Useful Technical Stuff

Common Rust Areas

That you'll need to keep an eye on...

While Freeway's and 24/80's were built strong to stand up to the rigours of 1960's Australian roads, they can however suffer from a weakness common with other cars from the same era. There are several areas on these cars that are very good at collecting dirt and mud which if left unchecked can eventually lead to rust problems.

The following article has been compiled from talking to other owners as well as from my own observations. I welcome any comments that people might have to add to this article. This article should be of interest to prospective car buyers as well as existing owners.

rusted crossmember mount
Front crossmember mount showing extensive rust damage

Front crossmember mounts - These are basically a closed box located either side of the car just beneath the radiator. There' s an access hole for the front bumper bar mounting bolt on the side of these just inside the wheel well. Unfortunately the bumper bolt access hole also provides access for sand and mud from the wheel well and being a closed box eventually just fills up and remains damp resulting in the rusting away of the mounts from the inside out. By the time you see the rust coming through it's going to be bad. It isn't even a simple case of washing out the mud as being a closed box there's nowhere for the water to drain. Fortunately the sheetmetal work in this area is fairly easy to reproduce and replace so anyone with metalwork skills and a MIG welder should be able to fabricate replacement mounts if required. You may want to consider creating a draininge hole.

Rust in front part of sill
Rust at front end of sill caused by road debris

Front of the sill and bottom rear corner of the mudguard - This is a part of the car that literally gets sandblasted by road dirt everytime you drive the car. With time the protective underbody sealant is stripped away leaving bare metal. As dirt and mud build up rust can eat away and open up the front end of the sills. The bottom of the mudgard can also be eaten away and by the time you see rust coming through to the outside a lot of damage has already been done. The worst part however is that if the front of your sill does open up it will begin to fill with sand and mud and eventually result in the rusting away of part of the sill. Be wary of cars that have body filler in this region, how much metal is left underneath???

Bottom corners of the front & rear windscreen -

The bottom corners of the front & rear windscreens form a natural low spot in the windscreen opening, and I suspect retain moisture. The windscreen frame can rust through here but unfortunately you'll never know while the windscreen is in place. Tell tale signs are small rust blisters around this area.

Rust in windscreen frame

Bottom of Rear Mudgards - I've seen a number of cars with badly rusted rear mudgards, does anyone know the reason why? Is it from leaking boot or tailgate seals and is there's any preventative action that can be taken?

Fuel Tank - Wagons - Perished tailgate or side window seals can result in rain entering the cavitiy under the rear cargo area of Station Wagons, resulting in water pooling around the base of the petrol tank. While a very generous coating of factory applied body deadener ensures the water has almost no effect on the car body, a felt packing strip running along the bottom of the petrol tank can soak up the water and keep the underside of the tank damp resulting in the petrol tank rusting through.

Article written by: Eriks Skinkis

Rust in bottom of Austin Freeway station wagon petrol tank

Does anyone have any further comments they'd like to add about rust trouble spots?