NY WLDTRKBRONCO

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@SkyKing thanks for taking the time to put together such a great tutorial. Living in NY I'm definitely intrigued and interested.

I had my '04 Titan for 18 years and ultimately sold it to buy the Bronco. I took care of it best I could for all that time. When I sold it the body and interior looked mint but the undercarriage was literally rusting away underneath. I dont want to see the same happen to my new Bronco as I hope to have it just as long.

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That IPA looks tasty!

 

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OK...I didn't read the entire thread. This looks like Ziebart. How does this differ from the Ziebart? I have used it for the past 40 years with good success. Thanks...Dave
this is helpful as the only place near me I can find that does RPing is Ziebart!
 

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See (Protection from rust and road salt) in New treads
 
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OK...I didn't read the entire thread. This looks like Ziebart. How does this differ from the Ziebart? I have used it for the past 40 years with good success. Thanks...Dave
Not sure how it's different than the products used by Ziebart.
 
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That kind of leads in to my question. What happens when you’re off-roading hard and start scraping the undercarriage? Isn’t that going to allow water in and trap it as well?
Well I guess it depends on how good the seal is. Chipped paint doesn't mean that the water has a pathways to travel under paint. So I'm not sure how different this is. Alpha Cars said they recommend bringing it back ever couple years to see if anything needs to be touched up. But even if I don't, I'm confident that it's much more protected now. My car currently is covered in white powdery salt. More snow (and salt) coming this weekend with Nor'easter.
 

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it's explained in the post, and depends but with my vendor, with a car that is basically new, it was about $1000 to prepare do the undercarraige with hard wax (and fix the areas that had already rusted (sand, add rust converter, etc. and clean entire undercarriage before starting the wax oil coats.. You could do it yourself or find a cheaper vendor but I doubt it would be a thorough as what I had done. I had them go deeper with waxoil sprayed into the enclosed areas (removed wheel wells etc.), which increased the cost further.
I hope the converter worked properly or they just locked it all in under the rust proofer. I personally just did fluid film
 

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I'm in Pittsburgh and plan to get my Bronco treated in the next 1-2 weeks. The bronco is 2 weeks old. It's covered in ice and salt.

I'm taking mine to https://www.steelcityundercoating.com which is 30 minutes/miles away from me.

The question I have is this: whats the best way to prepare my bronco and get it to the shop without it being a complete shit show when it arrives?
 
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I hope the converter worked properly or they just locked it all in under the rust proofer. I personally just did fluid film
there was hardly any rust overall so I'm pretty confident and these guys are meticulous.
 
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I'm in Pittsburgh and plan to get my Bronco treated in the next 1-2 weeks. The bronco is 2 weeks old. It's covered in ice and salt.

I'm taking mine to https://www.steelcityundercoating.com which is 30 minutes/miles away from me.

The question I have is this: whats the best way to prepare my bronco and get it to the shop without it being a complete shit show when it arrives?
the shop should clean it thoroughly - that's on them.
 

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The purpose of this thread is to provide information about my experience with professionally rust proofing my 2021 Bronco Wildtrak. This is an update to some earlier threads I started here:

Worried about rust on your Bronco? You should be. Here's why.

Startling video about why you should be worried about RUST!

Background: I live in New England where they heavily salt the roads. My previous car (2006 4Runner recently had to be towed away for parts at 140K miles because the frame had rotted beyond repair – otherwise it was in great condition. This experience jaded me so I was particularly eager to avoid a recurring situation. Disclaimer – my 4Runner was one of the ones (like Tacomas which were recalled for frame rust) that Toyota outsourced the frame to a 3rd party that failed to properly treat for rust. I am now part of current litigation pursuit for 4Runners. That said, I’m now hyper-sensitive about rust and I keep my cars for a long time. This is my daily driver.

