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Old 03-27-2012, 08:18 PM
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Frame paint ideas; thoughts?

I've been doing lots of reading about paint, and a lot of the most informative posts came from this forum, so that's why I'm here. I want to paint my truck's frame for rustproofing. I don't much care how it looks, I care about it being physically and chemically durable for a long time. This is a 4x4 that'll see all kinds of dust, rocks, ice, snow, salt... everything a vehicle could possibly encounter, and I won't be able to touch-up or even wash it for months at a time: it's going to be a motorhome that I might be full-timing in once it's built.

Budget? $150 would be nice, $250 acceptable, $500 absolute maximum.

Here's my idea for the outside of the frame:
1. Strip to bare, shiny metal with wire brushes, no chemicals.
2. POR-15 Metal-Ready, followed by the black POR itself, brushed or rolled on, not sprayed (I have a compressor, but also neighbors who'll have my head if I stink up the place. Plus, I hear that POR in particular has some real toxic vapors if sprayed).
3. Epoxy primer, also rolled or brushed on.
4. Tractor/implement paint topcoat with added hardener, also brushed/rolled.

Specific question: can I do something less drastic than a down-to-bare-metal strip, without sacrificing primer and paint adhesion quality? I have no idea what my frame's factory paint is. It's a 1981 Toyota pickup.

Here's my idea for the inside:
1. Put the frame on a rotisserie, pressurewash the inside with diluted degreaser, rinse and dry thoroughly, possibly a couple of times.
2. Weld up or otherwise permanently seal 90% of the holes in the frame, mostly the small ones.
3. Make bolt-on covers with rubber gaskets for the remaining holes. Add an air fitting to one of them. Test the whole frame for airtightness (including +/- 10 psi or so, to allow for temperature-related pressure changes) until it passes.
3.5. Make the assumption that air-tight means water-and-all-other-crud-tight.
4. Pour in some oil, rotate the frame every which way to spread it, drain the excess.
5. Throw in a few dessicant packets (little white baggies in snack food packaging that say "DO NOT EAT"), bolt on the covers, inspect once a year or two but expect it to never rust, at least not from the inside like truck frames usually do.

Corrolary ideas for the inside:
- Suck out about 10psi of air before sealing it up, to help against moisture and pressure increases from heat.
- Leave one or two holes open, install vents in them (like axle housings have), possibly run hoses from them up high to allow water crossings.

Thoughts?

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Last edited by moroza; 03-27-2012 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:29 PM
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If I were to do that I would use Corroseal on the inside of the frame..just use a siphon wand to fill the frame tubes with coroseal..yes you can weld up a lot of the excess frame holes..On the outside of the frame 2 wet coats of epoxy and a topcoat of tractor enamel and you are good to go..Shooting the paint is doable as it does not take all that long to do..a good warm day and it can be done in a days time and this may be a time when doing it and then saying sorry is in order on the painting..

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Old 03-27-2012, 11:35 PM
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I think you may possibly cause more problems trying to seal the frame. I would do as Sam says, but leave the holes open, you can always inspect them this way. It takes a long long time for a frame to rust in most places.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:53 AM
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Thanks,

dinger, could you elaborate on what kind of problems I'd face? Some things I could live with or put in the effort to solve. I'm not in "most places"... would rather do a proper rust fix even if it turns into a project.

OMT, I like the idea of spraying the interior with some oil, grease, paint, rubberized coating... but I have two hesitations: 1. Lots of people happy with them initially, but not a lot of long-term reports. 2. Hard to undo or redo in the future. What's Corroseal like, in your experience?
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:54 AM
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Moisture is a tricky little bastard, it will creep in through the smallest opening. If you put rubber plugs in now, they might work but over time would probably leak at least a little. Moisture could then get trapped in the virtually sealed frame and therein lies the trouble. Trapped moisture is more damaging than moisture that gets in/out easier.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:20 PM
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This idea has three inspirations:

1. Axle housings. They have oil and grease on the inside, one vent to relieve pressure so the oil seals don't suffer it, and I've never seen one rusty inside.

