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Discussion Starter #1
Well I have my GTV front suspension fully disassembled. used the threaded rod trick for front spring removal (worked like a charm) and the rest was pretty straightforward. Before I start reassembling things, I'm wondering what if anything I should to to my wheel wells. There is no rust visible, but there is some overspray from the PO's red paint job, and in general its a bit messy looking. However the factory undercoating is still on there, below layers of red paint, grime, etc.

Since the car is in my garage on jackstands, I can't exactly power wash or blast it. Wondering what you all did with this part of the car?
 

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For what it's worth, I bought a bunch of thick plastic sheeting to cover the floor, a gallon of "Krud Kleaner" heavy duty cleaner with grease cutter in it, a kersosene siphon a scrub brush, a harbor freight face shield, breathing mask, rubber gloves, a spray bottle and a 3 gallon bucket.


After the floor was safely covered and I was dressed up like a giant condom, I sprayed the inside of the fender wells with the Krud Kleaner and then scrubbed them. I used the kerosene siphon with one end stuck in a gallon jug of water and used the other end as a hose to rinse rinse with, and (since I was rinsing slowly), used the bucket to catch most of the dirty water as it ran off the bottom of the fender well. I was surprised at how much (almost all) of the run-off I managed to catch.

I did this twice on each side, since I was already at it. This method got things very clean.

Then I threw some newspaper onto the sheet plastic to soak up the 'drippings', bundled the whole thing up and tossed it in a trash bag.

I let it dry a couple of days and then put on Rustoleum primer over the old undercoating.

Not sure what kind of coating to put on next; the primer is an interim step while I decide. I'd like some kind of rubberized coating, but I don't have any good recommendations yet.

However as far as (nonrubberized) paint when I was talking to someone from IAP, in the course of our discussion he recommended Eastwood Chassis Paint
 

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On my car (1974 GTV) I just went through that . The original undercoating was there, but in several areas it was just ready to peel off, leaving only the thin black primer over the sheet metal. Make sure it's stable otherwise rust will set in at an alarming rate. I just had to scrape off everything. I ended up shooting tar based undercoating as all of the underbody has been treated with the stuff. The rubberized one drips less than the regular variety.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So you went down to bare metal? What takes the original undercoating off?

On my car (1974 GTV) I just went through that . The original undercoating was there, but in several areas it was just ready to peel off, leaving only the thin black primer over the sheet metal. Make sure it's stable otherwise rust will set in at an alarming rate. I just had to scrape off everything. I ended up shooting tar based undercoating as all of the underbody has been treated with the stuff. The rubberized one drips less than the regular variety.
 

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No, I didn't go to bare metal - except on two small spots which had surface rust, I spot blasted those. On most areas, when I tried to scrape off the tar based undercoating applied in 1975 for the original owner, it lifted right off with the original gravel-guard style plastic coating. It left the sheet metal with a thin coat of black primer, similar to a spare body panel from the factory. It did not take much effort with a hand scraper to scrape off this coating - pretty often just lifting the edge of the coating along a seam peeled off a piece of coating the size of a hand.

No wonder these cars used to rust like crazy when exposed to bad weather...
 

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I did almost the exact same thing that Lokki did: cleaned with Krud Kleaner as much as I could while protecting the garage floor with newspapers and other plastic material. It was a mess, but eventually I got most of the old overspray, dirt, and loose undercoating out from under the fender.

I then undercoated using Wurth HiBuild Undercoat:
Welcome to bavauto.com | Wurth - High Build Undercoating - 17oz. Aerosol

(Page 118 in this PDF catalog):
http://www.wurthusa.com/project/media/web_catalog/2011/04_ChemicalsMarch2011.pdf


The stuff sticks pretty much to anything, so make sure to mask any parts appropriately (I even masked the outside of the fender and the door panels!) Once dry, it's pretty tough stuff. You don't even need to primer (although I suspect it won't hurt.) Two very light coats worked fine with me (sans primer - straight onto to the leftover paint/undercoat). A thicker application will give the finish a more "rubberized/textured" look and feel, especially if you have cleaned the surface to bare metal.

Be aware, though - it looks like the stuff would be very difficult to remove: If I ever do a full restoration on my car, I'm not sure how I'll strip this out from under the fenders.

(I posted some info on my blog a while back:
Q's House of Speed: Another Detour)


I think Eastwood has similar products, so you may want to check their website, too.


I hope this helps. And as always, good luck!


enrique
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I couldn't find krud kutter so I pilled out the "metal ready" I bought when I bought POR-15 that I'm eventually going to use for the floors.

