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EXTERIORS & BODY REPAIRS Bring your beloved back to its former glory - or just polish the chrome some more!

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  #1  
Old 26th January 2009, 07:35 AM
GreaseMonkey
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Default Does UK mean rust? Does Aus mean UV?

Several threads have mentioned the old cliche about British cars being rusty, so I thought I would add some comment on how the different climates between here and there affect our cars.
Firstly, rust is not as common as it was, and I think for once we can thank the so-called 'Global Warming' for this.
In UK each local council is responsible for the roads within it's boundaries, and would send out trucks spraying a mix of salt and grit on days when forecasters predict snow or frost.
Driving on a recently salted road even in dry conditions meant a highly corrosive mixture was being thrown up under the car, but when driving through the salted slush of melted snow, the resulting muck was sprayed into and collected in every crevice in floors, mudguards, sills and all suspension components.
If left untreated this would pretty much guarantee rust will show up soon.
However, it was always known about, and quite common for people who looked after their cars, to both try to avoid driving in those conditions, or to thoroughly hose down all accessible parts under the car with fresh water, so not all cars suffered the same fate.
A lot of car owners also paid extra for a full rust-proofing treatment, whether with the Waxoyl injected system or the brush on bitumen based underseal type.
Also, relevant to our cause, from my experience, while working in the garage trade in London in the eighties, it was obvious then that Mercedes were better protected than most. I seem to remember rusty W114s, but not W123s, so I am not sure if this is a reflection of when they first started the galvanised dipping process.
While the salt spraying used to be common and widespread in the sixties and seventies, it seemed to be used less in later years, so later cars should not be regarded as automatically rusty.
The reasons may be many, but I think the most obvious which was clearly noticeable to anyone living in England between the fifties and the nineties is the climate has changed completely.
When I was a kid, winter started in November and stayed bloody cold through to Feb or March, with the possibilty of occasional snow as late as Easter.
I got used to walking to school through snow drifts as high as me, used to enjoy sitting on the wall out front watching passing cars try to negociate the hill opposite.
And this was in a north London suburb, not the colder northern parts.
It was quite noticeable how winters in London and the south of the country changed over the next two decades, and snow and icy roads became rare.
Part of this is due to 'Global Warming' but part is probably also as the population has grown to over 60 million on a fairly small island, the resulting expansion in suburban growth, and heat put out has affected the local climate enough to warm the whole country up by a couple of degrees.
Anyway, the point of this story is to say, yes a lot of cars from the fifties and sixties will have died due to terminal rust, later models were both better protected, and suffered less exposure to salt.
Generally though it was always thought that as long as all mechanicals were serviced, most cars would end up at the scrapyard due to rust than being worn out mechanically, although that will be changing now.
It has been interesting to learn about the motor trade here and see what affects Australian cars.
Obviously the single biggest difference is the damaging sun's rays, which cooks paint and all plastic and rubber parts as well as making everything run a bit hotter so keeping the cooling system, radiator, hoses etc, clean and serviced, is important.
I don't remember ever seeing a cracked dash or windscreen seal in the UK!
Of course, as a high percentage of Australians live at or near the coast, a lot of cars get parked near the sea and the salt spray there obviously is as dangerous to a car's health as salt on the road.
Given that the sun has already cracked the windscreen seal and now it is exposed to salt spray, it is not surprising that add in a bit of rain, and it is quite common for Aus cars to rust around the window frame areas.
Another difference is that British roads, while we all complained to the councils about poor maintenence , are generally quite good, and cars do not take the hammering they do here, again, replacing suspension joints and bushes is much rarer over there.

So,
my advice to anyone thinking of buying a UK spec car that has been imported, is by all means get under and check for rust, but do not dismiss a car based on an old cliche that has little truth today.
My '76SLC was imported from England in the eighties and is one of the cleanest anywhere, with no rust at all, and the '82 230E I sold in London when we came over here five years ago was in mint condition, and I would have shipped it out except I had heard horror stories about the treatment they get during shipping and also it did not have air-con (a not often ticked option box back in '80s England!).

Any comments from anywhere in the world to compare how the climate affects your car?

Chris M.

Last edited by GreaseMonkey; 26th January 2009 at 08:20 AM.
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  #2  
Old 26th January 2009, 09:07 AM
John S John S is offline
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Default Re: Does UK mean rust? Does Aus mean UV?

I can remember a spray painter from the '60's complaining that the paint on Rovers and Mercedes would not stand up to the Australian sun as well as the paints they used locally. He was respraying a P5 Rover at the time and had a Mercedes to do next.
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Old 26th January 2009, 12:42 PM
GreaseMonkey
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Default Re: Does UK mean rust? Does Aus mean UV?

Well I could certainly use any advice on which, if any, types and brands of paint are recommended here before I embark on the Crayford make-over.
I am sure Michel has the inside line on paint supplies, or anyone else had first-hand experience, good or bad?
Chris M.
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Old 26th January 2009, 03:50 PM
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WGB WGB is offline
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Default Re: Does UK mean rust? Does Aus mean UV?

My two imports don't seem to be any rustier than most local cars I have seen.

My UK origin 450 had rust but only in panels that had sustained previous accident damage and appear never to have been rustproofed (Or even primed) internally and the bottom of the driver's door.

