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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:29 am 
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Resident Gearhead
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 10:30 pm
Posts: 8651
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Year and Trim: 2000 Bonneville SSEi
Original author - Luxrain

1st is my most favorite! (not really...) This particular rust spot is a big issue. It's where the engine cradle meets the body of the car and causes terrible structural loss. Not sure if there's any true way to prevent this besides a good undercoating.
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and another
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2nd is the one every bonnie owner knows and dreads.... gas door rust.... Now with this one, dealers and collision shops like to be able to hide this from consumers, but we Bonneville owners know this is almost inevitable. As you can see here, I've been loading it with paint knowing that it won't help. Fix? well there's a nice post on the forum here on how to prevent this. Link here: exterior/topic43523.html
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3rd is another common one for northerners. Rust under the front splash shields. Now when you go looking at a car, you can't exactly take it apart and mechanics won't really look here either. But good places to look, that signal severity, is rust 'bleeding' from these spots, or a hole here. These two spots are where the strut tower meets with the sides of the frame. Basically, where the over-flow bottle is. Look closely between the bottle and the side of the car, and on the opposite side. This may have been a design flaw, but what needs to be done is heavy rubber coating, and the splash shield hole welded up.
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And the opposite
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4th is actually very well hidden, thanks to GM. You know those wonderful plastic rocker panel covers? Yeah, they hold lots of hidden rust. But! there's a way to see (or feel I should say) where this rust begins. If you look where our wonderful road rash is on the rear doors, there's a hole in the plastic covering that is about the size of a decently sized hand. All you need to do here is feel, and you may feel a hole - which is not good. This may be prevented by the use of splash guards and undercoating.
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Second picture shows the severity of it. Now, as you can see, this is pretty bad to show up here. If you see this, you might not want to bother... you will have issues in at least 2 years.
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And another supporter of this, even though there's no hole nearby, the rust is above the rocker... not good. Yes I know it's difficult to see but its there!
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And since we are here - look at this area, just in case there's a chunk of metal missing from here.
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5th is one that's easy to skim over, because I know I sure did. This one's due to the wonderful rug crap they use inside the fenders. These rugs, of course, hold water when it rains. Water + Metal (painted or not)= Rust. Prevention? Well to be honest, make sure that there's good corrosion protectant behind it - or just replace it.
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6th is one that seriously sucks if left untouched. The only time you will be able to tell how severe it is, is when you are in the process of replacing the rear shocks. Now, with this one, you can sort of tell if it's starting to rust if you see any red dust around them when they are fully installed. Now... if you see the red dust, it doesn't mean it's severe, luckily. With this one, just cover it in rust prevention and truck bedliner. Prevention? Don't think there really is one. But just make sure you have a good covering of paint on it.
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Now, since we are in the same area, we might as well cover the 7th area. 7th is a little strange to me, but it's good to look for. Inspect around the rear shock tower and verify there is no bubbleing or rust bleeding. This can signal that rust is appearing behind that wonderful rubber crap in the wheel wells. You wont be able to see the rust from inside the wheel well, but the trunk is a good indicator to check. Prevention? Don't drive it in the mud? To be honest I have no clue.
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8th might be tied to the gas door rust, but is still a good place to look with a phone or light, either way. This is an area waaay deep into the quarter panel. Prevention? Same as gas door rust.
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9th is a little difficult, if you always keep your car nice and clean. This particular spot is a good spot to check if there's rust INSIDE the door. Just look at the rubbers going into the door next to the windows. If you see rust dust here, there might be something internal going on. Best way to keep this away is to make sure your car is regularly washed!
Terrible picture I know, but the reflection kept getting in the way, but it gets the point across.
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And now to really look under the hood. As always, with aluminum hoods, we get hood herpies. My hood's just lost all sorts of paint underneath. A good indicator of this starting is bubbling paint, and a powdery white residue. I have no clue if this is preventable or not.
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Another few spots to check is on the frame itself. Now, this spot in general, is quite easy to see, but can be overlooked. It's under the AC (thingy?). I don't know what this is called. But it is near a ground point, so you definitely want this clean and free of rust. Prevention is just keep your car cleaned! The most simple thing that no one does.
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Another frame spot to check is where your air box is - behind the headlight. This one is actually hard to see, unless your looking.
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And around the air intake. This one kinda makes no sense to be rusty, but that's just me.
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Another place that's easy to check is under the door seals, on the door itself. This is a common GM fault, especially on the Impalas. Mine's not terrible, luckily.
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When you are looking at the underside, make sure to look at this piece in the back, under the trunk. It's visible under the car, and I don't know if it serves any purpose besides possible air flow. This piece is subjected to a lot of abuse, and can start rusting in the spare tire well. Make sure it's intact. Prevention would probably be truck bedding painted here. Terrible picture I know.
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And even though I don't have rust here, the paint is peeling, and will probably start within the next year. Check the roof gutters. Not sure about a bonnie with a sun roof, but I imagine it to be the same.
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Theres other places to check, like where the hood hinge is, where the cabin air filter is, and others. I will update more as I get more!

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Black 2000 SSEi, HIR Headlights, Angel Eyes fogs, 3rd brake light overlay, hi-flo cat, 180 degree thermostat, HS 1.9 rockers, LSx yellow springs, Intense FWI, PCM, shift kit, push rods, and 3.4 Pulley. ZZP Power Log.


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