This stuff is amazing. Relativly speaking non toxic and it destroys crud. I sprayed then rubbed with a stiff bristle brush, but it was basically taking all the grime away as soon as I sprayed it off with water. Felt like I was in an infomercial. I was interested to see the wheel wells were painted in the original tan body color.

Using this metal ready makes me optimistic for POR-15 and I'm now considering using it for the wheel wells. Seems like a good idea except for cost and difficulty of upside-down application.
 

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I went for a couple cans of the Eastwood chassis black epoxy paint and a couple cans of their rubberized undercoat. It's in the mail now. Here in Texas I don't expect it to get that much of a workout. For all the Italian car/Russian steel stories, I was pleased at the condition of the wheel wells under the dirt and grease.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just ordered the chassis black. I was pretty pleased with what I found too. Everything except the area under the radiator was in good shape. Funny thing is that it makes you realize what a good preservative grease is. The areas under the leaking steering box looks factory new when the 1" of sludge came off.

I went for a couple cans of the Eastwood chassis black epoxy paint and a couple cans of their rubberized undercoat. It's in the mail now. Here in Texas I don't expect it to get that much of a workout. For all the Italian car/Russian steel stories, I was pleased at the condition of the wheel wells under the dirt and grease.
 

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Looks really nice! I wish mine came out that clean!

I used one whole can of rubberized coating (3M I think) for each wheel well (I've just done the rears so far). My car had some kind of coating in there before so I had to use a wire brush on my grinder after I did all the hand cleaning like described here. Looks much better now and hopefully quieter but I don't have any idea how it is going to wear.

I've been using the POR15 stuff for some other pieces and it looks like it is amazing stuff. You need to follow the directions though regarding how to seal the can and not paint directly from the can (good advice anyway). I don't think I am going to use it in the wheel wells though because you have to put another primer on top if you want to paint over it, and I'm looking for the advantages of the rubberized stuff.
 

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POR 15 Is a great product when you are covering rusted steel. But on bare metal there are far suplerior products. For one thing, it has no resistence to brake fluid.

My system of choice is a high quality epoxy primer followed by a urethane Bedliner. SEM makes a tintable version in a kit with a gun and cups. I use it to undercoat the entire bottom of the car as well as the inside of the trunk. I also use it on the floorboards and then cover that with a dynamat type product. Makes a great sound deadening combination.
 

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Just reporting back on my use of the Eastwood rubberized undercoating.
Summary – works well; messy to apply, but not horribly so; figure on at least four cans.

The longer version:
I cleaned carefully (as described above) and then put on Rustoleum 'rusty metal' primer. My car didn't have any rust per se (Texas car) so I didn't have to resort to the POR neutralizer except for a few spots. I then used Rustoleum paint over the primer, allowing a couple of days between coats. I wanted to make sure that the paint coats got really dry since I would be putting a rubberized coating on top of the paint.

Applying the Eastwood rubberized undercoating from the spray cans was pretty easy with some provisos:
Get a Harbor Freight clear face shield for three bucks and put a bandana over your hair. That way you can get up inside the fenderwells to make sure that everything gets covered. I also had a set of $6 Pepboys used mechanic's coveralls and throw away gloves. Even then, I got some spots of black undercoating on me. Despite my insistence to Mrs. Lokki that this was a good thing since I'd never rust in those places, it was a pain to get off.

This is also a good place to point out that a good masking job and some well placed and applied drop cloths are your friends. The stuff IS hard to get off the car too, after it’s applied. Acetone works, but should be used carefully since the undercoating isn’t the only thing that acetone dissolves.

Figure on a full can for each fenderwell, if you’re anything like me. By the time I was comfortable that everything had been fully covered, there wasn’t enough left to be worth saving for another fenderwell. Additionally I suspect (but don’t know) that the likelihood of the nozzle clogging is pretty high, so you could end up with any unused portion stranded inside the can unobtainable.


If I had to do it again, I’d put a brighter color on between the primer and the undercoating. The reasoning is that when you use a dark color, it’s hard to see enough contrast to be sure that the undercoating is fully covering the paint everywhere. Remember that it’s dark up in the fenderwell, even with good lighting particularly when you’re wearing a faceshield and that face shield is getting covered with splatters of liquid rubber. If you’re painting black undercoating over black paint you’re definitely going to miss a few places, and it’s no fun to get all dressed up again and go back in to retouch. Better to make sure you get it all the first time and a bright color to cover will help. Nobody’s going to see it anyway after the undercoating is applied.

