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Surface Rust - Outer Sill?


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Hi everyone, just joined here sorry for asking for help so soon!

Anyway, I recently sold my completely rotted out Punto MK2 and replaced it with a 2001 Fiesta 1.25 Freestyle 5-door. I really love this car it's on another level compared to the bangers I have owned before. Mechanically the car seems good but I'll run around for a couple of weeks to work etc and then do longer journeys when I trust it. One owner from new and FSH (main dealer stamped).

So with my Punto being so rotted out underneath on the sills and floorpan I'm paranoid about rust lol. My Fiesta seems so solid compared to my Punto, there's no rust in the arches, I used a magnet on the arches and inner sills/outer sills joins. The only bits of rust I can find is on the outer sills and it is like bubbling on the paint, I can't push through it with a key, and I scraped a little bit off and it appears to be just surface rot especially the locations being hit with stones etc over the years. That's the only faults I can find, oh and where the drain holes are on the inner sills there's a little bit of surface rust there too...

Maybe I'm being paranoid? I love this car so far, so let's hope you guys can point me in the right direction etc. How to fix it, do I need to worry etc.

Thanks everyone great forum :D


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Can anybody help/advise me of best course of action?

I'm thinking of wire brushing and chipping out as much surface rust as I can, and then using some rust killer, a good spray with WD40 and make sure all my drainage holes aren't blocked, masking the areas and then spraying with decent primer, and then use some decent underseal????

I'm the sorta person who likes to do stuff myself and I always have, but at the end of the day don't wanna go making this worse through ignorance/inexperience lol.


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tbh theres loads of guides on the internet about how to fix surface rust

but you need to take care of it NOW before it spreads (someone on the fiesta owners club referred to it - quite rightly - as "cancer" of cars).

my suggestion would be:

  1. wire brush off the loose paint and rust
  2. sand till the metal is shiny
  3. apply kurust in accordance with directions (green jelly like substance) to the shiny surface to kill off any little bits that remain
  4. wash off kurust
  5. paint undercoat (spraycan)
  6. paint topcoat (spraycan)
  7. lacquer.

if the rust were in a more obvious area id suggest doing more coats, but since this is mainly a preventative, not cosmetic, measure id do that

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Cheers guys that's fantastic advice, I've done lots of Googling etc already and it seems like a simple DIY job.

From my understanding it can sometimes be corroding from the inside of the sills, I chipped away yesterday with a flathead screwdriver and it's solid so it seems like surface rust. In places I've chipped away and it has gone back to metal, which I guess is a good thing meaning it is only surface corrosion - it probably is just neglected stone chips being in the location it is.

Thanks for the help guys, will be getting on to this today and finishing tomorrow as I don't want it getting out of hand. My Punto was terminal and no Kurust would have fixed that lol. Car cancer is the best way of putting it :D


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Update on this one if anyone is interested, it might just help new members see how important it is NOT to neglect these things or put them off.

Chipped away a little more yesterday and found a bloomin' hole, I've chipped and gashed about 8-10inches along the outer sill. The inner and outer sill joins are good, but there's this hole uncovered. I went off to me welder mate earlier this morning, who did a lot of work on my Punto. He's explained it needs a plate, about 12x3 under the outer sill on the nearside. Probably stone chips got outta hand. Anyway, he's said £20 and he will take care of it for me and plate it, he said he will inject waxoyl and wants me to remove some trim and the seatbelt 'cos they can get burned easily.

I asked what he'd do a new outer sill for if it was worse a year or so down the line (I do want to keep this car for a few years) and he said outer sills are about £15-£20 and he would do it for £50 labour.

Anyway, the drivers side is fine and I've chipped back down to metal, was just surface rust from stone chips etc - have it masked right now ready to underseal with some Hammerite underseal with waxoyl, it's a good job I can get all me stuff trade from Halfords :D.

Just an update, glad I got onto this now rather than in a few months, may just get it nipped in the bud and it won't be picked up on the MOT in November. Let's hope so! If not I'll be back to me welding buddy lol.





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Thanks mate :). Floorpan seems in good condition when compared to the rusty pictures of my Punto floorpan I took when we were welding last year. The sill joins are straight and solid, my mate has a Zetec S on a 51, a few months older than mine, and his sill lips/joins have crumbled - I guess either him or someone else has jacked there in the past, I can't see there being an issue jacking mine on the jacking points but older cars I always prefer to jack on cross members, axle etc. It's safer that way too if you're going underneath.

Got back from Halfords and got some masking tape, masked the drivers side along ready for underseal - Hammerite 500ml with added waxoyl, more than enough for the sills. Will buy a bigger tub when I underseal the floorpan. Got some Genolite too and coated it on with a brush. Let this dry for an hour and then go along with me underseal. Should be a job well done.

Just wait then 'till my mate welds the plate in place and then do the same treatment on the N/S. :D

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I thought so too tbh, he does a lot of work for MOT stations in my area. He's an oldish chap but his work is fantastic and tidy. It's hard to find an honest welder who does good work. If anyone by chance is my area I'd put you in touch with him, I think he gets lots of his work through word of mouth.

Some more pictures :D




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Right all done on this one, just the last pictures if anyone wanted to see how I got on.

This look okay guys? Not a very neat job but there's lots of black-goodness plastered on so should stop anymore stone chips and damage in wet weather etc.





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Thanks mate! I worked pretty hard as you can tell, still not finished the whole job yet but not messing around need to get problems like this sorted before they get outta hand lol.

Dan :D

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