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Better than all the Rust

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by drpreposterous, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. drpreposterous
    Joined: Jul 18, 2009
    Posts: 7

    drpreposterous
    Member
    from detroit

    Which steel-bodied collector cars (1920s to '60s) best resisted rust? I've heard early '50s Chryslers were particular resistant to the tin worm. Any other contenders?
     
  2. madpole
    Joined: Apr 9, 2007
    Posts: 629

    madpole
    Member

    i heard late 50s early 60s chryslers are some of the worst for rust. not sure why, but i have seen many floorboards and trunk floors that seem to go along with this.
     
  3. Abone29
    Joined: Mar 20, 2007
    Posts: 234

    Abone29
    Member

    I've always heard that the steel that Henry used on the early Ford bodies had a high nickel content and thats why so many A's & T's have survived.
     
  4. Not so. Chrysler and Virgil Exner (sp?) in the 50s gave little or no consideration to drainage. It was style at any cost, and with the new-found American prosperity it was not deemed to be important, they didn't want the cars to last anyway. That's why the majority of Chrysler product vehicles have huge rust problems, particularly inner and outer rockers, interior floor, trunk floor and body mounts. The steel was probably no different to anyone elses, just the design philosophy.
     

  5. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906

    PhilJohnson
    Member

    The lower to the ground the vehicle is built the worse the rust problems are. I'd say once you start getting into the 50s you start seeing some pretty serious rust problems with cars because that is when cars started being built with less ground clearance. My bet the reason why T and As survived as well as they have is because even if the car was sunk up to the axles the body is far enough from the ground to prevent moisture build-up. Also in my experience more expensive cars tend not to rust out as bad. A 50s era Cad usually is in better shape on average than a 50s cheapie Chevy. I think it is because the more expensive cars had thicker metal. Cars with separate inner fenders seem to have much less cowl rust. A lot of the rust problems I see on older cars comes from mud and salt being caked everywhere underneath rusting out head light buckets, tops of fenders, cowls. I have a Willys Aero that rusted out around the tail lights because there is nothing preventing mud from being flung all the up into the tail light housing and all the way forward into the inside of the door pillar. I plan on putting inner fenderwells on the Willys and my 65 F100.
     
  6. Just an observation here. I've been playing with cars for over 45 years, but only the last 10 with old Fords, but it seems to me that virgin mined iron ore that Henry used and controlled with the best alloying ingredients he could use held up far better than the recycled stuff that was used later. I remember countless times I broke bolts trying to get them out in lots of cars but these old Fords seem to come apart easy. I just sent an axle from a T to a guy and needed to take the shackles apart. I just grabbed a wrench and removed the 4 bolts, and they just came out and were perfect.NO RUST BUSTER KB BLASTER! that's after 85 years of being outside in all kinds of weather! AMAZING!
     
  7. Toast
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,885

    Toast
    Member
    from Jenks, OK

    Mopars from that era are the worst! Best is hard to say. Almost all the ones that stayed in Arizona are fine:rolleyes:
     
  8. It almost universally depends on the car's exposure to road salt. Around here cars weren't even making 10 years old before they'd get patches in various common rot places. When I run into one that's sat that's more solid, there usually is a reason for it - low milage, not used in the winter, came in from out of state, that kind of thing. And it even depends on where it sits, what sort of ground and all that.

    The '57 Mopars were rushed and suffered greatly from quality control, lack of undercoating and other issues, they gave Mopar a bad rep for rotting cars, but having been under some it's the same deal, the ones that saw more steel-friendly conditions lasted longer.
     
  9. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 6,020

    A Boner
    Member

    I had a 57 Plymouth in 1961, and the metal was bubbling above the headlights!!!!!!! What a POS. My next car was a 58 corvette.........I've been a fan of fiberglass since.

    It seems like 20's and 30's cars had thick steel and as the years progressed the metal has gotten thinner and thinner.
     
  10. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,149

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I think so many of the mid 50's and up cars are rusted out because they had a lot of places for mud and moisture to collect built in. Plus panels and doors didn't/don't always drain as well as they should. I've been in a number of mid 50's cars that you cold hear the water slosh in the doors after a rain storm or washing the car.
    I had a 57 Plymouth and it was rusted above the headlights because they didn't put much of an inner fender liner in it. My 56 Plymouth though was pretty solid in comparison. Wish I still had that one as it had a Red Ram Dodge hemi in it. I traded a Nash Metropolitan rag top for it and then got drafted.
     
