Daily Driver and Rust

twmattox

Legacy Registered User
City
Arcadia
State
IN
#1
Panning my restoration. If it all works out it will happen this Spring!

To begin, this rig (once done) will go back to being a daily driver (even in winter).

I bought the rig with a very small rust spot. Daily driver for 5ish years and completely rusted out. A few years ago, I bought a used stock tub and replacement panels. Bobcat taught me how to remove the rotten portions and spot weld in the replacement panels. Involuntary job change resulted in postponing the rebuild...I treated the tub with a zinc coating and tucked it away in the garage waiting on funds. I treat the tub every year to prevent flash rust. So far, so good...

What now has me concerned is my overall plan of using the rig as a daily driver. I have debated the merits of a fiberglass tub and originally decided on this steel one I have. However, my build has change...I am now going half cab...which means I have to consider rust in the bed.

My initial plan was to have the frame galvanize dipped, then coat with Master Series Mastercoat and debating spraying the inside with boiled linseed oil. For my tub I am planning on coating the inside, underside, and firewall with Master Series Mastercoat, then a nice urethane primer, and urethane top coat. Install the bulkhead and debating Line-X the bed area. Once all that is done, I am having the whole rig coated with Rust Check.

So, given my change to half cab, I guess my questions:

1) Should I reconsider fiberglass? I don't care for the look as much, the weight difference, or all the little massaging that would be needed to make things fit. Plus, I seem to recall issues with the core being wood that could rot out, issues with the bed cracking if it is actually used to haul stuff, things like that.

2) Boiled linseed oil? Not overly expensive; but, is it overkill when considering the Rust Check?

3) Line-X the bed? I would have it painted first...but, have read of issues with cracks/chips allowing water underneath and actually promoting rust.

4) How do I seal the bulkhead? I know there was a gasket originally; but, that didn't work well in mine before. Is it better to use seam sealer? And, if so, shouldn't I do it before having it painted (after the Mastercoat)? What about the rear lip (by the tailgate) and the seams by the wheel wells? Seam sealer there?

5) How do I best protect the rollbar? I plan on Mastercoat on it as well; but, do I seal it to the floor? Install it before Line-X or after?

Lots of questions...thanks...
 

gr8dain

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Ashburn
State
VA
#3
You do have a lot of questions there. ;)

I don't have a lot of advice. But I can tell you that I picked up a Scrambler with a fiberglass body. I did not mind as it was cheaper and I don't like to do body work. And as a DD, I figured it would be better not to rust.

You mentioned some of the griped already, especially the rotting wood core. Mine is pretty good with the fit other than the half doors not completely flush when shut. When I put the bulkhead and half cab on, I had to play games to get the bulkhead to seal against the body. A little pain in the rear.

The bigger issue I have is the spiderweb cracking in the top coat and the cracks around the body mount bolts.

If I were to do it again, I would get a steal body. As for your other questions, I will have to let other folks answer.
 

twmattox

Legacy Registered User
City
Arcadia
State
IN
#4
Yeah, I know a lot of questions. I believe in planning before wrench turning...

You raise good points. Now that I think about it, I have the same spider web issues in my boats. Thanks...
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#5
Aluminum tub. Paint properly. Your frame treatment with/without oil (no clue on that one). Done. Do not pass Steel, do not collect Fiberglass.

Really, that's the only way I'd ever consider going down the path of a 4-season daily driver. I wouldn't touch LineX on steel in real salt use and I agree with you on fiberglass.

Oh and :bacon::bacon::bacon::bacon::bacon::bacon::bacon::bacon: that this thread is happening. HECK YES. Welcome back man!
 

BRKLYNZ28

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
BROOKLYN
State
NY
#6
Bw must be on heavy medication or has the day off today :) :)

Sent from my SM-N910P
 

twmattox

Legacy Registered User
City
Arcadia
State
IN
#8
Oh and :bacon::bacon::bacon::bacon::bacon::bacon::bacon::bacon: that this thread is happening. HECK YES. Welcome back man!
Hahahaha...thanks! I agree, it is about time.

Oh, I just priced an aluminum tub...um I value my kidneys and would prefer to build this Jeep before I die...wow those things are pricey!
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#9
Well, you asked. Would you rather go with something that rusts or rots/cracks (or that you're simply never going to be happy with, in the case of fiberglass?) and that you'll end up having to do over.

