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Exterior guides and mods

Rust - Fortwo 450

Rust is inevitable but some rust is worse than others

Modification Details

Hidden Rust - The Worst Type

Rust is bad enough but when you don't know it's there, it spreads. The first thing you know about
it is usually when something falls off or it fails the MOT (or similar government vehicle test). 

In this instance, Tolsen was lucky to chance upon the rust on his 450 diesel. The reason that
it wasn't picked up before was because this rust was hidden behind the wheel arch liner.

There is supposed to be an arch liner fixing stud in the middle of the big rusty hole.

This type of damage is becoming a lot more common now as early cars get older. The possibility of rust increases
in wetter areas of the world. Salt from deicing roads and living near the sea also increases the rust potential.

I received an email in mid 2014 from Simon D who owned a year 2000 fortwo (450) where every stud in
both rear arches had rusted and created large holes in the metal underneath. Both plastic liners fell out.

Now, obviously the plastic wheel arch liner is supposed to stop water from being flicked up by the
wheels and protect the metal arch underneath. Nice idea with only 1 major drawback (and 1 easy fix).

Arch Liner Fixing Hole Elongation

To make the arch liner easier to fit, the holes that the studs pass through have to be elongated.
Chances are, the 10mm plastic nut won't fully cover the slot and if it does, it won't for long.

The wheels can flick water up at 70+ mph essentially making it like a pressure washer.
The water is pushed through the elongated hole and behind the arch liner.

Because the arch liner is held against the metal, any water seeping through is held in the area
of the stud by surface tension and capillary action. Over time, the standing water rusts through
the stud, through the metal liner and leaves you with big rusty holes.

Ideally, you want to catch and prevent this problem before they rust through.

OK, I Don't Have Any Rust Yet

Good. The first thing that most people think is "I'll paint the metal in Hammerite, that'll stop rust".
Forget Hammerite, it's shit, don't use it on anything. It's too rigid and it cracks too easily.

If you paint the metal on the inside of your arch, you are just slowing the possibility of rust
down by 6 months, not stopping it. This is because the arch liners move and rub around the
studs, this wears away the paint and you are back to square 1.


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