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97 Ranger - First Winter - How do I care for it

Old 01-23-2019
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 7
97 Ranger - First Winter - How do I care for it

Hey Everyone,

I bought a beautiful '97 Ranger this summer and I love it. About 85k miles on it. I live in Ohio, and similar to half the country, we are getting slammed by snow, sleet, ice, rain, you name it. This truck has no rust on it as the previous owner must have kept it in a garage and didn't drive it foul weather. It is my daily driver and I park it outside in the elements.

In the past, I had beater cars that I didn't care about cosmetically. Any good recommendations for me on how to care for the truck, reduce the risk of rust, and how to survive the winter without destroying the underside by road salt and chemicals?

P.S. I was getting some work done on it in the picture attached. Can y'all guess what was getting done on it?

Thank you!

Old 01-23-2019
RF Veteran
iTrader: (1)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 12,752
I love Red Rangers, only color they should have made them in.

Not much you can do about road salts, except try to wash them off every month or so at a spray wash place

The salts just speed up the rusting process but its very slow in winter, its when the salt is left on in the spring that the rust speeds up with warmer temps

Make sure door drains are working, take off the door panel and feel down in side, you can drill more drain holes as needed
Water WILL come down the window and into the door that is normal, you just want to make sure it can get out

Oxygen is what causes rust, most metals will oxidize/rust over time if in contact with "air", water is H2O so hydrogen and Oxygen, it speeds up the oxidation, and minerals(salts) speeds oxidation up even more.
To prevent oxidation from starting you need to cover the metal with something that prevents "air" from touching it, and that's paint, simple as that.
Paint doesn't stick to metal very well, but is a good oxygen barrier
Primer sticks to metal well, but is not a good barrier
Paint does stick to Primer well
Thats why they use Primer under the paint, and so should you, if you have any bare metal

Painting over rust will slow it down, but can't stop it, you must remove or "treat" the rusted area to stop it
There are products like Navel Jelly that converts rust to an inert material, which can then be primed and painted
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