View Full Version : Stopping rust in hard to reach areas


07-20-2007, 02:59 PM

Just found and joined this forum. :) I have been searching the internet for rust repair solutions and haven't yet found the answers I need. I'm hoping someone here can help.

I recently purchased an old truck (it's an 88 Suzuki Samurai) that I wish to restore. I know, not your typical restoration choice but it has sentimental value to me. It's in pretty good shape but the worst is there is quite a bit of rust around the windshield rubber area. I thought it best to leave this repair to the professionals so it's in the body shop now getting fixed. The guy said he would "treat" the rust while welding in new metal, then it will get filler and primer. He mentioned POR-15 but I don't know for certain if this is what he will use.

My concern is I don't know with what, or how well, he will be "treating" the rust. Even if he does a good job, I am certain there are spots where it will be impossible to reach from the outside. For those not familiar with this vehicle, the window frame is essentially a square shaped tube, fairly small area, so you can't reach behind it. There's rust all the way around the frame so I would like to somehow get inside there and try to get it to stop.

The only way I can envision this happening is to somehow "fog" the inside of the pillars using some sort of flexible fan nozzle sprayer. The chemical used would have to not require rinsing and would, hopefully, seal and protect the inside metal/rust.

Is there any hope for treating this problem so the rust does not return? Any suggestions, advice, etc. would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Scot

Phil V
07-20-2007, 04:59 PM
pull the windshield, sandblast all the paint off the entire windshield frame. Spray with epoxy primer. Fill in rust pits with polyester spot putty. block sand flat as needed. Shoot three coats of 2K acrylic urethane high build primer. Hand sand to remove any imperfections with 600 grit paper. Shoot the color then the clearcoat and you're done.

07-20-2007, 05:29 PM
Well for someone starting out you sure have done some research on the subject which is always good.

I'm working on almost the exact same area on a project ('85 Regal). Basically your right in that they will need to either neutralize or remove the rust with some chemical, flush, allow to dry and coat with one of the rust preventive paints that are out there (POR-15, Zero Rust, Eastwood Rust Encapsulator among others).

It's important to note that none of these paints will actually remove the rust. They are simply products that can be used over iron oxide (rust) and will stop it from forming any further by choking off the oxygen (with varying degrees of success).

Which is why it's important to get something on there first that will actually try and kill off the existing rust before use. That and/or remove as much of the rust as possible before applying the materials.

If there is no access to the backside, even after he cut's out the rot and before welding in new sheet metal then he'll have to make a "access hole" big enough to allow the wand through. He can weld that closed when done.

On my project I had to cut the rotting sheet metal off the sides of the roof and in the corners near the windshield so I have plenty of room to wiggle my little sprayer wand into to get the into the back side.

Flushing shouldn't be a problem as the waste material would drain down through the sides of the frame which probably end down by the Front Pillars.

In the end if your guy is going to do what your describing and does it well then it's the best plan available. The other options are to chop the part off a rust free donor car use that to replace the one on your car.

People don't understand the "sentimental" value a car may have and can't get behind why we spend money on repairs. I pay them no mind :)

Good luck and let us know how things turn out.


07-20-2007, 08:05 PM
Thanks for the replies!

I dropped off the truck yesterday and I have a feeling it's already halfway done by now. I had pulled off the windshield to take a look. Lots of bubbles of rust, some perforations, etc. He assured me that he would remove all the rust, treat the metal (with what?), and then patch all the holes, also with metal. Then body filler over that.

My thinking is that even if you grind off all the visible rust, there may be surface rust starting on the inside surfaces that you can't see. Unless I were to do it myself, there's no real way I can be 100% sure they will treat the rust nor have any idea of how well they will do it. So, I'm just going to have to let them do their thing and try and do some preventive work after I pick it up...hence the desire to spray inside the pillar and frame somehow.

Where can one purchase a wand sprayer? Do they make them with flexible (like plastic or rubber) tubing so I can snake it inside and around the curves? I was thinking something like a...what the heck are those things called, the pump-up sprayers you use to spray weeds with poison? Something like that with a different tip that sprayed 90 degrees to the shaft....that would be ideal, at least in theory.

I have to pull off the dashboard to be certain, but I believe the pillar exits right under the dash, so that's a good thing if I can get in from there. However, to access the top portion of the windshield frame, I need something that can make the bend at the top corner.

Also, what product would be best to use? No one will ever see it so as long as it stops the rust from coming back (on the exterior), that's all I need to keep me happy. I worry that if I used something like Ospho where you have to rinse it with water afterwards that the water will never totally dry and rust will start again. Is there a safe product to use to flush out the pillars?

