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Old 04-08-2018, 05:59 AM   #1
2000 GT
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Badly rusted undercarriage

I dreaded the day this would happen but this is the 2nd time my mechanic has told me i should buy a new car because the car is rusted. There is already rotting on the subframe or body underneath and i have to replace the brake and fuel lines. My right hub assembly needs replacing soonbut its still ok. Its really no problem though but if my mechanic seems frustrated in having to fix rusted parts common sense would be to get a new vehicle.

However my finances don't agree. I recently bought a condo and already ill need to buy a new fridge and a washing machine. The garage door opener doesnt work well with the remote and i didnt notice the damage to the door itself which will need to be replaced. I already spent $300 to get a working door remote.

So at this point i couldn't even spend over $4,000 on a new car. In 5 years i can get a Camaro, 2-4 years old and have no problem paying it all off at once or very close to it. I just can't put a loan on it. Not to mention i don't want no Honda Civic or Toyota Camry. They're not performance cars so that's a no go.

Found a 2013 Ford Mustang for $8,000 on Carmax but by the time i get the money together for that it'll be sold. So at this point i am hoping for progressive repair work on undercarriage. I won't get much money in the condition its already in. The outer body itself is good, engine and transmission work fine, other than a worn out overdrive.

I guess my question is this, if need to be can body shops clean repair some of the damaged undercarriage from the rust rotting for a decent price? It would need to be cleaned and patched up if i decide to sell it. Otherwise its doomed to hit the junk yard. I don't know how bad it really is without an autobody shop to look at it. Im ok in spending $1000 to getting it to a decent level where itll last a good 5-10 years.

Again dont know how well the main frame is holding up and how long that will last, let alone whether its fixable, most likely fsr more pricey. I could do some of the work and possibly hire someone i know that may save me a bit of money and putting some extra cash in their wallets. That also depends on if there is a garage available to work on it for 5-7 hours a day with it still drivable. Any suggestions are fine.

Last edited by 2000 GT; 04-08-2018 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 04-08-2018, 03:21 PM   #2
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If you have rust and rot in 1 area, you will have in other areas as well. I'm sorry, but what's more important, a car to get from a-b or performance. Buy a beater right now until you can afford a performance car. Priorities.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:07 PM   #3
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Theres nothing wrong with the engine or transmission. Trading my car in for one that wont work half of the time isnt the answer.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:27 PM   #4
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Im not willing to scam someone into buying my car for more than $200 and that wont get me anything let alone anything good for under $1,000. People sell rustbuckets like the car i have for $2500. Thats just ridiculous. What's the point. If i can't afford to buy anything more than $1000 i might as well keep the car i have and patch it up with the money i currently do have spending $500-1000 over the course of a year and maybe get at least 5 or more years out of it and then get something better and not waste my time and money gambling on a junk car i don't know what parts has been replaced already.

Lasrly, performance cars have better handing and control than regular cars. Better braking power, steering, acceleration. Im not going to drive a car on the highway that reduces control when people on the road think they are in the indy 500 cutting you off because they want to get to their destination 2 minutes faster. I can't count how many times i had to slam on my brakes to avoid a collision from these bonehead drivers. I tried slamming the brakes on a Honda Civic once and i nearly crashed because the wheels locked up. I always dread driving with a rental after that experience.

Last edited by 2000 GT; 04-08-2018 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:11 PM   #5
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what if you bought anther GAGT, possibly one with a bad LIM gasket if you've ever done one. get the car for under a grand, fix the LIM gasket, and more your performance parts over to the new car. than take your current car and either part it out, or scrap it. its just an option, not saying its the right one.
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:47 AM   #6
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Its not a bad idea. I talked to a guy at this autobody shop i talked to, he told me if the floorboards are still solid then it should be ok but he'll have to check the frame integrity to make sure its still safe and treatable. Not to mention give me a time frame on how long the car will hold up. The lift points are still good.

Also i wished i knew this but there is an oil that they use to help protect the frame better than trying to rust proof it with paint. Has anyone here heard of this? It works best on a new car and little can be done for one that has rotted out in which the sides near the bottom door frame is the worst. There is also a hole behind the front driver side wheel (if you are facing in front of the vehicle). Most of the other rust is causing brackets to come loose. Part of the Evap line got rusted off already and had to be twist tied. But like i said the auto body guy needs to look at it which will be within a couple of weeks.

