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Thread: Mid-70s Survivors

  1. #61
    Rust really sucks. On 1970's to mid-1980's Mercedes they used a thick, evil, rubber like undercoating on the bottoms of the cars, it's like a half inch thick. I've read in advertisements that on my car they used over 80 pounds of the stuff. It has since been made illegal because it is extremely toxic when it burns. It works good until it cracks, then the water just goes under and stays under, rusting out the entire floor and you can't really tell until it's too late. It usually cracks because a poorly designed ventilation system that lets water reach the inside floors, or the window seals will leak like crazy. Both things that have been fixed on modern cars.

    When I bought my car it had a 1/8" by 2" crack in the middle of the passenger floor. I cut the undercoating away (no easy task) to find that there was a 2" by 3" hole in the metal, luckily it is non-structural. However, I just found some "nice" rust where the drivers seat belt mounts, it's basically just for looks at this point...

    Owning an old car sucks sometimes, but ultimately it still beats the hell out of owning a car that is run by a computer...

  2. #62
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieseleverything View Post
    Rust really sucks. On 1970's to mid-1980's Mercedes they used a thick, evil, rubber like undercoating on the bottoms of the cars, it's like a half inch thick. I've read in advertisements that on my car they used over 80 pounds of the stuff. It has since been made illegal because it is extremely toxic when it burns. It works good until it cracks, then the water just goes under and stays under, rusting out the entire floor and you can't really tell until it's too late. It usually cracks because a poorly designed ventilation system that lets water reach the inside floors, or the window seals will leak like crazy. Both things that have been fixed on modern cars.

    When I bought my car it had a 1/8" by 2" crack in the middle of the passenger floor. I cut the undercoating away (no easy task) to find that there was a 2" by 3" hole in the metal, luckily it is non-structural. However, I just found some "nice" rust where the drivers seat belt mounts, it's basically just for looks at this point...

    Owning an old car sucks sometimes, but ultimately it still beats the hell out of owning a car that is run by a computer...
    The best way to prevent an old (pre-1980s) car from rusting is to keep it dry.

    My Trans-Am has not been rained on in 20 years; it is stored under cover in an insulated garage. Because I only take it out occasionally (and only on nice days) it's only necessary to wash it once a year or so. And when I do wash it, I immediately drive it for half an hour afterwards - which dries out the water that would otherwise just sit there (in the nooks and crannies) and accelerate the rusting-out process.

    My car is pushing 40 years old now and it still looks very nice, with most of its original paint. It has a few areas of minor surface rusting (Rick will know all about this! ) but the body integrity is still near-perfect and it's just a matter of biding my time until I have the estimated $20k it will take to red-do the car's cosmetics the right way!

  3. #63
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    If you guys want to prolong the life of your car -- even your daily driver -- try what I've been doing for the past 20 years or so. Keep the air circulating in your garage via the use of an inexpensive plain-jane ceiling fan or a cheap box fan. Either will work, although the ceiling fan is perhaps less hassle because it's out of the way (just be careful when moving stuff around the garage). I also run a dehumidifier set so it comes on at any relative humidity higher than 35%. You'll need a "frost proof" model because otherwise if the temp in your garage drops to under 55 F it will freeze into a solid block of ice and the compressor will die from overwork.

    I started doing that after I noticed rust forming on my 86 S-10 Blazer. The above practices stopped that dead in its tracks and after I had it fixed it's never been a problem again. I can pull my full-size Avalance in from a hard rain and it will be dry an hour later, so the moisture evaporates before rust really has a chance to form. Combined with the superior paint and rust protection on newer vehicles, doing this has kept all my vehicles (even the ones with 100,000+ on the clock) from showing any signs of rust even down in the cracks along the inside of the lower door panels and around the taigate.

    Plus, bugs and such don't last long in that dry of an enviroment. They die in mid-flight out there all the time -- a nice way to get rid of mosquitos!

  4. #64
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    If you guys want to prolong the life of your car -- even your daily driver -- try what I've been doing for the past 20 years or so. Keep the air circulating in your garage via the use of an inexpensive plain-jane ceiling fan or a cheap box fan. Either will work, although the ceiling fan is perhaps less hassle because it's out of the way (just be careful when moving stuff around the garage). I also run a dehumidifier set so it comes on at any relative humidity higher than 35%. You'll need a "frost proof" model because otherwise if the temp in your garage drops to under 55 F it will freeze into a solid block of ice and the compressor will die from overwork.

    I started doing that after I noticed rust forming on my 86 S-10 Blazer. The above practices stopped that dead in its tracks and after I had it fixed it's never been a problem again. I can pull my full-size Avalance in from a hard rain and it will be dry an hour later, so the moisture evaporates before rust really has a chance to form. Combined with the superior paint and rust protection on newer vehicles, doing this has kept all my vehicles (even the ones with 100,000+ on the clock) from showing any signs of rust even down in the cracks along the inside of the lower door panels and around the taigate.

    Plus, bugs and such don't last long in that dry of an enviroment. They die in mid-flight out there all the time -- a nice way to get rid of mosquitos!
    That's a capital idea (as Gomez Addams would say)!

    Probably though you'd need to have a pretty tight/insulated garage or you'll be emptying that dehumidifier's bucket every day... though you can always plumb it to drain directly outside or some such....

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    If you guys want to prolong the life of your car -- even your daily driver -- try what I've been doing for the past 20 years or so. Keep the air circulating in your garage via the use of an inexpensive plain-jane ceiling fan or a cheap box fan. Either will work, although the ceiling fan is perhaps less hassle because it's out of the way (just be careful when moving stuff around the garage). I also run a dehumidifier set so it comes on at any relative humidity higher than 35%. You'll need a "frost proof" model because otherwise if the temp in your garage drops to under 55 F it will freeze into a solid block of ice and the compressor will die from overwork.

    I started doing that after I noticed rust forming on my 86 S-10 Blazer. The above practices stopped that dead in its tracks and after I had it fixed it's never been a problem again. I can pull my full-size Avalance in from a hard rain and it will be dry an hour later, so the moisture evaporates before rust really has a chance to form. Combined with the superior paint and rust protection on newer vehicles, doing this has kept all my vehicles (even the ones with 100,000+ on the clock) from showing any signs of rust even down in the cracks along the inside of the lower door panels and around the taigate.

    Plus, bugs and such don't last long in that dry of an enviroment. They die in mid-flight out there all the time -- a nice way to get rid of mosquitos!
    That's a great idea! It's just the dehumidifier makes the electric bill shoot up. (and I have a newer Energy Star model) I never thought of running a fan though....

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