by Bill Dewell in the May 1998 RootesReview

If you are in the process of restoring your car and our nemesis rust is one of your main concerns, there are ways of dealing with this, using rust stabilizers developed for this purpose.

I have heard comments on this subject from various car enthusiasts who are restoring classic autos or building hot rods. Comments such as, “I just prime over the surface” or “I wire brush and paint” are not usually satisfactory for rust problems in the long run.

I heard a comment from one guy that he pours used engine oil in his doors and quarter panels to counter rust. That procedure might be a bit exciting if a welding torch is ever applied to the door or quarter panel for some repair work, and will always be messy, as dirt and crud certainly collect there.

I have tried several stabilizers, which work well, but must be neutralized with water prior to priming, creating a problem.

In copious trips to the Carlisle Flea Market, I have talked to various vendors of rust stabilizing products and have found two which I like and have worked well on several autos I have restored. The coatings can be sprayed or brushed on and hoods, doors and decks are especially adaptable to this treatment.

First clean out the seams with a wire brush or screwdriver and blow clean. It doesn’t matter if some rust is still residing inside for the stabilizer /primer will take care of this. Then pour the primer inside of the door or hood and allow it to migrate into the seams. After a while, rotate the door or hood so that the primer seeps into the seams around the periphery or the inside, making sure that all seams receive an adequate coating.

The primer can be reduced with an available thinner if necessary. Be sure to tape over any drain holes that may leak the primer out. Be advised this stuff is potent and will adhere to your hands, driveway or whatever, so spread out a tarp or papers and wear latex gloves to avoid wearing this stuff for a week.

This material is also excellent for frames and running gear. First remove any loose rust, preferably with a sand blaster, then spray or brush on, usually requiring two coats.

For use in conjunction with the rust stabilizer and primer is a gloss and semi-gloss black which withstands brake fluid and battery acid and has almost the same wear resistance as powder coat.

Call the companies listed below and they will be glad to tell you all about their product and send you some literature. Also when using these materials, use an approved respirator and work in a well-ventilated area.

Suppliers:

PM Industries-Master Series Coatings
1-800-833-8933

POR15
1-800-457-6715

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