Undercoating, rustproofing and general corrosion prevention

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Undercoating, rustproofing and general corrosion prevention

Postby Chevette Girl » 16 Apr 2005, 18:27




I was just perusing the "my old friend Rust" thread and thought maybe I'd start a new thread with my comments instead of adding to the end of 3 pages...

I get a liquid sprayed-on undercoating applied to mine every autumn(Krown), but I would never, ever, EVER use a hard undercoat like the Ziebart stuff thet my precious purple Chevette had been done with. You guys hit it bang on when you said that the rust gets underneath it as soon as it's compromised... Purple was fine for 3 years, then one oil change my mechanic told me that I'd need to get some serious work done to repair structural rust but that it could wait till spring, then the next oil change (only 3 months), he told me to stop driving the car cause the upper control arms were tearing off the frame and the back springs were about to pop through into the back seat/trunk.

I don't weld, but when floors are an issue, I make great use of any form of rust converter (naval jelly, Rust Avenger, there are many products available here that convert red rust to black rust through phosphoric acid - the black rust stops the oxidation process, please don't make me explain the chemical process, I'd have to look it up) as a start, then I piece together what sheet metal I need and bang it into shape, then I use roofing tar to seal it down from both sides, then I sacrifice a 1/8" drill bit and pop-rivet it into place. When I first got Purple, we looked under the driver's side carpet and discovered that one of the bolts that holds the seat wasn't connected to anything but the carpet (strong carpet!), and I used about three layers of sheet metal under where that bolt was supposed to be, including some cross-strapping strips for extra strength (used galvanized siding or roofing or something my friend's dad found in his shed and donated to the cause of getting my Chevette bits off his driveway). That repair held out longer than the car did. Oh, and when 3 years later, I pulled up the carpet and noticed that I could put my shoe through most of the holes on the passenger side, I had a professional replace the rocker panel (sill?) and floorpan that summer, and it cost me almost $900 after taxes. Ouch. (then the motor died that autumn, so I replaced that, then that winter was when my mechanic told me to decommission her Sad )

Bitumen coatings are used more for roofing over here... and to soften it for removal... duh! Guys - hairdryer! Rolling Eyes (I mostly use mine for keeping Bondo (auto body filler) warm when I'm doing bodywork too late in the fall). Also, I don't know if you guys over there have the hand cleaner that dissolves grease and doesn't require water (available here with or without pumice grit) - the non-grit variety can be used to dissolve tarry substances, might work on bitumen too, or if you try engine degreaser...

My little darling had a huge hole up against the firewall right over the fusebox, so I patched it with a piece of aluminum gunked down and sealed with roofing tar. So far it's not leaking again, but I think there's a leak under the windshield which used to cause wet footwells now and then until I used roofing tar all the way around the windshield seal, which needs to be peeled off and redone this year cause it hardened in the sun <shrug>.

I've also got a leak that comes in the fender in front of the door right beside the driver's knee, so I took off the interior body panel and found that water was trickling down the inside and coming in through the fabrication holes in the inside, so I wound a rag through the holes so it would absorb any water that tried to get through the holes, and

This year, I noticed there was damp in the footwell, but I couldn't see where the water was coming in, and I finally noticed that I'd been splashing through spring puddles with a hole in the floor at the front of the floorpan that's hidden from external view by a little extra plate of metal (don't have a photo and I don't know if UK 'vettes have this little piece)... so when I get to it, up comes the carpet, and away we go with the grinder, rust converter, roofing tar (I might try silicone sealant on a friend's advice, since there's only going to be one patch), sheet metal and rivets...

I'm really glad my mechanic lets me wander around under my car while she's up on the lift... I've spotted a few things, like a horizontal rust crack in the metal cup that holds the rear spring (that one got a welded patch, I don't mess with structural).

(good grief, I've written a novel. Shoud have broken it into multiple threads... oh, well, apathy sets in... Smile )

Anyone else got interesting rust or water leak tales?
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Re: Undercoating, rustproofing and general corrosion prevent

Postby Neilyman » 16 Apr 2005, 19:01

Chevette Girl wrote:
I don't weld,


You would if you lived in the UK. Our rules/Regs don`t allow patching as you so lovingly describe. Everything has to be seam welded!
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Postby Doive » 16 Apr 2005, 23:59

I don't weld as I don't ahve equipment or a garage, but boy do I have to pay for it! Floorpans and bulkhead all needed welding on my little darling, and this summer I'll have to scrounge 300 quid or so to get the rear arches done as they look horrendous, really let the rest of the car down. Shwe is tidy enough all round, but there are various little holes in the bulkhead still trying to make the floorpan into an indoor swimming pool.
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Postby Shellysowner » 17 Apr 2005, 20:10

If anyone needs any structural (gas) welding doing in the summer (on a chevette) I'll do it for cost of the gas + a few pints :D
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Postby Chevette Girl » 18 Apr 2005, 23:43

