My rusty 100

giusto

New member
I have a situation and I could use some input.

I have a 2004 – currently at 207,XXX miles – with a straight body, perfect paint, immaculate interior, and ... loads of rust beneath.

I was dealt and played a bad hand when I purchased it a few years back over the internet and multiple phone calls (typically a bad idea, I know):

Me: "So, does it have any rust, and could you send some pics from under the skirt?"
Dealer: "Looks good as new, I'll send pics."

I received a pic of the underside (along with more of the interior and other body shots). I purchased the truck and had it sent out to California.

The pic of the underside must have been a different truck because I received something quite different looking. I bought it, I shipped it, I took the risk, and was burnt. Lessoned learned. I'm done beating myself up about my play and now it's time to deal with it.

I've been driving it for a few years now and racked up about 35,000 since I bought it - just on trips - not my daily driver. Many trips from California to Colorado, Utah, Montana, Washington, all over the Southwest, etc. Besides the rust, this thing is perfect. The motor is fantastic and haven't had one issue with electronics (except the damn 6 disk CD dinghy anchor). Just had the oil changed after 4000 miles of driving and it's almost as good looking as the day the oil went in. The timing belt has been changed a twice, never missed a scheduled service, etc. The one previous owner took superb care of this thing. Except for the rust. (thanks for reading this far).

It's becoming a safety issue now. At least I'm thinking it is. It must be, I stuck my finger through a skid plate the other day. I just drove it 1400 miles mostly freeway but made it to the hills for a few days (Bay Area to SLC and back without a hiccup). But now, I'm scared to death to take it out again because a cancer ridden bolt is going to giveaway and that bolted on bit, like a trailing arm, will drop out and land in the windshield of the poor sap behind me. He'll start waving his fist and laughing, half mad about his windshield and half relieved about the instant karma payment, as I swerve off the road and into a ditch.

I bought a RAM 1500 because I cannot afford a new-er LC. I'm going to mount my tent on the stock a sealed bed, bolt all my kitchen bits in and keep driving. Driving and feeling like I'm cheating on the brand and model I've grown to love. The 80 before this rust bucket gave me years of faithful service.

On to the advice and/or perspective I'm looking for: is this rusty LC worth anything to anyone? I don't feel good about selling it unless it's for parts or to someone who has the time, resources ... and, stomach for a project.

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DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
That skid plate is toast, but the other photos are harder to tell. I bet there's steel left in that Cruiser frame. Only one way to know and that's get after it, the truck's not getting any less rusty thinking about it. You want to find any spots that actually go through, otherwise you need to find solid steel and stop the rust as best you can. You're lucky to live in CA rather than NY or OH or MN where I assume that truck came from.
  • Needle scaler
  • Wire brush
  • Rust converting goo
  • POR15
  • Rustoleum flat black
  • Fluid Film
 

SICARIO

New member
My cruiser came from New York (newby mistake).

A needle scaler and rustoleum rust converter (phosphoric acid) has treated most all of the rust.
 

lumpskie

Independent Thinker
Like others have said... That skid is gone. Remove it. Also, like they have said, for a New England vehicle, the rest of the rust seems more manageable. Even more like what they said, remove scale then rust converter (acid treatment), then POR15 (or similar). You have to convert all the rust, though. If you were in New England, I could direct you to local businesses to just get it done. But, out in CA, you might have to do it yourself. With that much rust, wear some protective gear when you apply that rust converter. It makes me cough even when I spray it in small amounts.


Long story short, your rig looks worth working on.
 

rickmac

New member
Like others have said... That skid is gone. Remove it. Also, like they have said, for a New England vehicle, the rest of the rust seems more manageable. Even more like what they said, remove scale then rust converter (acid treatment), then POR15 (or similar). You have to convert all the rust, though. If you were in New England, I could direct you to local businesses to just get it done. But, out in CA, you might have to do it yourself. With that much rust, wear some protective gear when you apply that rust converter. It makes me cough even when I spray it in small amounts.


Long story short, your rig looks worth working on.
Love to hear any recommendations for somebody dealing with rust worth hiring in New England!

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 

giusto

New member
Thanks for the input and tips everyone.

I've heard horror stories about trucks from Ohio; but never seen it first hand. It's no joke.

I understand soda blasting more is more gentle than other types of media blasting and may be good for the tight spots I can't fit a wire wheel or brush into. Does anyone have experience soda blasting in this type of situation?
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I understand soda blasting more is more gentle than other types of media blasting and may be good for the tight spots I can't fit a wire wheel or brush into.
Can't imagine any media will be worse than a needle scaler, which you really need to do to knock loose pieces off. You unfortunately can't afford to tiptoe around really finding what's still steel and what's not.
 

battleaxe

Captain Obvious
I could be overgeneralizing, but at face value from the pics you've shown it doesn't look THAT bad. The skid plate might make it seem that much worse overall.
 

CSG

Explorer
I bought mine out of Utah but the rig was originally sold in Texas to a couple that moved to AZ. They used it to commute to a summer property in Jackson, WY. They traded it in for a new one at a Utah Lexus dealer. I found it online and did the usual photos and description and then the dealer surprised me. They offered to drive it up to Twin Falls (where I live) under the condition that if it was as described I would buy it. If not, they'd bring it back and we would be quits. They didn't even ask for a credit card. They did run my credit but the deal was oral and the price was agreed to on the phone. Also, there would be no charge for the delivery. When we met the sales guy, I thought the rig was about 95% of what they claimed (it was 7 years old at the time). It was close enough that I wrote the guy a check and I still drive the rig today with no repair costs other than a broken power antenna. Done all the regular maintenance including the timing belt (the rig had in the mid-60's miles on it and I only drive 5-6k miles a year so it was some time before the timing belt had to be done. A couple summers ago, I got rid of the Big O AT tires that were new on the vehicle when I bought it and replaced them with the KO2's in the same 265/75/16 size, moving from C rated to E rated tires. Lost about .5 MPG over all and still average 15-15.5 MPG overall.

Buying a vehicle online can be risky but if you do enough due diligence, it often works out OK. My Pleasureway van was bought via ebay from a North Carolina repo house. It was a steal (a 2002 van bought in January 2008 for $16.5k and 44k miles). It's worth more today!
 

yfarm

Observer
My son bought a new 4Runner in Miami when he lived there, had it for 4 years before moving to Texas. Lived in South Beach which has street flooding when tides are high and yes the water is sea water while you watch Lambos and Mercedes spraying that water over the curb. He maintained the car perfectly and the exterior was immaculate but the front skid and underbody looked similar. Aside from the skid all rust was surface. Buyer beware buying nice vehicles from south Florida.
 

FJOE

Adventurer
That's not really that bad. a wire wheel or scaler and some converter/paint will help, but it doesn't look like that truck is anywhere near crumbling.
 

Awkragt

Adventurer
That looks fine. Maybe brush and repaint stuff if you're under there anyway but no need to take things apart for the sole purpose of fixing rust. I bet if you pulled some of the rusty looking bolts you'd see it's just surface rust on the head of the bolts.
 
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