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My interpretation of rust prevention techniques

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Best Rust Prevention Techniques

After several hours of researching the best ways to protect my Z from rust, I have come up with several conclusions. The outline of this topic will go from the specific products, the specific area of the car, to and my potential choice.


• Powder coating



Looks Clean

Very Durable




Non-DIY Friendly

Requires car to be stripped down.


• Epoxy/ Self etching Primer



Relatively Cheap

Somewhat DIY-Friendly

Can be applied in sections.



Requires Compressor, HVLP and good ventilation.



• Rust “Encapsulation†Products (Por15 /Rust Bullet/ Zero Rust)


Easy to apply

Applies right over light rust

Very Durable



Covers over rust

Can “trap†in moisture and cause more rust.

Cost (Depends on the product)


• Phosphoric acid derivatives (Ospho /Picklex / Right Stuff)


Actually “Converts†Rust

Can be used in conjunction with primer

Very thin Consistency (Spray able)



Might cause bad reactions with other products


• Rubberized Undercoating / Bed liner Spray


Spray Can or Brush application

Somewhat Cheap



Doesn’t prevent rust, only prevent resistance against chips and abrasion


• Anodizing (Not Applicable for steel bodies)


Looks Nice



S30’s aren’t made out of aluminum (I wish)


• Hot dip Galvanizing


OEM styled approach

Gets every single nook and cranny




Requires car to stripped down


First Area: The underbody and Frame Rails

My choice for my budget:

1. Mechanically strip to bare metal,

1. Use Ospho, and spray it with a wand for the interior frame rails.

2. Brush several coats of Zero Rust on the underbody


Second Area: Inside doglegs and nooks and crannies

1. Use Ospho, and spray it with a wand


Third Area: Interior Area

1. Mechanically and Chemically Strip to bare metal.

2. Zero Rust


Fourth Area: Removable Body Panels (Hood, Doors, Fenders)

1. Strip to bare metal

2. Epoxy Primer

3. Eventually Topcoat


Fifth Area: Suspension Components

1. Strip to bare metal

2. At Home Powder coating

Sixth Area: Engine Bay

1. Strip to bare metal

2. Epoxy Coat

3. Single Stage Urethane Topcoat ( black or silver)

No Expense spared rust prevention:

1. Acid Dip unibody to remove paint

2. Repair any through hole rust

3. Hot Dip Gavalanizing (May require re drilling of holes and body work to bring back to spec)

4. Powdercoat Unibody (Not Recommended for entire uni body)

(Requires heavy masking)


All of this is based on my research NOT actual experience.

Please tell me of any inconsistencies in my research so I can correct them


One question:

Has anyone used the PIcklex 20 and Zero Rust Combination personally?

I ask since the combination is heavily pushed at a certain website, but I never really heard of it elsewhere.


Any Suggestions are more than welcomed



Edited by Ironman
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I'm by no mean what we can call an expert but I deal every day with underhood applications and rust protection (ME in Steering systems). So here's my little experience.


There're many kind of rust protections: one is to seal the metal to oxygen to avoid oxydation (powder coating, paint, etc.), the other one is to get the protection to "rust" prior to the metal (this is what galvanization is all about)


The big difference is if you scratch or chip an area of your powder coated part, it will rust again. Since powder coating is quite hard, most of the time it will be very fine but if you got a rock hitting your part with high energy (speed) it would happen. A control arm is most likely the kind of part that might get this kind of condition.

On the other hand, galvanized part are having a sacrificial protection, meaning the Zinc & Alu contained in the coating would rust prior to steel. this will create some white rust that will show up before the red one. The white one will also seal the area. This protection (cathodic protection) will insure that even if you scratch the part and expose steel, it will not rust.


Based on what I've told you, you know how I'm going to work on my suspension parts ;)


You also have hot and cold galvanization. the hot one you can dip the part in hot "bath" of Zn, spray it or use electrolysis then you'll have to cure it in an oven (to get molecules organized), the other one is a cold one, not as good as the ot one but more practical which is nothing more than Zn mixed in resin. I found some in hardware store.

Nothing avoids you to paint the part on top of it (make sure to pick an appropriate paint) that would make the part even more resistant to rust.


Another drawback from galva is the process might fill out hole and small details. In some cases, drilling is required to bring original part back to spec.


For your understanding, here's a link to one of my supplier explaining their process (I'm such a nice customer :P )

Edited by Lazeum
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  • 3 weeks later...

I think it is way beyond anybodies expensive/time level to galvanize an entire car. I don't even see you finding a z so rust free it be worth doing so. I really don't think a car made of Japanese 1970's steel is going to hold up to an acid dip. You are probably better off tracking every single mold possible/known to man for the car. Then taking your time to recreate the car while making specs better (solid rails front to back/thicker metal). Then doing the whole galvanize and then may as well have it submerged in the paint to cover all the surfaces like they do at factories. I figure if you go through the expense to galvanize an entire car. This probably is around what you would be willing to do anyway. Keep in mind, after Galvanizing you should not be welding on any of this metal. Really neat idea, would have to be crazy/rich/in debt to do so.

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