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Recently I was involved in a thread discussing the Triumph TR-6. While doing some research I found a company, RATCO that makes new frames/chassis for all the Triumph models back to the TR-3. One option for their frames is to fill it with spray insulation foam similar to the foam used in insulating houses today. I have used that type of foam in some of the work I’ve done on houses and it really sticks to whatever it touches. Another benefit that the company states is that it dampens the resonating sound that passes through the frame.

Sounds like a good solution to further protecting our FFR frames. Your thoughts?

  • One thought I had is to make sure the inside of the frame is dry to avoid trapping moisture.

HealeyRick found and posted their web site:
https://www.sites.google.com/site/tonyratco/

This is what their web site says about this option:
INTERIOR FINISHES:

Expanding Foam - Our Preferred choice is relatively new to the market and that is the application of expanding foam to all the interior areas of the frame. This foam is water proof and sticks like glue to all surfaces. The application is once again through holes drilled in the tubing. The expanding foam is forced into one end of the tube length and allowed to ooze out of the other end to assure a complete fill. Once dry the over fill is cut away and the holes are filled with plastic plugs. This foam application does two things to the structure. First it makes for an impenetrable water seal and secondly sound dampens the frame. You may think this a minor point but in fact the frame does resonate and amplify the vibrations caused by road conditions and those passed along by the drive train. Foam filling quiets the ride appreciably. About 85% of all the frames made to date are foam filled.


This is the thread where we were discussing the TR-6 and other Triumphs

Wheeler Dealer TR-6 episode
http://www.ffcars.com/forums/43-off...wheeler-dealers-tr6-episode-seen-only-uk.html

George
 

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Waste of money
 

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Wow, that's one opinon. It sounded kinda of interesting. Anyone else done anything simular?
 

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The gamble is trapping water should it it manage to get in. What some others have done is to put a couple of quarts of oil in the large tubes and let it slosh around. I think that is a better solution to keeping rust at bay as it is less final. With foam once it is in that's it !
 

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the waterborne foam may hold moisture, the polyurethene may deter some.
it may help if you run into a river:w00t: "cobra barge":evil::evil:
i agree a waste of cash and time, these cars are stored inside most of their life, when i drilled all the holes into the chassis i actually tried sealing them with sealant and sprayed black engine paint on the bare steel holes. the only areas that are bare are the grounds and those got some dielectric smeared over them.
all the tube steel is sealed up on the ends and prior to that i sprayed a rust-proof inside, got most of it but not all of the areas
the main thing is if you keep an eye on the powdercoat over the years and keep the coating sealed as much as you can it will last longer.
 

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Personally, I like the "Wax-oil" type products. 3M, and others, have a product like that, which is designed for inner panels, frame rails, etc. Applied with a wand designed for 360* spray I think it would be quite effective for our cars round, and square framework.

I know that the expanding type foams, can still leave pockets. Not sure if condensation could be an issue or not, (depends on the climate I suppose), but you sure wouldn't want water trapped in those pockets. I had that happen in the floor of a cabin cruiser, which eventually caused some wet rot in the stringers. I believe that stuff was a styrene type expanding foam, so this stuff you mention may be better.
 

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I agree. Waste of money. In the 70s - 80s there were several rustproofing companies out there. There were actually findings that the stuff trapped dirt and moisture and didn't help.
 

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Bosheild T-9 Good stuff. I would not foam the chassis. On the FFR drill a couple of holes at either end spray in the T-9 and leave it open.

Lets face it, these cars are not wet weather cars so protecting the chassis is not a huge deal. JMHO, YMMV, Richard.
 

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I say wasted money and may cause rust. I play around with old ski boats, and they used a foam product in between the stringers for floatation. Evenually they soak up hundreds of pounds of water and rot out the wooden stringers.
 

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FFCobra Master Craftsman
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I would say that if you did the frame with POR-15 or powdercoating, it will look better in 20 years than we will. We had a powdercoated basketball hoop tube buried in the lawn for about 12 years. When we removed the pipe, the part that was 4 feet underground had very little rust after more than a decade of constant moisture. So, I figure the car in the garage has a much better chance of survival.

My frame was delivered in 2004, finished in 2006 and has been on the road or in the garage since then. No rust whatsoever. So, i wouldn't worry about it honestly.
 

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As others have said, foam will most likely trap and hold moisture. Possibly even soak up moisture over time. Not a good thing. Good rust proofing should never harden, otherwise it can trap moisture.

Just drill some small holes and spay with some good rust inhibitor. Tap & plug the holes with small bolts after you're done. I use Krown T40. It's amazing how this stuff creeps into all the tight seams, around corners and even up vertical surfaces, plus it stays wet (fluid). I get both our DD cars sprayed by Krown once a year. I'm sure you can find something similar.
 

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i once drilled a small hole in one of the round tubes near the rear of the car.

the front of the car was a wee higher than the back, and i was shocked at how much water came out.

many have added tapped drain holes and plugs.

even though there is silicone between our aluminum panels and steer frame, i suppose 500 pop-rivets is a quite a big hole if caught in the rain.

.
 

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We've been having a discussion here: Frame sag on a MK 2 3000 - British Car Forum on whether foaming an Austin-Healey chassis would offer any structural benefits for frames that were beginning to sag. A lot of us were concerned whether it would trap moisture and make matters worse. Interesting that RATCO doesn't claim any benefits for rigidity. I wouldn't want to bee the guinea pig for this process.
 

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I took out Spitfires' tube frame and swabbed it out like cleaning a gun barrel. Seriously. Used a long pole with a loofa at the other end and just dipped and swabbed until we were satisfied it was rust PROOFED!

Used a wax-oil type corrosion product at NAPA. Like a black tar for metal.

Ran that Spitfire for 3 winter seasons. Looked like new in that frame. No other Spitfire on the planet could say that.

I'll run either Corrosion X (or my exhaust pipes ) thru the frame tubes next time.
 

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What would you do if you filled all the tubes with foam then realized later you need to weld something to the frame?
 
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