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Any way to stop rust from happening?

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CarverBoldman Carver Boldman
Kirbyville, MO, USA   USA
So, since the MG is so low to the ground, it obviously picks up water, grit, dirt, etc, very easily. Is there anyway to keep rust off the car? When it does get on, do you just sand it off?

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76lucas Avatar
76lucas Gold Member Josh L
Floyd, VA, USA   USA
1978 MG Midget 1500
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Parts Car"
Keep it clean. Basically treat it like any other car. The cleaner you keep it and the better protected when not in use the longer it will last. Don't leave bare metal exposed. Paint it or spray primer over it. Surface rust can be sanded. But the longer it stays the deeper it gets. Fix the places when they're small. I've had a few low sitting cars. Rust wasn't any more a problem than it is on other cars.

If you never try to do it You will never be able to do it

Chas 906 Avatar
Chas 906 Chuck Peterson
Iron Mountain, MI, USA   USA
1961 MG Midget MkI "Little Red Rider"
ya, don't drive it in the rain or snow.

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Cruisedon66 Avatar
Cruisedon66 Pete W
St. Louis, MO, USA   USA
1976 MG MGB
The ender engine splash guard under my wife's car got cracked. (Hyundai Elantra GT) I took it off when I put the new one on.
I held it under the MG an it looks great!

davester Avatar
davester Dave Diamond
Berkeley, California, USA   USA
1965 Austin-Healey Sprite
1971 MG MGB GT "Dad's Car" ~ For Sale ! ~
Move to Kaleefornia!

More seriously, the important rust is not from scrapes on the outside, it's from moisture accumulating within the cavities formed by the structural panels along the sills beneath the doors and at the bottoms of the fenders. There, the rust can busily work without you seeing it until it's too late and it has bored completely through the panel. You only find out about this when you see bubbling paint. Keeping the cavity drain holes clear and perhaps using some sort of rust preventive that is sprayed inside the cavities is probably the only way to prevent it (other than keeping the car in a warm garage).

Kerr Avatar
Kerr Platinum Member Norm Kerr
Ann Arbor, MI, USA   USA
x2 what they said:

- don't drive in snow, or while there is any white salt powder on the road (wait for a strong rain to wash the roads clean first)
- keep the drain holes open, and clean out any dirt traps
- treat all rust it currently has completely. Don't leave just primer (it is not a rust preventative, in fact some primers absorb water, it is meant to be a binding agent to help top coat paint stick to steel. The top coat has the UV barrier to protect the paint, and the 02 barrier to protect the steel.

All rust prevention is a matter of layers, they have to work together, and the outer layers get worn off an need repair over time:
- the bare steel must be cleaned completely of oxide (rinse with a phosphate solution to be sure)
- the primer prepares that surface for paint to stick. Some very good primers, like POR15, do include 02 barriers in them, which is a great help
- all joints, and seems must be sealed with a high quality, modern seam sealer to keep moisture from being drawn into them and causing rust
- the paint protects the steel, but is very thin and can't protect sheet metal edges well at all, and underneath the car, and in the wheel wells, it gets chipped and damaged easily, and caked on mud/dirt holds water against it which eventually causes rust
- go over the top of the paint with a wax or an oil film, to prevent water and oxygen from getting to the paint, so it will last the longest, and so that scratches, and metal edges that can't get a proper paint layer build up, can resist rust

Good oil or wax sealers are things like:
Waxoyl (a heavy wax that goes on best when heated), great for sealing all underbody surfaces and inside cavities, and lasts almost as long as the car, but hard to apply to a car that is already assembled (hard to get it inside, to cover all surfaces).
Fluid Film (a light oil that is sprayed on), great for DIY and for protecting inside of cavities without disassembly.

FF is especially nice because it is NOT petroleum based (it is lanolin based, so it goes on smelling like a wet sheep), so it will not attack rubber, plastic, skin or anything like that, it can be applied easily from rattle cans and a long, flexible hose. But, because it is light it would need annual touch up on a daily driver.

Do NOT consider using old motor oil, because it has heavy metals and carcinogens in it, which are bad enough, but sprayed as a aerosol makes it an effective cancer/birth defect delivery device.


GeorgeOhr Nonya Business
Yes, confused, USA   USA
I run my valve cover breather pipe into the cross member and let blow-by do the rest..or should I say rust. grinning smiley

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RodRy Rod Rynearson
Kalamazoo Michigan, USA   USA
I use Rust Bullet primer, then top coat. That primer handles most surfaces that are not in the sun. Top coat protects against UV for those surfaces that are in the sun.

Fluid Film is nice, but I've had some cases where it seemed to actually accelerate rust on my daily driver. Maybe it reacts with salt or road grime? Your experience may vary.

wrenchingaround Avatar
wrenchingaround Silver Member Louis Zammit
Toronto, ON, Canada   CAN
Before I put the car back on the road a few years ago I sprayed rust inhibitor (like a Krown or Rust Check) on the entire under carriage, into the sills, inner fenders/quarters, inside doors and every nook, fold & cavity till it basically oozed out the other end. Yes a little messy when I crawl under it to work but that doesn't bother me........rust does!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-02-19 02:06 PM by wrenchingaround.

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