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Thread: F-Body Coupe Rust after 1976

  1. #1
    Super Moderator JohnRogers's Avatar
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    F-Body Coupe Rust after 1976

    The horrific rust issues on the 1976 Volare/Aspen led to a severe re-appraisal of rustproofing, and a running change in 1976 brought a new, more effective seven-stage autophretic coating system. The parts were sprayed clean, dip-cleaned, rinsed numerous times with recirculating and fresh water (both standard and de-ionized), then given the autophoretic chemical coating, dip-rinsed, given an autophoretic reaction rinse, dried in an oven at 220 F for 5-10 minutes, and cured at 275 F for five minutes. This system actually used less energy than the asphalt-based rustproofing of prior years, while reducing fire hazards and pollutants. Chrysler was the first domestic automaker to use that painting system.
    Can anyone elaborate on these improvements? Are they significant enough that one would choose a 1978 over a 1976?

  2. #2
    Aspen and Volare Senior Member klb6469's Avatar
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    No matter what they did back then, it still rusted, period. Metal rusts.

  3. #3
    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    If you're not going to drive it in winter, especially in a salt state like Wisconsin, rust isn't really an issue from this point forward. The one thing is, you'll probably have an easier time finding a '78-'80 vs a '76-'77 I would guess. Don't quote me on that!

    Vehicles still rust to this day. At work we regularly see cars and trucks with rust holes that aren't all that old. Last week I worked on a 2012 Silverado that the rockers and cab corners were perforated and the wheel lip above the rear tires has rust bubbles showing. My "boss' already had the rockers and cab corners replaced on his 2011 F-150, and he keeps it clean, including the underside. Friday I had to replace the brake lines from the master to ABS unit on a 2013 Impala. Reason? Rust, and one of them had a pinhole leak. That just seems so wrong. Stupid part was, every brake line on the car is coated and looked brand new yet,,,,,,,,,,,,except those two. Also see Ford Freestar's where the rear axle rusts so bad it collapses. Lower controls arms rust away and the car comes in on the flatbed on early 2000's cars like Focus and some GM models. Suspension crossmembers and engine cradles rust so bad that suspension parts become free to the breeze. We keep brake line kits in stock for 2000-2009 Silverado and Sierra trucks. I guess I'll just call it "job security". The torch is one of our best friends. Ever see a cylinder head rust out? How about exhaust manifolds and iron cylinder blocks? Sorry, I digress.

    Hate to say it but, RAM trucks are on the list. We see ones only 4 or 5 years old with the rear wheel lips rotted away. Ah, the joys of living in Saltconsin, I mean Wisconsin, lol.
    Last edited by aspen79; 04-28-2018 at 06:39 PM.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

  4. #4
    Aspen and Volare Junior Member
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    My car is in Florida in the Titusville area.
    Everything rust quickly, especially if left outside in the salty air.
    Luckliy my car is sealed in the garage, but still, at risk

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