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Discussion Starter #141
Well, thought i'd post this as an FYI, this definitely works out in the long run.

Since it's impossible to rustproof the rear wells from the inside thoroughly, I removed the rear panels. I wiped it down then went crazy with the rust check and now they are nicely protected.

 

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Well, thought i'd post this as an FYI, this definitely works out in the long run.

Since it's impossible to rustproof the rear wells from the inside thoroughly, I removed the rear panels. I wiped it down then went crazy with the rust check and now they are nicely protected.

Nice job, 04! Did you take out your 6 x 9 speakers and spray down into the wheel well lip? AFAIK, that is the only way to get rust proofing stuff into that lip where the outer and inner panels are folded together. You can get right to the seam as I took measurements from both inside and outside. There is some seam sealer that appears to glue the two sheets of metal together, but the panels are about 1/4" apart. There wasn't a continuous bead of seam sealer on mine so I could just push my tubing way down in. If yours is completely sealed, you may have to remove a bit to get your straw/tubing in there.
 

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20 year old enthusiast
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Discussion Starter #143
Nice job, 04! Did you take out your 6 x 9 speakers and spray down into the wheel well lip? AFAIK, that is the only way to get rust proofing stuff into that lip where the outer and inner panels are folded together. You can get right to the seam as I took measurements from both inside and outside. There is some seam sealer that appears to glue the two sheets of metal together, but the panels are about 1/4" apart. There wasn't a continuous bead of seam sealer on mine so I could just push my tubing way down in. If yours is completely sealed, you may have to remove a bit to get your straw/tubing in there.
No, I didn't take out the speaker, but the opening was big enough to stick my hand through to spray as far back. I think I got most of the area.
 

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No, I didn't take out the speaker, but the opening was big enough to stick my hand through to spray as far back. I think I got most of the area.
Ah, yes. I see the large access hole to the left of your speaker. Good job, 04. Your van should be safe from the "rusties" for a while. Come to think of it, it's almost time from me to do mine again. Interestingly, I got a letter in the mail from Kia. They are offering to do a wax/oil based undercoating on my Rondo free of charge as part of a Canadian rust protection program. That's a bonus! So this year, I'll just have to do the doors, panels etc. Hopefully the Fluid Film I put on there last fall won't cause bonding problems for their product.
 

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Ah, yes. I see the large access hole to the left of your speaker. Good job, 04. Your van should be safe from the "rusties" for a while. Come to think of it, it's almost time from me to do mine again. Interestingly, I got a letter in the mail from Kia. They are offering to do a wax/oil based undercoating on my Rondo free of charge as part of a Canadian rust protection program. That's a bonus! So this year, I'll just have to do the doors, panels etc. Hopefully the Fluid Film I put on there last fall won't cause bonding problems for their product.
Did KIA say what areas they would be doing? Maybe this is similar to the 2012 KIA Sedona recall for front control arm rust per: http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/showthread.php/81153-Oil-Light-Puzzle?p=828473#post828473
Kia will notify owners and dealers will inspect the degree of corrosion of the front lower control arms, and will either rustproof or replace them, free of charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #146
Rustproofed the van. Got as much spots as I can get and most of the underbody is sprayed now. I even got the exhaust lol. I got the exhaust real hot and had a smoke and smell show with the rustproofing burning off. I expect the same thing to happen on the next drive.

Lots of rust check and a couple bottles of fluid film. Hit up the bottom of the doors and everything as well, fluid filmed the rocker panels real nice...Now the van is dripping rust proofing lol. Just got to ATF+4 inside the rocker panels, but got to wait for a long drive to slosh it all over the place.

Now I'm all ready and set for the winter.

On Thursday I had it rustproofed and ready to rock and roll for the winter. I hit up the same areas like described above and a few other areas, like thru the holes in the tailgate for example. Got the front suspension real nice too. The van is definitely ready for the winter.
 

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If any of you that removed the rocker panel foam and treated your rockers with a rust preventative like automatic transmission fluid or Fluid Film are still around, how did it work out for you in the long run? Did your rockers stay rust-free?
 

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If any of you that removed the rocker panel foam and treated your rockers with a rust preventative like automatic transmission fluid or Fluid Film are still around, how did it work out for you in the long run? Did your rockers stay rust-free?
Didn't remove the foam but poured transmission fluid in plus spayed with Fluid Film in a 2007 GC about three years back. Still working okay. They should have had more drain holes in those rocker panels, so I added a couple in the back, about 3/16" diameter, with a drill.
 

