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i have set out to clean up my rusted battery tray. i tried to find a replacement at a couple junk yards, but none were really any better.

i guess this is what you yankees would call surface rust?

the rust seems to be pretty isolated to the battery tray and directly below it. i suppose a PO's battery caused it, i don't know. pulling the tray and the mount for the vapor canister is a piece of cake. cleaning the up went well so far. i used my angle grinder with a couple different wire brushes. i'll finish up with my die grinders in the small spaces.

after they're cleaned up, i'll paint them and put them back.

any suggestions on how to handle the rust inside the engine compartment? or is it just a slow and steady dose of the wire wheel?

EDIT: my phone takes the worst pictures. (the lens is damaged). there are / were a few places where metal was flaking off lightly. that's what really prompted my mini project.








 

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looks much better
I have parts like that different ways in the past

used metal prep acid wash ,dried and primed right away,

used rust converter primer
sand blasting ,etch primer and paint


or muriatic acid then washed and compressed air dry and primed right away

all worked well and kept rust from returning
 

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For the smaller parts, a few minutes in a sand blasting cabinet will get rid of that rust, though it looks like you did a decent job with the wire wheel.
For the body rust, this is a very common area. Just about every F series/bronco has that problem. Yours isn't too bad. Most have rusted right through. If possible, try to remove as much of the rust and flaky metal as you can, clean it with metal prep of your choice and hit it with some heavy duty equipment paint to help seal out any moisture and prevent more rust from happening. Ideally, you'd remove that front core support, the body part that is rusting, clean it all up and treat the whole thing.

For reference, this is what most core supports look like.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
wow, what a rabbit hole i've gone down...i considered for a minute pulling my bumper (i still might) and the core support, but that's just a little too involved for my time frame. i really thought i was going to just do the battery tray. regardless, i need to get this back together because i have other projects to handle during christmas vacation.

anyway, in pulling parts i did find that my vapor canister is toasted.



also, i managed to break the backside of my parking light. i was trying to get a bolt out of the wheel well from the bottom, and my vice grips i had inside spun and busted it. so, with the vapor canister and now the parking light, i'll be heading to the junk yard to get some parts.




i also pulled the horns, which are slightly rusted. they'll get cleaned and painted.



here's a pic from bottom. i flipped the fender well liner over. at one point, i was really concerned that i had gotten rust stuck in my eye. yes, i'm wearing safety glasses, but it managed to get in anyway. luckily i was able to get it out. i've had to go to the DR before to have particles removed. it wasn't enjoyable and i would love to avoid it in the future.

finally, should i be able to remove this bolt? it looks like i should, but it wouldn't budge, even after some liquid wrench. removing it would make it easier to clean up some of that rust, but i don't want to break anything else.
 

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If the bolt you are referring to is the core support bolt, no it won't come out easily. The steel washer that sets on top of the upper bushing is threaded and the bolt screws into it and 99% of the time the threads are rusted so bad the bolt snaps off then everything needs to be cut out. If you aren't replacing the core support or bushings then don't mess with it, its a major can of worms plus the correct bushing kit is over a hundred bucks
 

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If the bolt you are referring to is the core support bolt, no it won't come out easily. The steel washer that sets on top of the upper bushing is threaded and the bolt screws into it and 99% of the time the threads are rusted so bad the bolt snaps off then everything needs to be cut out. If you aren't replacing the core support or bushings then don't mess with it, its a major can of worms plus the correct bushing kit is over a hundred bucks
What he said. When I did mine, I broke one of the bolts and had to piece together a mount and shims from the hardware I grabbed from the same truck as the "new" core support. Your core support doesn't look bad though. Rusted sure, but not rotted. If possible, try to hit it with a sand blaster while its still mounted and hit it with some paint. I think Rustoleum makes paint that's good for steel with some mild rust on it. It supposedly stops the rust from getting worse and prevents future rust. You may want to look into that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
first of all, thanks for the input. i had a feeling that the core support bolt (didn't know that was the name) would be a potential problem. i'm glad i asked. so i left it in place. and thanks jermil about the offer for the canister. but i'm good.

now i'm just about done. i have to go buy a couple bolts tomorrow (they must have been missing when i took it apart - i don't generally lose pieces). outside of that, it's done.

a couple hours at the junk yard and $27 later, i had a vapor canister (with hoses - one of mine had a hole), parking light housing, replacement a/c vent, the cage for the ash tray, and a couple of bolts.



i wire wheeled the bottom side of the support.




then it was painting time. i used rustoleum protective enamel, oil based, rust preventive. $8/qt at home depot and i barely used any. on the horns, i used rustoleum rattle can, because i have it for a tonka truck restoration i'm doing. i looked into the por15, as i've heard before that it was the bees knees. but, i couldn't readily find it and what i did see was way more expensive.



i was painting everything else, so why not the canister?










 
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