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Jeep Wranglers have a known rust problem that leaves us thinking, whether it’s the manufacturer’s fault or it’s because of the adventures. It’s hard to come to a conclusion. Well, the answer to that is simple.
Both are at fault. Jeeps are known to have this cheap iron alloy that rusts pretty quick and once it starts rusting, it spreads like an epidemic. The owners also neglect the rust in the beginning so it becomes much worse later on.
But Jeep would take most of the blame for making such a vehicle that wouldn’t last much longer while it is portrayed as something reliable that goes wherever you would take it.
We would have to find a way to fix this now. And in this section, you will learn how to remove the rust if you have any and then how to keep it protected, preventing any further damages to the essential components.
How It Happens & How to prevent it
This is what science taught us about rusting, and how it really happens:
4Fe + 3O2 + 6H2O → 4Fe(OH)3
It means that when we have air(oxygen) and water(H2O) together in one place along with our notorious Jeep (Iron) alloy, we will be making lots of rust. This reaction is the culprit that takes place within 4-5 days.
If the reactants are available for 4-5 days i.e if the jeep is under moisture for 5 days straight then you are screwed, the rust will appear and it will keep on eating away your precious jeep if preventive measures are not implemented.
The aim is to stop the oxidation process that is causing this rust issue. We can do that in two ways, either prevent the moisture or prevent the air from touching the surface of our jeep’s alloy.
But the thing is, the air is around us 24/7 so the approach is to somehow keep the moisture away.
Now there are several ways to prevent rusting, but let’s first analyze the spots where it usually rusts. Wranglers commonly accumulate rust in the following areas:
On top of side fenders: This area is common for rust as it is flat and can have water lying on it for a longer period of time. The underside of the fender is also susceptible to rust.
Hinges: All the hinges on the jeep commonly rusts due to those small crevices where water can be retained thus you will see rusting hinges i.e the door hinges. Other hinges include the tailgate, the windshield frame, etc.
Body mounts; Check the area under the door having the mounts that attach the upper body with the lower body. This area is greatly exposed to dust, rocks, debris, and water that makes it susceptible to rust pretty quickly.
Transmission/Gas tank skid plate: Check the mounts.
Exhaust: These are known to get rusty.
Check the floor under the carpets: Remove the carpets and check the floor.
Control arms: These are notorious to get rusty in stealth mode as you won’t notice until it’s too late. It happens because it rusts from the inside first making its way to the outside. There is a hole in its form where you can check/feel any metal pieces.
How To Remove Rust
These are the steps to remove rust. Make sure you have prepared all the materials as simple paint over the rust won’t solve the issue.
- Thoroughly clean the area
- Completely grind/sand the area having rust until bear metal appears using the grinder/wire wheel.
- Use acetone to wipe the area with a rag to make sure it ready to get painted
- In the nooks and crannies where rust won’t come off, you can use “Rust Reformer” which changes the rust into a paintable compound. Let it sit for as long as possible to let it dry completely, about 24 hours will be okay.
- Then prime the area and paint it.
- Give another paint coating on top.
- Spray some undercoating
- Last but not the least, to protect the area for a longer period of time spray the Fluid film. Spray WD-40 if you are looking for protection for a short period because WD-40 (see Amazon) would have to be sprayed every once in a while.
How To Give It Long-Lasting Protection
Here are some tips for giving your jeep a much longer life span:
- Don’t let your jeep collect mud for long periods, mud contains moisture and moisture causes rust
- Address the paint chipping, which exposes the metal under the paint film to air and moisture.
- Pressure Wash the underside of the jeep to keep away mud/salt/grime etc.
- Keep a can of spray paint with you all the time to coat the affected area
- Spraying WD-40 is also a good option which is much cheaper but will not last long.
A long-lasting “Fluid film” is also available to give a protective coating to the frame under the body, which will prevent rust as no moisture would come in contact with the metal itself.
Will it rust if I travel in rainstorms?
No – in fact, it will not rust at all while you are traveling in the rain, but it will rust within the crevices and tight spots if there is some water retention for quite some time, especially in the form of mud. The rust will develop if necessary preventive measures are not taken and the mud is not removed.
Will it rust if I do mud bogging or off-roading?
No, It won’t rust because of mud bogging or offroading – in fact, it might not rust at all if preventive measures are adequately carried out in time (Within 4-5 days). Rust is the aftermath of neglecting the thorough cleaning and drying of the vehicle after you are done with the adventures.