My Wildtrak Bronco is a Dirt Mountain POW, delivered on Dec 23, 2021. The day I got it, the roads were heavily salted. In less than 2 weeks, with only 250 miles on it, there was already a strange amount of rust build up on some parts. For comparison, a friend of mine, also in MA, has been driving his bronco since August (not from Dirt Mountain) and the parts on mine that are rusted are still pristine on his (did something happen at Dirt Mountain????).

So, I brought my Bronco to Alpha Cars in Boxborough, MA to have it treated for future rust avoidance. This is a high end shop of perfectionists that restore/sell exotic cars, and provide services such as detailing, body work, performance mods, exhausts, stereo, engine/suspension upgrades, ceramic coatings, PPF, detailing, etc. This shop provided some insightful pics and video of before and after.

Who should keep reading:
  • Anyone who wants to see what the Bronco looks like underneath
  • Anyone who lives in areas where they salt the roads, who wants to learn more about rust protection approaches with before/after video
  • Anyone who wants to understand what Ford has/hasn’t done to protect Bronco’s from rust
  • Anyone in New England who is considering professional rust protection
About this vendor, pricing, and products used:
  • This is a high-end vendor. They are meticulous and the shop is like a museum. There are surely less expensive vendors that offer rust protection services. Personally, I was worried about finding someone I trust, because I am a skeptic on pretty much everything and the value/effectiveness of rust proofing has been debated for decades. This vendor left me confident that they did as very comprehensive job. They did a combination of cleaning/prepping the undercarriage, sanding rusted parts, treating them with rust converter, adding multiple coats of “hard wax” to the undercarriage, and spraying “Waxoil” into the frame and body cavities. They removed wheel wells and other parts. The treatment is intended to last for the lifetime of the car. There are other products that other vendors and DIY consumers use including Fluid film, NH oil, tar-like undercoating, and other products, which all have pros/cons and price implications. If your car is already heavily rusted, the cost would be more because it would require more preparation. For my vendor, with my "new" car, it was around $1200 to clean, prep and apply 4 coats of hard wax to the undercarriage. I had them go further to get inside the frame, rocker panels and other areas with Waxoil, for a few hundred more. If you choose to do business with Alpha Cars, and mention my name (Jeff Abbott), they will give you $100 off your service. No I don’t work for them. (978) 237-5906. Ask for Jacob. They are good guys.
Before you tell me that I wasted my money:
  • I understand that my Bronco is new and barely had any rust on it. However, I was alarmed at how quickly rust had already formed on some hardware and other parts in less than 2 weeks and it makes me cringe. I plan to keep my car for a long time and again, my 4Runner was just hauled away for parts from frame rust. Not going to let that happen again.
  • I understand that there is a realistic chance that I could have ignored this issue and I may never have a mechanical problem from rust ever.
  • I understand that there are DIY products that cost less and will help protect from rust, each with pros and cons.
  • I understand that rust proofing, ceramic coating, and other things are associated with snake oil salesmen, and some people feel that rust proofing doesn’t do anything at all, isn’t needed, or even makes things worse. I chose this vendor because I believe that they have integrity and expertise and the best products and processes, and will stand behind their work. Can I prove that it was worth it? Not yet.
Jeff, I don’t want to spend the time watching these videos. What are the key takeaways?
  • According to Alpha Cars, compared to most other cars, the Bronco has very little rust protection from the manufacturer. For example, the body panels have between 5 and 9 mils of paint thickness. FYI, a mil is a thousandth of an inch (not a millimeter). The Bronco frame has only 0.5-1.0 mil of paint, which is nearly nothing. For comparison, Alpha Cars tells me that most American cars have between 1-2 mils on the frame, and European cars usually have have more. Some places on the Bronco have no paint at all where they should.
  • Different products have pros/cons. Hard wax is for the undercarriage and it is more resilient to the outside world. Unlike oils, hard wax is designed to stay on the car for life with little to no maintenance. Unlike the old-school tar-like undercoatings, hard wax doesn’t gum up your undercarriage to the point to where you couldn’t get a wrench on a nut. The hard wax was applied over several days in 4 coats. Waxoil, is more liquid-like and is sprayed to the enclosed areas, where it can travel to hard to reach areas and penetrate. Also, DIY versions of these exist, and other people will use Fluid Film, NH oil, spent motor oil, or even WD-40, but these require annual reapplication.
  • It’s up to you as to how thorough you want to be, and it comes with a price. In my case, they not only treated the undercarriage and frame, but they also removed the wheel wells, flares and plugs in the frame/rockers to access many enclosed areas, including the entire inside of the frame. In the case of the Bronco, there are so many built-in holes in the frame, they did not need to drill the frame to access everywhere. In my case, they also sanded and rust treated the drive shaft and axle shafts. I may paint them too – really just for cosmetic reasons. My yellow Bilstein shocks are now black :(.
  • I am very pleased with the service and quality from Alpha Cars in Boxborough, MA. I believe they did this as thoroughly as possible and they clearly take pride in their work. Again, if you give them my name (Jeff Abbott), they will take $100 off your service. And again, they do lots of other stuff that new Bronco owners would be interested in.
Okay, enough already, show me the Before/After Videos:

