Door Sills removed &... Rust?!

Discussion in 'Mustang Sound & Shine All' started by GitDat, Dec 7, 2003.


  1. GitDat

    GitDat Founding Member

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    Anyone remove the plastic door sills and have rust under there? How do I get the rust off without jacking the paint?
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  2. Ron Jeremy

    Ron Jeremy New Member

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    Where and what are the door sills? IF you have a 2000 GT and it already got rust on it bring it back to Ford and make them fix it right. You have a 100,000 mile warranty on rust on that car. Tell me where the door sills are located?
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  3. n0v8or

    n0v8or Member

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    I have an '03 and there is surface rust under every plastic trim piece (including the door sills). Worst rust is on the seat frames and unprimed, unpainted steel that supports the instrument panel. Try looking around the fuse panel or auond the glove box with the lid open. Ford's worthless rust warrantee only covers outer panel perforation. In other words, the rust has to eat its way completely to the outside before they have any liability.
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  4. Ron Jeremy

    Ron Jeremy New Member

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    Where are the door sills located???? Are they the 2 posts which are where the front windsheild is located and where the side doors close upon??

    I never knew that if you take the plastic mouldings off the interior of a 99 to 2003 Mustang that there is rust in the window frame posts, if this is the area which you call the door sills. I also never knew that there are rust problems on the seat frames and on the steel supports which hold the dashboard in place. If there is rust in these areas "INSIDE" the car that means that the salt is getting inside the car from the outside. If there is leakage WHERE is it coming from to cause such a large area of the interior of the Mustang to have so much rust???

    This is the first time that I ever heard about this problem and I would like to find out more about it and WHAT and WHERE the cause of the problem is. Does anybody know about this rust issue. I own 2 Mustangs. A 2001 GT and a 2002 6 cylinder. I bought both cars brand new and I would like to keep these cars forever. I never drive my GT in the winter, but I do drive my other 2002 Mustang ALL YEAR ROUND even in the snow and salt up here in New England. I really want to keep both of these cars forever if I can. I want to pass them on to my child. I have not taken apart any plastic mouldings to check for any rust. I have looked under the dashboard area a few times where all the wiring is on the driver's side and also on the passenger side, but I have not noticed any rust under there. I really cannot see any steel supports under the dashboard either. If they are there, they are hidden from view. It is too cramped under the dashboard and it is very hard to see any rust, if there is any, under there.

    We need much more input on this subject. Maybe there is a TSB on this issue or a problem which very few people are aware of that needs to be addressed to Ford. I would appreciate any and all in here to give input on this issue. I don't want my cars to rust out because of faulty construction by Ford. We all need to find out if this is a manufacturer's defect which affects ALL the new body style Mustangs and Cobras that were manufactured from 1999 to 2004.

    Please help us out here. Thanks.
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  5. n0v8or

    n0v8or Member

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    The door sills are what you step over to get in and out of the car. Think of the part of a window we call the windowsill.

    The rust occurs because of unprotected bare steel, not moisture leaking into the interior. My GT already had the rust on delivery, and I've found the same rust on Mustangs in the Dealer's showroom. With a hand mirror and flashlight, it is easy to peer under and behind the dashboard.

    From Ford's point of view, they save material, labor, and environmental protection costs by not painting the metal, most owners will never notice, and, as long as rust-through occurs just after the warranty expires, the scenario is ideal. They would rather sell another car than have your existing one last too long.

    More serious is the steel fuel line and brake line tubing, which is rusting as well, and not covered by the body preforation warranty. If I drove my car in the snow, I would probably have to replace it in 5 years, just like every other Ford and GM vehicle I have owned.
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  6. Ron Jeremy

    Ron Jeremy New Member

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    I just finished looking around the door sills in my 2002 Mustang. I did not take any plastic mouldings off, but I did look carefully on the edge of the mouldings on the door sills. I did not find any rust there at all. If there "IS" any rust at all in the door sill area, it must be directly under the interior plastic rocker panel moulding where the moulding meets with the carpet.

    Is this the bare metal area which you are saying that does not have any paint on it and which is bare metal that is rusted? The only area which I can think of on the door sill which you are talking about where the rust occurs at is at the particular area where there is a large plastic interior rocker panel moulding that goes across the top inside part of the rocker panel which presses on to the carpet to keep the carpet from coming out and up from the sides of the interior of the rocker panel and floor pan. Isn't there a seam in this area which is a soldered seam that meets with the interior of the floorpan and the rocker panel right at that spot where the door sill is located?? Does this door sill seam (if there is one) stick out like a sharp edge just like the edges that stick out that are around the perimeter of the door jams and on the interior part of the roof line around the entire perimeter of the opening of the driver and passsenger sides where there is rubber and plastic strip insulation where the doors close on?

