2001 Ford Ranger Frame Damage

There may be a way to sell it with a junk or salvage title but odds are it needs to just be scrapped.

You could take it to a real body/frame shop and have it looked at just to be sure. I am not talking about some hack with a welder.

I sold a car to someone years ago with a broken frame. The car was buckled and couldn’t even put it on a hoist. I told the buyer verbally and in writing that it was dangerous and for parts only. A few months later I saw the car driving down the road. Good advice from @db4690.


When I sold my 1979 Toyota 4X4 whose frame broke (from rust) behind the cab, I had the buyer sign a statement that it was for parts only and not to be used on the road. He had it hauled to his place.

My brother had a 1972 Datsun pickup where the frame rusted and broke. The engine was still great. He found another Datsun of about the same vintage with a blown engine, but a good frame. He bought the Datsun with the blown engine and swapped in the good engine. He got several more years of use from the second Datsun. He then discovered the frame was about to break from rust on the second Datsun truck. He took it to a welding shop. After the welder looked at it and finally recovered from a laughing attack, he said “Junk it” and that is what my brother did.

Speaking of cars breaking in half, I saw another episode of the tv show Pawn Stars the other day. The were considering purchasing this huge robot. I mean this thing was huge. It looked like it was over 20 feet tall at full height. It could grab a car with its hands, lift it up into the air, and crush it. They had a junkyard car there for demonstration, and that robot lifted and tore that car right in half with its robot hands. Blowing fire out of its mouth at the same time. An operator sat inside and controlled the action. The owners said it could bring in $20,000 a day in income for the owner at amusement parks, tractor-pull , big truck etc stadium events. The problem for the pawn store owner was the price: $1M. A little on the expensive side, but it was definitely a sight to see.

Being from Minnesota, it looks to me like the bottom part of the frame (the lower channel) rusted off. That bend or channel provides a lot of rigidity to the frame so when that rusted away, that put more stress on what was left and thus the crack.

Insurance? Forget it. Why would insurance cover a rusted frame?

There is a youtube of a time lapse of a guy changing a frame on a pick up. Toyota? Or whatever one had the frame replacement issue. Bunch of rusted frames in a pile in back of the shop so the guy has quite a bit of experience. It is very very involved and at $80-120 an hour shop time, um what can I say? Forget it. Time to say bye bye.

Sorry to be blunt but would you rather be lied to?

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A professional examination can tell if it is toast or repairable. Don’t give up hope.

I wouldn’t want to be professionally associated with any such repair

Either replace the frame . . .

Or junk the truck

And unless you get the frame for free and do all the labor yourself . . .


Probably true! A reputable shop may see this damage and RUN from this job. Or they will quote a price to replace everything that might be compromised. Just fixing what is obvious might open them up to liability as there may be unseen rust hiding elsewhere. Jobs like this are where I would require a huge down payment so the truck doesn’t just get abandoned at the shop.

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Many many years ago I had a 1979 Pontiac LeMans with a rotten frame above the rear wheel wells. The welding shop said it was common on that age of GM cars and knew how to fix it. They did a nice job. I was to bring the car in with the gas as close to empty as possible to make it easy to drop the tank. I also had to pay upfront as they said they had too many drive offs, folks would have a spare set of keys and would take the car after hours when they knew the job was done.

Done for. Catastrophic failure imminent. Welding won’t help. Probably more rust through elsewhere.

No one will find another frame that isn’t in the same condition. All vehicles in the rust belt don’t last as long as in Florida or the south. Forget welding as there isn’t enough good metal to weld together. You will find that where the mounts for suspension parts are welded to the chassis that they are coming apart also.

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I don’t know if I’d say “no one”

I live in southern California, and there are tons of Rangers of this vintage being driven that have completely rust-free frames

But that’s not the point . . . even if a perfect frame was located, it could be free and it still wouldn’t make financial sense, due to high labor costs


Would be cheaper to buy a complete vehicle from a southern state then, if one is determined to drive a Ranger. IMHO anyway from my little corner of the world.

I’m by no means a welding expert but when you weld something like a frame, it can actually make the repair area more brittle and prone to future failure. Couldn’t tell ya what the metallurgic properties of a frame are, but quite certain it just isn’t plain ole mild steel. The one welding failure I’ve had was on steel adjacent to my weld. The weld held but the steel a few inches away cracked and went flying. I saw it so went back to pick it up again. It was off the mount for the trailer spare tire. Steel from China.

I’m by no means a welding expert lll

Like you I am no expert but if you look at the frame’s of big truck’s like road tractor’s and box truck’s where you can easly see the frame a lot of them say do not weld or drill make’s me think they are made of some kind of treated steel that would make it weaker from the heat.

He shoulda knowed better than to pick up an old car by the nose.

I think the Q waa more meant as is it POSSIBLE ins would cover it. I’m kinda thinking not, sorry :frowning:
As to what caused it, and just from the pic, i’d say the corrosion weakened and made brittle the metal, stress from flexing while u move down the road (and slam huge potholes) probably cracked it.

There’s gotta be other degregation around the rest too. l’ll leave it to someone else to tell u how to figure where and how bad. I can only guess what could work, not how a shop would do it. I have no idea what it’d cost to replace part or all of a frame, other than to say u CAN. Undoubtedly not worth it for ur poor old dog tho :frowning:

There’s gotta be parts value in it tho. Who knows, maybe even a couple $K if u sell em off yourself piece by piece.
I had 2K sold off (but took longer to let them come get) on a car only worth 5. But, I was in CA with no rust and it had perfect interior (seats bring easy big ).

Why are you telling me this stuff ? I don’t even have a ford Ranger.

I think he was replied to you because my initial question was would it be possible that insurance would cover the damage, and you responded “How could anyone say what your insurance will cover ?”

the rest of the comment after that wouldn’t be applicable to you.

I personally don’t think potholes played any factor