At a local hardware store, I saw a can of 3M undercoating that appeared to be a similar product. The cans were smaller but considerably cheaper, particularly since you’re not paying shipment on them.
Lastly, think about loosening the pittman arm and steering box bolts enough to be able to cover the bolt heads with tape. Otherwise when you eventually have to remove those bolts someday, you’ll have to clean the bolt heads to get a wrench on them, and that will break the continuity of the undercoat. If the bolts and washers are moved away and taped, they’ll go back on ON TOP of the undercoating rather than under it.
 

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Your account makes me feel I was there doing the job. I forgot the bandana, it's real fun to get this stuff out of your hair.

Just an extra note: on my GTV I've used an inspection mirror to make sure I had covered the wheel well cutout all the way to the edge, which is tricky to see and trickier to do. It's an important area, as rust here will quickly migrate on the outer side underneath the paint. The Spider may have more generous wheel wells and make the lip more accessible.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thanks for all the comments.

I just finished painting my suspension components. Used eastwoods chasis black on the control arms/tie rod shafts/knuclkes/a arms and then just today used POR-15 on the spring pans and brake dust shields.

Everything about the POR-15 process shames the eastwoods setup.
1 - metal ready and marine clean both work really well
2 - really convenient to not have to fully remove rust (actually, while painting the por-15 you can see how much better it adheres to seasoned metal vs smooth).
3 - the eastwoods spray cans SUCK. they splat and clog very easily. also, i found the coating was pretty fragile. just during parts assembly a have big old nicks and scratches in the lower A-arm halves.
4 - POR-15 is like magic it covers so well. I used a spice jar sized amount to do everything i mentioned above.

I am now totally convinced that I want to POR-15 the wheel wells since right now the plan is to leave them black. Our of curiosity how many of you are painting your wheel body color?

A few questions about the splash guards - I'm missing both front spash guards and the pass side rear spash guard. Does anyone know if they are available from US suppliers? the UK shops have them....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Since I decided to go with POR-15, at least as a bottom layer, I decided to use their marine clean on the wheel wells. I worked with a spray bottle of marine clean, another of warm water, a drop cloth and a LOT of shop rags. unpleasant but it made short work of the cleaning job. I was pretty happy with the condition of the wheel wells themselves. Original (tan) paint is largely intact. not a lot of rust to speak of. Is this typical?


Whats unfortunate is that somewhere along the line 3 of the 4 splash guards were lost and there is some nasty metal (not that bad) around the headlights, etc.

Now i'm wondering how far under the car I should clean and then POR-15. Where does wheel well treatment leave off and under body coating begin?
 

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POR-15 is a great product and I use it all the time. But it does have it's limitations. It chemically converts and bonds to rust but holds no particular advantage over an epoxy with bare, clean metal. I don't think it is particularly abrasion resistant, it is not UV/Ozone stable and I would guess isn't going to hold up to salt spray tests (not that any of us dare drive these cars on salted roads!). Once it chips you will expose the bare metal and rust will result. (It also has zero resistance to brake fluid which I found out about the hard way...).

Take one of your POR-15 coated parts and give it a wack with a hammer. It needs to be able to resist this punishment. Powdercoat can handle it. A good 2K Epoxy can handle it. I don't think POR-15 will.

Personally I don't think it is suited for any areas under the car and particularly the wheel wells. Powdercoating is cheap and readily available and that's what I would use for all the detail parts. For undercoating I think I voiced my preference to use urethane bed liner but there are plenty of other products.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
POR-15 is a great product and I use it all the time. But it does have it's limitations. It chemically converts and bonds to rust but holds no particular advantage over an epoxy with bare, clean metal. I don't think it is particularly abrasion resistant, it is not UV/Ozone stable and I would guess isn't going to hold up to salt spray tests (not that any of us dare drive these cars on salted roads!). Once it chips you will expose the bare metal and rust will result. (It also has zero resistance to brake fluid which I found out about the hard way...).

Take one of your POR-15 coated parts and give it a wack with a hammer. It needs to be able to resist this punishment. Powdercoat can handle it. A good 2K Epoxy can handle it. I don't think POR-15 will.

Personally I don't think it is suited for any areas under the car and particularly the wheel wells. Powdercoating is cheap and readily available and that's what I would use for all the detail parts. For undercoating I think I voiced my preference to use urethane bed liner but there are plenty of other products.

Points taken. Not shown in my pics is all the surface rust that developed by the headlights due to the lack of splash guards. I suppose I might lay down a base coat of POR-15 in areas with any trace of rust and then topcoat everything with a brush-on undercoating.

Anyone had good experiences with any brush on undercoatings?
 
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