Ive built alot of cars in my lifetime and a rule of thumb here is dont buy a car north of springfield MO. This being my First Fiero GT (and Loving it) i got mine in TX. rust free. I see alot of Beautiful and very expensive builds coming from the north. and seeing some of the cars they start with thrills me that they save these cars. Alot of our fav cars have returned to mother earth in the form of rust. Here in the south we do have some rust but nothing like our brothers to the north have to deal with. We just had a thread on Cradle bolts and how people deal with getting them out. I can imagin ppl like Archie and other shops, what they've seen and had to deal with in order to make someones dream car come true. And then again ppl that buy what they think is their dream car off ebay ,which on the outside looks like a trailer queen only to be eat the hell up with rust. You guys to the north have a vivid imagination and skill levels to deal with problems caused by rust. One of the Best body men i know came from Maryland and after dealing with what goes on up there everything here was a piece of cake. . As years go by we are going to be loosing alot more of our beloved cars to rust. While there is rust prev. coatings , powder coating , under coating. Id like to ask our brothers to the North to share their knowledge of how they help prevent and deal with rust on their Cars and Daily drivers. Any knowledge shared may help keep our Fav cars around longer for more generations to fall in love with as we did. Rob
Things like Tin foil and catsup will remove surface rust from chrome trim. (speedy bill speedway.com) old rodders trick.
I've had my Fiero since October of 2012, and I almost never drove it in the winter. If I did, the under side of the car would be washed and rinsed ASAP. The only rust I can find is on two 8"~ pieces of metal in the front which was there when I got her. It's only surface rust. My mother's 2004 van is driven all year long and it has hardly any rust either at 142K miles. Compared to the other Grand Caravans you see driving around up here that are rusted out and totally neglected, her van is pretty much showroom condition.
There are so many used cars available dirt cheap that are far more reliable, practical, fuel efficient, and better in snow than a Fiero. Road salt is incredibly corrosive and impossible to completely wash away or protect against. Personally, I never understood why someone would drive a car in the winter if they want to preserve that car (collector, rare, etc). My car is from South Carolina and there isn't a spec of rust on it anywhere. The entire frame and floor is black.
I also shake my head when I see folks up here spend months trying to restore rotten frame rails, trunks, seized suspension components... while you can still very easily find and import a rust free southern US chassis for cheap and save an enormous amount of hassle.
I seen a few cars back in the 80's thinking they came from Nissan, that were built with some very low grade metal and no rust protection added. Complaints were filed that the cars were completely rusted out before the cars were even paid for. Credit companys got stuck with alot of late model low mileage rusted out cars. Didnt take nissan long after that to change something in their metal production. Altho tday all the Brackets made by asian car companys rust up like crazy usually in the first year.
I bought my 87GT new when I lived in the Rochester NY area. I discovered that the car didn't drive well in the winter, so I did not drive the Fiero in the winter and covered it up and bought "winter beaters" for the winters. The road salt is brutal on cars. The reason I got the Fiero is the "plastic" panels wont rust. Usually a car in that neck of the country start having rust issues within four years and the cars are a rust bucket within eight years.
Here is SE Michigan the road crews use salt on the roads whenever it snows. While the salt is not a good thing for any car, the amount of salt and its effect on cars here is nothing compared to cars in Florida, where there is a small amount of salt in the humidity from the ocean. Florida cars do worse than cars from this area in terms of rust due to environmental conditions.
One thing that is worse than salt for any car is traveling on dirt or gravel roads. Whenever it rains and you drive down a dirt road, the entire underside of your car gets a fine coating of mud on it. Over time that builds up layer after layer. That mud holds moisture and that will cause rust faster and much worse than occasional road salting in the winter.
Florida cars do worse than cars from this area in terms of rust due to environmental conditions.
Sorry- no way this is true. I have been to Florida dozens of times. I have almost never seen a rusty car... heck, you can hardly find a car wash down there since the cars always seem to look clean. Climb under a 15-20 year old Florida car, and the metal looks black.
Michigan/Ontario... whole different story. My daily driver is a two year old Kia Optima that has been rust proofed and still has more rust on the suspension than my Fiero. Ditto for my wife's 2 year old Toyota Sienna. While sea salt in the air has some potential effect (Arizona cars tend to be even less rusty than Florida ones), there is no way you can drive a car in Michigan for 10 winters and have a car that is not rotten. A 10 year old car from Fort Lauderdale will still look new underneath.
I have taken cradles out of four different Fieros. Repeatedly for the two that I've had as projects, once for a third one from Tennessee that I parted out, and once for a friend who was replacing an engine. The only time I've ever had an issue with a cradle bolt was with the parts car. Didn't really find any rust to speak of, but the car must have lived on dirt roads its entire life. I have never seen so much dust in one car, under the panels. The only time I have ever had to split a fastener on a Fiero suspension was the top nut on the front shocks. Two different 88s.
------------------ Raydar 88 Formula IMSA Fastback. 4.9, NVG T550
Cars along the coast rust from the top down, cars here in Mich rust from the bottom up. My Fiero donor came from Oregon, no rust anywhere. They use sand instead of salt. BIG difference. Most cars here in mich would be a red-brown pile of goo by now. I've seen a Texas car from the coast line that had the roof rotted off.
