Are we all the same underneath?

Discussion in 'Hymer' started by Dave and Ginny, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    They sometimes say a little knowledge can sometimes be dangerous...or maybe at least cause worries :(.

    I can in all honesty say that our now coming up to 15 year old Hymer b544 on a Fiat chassis is not showing his age much on the bodywork and certainly not on the inside. Well looked after by the two previous owners and then me spending silly amounts of time tinkering about and putting anything right that doesn't work or look as it should do. The MOT is due next week prior to our Winter camp and the next few days will be spent looking over anything amiss that I can put right. It hasn't failed an MOT in the 5 years we've owned it and any advisories I've been able to correct.

    But when I get underneath I do think it's showing it's age...or do they all look a bit the same? A general coating of rust over most suspension parts, drive shafts etc...a bit 'raw' looking if you know what I mean. Chassis is generally OK except at the back end where there is a cross member that looks to have seen better days...it's bolted on on so can be replaced, but not a job I want to attend to and not until I'm told its needed.

    I do tend to over worry...what do other vans look like when you get on your back and underneath?
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I always go under with the MOT tester and make notes. Our 2003 FIAT chassis is in remarkably good condition.
     
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  3. JackieP

    JackieP Funster

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    I've just had my 29 and a half year old hymer in to get some bushes replaced and the mechanic couldn't believe it's age, saying that the chassis looks as good as new. It's not the first time it's been said either.

    That said, I spend every penny I can save on the van replacing old bits for new and this 'summer' I was under there with a wire brush giving it all a good scrub.
     
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  4. kaasbroodje

    kaasbroodje Funster

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    I do the same, our 2005 chassis is excellent too.
    Our MOT tester is a motorhomer too, so has a passing interest...
    His view is that Fiat's stored on hardstanding corrode very slowly, whereas vans stored on grass corrode very quickly - makes sense to me
     
  5. Bailey58

    Bailey58 Funster Life Member

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    My old Espace is rusty all over underneath. It was always said they'd last for ever being made of fibre glass and a galvanised steel chassis. I wonder if it's too late to get it waxoyled?
     
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  6. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    Thank goodness someone has a bit of rust!
     
  7. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    Ten years ago I'd be thinking about doing the same with a good wire brushing! The wax oiled bits that I had done a couple of years ago look good with the white original paint still showing through. It's mostly thinks like leaf springs and hangers, (which could be wire brushed and oiled) I'll take some pics...maybe I'm just being to fussy! Well that's what Ginny reckons...plus hankering on for a new van! ;)...as if!
     
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  8. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    When I had mine serviced they recommended a protective coating underneath .. cost £150 ... I was going to have this done before Winter sets in.. any thoughts please?
     
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  9. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    Quite probably a good idea...a wax oiling a few years ago improved the look of ours underneath and no doubt does some good at repelling moisture.

    We're spending the Winter in Benidorm, again so at least we're away from the damp weather and salty and grit on the roads.
     
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  10. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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    You know by now that I know absolutely nothing tech/mech so please excuse the pre-novice question and @Dave and Ginny sorry for the little detour, but -
    Do mohos come with a protective coating already applied underneath, then after some time need it re-done?
     
  11. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    Some photo's...but now it looks as if I have some work to do!

    How can I get an advisory of a slightly rusted sump when I've clearly got a chunk of chassis that needs to be replaced! I'm talking of the rear crossmember which appears bolted at either end of the chassis. I had no idea it had deteriorated so much. Probably a job I can do, anyone know where I can source one would be a help...not looked myself yet. It clearly gets road water thrown up from the rear wheels which then lies in the bottom of the C section and does it's worst!

    Not sure if I'm glad I got underneath or not!:cautious::eek::cry::mad:


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  12. berni109

    berni109 Funster

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    I seem to remember that major rust within x distance of suspension mounting is a fail.
    Chassis rust elsewhere provided no imitate threat of collapse might get an advisory depending how bad it is.
    Rust on a thin steel sump could leak oil all over the road if not fixed and fiat sumps are known to rust through.
     
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  13. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    I've gone all over now and less concerned than I was earlier. The cross section at the rear may even have been fitted by Hymer in the habitation construction as it appears to act as a support for the rear locker and floor. I should be able to remove it and get it replaced if the 17mm nuts and bolts play the game! They're soaking in plus gas now. It's clearly been bad for sometime and never as much as mentioned in the MOT test. I'm also going to pass the time over the next few days with the wire brush and some paint...well it can't hurt!
     
  14. airwave

    airwave Funster

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    Ya know @Dave and Ginny , that motor don't look too bad to me , just a bit scruffy , which i would expect . I agree the rear cross member could do with some work , a hole never look's good , and i would replace that too , however , i can't see any area's of concern . Large area's even appear to still have the original paint on them . Personally , i would just tidy it up over a period , not break your neck to cover it in one hit .
    Yeah , your quite correct @berni109 , major corrosion within 12 inches , of any structural part , ie suspension hanger , steering attachment , and such like . But from the photo's , i can't see any area's of concern , just a lot of surface rust . Your also quite correct with the sump too , it appear's to be a problem area with fiat motor's , but replacement's are easily sourced at the moment on ebay .
     
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  15. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Looks good to me. Ignore rust on the huge lumps of shafts/suspension. I'd just spray with thick oil or wayoyl and it's good for another 15 years.
     
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  16. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    Cheers @airwave and @hilldweller Brian...I've been having spells underneath with the wire brush and now with some Hammerite on it looks a lot better, more to do though before I'll post an 'after' picture ;). I have a mobile welder coming out on Monday to cut out the rust on the rear and weld a new piece in, so that area will look considerably better. What with the air suspension that should be here Monday...I don't think I've spent so much time under any vehicle before! Feeling it now in my old bones though :frowny:
     
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