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Ford pickup rust


nate

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Anyone have a good answer as to why the ford pickup crossmembers in the box just disappear?   I live in Minnesota and the calcium chloride and salt they put down is ridiculous, but the Ford boxes really catch heck.   Are the cross members made out of recycled steel or what?   They are Swiss cheese and the rest of the truck looks ok.  

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I lost mine on my 2002 chevy 2500hd.  Same thing.  Spent $200 on a takeoff from a wreck, cut the rivets off, and bolted the replacement in.  Seems like the salt and crud get to it despite all efforts.  Same story with the spare tire set up.  

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I had to re do the box on my 02 F350, the whole box was pretty much sitting on the frame. Salt and all the other crap put on the roads doesn't help and they are not made of very heavy gauge steel. Seems like water and debris must get up in them and lay in there or something so it doesn't dry out very well. Definitely seems to be more of a Ford thing than others although I see alot of body rust in Dodge/Ram trucks as well. Now to do the rockers and cab corners, also seems like a Ford thing.

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Just did mine on my 02 f250. There wasnt rust anywhere on the box except the crossmembers. Not really that bad of a job just time consuming. They sell the rail kits on Rock Auto for cheap and they are a bit thicker than the OE ones.

My best guess as to why they rust so bad is they hold water, snow, and dirt in the crossmember itself. When I took the old ones off they were chock full of little gravel bits. That stuff stays wet for weeks on end without the sun hitting it.

I started using wool wax on everything. I shoot it on every fall and all of the surface rust just gave up after spraying that stuff on it. 

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5 hours ago, hobbyfarm said:

Same story with the spare tire set up.  

I take those out the first day. If you ever did need it, and assuming you could get it down, the rim would be gone anyway 

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1 hour ago, OFFTHEFARM said:

Just did mine on my 02 f250. There wasnt rust anywhere on the box except the crossmembers. Not really that bad of a job just time consuming. They sell the rail kits on Rock Auto for cheap and they are a bit thicker than the OE ones.

My best guess as to why they rust so bad is they hold water, snow, and dirt in the crossmember itself. When I took the old ones off they were chock full of little gravel bits. That stuff stays wet for weeks on end without the sun hitting it.

I started using wool wax on everything. I shoot it on every fall and all of the surface rust just gave up after spraying that stuff on it. 

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I wonder if you oiled it, then stuffed the ends with a stainless chore boy or something, it would still breathe sort of but wouldn’t let so much crap in. 

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1 hour ago, OFFTHEFARM said:

Just did mine on my 02 f250. There wasnt rust anywhere on the box except the crossmembers. Not really that bad of a job just time consuming. They sell the rail kits on Rock Auto for cheap and they are a bit thicker than the OE ones.

My best guess as to why they rust so bad is they hold water, snow, and dirt in the crossmember itself. When I took the old ones off they were chock full of little gravel bits. That stuff stays wet for weeks on end without the sun hitting it.

I started using wool wax on everything. I shoot it on every fall and all of the surface rust just gave up after spraying that stuff on it. 

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Could you attach a hose to a spray can and completely fill those with urethane foam?

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I'm no body man but from being around many different makes and models of vehicles the best defense is either very good drainage or a very durable coating. Whenever you try to make something watertight when water gets in it just holds it in there better. The company I used to work for had all kinds of problems with wiring corrosion on the coasts. Ultimately the only fix was either potting the junction boxes or using a much better wire connector that seals the wire ends. The final solution was using very good wire connectors because potting was cost prohibitive. Even after all of that work mother nature would still get in there sometimes. If she got in there it would completely destroy everything FAST!!!

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My 99 which had pretty close to 0 rust when I got it, is flaking the paint on the ends of those now. I try to spray them out and keep them clean so they don't hold water. Don't think sealing would be good as somebody said it always gets in somehow then holds it. 

Wool wax? Not heard of that. Might look into it. 

Heck I don't even drive the 99 much but when I do it's to haul something or the roads are bad. Try to wash it off as soon as possible but doesn't always happen. It does sit out all the time tho so that doesn't help.

