How to Protect a Chassis from Rust

Chassis and frame rot is a problem all cars and trucks need to worry about. Whether you’re restoring a classic or maintaining your daily driver you’ll need to protect your chassis from rust and frame rot. We recently had a 1960’s Chevy frame in the Eastwood Garage that needed to be stripped and treated to stop the rust and get the frame ready for a body again. Below we show you the 3 basic steps for restoring and protecting your chassis from future rust.

The frame shown above is typical of many frames in which 99% of the original chassis paint has failed and the frame is covered in rust and scale. Before you start this process make sure that you go over the frame very closely to make sure there aren’t any areas that are pitted so badly the metal is thin or weak. Any areas that have thin or missing metal need to be replaced before starting this part of the project.

Once you’ve checked the frame for damage you can begin the most labor intensive part of the project which is stripping the loose and heavy rust off of the chassis. This can be done with media blasting or mechanically. Since this project is being built as a “driver” we chose to use a wire brush to knock the heavy rust off in the hard to reach areas and the Contour SCT to work the larger areas. The goal here is to remove any loose or flaky rust and leave a surface that coatings can bite into.

Once all of the loose rust has been removed you need to clean any sanding dust, residue, or grease and grime from the frame so we have a clean surface to apply our coatings to. We like to clean the grease and grime off with Chassis Kleen and clean the frame of any final residue with PRE Paint Prep. This 1-2 combination will assure you have a frame free of any contaminants that coatings can adhere to.

Now you’re ready to apply Rust Encapsulator to your frame. Rust Encapsulator can be applied over any clean surface and mixed surfaces like rust and clean metal. It works by stopping rust and sealing out moisture and future rust. Our Rust Encapsulator Platinum is our best yet and a frame properly prepped and coated in it will last a lifetime! Rust Encapsulator can be applied with a brush, roller, or sprayed with an HVLP paint gun. We like to use the spray gun for hard to reach areas and brush-on in the larger, more accessible areas.

Unlike many other coatings Rust Encapsulator doesn’t need to be top coated and will give a lifetime of protection once cured. If you’d like to top coat your chassis for additional protection and looks we suggest applying our 2K Aerospray Ceramic Chassis Black. It comes in multiple gloss levels and is extremely durable for road debris. This entire project can be done at home in your garage or driveway and requires no special tools; just some good old fashioned elbow grease!

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