Rear Door Rust

512Westy

Member
I noticed some dirt & grime at the rear door gasket, and when i tried scraping it out, soon realized that it was more than grime. Moisture held in the gasket channel had created corrosion.
I checked the service manual and the parts schematic to see how the threshold assembly was put together and began taking things apart. this is what the rear door threshold looked like prior.

I am always hesitant to tear clips and retainers apart, not knowing how they actually fasten, but I was able to pry the 6 or so clips up with a screwdriver and they just snap out and back in so no worries.
 

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512Westy

Member
So after removal of the threshold, one can see the corrosion damage. I used a variety of scrapers, sandpaper, and wire brushes to remove the rust and get down to solid metal.
 

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512Westy

Member
Worried about loosing too much metal to hold the gasket, I was relieved when finished to find the gasket is held fine with the remaining channel. Painted the area and re-assembled and now know to watch this area in the future. I was really pleased with how well the random silver spray paint matched the original paint color. You may want to check this area in your camper to see if you have corrosion here.
 

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autocamp

un-bastardized NAFTA JC
Thanks for sharing this. I would also check mine. BTW, the foot step under the synthetic pads on the front entrances also tend to have hidden corrosion.
 

grozier

Member
Thanks for sharing this experience.

I took a look at ours recently (and I'll preface this by saying that we have the rustiest Westy I have ever seen and one of the rustiest Sprinters I've seen) and we had relatively less damage than the photos above.

On the underside of the channel for the door seal is a body seam that you'll need a dental mirror to see. Ours has plenty of rust that would develop into real rot. I used a dremel-type tool with wire brush to clean this area; access is not good. A really poor design because of course water and grit is going to accumulate there!

I followed the clean-out with a zinc-rich primer, waited a day, then a coat of Brilliant Silver Metallic. After a week or so I will reinstall the seal and use Owatrol once, then Fluid Film periodically, to maintain this area.

If you have any early signs of rust, these products can slow it down. No affiliation, just impressed with them and had not heard of them before moving here. See http://www.owatrolusa.com/index.php?langue=en&page=products-owatrol-oil and http://www.fluid-film.com/.

Ted
 

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