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Old 08-09-2015, 05:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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There’s already a hole for rust protecting the inside of the rocker panels. If you remove the rear tire spat, underneath it there’s a hole for rust protecting. Tire spat has seal in it that will seal the opening. You also need to remove the rear tire to have good access to that hole. Spat is held on by one screw on the bottom of the car. Screw screws into plastic so it opens easily.

From this hole you can push in the rust protecting spay can tube that has multi nozzle at the end. http://www.tectyl.fi/2009/tectyl_ml.jpg this is the stuff that I used. Condensation on outside of the panel clearly showed that all of that area (and more) that was rusted in MetroMPG:s Prius was protected.

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Old 08-09-2015, 06:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
I'll post a pic later, but there's also rust starting in the front fenders as well, behind the tire.
Often caused by blocked drain holes at the bottom of the engine/pax compartment firewall where rotting leaves, dirt and other crud combine to form an acidic mess that eats cars alive ...

Often overlooked during maintenance until too late.
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speeed3 View Post
There’s already a hole for rust protecting the inside of the rocker panels. ... From this hole you can push in the rust protecting spay can tube that has multi nozzle ... all of that area (and more) that was rusted in MetroMPG's Prius was protected.
That was my next question: whether that hole provided access to the vulnerable/affected "compartment" inside the rocker structure.

I was going to wait until the fall to do this repair, but my curiosity has got the better of me: I think I'll cut open the rusted part of the rocker panel tonight. I'll post pics tonight or tomorrow.
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Confirmed the source of the rust is the hole in the corner of the "shelf" in the wheel well (see the photo from the wheel well side with yellow arrow pointing at hole in a previous post):



Those rust flakes are sitting loosely on the bottom of the rocker panel, I knocked them off the inside/side surface when I was stabbing/probing/banging that area.

Below is the view looking forward -- you can see the rust happily spreading out inside the cavity. Also: evidence of the elusive Canadian Rust Spider, which catches tiny rust flakes in its web! Mmmm, iron oxide.



Quote:
If you remove the rear tire spat, underneath it there’s a hole for rust protecting. Tire spat has seal in it that will seal the opening. You also need to remove the rear tire to have good access to that hole. Spat is held on by one screw on the bottom of the car. Screw screws into plastic so it opens easily.
Discovered possibly easier ways to access inside the rocker panel:



1) This is the screw you described for removing the rear tire spat/deflector. The screw threads inside my rocker were so rusted, I didn't even bother trying. It's one with the car now.

Multiple, easier-to-access points inside the rocker run all along its length in the form of the fasterners that hold the plastic aero panel to the underside of the rocker itself.

2) There's one round plug/fastener (already removed, see below).

3) The majority of the plugs/fasteners have rectangular bases that make up part of the smooth surface of the panel.

Below: Peek-a-boo through #2.

Also, to the right of the plug/fastener hole, you can see the dirt and grit that has gotten into the rocker through the rust hole in the "shelf".



The plugs/fasteners popped out easily for me by prying with a regular flat screwdriver:





I would highly recommend that any gen. 2 Prius owner open the forward & rear plugs/fasteners under the rocker panels and spray a liberal amount of rust inhibitor inside. Both sides of the car.

And if you have any rust at all on the shelf area, clean it up, re-coat the area with a suitable sealant (normal paint won't stand up to the road grit thrown at this area) and do regular rust protection via the plug/fastener holes.
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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So glad I don't live in those conditions. I remember an early 70s Buick that came from upstate New York that had a rust hole in the fender 6 inches wide. The car was 6 months old based on the production date on the vin tag.
Vegas were pre rusted with no primer under the (painted) headlamp bezels.

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Old 08-10-2015, 10:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Great info. I'll have to check my car out.
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:13 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
Vegas were pre rusted with no primer under the (painted) headlamp bezels.
Yeah, Vegas even rusted in Southern California :-(

And I remember a friend's Mustang, which was interesting to drive in 'cause you could see the road going by under your feet. Couldn't have been more than 5 years old at the most...
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Old 08-11-2015, 02:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
So glad I don't live in those conditions.
But think of the fun you're losing out on -- picking out a new winter beater each year!

---

I had another thought: if I were planning to keep the car, I would also pull all the plastic undertrays off to inspect the floor. They're potential rust traps.
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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On this episode of Prius Rust CSI...

Yesterday evening I opened up the passenger side rocker panel.

It's not quite as rusty as the driver's side. Interestingly, there is no rust hole on the "shelf" inside the wheel well (though the coating is gone from it, and the bare metal is rusty).

So how is salty water & dirt getting inside to make a mess of things?

I think Speeed3 already explained it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speeed3 View Post
If you remove the rear tire spat, underneath it there’s a hole... Tire spat has seal in it that will seal the opening.
Here's the tire spat/deflector.... showing telltale signs of rust beneath it:



Spat removed, you can see the factory drain hole in the end of the rocker (which I already cleaned out before I took this pic):



Inside my rusty rocker was a lot of very fine grain grit & sand. Most of it was concentrated near that hole. How did it get in?

Toyota put spongy gasket material on the spat where it contacts the wheel arch in an effort to prevent grit & water from getting inside the drain. Gasket highlighted in this pic:



But judging by the amount of fine grit and rust I found in the rocker in & around that drain hole, it's clearly not an effective seal.

Another view of the drain from other side of the crime scene:



Moral of the story for gen. 2 Prius owners: pull those plugs/fasteners out of the bottom of your rockers and get some rust-inhibitor inside.
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Old 08-13-2015, 03:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Discovered possibly easier ways to access inside the rocker panel:



1) This is the screw you described for removing the rear tire spat/deflector. The screw threads inside my rocker were so rusted, I didn't even bother trying. It's one with the car now.

Multiple, easier-to-access points inside the rocker run all along its length in the form of the fasterners that hold the plastic aero panel to the underside of the rocker itself.

2) There's one round plug/fastener (already removed, see below).

3) The majority of the plugs/fasteners have rectangular bases that make up part of the smooth surface of the panel.

...

I would highly recommend that any gen. 2 Prius owner open the forward & rear plugs/fasteners under the rocker panels and spray a liberal amount of rust inhibitor inside. Both sides of the car.

And if you have any rust at all on the shelf area, clean it up, re-coat the area with a suitable sealant (normal paint won't stand up to the road grit thrown at this area) and do regular rust protection via the plug/fastener holes.
Reason why I chose to use the opening behind tire spat/deflector is that I feared that opening those plugs might get them lose. If the plastic plugs(s) from the bottom of the rocker fall off you can’t really even see it and it will allow lots of dirt inside.

That’s why I would recommend using the access behind the tire spat/deflector for rust protecting.

That screw is treaded into plastic peace so no matter how rusty it is it should still be removable.


Last edited by Speeed3; 08-13-2015 at 03:25 PM..
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