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Ideas on rust


Mangan
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OK, my chassis is getting rusty. I have started working with my Defneder with no knowledgs of cars or mechanics, but have managed to replace head gasket, radiator, wheel bearings and brake discs and calipers. And today I'm below my Defender re-mountig the prop shaft after an UJ change. IN -10C... :-(

But when it comes to rust and repair, I have a lot to learn. Such as when itäs time to give up, or time to start learning how to weld. ;)

Due to salt and the roads, the back half of the chassis is quite bad. See below.

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Is this a common situation for a -97 Defender? Might I as well change the chassis? Or should I just get a MIG-welder and start practicing?

I gues I want to know how to attajc this problem, please tell me what you should have done.

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For me on this chassis, the fix is 3" wide 3mm steel strips. And I would go from just in front of the front-outriggers to behind the main 'A' frame crossmember. In this way you have a good chance to stop the cab folding up around you in a head-on crash. It's also good thick metal to weld to to repair the sides.

For the outside I use waxoil on top of rust paint, but the inside is best cured with oil (new cheap stuff).

There is only one fix for rust, and that is to kill it. Sand blasting is great, but I am a fan of phosphoric acid.

I wouldn't change a chassis while I had a welder. I havn't ever had that much spare cash .............

But a new galvanised chassis is going to make a nice truck :)

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So, it's only the chassis that needs work, the rest is "touch-up"? :mellow:

How much work on stripping the chassis would either method require? Removing axles and tub (have a 110 HCPU)? Break lines, electrical? Everything?

I don't know how much work it is changing chassis, but the price of a new one is not ridiculously high. But the work...

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If you have loads of room and can get mates to help with the bits you don't understand a chassie swop is not that hard but be warned as you take bits off you look at it and say hay thats only a few pounds and order a new one and before you know it you have built a nearly new truck.<br /><br />A galv chassie will last a life time look at the galv road furniture like lamp posts and barriers etc.<br /><br />I am startting to save up to get my chase galvanised next summer in 2014 as there is little wrong with my chassie but I will grind off all the bits that I don't need and check the welds and condition of the bits I do need, and may/probably put the group work in for a full roll cage at a latter date.<br /><br />

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Cut bits out, weld bits in, patch it underseal, it by all means spend a week of time doing it, but understand that it will delay the inevitable by maybe only a year or two or three. If there are areas you can see in that condition, there are bound to be areas you cant see which are just as bad. I re-chassied my 110 in 2012 and was shocked at what i found after i lifted the body off. I didnt plan on a complete service and overhaul of everything but thats what happened. I probably spent 4k on parts including the 110 hi-cap chassis, gearbox, transfer box, all new bushes, bolts, brakes and pipes, swivels, bearings, rear loom, fuel tank, bumper and odds and sods. I would imagine it would take an awful lot of self control to do a re-chassis without servicing or replacing anything at all, nuts, bolts bushes etc so it does ending up costing. But the upside is that once its done, you feel like this Landrover you are driving is going to be with you until the day you die. I now feel that every improvement i make to it is worthwhile, because its all sat on a solid base.

My advice is to do what you you need to do in the short term, but start saving for a galvy chassis. If you re-chassis you will learn so much about your vehicle too. Good luck. :i-m_so_happy:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think you need to start with a wire brush and/or grinder to see how much chassis you have left under the rust. You will have a better idea yourself then if its repairable.

You can then think about phosphoric acid, galvafroid or the above Hammerite rustbeater.

I have just spotted this stuff which claims to be the dogs doodaa's.

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The suspension parts are fine - they're solid, so surface rust just looks bad but has little structural effect (as long as the bolts are ok). The hole in the chassis is not a good sign, though, and I'm inclined to agree that patching may just be delaying the inevitable - my 109 had a few rounds of patching, starting with a similar hole in the main rail and the rear cross member, later followed by a new rear cross member and front outriggers, and later still by new dumb irons (front end behind bumper), but more gradually became evident. Most of the damage is hidden because they rust from the inside out - the exterior gives false comfort. You can put it up on a ramp and have a really good poke around to decide which is best - patching and thorough waxing, or replacing the chassis outright, but I suspect the latter is going to be the realistic long term option.

Good quality waxes are put directly over surface rust. Paint does not kill rust and will allow moisture to spread underneath and the rust to grow, while waxes have inhibitors that will stabilise the rust at its current extent. Further more, paints chip and flake, while wax does not. The only problems with waxes are that soft types get gradually washed away in areas with high road spraying, like wheel arches and outriggers. Nothing will transform the rust back into stress bearing steel, but if the rest of the chassis is OK, then quality waxing will do the job if you get it redone regularly (including washing off the salty exterior).

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A year or 2 back I had to have a new chassis on my 110 (another story) but whilst at Richards they remarked that '97 was a terrible year for chassis - earlier ones were lasting better. Mine was very crispy.So, I'd say if you are patching, bear in mind it is truly temporary.

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I would also suggest that you clean the chassis very aggressively, starting with a wire cup brush in an angle grinder, and also using grinding discs where necessary to clean back to clean metal. If small holes are appearing all over, then not good, but if it's just small areas at the rear of the chassis, get the welder out.

You may find that the damage is very local, and by cutting back to good metal, you can weld in new pieces to make a strong repair.

Rusty chassis always look terrible with big chunks of rust on, but I have successfully rescued chassis that look the same as that - I don't agree that they always rust from the inside out, in my experience, especially where salt spray is responsible, it tends to be outside the chassis. A chassis filled with mud will of course rust from the inside though.

You will be surprised how much better it will look after a damn good clean (it will take a few days of very dirty work) and a repaint.

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Oooh yeh, a chassis full of mud is a classic :)

I'm steadily going round the race truck welding the holes up so muddy water doesn't get in and oil doesn't get out!

Reading the posts I can honestly say I have had no luck with wax applied right onto rust. But there is wax and WAX, so I expect the dearer stuff has a lot more in it. We have Rocol aerosol at work, and it claims all sorts even off shore.

My short term fix for localised rust is spray greece. I blast any rusty patch on the transit van and sort it properly in the summer with the anual Waxoil bath. The oils in the greece seem to penetrate better into the rust than the wax?

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There are several rebuilds on this forum, and more in the Series forum (similar construction, with mostly detail changes) and on the "members vehicles" forum. The new forum will see many of them transferred or copied into an easy to find group.

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