2. Rocker panels without rust holes. They have rubber plugs and appear to be semi-airtight. I've seen some very faint surface rust inside them, with the outside looking far, far worse.

3. Another forum member who built a flatbed frame/cage for their truck out of square tubing, and made it airtight enough to work as a compressed air tank. It sounded like the "making it airtight" part was no big deal compared to making the frame in the first place.

Suppose I install a humidity and maybe a fine-scaled pressure gauge, so I can monitor the frame over time and notice when it starts leaking? Unlike spraying various sealers inside, touching up some spot welds that let go won't be too much trouble later on.

Thanks for the feedback, guys. Any thoughts on my frame-outside plans?
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moroza

Suppose I install a humidity and maybe a fine-scaled pressure gauge, so I can monitor the frame over time and notice when it starts leaking?
JESUS guy it's a 1981 Toyota truck, it's not like it's a spaceship, or even a rare, one-off $300,000 Shelby for that matter.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizer
JESUS guy it's a 1981 Toyota truck, it's not like it's a spaceship, or even a rare, one-off $300,000 Shelby for that matter.
Why do you care? Its the OPs pride and joy and a legit question - even if he uses it off road, plowing through snow or fording a river.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:39 PM
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Not sure what coroseal is, but I remember an paint an body guy (before environmental protection) that save his old oil. Every spring he would coat the inside of the frames of his vehicles with the stuff and let them set for a day. His cars never rusted.

As for the other parts of your plan. If your are pulling the frame, have a pro sand blast it. Probably cheaper than you think.

There are a couple of good products. POR is one. I've had great results and nightmare results. Be sure you follow their instructions to the letter.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:00 AM
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frame ready reply

i would start with media blasting it first, or else it will never last. it takes about 2.5 hours to blast a frame that size. and we use an epoxy sealer primer and industrial imron paint that is made for going on tanks that sit outside or in the ground or heavy equipment, the crap holds up. we have used it on control arms and put the bushings in without chipping it. amazing

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Old 04-02-2012, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastbaycustoms
i would start with media blasting it first, or else it will never last. it takes about 2.5 hours to blast a frame that size. and we use an epoxy sealer primer and industrial imron paint that is made for going on tanks that sit outside or in the ground or heavy equipment, the crap holds up. we have used it on control arms and put the bushings in without chipping it. amazing

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larry
That's about what I had in mind for the outside of the frame. I do have a pressure-feed sandblaster in addition to various wire and stripping wheels. Would you suggest getting the whole thing down to shiny metal, or just the parts with surface rust (the frame under the engine, for instance, is covered in oil and the original paint is intact)? Should I cover in phosphoric acid or anything else prior to putting down primer? How about POR15 under the primer (or anywhere)?

But more importantly: will the epoxy and imron paint hold up as well if they're rolled, not sprayed?
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:55 PM
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when we blast, its down to bare metal, the blow it all off with air and shoot your epoxy, or i guess roll it, it just wont look as nice, but you can get a cheap 40$ gun at home depot. and as long as you put a good two to three coats of epoxy anything should stick to it. and the imron is some mean crap and liks to stick to everyting, even my hairs when i shoot it.. haha

let me send you some pics of a 55 t- bird frame, motorcycle frame, and firebird front clip and dash. they were all satin except thr bike frame was gloss black that i did 3 weeks ago..
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:46 PM
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I would seriously consider having it done professionally. By the time y
Out weigh in the time, materials and health risks, it is much cheaper to have it done professionally. I would do the whole thing. I would start by degreasing everything, then power wash, then blast. My concern would be driving the grease deeper into the steel. If you are going to use Imron, there is no reason to use por. In fact I think you might create more problems.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:05 PM
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when we blast, all the grease comes off. we like it scraped as much as possible so it doesnt clog the filters in the machine and when it comes out its white bare clean metal. i love it. been doing it since 88'. trust me its the only way to go if you want it to last.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:21 PM
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the tbird frame before

here is what the frame looked like before we blasted it. then we put epoxy and imron.
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