BY ED D OF E-TEK RESTORATIONS
Many times during a restoration, I’ve run into situations where, though I know there are methods that can negate rust in various ways, there’s always one area that has eluded the restorer’s best efforts: inside enclosed areas like frame rails, windshield pillars, cross members and the like.
Sometimes, there are tell-tale signs that an area is rusting from the inside: it shows through as a bubble, several bubbles or perforations. More often than not, however, there is no outer signs of rust forming below…until it’s too late.
Rust can be extremely close to perforating a surface yet be completely missed, even in a top-quality restoration. Imagine delivering a $60,000 frame-up restoration to a paying customer and a month later rust bubbles are forming on the rocker panel! Now imagine that project is your own. You’ve spent 1000s of hours on it over several years, only to see a flaw growing before your eyes on your perfect ride. If there was something—anything—that could be done to prevent that from happening, you bet you’d want to use it!
Enter Eastwood’s Internal Frame Coating spray, with its specially designed conical nozzle at the end of an 18″ tube applicator. (for more specifics about what is inside this wonder spray and how it works, click here)This system was designed to get the product down deep into frames and other enclosed areas, to coat the inside surface against further rust damage. I know for a fact it could have helped on several past projects that continued to rust from the inside out. On one vehicle in particular—my prized ’67 Ford Galaxie 500XL Convertible—the frame continued to rust from the inside until it perforated the thick frame rails.
One of my current projects, a ’56 Chevrolet 1300 1/2-ton truck, has a few areas that fit this description and are perfect candidates for Eastwood’s Internal Frame Coating spray. While the majority of the frame on these trucks is an open design, the cross member is enclosed and will easily benefit from the application of this product. While Eastwood markets their spray specifically for frames, I find there are many more areas and applications where it can and should be used. As important (and perhaps more so) are areas of the body that are enclosed, but at the same time exposed to rust’s perfect conditions, such as enclosed box corners and the windshield pillars.
Eastwood’s Internal Frame Coating is formulated to both convert and encapsulate rust. It incorporates an oily film, as well as zinc phosphate to further protect metal from future corrosion. The viscosity is somewhere between WD40 and 30-weight oil, meaning that while it sticks to the area it’s sprayed on, it also moves and flows enough to penetrate into seams and pinch welds. As per Eastwood, it penetrates into the existing corrosion, arresting it where it starts.
Of course another rust spray wouldn’t be much of story without some way to get it into those areas being discussed.
That’s where Eastwood’s special nozzle-applicator shines. This “conical” nozzle sprays the product in a 360° pattern, and resides at the end of an 18″ tube, long enough to reach into hidden areas to spray the product onto all sides within an enclosed area.
At right is a view into the enclosed end of the box side of my ’56 Chevy Truck. The rust is easily evident and will surely continue unabated, unless something is done. Trying to apply a rust product deep into this area is difficult at best, and most of it will likely end up with little or no rust protection.
I sprayed Eastwood’s Internal Frame Coating into the enclosed area using the conical applicator nozzle. It went on evenly, coating it in a 360° fashion. I could also see that there was enough material emitted, of a sufficient viscosity, that is would both coat all sides within the box-end and enter the gaps where moisture and debris would otherwise sit and continue the rusting process.
Until recently, unless you where somehow able to apply a rust paint with a long brush or applicator (which doesn’t work well in many circumstances), there was little you could do to give these areas a measure of protection. At left is the windshield pillar on my ’56 Chevy Truck. Although I brushed a well-known rust paint onto the areas accessible when cut for welding, there where still large areas above and below the repair area with no protection from further rust formation.
Again, inserting the conical nozzle as far up into and around the windshield and roof pillars as I could, I was able to spray a good amount of the product into all areas. Certainly this would be better than leaving it as it was, exposed to the elements and a trap for moisture. The Eastwood coating will definitely keep that moisture and further rust at bay.
While long-term testing will be required to see how good the rust protection will be, there is little doubt as to the benefit of using this product, with its unique applicator and proprietary blend of chemicals. Certainly the benefits of an oily film to ward off moisture, as well as zinc to bind rust, have been known for a long time. I’ll definitely be using Eastwood’s Internal Frame Coating on all my personal and project vehicles from here on in. It’s just another measure of protection against rust.