Rust repair started

shanemac

Active member
Hi, it's been a while since I checked in, I still have the sprinter but she has gotten pretty rusty the last couple years so it's time to do something about it. The more trim I take off the more rust I find. This van likely started rusting the day it left the factory. I have myself a decent sandblaster and an ok air compressor it does the job but the blaster is a huge air hog.

I blast the metal blow it off and then use a product called acid etch primer the one I bought was called "super" acid etch primer by Dominion Sure Seal LTD. based in Canada I spray it directly onto the bare metal very shortly after its blasted. There were a few spots on the slider and passenger door that needed some body filler the rust pitted metal pretty good, these areas I scuffed up with 80 grit and applied filler and sanded smooth and reprimed.

On the driver's side, I applied a paintable gravel guard I can only find black I could paint white over it but will just keep it black I like how it turned out so much I bought more cans I lucked out and got 550gram size cans for 6 bucks heck I might even paint the whole van gravel guard.

I'll be doing some blasting tomorrow and will need to try and get the sliding door track removed off the side of the van, it looks to be double sided taped on from the looks of it a good thing is have a decent heat gun. I don't see any screws visible unless I have to remove the inside wall covering. There is nasty rust under the track.

pics here https://plus.google.com/u/0/116895290322144841464/posts/RCRwBaWEwPp
and here https://plus.google.com/u/0/116895290322144841464/posts/9oDfvYMKbjj



 
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ptheland

2013 144" low top Passgr
Put the heat gun away. The step is held in with screws. 5 of them are in the step tread, very well hidden under plugs. Look for a faint outline of a six sided oblong. They can easily be mistaken for injection molding marks.

There are two more screws - one each in the front and rear of the step. The front one is hiding behind the b-pillar trim. You’ll have to remove that trim to get at the screw.

The rear one is under a more obvious plug, and ma also be under another trim piece going around the step.
 

shanemac

Active member
Thanks for the tips...but the track I need to remove is on the outside side panel the silverish track halfway up the van. Mine has a bunch of rust under it. I can see what looks like a foam material between the metal and track. I would rather not pull work materials out of the inside and the inner paneling if I don't have too.
 

sprint2freedom

2008 NCV3 170ext
In addition to the adhesive foam tape you found, that sliding door track has 7 or 8 studs spot welded to its back side with nuts holding it to the body. Unfortunately they are accessible only from the inside, so you'll have to pull your paneling to remove it.
 

ptheland

2013 144" low top Passgr
Thanks for the tips...but the track I need to remove is on the outside side panel the silverish track halfway up the van.
I'm sorry. I misread your initial post. The step area is a common place for lots of rust to happen, so I jumped right to that. And it does have a track that the door rides on.

As has already been pointed out, the track on the side of the van has a few studs that go through the body and are secured by nuts on the inside. Unfortunately, you've got to remove whatever is necessary to access those nuts if you want to remove that track.
 

shanemac

Active member
No prob, I plan on tackling things tomorrow, luckily my shelving inside unbolts pretty easy and it's just the factory plastic paneling with screws.
 
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smurph

Member
I love that Gravel Guard / Rocker Guard - and it's on sale right now at CT. I don't have any rust on mine but was thinking I would spray the lower panels as well as the plastic just to protect it as well as I like the look. Looking forward to seeing how your project turns out.

Hi from Edmonton.
 
Your '07 with all it's rust makes me appreciate mine, also an '07. Mine is almost rust free at 273K miles even though it spent most of it's life in northern Missouri, a very cold state compared to Louisiana. I guess they use more salt to clear the roads in Alberta. It looks like you are doing a good job. I know you will be proud when finished.

Gene
 

shanemac

Active member
Thanks, ya it's a work out for sure i think i lost 5lbs. If i was smart the day after i bought my van i should have put an extra coating of rock guard in the prone areas especially over the front windshield, mine was almost solid rust from top to bottom. There are a lot of areas where the paint looks fine and with some sanding its like there is a small rust pit started under the paint. Metal prep from the factory on mine was horrible.

Granted I never babied my paint, but if I ever buy a new van again the first trip is getting it rhino coated.
 

Ed463

Active member
This maybe a ridiculous suggestion given that you are Canada, but do you have companies over there who do conversions on Sprinter vans?
Mini buses
Refrigeration vans
Armoured vans etc.
If so they tend to sell off brand new doors. I picked up unused, brand new doors for £60 each. A side door for £120.

Rust is a depressing thing to tackle!
 

shanemac

Active member
Good idea but there is no one in my area I know of doing conversions. My sliding door was pretty solid, especially the lower part of the door actually had zero rust most of it was under the plastic molding that was starting to spread. I can see now why body shops don't want to deal with rust its a mess. The area above the windshield I was tempted to get it replaced but my labor is cheaper to blast it clean. :bash:
 

smurph

Member
pics looks good Shane. Your work is paying off. Did you plastidip the sliding door track or use rocker guard? I'm tempted to plastidip my hood and the area above the window.

As well, the city here started using a weird salt mixture on the roads in winter and even they have admitted the solution wasn't correct and many friends are complaining of advanced rust in the last couple years. Let's hope they fix this soon as I can deal with rock chips and broken windows when they use gravel but rust is a mofo. I've heard of a lot of sprinters having issues removing the seat bolts and rear floor bolts but all mine came out without incident. Lucky I suppose.
 

smurph

Member
Granted I never babied my paint, but if I ever buy a new van again the first trip is getting it rhino coated.
Totally agree! I'll be ordering a plastidip kit with paint and sprayer soon. Not ready for rhino-liner just yet and can't afford a wrap or new paint. Bed liner would be pretty bomber.
 

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