Goodbye Rust

When buying an older van theres always a good chance that there will be rust. Im thankful that my van wasn’t extremely bad, however It still knocked my motivation every time I discovered more.  Although Im pleased to say that the majority of it has now been dealt with, so here is how I rid my van of rust.

If you read my previous post you might remember what a state the sheet metal floor was in after removing all the layers of dirt. Every screw hole was rusted and there was big holes behind both wheel arches. The holes were my first priority, and the first thing that I would have to get help with due to it having to be welded. So I got the van booked in with a family friend as soon as possible and they were patched up in no time.

Meanwhile I made a start on the other rust patches. I started by grinding down each patch of rust until I got to clean shiny metal. To do this I used a hand held wire brush and wire brush drill attachment. An angle grinder with a steel wire wheel might be faster but I didn’t have one at the time and I thought the drill attachment was a better size for the job. Sandpaper would also work if you don’t have access to these tools.

As you can see in the images above, there was lots of screw holes in the floor. Whilst the floor was being welded the guy plugged up the holes with a spot of weld to seal them for good. Now I needed to treat the bare metal before applying a top coat. I used red oxide from a spray can as primer, giving it a few coats to ensure all of the bare metal was fully covered.

Vw t4 red oxide rust treatment

I then used Hammerite for the finish as I already had a tin of it in the garage. Some people advise against using it however it seemed to work well and it would also soon be covered so I can’t see there being any problems with it. I forgot to take pictures after applying the Hammerite but you can see parts of it in the pictures below.

With the floor done the next bits of rust were on the side door step and at the rear of the van by the bumper. I tackled these in the same way as the floor as you can see from the pictures below.

Under the sliding door step there is a channel with a lip which the seal sits on. This was rusted completely through in some places. I thought about getting the whole section cut out and replaced however after grinding it back I decided I could get away with only having one bit welded and the rest just cleaned up.


As you can see from the pictures, part of the lip that the seal sits on was rusted through. This bit definitely needed welding in order for a new seal to sit properly. Ialso widened the rust holes with a dremel to create a cleaner, rust free hole. I left these holes open as they will function as drainage if any water gets in the channel in the future.

Finally I primed all the bare metal and prepped it for the basecoat. This time I wanted to get a better colour match and finish so I left the Hammerite In the garage and ordered myself some spray paint in the correct colour code and some laquer to finish it. I also spent more time prepping for the paint to get a much more durable and smarter finish. The pictures below were taken a while after the work was carried out so it all looks a bit dirty. I also replaced the sliding door roller.

Apologies for the long post. Rust treatment quickly became a massive part of the project and I spent countless hours trying to get it all. Thats not even all of the rust that I have sorted out on the van but maybe I’ll leave that for another post. Or maybe I’ll just forget about it, yeah that sounds good!

With the rust more or less sorted I could move on to the funner stuff of insulating and ventilating the van which will be the topics of my next posts so hit the follow button to get notified when they’re up.

Thank you for taking the time read this post.

See you in the next one,



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