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My 2007 Grand Caravan with 170,000 miles has a portion of the right rocker panel open. I bought the vehicle in 2013 with 70,000 miles on it. I do not think the first owner was too diligent about keeping the van clean in the winter, because it had more corrosion than my previous van, a 2005 Chrysler that I bought when it was one year old with 20,000 miles. I did Fluid Film on the 2007, but did not do the ATF. The ATF probably would have saved the rocker. I like Chrysler vans, but it seems as though there is minimal attention given by Chrysler to rust resistance. It's of no concern if you live where the roads are salted and you buy your van new and ditch it by year 6 or 7.

Thanks for the update on how the rust prevention worked for you.
 

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You can buy weld on steel covers for the rocker panels.
 

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I replaced the passenger side rear rocker and dogleg back in 2014 cutting out the rusted metal and welding in new metal. I treated the inside the rockers with Eastwood Internal Frame Coating 14 oz Aerosol. So fare so good. I have some mild surface rust on those panels now that I will have to sand and repaint. I used dealership paint and primer out of a can, which didn't hold up. I use a 2 component Epoxy Primer and automotive paint with my HVLP paint gun, which works best. I did spray the foam back in for a quitter ride and insulation. Keep the drain holes clean and every chance you get to get a wash, during the winter months, do it. Also, doesn't hurt to get her waxed a couple times a year. (I wish I did these things before) I'm going to be replaced the driver's side rear rocker and dog leg soon as well. It should go much better this time since I've required more fabrication tools and knowledge since 2015. Below is a link to Eastwoods rust solutions.

 
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Itsallgood - was the new metal you used the type Jeepman described?

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Itsallgood - was the new metal you used the type Jeepman described?

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Jeepman didn't provide any details of where to purchase it from, so I can't say. I purchased mine brand new from "FixMyRust"
 

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Thanks for the parts source. When you wrote, "I replaced the passenger side rear rocker and dogleg...cutting out the rusted metal and welding in new metal", it sounded as though you might have fabricated your own parts.
 

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I believe the dogleg is a part that is available for welding in. There are several miscellaneous body parts that are available for welding in, mainly for known rust out areas.

One source of such parts, but there are likely sources available locally from others: Auto Body Repair Panels | Truck Rust Repair | Raybuck Auto Body Parts

Rocker panel cover: 1996-07 Dodge Caravan Full Length Slip On Rocker Panel Drivers Side

Aluminum as well: DODGE CARAVAN PLYMOUTH VOYAGER ROCKER PANEL COVER KIT 2001-2007 | eBay

From Amazon: DODGE CARAVAN PLYMOUTH VOYAGER ROCKER PANEL COVER KIT 2001-2007 | eBay

Regular, unpainted, steel covers should be available for about $50.00 a side. DODGE CARAVAN PLYMOUTH VOYAGER ROCKER PANEL COVER KIT 2001-2007 | eBay

They may be available in stainless as well.

Installation: spot welds (common), automotive glue, rivets, screws. Continuous welding is generally avoided because of excess heat/fires. Keep foam insulation and rustproofing in mind.
 

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1999 Chrysler Town & Country Limited; 2001 Chrysler Town & Country LXi
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I bought a rust free 2001 T&C with low miles a few months ago. It will not be driven until summer. I read through this entire thread (good stuff in here) and don’t believe the inside of the rockers have ever been wet. Still, I pulled all the body/drain plugs in the rockers and worked for about 8 hours removing foam. I believe I have a clear path from front to back, but also had a sense that I could keep digging around in there until the cows come in and never get all of it. With the help of compressed air and a shop vac, most of the loose crumbs have been sucked out.

But I had another idea to get even more foam out. What about sticking the wand of my pressure washer in there and blasting around with 3200 PSI of water? That will for sure rid the rockers of any remaining crumbs. With no need to drive the van for another 2-3 months, will that be enough time for the rockers to dry out before adding some fluid film and/or tranny fluid? Or is it a bad idea to introduce any water inside there?

Also, when it come time to put the plugs back in, what do the rest of y’all use to seal them in place? RTV? Silicone caulk?

Thanks in advance.
 

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I bought a rust free 2001 T&C with low miles a few months ago. It will not be driven until summer. I read through this entire thread (good stuff in here) and don’t believe the inside of the rockers have ever been wet. Still, I pulled all the body/drain plugs in the rockers and worked for about 8 hours removing foam. I believe I have a clear path from front to back, but also had a sense that I could keep digging around in there until the cows come in and never get all of it. With the help of compressed air and a shop vac, most of the loose crumbs have been sucked out.

