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Hey everyone,

Looking to buy my first FJ and am looking at a few, but have concerns regarding rust in one. Wife and I have looked at about 6-7 total and I haven’t seen one with this much rust. It’s located almost 3 hours from us so I’m going off info and pictures from current owner. I cannot see it for myself before I’d make the drive to purchase.

The rest of it is in great shape, clean history, no accidents.

It’s an 07 4WD, just over 200k miles. I’d appreciate some help to see if I should consider it. I know it’s hard just based on pics, but any help or input would be great!

Thanks!!
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I am a new owner so take what I say with that in mind. I walked away from several that looked about like that. I finally found a 10 model that is pristine at a good price. I drove 400 miles to New Orleans to look at one that looked good on the outside, when I looked underneath I drove away, too much rust. I finally found one near Atlanta that was adult driven and had always been in the South. Be patient. Lownslow
 

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I grew up in a rust belt state and so my “tolerance” for rusty frame and suspension components is higher than most others on this forum. There is a big difference between surface rust and rot (rust that has deteriorated the underlying components to the point where they are no longer structurally sound). Rot usually takes a long period of time, but can be accelerated by certain conditions. What I see in those pictures appears to be surface rust (as opposed to rot). I personally wouldn’t be put off by it, but I would also crawl under the truck with a headlamp and take a closer look before purchasing.


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Rusty 2007 with 200K miles...unless the price is $5K, I would keep looking. They sold a ton of early model year FJs.
 

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Looks like it needs a treatment. I am having a hell of a time finding someone to do a proper rust treatment in Colorado (not much rust here since no road salt and very dry). Here's a pic of my rust on my 2010 I recently bought in Virginia and drove back (sorry for crappy angle of pic, have a few more pics I need to search for if interested):
Rust pic 2.jpg
 

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I personally would keep looking. It’s not just the rust you see but it’s also what you can’t see. Zooming in on your pictures you can see what appears to be signs of rot around one of the holes in the frame for drainage. And the rust/pitting on the welds would concern me as well. I’d have to ask myself what’s hiding inside those frame rails? Add to that the FJ has 200k miles on it. That’s much more in maintenance or repairs you’ll have to properly maintain that vehicle. Best to keep searching, and buy the best example you can afford, as a few hundred to thousand saved by buying cheap could cost you many thousands later.
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Looks like it needs a treatment. I am having a hell of a time finding someone to do a proper rust treatment in Colorado (not much rust here since no road salt and very dry). Here's a pic of my rust on my 2010 I recently bought in Virginia and drove back (sorry for crappy angle of pic, have a few more pics I need to search for if interested):
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You are correct about Colorado being dry but I dont understand your comment about not using road salt. Colorado uses sand and salt by the ton. They also use mag chloride. My best advice is to spray off the undercarriage after every snowstorm to make sure that salt isnt sitting on the already rusted areas. Up in the ski resort towns where you cant or it doesnt make sense to wash your vehicle to have it coated with salt gunk every 3 days or so....you can see some big rust out of stuff.

Agree that there arent many businesses that deal with rust mitigation or rust proofing because its not that common here like upper midwest and New England.
 

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I have just used cheap spray lubricant over the years, the $1.00 a can stuff at dollar general works well just soak the under carriage down every few months dependent on weather conditions. Clean or not if the frame rails are full of crud just soak them with the lubricant at that point it would be self lubricating. Better than nothing.

Do not spray the rubber bushings.
 

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I'm just beginning to look at FJs to purchase. I'm in Chicagoland, I didn't see where OP was looking? I'll try posting a few pics of what I've seen.
1st 3 pics from a 2012 with 60k
last 2 pics from a 2007 and I think 150k

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You are correct about Colorado being dry but I dont understand your comment about not using road salt. Colorado uses sand and salt by the ton. They also use mag chloride. My best advice is to spray off the undercarriage after every snowstorm to make sure that salt isnt sitting on the already rusted areas. Up in the ski resort towns where you cant or it doesnt make sense to wash your vehicle to have it coated with salt gunk every 3 days or so....you can see some big rust out of stuff.

Agree that there arent many businesses that deal with rust mitigation or rust proofing because its not that common here like upper midwest and New England.
Thanks for the advice on spraying the undercarriage after a snowstorm, I will be sure to do this in the future. I knew about the mag chloride and sand, but I made a dumb assumption there wasn't significant salt used here. I stand corrected, apologies if I've spread any bad info on this subject.

I've never given rust much thought here in Denver up until I bought my used FJ a few months ago, so this is all new to me.
 

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That’s pretty clean by Northern standards.
Krown rust control will look after it.
One application for whole vehicle annually and I do additional underbody at 6 months interval to annual.

It’s life in the North if you want to use your FJ when it’s really needed in the winter.


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Thanks for the advice on spraying the undercarriage after a snowstorm, I will be sure to do this in the future. I knew about the mag chloride and sand, but I made a dumb assumption there wasn't significant salt used here. I stand corrected, apologies if I've spread any bad info on this subject.

I've never given rust much thought here in Denver up until I bought my used FJ a few months ago, so this is all new to me.
No problem. Just look at the roads, garage floor, driveway etc after the snow melts and you will see all the white salt residue. Plenty of times I have driven on roads that look white with salt where you are not sure if you are seeing packed snow on the road or is that salt residue...esp up in the mountains.

Another way you can see the effects of salts are in the coniferous trees lining the roads in the mountains. Take a look at places like Berthoud Pass, Loveland Pass, Vail Pass, Rabbit Ears Pass, Kenosha Pass, Monarch Pass, etc, you will see all the trees within 50 or so feet from the roads are dead or damaged from the salt spray that plow the sand/rocks/salt off the roads. Compare those to the passes that are closed during winter. For example Trail Ridge Road, Mount Evans, Independence Pass. You will see that the vegetation comes right up to the road and often looks very lush in the summer. By comparison all the other roads that get salted and sanded have an almost lunar look to them within x feet of the roadway.

