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Today I was replacing the rear brakes. I put the jack under the left rear side jack point and began to raise the car. As the tire was just about to leave the ground, I hear a "crunch" and the car sinks down a bit. I lower the car, remove the jack, and inspect the damage. The jack point is gone. It's completely rusted away. So instead, I just raised the car and the inner lower control arm mount and completed the service.

I go back later and inspect the damage and rust. I begin to pry the rear rocker moulding off and it just pulls right off. The mounting holes are rusted out and the plastic studs pull through. About 5lbs of rusted steel falls on the ground. I continue by removing the other 3 mouldings. All total... I swept up about 10lbs worth of steel.

Both lower rockers are severely rusted out. The driver's side is nearly completely gone from the outer sill to the inner frame rail, front to back. The passenger side is not quite as bad, but still missing quite a bit of steel. The floor boards look OK. I guess salty water collected in the rockers and rusted them out.

And just when things were beginning to look good for the wagon. I fixed the head gasket, gave it a tune up, replaced all the wipers, fixed the CD changer, cleared up a miss at idle, and installed new rear brake pads.... then this discovery.

Most would consider the car junk at this point. I paid $750 for it and have spent another $200-250 fixing it up. So, I have $1000 tied up in the car. I was giving the car to my parents as a spare vehicle. My mother has already added it to her insurance policy and my father is getting the titled transfered.

I think I can band-aid the problem. I can't completely fix it, but I can fill the gaps with new steel patches. I won't replace the rocker mouldings. The fix will be mostly cosmetic as it won't add much strength back to the floor pan.

BTW - this car came from Minnesota before it made it to Texas last summer.

Pics tomorrow morning.
 

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Pretty common up here Luke, on the flip side of things you should see how fast a southern car rusts when it's brought up here!
 

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I hate rust. That's why I hate winter (well, one of the reasons anyway). I wish that they'd use Calcium Chloride more often instead of salt. But it's more expensive, so they'll never use it at a full scale. I've seen it used occasionally though.
 

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I hate rust. That's why I hate winter (well, one of the reasons anyway). I wish that they'd use Calcium Chloride more often instead of salt. But it's more expensive, so they'll never use it at a full scale. I've seen it used occasionally though. [/b]
Calcuim Chloride is a salt, just like Sodium Chloride and Potassium Chloride.
 

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It is a salt? I didn't know that. I didn't know Potassium Chloride was a salt either.

I guess it doesn't matter then. We're screwed no matter what. Damn winter...
 

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A "salt" is a combination of an anion from an acid and a cation from an alkaline (base). The other resultant of an acid/base reaction is water. HCl (acid) and NaOH (alkaline) form NaCl (salt) and H2O. KBr (Potassium Bromide) is another common salt.

The reason that putting salt down melts snow is because an aqueous solution of salt has a lower freezing temperature.
 

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Isn't calcium chloride less damaging though?

My boss had me put calcium chloride down on the sidwalk at work instead of rock salt because the rock salt being tracked in strips the wax off the floor and damages it while the calcium chloride just leaves this white crap behind that can be easily cleaned up.
 

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Luke, I know exactly how that feels. In fact, what you described is eerily familiar.

Isn't calcium chloride less damaging though?[/b]
I think it's more damaging, but I'm not sure.

They also put calcium chloride on the gravel roads now instead of oil to keep the dust down. :angry:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here's what I'm dealing with. This is the driver's side. Passenger side is similar.

Making caps to cover the missing areas won't be hard. The hard part will be welding them on the passenger side as the fuel lines are in the area.

This car may turn into Taurailer after all. :( Mom and Dad are going to take the car, drive it, and attempt to sell it for whatever they can get. If I break even at around $1200, I'll feel OK. I hope they can get $1750 for it.
 

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I'm sure my '97 is the same way. Last year I noticed a small hole under the rear drivers side fender liner. By the time I was done I could put my whole hand into the rocker area.

My passenger side floor is about gone too. Thank goodness for laminated layers of rust.

If it weren't for the sub frame connectors the car would probably fold in half....
 

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Damn...that's crazy, Luke!

