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Surface Rust on Ram Undercarraige

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by GreatBigTuna, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. GreatBigTuna

    GreatBigTuna Member
    Messages: 30

    Hi folks,

    I'm pretty new to this site and am sure glad I found it. I have already had a ton of questions answered by searching these boards.

    Anyway, I have a question about surface rust on the under carraige of a truck. The truck in question is a 98 Ram 2500 with the 24 valve Cummins and 55k miles that is for sale around here. They are asking $21k, and I'm sure I can get a deal on it. I've checked it out and it appears to be a fine truck in pretty good shape. My buddy is a mechanic for Cummins and seems to think the motor is in good shape as well. The only concern I have is that the bottom of this thing is covered by surface rust. My 1/2 ton Dodge has some on the drive shafts, but I've never seen anything like this. Everything from the wheel well cover screws to the shock tower mounts is covered with the stuff, except for the frame which is nice and black.

    Down here in Maryland, I just haven't seen this before. The dealer says the truck came from upstate NY and that it happens alot up there because of all of the salt and chemicals during the long winters. My question is for you folks that hail from that part of the world. Is this really common up there or is this guy just feeding me a line of poo? In either case, does this kind of surface rust pose a structural problem or is it just unsightly? I'm inclined to think that it probably isn't hurting anything, but this is going to be my first plow truck, so I just don't want to do something stupid. Thanks in advance for any help that you can provide, it's much appreciated!
     
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Welcome to Plowsite :waving:

    If the truck DID come from NY,then that would probably explain the rust.The Dodge's were bad as a lot of parts were never even painted from the factory.Do a Carfax report to make sure where it came from,and that it wasn't sitting under water somewhere for a while.

    You'll love the truck.The rust can be cleaned off and treated with POR 15,so it won't come back.
     
  3. GreatBigTuna

    GreatBigTuna Member
    Messages: 30

    Wyldman,

    Thanks for the quick reply. I checked the carfax and the truck was registered as a private vehicle in 1998 in Watertown, NY, so the salesman's story checks out (a nice suprise when dealing with a used car salesman :D ) Anyway, Thanks again. I think I am going to make an offer on the truck tonight.
     
  4. Roger Dodger

    Roger Dodger Senior Member
    from nw Pa.
    Messages: 240

    Look around at the seat mounts and other metals near the floor or under the dash for rust accumulation. If it's moderate it may have sat in a damp location such as tall grass or a humid barn. Problem with that is the dampness get in everywhere vs. salt exposure that usually is exterior. My sister parked a real clean Buick for sale in her front yard for most of the summer and the chassis looked like it had sat in water for months! What a shame.
     
  5. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 739

    I posted a picture of Timbrens that were installed on my 1999 Ford in this thread
    here .

    It shows a pretty fair amount of rusting as you can see.

    I'm in Syracuse, which is about 90 miles south of Watertown. They use salt all around here.
     
  6. GreatBigTuna

    GreatBigTuna Member
    Messages: 30

    Thanks guys. The truck I was looking at looked about like Seville's Expedition. Unfortunately, they sold it out from under me. :realmad: I called on Monday morning and told the guy I would be out around 7:30 to pick it up with check in hand. He said no problem, he would have it fueled up and waiting. I show up around 7:15 and he tells me they sold it about an hour before. Would have been nice to get a phone call, but oh well. The search continues... Thanks again!
     
  7. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    I also have a 98 Ram 2500, here in Nova Scotia we have the benefit of a salt bath all winter, and salt air all summer, (no one is more then about 35 miles from the ocean), in fact, according to GM it's the most severe climate on vehicles. Anyways my Dodge is the same, a couple of things to look for: brake lines, check that they haven't experienced a lot of corrosion, I had to replace 2 already, and Transmission cooling lines, the one in front of the rad to the trans cooler rusted through last winter, and the one from the front of the transmission (bottom) also started to leak, also the power steering cooler rusted and sprung a leak already. A good aftermarket undercoating application should help.

    Bill