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Anything to be done about road salt surface rust on frame?


Well-Known Member
October 25, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
Chicagoland, IL
Year, Model & Trim Level
98XLT 4WD SOHC,94XLT gone
My 98 sohc xlt spent the first half of its life in rust free WA and SC while the Navy was bouncing me back from coast to coast. Now I've retired and it has spent the last 10 years in Chicagoland and the winter road salt is starting to do a number on the frame and under carriage. Looks like it is mostly just flaking surface rust on the frame, coss members, torsion bars ETC.

What do you rustbelt guys do about this. Grind it down and paint it, Leave it alone, or something else.

I saw an old thread about POR-15, looks like that might get pricy to do the entire undercarrage.

Recent repairs that I had to pay ford to do while I was out of town (it was the kids only transpertation to Jr College) had me put more money into it than what I'll ever get out of it so now with it only at 145K miles I'm planning on keeping it for a while (typing this on a break from replacing the entire front suspension) So I figure that I'd better do something about the rust that I"m seeing as I'm working under the car.


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POR-15 is what came to my mind as I began reading your thread. It encapsulates rust and it does work. It's been around a long time. You see it used a lot on classic cars. Perhaps there are similar, less expensive products available.

I had to remove the bed off my 2000 Ranger 4x4 to replace the main brake line to the rear axle so while I had the bed off I coated the frame from the back of the cab to the back of the frame with POR15 chasis coat black. It took 2 quarts to do this much of the frame.


por15 is an expensive way to go, grind as much of the loose as possible and get Phosphoric Acid , apply and let sit. it will neutralize rust, then paint.

I was reading more on por15. Three step process and requries some rinsing before putting on the Por15 final step. That would work good in a pickup bed or on a truck frame with the bed removed where you could get at it. But I don't see myself doing that from on my back under the car.

I've been looking around and I'm thinking about using this.