Frame rust, POR15, bellypan repair
I have been putting off repair to the belly pan area right in front of the sheet containing the power cord/sewer hose compartment. Since the smaller sheet was also bent, I drilled out all the rivets, removed and straightened it out. As I was removing the sheet, I noticed that the frame was very pitted and there was much rust scale. It doesn't look like the frame has rusted through anywhere but there was rust scale on the inside of the frame as well as on the outside of the compartment. I chipped away most of the scale after drilling out the other belly pan rivets. The frame crossmember going through the stabilizer jacks seems fine. Some fiberglass insulation was missing and part was compressed by the bent aluminum. I straightened this sheet out as well and will repair a 2" X 4" hole in the very center of the sheet.
I will probably get POR15 but wanted to know if any of the colors were any better than the others, i.e. black vs. silver? Most of the frame will not see daylight but the rear area where the hatch opens up will from time to time. Do I need to topcoat this or not? Also, should I put a bead of Trempro 635 or Sikaflex around the inside where the frame meets the bellypan in this rear compartment or just let her drain?
Let drain, the color is up to you, if there is daylight once in while no top coat is needed.
You can't do much with the rust inside the frame, I took a few different size pieces of tubing on teh end of a vacum and cleaned it out.
POR has very strong oders even outside get a respirator the one withtwo filters not a little mask.
POR does not stink going on initially - it stinks as it sets up hours later which is just about the time it needs a second and later a third coat. The false sense it is a normal paint will lead to a two day fume hangover so use a solvent safe respirator.
POR will get a powdery flat sheen from weathering - I think it looks nice as is and their web site says its just cosmetic.
Before you paint get the sources of the moisture stopped - seam sealing, loose rivet checks, window gaskets, pluming leaks etc. all need attention. Do not seal the belly pan up - but do seal the lower trim rail to keep it from scooping the water sheeting down the shell into the belly area. Also confirm the drain tubes actually perforate the belly aluminum to drop water onto the ground - any mineral salts in the water will etch the metals and the FW tank pink anti-freeze will wick all over the place and never really dry out.
If you are in the compartment with the primary ground wire that attaches to the frame it is a good idea to reterminate the connection and ensure there is no corrosion between the wire clamp and iron. When you have it cleaned up and metal-to-metal some automotive spark plug dielectric silicone paste added on assembly should keep it rust free for quite a few years.
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