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TexRiv_63

Oil Spray Rustproofing

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I have been reading Bofusmosby's thread on removing and treating undercarriage rust on his prewar Pontiac. It reminded me of something I was told a million years ago by the owner of a very old service station in Chicago. He said in the days before anyone worried about environmental issues they offered a service where they sprayed used drain oil on the undercarriage of your car to keep it from rusting. I always pictured how spectacularly messy this would have been for both the guy doing the spraying and the floor under the car and doubted it was true. But over the years I have seen a number of prewar car chassis with heavy uniform layers of dried oil / grease that almost support the story. Has anyone else ever heard of this and was it actually done on a common basis?

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I have a friend of mine that sprays his cars with used oil yearly.I met him about 18 years ago,and it was the first I ever heard about it.It is messy,but it seems to work.

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I have a 62 Pontiac Catalina that I'm restoring. I bought this car from the original owner who when the car was new did just that very same thing with a twist that I have heard over and over. After spraying the whole undercarriage down with heavy oil these owners would take the car out on a dirt road or field and mix all the dust with the oil as a form of rust proofing. When I separated the body from the frame there was not one bit of rust on the body. The rockers and floors were perfect.

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It was not uncommon in the past and still done today with waxoyl or ACF-50. It seems to be particularly popular in the UK with the Land Rover and VW crowd. I know a couple of folks that still religiously spray the undersides of their older vehicles with their used motor oil; they dump it into a garden pump type weed sprayer with a hand held wand and go to town. It's very, very messy.

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I've heard about this as well. I had friends who would pull off their door panels and pour the used oil right into the door shell. It would seep into the crimped edges of the door skin and the extra would exit at the drain holes. It was effective and inexpensive.

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I heard of the practice years ago, complete with the requisite drive down a gravel road. So, living here in the heart of the rust belt, I started doing it on my daily drivers. But instead of using drain oil, I just spent $5 on some new 40 weight. I figured it would be a little cleaner and less smelly if some one got it on their clothes. Then I learned of an even better method that really works well. Buy a gallon of WD40, mix in 2 bottles of STP, spray it using an old paint spray gun. Fog it into all the doors, rockers, inner fenders, and all over the bottom. It lasts for years and keeps everything nice and rust free. Joel

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I have been reading Bofusmosby's thread on removing and treating undercarriage rust on his prewar Pontiac. It reminded me of something I was told a million years ago by the owner of a very old service station in Chicago. He said in the days before anyone worried about environmental issues they offered a service where they sprayed used drain oil on the undercarriage of your car to keep it from rusting. I always pictured how spectacularly messy this would have been for both the guy doing the spraying and the floor under the car and doubted it was true. But over the years I have seen a number of prewar car chassis with heavy uniform layers of dried oil / grease that almost support the story. Has anyone else ever heard of this and was it actually done on a common basis?

I shouldn't worry about the environmental issues. Here in California the state uses heavy black tar oil or Tar-Sol to spray the curbs and shoulders of the road for weed abatement......And the state is worried about washing a car and the soapy water runoff! Another case of do as I say not do as I do!

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I take my truck in every year and have it sprayed in the fall. I don't like the idea of using used motor oil due to the fact of it possibly being acidic. The place I take my truck to uses new hydraulic oil and yes, I believe it helps here in the rust belt. It is messy and my truck drips for days. Carl

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There's a place in Akron, Ohio that still does it. I've never been to it though and don't know what kind of oil they use.

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I use Wheel bearing grease and Fifth wheel lube that you can buy in spray cans. I did the whole underside of my F250 long bed extended cab truck. I also sprayed in the doors and gate with the same Lube. It's really messy but doesn't drip for long as it sets up to a very sticky consistency for a year or more. It seems to be working so far and it gets a good salt spray just about every day to go to my shop 7 days a week in the winter. I heat with wood so I have to go up to keep the fire going. The wheel bearing grease works great and can be put on with a Parts washing brush on big panels. It took about 8 hours or so to do the whole truck. I spray everything I didn't grease including Door jambs and everything under the hood with WD 40 several times in the winter. That seems to work well on the parts I didn't want too greasy. I'm in Upstate NY so they really know how to apply salt on dry or wet roads wether they need it or not.

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I don't like the idea of using used motor oil due to the fact of it possibly being acidic.

Used motor oil also carries a lot of toxic heavy metal compounds you wouldn't want excessively dripped in your property, especially if get your drinking water from a well onsite.

I had a friend in high school who's parents did this. Every year they'd take their saved used oil and spray the car in their newspaper lined garage. It would sit there and drip for a few days, and then they'd throw the newspaper away. It was cheaper than Ziebart, and nobody was cheaper than them.

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My Grandpa used to do this to all of his cars. Preserved the undersides perfectly. When I got my '52 Buick and delved into cleaning and painting the frame I discovered that the previous owner must have used this method as well. There was a thick layer of dirt and heavy grease like stuff all over it. Upon scraping this stuff off, the metal underneath was perfectly preserved. In fact, the only rust under there was on the spots that there was no greasy crud.

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Wow, I see this was a pretty widely used treatment. Hearing about the results I wish it was a lot more common on the Illinois rustbuckets I used to work on!

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The oil spray treatment goes back to the early days of the automobile. Have heard of it as far back as the fifties but am sure it was not a new idea then.

Here in the northeast Rust Belt it has been done for many years and still being done, although it is hard to find a garage that still does it (it makes an awful mess). One garage that used to do it, would schedule all their customers for a 2 or 3 day period in the fall then give the garage a thorough wash.

Have also heard of this service being offered in the south, on the atlantic coast, especially Florida where the salt air is murder on cars and some people even drive on the salty beach.

I think since the seventies, has largely been superceded by patent treatments like Ziebart, Rusty Jones etc that do basically the same thing at higher cost and are not as messy to apply.

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Funny you should mention this Don. When I first saw that "undercoating", my first impression was a lot of old dirt was stuck on the metal. I know that other than the underside of the fenders, there is also a lot on the back plate of the differential assembly. Don't know if this truly is the answer as to what this stuff is under my car, but it makes sense. Of course, that oil/great would have hardened decades about, and the dirt would be stuck to it like it were held on with glue.

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Years ago I talked to a funeral director who used to wash his cars using kerosene. He would put a cap full of kerosene in the wash bucket before he washed the vehicles. He claimed the kerosene would stick to the inside of the body panels. Makes perfect sense..............

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