BEFORE VIDEO
with evaluation. This has a great analysis of the paint thicknesses, and shows where Ford did, and didn’t, protect the Bronco from rust:

AFTER VIDEO showing everything they did.


And here are some BEFORE pics (keep in mind this is from less that 2 weeks of ownership so it's obviously still in great shape overall and there is no rust on frame yet, but...):
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And here are some AFTER pics (between 3rd and 4th coats):
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Thanks for sharing your experience and the videos are great. I have to say that I wasn't surprised to see the vast discrepancies observed on the paint thickness gauge in that second video. Sadly, 1-1.5 mil paint thickness won't stand up over time. (My wife owns a Ford Explorer and within a month of ownership, we spotted paint bubbling up on the leading edge of the hood. Rust was pushing up along the point of thinnest paint adhesion. Under warranty, the Ford dealership did replace the hood and had a local body shop lay down new paint but, you know, I can tell the paint and clear don't quite match the OEM factory spray.)

Based on your location and concern for your truck, I think you made the right call. I have owned quite a few trucks over the years -- almost all without rust-proofing (which is not the same as "undercoating") -- before stepping into a new Land Rover Discovery II. Fully knowing the (rust) hazards of my British truck, I had it professionally prepared like yours by a Land Rover specialist in Jamestown, Rhode Island near where I was attending the Naval War College. They stripped/cleaned the undercarriage, blew Waxoyl cavity wax thru every opening in the doors, frame and undercarriage and then laid down thick Waxoyl hard wax on the exposed frame parts and mechanicals (less exhaust system). That really shut the rust down and LR mechanics often commented that, while it was a mess at times getting at bolts/screws covered in wax, they were impressed with lack of rust underneath.

I know some people think this sort of protection is only for Northerners facing salt and/or brine spray solutions on the roadways. However, I think this kind of protections is even MORE important for those who live on/near or regularly vacation at our coastal shores. I think the worst enemy of metal is the marine environment. If you're a regular surf fishing on the Outer Banks of NC or jeeping down the beach from Port Aransas to Padre Island in Texas, the combination of wind, water and salt can really tear the guts out of your undercarriage.

I'm not stuck on a particular brand of rust proofing. I will only say that how well the product works is often more a result of how well it was APPLIED.

7FEF160A-55ED-4018-9B72-E082C298BA6F.jpeg
 
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Thanks for sharing your experience and the videos are great. I have to say that I wasn't surprised to see the vast discrepancies observed on the paint thickness gauge in that second video. Sadly, 1-1.5 mil paint thickness won't stand up over time. (My wife owns a Ford Explorer and within a month of ownership, we spotted paint bubbling up on the leading edge of the hood. Rust was pushing up along the point of thinnest paint adhesion. Under warranty, the Ford dealership did replace the hood and had a local body shop lay down new paint but, you know, I can tell the paint and clear don't quite match the OEM factory spray.)