I was hoping to at least to get 5-7 years out of the Grand Am before i have saved enough money to buy a good used car.
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Old 04-14-2018, 03:29 PM   #7
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geldartb has made plenty of valid pointsgeldartb has made plenty of valid points
rotting on the subframe and fuel/brake lines. scrap that pile and get something else. i work with a lady who's son had there GAGT rotted subframe fall apart on the highway.

seriously think about your safety and the safety of others. i can guarantee this if i ever got in a wreck because of someone driving an unsafe POS on the highway i would beat the **** out of them before any police showed up.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:38 AM   #8
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Thats why i am having an expert looking at it to make sure its still ok. The brake and fuel lines are getting fixed. Please read the conversation before commenting, im addressing the existing problems and having the autobody guy give me a list of things that need to be done.

Only that guy can tell me whether the car is a danger to the road and if you read the conversation people dont care about safety on the road when they're going 100mph. People get tire blowouts every week. Its only a matter of time before one of these idiots hit me. Im not concerned over their safety since they could care less about their safety.
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:36 AM   #9
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geldartb has made plenty of valid pointsgeldartb has made plenty of valid points
oh i read your conversation and what you have here is an unsafe POS.

have fun being a corpse when your rusted POS falls apart. how are you going to sit there and compare a tire blowout to driving an unsafe car.
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Old 04-18-2018, 02:15 AM   #10
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How do you even know how bad it is, when you havent even seen it? I don't have any photos on it.

This post was about what i need to look at doing to extend or reduce the amount of damage.

But this was a big waste of time when all i had to was take my car into an autobody shop and have someone look at it. I guess i need to quit my job because my car is worthless and can't buy a new one. Might as well live off the street now.

I don't even have enough money to do what the other guy suggested in which case i don't even have access to the proper tools or a garage that i could do it in.

Since you all of a sudden became an expert from a freak accident and can somehow see how bad my undercarriage is i guess youll see me on the evening in about a couple of months on an accident involving a grand am causing an accident that killed or hurt someone. Ive seen worse when idiots speed causing an accident. Also my mechanic told me to sell the car, not junk it.

If it was that bad id think he would have said the same thing you are saying. So either suggest something i don't know or kindly stay off this thread because you are not helping.
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:05 AM   #11
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A lot of it really depends on the condition and what needs to be repaired.

I had a '97 grand prix that the rockers were so rusted out, I was getting water into the passenger compartment and my carpet was getting wet from water coming through the rust holes.

It probably wouldn't have been very safe for ME in an accident because the body wouldn't be as stiff as it should have been. It wouldn't have hurt anyone else though. The engine/trans were in great condition, and I had replaced most of the brakes and suspension, so mechanically everything worked perfectly.

One big difference though was I moved the car from MI to FL with me, so it didn't see salt on the road anymore. And I was able to work on it myself. I cut most of the rust out, cut and bent up some sheet metal, and welded patches over the seams and holes. Then sealed it all with body sealant. But I spent the better part of a week and a half of my time after working doing it, and I had the skills and a welder. I drove the car for 3 more years like that then sold it for $1000 to someone who just needed cheap reliable transportation for a couple years.

Bottom line, depending on how bad it is... if you have to pay someone else to fix it, it's probably going to cost way more to keep it running than what the car is worth.
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:55 AM   #12
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Most of the rotting is under where the door hinges are on the front. The rest of the underside has rust but no holes. But it greatly depends how bad it really is. It could be nothing serious or it could be. From what my mechanic said, i could run into complications down the road and it could turn into a money pit. But he doesnt know how long or even if it'll really happen if i do address it.

Either way an autobody tech can make that determination. I also don't have vibration of any kind, no leaks from water or otherwise getting into the floor. I do have an appointment next Wednesday to have an autobody shop look at it so ill have my answer around that time and if anything does need to get done, ill get an estimate as well.
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Old 04-18-2018, 11:45 AM   #13
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I think you are going to be unpleasantly surprised by the quotes you get. If the car needs that much work, you are better off getting something different to get you by until you can buy what you really want if your finances agree in 5 years.

Body shop is likely to tell you they can do X,Y or Z, but no guarantee on the work if they will agree to even touch it at all.