But I had another idea to get even more foam out. What about sticking the wand of my pressure washer in there and blasting around with 3200 PSI of water? That will for sure rid the rockers of any remaining crumbs. With no need to drive the van for another 2-3 months, will that be enough time for the rockers to dry out before adding some fluid film and/or tranny fluid? Or is it a bad idea to introduce any water inside there?

Also, when it come time to put the plugs back in, what do the rest of y’all use to seal them in place? RTV? Silicone caulk?

Thanks in advance.
I wouldn't bother.

That thing is already 20 years old and rust free, it should easily last another 20 years, by that time just get rid of it and buy a newer vehicle. Those vehicles are not collection vehicles, will not be worth more than it is worth now.

I believe by doing what you did already, you just started the rust clock, the clock is ticking now.

Back yo your question, if your vehicle will be garaged for that time, yes, it should be enough time.

Good luck.
 

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I bought a rust free 2001 T&C with low miles a few months ago. It will not be driven until summer. I read through this entire thread (good stuff in here) and don’t believe the inside of the rockers have ever been wet. Still, I pulled all the body/drain plugs in the rockers and worked for about 8 hours removing foam. I believe I have a clear path from front to back, but also had a sense that I could keep digging around in there until the cows come in and never get all of it. With the help of compressed air and a shop vac, most of the loose crumbs have been sucked out.

But I had another idea to get even more foam out. What about sticking the wand of my pressure washer in there and blasting around with 3200 PSI of water? That will for sure rid the rockers of any remaining crumbs. With no need to drive the van for another 2-3 months, will that be enough time for the rockers to dry out before adding some fluid film and/or tranny fluid? Or is it a bad idea to introduce any water inside there?

Also, when it come time to put the plugs back in, what do the rest of y’all use to seal them in place? RTV? Silicone caulk?

Thanks in advance.
No, don't add extra water to the mix, you have done enough. Compressed air would be a better alternative if you want to go that route.

The drain holes for the rocker panels need to be free of any sealant so they can freely drain. They should have had more drain holes from the factory.

For good measure, you may want to treat the rocker panels every year or two. Don't seal the plugs with anything. Krown Rust Control here, use a grease, I assume silicone, around the plug holes for additional protection, although the corrosion protection itself, be it Fluid Film, should do just fine on its own. With a proper size hole, the plugs are a force fit, to stay in place.

Plugging the drain holes temporarily and pouring some old transmission fluid, or oil, in there will saturate whatever rust dust etc. that's lies along the bottom.

What are you using for corrosion protection, spraying equipment, wands, and for plugging any holes you drill? How are you treating the door panels, hatch, and body panels? the under carriage? the electrical? I spray the whole engine compartment and all hoses and electrical. The sliding door tracks get a good spay as well.

Good luck with your project. I have an 8 gallon compressor and a spray gun with wands. It takes me about 3 hours to do a vehicle using ramps. NAPA is one source for the proper plugs.

PS: LEVY is up early, must have been putting wood in the furnace. :)
 

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1999 Chrysler Town & Country Limited; 2001 Chrysler Town & Country LXi
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Thank you both. I will skip the hairbrained pressure washer idea. I already used compressed air and an awl (and coat hangers) to make sure all of the drain holes are free I will be coating the inside of the rockers in Fluid Film today with the aid of a 360 wand. I will also be hitting the insides of the doors, hood, sliding door track area and hatch and the other known rust-prone areas - especially that area forward of the front wheels where the fenders are fastened to the front bumper cover.

I probably don’t have enough fluid film to do the entire undercarriage and engine compartment, but I will do the brake and coolant lines to the rear heater.

The rocker plugs were tough to pry out and definitely were originally set in there with some kind of sealant. I was fearful that setting them back in place without sealant would be a source of salt, come winter. (I am in Milwaukee)

If I ever do decide to pour some transmission fluid in rockers, what is the best way to temporarily plug the drain holes to allow the trans fluid to slosh around for a while? I was thinking toothpicks, but am at a loss for a better method...and I don’t recall reading about a good method to do so.

Regards and thank you!
57666
 

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The drain holes are fairly big so stuff some oily rags in them temporarily, just to delay the drainage out for 15 minutes or so, to maximize the coverage.

There are two of them, each side, on the vertical part.

That's a great setup you have there. I'm envious.

There are drain holes at the bottoms of the doors and hatch where you can put your wand up through to spray inside. Same for rocker panels. Fluid Film will creep with the heat.

The original plugs didn't have any sealant. They just stick after a while.

Tell us more about your nice van.
 
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