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How to Remove and Avoid Rust in Your Vintage Mustang

May 26, 2022

Vintage Mustangs are great vehicles to own. Every time you drive one, you can experience the feel, classic performance and rich history that have made the car such a popular fixture of American culture.

Rust is a common issue that can hurt your vintage Mustang’s appearance and lead to many issues in the future. If you own a vintage Mustang, it’s important to understand the various dangers rust can pose, tips for removing it and how to prevent auto rust.

Dangers of Rust

Rust is more than a cosmetic issue. While a little surface rust may seem inconsequential at first glance, it can spread and start to affect your vehicle and its operations. It’s crucial to find ways to take care of and prevent rust before it becomes a major problem.

Be aware of some of the common dangers of vintage Mustang rust:

  • Decreased protection: Rust weakens metal, making it flaky and brittle. Once it starts to rust, your car can become less protective as the body begins to deteriorate. Vintage cars already lack most of the innovative safety features you can find in modern vehicles. If you get in an accident, your car’s body will offer even less protection if parts have begun to rust through.
  • Lost parts: As rust spreads on your vehicle, it can begin eating away at various parts, causing them to come loose or even snap off. Losing parts can be dangerous on the roads, interfering with your driving and causing hazards for other drivers. Having parts break off also means you’ll be spending more money on repairs and replacements.
  • Faulty operations: Rust can eventually make its way to your Mustang’s internal components. If it’s not taken care of, rust can wreak havoc on your vehicle’s operations, leading to issues with driving and breakdowns on the road.
  • Reduced resale value: Auto rust can seriously devalue a vintage car. One of the first things buyers investigate when inspecting a vintage car is its condition, including how much rust is present. Because it has so many lasting effects, one Mustang rust spot can be the difference between selling your vehicle and a potential buyer walking away.

How to Remove Rust

Rust progresses in stages. Surface rust, which affects just the top layer of your car, turns to scale rust when it begins to corrode the metal on the body panels. You can identify scale rust by testing if it flakes off at your touch. Finally, penetrating rust has worked its way well past the surface and has begun to weaken the metal.

While penetrating rust will almost certainly require fully replacing the affected parts, you can remove surface or scale rust on your own.

If you find that your car is suffering from excessive rust, it may be beneficial to look at techniques for vintage Mustang rust removal. You can follow these steps to remove rust you find on your Mustang:

  1. Wash your vehicle: It’s important to clean your car first to help get a clearer picture of where the rust is. Washing will let you clear away dirt and grime and find the areas you need to work on. Make sure you thoroughly dry your vehicle after washing.
  2. Tape off the area: Before you start treating your car for rust, be sure to designate the area you’re working on. Make sure you tape off the area like you would if you were painting a room of your home. Clearly marking the area will put some parameters on the job and ensure you don’t do any damage to the unrusted parts of your vehicle.
  3. Use a hand scraper: It’s important to start with a hand scraper, whether you’re working to remove surface rust or scale rust. Work carefully to remove any paint chips, bubbles or blisters to get to the rust.
  4. Sand the area: Sand the area down to bare metal to thoroughly remove the rust. You can use sandpaper with a higher grit level for maximum smoothness. When you’re done sanding, use a damp microfiber towel to wipe the surface clean.
  5. Prime: When you’re finished sanding and removing the rust, you can apply body filler and then add a primer to the area, followed by paint. If you’ve done it right, your vintage Mustang should be back to its original state, free from rust.

Rust removal is an involved and important job. If you do it correctly, you can save yourself a lot of money on repairs, improve the appearance of your vintage Mustang and raise its resale value. Gather the tools you need, sand the area multiple times and apply primer and lacquer carefully to get a nice sheen on your vehicle. When you’re done, you can be proud of your job and admire its new, shining appearance.

8 Tips on How to Prevent Mustang Rust

While you can certainly remove rust, the more beneficial technique is to avoid it altogether. You may still have the chance to give your vehicle rust protection and stop any damage before it even happens.

Whether your Mustang is completely rust-free or you want to protect its unrusted areas, you can try some of the following tips to prevent rust on your Mustang.

1. Wash Your Car Regularly

One of the most effective ways to avoid rust is to wash your car regularly. In addition to removing any dirt that starts to build on your car’s exterior, regular washing will help you catch any signs of rust or repairs you may need to make to your vehicle.

Make sure you’re thorough with your washes and taking care of those hard-to-reach places like the wheel wells.

2. Inspect Your Vehicle

You should inspect your vehicle often to take stock of any issues, using this time to look for signs of rust. It may be challenging to spot rust from a distance. Taking time to examine your vehicle close-up can help you spot signs of rust so you can stop it before it spreads.

Look for warning signs like peeling and chipping paint. Once the protective layer of paint starts to go, your car becomes more vulnerable to spreading rust. If you do notice issues with your paint, it may be helpful to get a new paint job to help defend against rust.

