

I hear about cutting bait and getting a new truck. I kinda like this one and am trying to keep it, with the configured plow, salt spreader and winter tires. I figure with a rust free frame I'm good for another 4-5 years. I can get a frame from California or Texas for about $1,000 plus shipping, but I do appreciate that there may be issues once we lift the car off the old frame: ripped linkages, arms, etc.

How did your Tundra do after the replacement? How many years was it good for?

My first Tundra underwent frame replacement. All went well, and the truck was "good as new" after the dealer handed it back to me. If I recall correctly, the parts/materials list was 4-5 pages long.

Unless you can be satisfied that the used truck you buy comes from one of the desert areas in the southwest, I don't think you can be sure you won't be getting someone else's rust problem. The US Air Force has their aircraft "boneyard" facility near Tucson; one reason for that location is because, besides being in an arid climate, the local soil conditions really don't promote corrosion, as opposed to other geographic regions.

At least with a purchased frame, you're starting with a known quantity.

It's not just the frame itself you'll have to be concerned about. The depth and breadth of the corrosion problem will only become known as you tear your current truck apart. In my case, Toyota bucked up for new lower A-arms on the front suspension as the dealership destroyed the originals trying to get them off the old frame. All fluids were replaced. Other things not covered had to be replaced as well; the towing package wiring harness, for example. Can you be sure that body panels won't be damaged coming off that frame? I know the dealer that did my replacement lifted the cab off the frame in one piece after removing the engine. The bed also came off in one piece.

If it was me, and it's not, the only way I'd take on this work is if I was looking for a real science project or hobbyist rebuild. I can't see a DIY frame replacement as a money saver. I think I'd be in the market for a replacement truck and port over the plow and winter snow handling stuff to the replacement truck.

As Buckaroo suggested, there are YouTube vids of Tundra frame replacements; suggest you watch a few of those to see what the process is all about.

Good luck.
 

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Thank you Ray. Frame will be changed in my fiend's shop, who has an excavating business and capable mechanics who maintain his machines. He thinks it takes two days for them to do it. Of course, he's not too eager to do it. It's a favor.

I hear about cutting bait and getting a new truck. I kinda like this one and am trying to keep it, with the configured plow, salt spreader and winter tires. I figure with a rust free frame I'm good for another 4-5 years. I can get a frame from California or Texas for about $1,000 plus shipping, but I do appreciate that there may be issues once we lift the car off the old frame: ripped linkages, arms, etc.

How did your Tundra do after the replacement? How many years was it good for?
I really do understand your desire to hold on to a truck you like.

My old truck was a 2000 Access Cab SR5 TRD. I was skeptical that with all that work that they could "put it right." But, the dealer did a good job and the truck was much quieter with the new bushings and having everything tightened up on the new frame.

I loved that old truck. It was the right size, it drove well, and I think it looked a lot better than the 2nd Gen Tundras. My 2015 has more power and capacity, so that's good, but I still loved that old truck. Lots of adventures in it. I attached a pic of the old Tundra.

The frame replacement work was done in Spring 2012. It was going great until July 2015, when I hit a deer at 60 mph and just messed it up. It had 175K miles on it then, and I was planning to keep it. But the deer strike nailed the whole front end and hood, jammed the radiator back into the engine, nailed the front right fender and passenger door. There was potential firewall damage, and it just made sense to move on.
 

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Instead of a donor truck, find a replacement truck down south and move everything over from the rusted truck. You're gonna open a huge can of worms trying to go the other way. Seized bolts rusted components, a nightmare for your buddy's employees. Don't do that to them.
 

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I agree that if the frame is that rusted, all the parts you take off will be as well.
I think the sum of these might be more than the cost of the frame.
 

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Rust is funny. My 08 frame is mostly black with a few spots of surface rust over most of it, but in 1 spot there is penetration so I am getting a new frame.
 
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