Maintaining Underneath

Silverwhiskers

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Mar 5, 2017
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I took my 2009 Hobby motorhome which sits on a Ford Transit chassis for its MOT the other week, which it passed with flying colours, but the examiner did say " if you are planning on keeping this van, you should think about getting it Waxoyled". Apparently it's not bad, but rust is beginning to show on some the seams. Yesterday, I enquired with a local mechanic who specializes in light commercial vehicles for the cost of an annual service, as soon as he knew that it was a Transit he said " I bet it looks lovely on top but will look far worse underneath" !

When I told him that I had been advised to get it Waxoyled he disagreed as in his opinion it would not reach all the cracks & crevices. He would recommend pressure washing the underside then spraying it with old engine oil (they have an outdoor ramp). If I were to go for this option, it would be finding somewhere to park it afterwards that doesn't mind have oil dripping on to the floor that may cause a problem.

My question is to you funsters who own a vehicle that is not in its first flush of youth, what do you do ?

Do you adopt the out of sight out of mind attitude, do something about it or plan on buying a newer model ?
 
Oct 11, 2016
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Is this a senior citizen thread?
I'm approaching 64 and have had no problems underneath yet but I'll hang on to some old engine oil and give myself a good dousing when the time comes.
 
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TheBig1

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we used to use old oil to treat the chassis but modern waxoyl or its equivalent applied correctly using a flexible hose inside the chassis and out is very effective.

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pappajohn

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When I told him that I had been advised to get it Waxoyled he disagreed as in his opinion it would not reach all the cracks & crevices. He would recommend pressure washing the underside then spraying it with old engine oil
He obviously hasn't seen HOW waxoyl is applied. It is pressure sprayed into all the nooks, crevices and box sections.......and unlike old engine oil, doesn't wash off over time.
 

EX51SSS

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Jul 18, 2015
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I had our Moho pressure washed and waxoiled around 10 years ago and cost about £200.00 but it has been worth every penny. I had it re done last year with a friend who has a garage and he used the top quality and cost just around £60.00 and its brilliant and he found places that had been missed but he said the underneath was superb. So, even going by the original cost, it worked out at £20.00 a year. Bargain
 
Jan 19, 2014
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I'm amazed how many people still recommend waxoyl, on an old vehicle it is a waste of time. 2 years down the line it will be peeling off with rust underneath (if you look). I know through experience with my 1992 defender and a friend with a 2003 Nissan nivara, both times waxoyl was peeling off after 2 years with more rust underneath.

Never used old engine oil but grease is excellent, it never dries out, goes dirty and repels moisture very well for at least 12 years (my experience with a 1991 Vauxhall Nova).

Anyway that's just my experience and opinion. Use what you want :)
 

Feltwell

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Aug 27, 2014
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The quality of rustproofing services varies considerably - the cheaper ones won't have such a thorough clean up programme before application and I'm rather sceptical of how thorough the "Job done in a day" places are, especially those that claim to steam clean first - moisture being trapped would be my concern. I went the whole hog and used this chap:-

http://www.jrclassics.co.uk/

Who wasn't cheap, but he had the van for a week and did a great job, really thorough. It was a 10 year old van that I intend on keeping for another 10 years or so. I fitted a sound deadening kit to the cab a few weeks after he did the job, which meant I stripped out things like the door card in the cab, and he really had got everywhere with the wax. Dinitrol is better than Waxoyl I read, and there are different types - I had a hard black wax put on the visible sections and a much thinner clear/brown wax injected into all the panels & box sections. Waxoyl is cheaper but at the time I found an independent report from a university (which of course I can't find now...) doing a corrosion test using various different products, Dinitrol and Bilt-Hamber came out on top from memory, Waxoyl didn't fare too well.

It's worth bearing in mind the advice from my local MOT station was that the visible bits of the chassis behind the cab of your van, i.e. under the hab area, may go cosmetically rusty at edges and seams but are not that likely to ever get to the MOT failure stage. The areas to watch are the panels in the cab - areas like below the cab steps, and inside the door and bonnet panels, and around the windscreen - exactly the hidden kind of areas that you need to strip some trim out to get to, that the cheaper rustproofers may not touch. Look at older vans and this is where they tend to go - older transits for example always seem to go around the wheelarches and on the wings, and condensation in areas like doors can lead to them rusting from the inside out.