[This message has been edited by tebailey (edited 08-10-2013).]
dont know about texas coast cars but mine came from ft worth and not a bit of rust on it. about Arizona, i bought a 69 karman ghia convertable out there and was surprised to find clean metal in the heater channels along the rockers. interior was baked and dry rotted but all the metal was in perfect shape. if not for the heat and sun baking a cars interior ,the humidity and temp is perfect for preserving cars metal body.
FWIW I live in an area where they use that liquid salt. I oil bath everything with a spray bottle EVERY oil change, I recently upgraded to a 1 gal hudson pump sprayer (I will let you all know how that works out). Seeing a 68 Olds DD perfect in every way made me a believer when the old fart told me the reason being he filled every crack and cranny over gravel then drove down a dirt road to make it stick. As far as I know its still on the road lol. Kinda one of those Gran Torino stories and at the time I was hardcore into that movie so it kinda stuck in my brain ever since.
Don't forget the cars driving down some of those dirt roads are getting a fresh coating of treated dirt. Most dirt roads that have been treated for dust control in the past were treated with waste oil. Today they are treated with mineral brine water which translates to "salt water". Mineral brine water in this area comes from deep wells located in some of our many salt rich mines and deposits. Additionally, they have been experimenting in Michigan using a thickened version of the brine for the roads during the winter. They would use this inleu of using rock salt on days with light snows.
The mineral brine does a great job of keeping road dust from your nice paint, but if left on the bottom of the car, driving the roads daily, will produce the same effect as driving all winter on those salty roads in the north. Anybody using splash shiels on the bottom of their Fiero?
Here in Kent county Michigan, they put down and inch of salt for every .1 inch of snow. Perhaps that is a little exaggerated, but they use more salt than any other county on this side of the state. Cars don't last long, and the used auto dealers sell cars from out of state. My 84 Fiero was 3 years old when I bought it. I drove it 13 years summer and winter. Every week I went to the car wash and had the under body wash done. After 13 years of my driving it, the drivers seat was only held in by the carpet. My 86 only gets driven in the summer. I don't see hardly any rust compared to my first Fiero. Back in the 70's, my buddy had a 68 Impala. He could poke holes in the unibody with a screwdriver. Salt is a great way to sell more cars, That is why so much salt is used here.
[This message has been edited by crashyoung (edited 08-11-2013).]
My Fiero donor came from Oregon, no rust anywhere. They use sand instead of salt. BIG difference.
I can attest to this. Rust is not an issue here. What we deal with is moss....every spring (after driving all winter) you have to really spray the cars down in the nooks and crannies to blow out the green gunk that tries to grow there
Got my 88 13 years ago with only 27k miles on it. The guy I purchased it from stored it every winter. I have stored it every winter. It still looks perfect with no rust. My Indy on the other hand, it's totally rusted. I'll be replacing frame rails and sheet metal when I start the restoration. It was defiantly driven in the winter.
The single most important thing to keep car from rusting, even in Ohio and Michigan, is to keep it clean. Pay particular attention to spraying underneath where you can reach and into wheelwells especially on fender lips. Drill holes in the bottoms of doors and trunk lids, undercoat the edges of those holes. Occasionally use a hose to run inside the door thru the window channel to flush dust and dirt out thru those holes. Also drill drains in the metal rocker panel bottoms if it has them. What happens is water, either rain or condensation, get the inside of panels wet. Then dust sticks to it. Next time it gets wet more dust sticks to it...over and over. Ive opened up rusted out doors and rockers to find mud inches deep caked on the insides from years of that.
I dont wax my own cars ever. Just cleaning them like above protects them. My 95 Astro van, and 04 Sebring dont have a single spec of rust on them, except for bare metal chassis parts. Those start surface rust on the lot before theyre ever sold for the first time. Another tip is NEVER store a car on grass, dirt or gravel under a car cover. The dampness under the car will rise and rust the crap outta the chassis and body. If you have to store on grass, DONT cover it. "breathable' car covers dont make any difference. I know this for a fact first hand on several cars.
When I used to live up north with all the salt (30 Years ago), I would do this to any used car I bought. I put duct tape over all the drain holes in the doors and 1/4 panels, fenders, Then poured my old motor oil into those panels. let it sit for a day, and removed the tape (Drain the oil into a container). Never had a car rust out on me, even in upstate NY. Of course this doesn't help a Fiero with it's "Upper frame rails" rotting.
the spraying the oil on the under carrage is new to me but i see how it would create the barrier between the enviroment and the body. as mentioned about the car covers being breathable, I restored a 78 trans am and after i painted it and let it breath and set up for 2 weeks i applied the Bird to the hood and put a new (so called breathable) bra on the front of the car. after a month a decided to remove the bra and wax the hood and nose. to my suprise the paint had lifted under the bra and destroyed the paint. so i know the breathable products DONT work. it retains water!
Ive had friends who sprayed their old oil after an oil change in the doors, trunk lid and in the trunk where it ran down the sides into the bottoms like said above. They didnt rust.
I never recommend a car cover on a car, even a dust cover in the garage, until new paint is at least several months old. If painted in winter, double that. I seen cars that were covered too soon and when they pulled off the cover, all the paint down to the primer came off with it.