DEPARTMENT OF: Cheap Tricks & Useful Tips …
Avoiding Contact by placing a rubber buffer between your freshly painted body parts.
Have you ever noticed when you take body parts off a vehicle, the area where a part such as a fender makes contact with another part, the paint is worn away and rust has made a home. That’s because vehicles flex. Especially vehicles with a frame such as a 4×4 that will be contorting into a pretzel over obstacles on the trail. When a vehicle flexes, body parts rub together or at least put stress against the painted surfaces of other body parts, eventually leading to chipped, worn painted surfaces and then… rust.
With my freshly painted CJ-7, one concern I had was where parts met parts. Where the fender contacted the front grill, I had concerns about metal to metal contact which eventually becomes that problem area for rust. So to buffer contact area, I used a great source for raw material. An old tire inner tube. I cut strips of rubber and glued them in place with rubber contact cement. Now when the fender meets grill and fender meets firewall, the rubber acts as a buffer to prevent damaging contact.
Another contact area that may actually see some contact with rocks is the rocker panel guards. If I were to install these guards directly onto the painted surface, there’s no doubt that contact with a rock would damage the tub by wearing away the paint of the tub where they make contact. So again, more rubber from that inner tube I found along the highway was cemented onto the guards. When bolted on, there would be a buffer between the tub and the rocker rocker panel guard.