Based on your location and concern for your truck, I think you made the right call. I have owned quite a few trucks over the years -- almost all without rust-proofing (which is not the same as "undercoating") -- before stepping into a new Land Rover Discovery II. Fully knowing the (rust) hazards of my British truck, I had it professionally prepared like yours by a Land Rover specialist in Jamestown, Rhode Island near where I was attending the Naval War College. They stripped/cleaned the undercarriage, blew Waxoyl cavity wax thru every opening in the doors, frame and undercarriage and then laid down thick Waxoyl hard wax on the exposed frame parts and mechanicals (less exhaust system). That really shut the rust down and LR mechanics often commented that, while it was a mess at times getting at bolts/screws covered in wax, they were impressed with lack of rust underneath.

I know some people think this sort of protection is only for Northerners facing salt and/or brine spray solutions on the roadways. However, I think this kind of protections is even MORE important for those who live on/near or regularly vacation at our coastal shores. I think the worst enemy of metal is the marine environment. If you're a regular surf fishing on the Outer Banks of NC or jeeping down the beach from Port Aransas to Padre Island in Texas, the combination of wind, water and salt can really tear the guts out of your undercarriage.

I'm not stuck on a particular brand of rust proofing. I will only say that how well the product works is often more a result of how well it was APPLIED.

7FEF160A-55ED-4018-9B72-E082C298BA6F.jpeg
Thanks for your thoughts here. I also suspect that the quality of work is a huge factor in the results.
 

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I just seen this after posting my thread/question...
NHOU BOSS Wax-Oil Undercoating

I am looking at a very similar application, I too am getting ready to spend some cash on a wax/oil rustproofing treatment. Yep pricey, but here in Michigan we have same salt concerns. I used NHOU oil on an older vehicle that I bought which came from the West side of the country. It seems to be doing well, will be having it touched up this year. (The company which makes the product is actually out your way)

This is my first upgrade to my new Badlands...

I see you took the plunge. It will definitely slow down the rust... Just trying to read up as much as I can. This Wax treatment for the under body exposed panels is costly. The NHOU oil mixture is placed on any cavity hard to reach areas. My older vehicle has the NHOU oil back to black application which was reasonable comparable to the cost of this treatment. The company that applied the treatment did an excellent job. So I wanted to use them again.

I would never put a tar based product on a vehicle.
 

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Thanks for your thoughts here. I also suspect that the quality of work is a huge factor in the results.
With my build scheduled for 3/2, I am circling back to this as my initial review of the other undercoat options available to me doesn't give me a great sense of quality/value, and I'm not going to coat it myself with Fluid film or similar, for a a few different reasons. I know its only been six weeks or so, but any reason to revise your opinion of Alpha Cars and this treatment? They are only about an hour and 15 minutes from me, so I am seriously considering this while the vehicle is still pretty new. Do you know if any other forum members took advantage of the $100 offer? Thanks.
 
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With my build scheduled for 3/2, I am circling back to this as my initial review of the other undercoat options available to me doesn't give me a great sense of quality/value, and I'm not going to coat it myself with Fluid film or similar, for a a few different reasons. I know its only been six weeks or so, but any reason to revise your opinion of Alpha Cars and this treatment? They are only about an hour and 15 minutes from me, so I am seriously considering this while the vehicle is still pretty new. Do you know if any other forum members took advantage of the $100 offer? Thanks.
I am very glad I did it and many people have reinforced to me that Alpha Cars only does things right.
 

BronkedUp413

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I am very glad I did it and many people have reinforced to me that Alpha Cars only does things right.
We are expecting delivery in the next 7-9 days, and one of the first calls I'll make will be to Alpha Cars to get on their schedule. You mentioned your shocks were "black" but in at least one of the original pictures that seemed to be post-treatment, they were still yellow? Its nitpicky, of course, but I'm wondering if they can cover the shocks to keep them yellow?

 

 
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