Starting to Rust...

BucksOSU

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I have a 2013 LS 4WD and I live in Ohio. Yes, the rust belt. Needless to say, the Av is starting to rust on the lips of the rear fenders and bubbling a bit just above them. My local body shop wants $1200 per side to fix with no guarantee for how long it will stay nice after that. I was thinking just covering this with fender flares. I know the rust will continue underneath, but I'm hoping it won't be seen for another few years. This is something I can do myself, will be way less expensive, and will hopefully last for a couple of years anyway. Does anyone have any experience with some "classy" looking aftermarket flares? Black would be my preference. I don't like the big off-road, bolt-on, looking things that seem to be out there all over the place. Any help here would be great! Thanks all.
 

Vaeagleav

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Just my .02 but I think you are looking at putting a band-aid on a cancer. What appears to be a $1,200 fix now could be many more thousands down the road if you don't nip it in the bud now.......You are right in that a body panel fix will probably not come with a guarantee on how long it will last on it's own. You should get it repaired and consider a good under body rust removal and undercoating procedure to help prevent the rust cancer from returning. That is of course if you plan to keep your AV for a long time. Preventative maintenance is important to a long vehicle life and should come before cosmetic mods.
Good luck in your efforts.....
 

BucksOSU

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I agree with your assessment and I would like to keep the Av for a long time as I don't see where or how I'll be buying a new one. However, I think what I'm really going to be looking at is $2400 ($1200 per side) vs. $240 for the flares. I was thinking that I could always fix the fenders later and keep the flares. Just wanted some opinions.
 

newavguy

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If you choose to put flares on it be sure to spray rust reformer on the rust spots www.eastwood.com sells some.
 

BucksOSU

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Great idea. Unfortunately, I think the rust that is really causing the problem is that which I can't see above the inside of the fenders. You have to love Ohio!
 

frito

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Great idea. Unfortunately, I think the rust that is really causing the problem is that which I can't see above the inside of the fenders. You have to love Ohio!
Tell me about it. Here's our Ohio nightmare on our '01 Suzuki XL-7

Barney frame rot 1.jpg

Barney frame after.jpg
 

frito

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They box welded it and filled it with foam. In hind sight, I should have just gotten a new frame. I have seen a lot of them from, ironically enough, Russia that are only about $500. It would cost me more to ship it probably. All the rust is limited to the underside. The top is fine. Heck the brake lines, which have all been replaced on our Avy, look fine on this thing.

It's been in the family since new in '01 and my daughter is very sentimental to it - the last time she saw her Grandpa was in it. When she finishes med school and has money she'll probably spend an irrational amount of money to restore it.
 

ca2kjet

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Lets talk about rust on the 2nd Gen Avy...

Rear Fenders


If your rear fenders are bubbling, CHECK OUT THE INSIDE NOW! They are very well likely filling up with debris and trapping moisture. Remove rear tail lights and you can get in there to check it out and clean them. I was able to completely save one side of mine while the other has very minor issues that I've been able to keep at bay for a few years now.

Rear Quarter Panels / Rockers

Get some (ok, many) Eastwood Internal Frame Coating spray cans and spray the heck out of the rocker areas, especially the rear areas in front of the rear wheel wells. Over time, moisture in the air condenses on the inner walls. Combine that with salt from the environment, freeze thaw cycles, etc and the coating gets destroyed.

Lets take a look at the inside of this area;

rust-area.jpg

20180830_175203.jpg
Note that there's no debris in here. These areas are clean as a whistle on my truck. This is purely the ambient environment that goes through temperature cycles, condenses and slowly eats away at the inside and once the rust starts, it explodes. The lack of good protection on the metal body of these vehicles is disappointing to say the least.

Lets look to the left now...

20180830_175537.jpg
Here we see a view from where the wheel well sits right behind the left area. The most rusted spot in the bottom left leads to a drain hole. Again, it's completely clean in there but it's still rusting out. You can spend all day long detailing the heck out of the vehicle and it will still rust out without proper preventive maintenance and protection from the inside.

Front Fenders

Another area to be concerned with are the front fenders. They are prone to rusting from the back side of the wheel well near the front doors. They're compounded by the fact that they act as main drainage areas. Some stuff can get into them and become trapped but it's constantly hit by water from rain/snow/etc. The front lip of the fenders on the side can also rust out from the inside too over time. Since the surface is relatively flat, junk can get in there and just sit.

Here's the areas prone to rusting out on the front fenders.
front-fender.jpg

The Z71 models have factory fender flares that hide a lot of what's going on. This is partly why I never caught these issues until much later on mine. It just so happens that due to an accident (not at fault) I now have the chance to replace both of my front fenders with news one. That'll completely resolve any rusting going on with those.

Bottom Door Seams

If the bottom of your doors show no signs of bubbling or rusting, take off the plastic trim at the bottom and check under there. Get a can of compressed air, blow out the drainage area along the bottom and then spray it up with something like Boeshield. Believe me, it's much better to stay on top of this stuff now then deal with the rust carnage later. I wish I hadn't had dropped the ball a few years back. I now have my right rear door bottom seam suffering minor rust damage that I've had to spend a considerable amount of time cleaning up and "repairing".

Gas Tank Filler Opening

Ahh, yes, the gas tank filler...

gas-rust.jpg

Now here's an annoying, and stupid!, design decision. If you open up the cover and look at the body seam right there at the bottom of the fuel cap you may find that it's not perfectly sealed. Water can get in between there and trickle down inside the panel. Now, normally that really wouldn't matter. It's such a tiny amount of water, except GM decided to put a line of soft body foam right above that body crease there. So where does the moisture now go? It gets trapped between the foam and the metal. Fantastic!... not! Best thing to do, even if you have no bubbling below the cover, is to get some sort of tool (it's incredibly hard to really describe here) but, remove the rear light, and you can reach in there with something and rip away the foam so water doesn't get trapped there. The other thing to do is protect the seam with some sort of seam sealer or heck, use silicone grease. Anything to prevent water from going down that seam.

Dang, I may have to write up a whole thread on this stuff... if you want to know more about anything I've mentioned here, let me know.
 

newavguy

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It's the same for the older cladded AVs so many places where dirt packs in.
 

BucksOSU

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This is an amazing write up! After I get the rust repaired, I will contact this thread again for more help with prevention. Wow! Keep it going guys!
 

Wisconsin07

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Great topic. About to start taking my '07 around to local body shops for estimates to fix the cancer in my Wisconsin Avy. It's not too bad (yet), but I just bought the thing and intend to drive it for a few years as my daily.
 

Wisconsin07

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2 body shops in the area told me today that they don't even bother trying to fix pickup rust. They will be more than happy to replace each panel and paint match. Both gave me a starting quote of $5K.
 

ca2kjet

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Yep, I talked to some shops about doing some rust repair and their response was "No one wants to do that stuff anymore". Too much work and liability of rust returning was the general reasoning.

@Wisconsin07 What areas you need to get fixed up?
 
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