My 98' had very little rust on the undercarriage. The 03' has a little bit, but I'm going to try to use the stuff that Daniel used to undercoat it, and my wife's Mazda. NJ isn't as bad as other states, but we do get a decent amount of snow/ice, so salt is always an issue.

JR
 

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WOW!!! That is some rust!!! I always buy a CarFax report before buying my cars. SinceI am in Ft Worth, we really don't have problems like that. My 02 SEL has zero rust, and like some others said, if I were to move back to the deep white north, I would probably get it rustproofed. You gotta also watch out for "Katrina" problem cars, as many were flodded and put back on the market. I would not buy a car that was titled in LA in 05.

My son has a 97 Olds Cutlass Supreme, this car has been in my family for 10 years. It is showing its age, as funny noises come from the engine compartment, and I just had the shifter cable replaced. But still, no rust on it.

For the TCCA members from up north, if you are looking for a replacement Taurus, it is probably worth the money to fly down to Texas, get a CarFax, and buy one locally then drive it back up north. The $$$ you would spend in rust repair would more than cover the cost of traveling here.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
When I buy a clean running car, I'll do a CarFax, but when it's a $750 non running hunk, I don't bother.

My '99 SE is has lived it's entire life here in Central Texas. Not a single speck of rust anywhere. Even the rear cast iron knuckles don't have any rust. My '99 SVT, '97 Sport, and '01 Dakota are all the same... all from Texas, not a speck of rust. So this rust business is very new to me.

The floor pan appears to have been undercoated, but the rockers were covered by the plastic mouldings. So a word of caution to the Northerners... Remove the plastic rocker mouldings before applying undercoat!!!
 

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I grew up in the rust belt, so unfortunately, I am familiar with it. My first car, 68 Chevy Bel Aire, was so rusty, a chunk of the frame fell out, and basically killed the car. It was only 9 yrs old at the time. My wife had a 92 Plymouth Satellite, and she ws from Buffalo, and the entire pass door was rotted all aroun the seam. You close the door, , and the door sheet metal would flap in the breeze!!! Your feet were kept off the ground b the carpet!!! completely rotted through. That car was only 9 also!!!

My sister is still up there, and had the rear end cover on the differential housing rust through on her Suburban, causing it to lose all of the gear oil, and going bad.

She also had the brake lines rot through. I'll take the 100 degree days in summer over having my car rot out!!!
 

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We def. experience a lot of rust from the salt used on the roads in RI. I've found several Tauri in the junkyard with lots of rust. Thankfully my 95 GL doesn't have any upper body rot. The only major rot/rust is in the radiator support which should be a fun task to change.

-Alex
 

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WOW!!! That is some rust!!! I always buy a CarFax report before buying my cars. SinceI am in Ft Worth, we really don't have problems like that. My 02 SEL has zero rust, and like some others said, if I were to move back to the deep white north, I would probably get it rustproofed. You gotta also watch out for "Katrina" problem cars, as many were flodded and put back on the market. I would not buy a car that was titled in LA in 05.

My son has a 97 Olds Cutlass Supreme, this car has been in my family for 10 years. It is showing its age, as funny noises come from the engine compartment, and I just had the shifter cable replaced. But still, no rust on it.

For the TCCA members from up north, if you are looking for a replacement Taurus, it is probably worth the money to fly down to Texas, get a CarFax, and buy one locally then drive it back up north. The $$$ you would spend in rust repair would more than cover the cost of traveling here.
[/b]
Ditto on that!
 

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Here's what I'm dealing with. This is the driver's side. Passenger side is similar.
[/b]
That's even worse than mine :blink: I'm afraid to see what our '97 looks like, even more so with the '01 :noes:

For the TCCA members from up north, if you are looking for a replacement Taurus, it is probably worth the money to fly down to Texas, get a CarFax, and buy one locally then drive it back up north. The $$$ you would spend in rust repair would more than cover the cost of traveling here.
[/b]
I've considered that possibility ^^
 

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Makes me feel better about the rust on my car. Wow.
 

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Mine isn't that bad, this spring I'm going to pull everything clean it, spray some rust inhibiting stuff, and then under coat it... The bottom of my doors are rusting..and I need to get them fixed, but I can do the undercoating..
 
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