:-( Any advice on rust control methods would be appreciated. I´ve rust bubbles appearing on rear wheel arches and the odd small patch where water collects and want to make an effort to stop these in their tracks before they become worse. There are one or two products that can, allegedly, ´hold´ rust - do any of these work? Any advice would be appreciated. Cheers!
We Canadians have a lot of experience with rust in the 2nd generation Escorts. The problem is largely with the poor joins where Ford joined the inner and outer fenders, particularly at the rear but at the front as well (the plaster fender liner protects better at the front.) Water -- and salt, here in northern climes -- make their way between the inner and outer fenders, causing the fender edge to rust from the inside out. This is also an issue along the leading edge of the hood, where the crimped edge is -- even worse -- hidden beneath a layer of filler. By the time it´s noticeable, metal underneath the paint has already corroded away, making surface repairs a temporary solution at best. My car ("Ultraviolet" purple) also suffers from peeling paint, which doesn´t help.
This is specific to the Escorts; my same-generation Mazda 323 didn´t have this problem. Grrr. With the different bodywork, I don´t know if it´s as serious an issue with the UK Escort. But I bet Ford cut corners on both sides of the pond.
Anyway, I searched for months to find an EGT that didn´t yet have this rust problem. What I do to try prevent it from happening is very carefully aim a garden hose from the inside of the wheel well towards the inside of the fender lip during every wash. By running a finger along the ridge created by the join, you can clear out a lot of sand and dirt which tend to trap the water. I´m also making a point of immediately touching up and rock chips in this area.
I´m also curious to know what anti-rust remedies people are using. I´ve found red oxide rust primer to be effective on other cars I´ve owned. But the thick consistency and dark colour of the paint make it hard to hide with top coats. I´m now first treating the sanded rust spots with "rust remover" -- a strong phosphoric acid solution, as far as I can tell. (Don´t let it get on any painted surface!) I assume that it´s designed to force the extra oxygen back out of the oxidized metal. I have no idea whether this will work any better in the long run or whether the rust primer I´m applying over top will fail to bond with this treated layer later on.
Other opinions? How about that idea of replacing the inner and outer fender entirely? The rear fender does not appear to be a bolt-on piece: Would this therefore involve a lot of expensive bodywork?
the 1988 generation Toyota Camry´s have the exact same fender problem as well, i think they´re worse than the Scorts though (probly cuz they´re newer)
i´m barely starting to rust on the back wells, but my Scorts still in freakin amazing condition for the enviroment it´s in. sand and touch up an should be near-new!
The only real rust problem on my car is on some of the bolts they used for things like trim, etc. I´d like to replace them all with stainless steel but it´s virtually impossible to get hex head metric stainless steel hardware in the US.
Rob - We do have similar weather in the UK but for it´s age my Escort´s doing very well in the no-rust stakes. The only parts I do find badly designed (not just Escorts) are the rear wheel-well rims. They trap mud (+ salt) and are very difficult to clean out especially when dry. There ought to be some sort of hook-like tool that could run around the rims to remove the dirt without being sharp enough to do damage. One thought I did have was to dry off the inside and paint with either bitumastic paint or a galvanizing type such as ´Hammerite.´ Would this do any good do you think. Most of the other (few) patches of rust are surface only and are quite simple to cover.
Yeah I have the rear rust problem really bad....that whole rear fender is one piece....My friend and I are repainting my car this summer and about the only thing we can do is cut it out and weld in new metal....
NY, home of the rear strut tower rust problems. lol, i know my 88 was getting bad, think the 87 is ok, find out soon enough when i get tearign the back interior out, the fronts all out but capret and one seat.