Magnesium Chloride = salt
Sodium Chloride = salt (table salt/ocean salt/dried salt desert salt)
All chemical combinations with chloride are salts.

When CDOT came out with the mag chloride they trumpeted how it wouldn't rust out cars. Anybody with an ounce of junior high and high school chemistry understood it was BS at the time. The answer is the mag chloride is a little less corrosive than sodium chloride. This push to mag chloride was done for several reasons being that the ground up sand after the storms was affecting the ability to meet EPA clean air standards and costing a lot of money to clean up after storms. Secondly, in mountain locations the amount of sand put on the roads was piling up into great big drifts of loose rock and sand on the edge of the roadways and then traveling downhill and getting into waterways.....hence....the push to put down a liquid salt only (Mag Chloride) to melt the ice and clear the roads and not create a lot of dust and gravel using an NaCL/Sand combination. Probably more than you wanted to know....but there is some evolutionary learning/history to why they do what they do here in Colorado.

To reiterate what I do here is that I spend nearly as much time on my hands and knees spraying off the undercarriage and wheel wells (dont forget up and around the bumpers) as I do washing/waxing the painted body portion. In addition, whenever I am under the vehicle changing oil, lubing drivetrain, I am examining the frame and often spraying WD-40 and cleaning up any areas where I think there might be a build up of the winter salt/sand/road dirt.

In your situation, you need to wire brush and clean up that rust, such as POR-15 treatment to encapsulate it and then I would be using WD-40 or Fluid Film on the underside to keep it in check. I would be especially worried about the inside of the frame rails that can rust from the inside out.
 

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The liquid spray on salt is very nasty stuff and is worse than standard rock/salt type.
The liquid sticks like glue and remains in place and causes most damage in the warm/hot summer climate. It eats brake lines, tranny lines, power steering lines as well as anything metal underneath that is not stainless.
WD 40 is a complete waste of time.
If your only choice is that or Fluid film, defines go fluid film.

Do a thorough under carriage wash with hot water if possible at end of winter season when ambient stays consistently above freezing.

Check out Krown rust control. Maybe a dealer in your area?


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The liquid spray on salt is very nasty stuff and is worse than standard rock/salt type.
The liquid sticks like glue and remains in place and causes most damage in the warm/hot summer climate. It eats brake lines, tranny lines, power steering lines as well as anything metal underneath that is not stainless.
WD 40 is a complete waste of time.
If your only choice is that or Fluid film, defines go fluid film.

Do a thorough under carriage wash with hot water if possible at end of winter season when ambient stays consistently above freezing.

Check out Krown rust control. Maybe a dealer in your area?


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The reason that sh!t sticks up here ( Alberta ) us they mix in Beet syrup with the mag chloride. Lowers the freezing point to -60ish but it sticks to everything. I wash my undercarriage at least once a week during the winter regardless of temps.
 

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after i got mine i cleaned up some of the frame surface rust and bought some fluid film. after i few trips to be sure everything worked on some trails and then out in some wet muddy cow fields one day as a good test, i took it to car wash. laid down next to it and spayed every thing clean. also all those holes in the frame rails, a car wash nozzles fits perfectly into those, and i sprayed the inside until the water came it clean. cost a lot of quarters but frame was squeaky clean before i applied fluid film. haven't sprayed inside the rails yet with fluid film, came wth the 3ft hose that attaches to the can (medical issues) but we have not had any snow in east Tennessee anyway yet this winter.. bought it last February and hasnt snowed since i did.....:mad:
 

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The reason that sh!t sticks up here ( Alberta ) us they mix in Beet syrup with the mag chloride. Lowers the freezing point to -60ish but it sticks to everything. I wash my undercarriage at least once a week during the winter regardless of temps.
ya they started using that beet juice stuff here in east tennessee a few years ago... thankfullly it doesnt snow that much here. usually get snow end of jan - first of march.....
 

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So I agree with most of the comments from people, especially those who live where the road crews use mag chloride. I hate it. It’s hell of cars and hell of concrete. Besides, my FJ doesn’t need mag chloride to get through the snow and ice.

That said, I ski and drive to the ski hill multiple times a week. At least once a week, sometimes more, I spray off my entire FJ, including the underside, using my pressure washer. I bought a cheap $10 fitting from Harbor Freight which attaches to the pressure washer wand and allows an angled spray straight onto the bottom of the rig while the pressure washer wand is horizontal. Works great and makes cleaning the underside easy. I have to keep my hose inside to keep it from freezing but that’s a small price to pay to clear the salt off.
 

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That is an awesome idea, to own one's own pressure washer and do it when you get home!

I never thought of that. Having to go to a car wash each weak isn't always convenient, and with your strategy it can be every single day, when needed.

Brilliant!
thx,
Norm
 

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I used to work in a shipyard. Needless to say, I know rust. Before applying ANY rust remediation, use a descaler. A descaler is a pneumatic tool that has an internal piston with high strength still pins on its surface. The pins are captured within the tool. Its noisy, dirty and LOUD. Basically a blast to use. Rust literally flees before it. Be sure to prime right away after removing the rust.

After descaling and priming... paint. Yes good old enamel paint. After decades of use, it is still the best rust prevention out there.

When to use alternative sprays? When you cant get to an area to properly remediate, like in voids or holes. Alternative sprays can be an acceptable temporary fix, but be sure to monitor it closely.

Now is the time to run away as i go for my 2nd cup of coffee. Have a great weekend!
 
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