Good luck and report back on what you find out.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:15 PM   #14
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Well it depends on what needs to be fixed, if anything really. But yeah, ill find out in a week.
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:34 PM   #15
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My 99 has had rotted out rocker panels for a long time but the car is still very stiff when i jack it up. I have factory new inner and outer rocker panels for it but now the quarter panels are getting bad so it is not worth having any body work done on it at this point. I'm debating buying a pre 96 trans am or camaro for a summer car and keeping the grand am for the winter or maybe buy a rust free 99 or 2000 grand am and putting all my my good parts on it. It is getting hard to find 99 or 2000 rust free coupes listed on craigslist but maybe there are some good bodies in the junk yards in Arizona.
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Old 04-22-2018, 01:59 PM   #16
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geldartb has made plenty of valid pointsgeldartb has made plenty of valid points
my point was it's going to cost you way more than this thing is worth to fix it. the brake lines and fuel lines are going to cost a bit to get done. then what ever rot is going to cost a lot. AKA it would be cheaper to get something else whether it be another grand am if your stuck on them or something more capable in the snow.
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Old 04-24-2018, 02:22 PM   #17
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So i got the diagnosis. Its not serious. The side rockers are a bit of a concern but only in a side impact crash so it may not be as well protected but otherwise its stable. So than the rockers there's really not. The fuel lines were fixed and that was only $300 to do. We'll do the brake lines after the autobody shop cleans the underside up a bit. He'll clean the brake lines to see if they are still ok.

My point is the problem wasn't looked at properly yet and as od now all the work im doing to it now is costing less than $1.000. Theres no telling what problems i might get with another POS is which is all i have money for at the moment. The car will last a good 5 years at least if there wont be any more problems.

Also the stuff that they will use is Fluid Film, im looking it up now but provided that i used it i most likely wouldn't deal with this rusting problem, all things considered if i had an autobody shop apply this stuff every 3-5 years i probably would have spent the amount of money they are going to ask to even fix one rocker side. In any case i don't have an estimate on that yet, they need a better look at that but for now the car won't fly apart. Everything else is good. What they will do for now will cost $300 to reduce the rust from spreading, and help protect the rest of the underside.

It may be cheaper but that's only the known stuff and don't forget the cost for plate transfer, let alone something else could go wrong with a different car but i already have a record on everything that was done to my car. Even the autobody shop ssid the car is ok long as i don't have a passenger i can't trust to sue me but the sides are the weak points and that's just worse case scenario that it wouldn't be as protected.
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:00 PM   #18
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Even the autobody shop ssid the car is ok long as i don't have a passenger i can't trust to sue me but the sides are the weak points and that's just worse case scenario that it wouldn't be as protected.
WHATTTT? Are you serious? And you are ok with driving a car that is "unsafe" enough that the you can't have a passenger? Don't you know by just that statement alone puts at fault in any kind of accident? You're willing to put everybody's life in danger with an unsafe car? Here's the legal matter behind my statement. You are driving an unsafe car and get into any accident and they do research on you and find out that this car was deemed unsafe by the body shop and/or by your statement on here, they could sue you cause you intentionally drove an unsafe car that should not of been at that particular spot. $300 or $3000, doesn't matter when the car is unsafe.
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:13 PM   #19
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Why don't you get off dudes nuts, the car has some rust that doesn't deem it unsafe. He came here for support, not to get talked down to.

I'm glad the news from your body shop was positive for you... Now shake these haters and keep it rollin' for the next 5 years.
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Old Yesterday, 04:05 AM   #20
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WHATTTT? Are you serious? And you are ok with driving a car that is "unsafe" enough that the you can't have a passenger? Don't you know by just that statement alone puts at fault in any kind of accident? You're willing to put everybody's life in danger with an unsafe car? Here's the legal matter behind my statement. You are driving an unsafe car and get into any accident and they do research on you and find out that this car was deemed unsafe by the body shop and/or by your statement on here, they could sue you cause you intentionally drove an unsafe car that should not of been at that particular spot. $300 or $3000, doesn't matter when the car is unsafe.
Did you read the last message, the autobody shop guy said that the risk is low, by obligation he's supposed to report these risks even if its highly unlikely that something like that would happen. He didn't say that the car was unsafe, he said be aware that there is a slight possibility that it could happen. Even if there wasnt any rust damage, its an 18 year old car. The age alone is indication that it wouldnt be as safe as a new car. Would you be in a 67' Chevy? Same difference. Driving or riding in a vehicle of that age is even less safe. No airbags or crumple zones. Yet i see people driving in these outdated cars that dont even have abs, let alone no airbags.

I also can have a passenger, hes just making it aware that its a possibility so he suggested not to have a passenger that would lilely sue. I dont generally have passengers anyway. He would have said not to drive the car if it was bad or a major concern. Its just ridiculous how so much misinterpretation there is on this subject.

Slight risk that is all there is. Its a 1% chance that me or a passenger could be seriously hurt. Theres a 0.1% chance that person would sue me for it. Any of that is a possibility but is highly unlikely that would occur.

Its more likely that nothing would happen in the 5 years that saving for a new car. The guy said the car will be fine for another 7 years as a daily driver car.

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