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Back seat floors rotting...

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Old 09-01-2011, 10:55 PM   #1
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Default Back seat floors rotting...

This really bums me out... I changed my oil last weekend, and I was crawling under the car just checking things out, and I noticed the underside of the floorpans where the rear seat footwells are seem to be corroding. I don't think they're rotted through (or at least I hope not...I was too chicken to put much pressure on it to find out), but there's def corosion going on.

What's the best fix for this? Cut out the affected metal and weld in new pieces?

Or if it isn't rotted all the way through will some grinding and a coat of POR-15 or similar do the trick?

Or is it time to just trade the thing in??

And any idea how much the cut/weld job would cost at a shop? I don't have the tools/experience to do that at home.

I can handle option #2 myself though.

The rest of the undercarriage looks okay, it's just that one place, on both sides, that seems to be rotting. I'm guessing that I was wrong in thinking my T-Tops don't leak.

And I'm sure being a New England car doesn't help. The first year I owned it I drove it in the winter, and I can't speak for what previous owners did.

I really envy you guys down south and out west...when I was in Cali last summer I saw some 40 year old cars out there that looked better than some 10 year old cars here.
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Old 09-02-2011, 06:13 AM   #2
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This really bums me out... I changed my oil last weekend, and I was crawling under the car just checking things out, and I noticed the underside of the floorpans where the rear seat footwells are seem to be corroding. I don't think they're rotted through (or at least I hope not...I was too chicken to put much pressure on it to find out), but there's def corosion going on.

What's the best fix for this? Cut out the affected metal and weld in new pieces?

Or if it isn't rotted all the way through will some grinding and a coat of POR-15 or similar do the trick?

Or is it time to just trade the thing in??

And any idea how much the cut/weld job would cost at a shop? I don't have the tools/experience to do that at home.

I can handle option #2 myself though.

The rest of the undercarriage looks okay, it's just that one place, on both sides, that seems to be rotting. I'm guessing that I was wrong in thinking my T-Tops don't leak.

And I'm sure being a New England car doesn't help. The first year I owned it I drove it in the winter, and I can't speak for what previous owners did.

I really envy you guys down south and out west...when I was in Cali last summer I saw some 40 year old cars out there that looked better than some 10 year old cars here.



Living up there, I would've POR-15'd it before it left the dealership upon being sold to the original owner, haha.

Your best bet may be to take a wire brush or sandpaper and sand it down a bit. See if it becomes bare steel before reaching your carpet. If you can reach bare steel, I'd definitely POR-15 it before this winter. Salt sucks, and I'm sure your salt situation is much worse up there than it is down here in Jersey.

Or, if you'd try to not sand at first, upload some pictures for us to see on various angles and I'm sure someone can give you thoughtful insight as to your best approach.

P.S I wouldn't sell it just because of something like that. But if you're like me, I have a personal attachment to my Camaro, and tend to sweet talk her and get her nice and wet, clean her, than wax her off. Just saying.
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Old 09-02-2011, 04:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice.

Well, I didn't buy it till '07, so the poor thing may have suffered through 7 winters. Last winter it didn't even leave the driveway and spent most of the time under a cover, and the winter before that it only left the driveway a few times, on warm, sunny days. So it's safe to say it's retired from winter use. It's just unfortunate that I lack indoor storage space for it.

I'm not going to trade it in. You know, I really want a newer car, my other one (the winter DD) is a '97 Jeep that is in rough shape lately. Unfortunately the only way to get something newer and nice is to use the Bird as a trade in (or sell it), and I'm just not ready to do that yet.

I have this week off, so I'll get out the wire brush and see what's what under there. Hopefully it's not too bad, and I can just POR it. I think I'm also going to pull up the carpet inside to see what it looks like on top.

And as soon as I can get back under it, I'll take and post some pics.
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:39 PM   #4
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it might be challenging but you can take off the bottom of the back seat (just one bolt) and the carpet is already slit at the mount for the seat, just try to peek through it with a flashlight and see what it looks like from the top
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:12 PM   #5
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^^ Thanks for the tip!
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
Thanks for the advice.

Well, I didn't buy it till '07, so the poor thing may have suffered through 7 winters. Last winter it didn't even leave the driveway and spent most of the time under a cover, and the winter before that it only left the driveway a few times, on warm, sunny days. So it's safe to say it's retired from winter use. It's just unfortunate that I lack indoor storage space for it.

I'm not going to trade it in. You know, I really want a newer car, my other one (the winter DD) is a '97 Jeep that is in rough shape lately. Unfortunately the only way to get something newer and nice is to use the Bird as a trade in (or sell it), and I'm just not ready to do that yet.

I have this week off, so I'll get out the wire brush and see what's what under there. Hopefully it's not too bad, and I can just POR it. I think I'm also going to pull up the carpet inside to see what it looks like on top.

And as soon as I can get back under it, I'll take and post some pics.
'97 Jeep what exactly? 4.0L? If so, I'd keep that as the winter DD. Pretty much a bulletproof motor. You can let the hole jeep rust through and the motor will still be perfect.

You could always swap out the body for a fiberglass one as well. Than you'd have no rust issues... EVER. 'cept for frame, but nothing POR-15 won't fix.

Anyway, once you get the time, feel free to update us. Although, it may be nice to upgrade to a fancy new car... the new car will rot twice as fast. =/.

It's nearly impossible to find a quality vehicle these days. Hell, I think Kia is the only manufacturer that pretty much comes manufactured and assembled in one country.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:13 AM   #7
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^^^ Yup, 4.0. '97 Grand Cherokee. The rusting process has begun...the bottoms of the doors are starting to go, and I have a nice big hole in my driver's side rocker. Runs like a top though, although it needs some attention in the steering dept, and I need to swap out the transfer case.

I hate working on it...everything is frozen, last time I did suspension work on it I cut or broke more bolts than I actually loosened.

The motor is great though...157k and still ticking. The 16mpg gets old though, this thing is going to cost me a fortune to run this winter...I do about 330 miles a week.

And don't laugh, but if I had the money I would seriously consider buying a Kia. I was at the Kia dealership with a friend a few weeks ago, she was looking at getting one. They had an Optima in the showroom...damn are those things sweet! They look great and have an awesome interior.

This thing was loaded and cost a few dollars over 29k, had the turbo DI 4cyl...274hp, 26mpg city/ 34mpg highway.

I would totally rock that car, it's amazing how far Kia's have come over the past few years!
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:43 AM   #8
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I agree the KIA's look a lot nicer than they use to. I don't know about their build quality but they look good.

My mother in law has a 4.0 Jeep Cherokee and that thing scoots. It's a lot of fun with that short wheel base.

If you do POR-15 don't take all the rust off. It needs some to actually do it's thing.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:02 AM   #9
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^^ Okay, thanks for the tip about the POR. Now is that actually the best product to use for this? I was reading another thread somewhere, there were a few other similar products mentioned. I don't remember exactly what they were though, I'll have to do a search for it.

And when I POR (or whatever) the underside, should I do the top side as well? And how about undercoating...should I follow the up the POR with some undercoat? I'm thinking the spraycan stuff you can get at Autozone, WalMart, etc.

Thanks!
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:02 AM
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