Stopping rust - short term - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Stopping rust - short term

Hi -

I've had my car since April, and since its arrival, it's started to sprout surface rust in a number of places, just a few spots at first and over the last week, more and more. I've had the doors apart, and there's only a little very minor surface rust on the inside, the floors and most of the trunk are fine, and up under the front nose is basically OK, won't hurt to put some POR20 on it or something. Despite the relatively rust free areas I can check, I'm scared by the spots that are popping up all over. (I'm probably making it sound worse than it is, but I'd like it to stay that way...)

I'm going to look at having the car painted in the fall after the rain stops, and bearing that in mind, is there anything I should do right here, right now, that will a) stop the rust, and b) not complicate my pending paint job? Doesn't have to be pretty meanwhile, I just don't want to do anything that'll double the prep time I'm paying for when I have it resprayed if I don't have to, and I don't want to assume what works and what doesn't.

Thank you for your help.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 01:49 PM
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The POR20 will work as well as "EXTEND" spray rust neutralizer. The problem is getting to where its needed.

I would take out the rear upholstery and gain access to the rear quarters as well as inside the trunk.

If you are going to paint any way you can remove the front carpets from the door jams and with a small drill, poke some holes inside the inner rockers and then shoot POR20/Extend into those holes... then seal with a small screw for later access or seal completely with metal. You can also poke some small holes inside the inner fender liners for access then seal with a pop rivet or sheet metal screw painted to match. I know poking holes in an alfa isnt the most attractive option.. but winning the war against rust means doing some unpleasant things.

for a better answer... and access points.. knowing where the rust is popping up is helpful.

But this will get you by until the paint booth. Also before the car is painted... I would suggest finding, cleaning, and adding drain holes so that water and dirt dont accumulate.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Hi Martin - thank you for the tips, I've never seen the "EXTEND" in the rockers explained this way, it's very helpful. My car's too nice to scrap but not nearly nice enough to worry about a couple tiny holes for the sake of stopping rust. The rear carpet's out already, it's ready for replacement, and except for a couple spots directly under the seat where I haven't bothered to lift the carpet, I've seen the whole floorboard and it's rust-free, I'll definitely coat it with something before putting new carpet in.. The spare tire well is rusted through, but the rest of the trunk is great including under the battery.

The places where the rust is popping up that worry me are under chrome trim, like under the chrome strip under the windshield and under the chrome trim behind the convertible top in the back. I'll need to look up the drain holes in the front, but the ones in the rear under the top are clear and fine (just replaced the top on Saturday so I had a good up-close look), the drip tray is not beautiful but it's not plugged and it's not rusty; the wiper cowl is starting to show rust, not bubbling or anything, just rust color leaking through the paint. The rocker panel on the drivers side has a crack (looks like just a seam, actually, you can't see the same seam on the driver's side) with evidence of rust, no bubbles, just slight staining on the paint.

I'll get started trying to stop the rust from getting worse down below, still not sure what to do with the stuff topside like the wiper cowl or under the windshield. I have this vague fear that the paint is the only thing holding the car together even though I haven't found any serious rust yet...

It's ironic that my first summer here in the desert has been one of the rainier ones, my theory about New Mexico being a perfect place to own a rust-prone car has been an imperfect one so far...
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 02:19 PM
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There is a product that is used in the marine industry that is called "Ospho". It is a phosphoric acid blend, and will penetrate rust scabs if applied and kept wet. It turns the rust to a sealer/primer. I use a plant mister spray bottle. Drill some holes in the top of a rocker, the sill plate will hide them. Also an air presssure solvent sprayer can be used. It is water solubable to remove the excess after 12/24 hours. It WILL etche concrete. Use plastic and/or wet the floor with water. If there is a lot of rust it will create a gas, use a mask!. This product is the only one that works, in my experience (boat/ship yard/Alfa nut!) I buy it at my Friendly Ace Hardware Store, quarts/gallons.

George Willet

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 03:24 PM
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There are lots of good phosphoric acid rust neutralizers/metal etchers. Out here JASCO makes a product caled 'Metal-Etch' which does the same thing described above.

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