Rusted Frame on 1996 Ford Crown Victoria PI

I have a 1996 Crown Victoria PI, and while crawling around under the car, I noticed that the frame was severely rusted out where the idler arm (it’s rotted almost to that area) and the right sway bar bushing are attached to the frame. The rest of the frame & car (itself), appear to be in decent shape.

Is there some repair that can be done to this car short of replacing the frame or parting the car out? Also, is this a common occurence on these cars?

Somebody mentioned that a battery might have leaked out and caused that damege.

Thank you.

Mark B Handler

It is very common for a 13 year old car to have rust all over the frame. If you think the rust is more than surface rust, have it inspected at a body/collision shop to determine if the structural integrity of the frame has been compromised.

Please re-read my post (you missed what I was saying).

Yes, I would expect surface rust to be on the cars’ frame. But, this car has a BIG HOLE in the frame in a critical area (where the idler arm & sway bar bushing attach).

The body shop agreed with me about it being unsafe to drive in that condition. Had the hole been somewhere else (further back), I think they might have been able to do something with it.

For now, I will use it as a spare car & keep a close eye on that area of the car.

It’s time to kiss it good buy. All cars are designed to rust and fail under certain conditions…yours has met it’s and regardless, will be a safety concern unless big bucks, beyond the value of the car is sunk into it. Short of a good body man isolating to one factor, which I doubt, that’s just the beginning of your rust problems I feel.

I agree with dagosa.

The car has apparently come to the end of the road for safety, and any possible solution is going to cost far more than the book value of the car.

Well, having lived in rural New England for many years, I can tell you that lots of small towns have welding shops that patch up this sort of thing on a regular basis. Mostly on locally running pickups, but cars too. I have had more than one frame repaired this way, and floor pans, too. So, if you can find a owner operated welding business, ask them. If they tell you to give up on it, do it. They know.

Thank you for your reply.

I live in Marion (neighbor to Cedar Rapids where they had the flooding last year). Iowa and to the best of my knowledge, there isn’t too much of a problem like that, but (after talking to a trusted body shop), I decided to try a place that I was referred to, so that they could give it a go. I will be taking my car to a shop that does this stuff (mainly on trucks) so that they can look at the car and tell me what it will take to fix it. I brought some pictures along to show them and he said about $250, but that they would have to put the car on a hoist to look closer at it.

I won’t go down without a fight (as I just bought the car a month ago and found the rusted area on the frame while crawling around underneath it to check out its mechanicals. At least I have a ray of hope for the car.