How To Remove Rust From Truck Chassis

Four Important POR-15 Rust Removal Products to Keep Rust Away

By Taylor Kempkes   –   Photography by the Author

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Rust is the enemy of a classic truck meant to be driven. Whether it’s your original floor pan and frame rails or all-new sheet metal, if you leave it alone long enough the elements are bound to do damage. Before we go much further, no, a couple coats of black rattle can just ain’t gonna cut it! What you really need is to clean and prep the metal the right way and then seal it with a product that will actually last. From our experience, POR 15 has a robust product line dedicated to doing just that.

Read More: How To Install Wilwood’s Forged Narrow Superlite Big Brake Kit00 B Four Important Rust Removal Products to Keep Rust AwayAll this talk about preventing and protecting came about when we started planning the build of our 1964 Chevy C10. Step one of the build is going to be a complete front subframe install from our friends over at Scott’s Hotrods N Customs. While we could pull a Roadkill move and bolt the fancy new front suspension to our grimy old frame rails, we’d rather do it the right way. That means cleaning, prepping, and sealing things up beforehand. It’s a process that, depending on your level of filth, could take just a few hours or part of a weekend, but it’s a process that is completely worth it in the long run.

01 Jason Scudellari began by removing the steering box and linkage
The front clip as well as engine and transmission were long gone, so Jason Scudellari began by removing the steering box and linkage.

In this article, we’re going to focus on four products from POR 15: Cleaner Degreaser, Metal Prep, Rust Preventative, and Top Coat. Using our C10 chassis as an exemplar (and a couple other In The Garage Media project vehicles), we’ll show you when, where, and how to use each one.

02 Next Scudellari supported the front of the truck with jack stands and removed the hardware securing the upper control arms
After putting the hurt on a few bolts with our Earthquake impact gun, he effortlessly rolled away the complete subframe.
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POR 15 Cleaner Degreaser

This water based product is designed to clean everything from minor dirt to serious grime left behind by oil, grease, mildew, and even wax. The fact that it’s water based means it can be diluted as little or as much as each situation calls for. It also has an added benefit of leaving no residue behind, and it’s almost completely odorless. Plus, it isn’t flammable so no need to worry about grinding or welding on a metal surface that was just cleaned. POR 15 Cleaner Degreaser comes in a gallon bottle, or pre-diluted in a spray bottle for ease of use.

03 with our Earthquake impact gun he effortlessly rolled away the complete subframe
With frame rails void of old suspension and steering parts, Scudellari spent a few minutes knocking off the bulk of the dirt and grime—not that POR 15 Cleaner Degreaser couldn’t have handled it, but in this instance he preferred to sweep away most of the crud while it was dry instead of making a muddy mess on the ground.

Read More: How To Install Wilwood’s Forged Narrow Superlite Big Brake Kit

POR 15 Metal Prep

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Even when a surface is free of dirt and grease a final step should be done before a coating can be applied—that’s where POR 15 Metal Prep comes in. It is designed to etch the metal surface for optimal adhesion while also leaving behind a zinc phosphate coating to further help bond paint to metal. Like POR 15 Cleaner Degreaser, Metal Prep is water based, non-toxic, and non-corrosive. It is also effective at removing paint scale, loose or flaking rust, and even light surface rust.

04 With frame rails void of old suspension and steering parts Scudellari spent a few minutes knocking off the bulk of the dirt and grime
Diluting the Cleaner Degreaser is an inexact science. Figure something like 10:1 water degreaser for lightly dirty surfaces up to 1:1 for thick grime. Scudellari landed somewhere around a 4:1 mix, which he poured into a spray bottle.

Read More: 12th Annual Chevy/GMC Southeastern Truck Nationals 2022

POR 15 Rust Preventative Coating

When it comes to stopping rust, POR 15 Rust Preventative Coating is the best we’ve come across. Once the metal surface has been properly prepped using Cleaner Degreaser and Metal Prep, this permanent coating can be brushed on. It forms a barrier against everything from water to salt to chemicals and wear and tear from everyday use. It cures into a “hammer tough” coating that POR 15 claims is virtually indestructible. Beyond just protecting metal surfaces from developing rust, POR 15 Rust Preventative Coating can even be applied directly on rusted surfaces to stop the spread.

05 Scudellari landed somewhere around a 4 1 mix which he poured into a spray bottle
He then soaked the frame with the product and worked his way around each surface with a rag. A scrub brush or old toothbrush might be helpful too if your situation calls for it.

Read More: Affordable Independent Rear Suspension Upgrade For Your Classic Trucks

POR 15 Top Coat

When a durable, UV-resistant coating is required, POR 15 Top Coat is a great option. Available in a convenient aerosol can or traditional paint can, Top Coat is a direct-to-metal paint that does not require primer or coating. Its UV resistance and rust-preventive qualities are designed to provide a permanent barrier to corrosion and impressive long-term color retention. It can also be used on top of POR 15 Rust Preventative Coating as an additional layer of protection with many colors available.

06 He then soaked the frame with the product and worked his way around each surface with a rag
Once we could brush our fingers across the frame without having to go wash our hands again it was time to let everything dry out before moving to the next step: Metal Prep.
07 it was time to let everything dry out before moving to the next step Metal Prep
No diluting is required when using POR 15 Metal Prep. Just put some in a spray bottle and apply to the surfaces you intend to seal.
08 No diluting is required when using POR 15 Metal Prep
Keep everything soaked in the product for 10 to 20 minutes, spraying additional Metal Prep when necessary to keep the surfaces wet the whole time. Then rinse it off with water and let it dry completely (it’s OK if there’s a residue left behind).
09 Keep everything soaked in the product for 10 to 20 minutes spraying additional Metal Prep when necessary to keep the surfaces wet the whole time
With the prepwork done, it was time to seal it all up. For this application, we choose to use POR 15 Rust Preventative Coating. It is a permanent coating that can even be applied directly to rusty surfaces with either a roller or paint brush.
10 With the prepwork done it was time to seal it all up For this application we choose to use POR 15 Rust Preventative Coating
In just a few hours we had a frame that looked good and would hold up for years and years to come. Keep your eyes out for the Scott’s Hotrods’ subframe install coming in a future issue of Classic Truck Performance.
11 Keep your eyes out for the Scotts Hotrods subframe install coming in a future issue of Classic Truck Performance
As for that fourth POR 15 product we mentioned, Top Coat, we used that to seal up some fresh sheet metal underneath another project we had in the shop. Top Coat comes in a convenient aerosol can and can be used without any primer or undercoating or on top of POR 15 Rust Preventative Coating for additional protection. We were pleasantly surprised with the consistent finish that resulted.

12 Top Coat comes in a convenient aerosol can and can be used without any primer or undercoating 13 POR 15 Metal Prep was advertised to remove surface rust we decided to try it out anyway 14 After just minutes he was able to wipe away the rust with a clean rag

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