Since I live in Hawaii, some products are hard to get since they can't be shipped via the normal methods. I know there is a POR-15 distributor here, but don't know of any other products aside from the typical hardware store stuff. To me, it sounds like flushing, drying, then spraying with some kind of rust-stopping paint product would be the ideal method, but I don't know what to use?

Thanks again, Scot

07-20-2007, 08:26 PM
Dude where are you in Hawaii. I lived there for 10 years (Kaneohe then down in the 'keys on the Ali Wai near Lewers st)?

I have this setup from Eastwood Company (http://www.eastwoodco.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=17612&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=373&iSubCat=376&iProductID=17612). The gun and the bottle look like this (http://www.eastwoodco.com/jump.jsp?itemID=1127&itemType=PRODUCT) the wands are flexible plastic tubing (not pictured).

You need a air compressor to use these though. I thought about using a pump sprayer (rated for chemicals) for applying and rinsing the rust treatment as they do come with all types of flexible wands and nozzles but you would still need something to spray inside the back with the rust preventative paint.

A lot of us are not keen on rust treatments that require rinsing with water as it seems counter intuitive and productive. But if you sent the car out to be acid dipped they would dip the body in water to neutralize the acid and rinse it away before dipping it the body into another tank which would coat the metal and prevent it from rusting again.

So the principle is sound. I'd give Len a email or PM and see if he can set you up w/some Zero Rust (http://www.zerorust.com/). I'm in the same boat as you though as what to use for cleaning and prepping the rusty metal on the inside. I'm not sure what to use yet. Most of these types of products require you to work the rusty metal with a wire brush either before application to remove lose rust or during application to work the product so it penetrates fully. That's going to be next to impossible.



07-20-2007, 08:38 PM
Hi Greg,

NY is a long way from Hawaii! How'd you end up over there? I live in Manoa, near UH. Lived here most of my life with a few years on the Big Island.

Thanks for the link. That looks like what I need for a sprayer and I do have a compressor so that sounds perfect. Does it spray sideways out of the tip?

Just need to figure out what to spray in there now. That's one of the prices we pay to live here...REALLY expensive shipping and can't ship hazardous materials.

Thanks, Scot

07-20-2007, 08:39 PM
I think I found a picture of your sprayer here:

07-20-2007, 10:19 PM
Hi Greg,

NY is a long way from Hawaii! How'd you end up over there? I live in Manoa, near UH. Lived here most of my life with a few years on the Big Island.

Thanks for the link. That looks like what I need for a sprayer and I do have a compressor so that sounds perfect. Does it spray sideways out of the tip?

Just need to figure out what to spray in there now. That's one of the prices we pay to live here...REALLY expensive shipping and can't ship hazardous materials.

Thanks, Scot

I was stationed at was then Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station with a Marine Unit there. I understand now it's called Marine Corps Base. When I did my tour me and some friends decided to stay. Some became cops with HPD but that wasn't for me. Man it was near impossible to earn enough to live in Waikiki. Even when I was working two jobs. After a while my folks came out and decided I should go to college like my brothers did and U of H would not take my years in the Marines as residency (out of state tuition there, forget it) so I came back home to NY.

To this day those were the best times I ever had. I mean the party never stops. Now when I read the Advertiser (which I still do every day) I see that the Wave Waikiki is being torn down to build a condo. Man we used to live in that place. A friend of mine who still goes to hawaii frequently told me that a lot of Waikiki has changed. Expect the cost :)

Anyway, that link you posted isn't exactly it. The gun is the same but there are two wands (plastic tubes). You take the nozzle off the gun and screw one of them on. One has a tip on it that sprays at 360 degrees and the other sprays straight out.

I've been playing with it. I got it to spray out thinner pretty well so I guess I should be able to spray some rust treatment. Spraying the paint you have to play with the wand and air pressure to find the sweet spot. As you tighten the wand it decreases the flow of material and as you loosen it the material flows more.

For the price it looks like it will do the job. There was another gun I was looking at but it was like $200.00.

I found these (http://oemproamtools.com/undercoat.htm) after I had already purchased mine. They look interesting too.

07-21-2007, 12:07 AM
Hey Greg,

Yeah, I think it's MCBH now. Not sure what the difference is because they still have aircraft there. Military stuff has always been a mystery to me. Agreed on the high cost of living...just another price we pay to live here. A lot has changed in Waikiki, especially recently. And yes, the cost has changed too...even more expensive now! :rolleyes:

Thanks for the additional info re. the sprayers. I figure the 360 degree spray pattern should be what I need. I've never actually tried any of the paints like POR-15 but I assume they are thick. That should work well, assuming those sprayers are for undercoating which I assume is also fairly thick stuff. Perfect.

