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Known rust problems on mk2 Focus front wheel arches


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#1 catch

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 05:52 PM

But Ford deny there is an issue or a fix.

OK as they say a picture paints a thousand words

The Mk2 Focus front wheel arch rust problem Honest John mentions in his review of same, exposed in all its GORY

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So folks, get those front wheel arch plastic water deflectors off and check you wheel arches now. Or remain ignorant, and just keep polishing the shiny bits, remedial work now will save you a packet later.

Here is the crap that "can" build up, and as you can see although the road is dry the crap is damp.
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that's because the waterproof outer cover of the preformed sponge blocking ment to stop water and mud ingress into the wing proper can get torn when being installed. Thus soaking up water when it rains, and then acting as a reservoir keeping the crap damp. I could wring water out of the pictured item. I dried it out with a hairdryer and sealed the tear, and give it a good bollop of underseal for good measure when it was in situ.
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Ford have applied a protective coating to the underside of the subframe. But it should have been applied further up the sills IMHO. Because with the absence of mudflaps, the tyres throw road grit onto the underside of the sill. This acts like a shot blasting process, which over time will strip it back to bare metal
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Now the front wheel arch protectors, fit behind the turned edge of the front wings nearest the road surface. [ignore the hap hazard rust treatment I attempted with the wheel arch protectors still in place]
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Now after I treated the rust properly by removing the protectors, I refit them in front of the outside edge of the wing where it is nearest the road surface. And I then fit Ford mudflaps, that way no rubbish or water can be driven in behind the wing from the tyres where they meet the road, directly in front of the rear of the wheel arch opening. And I also back filled the joint where the mudflaps meet that wheel arch protector with underseal.
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So hopefully any water ingress that gets behind the wheel arch protectors , should be able to just run down the inside of the wing and drain out off the lip at the base of the wing. Instead of a dam building up of mud and road debris inside the wing.

After treating rusted areas of the underside of the sills, I masked off 5cm up the underside of the sills from the subframe and undersealed them. The higher up the sill you protect it the better, so go higher than 5cm if you want. I used underseal because I happened to have a tin of it in my garage. That was two weeks ago, and they are now ready for undercoating then top coating to the cars finished colour when the weather permits. I'd rather have used the protective stuff used on the underside of the subframe, but I don't know what it is called, so I just used the underseal.But I would suggest you use that stuff if you can source it. And do post the name of the stuff if you find out what it is called.
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Edit: all that said, the other front wheel arch was comparatively clean, with no torn preformed blocking piece. But the under sill still suffered from shotblasting the paint surface, and hence rusting on the wheel arch lip and underside.
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The rear wheel arches where again comparatively clean. Plus the rear wheels throw the road grit onto the non metal rear bumper, so no chance of that rusting. But again you do get some rusting on the rear wing where it turns in at the base of the wheel arch opening.

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#2 artscot79

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 07:37 PM

strangely was only a problem on the facelift models the original mk1 with the plastic side skirts and no water deflectors never had this issue though fords have always been bad for rust, even with there galvanised biody galvanized my rear end they all suffer front and rear wheel arch rust as well as the lowers of the rear doors

#3 H3lly

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 01:20 PM

Good tip OP, I have a mk1 and another family member has a mk2 foci. I will have to check this out for them.

#4 catch

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 12:25 PM

strangely was only a problem on the facelift models the original mk1 with the plastic side skirts and no water deflectors never had this issue though fords have always been bad for rust, even with there galvanised biody galvanized my rear end they all suffer front and rear wheel arch rust as well as the lowers of the rear doors



Before this did

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this on 30th December 2008

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The only sign of rust we had on our 2 month short of 10 year old mk1 Focus 1.8 Zetec was a paint bubble on the top of a rear wheel arch. Mind you when I bought it at six years old, it had mud flaps all round, down to one on the FNS by the time of the accident. So in that respect Ford appear to be going backwards in the rust stakes with the Focus mk2

Looking at it, here on the Ford Dealer forecourt it looks virtually in mint condition body wise.

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It's only when you give them a more detailed inspection do you see all is not as it appears. No need to get down on your knees for an initial inspection of your car. Just use a digital camera and upload to your PC.