You're asking a LOT trying to make steel work in this situation. If aluminum is out of the question, I'd make it so that it's a 3-season driver. Again, just being honest.
 

twmattox

Legacy Registered User
City
Arcadia
State
IN
#10
You're right...in an ideal world. Guess I am looking for the impossible. Just trying to get opinions and do the best I can.

On a side note, 3-season driver really doesn't save it much here. No garage and roadside parking = just as bad as driving it.
 

jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Maple Hts.
State
Oh
#11
Boy do you know how to open a can of worms. I have a cj7 that came with a fiberglass body. Dains correct on the spider web cracking already had to replace the front fenders. When I step on the side steps you can hear the cracking and the firewall is trying to separate with the floor. the rear metal (boxed) that's in the fiberglass (tail gate mounts into) was completely rotted when I did the last rebuild of the jeep. Ended up replacing it with weather treated 2x4 and glassed in. Also the fiberglass body is lighter and you'll notice it on the street (in the snow and when driving on wet roads). Jeep likes to float and hydroplane. Steel won't take long to rot out. If you're looking for winter driving and for it to last (contradiction of terms) your best with aluminum. If you're going to drive in winter make sure you do something with the inside of the frame. It doesn't take long for the frame to rot out (especially considering the frame is already 30 yrs old). I used a tdk frame on the cj7 and painted the inside for protection. On the cj8 I'm building I had a stock frame acid dipped and epoxy primered the inside and outside. Then painted the inside and outside (learned a little since the cj7 build). On the cj7's first build I had the frame sandblasted. Within a year rust was creeping out from the spring hanger, shock mounts etc. Within 3 yrs the frame was rotten in sections. All the rust came from inside the frame (I did nothing with the inside of the frame after I had it sandblasted). I'm in Cleveland and you would be surprised at the rust damage with the engine mount and floor of the truck. If it were mine, it would never touch a salt road if I could avoid it. Even the cj7 (which everything was rebuilt except auto trans) was rebuilt around 15yrs ago has never seen the salt. Way too many hours went into her to see her end up that way again.
 

twmattox

Legacy Registered User
City
Arcadia
State
IN
#12
Well, ok...I feel a lot better about my choice to avoid fiberglass. Seems like the things I was worried about were right.

Believe me, if not driving it in the winter were an option...I would look into it. The choice is drive it in the winter...or sell it and get something like a Honda. I prefer having it. :)

The frame is getting acid dipped and galvanized. That is for certain.

So, now on to the bulkhead... How do I seal it in best? Seam Sealer?? Gasket??

Then: Master Series, Primer, Paint then bulkhead? OR Master Series, Primer, bulkhead, then Paint??
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#13
Last try: store it in winter. With the exception of this year (took a gamble on it actually being an easier winter, as everyone was saying) I've paid to put Mater into dry storage before the first snow.

Up here, there's a lot of storage places so pricing is competitive and while it costs money, in your situation, I'd look at it as insurance and saving a lot of work/money down the line. You may think it over and actually come up with a friend that might be able to do it for beers or something. Our bus goes to a friend's deer camp all winter under a huge tarp (care much less about it seeing weather).
 

Ghostwave

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Kirkland
State
Wa
#14
After 20 years playing with boats, I have a lot of experience with fiberglass. The stress cracking is a result of flexing. That's a complicated subject by itself, but the adequate simplification is that until you fix the flexing, you can't fix the stress cracking. Typically, it's just a cosmetic thing, but the typical fix is to provide the localized strength that the mfg left out. Usually that means adding a bit to the layup in the areas of flexing. It's no surprise that is the areas around fasteners.

Personally when my tub rusts, I'll look to aluminum, though my experience with boats in saltwater tells me that keeping paint adhered to aluminum is not always perfectly trivial. I'm actually looking into the idea of wraps instead of paint. High quality ones.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#15
...my experience with boats in saltwater tells me that keeping paint adhered to aluminum is not always perfectly trivial.
Definitely, that's why I used the term "properly painted" when I mentioned going aluminum.

