Rusty Chassis - advice wanted

Moderators: theelanman, Sy V, Elanlover, muley, Enright, GeoffSmith, algirdas, nitroman, clemo, dapinky, Dave Eds, Specky, Nige, DaveT

Rusty Chassis - advice wanted

Postby Saltire » Thu 13.04.2017, 11:26

Following the recent MoT, I've had some work to do on the brakes. During that work, I had a good chance to have a look at the underside of the car, and took some photos (below):
Rear floor section 1 (Small).jpg

Rear floor section 2 (Small).jpg

Rear floor section 3 (Small).jpg


Note that the corrugated steel behind the car is the roller shutter door where I took the photos.

I'm very concerned about the state of the chassis in and around the large circular hole you can see in picture 2. I can't really see inside, but feeling around with my fingers, I can dislodge a fair few flakes of rust. There isn't - as yet - major corrosion leading to perforations in the structure, but I'd like to catch it before it gets too much worse.

The remainder of the structure is pretty good; there are a few minor surface rust spots on the chassis but nothing serious. The front suspension is a bit rusty too, but that's easy to take off and either replace or blast and coat.

Now with regard to the chassis, I obviously have the nuclear option, which is to separate it from the rest of the car, and have it shot-blasted and powder-coated. However . . . . before I go down that no doubt expensive route, I just wondered if the assembled gurus could recommend an alternative (read: cheaper) course of action that would be as effective in the medium term. I'm intending to keep the car for some years, and trying to maintain it as original as possible.

Thoughts, suggestions, experiences of those who've done it before, etc. most welcome, and thanks in advance.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Jonathan

S2 no 512, BRG/LRG, magnolia interior, last of five UK S2 to this spec
User avatar
Saltire
Fanatic
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun 05.04.2015, 22:27
Location: Left foot in Wiltshire, right foot in Gloucestershire, heart in Sutherland

Re: Rusty Chassis - advice wanted

Postby lotusflasherman » Thu 13.04.2017, 15:14

Whenever I'm working on my current SE I'm usually swearing at the previous owner who Waxoyled everything, but seems maybe I should be thanking him... just wish he hadn't done the grp body, plastic wheel-arch liners and every nut & bolt; and it caused the alternator to burn out too :banghead:

Just wondering if I could see some perforation in the 2nd photo ... or is it just a bit of black stuff?

Rear floor section .jpg


On my first SE I got an advisory about a front wishbone from a Lotus garage so I'd wirebrush and paint with Hammerite as soon as I saw any surface rust anywhere from then on. Yours looks a bit deeper than surface though.. :( but might be something to do to stop it getting worse while you decide...
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Phil

Leave me alone, I think I know what I'm doing.
Cars: Subaru Forester 2.5XTN, Eclat Riviera & brace of Pacific Blue SE's.... and now an Elan+2S !
User avatar
lotusflasherman
God
 
Posts: 1465
Joined: Fri 05.09.2008, 00:14
Location: Hadleigh, 15m west of Ipswich or 800 miles south (Cap d'Agde)

Re: Rusty Chassis - advice wanted

Postby par » Thu 13.04.2017, 18:39

lotusflasherman wrote:Whenever I'm working on my current SE I'm usually swearing at the previous owner who Waxoyled everything, but seems maybe I should be thanking him... just wish he hadn't done the grp body, plastic wheel-arch liners and every nut & bolt; and it caused the alternator to burn out too :banghead:

Just wondering if I could see some perforation in the 2nd photo ... or is it just a bit of black stuff?

Rear floor section .jpg



I think that is a deliberate hole in the chassis as it seems to be in the same as my Elan, maybe an exit point to let any water out.

Image
User avatar
par
Fanatic
 
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu 19.02.2015, 23:22
Location: Fife

Re: Rusty Chassis - advice wanted

Postby par » Thu 13.04.2017, 18:56

lotusflasherman wrote:On my first SE I got an advisory about a front wishbone from a Lotus garage so I'd wirebrush and paint with Hammerite as soon as I saw any surface rust anywhere from then on. Yours looks a bit deeper than surface though.. :( but might be something to do to stop it getting worse while you decide...


:agree:

There is a lot you can do to stop it getting any worse, these are a few pictures of how mine looked before and after.

Before stripping back:-
Image

After de-greasing and wire brushing:-
Image

Image

Rust converter applied and cured:-

Image

Image

Image

Image

A couple of coats of POR15 - quite possible my favourite product I have used on my Elan:-

Image

Image

And final protection of underseal:-

Image

Image

I also had large flakes of rust from inside the large chassis hole but remember rust expands to something like 100 x (maybe even 1000 x) the original size of the iron so it can appear worse than it is. It is certainly a job worth doing sooner rather than later but well worth it in my opinion.
User avatar
par
Fanatic
 
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu 19.02.2015, 23:22
Location: Fife

Re: Rusty Chassis - advice wanted

Postby Artaban » Thu 13.04.2017, 19:56

It probably looks worse than it is. Put the car on some SAFE axle stands and get a few different types of wire brush attachments for your angle grinder/drill. Then treat all visible surfaces with the POR15 process
See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuDcvwEIkPI

In the UK you can buy it from these guys: http://www.frost.co.uk/?utm_source=2017 ... dium=email

You won't be able to clean the brushes afterwards so don't use expensive ones.

You'll also need one of these or you'll be as high as a kite or dead.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Masks-Respir ... aint+fumes
Also wear gloves and goggles as it won't come off your skin until your skin wears away

Its amazing stuff and I can't recommend it highly enough. I did three coats but two would probably be fine. Once you've opened the tin use as quickly as possible. The best way to stop the lid sticking to the tin is to use aluminium foil between the tin and the lid as you'll never get the lid off again if there is paint on the rim when you put the lid back on.

If you can remove as much of the loose stuff from inside the chassis as possible. Maybe a vacuum will get a fair amount of it out. Then I'd waxoyl the inside of the chassis or alternatively, what might be better, is to spray in some old engine oil.

This is the time of year to do it as the various drying processes will be quicker than in the winter.

Might also be worth poking your phone into the hole and taking a few pics to see if you can see how bad it is in there.

Have fun!

Andrew
If a man speaks in the forest and there's no woman to hear him is he still wrong?
User avatar
Artaban
Fanatic
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Tue 09.02.2010, 07:24
Location: Gillingham, Dorset, UK

Re: Rusty Chassis - advice wanted

Postby Saltire » Sun 16.04.2017, 17:00

Thanks, everyone, that's really helpful - in particular Par's excellent photos and Andy's explanation. I have some POR15 in the garage which I was bequeathed by a previous owner, but never used it, so the warnings are very timely. I REALLY don't want to have to split body and chassis unless I absolutely have to.

Rather than the axle stands, I'm hoping that I can sweet talk my friendly local motor engineer into letting me borrow his 2-post lift one day when he's not using it. Or maybe it's really time to bit the bullet and get one of those scissor lifts a la Flasherman.

More news when i pluck up the courage to make a start!
Jonathan

S2 no 512, BRG/LRG, magnolia interior, last of five UK S2 to this spec
User avatar
Saltire
Fanatic
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun 05.04.2015, 22:27
Location: Left foot in Wiltshire, right foot in Gloucestershire, heart in Sutherland


Return to Chassis & Steering

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest