Rust proofing and undersealing the van

Many older vehicles (especially vans) don’t have much protection against rust on the under side where it’s exposed to the elements and harsh conditions. I used the Hammerite underbody seal (this one) on all of the underside floor panels of my van, including the wheel arches. The example below just shows the wheel arch.

rust-under-van

The picture probably looks worse than it actually is (although I have to think that). Most of the bad rust is on the panels–the chassis looks in great nick with only a few patches of surface rust. I highlighted the worst of it in this post fixing the floor rust on my LDV

1. Clean area

After removing all loose bits of rust and dirt I cleaned the area with a detergent and a scrubbing brush to remove grease and oil. Then I removed loose bits of rust with a wire brush attachment on the drill.

This is a very time consuming job but it’s worth spending time to do it properly. It’s probably best to divide the area up and work on one section at a time.

Cleaning the wheel arch
Cleaning the wheel arch

2. Rust treatment

I used a paintbrush to apply the rust treatment just like I showed you in the post about removing rust

Appling rust treatment to wheel arch
Appling rust treatment to wheel arch

3. Paint

I used 2 coats of metal paint. Again, this is just the same as the previous section on treating surface rust.

Painting wheel arch
Painting wheel arch

4. Underseal

I applied two fairly thick coats of the Hammerite underbody seal with a brush, leaving it for one day before applying the second coat. This stuff takes a few weeks to fully set, leaving a tough flexible layer

Undersealing wheel arch
Undersealing wheel arch

5. Repeat over whole underneath area

 

undersealing-van
Hopefully this will provide a few years of protection

Feel free to add any comments or suggestions 🙂

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