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Hi Guys,

I went to a dealership yesterday to look at a used 2007 FJ Cruiser. When looking underneath the hood, I noticed there was a tremendous amount of rust everywhere (both strut towers, Engine Dipstick). The car was driven mainly in the East Coast but it's now for sale in California. The dealer was telling me that rust below is common for cars in the east coast because of rough weather conditions and things like that. However, I am doubting what he says and something leads me to believe it's something bigger. I wonder what your guys thoughts are
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Yes - run away. Since it was new, my 2007 has been driven in New Hampshire (with salted roads in winter) and it doesn't look anything like that.
 

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"for some reason the exhaust manifold looks like crap. What would cause this?"

heat

because they are exposed to so much heat no paint would survive, and the lack of coating (from the factory) allows oxidation

Note, the cast iron used in exhaust manifolds is more resistant to rust than steel, and it is much thicker (being cast instead of stamped), so the rust is usually of no concern

however, if you are super concerned, you can remove them and have them ceramic coated, which works great, looks good and may even slightly reduce underhood temperatures, but is typically not worth the effort unless removing them for some other reason in the first place
 

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Thanks much! I have had a bunch of cars and never seen anything like this. And, there is now way I'm going to try and take those rusty things off. I have busted a few studs/bolts on exhaust manifolds, and these look like they would just up and break with any amount of torque. Oh well.
 

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yeah, the rust in those photos is of the aprons, the bodywork around the engine, which rarely rust on FJs (or at least, don't tend to rust first) because they are in a pretty well protected area

For them to be that rusty I shudder to think about what the rest of it is like. Poor thing.
 

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"for some reason the exhaust manifold looks like crap. What would cause this?"

Note, the cast iron used in exhaust manifolds is more resistant to rust than steel, and it is much thicker (being cast instead of stamped), so the rust is usually of no concern
FJ (or any US-market Toyota made in the last 20+ years) don't use cast iron exhaust manifolds, they are all weldments fabricated from stamped-and-formed stainless-steel sheet. Most of them are double-wall to keep the exhaust gas as hot as possible before reaching the upstream catalytic converter.

The stainless steel immediately darkens from the heat, but usually doesn't "rust" unless repeatedly exposed to corrosive material like road salt.
 

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I ran away from one that was beautiful everywhere except underneath and under the hood. The exhaust manifold was rusted completely through. I assumed it had been in Mexico beach when the hurricane went through since it is not too far away.
 
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