3. Avoid Salt

If you can, try to avoid getting salt on your vintage Mustang. Salt can be very damaging to a vehicle, ultimately leading to corrosion and excessive rust.

If you live in a cold, snowy area, you might want to avoid taking your vintage Mustang out on freshly salted roads. If you live near a beach, the salt from the ocean can also begin to affect your vehicle.

Effectively preventing rust due to salt means washing your vehicle frequently and being wary of when you take your car out on the roads.

4. Keep the Interior Clean

While it may seem like an odd area to focus on in terms of preventing rust, your car’s interior is a prime place for corrosion to start. Spilled drinks, for instance, can seep through the carpeting and eventually hit metal. With excess moisture trapped there, the metal can begin to rust.

Be sure to clean the interior of your Mustang regularly to dispose of any lingering trash. If you spill something, clean it up quickly and dry it thoroughly.

5. Use Anti-Rust Products

When it comes to rust, it’s best to have all the help you can get. Anti-rust products will give you the extra help you need to keep your vehicle in top shape.

Many companies have developed anti-rust sprays and coatings that make it easier than ever to defend against rust. Find quality rust protection products and apply them frequently to keep your vintage Mustang protected at all times.

6. Get a Rust-Resistant Coating

Waxing used to be the top way to defend against rust. Today, auto experts recommend rust-resistant coatings for vehicles, which offer a durable, long-lasting solution that protects against rust.

7. Choose a Safe Parking Spot

It’s important to pay close attention to where you’re parking your vintage Mustang. Try to find shaded areas that get your car out of direct sunlight. Cool, dry places will offer the best protection from rust. If you can, stay away from parking on grass, snow, dirt or poorly drained areas.

8. Remove Small Rust Spots

If you do see small signs or spots of rust start to form on your vehicle, be sure to take care of these areas quickly. Rust can spread quickly, so it’s vital to identify and eliminate any spots before they cause further issues.

Benefits of Rust Removal

While undertaking a rust removal process or figuring out how to prevent rust might seem like work, getting rid of rust or avoiding it altogether offers many advantages:

  • Enhanced appearance: Removing and preventing rust will help you keep your Mustang free of a bubbling, cracking and discolored exterior. One of the best things about your vintage Mustang is the way it looks, from its famous body to its gleaming paint. Taking care of its appearance honors your historic vehicle and allows you to feel pride while driving it around town.
  • Increased resale value: Finding an unrusted vintage Mustang can be rare. By keeping your vehicle rust-free, you can offer a valuable product to buyers in the market. Potential buyers will be impressed with a vintage Mustang completely devoid of rust. You’ll be able to set a good price and stick by it, confident in its appearance and how you took care of it.
  • Fewer repairs: Removing or preventing rust will also mean that you’re spending less money on repairs. When left untreated, rust can damage the exterior of your vehicle and even invade its inner workings. Simple rust-removal projects and prevention techniques will let you avoid those costly and time-consuming trips to the auto repair shop and give you more time to drive the car you love.
  • Confidence in operations: Knowing how to protect against rust will let you drive your vehicle free from worrying about the damage it could be doing to your car. You can be confident in its operations and take pride in knowing you’ve taken care of your vintage Mustang.
  • A better driving experience: Ultimately, a rust-free car improves your overall driving experience. People will admire the spotless exterior of your vintage Mustang, and you’ll be proud of the way it runs. Driving a vintage Mustang is an exciting experience and knowing how to keep it rust-free will allow you to enjoy your drives.

Get Your Vintage Mustang Parts From Top Flight Automotive

While removing and preventing rust is a great way to keep your vintage Mustang in top shape, sometimes its parts may be corroded beyond repair. In those situations, it’s best to find a trusted car part dealer that can provide you with what you need.

Top Flight Automotive offers a vast selection of car parts for vintage Mustangs. Whether you’re looking for replacement engine parts or body panels, we have what you’re looking for and offer benefits that separate us from other providers:

  • Experience: We’ve been in the business for decades and know what it takes to deliver excellent customer service. Our sales team is ready to answer your questions and help guide you to the products you need.
  • Quality products: Top Flight Automotive offers quality products you can rely on. We make sure everything we sell is of the highest quality.
  • Convenience: Gone are the days of trying to find the parts you need from multiple different sellers. Top Flight Automotive offers you a one-stop shop where you can find all the products you need at a single, convenient location. Most of our in-stock products ship the same day so that you can start your repair or restoration project as soon as possible.

Shop Online Today

If you have a vintage Mustang rust spot, Top Flight Automotive can help you take care of the problem. We offer quality vintage Mustang replacement parts that will let you get the job done quickly and effectively.

If you discover a rust spot, it could be time for a replacement part. Top Flight Automotive is your shop for vintage Mustang parts. Talk to our experienced sales team to find what you’re looking for and check our huge selection of vintage car parts and shop online today!

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