[FWDLK] rust prevention - what to do?
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[FWDLK] rust prevention - what to do?



    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 occur.
 
    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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