Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Troy MI
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    Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    This week's project was to repair the attachment point for the steering rack on the sub-frame of my friend's 2010 Ford Flex, which he plans on keeping a few more years. I was surprised that it rusted completely though in eight years. My friend does lives one mile out on a dirt road, so dirt and calcium chloride that they put on the road to keep down dust, probably contributed to it. The following picture shows the rusted through steering rack attachment point on the sub-frame.

    1. Rusted rack attachment point
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  2. #2
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    Mar 2014
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    Re: Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    In the following picture you can see a schematic of our approach. We manufactured a steel cup, which will serve as the new attachment point for the rack on the sub-frame. The steel cup is bolted to the sub-frame. The steel cup is fillet welded on both sides to a plate, which is in turn welded to the sub-Frame.

    2. Schematic.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    We manufactured a steel cup in the lathe. Notice the 1-1/2" drill bit. A 7-1/2 HP lathe has little respect for steel.

    3. Making steel cap
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  4. #4
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    Re: Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    We made radial cuts in the plate and formed it to the shock tower. Next we bolted the steel cup to the sub frame. We held the plate in place and tack welded it to the steel cup. Finally we removed the plate/cup assembly and welded it out on both sides in a vise.

    4. Welding steel cap to plate
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  5. #5
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    Mar 2014
    Location
    Troy MI
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    Re: Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    We re-assembled the cup/plate assembly to the sub-frame. Then we welded the assembly to the sub-frame. The last step was to weld up the radial saw cuts.

    5. Plate welded in place
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  6. #6
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    Jun 2017
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    AJO, ARIZONA
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    803

    Re: Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    That makes me happy I don't live in a place that rusts your vehicle to a pile of crap in short order!
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  7. #7
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    Mar 2012
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    Charlottetown,PE.Canada
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    Re: Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    Great looking repair!

  8. #8
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    Dec 2003
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    Re: Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    I just love rust repairs. Nice job. In CT. that is all we see now with the liquid rot they are using on the roads. Our wiz bang Ct. administration even went so far as to conduct a multi million dollar study on the effects of calcium chloride and other snow/ice combatant chemicals to automobiles, roads and bridges. Duh.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    Part of the problem is that the metal of the sub-frame is thinner to save weight and improve fuel economy.
    Unfortunately the corrosion protection for the sub-frame didn't adequately to protect it.
    The body is protected with one-side galvanizing, phosphate coating and Elpo Dip, so the body looks great after eight years.
    The sub-frame is now the weak link in the chain, even though the metal of the sub-frame is more than twice as thick as the sheet metal body panels.

    -Don
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  10. #10

    Re: Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    Sometimes I think it might be worth the investment to pull the suspension and subframes out of new cars and have them sent out for powder coating or at least some kind of paint.

  11. #11
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    May 2015
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    Barre Town, VT
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    821

    Re: Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    I’ve had my fair share of fun of cross member fun. I had to make a new rear cross member for my 99 Corolla 3 years ago because it had turned to swiss cheese. I think that one rusted out because the drain hole pluged with dirt from my dirt road. Then the moisture rusted it out from the inside.
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  12. #12
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    May 2018
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    Land of the Toxic Avenger
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    Re: Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    Quote Originally Posted by dragonov_elite View Post
    Sometimes I think it might be worth the investment to pull the suspension and subframes out of new cars and have them sent out for powder coating or at least some kind of paint.
    The Linex company has come out with an under body spray that is applied by their commercial sales outlets. It's designed to cover under body parts, frames, suspension pieces. I'm waiting for the local linex dealer to get their new building setup, and I'm going to have them do my fuso. Maybe even my dodge..

    Not looking forwards to the week of cleaning the undercarriage beforehand, but it's worth it, IMO in the overall scheme of things.
    T man.


    15 + years working for myself, and by golly, I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Cave Creek AZ
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    2,630

    Re: Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    Wow, my wifes 2009 Flex, that just got replaced with 265k, still has factory paint there, no rust at all. Its hard to believe that cars can rust away that quickly.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlottetown,PE.Canada
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    709

    Re: Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    Ya, but living in AZ, you don't have to worry about rust.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    n.w. of chicago
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    451

    Re: Sub-Frame Repair on a 2010 Ford Flex

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    Wow, my wifes 2009 Flex, that just got replaced with 265k, still has factory paint there, no rust at all. Its hard to believe that cars can rust away that quickly.
    You would be hard pressed to find a 5 year old gm ford dodge truck around here without rusted out rockers or cab corners, maybe we could sell them in Arizona and so.cal.as "patina" and get big bucks

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