    When you say that there is rust on the door sill of your 2000 Mustang, HOW BAD is the rust?? Has it rotted all the way or is it just surface rust which can be lightly sanded and touched up with paint? How bad is the surface rust?

    Do you think that ALL Mustangs have this problem with rust forming in the door sills? Do ALL of the Mustangs that were manufactured from 1999 to present have "UNPAINTED" door sills under that plastic interior which connects the rocker panel to the floor pan? I would think that when the car goes thru the spray booth at the factory that the sprayed paint would hit that area, even the interior area of the floor pan and the area next to the floor pans which connects to the interior part of the rocker panels which you call the door sills. Why wouldn't any paint be able to reach that area if the body of the car is put thru the spray paint booth. I know that if you strip the interior out of the Mustang, that the floor pans and the interior part of the transmission hump are painted the color of the car. I don't understand how the floor pans can be painted and the door sills are not. ????????

    ALSO, I would think that the steel fuel line and brake line tubing will rust on ANY car, especially on a northern vehicle which is always driven in snow and salt. I've been driving mine now for 2 years in the snow and salt, but I have not noticed any real rust problems on the steel fuel and brake line tubing. What I do see is that the steel tubing is not shiny any more like it used to be when the car was brand new. The steel tubing looks dull and it has some pitting on it. The only things which I see that have rust are the springs and screws which are attached to the brake line underneath the car and the ones which are attached to the inside of the front and rear wheels.
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  7. n0v8or

    n0v8or Member

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    The rust under the door sill and "A" pillar garnish moldings has a completely different cause relative to the unpainted interior steel structural members and seat frames. You are absolutely correct that the door sills / rockers are painted along with the rest of the car. It is what Ford does next that is unforgivable. The plastic interior door sill molding is retained in place by the friction of metal "M" clips that scrape away the paint where they are installed (the middle of the "M" is where the plastic tabs on the trim piece insert). They have little barbs that form a bond of rust that holds them in place in a channel in the body. When I removed the sill molding on my 3-month old GT to run some wiring, I was appalled to find the rust around the clips was already fairly extensive. I was able to sand it all off, apply some paint, cut off the barbs on the clips, and epoxy them back in place. The clips themselves have a brass-colored plating and seem to be rust-resistant. Another year, and it would probably have been too late to repair easily. The same clips and situation exists behind the garnish moldings to the left and right of the windshield. Behind the kick panels (where the engine control module is located) and behind the instrument panel, the metal was simply never painted at all. To fix this requires complete removal of the I/P.

    Regarding fuel and brake line corrosion, some vehicles are actually built to last. I have a 1991 Nissan pickup I use during the Winter months (the GT is not allowed out in rain or snow), and which is stored outside. Brand new, it cost $8000. The fuel and brake lines are stainless steel, and show no signs of corrosion yet. A magnet touched to the brake line where it runs away from the frame will not "stick". I've had no tubing corrosion problems with Chrysler cars either. But every Ford and GM car I have owned (more than 10) has rdeveloped fuel and/or brake line rust failure within 5 years if used during the Winter up here in New England.

    I can post pics if you would like. I sent some with a complaint to Ford, and their response was to punish the dealer who delivered the car by reducing his CSI score. They never responded directly to me.
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  8. Ron Jeremy

    Ron Jeremy New Member

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    n0v8,

    YES. PLEASE post a bunch of pictures to show ALL the areas on your Mustang car which you are talking about that have rust. I would like to see these pictures. I am starting to get scared now about this issue. Especially, if Ford didn't respond back to you after you sent them pictures of the rust on your car in those concealed areas. I myself live up here in New England in Massachusetts near the Rhode Island border and I drive my 2002 V6 Mustang all year round even in the wintertime in the snow and salt. I am very worried about it rusting now after all the rust that you saw in your Mustang in the concealed and hidden areas in your car.

    I have not taken off any mouldings off my 2002 Mustang, but I have a feeling that after already driving my Mustang during 2 winters up here that my car as well as other people's Mustangs up here in New England may already have rust in the areas where you're talking about. Please post as many pictures as you can. All of us who live up here in the snowbelt in the northern states should pursue this issue with Ford before our cars get ruined with rust. Thanks.
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  9. n0v8or

    n0v8or Member

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    Here's a couple of pics to start (hope they are attached OK). The first shows the rusty steel metal frame around the underdash fuse panel, which is typical of the metal behind the instrument panel and kick panels. The second shows the sill under the trim. Notice the clip to the right with rust starting to appear around it. just to its left, a clip has been removed, showing where all of the paint was scraped away during installation (and now replaced by surface rust).

