New Car Shell
- Rust Prevention
A Cheap, effective alternative to
You crawl under your 4x4 and look at the underside of
the body, the frame, the suspension parts, axles and all that other stuff
under there and think, it doesn't look too bad now. But you know in a
few years, it'll all go to hell. After miles of abusive trail riding,
years of exposure to the elements and hard winters of salty slush, it'll
look so bad you won't even want to look at it anymore.
are your options? Well, you can just say the hell with it and do
nothing. You can't stop mother nature from claiming your steel.
But what good is that kind of attitude going to do? You can get it professionally
under coated. But that can be costly and not always that best thing to
have stuck all over the underside of the vehicle, especially if you are
going to be working on it. You can buy some of that off-the-shelf
undercoating spray crap that comes out like tar. Personally I haven't
found an off-the-shelf undercoating I liked and have removed several
applications over time because it was crap. Sort of running out of
Here's an idea that is not only cheap,
but in my experience has lasted the test of time on a few of my older
vehicles. It almost sounds too simple. Paint it. Well duh,
what kind of tip is that?. Here's the tip. It's how you apply
the paint that matters. We're not going for the perfect paint job
here, we want a good thick application that can get plastered to everything,
even the tight, hard to reach places because we all know, that where the
rust is going to appear first. This method of underbody painting works
best with that newer vehicle that hasn't seen years of mudding or those that
have already succumbed to the rust bug but some of those 4 wheelers out
there still have hope.
Alright, so how do we do
this? Before we get into the how to apply the paint part, you have to
get it fairly clean because painting dirt, mud and grease isn't going to
stick, and is a waste of the paint. I'd be concerned mainly with the
dirt rather than the grease and oil. Greasy oily parts aren't going to
rust anyway, but the dirty parts will because the dirt holds in the water
and corrosive elements like winter road salt. Get under there with a
high pressure washer, maybe at your local car wash. You can also apply
some degreaser (like Simple Green) before heading to the car wash. Get
the pressure wash up under the body, behind the frame rails, up under the
hard to reach places to get that dirt out. It might take several
attempts to get it acceptable. Also make sure it's going to have time
the trick here is to use a durable paint and apply it everywhere metal
is exposed. I like Rustoleum. Gloss Black Rustoleum to be
specific for these under body applications. Maybe you might like to opt for
a little color but black will color blend with grease and it hides a
lot. Plus for further applications of paint, gloss black is a good
color to touch up.
Look around for a good price
because your going to need many cans. 4 or 5 probably won't do
it. More like 10 cans - or more. I occasionally find this cans
with 33% more for the same price. Walmart is pretty cheap. Also
pick up a few of those red spray extension tips you find on carburetor
cleaner cans and WD-40 spray cans. Your going to need them. You
probably have a few laying around.
|The application method I've found to be best is NOT to use
spray tip the cans come with. Not exactly anyway. Most
of the area you'll be covering is in tough to reach places like
above the frame rails behind suspension components, behind brake
lines and wires, above and behind all kinds of things. So you
need to shoot the paint from a distance, accurately. That's
where the red tubes come in to play. If you pop out the white tip
with a utility knife, you can then insert the red tube.
|You might have to expand the tube tip a little with a sharp all or
needle to get it to fit tight into the spray nozzle's hole (you don't want to fire the red tube
off the spray tip). Then jam the red tube into a few of these
tips. Have a few extras just in case you clog one or two (
they can and do clog after a lot of spraying), or if you loose it.
The Gum-Out Carb cleaner nozzle actually fits the Rustoleum can
so you can use that. Just be sure not to try to re-use that tip for
carb cleaning after spraying paint through it.
Now to prep for this you want to raise the vehicle if
you can't easily get under it. Have a shop light so you can see
everything. Do the job outside because the fumes will be heavy and
you'll need to breath. Get a respirator and use it. The more
protection it will give you the better. You don't want to be blowing
black snot for weeks to come. Also wear a hat or a hair cap of some
kind to keep the paint out of your hair. Your going to get drips and over spray
on you so try to cover yourself so you don't have to do as much clean up
Mask the vehicle somewhat if you're concerned
about it. When I did my daily driver newer truck, I tapes a few old
sheets over the body to keep the black paint from settling on the red paint
Now get under there and start at one end towards
the center of the vehicle and move out and towards the other end. Try
to avoid laying under the areas you just painted because it will drip.
Cover everything, body, frame, axles, parts, suspension, whatever.
You'll find that the red spray tube will fire the paint a good two to three
feet so it's great for applying it in hard to reach places. Use the
regular nozzle for flat, easy to reach places because it won't clump it on
so much. Don't worry about drips and runs. No one will see it
and more is better anyway.
When you're done, you'll
probably look like to just came out of the coal mines. The vehicle
will stink for a few days but boy will it look good under there.
time passes, the paint will stay and the rust will occur much less than
had you not covered it if it occurs at all. I've had the chance to see
two older Toyota trucks to compare over about a 7 year period. One
with this treatment and one without. The with (mine) still has very
little rust, except where it was scratched off from rocks. Otherwise
the paint is intact. The other truck looks like wall to wall rust
under there and the body has holes. These trucks are about the same
year and were both wheeled over the years.
For me, this
cost about 35 bucks for about ten cans of Rustoleum. 35 bucks. 7
years and No rust. Now it started off with no rust so it was
preventative. This won't reverse or stop rust that has already begin
to occur but it can help slow it down if you have rust. It'll at least
hide it for now and stop new spot from starting. And it looks damn
New Car Shell - Rust Prevention
William Garrett from Friendship, Arizona
sends in expanded notes on this tip...
is an expansion of the above tip, which is great, by the way. My frame rails
and tub underside have a lot of surface rust. I happened to find a product
at WallyWorld called Rust Converter by Kleen Strip about $4.00 each in spray
cans. It's also available in regular cans for brush on use.
I thoroughly coated the underside with Castrol Super Clean then power washed
it. I followed the instructions on Rust Converter and found my rust now
converted to zinc and a nice black primer finish. I then applied a coat of
Rustoleum black primer and finished it off with Rustoleum satin black. It
all looks like new. Now I think I will finish it up with Durabak on the tub
underside and interior floors.
Rust Converter is similar to POR 15 except you can pick it up at the local
WallyWorld. Time will tell how well it hold up.
William's '77 CJ5
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