Panel rust and rust in the cargo area (Post #189) 7/20/2010

Welcome back dear readers. Multiple post in one week? What is wrong with me?
As promised in yesterday’s post I said I’d come back with the pictures and descriptions of the rust in the rear of the Range Rover. So here it is.

I have always seen the rust bubbling up on the rear of the Range Rover. I vowed I’d get to it eventually. Eventually is here. If you see rust in one place, its a good idea to look for it in other places. That couldn’t be more true on a Range Rover Classic.

A note here about quality. I find it entirely unacceptable to produce an automobile that is as capable of off-road adventure like this…

…and then to fail to use materials that protect it from the elements. The rubber pads and bits and pieces that cause water to be trapped against metal and allow rust to take hold is unforgivable. If you intend to use your Land Rover for these kinds of activities, take it apart and coat the entire thing in some sort of water proof bed liner, like Line-X or Rhinoling. You’ll save yourself hours and hours of frustration later.

Back to the tailgate rusting. I decided, if there was rust on those parts, what on earth would I find if I pulled the carpets off. Well I’ll tell ya, more rust. Rust on a scale I did not expect to be quite honest. The rear tailgates of the Range Rover are not noted for their water tight seals.

What I found under the carpets disappointed me greatly. The good news is that as I posted yesterday, my best friend JagGuy said, “…that ain’t rust.” His observation was a comparison to the rust he finds on his Jaguars and M35 trucks. Compared to them I was mostly rust free! We know that is not the case.

The treatment for rust is to remove it with extreme prejudice by all means in your power. For that I bought an angle grinder and some aggressive wire wheels. On advice of the Evil German Dude I got a Makita from Home Depot. You can see the ear plugs in the lower portion of the picture and wearing more or less protective clothing is a must. As always, wearing goggles is key to not wearing an eye patch pirate style for the rest of your life. Patches used to cover your empty eye socket are albeit very cool and interesting conversation pieces do not help you gauge distance while driving.

The angle grinder has more than paid for itself in time already. After getting the discs for cutting and the wire wheel, I’m out about 75$(US) for this time saving device. The honest truth about it is, I don’t have the patience to use a wire brush vigorously enough to bare metal.

JagGuy suggested I get a brillo pad like wheel and just use that. I have a new air grinder and attempted to use the brillo pads. They worked pretty good but they were not getting me down to BARE METAL. Besides that I could only use the air tool for about 5 minutes and then I had to wait for my compressor to catch up. My Campbell Hausfeld air compressor is louder than its small size would indicate. When it is running you can’t hear The Clash belting out their motivating sounds. In defense of the other rust removal methods, you can’t hear the music with any of the power tools in operation. My air compressor was hot enough to melt the plastic covers when I retired it at the end of the first day.

As before there is a pre-picture and a post-picture of each area. Keep in mind I will hit everything one more time with the grinder for good measure before painting with acid etching primer. The flash lights up rust nicely and you can see the parts I missed in some of the pictures.

The question remains, which product to use for the rusted through parts? Waxoyl or copious amounts of Rustoleum? This is where you have to apply serious amounts of patience. The Rustoleum approach is using ridiculous amounts of paint, to the point it drips off the parts and then waiting at least a week for it to dry. Waxoyl is not a product I’ve used before so further research is required.

My plan is to remove as much as possible with tools and use acid etching primer. On those parts I can’t get tools on or paint directly on, are the parts that require the products listed above. There is a healthy amount of “how much of this is seriously necessary?” going on as well. It is a 17 year old Range Rover. As all cars do, it will rust. Eventually you have to get to the “this is silliness” level of labor and move on to “thats good enough”.

So from that you can conclude that I’m probably not going to do this job again. Anything short of me putting my foot on the floor board and it extending through the floor Flintstone’s style I’m most likely not going to be doing this level of project on the beloved Big White Bus. This vehicles function is to haul stuff. Primarily to haul me, to and from historical events and hopefully my family on a couple of camping trips this coming fall or spring. The mechanicals are far more important than the cosmetics. Momma likes her air conditioning if you know what I mean.

After all the primer is applied I have sourced a company in Norman to buy matching the white paint of my model year and they have a clever method of getting it on to the metal. More on that when I get to that stage.

Lets look at some rust!

Bed rear from the driver’s side to the passenger side.

I cut back the pitted and rusted metal parts on the gutter portion seen above. I will just paint this and clean up the edges a bit when I’m done. None of this is visible after the carpet is put back in.

Inside the cargo area.

Oxidation from the roof and the outer panels

The oxidation will be taken care of with a buffer and some Meguire’s. I also found some mildew under the rear bench on the bed. This is not surprising from the amount of wet gear we packed in the back during the second consecutive Fourth of July rain out at the Norman Day celebration. I have made it a habit to wipe everything down with paint thinner before continuing. So there will be no organisms living back there when I’m ready to paint.

The next post will get me totally caught up with the pictures and work I have done so far. I will show the work I’ve done on the tailgate, which you are all aware is a famously rusty bit of trouble for Range Rovers Classics. When Edd China was restoring the Range Rover for the Wheeler Dealer show he just replaced the entire tailgate in leiu of wasting the time to get the rust out and off.

You can catch the rest of the episode if you are interested by using the links on the right side of the YouTube page. This is from part 2. He (Mike) sources the tailgate and door from a breakers yard (how quaint) at 7:20 and replaces it in the ninth minute.

Well that gives you a ton of material to look at and roll around until the next post.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

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