Rust Treatment

There was no way the van was going to pass it’s next MOT with some of the rust areas so it was time to treat them accordingly.

For small areas I removed as much flaking rust as possible, wire brushed, coated with Bilt Hamber Hydrate 80, filled and then painted.

The major repair areas were welded by John at VW Welding Services in Salford and cost £700.

Slider panels

For this area I used Hydrate 80 then aluminium mesh and P38 filler, it was then top coated with Rustoleum CombiColor. The rust streaks made this area look really bad but the holes were minimal.

Offside Slider

Nearside Slider

To remove the sliding door mechanism I watched GoWesty’s excellent  Sliding Door Maintenance – Part One and Part Two videos.

Side Panel (offside)

This is the area behind the fridge, to access this panel I needed to first remove the interior units. From the outside it did not look that bad, inside was a completely different story.

Parts of the floor had been completely eaten away by rust.

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Extent of the sill and panel rust

After cleaning away as much rust as possible I took the van to John at VW Welding Services, he completed the work in three days. Alan Schofield provided the new sill and side panel and John fabricated the new floor part.

I cleaned the panel thoroughly before coating with Electrox. It is not porous like normal primers so can be left as topcoat until I get round to repainting the whole van.

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Side panel coated in Bilt Hamber Electrox

I brushed Hydrate 80 deep into all the seams to combat any remaining rust then used Tiger Seal to seal the seams.

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Brushing Hydrate 80 deep into the panel seams

Rear Wheel Arches

Both wheel arches had a lot of rust. The rockwool insulation originally used by Autosleeper unfortunately holds water so any moisture getting inside sits against the panel and rots it from the inside out. Additionally there are no escape routes so only when it rusts all the way through can the water get out.

Once the two holes in at the top rear of the wheel arches have formed, the water then runs down into the rear platform trays and eats through them as well.

The nearside wheel arch holes were welded over by John.

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Repair plate welded to wheel arch

All rust was treated with Hydrate 80:

Once dry I sprayed Dynax S50 anti-corrosion wax into all the cavities:

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Spraying Dynax S50 into all the cavities

Platform Trays

As a consequence of water pooling in the wheel arches the platform trays on both sides had eaten through  leaving huge holes. These were patched by John and covered in Waxoyl.

Footwells

The offside footwell looked a bit dodgy so I gave it a good poke. It turned out to be lots of filler hiding a massive hole. As I didn’t have time to get this welded before the MOT I cleaned everything up as best I could, painted with Electrox and filled with aluminium mesh backing.

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Hmm, what is going on here?

I then top coated with Rustoleum Combicolor which I had matched to the original L90D paint.

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Repaired and painted footwell

Success!

Sir Adventure passed the MOT. The only advisory was very slight play in the front offside wheel bearing.

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Still to do…

There’s a hole below the nearside windscreen corner which I coated with Hydrate 80 some months back. I moved the dash out slightly to see how far the rust actually goes, it looks horrific but is manageable. I’m going to address this next year.

This is likely the cause of the rotten footwells so i’m going to have to keep an eye on any standing water in the meantime.

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Rusted bottom corner of windscreen
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Close up of windscreen rust

I also took the rear bumper off which unearthed this monstrosity.

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Hole in the nearside lower rear corner section

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