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Rust Issues - Mk 1!


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Hi there guys,

New to all this business so hello everyone! Started to notice rust specks on my V Reg Focus MK1, particularly around the wheel arches, wondering what the best treatment for this is? (common problem i'm informed!)


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It's a common problem on most Fords.

It happens due to a couple of design flaws. First, it has carpet wheel arch liners are there to reduce road noise, but which also hold enormous amounts of moisture. Second, the metal at the edge of the wheel arch is rolled over into a 'lip', and fills up with mud. Because it just sits there damp all the time, the end result is eventually rust.

To deal with it, you need to remove the wheel arch liner and scrape out all the loose dirt from inside the "lip" at the edge of the wheel arch. It will be full of it. What you then need to do is repair the rust damage which, depending on the severity, may involve rubbing down the affected area with a coarse wet & dry sandpaper and loads of water until no more loose rust is present. Then put on loads of Kurust and let that dry (I'd also recommend cleaning the lip out with a small wire brush, then put Kurust in there, as there will almost definitely be rust in there too). Next, apply some P38 body filler and smooth it off as much as you can - let that dry too, then rub it smooth with a 400-grit wet & dry. After that, primer, rub with 1200 wet/dry, paint, 2000 wet/dry, lacquer. Then leave it for two weeks to fully harden. After that you can blend it into the old paintwork with some rubbing compound if necessary.

If the rust is only very small dots, you might get away with one of the Halford's retouch kits, rather than going down the aerosol route. But don't skip over the Kurust part otherwise there's no point you doing it.

I'd also recommend the preventative measure of removing the wheel arch liner, and paint the inside of the whole arch with Waxoyl (get the stuff you brush on - there's a spray-on one but it goes everywhere). This will repel any moisture and help to stop it from coming through again.

[edit] Oh, almost forgot. If you don't have a warm but well ventilated garage, then this isn't the time of year to be doing it. You won't get a good finish with aerosols in cold/damp weather.

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Thanks for that reply, a reply of experience I suspect ;)

Only started noticing it recently so it isn't chronic yet, just wanted to nip it in the bud. Have got a garage, not a warm one however! may wait until the Spring before i start, many thanks for your help :)

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I would suggest that if the rust is starting to bubble under the paint then it's already too far gone! It has rusted rusted from the rear of the metal through. Rubbing it down and painting is not the answer - welding in new steel is I'm afraid!

If the rust is due to a scrape or stone chop then it will be on the surface and easily cured

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