Monday, January 16, 2012

Surface Rust

This is Stephen.

I recently wrecked my dear wife's car.  We got the same make and model, just a year older, with 20k less miles.  I used the rest of the insurance money to buy parts.  Here's the problem.  Before I bought the car I was thinking....that's a lot of rust.  But there is a saying here in New York that sellers like to say.  "Awww, that's just surface rust."  Meaning it's solid.  In fact, the shipyard I just came from saved money in paint by allowing the surface of the ship hull to rust which acted as a protective coating during the 3-4 years it takes to get the ship to float.  Before the ship is floated out of the dry dock for final fitting, the rust is brushed off and a new coat of paint applied.

I have decided that with vehicles (and trailers) that it's a different story.  Exhibit A:

The above is the old shock I removed.  It took me 7 hours to replace one, uno, ehud, ein shocko.  Why?  You would never guess this but it was because of surface rust!  It's not the inside rust that falls in your eyes when you are working, it's the surface rust.  It was not the rust on the inside of bolts that inhibited removal of the corresponding nuts, but the surface rust.  In fact, the surface rust was so bad, the threads had distinctive layers parting away from the original base metal causing three peaks instead of the preferred single peak.  I had to hacksaw both the top and the bottom, and then because I didn't cut the bottom close enough, I had to file down the about 7/8" diameter metal rod about 1/8" before I could break the bolt out of the hole.  There was no rust on the inside of the bolt.....that checked out OK.  This was all done on my back, in a parking lot, on a bed of ice.  The nice thing about ice for a shop floor is that your cardboard really slips out from under the car easily...at least until it gets saturated with water.



 This is my new jack that Gracie let me buy to get the job done.  Thank you, Honey!  My 3.5 Ton Napa jack is sweet!

During one of my many resting times....I mean, inspection periods....I got a picture of a random undercarriage shot looking at my emergency parking brake.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  I also broke a gas tank band.  I think that problem was actually due to inside rust in this case, but it broke because I was scraping the surface rust, so I actually attribute the failure to both.

The good thing about all of this is that I now have a great new jack, and my other car that I thought was really rusty is now suddenly seeming very low on the rust scale.  HA!

Rust, auto accidents, tsunamis, earthquakes, drought, famine, and theft.  Nothing lasts in this life.  Where will your soul spend eternity?

1 comment:

Tim Newcome said...

ok cool....i just signed up my reader account for your blog....nothing you post will escape me now.....not to put any pressure on you or anything.