06 Ford Ranger rust

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Feb 26, 2005
Kansas, USA
This is on my Ranger with 33k although our 04 Escape has 80k has the same rust on control arms etc. On the Ranger the paint on the frame is actually flaking off the front. To me it shouldn't be this bad with the age, mileage and where I live. Maybe in Michigan but not in Kansas. I make it a point to thoroughly wash it every spring. And I've had the Ranger since new and the Escape since 06. I didn't get undercoating on either although my 00 F150 didn't have any either and it was virtually rust free when I traded it on the Ranger. I figured frequent washing wouldn't need. Another Ranger owner said that the frame was dipped in wax if so they must of missed mine.

Maybe I washed it to much? Although the wife said wouldn't be any different with rain. I'm starting to wonder what it will look like in 15 years if it makes it that long.. planned on keeping it for 20+ years. Should I worry about this?



OK, maybe this is a dumb question... do those parts develop surface rust and then stay like that?

The metal that makes the frame, diff, etc. is obviously different than the sheetmetal that makes up the frame. Some metals, it seems, build a surface rust and then stay that way indefinitely (Im thinking for example of I-beams used in the basements of some homes, some types of guardrails used on highways, etc.

I wonder if a few cans of eastwood rust encapsulator and some decent sandpaper is smart or just asking for trouble...
Even the bottom of your shock is rusted, so my guess is you saw a lot more salt this winter than you thought.
Possibly.. our road still has some leftover salt on it. Up till this year they never put salt on our road.
I think the rust warranty is 10 years 100k.. not sure what exactly Ford would do to remedy the problem. Thought about taking it to the dealer though.
FWIW, there are many cars running around western New York that look far worse yet pass NYS inspection.

Once it seriously starts there's not much you can do about it. Maybe POR-15 or Rust Bullet...
Don't worry about it. One of my Rangers (a 2000) looked like that after a year or 2 and looked a lot rustier after 9 years, but it never caused any problems. Pretty much everything steel except the body panels got a layer of surface rust, but never started flaking.

The "paint" on the frame isn't paint, it's a soft waxy coating that hardens after a year or 2, then starts flaking off after that.

The truck was taken out by a drunk driver otherwise I planned on another 5 or so years out of it.

My '09 already has a bit of rust starting on parts of the frame and suspension, but I'm not worrying about it. I figure if the old one never caused any issues, not worth my time to worry about a bit of rust on the new one either.
The frames are dipped in wax, no paint.

My Rangers have not had as much rust. My 2001 had some light surface rust where the spare tire wore off the wax, but other than that it didn't have any. The frame was just stained with mud. My 2002 has no rust at all, not even on the original shocks. Both trucks were/are driven on salted roads, but probably less salt than you get. I'll try to get a picture of the 2002 for reference, but I can't find the USB cord for my camera right now.

Later model Rangers typically don't get much rot in the frame. My Explorer had a similar frame and even after 13 years in PA, there was no rot on the frame. It was covered in surface rust, but you could take a hammer to any part of it and not do any damage. I probably wouldn't worry too much at this point. The pictures you posted are a long way from becoming rot, and I definitely wouldn't worry about the axle housing. Keep cleaning the frame regularly and treat it with some sort of anti-rust stuff. I used marine anti-rust stuff that came in a spray can on my Explorer. I found it at Bass Pro in the boating section.
My sister lost a car due to the frame rusting out....it wouldn't pass NYS inspection because of it. My uncle had the frame on his 1993 buick snap in half while he was driving down the road.

I would say that your frame has the same amount of rust as our 2003 Chevy Trailblazer EXT 4x4 but we garage ours. The winter does take its toll on vehicles here.
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