    Attached Files:

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  10. Ron Jeremy

    Ron Jeremy New Member

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    I just viewed the pictures which you posted. I am SHOCKED at the amount of rust that's on the door sills and on the fuse panel. That type of rust in the sills will eventually spread all over the remaining perimeter of the door sills and eventually work its way to the rocker panels and floor pans. And the rust on the fuse panel looks like it's going to corrode all the fuses and wires with time if it eats thru the fuse box. I think that we should try to get as many Mustang owners together and address this problem to Ford before our Mustang door sills, rocker panels and floor pans rust out from this manufacturer's defect.

    Have you recently repaired any of the rust on the door sills and fuse box panel that's in the pictures which you posted? I ALSO have RED colored Mustangs just like your car. My 2001 GT is Performance Red and my 2002 V6 Mustang is Torch Red. I think that the only way to repair the rust properly is to sand down the rust and to touch it up. The only problem is that it will still reappear even if you sand it down because once rust appears it doesn't go away unless it is cut out and replaced with brand new sheetmetal. This is really scary.

    If your car has this rust problem then mine and everybody else who owns the 99-2004 Mustang more than likely does too. Ford doesn't use good paint. I think that the Ford paint is too thin and it's water based causing it to chip off easily when Ford applies clips to places on our cars which have any plastic mouldings put on to them. I bet you that other places on our Mustangs have this same problem. I think that the A-Pillars under the mouldings are also another area where rust may be building up.

    We MUST do something about these rust problems. We have to convince Ford that this is an important issue and that our cars will eventually rust out if they don't do anything about this. Rust is like cancer. If it begins it doesn't stop. It spreads like wildfire until it eats right thru the metal. I don't want my 2 Mustangs to rot away from Ford's manufacturing defects.

    Where else do you have exposed rust like this?? Which other areas in your Mustang do you suspect that you have this same rust problem like you do with the door sills and fuse panel? I am sure that there are many other areas inside our cars which have this "HIDDEN" problem. We have to find out where else it is occurring and address it to Ford. It seems like Ford didn't pay any attention to this problem during their manufacturing process when they were building our Mustangs. This really makes me angry. I didn't buy my 2 Mustangs for them to rust out while they are still new cars. I bought them so they can last me a lifetime and for them to give me a lifetime of enjoyment.

    I hope that we can address this manufacturer's defect to Ford before it's too late.
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  11. n0v8or

    n0v8or Member

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    Doorsill:
    Pictures don't provide a sense of the penetration of the rust, which fortunately was shallow on a 3-month old car. I was able to easily sand the projection (where the clips mount) to bare, corrosion-free metal, then mask, prime, and paint it with spray cans. For the top 3 coats, I used some red paint purchased from "Benny's" for $1.00 per can. It matches amazingly well, and is hidden by the trim anyway. I spread the clips slightly with pliers, then epoxied them in place. I don't expect rust to return in those particular spots. By the way, this issue of trim-mount clips compromising the paint protection is not new or unique to Ford. In the 50's and 60's, it was not uncommon for windshields to become loose (and/or leak) as the clips used to secure the decorative chrome surround caused the metal around the windshield to rust away under the molding. Since manufacturers have eliminated those moldings, this is no longer a problem.

    Instrument panel supports and braces:
    The rust is also shallow, but not easy to access and sand without disassembly. While at a wrecking yard removing some parts from a '98 GT convertible, to use for customization projects, I had the opportunity to check out the condition of the same under-dash metal on a 5 year-old vehicle. The rust was pretty bad, but in no danger of immediate disintegration.

    The "A" pillars use a metal clip affixed to the garnish molding that fits into a slot cut in the underlying metal. Same problem as the door sill, but not as bad, as the scratched area is confined to the inner edge of the slot.

    Forget the notion that Ford would have any motivation whatsoever to change manufacturing practices. From their viewpoint, the ideal car is one that begins to fall apart the day after the warranty expires. There is a lot more profit in the sale of replacement parts than new vechicle.

    Where have I found rust so far?
    Wherever metal trim clips are used. Suspension components. Fuel and brake tubing. Brake calipers. Parking brake cable. Brake and accelerator pedal assemblies. All under-dash structural metal. Steel sheet metal used to reinforce the door trim panels. Steering shaft and joints (under the dash). Console mounting brackets. Seat frames.
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  12. Ron Jeremy

    Ron Jeremy New Member

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    WOW! You have found rust in a number of places. I am very glad that you were able to fix the rust spots on the door sill and spot paint the door sill. Did you do this on both sides on both door sills?