Bill
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Old 26th January 2009, 05:19 PM
John S John S is offline
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Default Re: Does UK mean rust? Does Aus mean UV?

I don't think that you can go past a quality 2 part epoxy paint for Australian conditions. As far as I know Red soon fades under high UV conditions, but I am sure that there are more knowledgeable people thy give up to date advice on what to use.
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Old 26th January 2009, 06:57 PM
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Michel Michel is offline
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Default Re: Does UK mean rust? Does Aus mean UV?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey View Post
I am sure Michel has the inside line on paint supplies, or anyone else had first-hand experience, good or bad?
Chris M.
Chris,

Paints nowadays are far more superior then what was available in the 70s.

I have been using Standox or Spies Hecker (absolutely the same paint that comes from the same assembly line in Riverstone NSW with different labels) on most of the work I have been churning out of the workshop at Prestons, except when it is a budget job and the client doesn't really care.
We then use an excellent (and much cheaper) paint made by Concept Paints in St Marys (West of Sydney).

However on the Spur's recent respray I used Glasurit (as recommended by RR), only to keep authenticity and value in the car, should I decide to sell one day.

Depending on what your future painter would use, I would NOT hesitate to recommend any of the following paints:

Glasurit
Standox or Spies Hecker
PPG
Sikkens
DeBeer
Concept (NoMix)

Any other paints, I strongly recommend you send me a PM and we can discuss it in private.
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Old 26th January 2009, 10:51 PM
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Styria Styria is offline
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Default Re: Does UK mean rust? Does Aus mean UV?

Michel sums it up pretty well as he is obviously the expert. Should point out additionally, that Standox and Spies Hecker, plus probably others, are owned by the Dupont Company.

Dupont themselves, as an alternative to Standox and Sp.Hecker, produce a couple of grades of 2-pack clears, both of which are supposed to be of high grade quality yet, one in particular, is somewhat cheaper than the other as well as the additional brands under their umbtrella.

Regarding 'rusty' ex UK cars, I am afraid I do have reservations despite what Grease Monkey says. I have seen Rovers that came from England and having spent a greater part of their life in that country, and you had to see the rust to believe it - it was unbelievable. Now, Rovers, especially prior to British Leyland days, were well put together and manufactured cars, and most that I have had dealings with, when Australian based from new, were exemplary from a rust point of view.

I concede that rustproofing and body protection have come a long way since the sixties, seventies and perhaps eighties, but I'd still be on the 'alert zone' when dealing with a British import. Regards Styria
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Old 27th January 2009, 04:48 AM
GreaseMonkey
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Default Re: Does UK mean rust? Does Aus mean UV?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Styria View Post
Michel sums it up pretty well as he is obviously the expert. Should point out additionally, that Standox and Spies Hecker, plus probably others, are owned by the Dupont Company.

Dupont themselves, as an alternative to Standox and Sp.Hecker, produce a couple of grades of 2-pack clears, both of which are supposed to be of high grade quality yet, one in particular, is somewhat cheaper than the other as well as the additional brands under their umbtrella.

Regarding 'rusty' ex UK cars, I am afraid I do have reservations despite what Grease Monkey says. I have seen Rovers that came from England and having spent a greater part of their life in that country, and you had to see the rust to believe it - it was unbelievable. Now, Rovers, especially prior to British Leyland days, were well put together and manufactured cars, and most that I have had dealings with, when Australian based from new, were exemplary from a rust point of view.

I concede that rustproofing and body protection have come a long way since the sixties, seventies and perhaps eighties, but I'd still be on the 'alert zone' when dealing with a British import. Regards Styria
Well from what I wrote above and my experiences in England I would agree totally regarding Rovers.
An excellent example of what was typical at the time, a fifties or sixties Rover, though a nice car, would probably have rusted away by the seventies, very few good ones survive. Ok the P4 had alloy panels, but they still had rust underneath. Later Rovers, in the British Leyland years were so poorly made anyway, the car would fall aprt even before the rust took hold.
But yes, the 'good' Rovers were all around in the days when winters were icy and a lot of salt was used.
If anyone was considering importing a Rover of that vintage, then it would probably be better to source a local car in Aus.
C.M.
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  #9  
Old 27th January 2009, 06:52 AM
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Des Des is offline
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Default Re: Does UK mean rust? Does Aus mean UV?

Must be time for some Des logic......


Saying all UK cars are rusty heaps is like saying all black people are thieving gangsters or all Muslims are terrorists etc...

Cars should be evaluated on their own merit, and not all branded as stereotypes.
You can get good UK cars and you can get bad UK cars, like with anything, you can find cars here in Australia that are driven into the ground after 5-8 years, and well cared for cars that are 40 years old.
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Old 27th January 2009, 07:06 PM
GreaseMonkey
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Default Re: Does UK mean rust? Does Aus mean UV?

Of course there are pros and cons anywhere, but the point of my story is that there used to be good reason to think of British cars rusting away, poor quality steel, poor build quality, salt on the roads etc, but the climate and salt issues have diminished and Mercedes were always better made than most British cars, so it follows a UK market M-B from the mid-seventies on need not be a rusty wreck.
Chris M.
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