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52 minutes ago, iowaboy1965 said:

My 99 which had pretty close to 0 rust when I got it, is flaking the paint on the ends of those now. I try to spray them out and keep them clean so they don't hold water. Don't think sealing would be good as somebody said it always gets in somehow then holds it. 

Wool wax? Not heard of that. Might look into it. 

Heck I don't even drive the 99 much but when I do it's to haul something or the roads are bad. Try to wash it off as soon as possible but doesn't always happen. It does sit out all the time tho so that doesn't help.

It's lanolin oil just like fluid film only a tad thicker. Spray it with an undercoat gun under the whole truck in about 30-40 minutes. 

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knew a guy who used to have a cap that said "this is Ford Country on a calm night you can hear a chevy rust"

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I have been pumping those cross pieces full of oil, fluid film, woolwax, Cosmolein(?), all sorts of products for years. As long as you stay after it, they all seem to work.

They will also plug up your rear differential vent tube if it goes up to one of them, and blow your axle seals out.

Just saying.

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1 hour ago, stronger800 said:

As long as you stay after it, they all seem to work.

Staying after it is key here, staying off dirt roads is also key. My FIL is a religious oil undercoater but I don’t believe he has ever washed a vehicle in his life. His S10 needed some bodywork, I don’t remember why, but I helped pull the box off in any case, the spare tire was full and the bottom of the box left an imprint in the dirt the exact shape. It was probably 8-10 years of dirt road dust, oil, salt  etc. the spare rim sort of dissolved when we cleaned it out, it didn’t have any pressure left at that point. Curiously the frame wasn’t all that bad and all the bolts came out ok. The crossmembers in the frame were shot above the spare. Only thing I have ever seen like it was the skid plate on our bulldozer, like a plaster mold. 

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8 hours ago, OFFTHEFARM said:

Just did mine on my 02 f250. There wasnt rust anywhere on the box except the crossmembers. Not really that bad of a job just time consuming. They sell the rail kits on Rock Auto for cheap and they are a bit thicker than the OE ones.

My best guess as to why they rust so bad is they hold water, snow, and dirt in the crossmember itself. When I took the old ones off they were chock full of little gravel bits. That stuff stays wet for weeks on end without the sun hitting it.

I started using wool wax on everything. I shoot it on every fall and all of the surface rust just gave up after spraying that stuff on it. 

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This is exactly what I see.   Seemed like 2003 up,   The rest of the truck can have little to not much rust but the cross members are gone!

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You guys talk of your crosses to bear with ford and chev, the ram has its great spots at the front where the front fender and the inner fender sit over the front wheel, I pressure wash this out and the rear bottom quarter of the front fenders where they fit in front of the front doors, there is a pocket there that fills with crap in no time, pressure wash and lube there also.

Then there is the rear bottom back of the cab, this is a moisture trap and I don't know a way to do anything here except make sure there is no moisture on the back or on the floor, the other spot is the fenders over the rear wheels, on srw vehicles it is the same as the front with crap getting jammed in the spaces but with mine being a dooley the fender is flat cut so the glass dooley fender is bolted over the metal fender skirt, I still hose this out but its not the big problem as the other spots.

Its an '07 and no sign of anything, and like vt I'm quite methodical with oiling and redoing the undercoat.

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It's a thing.  Here's my 2012 that I had just taken bed off to install gooseneck puck system.    This hadn't been washed and you can see how clean it is underneath but I had one cross member start to rust as well as this has been taken care of.

 

I wire brushed it and hit it with primer/paint and will keep an eye on them.

 

I got this truck in January. One owner traded back into dealer it was bought new from with 63k miles on it.  Clean as a pin and completely stock.  Dealer even put it's only set of replacement tires on about 9k miles ago.   

 

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Hog troughs for dirt , salt and other road waste. 
like the fenders and inner fender splash protection. Magnetic for the same .Rusted out before it  leaves the lot in north East Ohio. That condition will corrosion anything.

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A body man said to remove the tail lights and then wash over the rear fenders with the pressure washer/car wash.

Do this at least once a year to clean out the junk and to stop rust.

Tried it on my 99 Silverado and there are braces in the way which prevented this.

Are the aluminum foil Fords holding up or are they rusting out elsewhere?

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