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Old 02-22-2015, 05:23 PM   #1
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Question Rusty undercarriage, how much?

Hi folks,
I wasn't sure where to put this post. I did a search for undercarriage and found a couple of very old posts. Maybe the technology has improved.

We have rust on many parts under our 345 MH - axels, brake lines that were then replaced, I'm not ever sure what all the parts are that I'm looking at when I climb under there. A couple of garages in Portland said they could spray it with something but the rust would continue underneath. Is it a huge, expensive, impossible job to really remediate rust? What would or should it cost these days?

When our mechanic replaced the brake lines, he said the rust on the axles was still pretty superficial. We just removed the old propane tank which was looking pretty bad. We're not sure how much more to invest in the coach given the rust.

Here are the most recent pics, taken a couple of years ago. I'm not near the coach now. Thoughts would be most appreciated, thanks.



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Old 02-22-2015, 07:42 PM   #2
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Ours looks worse, but since it is in Montana I am not worried about it. Most 25+ year old vehicles will have surface rust underneath. In really humid climates or places where the roads are salted rust can threaten the frame, but if your coach stays in California most of the time it won't be an issue. I have bought cans of spray on undercoating at Walmart to use on my trucks here in Hawaii where rust is an issue.
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:15 PM   #3
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Light rusting that is relatively uniform over the whole surface usually will not weaken anything enough to make a difference. However, if you do a detailed inspection and find any deep pitting, that's a fracture waiting to happen because there is a loss of strength due to the missing metal at the pit.

If you find deep pitting, one possible solution is to remove the rust all the way to good metal, fill the hole with weld metal (professionally, not a job for amateurs), and then machine it smooth to the original shape, along with peening it with a ball peen hammer to remove residual stress in the metal due to the heat from welding. And here you were probably wondering what a ball peen hammer was good forů

That's assuming, of course, that you don't have a source of replacement parts to simply swap out rusted parts.
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:00 PM   #4
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Thumbs up No pitting, no fussing

Thanks both of you. I guess I need to ask the garage that has it to tell me if they've found any serious pitting. I can instruct someone to deal with that. Overall rust remediation just causes me to lose the will to live.

There are too many other issues that I have to deal with just to make it roadworthy for Burning Man. I got lucky enough to get tickets, now I have to make my Airstream shelter desert-worthy.
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:33 AM   #5
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Obviously you haven't seen the underside of cars from any Northern States. They are way worse than that. Surface rust can be caused by moisture in the air, being too near the coast and other climatic issues. I would not worry about it..Go on living!
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:36 AM   #6
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From what I see in the pictures, there is nothing to worry about for the next 20 or thirty years.


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Old 02-23-2015, 10:46 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Awriiiiight!

Yay! Thanks so much for that reassurance. I actually grew up on the East Coast but did not spend much time under cars so I wasnt sure how to evaluate the anxiety of coastal Californian mechanics who apparently are not used to seeing much rust.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:14 PM   #8
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surface patina looks fine, ready for antique roadshow

that exhaust pipe will perforate .... eventually, just keep an eye on it so you don't gas yourself
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:27 PM   #9
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Thumbs up Antiques roadshow here I come!

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Old 02-23-2015, 06:01 PM   #10
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also just so you know, if you looked for Chassis or Frame you would have found more posts then you could stand to read.
Best of luck to you
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:51 PM   #11
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Thumbs up wrong search term

I knew I was using the wrong search term, but I forgot to ask what the right ones were. Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:31 PM   #12
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That wire or string wrapped around the axle (or something else) shouldn't be there. Just sayin'.
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaineStreamer View Post
That wire or string wrapped around the axle (or something else) shouldn't be there. Just sayin'.
That's not just a wire or string, it's a Reluctant Leveler Retention Bracket. I have one too.
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:42 PM   #14
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Talking The Reluctant Leveler Retention Bracket!

Hahahaha! That's exactly what it is, MaineStreamer! And that's what I'm calling it from now on.
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