The FIRST thing I have done with
every FL car (and others) when they come in to the yard is scrape away any
undercoat and pop out all the drain plugs. Since the carpet is always
toast, in the trash it goes, except for a sample from under the seat which I
would stick somewhere out of the way. Same for all debris in the
trunk. Then I go in with a hose, and with various fittings, flushing every
nook and cranny until dirt and rust scale stops running out. I even do
this with parts cars. On driver cars the plugs go back in to keep debris
out, but the rest just stay out to continue draining leaks that might
The large access plug in the
forward edge of the rear wheel tub is the best way to really blast those
hard-to-get-at rockers clean. Most times, when they first come in, I would
have to go back and forth, blasting from the wheel tub hole and then shooting
upwards through the drain holes to clear the scale until the water ran
clear. Since most of these cars have never had this treatment in the 40+
years since new, they could range from being full of dirt and scale to having no
rockers left to save, but as this tends to be the worst structural area to get
hit, I always gave it extra attention.
There have been a few times I have drilled
added holes in the rockers for better drainage, but I cannot specifically
remember which cars or why.
When it is all done, I let them
dry out and close them up enough to keep critters and rain / snow out and
proceed to do whatever would be my intention with that particular vehicle.
Parts cars just went out in the yard. A project would move in that
direction. Even on drivers and nice cars, the rocker and quarter flushes
get done on an occasional basis just to keep them clean. We all have
noticed a car getting dirty from dust settling on them over time. Well,
even desert cars get rained on once in a while, carrying that accumulated dust
into window channels, lower quarters, doors, and fenders, heater boxes, you name
it. When enough builds up, it becomes a mudcake itself, holding water
against the metal for as long as it takes to dry.
Of course, this is only
"maintenance" of as-found cars to prevent or minimize deterioration beyond how
you found it. Replacing rockers and other areas is a whole different
science of paints and coatings best answered by auto paint suppliers and already
covered here by some of out more-knowing posters.
Brent Burger Spokane,
Wash. 1956 Dodge,1958 DeSoto, 2 1966 Dodges
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