  11. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,149

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I think so many of the mid 50's and up cars are rusted out because they had a lot of places for mud and moisture to collect built in. Plus panels and doors didn't/don't always drain as well as they should. I've been in a number of mid 50's cars that you cold hear the water slosh in the doors after a rain storm or washing the car.
    I had a 57 Plymouth and it was rusted above the headlights because they didn't put much of an inner fender liner in it. My 56 Plymouth though was pretty solid in comparison. Wish I still had that one as it had a Red Ram Dodge hemi in it. I traded a Nash Metropolitan rag top for it and then got drafted.
     
  12. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,060

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    my 61 Dodge 2 door post car was born here in the S.F. Bay area. sold in Sunnyvale, and the original owner lived in Los Altos. I bought it in 1991 with about 75 thousand miles on it. there is a good chance it has never been out of the area with those miles. not much rain here.

    the rockers under the rear side windows are both rotted to shit. water goes in under the window and does not properly drain out. I have never seen a early 60's Mopar 2 door post with old paint that did not have this same rot.

    I'd call it a poor design, but in reality, cars are not supposed to last more than 10 - 15 years, so the car was supposed to be in the junk pile before the rust ever started.

    of course Rustynewyorker would be happy as a shit eating dog to find a 1961 car with only 2 1/2 feet of rocker to replace... so I guess it's all about where you live.
     
  13. billsill45
    Joined: Jul 15, 2009
    Posts: 784

    billsill45
    Member
    from SoCal

    In the early years, Ford had a reputation for using superior materials in his cars (Ford's Rouge Steel mill, plus wood that was harvested from Ford forest land in the Michigan U.P. and processed into finished parts in Ford's Kingsford, MI plant). Another factor contributing to a higher survival rate was Ford's more extensive use of steel inner body structures which remained intact longer. Up to the mid-30's, many of Ford's competitors built wooden body structures with the sheet metal attached to it. After a few years of wear and tear and weather, the bodies often became so flimsy the cars were considered not worth repairing. On the other hand, Ford bodies generally were a lot tighter and the cars deemed worth mechanical repairs to keep them on the road and out of the scrap yards.
     
  14. Itchy-Pit
    Joined: May 7, 2008
    Posts: 497

    Itchy-Pit
    Member

    1971 Caddy - Galvanized. Held water like a bathtub for 20+ years. No rust. Buffed it out and sold to a Hell's Angel after he layed his hog down. Really! I was 18.
     
  15. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,048

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    After buying my '47 Hudson coupe, I noticed that the doors have "windows" aprox. 2"X3" cut out of the bottom panel, the full length of the doors. No wonder the doors are rust-free...they can't hold any water.
     
  16. rustdodger
    Joined: Jan 17, 2009
    Posts: 275

    rustdodger
    Member

    It seems to me that keeping the car away from salted roads (we don't salt the roads around here in the winter as on a lot of the west coast) Also keeping them out of the wet dirt are big factors in many cases. If it sits in the dirt here for long good bye floorpan. I'm sure there are other factors but in most cases those two factor on high on the list.My notion is that in MOST cases it has more to do with envirornment that the construction of the car.
     
  17. drpreposterous
    Joined: Jul 18, 2009
    Posts: 7

    drpreposterous
    Member
    from detroit

    Not the LATE 50s Chryslers, Rockman, the early 50s. (Exner didn't really have a hand in things till the '55s came out).
     
  18. The Hank
    Joined: Mar 18, 2008
    Posts: 779

    The Hank
    Member
    from CO

    I think the Vette's are good for not rusting.
     
  19. RTSrunner
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 25

    RTSrunner
    Member

    Think again,frames ,inner doors,Vette's are not immune to rust-'cept the 'glass of course!I don't think any late fifties car didn't have rust issues,unless it was a dry climate car.I remember reading about poor quality steel circa 1957,does anyone else have any knowledge of this?
    RT
     
  20. FoMoCoPower
    Joined: Feb 2, 2007
    Posts: 2,490

    FoMoCoPower
    Member


    I parted out a `78 Corvette last year that was the rustiest POS I ever saw.
     
  21. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    I concur with you. I still find completely rust free Mopars prior to '57 when the radical body redesign was done. Just picked up a '52 Chrysler with no rust whatsoever, even though it has been left in a field since the '60's. The more places mud and debris could collect was the main reason certain cars rusted more than others, along with weatherseals that didn't stand the test of time.

    ---John
     

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