Best Way to Remove Rust from Truck Frame

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Best Way to Remove Rust from Truck Frame

One of the most dreadful things to every car owner is to find your truck frame covered with rust. It might start with a scratch or a dent. If you ignore it, with time the rust will spread like a rash. It will peel off the paint, weaken the metal strength and eventually get rust holes. So, what causes the metal of your car to rust? When the metal gets exposed to a mixture of water and oxygen, oxidation occurs, causing it to rust. Salt accelerates oxidation. That’s why during winter many vehicles get rust. Even if the rusty spot seems small on the outside, inside the panel, it might be more. So don’t ignore it. Here are three main types of rust.

Types of Rusts

Do you know how to restore a rusty truck frame? If you don’t, relax. It’s essential to know the type of rust that is on the frame of your trunk. It could be surface rust, scale, or even penetrating rust. Knowing their difference will help you understand the right approach. Here are the differences.

Surface Rust 

Have you ever inspected the body panel of your vehicle and noted that the top layer is rusty? That is the surface rust. If you have, you should take action immediately to stop it from spreading further. Luckily, you only require a little effort to treat it. Buy some automotive paints that match the color of your vehicle to avoid that problem. Whenever your car gets minor nicks or even scratches do some touch-ups. Below are quick steps of fixing surface rust.

  1. Start by gathering all the materials that you require. They include; a plastic sheeting and painter’s tape. Also get sandpaper, wire brush and wax as well as a grease remover. A microfiber cloth, Body filler and applicator are also vital. Finally, you also need an automotive paint( it should match your car)
  2. Prepare your working space- Since you only want to deal with the affected part, taping plastic sheeting will help you to cover the other part enclosing the surface that you want to treat. Leave a margin around the affected surface.
  3. Put on your safety gears which include gloves and dust masks. You should also protect your eyes using the protective eyewear.
  4. You need to clean the area first using a wax and grease remover.
  5. Use sandpaper, to sand off the rusty place thoroughly. Don’t stop until the metal base becomes shiny.
  6. Using the wax and grease removal, clean the surface again.
  7. Using a lint-free cloth, wipe off any dust that might have accumulated.
  8. Apply rust-prevention paint such as zero rust. If you don’t have zero rust, use any other automotive primer or even paint.
  9. Using a microfiber cloth, buff the treated area.
  10. Wait for at least 30 days before waxing your car.

Note that, washing the surface before sanding off the area protects the surface from getting contaminated.

Scale Rust

If you neglect the surface rust, it will accelerate and damage the metal panel. That stage is called scale rust. It occurs mostly in northern states where they use salt spray or even pour salt on the road. Salt accelerates the corrosion process causing the metal to get weaker. So, what’s the best way to remove rust from the truck frame? Check below.

  1. Start by getting the right materials.
  2. Prepare the area- using plastic sheeting and a tape; cover the area that surrounds the rusty area. Leave a space of 6 inches in all sides.
  3. Wear protective gears.
  4. Using wax and grease removal clean the surface.
  5. Using an aggressive grinding tool, remove the heavy scale rust. Use a less aggressive grit to remove any left rust that surrounds the paint.
  6. Mix hot water with zero rust and put the mixture in the spray bottle. Spray the affected area.
  7. Use a body filler to fill in depression in your pitted metal.
  8. Use sandpaper for sanding the area smooth.
  9. Clean the surface again using the wax and grease removal.
  10. Use a lint-free cloth to wipe off the dust.
  11. Apply primer and paint two coats each. Wait for each to dry first before applying the other one.
  12. Use a lint-free cloth to buff the dried coating.
  13. Wait for 30 days before waxing.

Penetrating Rust

It is the most advanced stage. Just like the name suggests, rust penetrates creating holes in the metal. Unfortunately, dealing with this type is expensive. If a small portion is affected, you might have to replace that portion. In the worst-case scenario, you might have to replace your truck’s body panel. The best way to avoid this type of rust is to treat surface rust whenever you see it immediately.

Restoration of a Rusty Truck Frame

Now you know the damage rust can cause to your trunk. So, what are the best truck frame rust removal and prevention measures you require to take? Follow the steps below.

Lift Your Trunk

You need a jack to help you lift the trunk, for you to access its frame. Since you have to clean the area, remove any obstruction. Those include the plastic wheel covers, side steps as well as mudguards.

Start Removing Rust

You require safety gears before removing the rust. You can’t afford to let rust get into your eyes or even inhale it. So get a facemask, gloves, and goggles. You require a wire wheel assortment brush as well as a drill to help you remove loose rust. Using P80 grit abrasive paper, remove any remaining rust. P400 grit standard should help you smoothen the surface. If your car had penetrating rust, how will you deal with the holes? You need to insert screen wires first since they serve as a foundation. Use body filler afterward.

