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Thread: Removing rust?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
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    Removing rust?

    Hi! I found a few rust on the fender flares and even in the chrome side steps on my truck. I hand wash the truck and if I got extra time, I apply wax to all the chrome. I noticed the rusted parts on the truck since I wanted to wash it yesterday. I`m not sure if the rust came from road salts. Is it possible that I got them when they put some salt for de-icing the streets last February? Is there a way to prevent the rust from worsening? I could do something with the fenders since I`m about to buy bolt-on plastic fender flares from 4WheelOnline. But I worry if the side steps can be saved. There`s chrome peeling under the steps and the brackets are rusting out.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Green Bay, WI
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    Re: Removing rust?

    Since no one is replying, I do have some questions for you.
    1) Where is the area that you live or drive this truck in? I live in Wisconsin and because of the extensive amount of salt used as de-icer on roads throughout the winter, ANY vehicle driven in the winter for many years WILL succumb to rusting, even with frequent washing in automatic touchless tunnel car washes. What is happening to your truck is a common fender rusting problem.
    2) As far as the running boards and the mounting brackets rusting out, this is common, too. Most running boards rust from the inside to the outside because of the outer coating, in your case chrome, breaking or cracking and allowing water and salt to seep inside.
    The brackets may have been oxide-coated or painted, but this too will break down over time and rust. The ONLY way to "fix" this problem is to replace them. I say that from a safety standpoint because I`ve seen enough of them to know that they can break unexpectedly when stepped on getting into (ingress) or out of (egress) your truck by someone because of their rust-weakened condition.
    3) Can you reduce or mitigate the rusting problem on your truck or any vehicle, for that matter??? YES, but the answer is obviously sarcastic:
    DON`T drive the vehicle in the winter or if you do, drive it a climate where salt is not used, like southern California or far northern Canada. (Which is WHY they call me Captain Obvious!)

    Your "fix" for the rusted truck fender lips of using bolt-on plastic fender flares is quite common here in Wisconsin, but it is a tell-tail sign the truck has seen and been driven in its share of Wisconsin winters.

    As far as chemicals or sprays that you can put on rust to stop it from getting worse, that was discussed in this thread:
    BUT my conclusion is that once the rust starts and the vehicle is continued to be driven in the winter where salt is used on roads, rust WILL get worse as time goes on.
    GB detailer

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    NE Ohio
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    Re: Removing rust?

    Otozy- Welcome to Autopia! Sorry to hear about your rust issues

    Fenders- IMO you need to figure out whether the rust is "from the inside-out". If necessary, have somebody who`s an expert look it over and get his advice. IF that`s the case, then you simply gotta have it "fixed right" (scare-quotes intentional as that`s one tall order) or it`ll just get worse.

    Side Steps- is the rust cosmetic or structural (like, on their mounting brackets)? Again, you gotta know exactly what you`re dealing with before even thinking about remediation.

    Note that to keep something rust-free despite use in a salty winter environment is very challenging and requires a *LOT* of constant undercarriage/etc. cleaning. And I don`t mean some quickie job that only takes an hour or so. IME it *can* be done (e.g., my `00 Tahoe, my `93 Audi) but it`s a lot more (rather unpleasant) work than even most people here would ever want to do.

    And once rust gets started, !oh man! is it a challenge to even just slow it down, let alone stop it. Again, such stuff *can* usually be done, but at what cost?

  4. #4
    top189h's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
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    Re: Removing rust?

    I wouldn`t bother chasing the side steps/running boards. You will spend more trying to fix them than you would replacing them. Keep them clean and just be ready to replace once you can afford to/can`t stand them anymore.
    Fenders, if it is front fenders, I`m going with the replace them route. Most fenders are 300$ or so new, add on a few hundred to paint them. Again, it`s a game of diminishing returns. You can fix them but it won`t be long until you are fixing them again. If it got to the bed, I would just go the flare route. There`s no real way to fix it without sectioning out the bad metal and replacing it. On a bed/quarter panels, it won`t be cheap. If you do replace/fix the rust, there is nothing more important than keeping it clean. I have a 96 Chevy truck that I never did anything to preventative wise other than wash underneath at least once a week and it is in much better shape than most of the 5 year old trucks that would come through our shop. If I wasn`t dedicated to that, I would clean it as best I can in the fall, cosmoline the underside and reclean in the spring.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Keokuk, Iowa
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    Re: Removing rust?

    Once the e-coat is violated=IE drilled through, or a hem or other flange develops hair line cracks, there will be corrosion.
    Even worse the past 15 years due to the increased use magnesium chloride vs sodium chloride (salt).
    Drill mounting holes, rust will start there unless the area is provided a light coat of a SAE/ASTM rust preventative micro wax.
    "Logic dictates I have been at this detailing thing way too many years!":wink1:



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