    Also, I never knew that all cars during the 50's and 60's had metal clips on the stainless steel window mouldings around the windows. And I didn't know that the areas underneath and around the windshield where the clips were attached rusted out. I have seen some early 1970's cars with rust around the front and rear windshield area, but I never knew that the clips were the contributing factor for this type of rust.

    I am amazed in how many places that you have already found rust in your own Mustang vehicle. And your car is much newer than mine. The areas where you mentioned are really very hard to get at to do any repairs. Not only that, but it would require that we take apart the entire dashboard, console and mouldings to try to even get to these areas. I think that we cannot do anything about this problem as long as the rust is confined in spaces which we cannot easily get to. It's very sad that we have such beautiful Mustangs and that we have the rust issue problem in that many areas inside our vehicles that can never and will never be repaired properly. This brings me to wonder about the earlier Mustangs which were built during the years 1964-1972. I am wondering if the Mustangs which were built during those years ALSO had the same problems with rust appearing in concealed areas like they do with our current 99-2004 Mustangs. And how about the ones from 1964-1972 which are still on the road and which have been reconditioned? Do you think that their owners have actually taken apart things like the entire dashboards on these cars to fix the bare metal areas on them which had rust and corrosion? I think that maybe only a small handful of the 1964-1972 Mustangs were entirely stripped like this to fix the problem in the concealed areas like under the dashboard or areas which are covered by plastic mouldings inside the car and areas under the carpet. What do you think? And what do you know about this?

    Another thing which I find alarming and very disappointing is when you went to the wrecking yard and found that the entire underneath area of the dashboard of that 98GT was all rusted out. I bet that the rust covered up everything which was bare metal under the dashboard. Eventually that rust is going to eat thru the bare metal and crumble it all up. Do you think that maybe there was rust in this 98GT because the convertible top might have not been shut properly and that maybe water got into the car? That car is only a 98GT. It's only 6 years old. If that much rust can penetrate into the bare metal of a Mustang in such a few years (only 6 years) then our cars aren't going to last us very long and that's what I'm really afraid of here. This really scares me.

    Currently, I really want both of my Mustangs to last me a lifetime. I really love this current 1999-2004 Mustang body style and I don't want my any of my 2 Mustang vehicles to rust out. And I'm sure that you feel the same way about your Mustang too. If Ford wants our Mustangs to rust out so we can buy another car from them, then they are doing a dis-service. I still love my 2 Mustang vehicles and would buy another one from Ford if the body style was still nice looking like the current body style Mustang which they are building now. But I am against the philosophy that Ford has which is to build cars which will not last and which will rust out on purpose. I hope that Ford can stop thinking like this and just build a Mustang which doesn't have the rust issue problem anymore.

    Give me your detailed input about this post. Thanks.
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  13. n0v8or

    n0v8or Member

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    Yes, I sanded and painted both door sills, alternating coats between one side and the other. Only about 30 minutes of effort in total, but drying time between coats made it a 6 hour job. The rusted areas under the center console are easy to access (once the console is removed, which is kind of a pain), so I'll probably fix those next Summer. Under the instrument panel, I'll just have to live with until it threatens the integrity of the structure.

    The '98 in the wrecking yard was a convertible that had been totaled. It no longer had an engine, transmission, steering wheel, top, hood, trunk lid or any of the interior trim. It sill had an instrument panel, but no gauges. This car may have been completely exposed to the weather for months or years, so I considered it a worst-case example.

    Do the 80's Mustangs have similar rust problems? I don't think so. I subscribe to Mustang Monthly, which is directed at those interested in restoration, and contains lots of advertizing for old Mustang parts. Soft parts, gas tanks, battery trays, door shells, and floor pans seem to be the big sellers. I have not seen any ads for interior support metal pieces.
    The current obsession to save pennies of cost on every car is fairly recent. Ford will always do what is best for Ford. I use to sell them parts and I know how they think and operate (GM and Chrysler are not much different).
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  14. Ron Jeremy

    Ron Jeremy New Member

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    The only thing that I can do now is to keep a very very close eye on these areas which we talked about here. If any rust appears in these areas I will have to fix it. There's really nothing else that I can do. Let's hope that we don't have to strip down the entire interior of our Mustangs to fix any rust that might appear in the present and future. I want to keep my Mustangs as original as possible.
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