Shellysowner, I'd love to have you over to do welding for me, but don't think the beer would be worth the plane ticket... :roll:

I guess not being able to use Bondo and pop rivets does put a crimp in home repairs, but, you know, that's probably for the best... there have been some scary, scary things that have passed inspections around here... (bubblegum and duct tape don't even begin to describe it! Friend of mine knew someone whose engine mounts came off. On the highway. At 100 km/h. Poor Chevette, and the car behind it). And unless it's a commercial vehicle, cars only have to be safey-checked when ownerchip changes, unless you annoy someone who can order it... Emissions testing every two years for most cars (I think we're getting up to '86-86 not needing them anymore, never had to get it for my '82, although she'd pass no problem), but not safety check... Not this province, at any rate. I think Nova Scotia makes cars get inspected every year...

Will they refuse to pass your car if it's something that's body panel only, like filling a dent, or is it just structural things they get you on?

The reason I don't weld is because the one time they made me do it in shop class they never told me not to hold the torch so close, and let's just say that I know the smell of burning human flesh... mine... owie...

Granted, welding does do a better job for something like a floor, and I will just pay someone to weld when it comes to structural issues like rocker panels, and I guess you definitely know if you've got solid metal to work with, otherwise you won't be able to weld anything... of course, it's very sad to discover this in the middle of a major repair... :(

Maybe one of these days when I get the cash and the bits together I will try again, it will probably save me a lot if I ever decide to make a 4x4 Chevette... :twisted:

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Postby Tortron » 19 Apr 2005, 02:42

wha!!!!! we have 2 get ours checked for road worthyness every 3 months
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Postby Neilyman » 19 Apr 2005, 07:31

AJ, We can use bondo filler on body panels for dents & dings etc.
Anything structural on the floor, rocker panels, chassis parts, have to be welded.
Safety test inc. emmissions every 12 months, but they do roadside `spot checks` on emmissions aswell. If you get pulled on a spot check & your cars a rat, they can order you to take a safety test, even though it`s not due to have one.
Not a bad system really, I never have any problems.
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Postby Doive » 19 Apr 2005, 10:54

They generally only pull a car if it is belching clouds of smoke out. What happened to the days when you would see a tatty mk3 Cortina lurch past spitting and backfiring while laying it's own smokescreen?? For some reason I really miss those days - nobody can run a true 'smoker' any more. Shame. My car usually has problems with the emissions, last time the CO2 reading was off the scale and the guy had to tweak the carb to get it down, which in turn made it pull like a limp sock. But then I was told that the 5% CO2 reading only applies to cars built after Jan 86, so why was he testing mine?!
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Postby Neilyman » 19 Apr 2005, 11:26

Down here Doive, they set up roadside checks. They do a `multi agency` thing with Customs, Police, DHSS etc., & just pull in random cars/trucks & check `em.

My MOT station does a visual smoke check for emissions on mine.
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Postby Doive » 19 Apr 2005, 15:27

I think mine is ok, she doesn't smoke at all from what I have observed. I thought it was just a visual test as well for older vehicles. Thankfully the gestapo up here haven't got round to doing random roadside tests - no manpower you see as they are all out catching speeders!
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Postby Shellysowner » 19 Apr 2005, 16:06

Neilyman wrote:My MOT station does a visual smoke check for emissions on mine.


I wish mine did!!!!
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Postby shuvit-tim » 20 Apr 2005, 01:55

dont get pulled often Doive?!

buty a nova, how your life would change. Budget 20 minutes into every jourey for the inevitable blue light.

gotta be 100 coppers in aberystwyth and I can almost say "hello AGAIN officer" to every single one of them :lol:
when all else fails, rivets, cable ties and bodge tape will see you through

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Postby Doive » 20 Apr 2005, 12:04

I would believe it Tim! Novas seem to make piggies think you are a half breed ned who wants to break the law wherever possible.
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Postby iety2004 » 20 Apr 2005, 12:40

I've never been pulled thank god!

Looking over my Kadett it seems to be look after, a couple of patches here and there, but i need to takle any spots of rust that are starting to show b4 they get serious,

I bought a Dual Action sander and a air compressor so i can takle it properly :D ,

No swore wrist while sanding for me,

Got to try and find some self adisive discs to use it tho :?
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Postby Neilyman » 20 Apr 2005, 12:57

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Rust prevention

Postby Ruderunner » 19 Oct 2005, 11:41

Something thats common where I live is to pour or spray used automatic transmission oil into the nooks and crannies where rust starts. My 82 has survived 20 years worth of road salt with no holes. This stuff is cheap and easy to work with but messy when sprayed. It only lasts about 2 years before needing recoated but I'm convinced its worlds better than any "permanant" undercoating!
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Postby Neilyman » 19 Oct 2005, 11:48

I used to do the same with my Land Rover. When I did an oil change, I put the old stuff in a sprayer & soaked the chassis, springs etc with it...never had a problem with rot at mot time.
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