We have these long spray tubes at work that the mechanics use. They're perforated along their length and, basically, are used to fog tight areas with an anti-corrosion type of oil. ACF-50 is what it's called, I think. That's what gave me the idea of the sprayer for the rust paint but I had no idea where you could buy one. Now I know...thanks!

Now just to get some more feedback on what to spray in there...

07-21-2007, 12:26 PM
Most rust coating paints are thicker than paints used for Auto finishing and thus require thinning if your spraying them from a spray gun, I'm not done testing yet to see if the one I'm using now Master Series (http://www.masterseriesct.com/) needs to be thinned when being sprayed from the type of the gun's we are talking about here (undercoating) since these guns are made to spray heavy material's anyway and have tips way bigger than what you would ever spray Base or Clear Coat with.

In addition to Zero Rust I mentioned before and Master Series there is Rust Seal (http://www.kbs-coatings.com/) from KBS Coatings and Rust Bullet (http://www.rustbullet.com/) among others.

For Prepping the metal and neutralizing the existing rust there are a lot of options too.

Do some searching either here or on Google on some of the product names being thrown about and come to some conclusion on your own.

Each has it's pluses and minuses as well as loyal fans and critics so if your waiting for a recommendation you could get a zillion of them.

The number one thing is to make sure that the reason for the rust starting in the first place is going to be solved.


07-22-2007, 06:59 PM
Hi Greg,

Thanks for the leads. I'd heard of most of the products I've seen used here, except the Master Series stuff. There's that pesky problem again about shipping. :( I don't think there's really any paint products that aren't flammable and shippable by air. I asked a bunch of questions in the Picklex thread and am hoping that Picklex is the product that will solve all my problems. :D Otherwise, I'm probably stuck using POR-15 products (since there's a distributor here) or off the shelf hardware store stuff.

07-22-2007, 07:13 PM
Greg , How about a pic of that set up your talking aboput ?

07-22-2007, 09:12 PM

Master Series is more of a Primer than a rust covering. It will stop rust cold, or so I am lead to believe. Like some other products in this line you need to remove and loose scale rust, oil, and dirt before applying. What makes Master Series more of a Primer is that you can paint over it with Epoxy or any other primer. Just sand and shoot.

I did a test with Picklex-20 on a piece of rusted metal that I cut out of the roof today. I know Picklex-20 will convert/remove rust when I work it in with a wire brush or scuff pad, but I wanted to see what it would do if I just sprayed some on and let it dry.

Well the results weren't as promising as I had hoped. After I let it dry I scuffed the metal with a wire brush and the surface was a dusty brown, not a converted rust color Black I was hoping for.

So I'm not too sure just spraying Picklex-20 on the inside of my windshield frame/roof will check the rust prior to spraying some paint in there.

I have some Rust Mort (http://www.sem.ws/product.php?product_id=164) which I have used on the inside of the roof already with good success.

I wanted to go w/Picklex because it doesn't require rinsing as other products including Rust Mort do. Nut I have a theory on the rinsing bit.

That is if these products do what they say, then the rust should be converted and the sheet metal protected. So theoretically rinsing with water shouldn't hurt case there's no exposed metal.

I've got some more testing to do before I start down this road. When I go to work tommorrow I'm going to go through the Purchasing managers catalogs and see if I can find a wire brush that looks like a bore brush (for cleaning rifles) I'll have to extend the handle but then could push it around the backside to work the chemicals in and/or remove the loose rust scale so they can work better.

07-22-2007, 09:49 PM
Here you go Earl, I was just about to put my PJ's on and have me a little snack before closing shop for the night so these may not be the best, let me know.

http://www.xtc41.com/images/Undercoating_Gun.JPG http://www.xtc41.com/images/Undercoating_gun_Setup.JPG

07-22-2007, 10:49 PM
Thanks Greg , That gives me a Idea !

07-23-2007, 12:50 AM
Thanks, Greg, for your info. I've been thinking about this situation and I think it best if maybe I skipped the rust converter step altogether. My thinking is Picklex (and probably most other stuff like Ospho) contains water. It may convert the rust but then without being open to air, it will take forever to dry out and the rust will start again. Plus, your testing has shown that scaly rust needs to be removed...can't do that. Then, how to know when it's dry enough to paint over?

My problem is I have 3 sides of the windshield frame that I need to treat...the top horizontal surface and both left/right vertical surfaces. I think I can get to the vertical sides through the bottom of the dash, but the top is going to be tough enough just to snake a flexible nozzle up in there, let alone see what's going on or cleaning any rust beforehand. :( I just also found a source for new, aftermarket, windshield frames that could probably be grafted in at a later date if my attempts at rust treatment aren't successful. More money to be spent, but at least there's hope for later.