Wash The Trunk

Using soap and clean water wash the trunk frame to remove any remaining rust dust. Give the trunk frame some time to dry off.

Paint The Trunk Frame

Apply a layer of a coat premier once the trunk dries. Apply another layer and wait for it to dry too. Paint the affected area, and then later add a protective clear coat. In the case of penetrative rust, you need to apply body filler. Sand the area and once it hardens, apply finishes.

Rust Prevention Tips

A rusty trunk frame can be costly to repair, especially if it’s so much affected. The restoration process takes a lot of time making the labor cost expensive. That’s why knowing how to stop rust on a truck or car frame, will help you save time and money.

  1. Deal with any signs of corrosion immediately to prevent it from spreading.
  2. Inspect your car often, to detect any initial appearance of rust
  3. Rust like hinds mostly in nicks or scratches. If you detect them, take immediate action, and repair them.
  4. Wash and dry your car regularly and avoid leaving any moisture.
  5. Use anti-rust Products such as rust converters to prevent rusting.
  6. Avoid driving in wet areas.

How Dangerous Can It Be? 

You should get worried if the metal badly rusted off. Remember rust lowers the quality of the metal, thus posing a safety risk. Rust can cause a hole in the body of your car. It can be risky driving while inhaling the fumes from the exhaust. Rust can also pose a threat to other motorists. Imagine driving, with your body panel flapping or even a part, snaps off? You should also get concerned if you check the floor of your vehicle and notice that the spot welds have a large area of corrosion.

In case of a crash, your rusty truck’s ability to protect you is less effective.

Buying a Second-Hand Car

Note that fixing these severe problems will cost you a significant amount. So if you are buying a second-hand car, you need to be careful. If rust is the main reason why the owner is selling it to you, avoid buying it. Gas lines, as well as brake lines, are not an exception to rust. That’s why you require inspecting the second-hand car seriously since replacing some parts is expensive. If you have no idea where to look, call your mechanic to check the vehicle thoroughly and give you advice.

What if the car is well maintained and has very little rust? You can buy that car. Use rust preventative products to protect it from getting more rust. You will also have peace, knowing that your investment is safe.


What Signs Should I Check For Rust On My Car?

Regular inspection can help you to stop the rust before it can become a significant problem. Knowing the signs of rust is vital. They include orange, blown or even red rust spots. When inspecting your car, you will find these spots mostly in areas with damaged paints. Don’t assume that rust affects upper parts only. It also affects the underside of your car. When inspecting, it’s good to slide under the vehicle and check for rust. If you don’t know where to look or you are afraid, your mechanic can help. When changing the oil or even doing the repair, your mechanic can inform you if there are rusty areas beneath the car. If there is any, remove it immediately.

Why Should Rust Be A Concern?

The body of your car is made of steel. Rust easily compromises the strength and integrity of the steel. Once the metal weakens, it may even get holes. In case of a crash, you will get exposed. Replacing the affected area is also expensive. That’s why you need to treat any rusty spot before it worsens.

Should I Rustproof My New Vehicle?

There are a few factors you need to consider before rustproofing your new vehicle. How long do you intend to keep it? If it’s more than five years, then you should rust-proof it. Also, if you bought it during the winter season where people use salt mostly on the roads, then you should rustproof it. If you feel that your car is not sufficiently protected when you bought it, then go ahead and rustproof it.

Is Rust Proofing An Older Car Worth It?

It depends on the condition of your car. The work of rustproofing is not to fix rust but to slow rust down. So if your vehicle is already severely rusted, you might have to look for other options including replacing it. If it’s okay and you don’t have a plan of buying another one soon, it’s worth rust-proofing it. It’s also crucial if it’s winter and you are driving on roads with salt. If you intend to resell your car in the future, rustproofing improves the resell value as well as extending the car’s life.

How Often Should You Rustproof Your Vehicle?

Spraying it every year is not recommended. If you do, the inside will start having a noticeable oil smell. So after spraying it once, keep on checking your car. During winter, in case you see any sign of corrosion, you should spray your vehicle.

Is It Good To Wash Your Car Before Rust Proofing?

Yes, you should. During the fall, you should consider rust-proofing your car. Take it to a car wash and let them thoroughly clean it, especially in its underneath. Let it dry first before rustproofing it.


Ignoring rusty spots in your car can cost you later. Rust will accelerate and destroy the metal, posing a risk to your own life. Replacing the affected part could be the only option to repair. The cost could be too much for you to bear, yet you could have avoided it earlier. Knowing the type of rust will help you understand how to deal with it. Be careful when buying a second-hand car. It can be rusty, and replacing those parts can be expensive. You should know the rust signs in your vehicle, and how to treat and prevent rust. Rustproofing can help you to increase the value of your car. You need to know how and when you need to rustproof.

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