One thing to bear in mind is that you won't want to go away in your van for a few weeks afterwards - mine smelt really bad from the solvents! I practically floated home driving the van back! Might be because it was such a thorough job and he injected so much into the box sections and panels though. After about 4 weeks all was OK again. Oh yeah, I got the odd drip on to my drive on hot days on the first summer after it was done as well.

3 years on and I'm still really pleased with the job he did, no rust has come through. I crawl underneath with an aerosol of the black wax Dinitrol once a year just to touch up any areas where it's been disturbed.

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Aug 18, 2017
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Just a word of warning ......... old engine oil is acidic and getting it on any rubber bushings/mounts, any rubber covers/seals and also wiring looms is to be avoided as it will soften them.
The key, as some have already mentioned, is preparation, preparation and more preparation and it must be completely dry (inc all seams, nooks and crannies) before any rustproofing is applied.
 

grasscutter

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I've got a Hobby Van Exclusive on a 60 plate and had it Waxoyled. The mechanic at the MOT station said it was a very good job carried out and well worth it as I live by the coast.
However I do have to say that it is going in in March to have a new wheel arch fitted as their are some tiny rust spots starting to show.
 

Northernraider

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Problem is transits are poorly protected from new ...ive had a few in the past as work vans and they really do rust bad.
Underseal is a A nightmare and hides a multitude of sins , if there's rust already there then powerwashing it and undersealing won't help it will just allow the existing rust to spread under the underseal

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Feltwell

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Problem is transits are poorly protected from new ...ive had a few in the past as work vans and they really do rust bad.
Underseal is a A nightmare and hides a multitude of sins , if there's rust already there then powerwashing it and undersealing won't help it will just allow the existing rust to spread under the underseal

Agreed - key is to get it good & clean with wire brushing and then use something like 2 coats of Dinitrol that helps slow the progress of the rust - traditional underseal just seems to sit as an impervious layer over the metal, allowing moisture to get trapped behind it and the metal to merrily rust away unseen, until eventually the underseal peels off to reveal the horrors beneath.

Coating with something like Dinitrol is a job you can do yourself but it's an unbelievably filthy job and the pro's have all the compressors and kit to inject it far into the cavities. The guy I used had a dedicated workshop unit to do the work in & 2 hydraulic "tippers" that lifts 2 wheels & tilts the vehicle to one side.

The trouble with rustproofing is it's the preparation that is key, but of course that is hidden once the job is done, so you only really know if you've had a decent job done 2-3 years afterwards - so recommendations from previous customers are key! Land Rover forums are a good place, Defenders have terrible rust protection out of the factory and many restored "Series" Land Rovers (the old ones!) get rustproofed. Classic car forums are another good place to check.

If I had a new van I was intending to keep for a long time I think I'd get it done straight away, whilst it's all clean and rust free, to stop the rust even starting. Car rustproofing at the factory has improved enormously but vans still don't seem to be as good - Mercedes Sprinter panel vans especially often seem to be breaking out in rust patches after a few years of use & abuse. I guess the manufacturers just don't expect vans to last as long as a car, or that most owners are less fussy and more interested in the new cost.

Typical example would be the last firm I worked for - a pharmaceutical distributor running around 2000 Transits in a nationwide fleet, leased from new for 3 years or 200k miles, whichever came first. Decent factory rustproofing is not required- it would just be an extra cost they don't want.
 
Last edited:
Sep 1, 2017
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Dig a metal ore out of the ground.

Add loads of energy in a furnace to drive of the (typically) oxygen, results in metal.

As soon as this occurs this metal wants to revert to a lower energy state. Generally this manifests itself as corrosion.

For non noble metals, this is inevitable.

You can slow this process down, by insulating or passivating the metal, but eventually it will revert to the ore that was originally dug out of the ground.

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Jan 19, 2014
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Dig a metal ore out of the ground.

Add loads of energy in a furnace to drive of the (typically) oxygen, results in metal.

As soon as this occurs this metal wants to revert to a lower energy state. Generally this manifests itself as corrosion.

For non noble metals, this is inevitable.

You can slow this process down, by insulating or passivating the metal, but eventually it will revert to the ore that was originally dug out of the ground.

I know then... lets make a stainless steel motorhome... The Delorehome :ROFLMAO:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeLorean_DMC-12
 
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