#5 artscot79

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:29 PM

strangely all cars ive had had rust problems with the wheel arch covers on the ones that didnt were fine ide say as youve stated the water gets trapped behind the cover leading to rust waxoyl based underseal is the better choice my mk1 is lagered in it underneath ive not put any wheel arch covers on as i dont want to give the rust demon anywhere to set up camp the rally style flaps look a bit better

#6 Moe

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 10:41 PM

Thankyou for posting that...I feel your pain with this and I think there is an issue!
As I haven't got the skills or time to fix it myself, I've just spent several hundred getting my Mk2 Focus treated for rust at the sills in exactly the same place. As with your car, the debri from the road sandblasted the weak paint away - I noticed it when I was cleaning it and a flake the size of a cornflake came away. I spoke to Bristol Street Ford about it, but because I'm the car's 2nd owner, they near enough to told me to F*ck off. Previous owner had not done the log book paint stamps either (which was also my fault apparently). I tried arguing that a 5 year old car should not be rusting like that, but they really weren't interested. Since this I've been taking a close look at MK2s: Some of them now have the non-standard mud flaps fitted like ours, but most are beginning to rust at the arches. There was a blue one (with the same problem) queuing behind mine in the paint shop!!
Slightly newer ones with the plastic trim shielding them might get away with it, but I think there could be a lot of rusty MK2 Foci around soon. This is a shame for an otherwise good car that is too young to die from silly avoidable rust problems like that!!
I've attached pics of the dodgy areas on my car....

starboard_side.jpg

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#7 starfield

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:17 AM

does Ford sell mudflaps that goes with the mark 2? If so how much?

My one have got the plastic strip shield (56 reg) but it is only at the bottom of the sill. Does the mudlflap offer better protection?

#8 thesilverfox

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:55 AM

does Ford sell mudflaps that goes with the mark 2? If so how much?

My one have got the plastic strip shield (56 reg) but it is only at the bottom of the sill. Does the mudlflap offer better protection?


Yes. Get the mudflaps if you can - I did, and it was the best move I made! Dead easy to fit and save the car a lot more than you might first expect. I'm amazed mudflaps are optional on new cars still.

#9 artscot79

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 12:13 PM

Yes. Get the mudflaps if you can - I did, and it was the best move I made! Dead easy to fit and save the car a lot more than you might first expect. I'm amazed mudflaps are optional on new cars still.



i have to agree 100 % i fitted flaps front and rear and its saved a lot of heartache with the old paint chip demons i have not had a spot in 6 months so im well chuffed ebay do genuine ford flaps from ford allen parts etc for the mk2 thay arent exactly cheap but far cheaper than resprays and fixing rust 2 times ayear i would remove mine and brush a layer of clear waxoyl on the backside where the plastic meets tyhe apintwork after cleaning any crud off gives peace of mind that its well protected for me and waxoyl is only 6/7 quid for a small brushable tin i also do the insides of the arches where they are exposed as well

#10 coll247

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 11:44 PM

it looks a lot better than it did has anyone used shultz for under neath the car ive bought a gun but just waiting for some nice weather

#11 artscot79

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 11:50 AM

it looks a lot better than it did has anyone used shultz for under neath the car ive bought a gun but just waiting for some nice weather



usethe one with waxoyl and underseal combined brilliant stuff though werar old clothes and gloves its a nitemare to get out when it gets on ure hands use white spirit it ciomes off easy fairly easy really start at the front work youre way back avoid the exhaust but try to get into all the nooks and crannies put old sheets down before you start it will drip everywhere

#12 coll247

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 03:27 PM

thanx for that ive used underseal before and thats hard to get off your hands

#13 catch

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:47 PM

Moe it's nice to hear people coming back and saying an article has been of some use to them. Kinda makes the time spent putting it together worth while.

Yes your flaking looked really bad, hope it's all sorted now. Even the fix Ford had done on later MK2's I don't think it goes up the sill high enough. The MK1 was a far better set up.

As you can see on my pics I painted a coat of under seal on the lower section of the sill because I had it in my garage. But it flakes off when hit by small stones, so that is not a permanent fix.

#14 artscot79

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 06:06 PM

Moe it's nice to hear people coming back and saying an article has been of some use to them. Kinda makes the time spent putting it together worth while.

Yes your flaking looked really bad, hope it's all sorted now. Even the fix Ford had done on later MK2's I don't think it goes up the sill high enough. The MK1 was a far better set up.

As you can see on my pics I painted a coat of under seal on the lower section of the sill because I had it in my garage. But it flakes off when hit by small stones, so that is not a permanent fix.



i dont know if the skirts are available for youre car but its certainly worth having along with th eflaps as it totally protects that whole area and the whole sill as well maybe worth considering getting some if they are available and fitting them

#15 catch

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 07:44 PM

i dont know if the skirts are available for youre car but its certainly worth having along with th eflaps as it totally protects that whole area and the whole sill as well maybe worth considering getting some if they are available and fitting them


as the MK2 is longer than the MK1 I doubt the would be a straight fit. I'm thinking of applying that stone-chip coating....when I get around to it.

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