I'm actually looking into the idea of wraps instead of paint. High quality ones.
Wraps are incredible. That's a very good idea for an aluminum tub as simple as a Scramblers!

I'd never seen one done until I had a shop wrap the grille on my LJ. It came out amazing given the complex nature of the grille slats.
 

cdvcj8

It's Not My Scrambler
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
West Friendship
State
MD
#16
You would still have to put some kind of protection under the wrap though, right??
 

Ghostwave

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Kirkland
State
Wa
#17
I would say you would. Paint does not fail itself, nearly so much as the aluminum encounters some moisture under the coating, develops some oxidation and forces the paint to bubble, crack and then it's all over. Same thing with powder coating, except it's even more encapsulated and impossible to patch. I used to maintain a small fleet of underwater scooters. The motors sealed with an o-ring against an aluminum cone. If the paint bubbles, the o-ring would not seat and they leaked. When painting them, I'd have to chemically etch with alodine, and then follow with what I vaguely recall as being a zinc primer or maybe it was just yellow. Anyhow, the point being that I learned that if I did not prep everything absolutely perfectly, the paint would bubble in the saltwater, the seal would fail and I would be rebuilding the electric motor.

Anyhow the point is that aluminum can be tricky. Fast forward a few years and I went fishing on a small charter out of Portland City. The guy shows up with an aluminum boat, and I complimented him on the paint. He tells me it's a wrap, he worked at a wrap shop. He would beat it up for a year and just spend a day and re-wrap it. Looked amazing. I would have thought he would trap water and get oxidation powdering, but he did not complain. So I don't know, but a finish on a Jeep that can be mildly abused for a coule years and replaced might be rather an appealing idea. Well done wraps are done on high end cars, and you would not know. I looked into having my Boxster wrapped in Mexican blue, but that kind of job was going to be over 5k. For a Jeep, I need to achieve something much less. Still think it would be achievable, while looking like a new paint job.
 

twmattox

Legacy Registered User
City
Arcadia
State
IN
#18
Well, I can say for a certainty that I will not be getting an aluminum tub. First, the high cost; in all honesty, not sure I could have afforded a fiberglass tub. Second, after driving my rigs for a couple years, all of the aluminum parts (engine bolt-ons, various screws and fasteners, a couple braces, etc) are well pitted and corroded. Like Ghostwave mentioned, one pinhole in the paint (or powdercoat) and it just rots out. Granted, it happens a good deal slower than steel...but it still happens.

And I know you guys mean well...but there is absolutely no chance I can park the rig in the winter. Local "storage" places are VERY pricey (indoor storage is well over $100/month and MUST be stored from September through April with no access as it is intended for boats and the owner is gone). Outdoor storage is possible but well over $50/month and basically just parked in a back field with no security. Regardless, I enjoy driving it in the snow...it is one of the largest reasons I have a Jeep at all. I know it means dealing with rust...I just want it to last as long as possible before having to do this all again. I know there are ways to do it "correctly" and ways that ensure it will rust through in a year... I am just trying to figure out the "best" way possible.
 

jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Maple Hts.
State
Oh
#19
The 4wd fiberglass tubs and fenders are made thinner than say a corvettes body and fenders. They have too much flex. Add to that, that as it ages the fiberglass drys out and looses the ability to flex as much as when newer (kinda like us:rotfl:). Your probably not far from redi strip Indy. They are the guys I took 2 frames, tub, tailgate, hood and assorted parts to (2 trips from Cleveland). They did a good job. Only thing I would recommend is to clean the parts good when you get them back, their cleaning (lowering in to tank) doesn't get all the acid out.
 

twmattox

Legacy Registered User
City
Arcadia
State
IN
#20
Small town I grew up in has a galvanizing shop. Planning on having them acid dip and galvanize my frame, crossmember, bumpers, and rollbar. Not sure if I should consider having anything else galvanized?

The tub is already stripped. I will consider having the hood, tailgate, fenders, and grill stripped at redi strip. Any real advanage to that over media blasting? With redi strip, I assume all the "hidden" channels and places are stripped to bare metal? How do you then seal areas? Thinking of the small channels on the underside of the tub, the inside of the tailgate, the weird overlap seam on the fenders, etc. How do you keep moisture out and rust at bay in those areas?
 
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